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Big, full-service hotels and resorts seem to get all the attention in Mexico. With their extensive amenities and glamorous services, they embody the allure of a Mexico vacation. But savvy travelers know limited-service hotels can often provide similarly enviable locations, as well as great value and loyalty points with major hotel companies.
In recent years, familiar limited-service hotels have popped up in a variety of popular tourism destinations around Mexico. Starwood’s Aloft brand has been in growth mode around the nation, with properties in Cancun and Guadalajara and with plans to open hotels in Tijuana and the state of Veracruz by 2017. Each of the properties has a bar and lounge and either snack or meal options.
Aloft Cancun, for one, is well placed in the heart of the Hotel Zone, offering a quick walk to the beach and a rooftop pool with sweeping views, as well as free Wi-Fi access and a pleasant, very social lobby area. A full-service restaurant provides on-site dining options, but the hotel’s location near a variety of dining and entertainment venues makes it easy to enjoy other flavors.
Also in the Starwood family is Four Points by Sheraton Cancun Centro, which is ideal for travelers interested in shopping and even medical tourism. The property has a rooftop pool, deck and gym, as well as two restaurants. Four Points by Sheraton is also scheduled to debut in the popular colonial city of Puebla in 2017.
Puebla will soon welcome another limited-service property: InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG) Staybridge Suites Puebla — which debuts this fall — offers free breakfast, a fitness center, an indoor pool, a laundry room and a free evening reception. IHG also serves the limited-service market with Holiday Inn Express Mexico Reforma, which has an impressive presence on Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma boulevard, offering free hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi access and a fitness center access among its amenities.
Hilton Hotels concentrates its Hilton Garden Inn brand primarily in destinations that are popular with business travelers, but Hilton Garden Inn Queretaro is also convenient as a base for exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site downtown. Among Hilton’s newest limited-service hotels in Mexico that appeal to leisure travelers is Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Aguascalientes, which offers a free shuttle service to the airport and within an approximate 9-mile radius of the hotel. The property also offers free Wi-Fi connectivity, an outdoor pool and a fitness center.
Hyatt is another player in Mexico’s limited-service scene. The company recently announced the opening of Hyatt Place Tijuana, joining Hyatt Place Ciudad del Carmen, Hyatt Place La Paz and Hyatt Place Los Cabos, which was damaged by Hurricane Odile but is wrapping up a series of renovations. Daily breakfast, parking and Wi-Fi connectivity are free for guests at all properties.
Accor Hotels, which operates the value-priced Ibis brand, operates hotels in several business and tourism-popular destinations in Mexico. Last year, a 107-room Ibis opened in Los Mochis, the city that serves as a departure and arrival point for the popular Copper Canyon rail trips. In Mexico City’s Zona Rosa — a centrally located neighborhood that’s perfect for leisure visits — the 79-room Ibis Styles Mexico Zona Rosa offers cheerily contemporary decor, free Wi-Fi service and a breakfast buffet. Children are well served at Ibis Styles Mexico Zona Rosa; they get a free gift upon arrival and can also make use of a dedicated children’s play area.
Grupo Posadas, the Mexico-based hotelier that owns the full-service Fiesta Americana brand, has its own limited-service chain, Fiesta Inn, which offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi connectivity and 24-hour room service. While focused primarily on the needs of business travelers, Fiesta Inn has a presence in Cancun, with Fiesta Inn Cancun Las Americas, located downtown adjacent to a large shopping mall and encompassing a restaurant, a fitness center and an outdoor swimming pool among its amenities. Fiesta Inn Centro Historico Ciudad de Mexico, in the Alameda Park commercial plaza, is in a fantastic spot for visitors looking to explore Mexico City’s historic downtown. The property has a restaurant, a business center and a fitness center.
Another Mexican player in the limited-service field is Grupo Real, which owns brands including Camino Real and Quinta Real. The company’s Real Inn Cancun, in the Hotel Zone, offers a restaurant, a lobby bar, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, free Wi-Fi access and free parking. Some room rates include breakfast as well. In Guadalajara, Real Inn Guadalajara Centro is within walking distance to some attractions. The property has a restaurant, a fitness center, a business center, a lobby bar and complimentary Wi-Fi connectivity.
Hilton Garden Innwww.hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com
Holiday Inn Expresswww.ihg.com
Starwood Hotels and Resortswww.starwoodhotels.com