Summer Spruce Up

Mexico City hotels freshen decor, entertainment

By: Amanda A. Austin

Several leading Mexico City hotels are gearing up for the summer vacation season, ready with new products and special changes.

One of them is the 714-room Camino Real Mexico City, the capital’s grand dame of luxury hotels, which is opening two new restaurants. The $7 million Le Cirque, a branch of the legendary New York restaurant by the same name, is the hotel’s top-of-the-line eatery, according to Aurora Lopez de Ortigoza, the advertising and public relations director.

The decor is warm and upbeat, with carpets designed by Hermes in rich shades of blue and green; and a glass dome over the dining terrace. The kitchen specializes in French and Italian cuisine and the wine cellar boasts more than 20,000 bottles.

The China Grill, another new dining option, is informal and features a sushi bar.

Ricardo Legoretta, the Mexican architect who designed the hotel, is directing the refurbishment of the guest rooms in his signature Mexican minimalist style. The work, which includes adding wireless Internet access, is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

“We are changing the image of the hotel,”Lopez de Ortigoza said. “It had been forgotten for a long time.” Grupo Empresarial Angeles, a Mexican company, bought the hotel chain in 2000.

The high-rise 424-room Gran Melia Mexico Reforma heralded spring with the debut of its $1.5 million, 10,000-square-foot spa. “It’s the biggest spa in a Mexico City hotel,” said Manuel Montelongo, assistant marketing director Melia.

The facilities include a snug gym, sauna, steam room, pool with Jacuzzi and salon.

The hotel’s new theater is presenting “The Vagina Monologues” in Spanish. The off-Broadway show is scheduled for Thursdays through Sundays until January.

The 208-room Marquis Reforma, a high-end boutique hotel with Art Deco flourishes, has expanded conference facilities with a new wing containing two ballrooms and 13,685 square feet of meeting space. A new business center offers four computer stations, three private offices and three conference rooms.

Translation or secretarial services, high-speed Internet access and cell phone rentals can be arranged.

The swank Four Seasons Mexico City, built as a replica of the 19th century palace of Mexico’s first emperor, has added wireless, high-speed Internet access to the hotel’s 200 guest rooms.

The former Krystal Rosa in the Pink Zone the upscale, cultural and financial center of the city has been renamed the NH Krystal Mexico City, following its acquisition by the NH hotel company of Spain. The hotel’s four executive floors are the focus of a $4 million upgrade, with the rest of the property’s 267 rooms expected to be refurbished in 2004.