In a nutshell: the CONDESA df Hotel Mexico City is an interesting boutique pick for your stay in the capital. The hotel is in a lovely neighborhood of the CDMX, with tree-lined streets, multiple parks, and an upscale vibe. You can expect excellent service and unique ambiance at the CONDESA df; however, the hotel rooms themselves missed the mark for an upscale property.
Deciding where to stay in a city as large as Mexico City wasn’t especially easy. There are plenty of chain hotels in most, if not all, of the major chains. And they run the gamut from inexpensive IHG properties to the Ritz Carlton and the like. With points and certificates on hand in multiple programs, I tried not to enter analysis paralysis.
One property that I was not aware of before searching for stays for this trip is the CONDESA df. I’d hoped to use my certificate to stay at Las Alcobas Mexico City, but it it was priced out of the 50,000-point certificate range. Scratch that idea. I’m not dropping 60,000 Marriott points per night.
CONDESA df became the new candidate. At ~$220 per night, it was a reasonably good use of a Marriott certificate. The going award rate was 50,000 Bonvoy points. I could definitely get more out of my certificates, but if I end up averaging $200 per night from my certs, I’d ultimately get $1,000 for the 5-free-night welcome offer I took last year. Not too shabby.
Walking Through La Condesa
As I arrived into Mexico City quite late, I didn’t want to burn a certificate for two nights at the CONDESA df Mexico City. Instead, I booked a cheap IHG property for ~$60 all-in. The next morning I walked from Zona Reforma all the way to La Condesa, grabbing breakfast at a small café along the way.
There are a couple nice parks in the neighborhood around the hotel: Parque España and Parque México. As it was still early on Saturday, there weren’t many people out and about.
The CONDESA df Mexico City is located just off Parque España along Avenida Veracruz. The hotel exterior is one of the nicer buildings in the neighborhood. The historic edifice is going on 100 years old. The main hotel entrance is an unassuming door along Avenida Veracruz.
CONDESA df Mexico City: Initial Impressions
I was immediately taken by the unique color scheme and furnishings inside the CONDESA df. The cowhide chairs are an interesting design choice. I peeked into the atrium breakfast area, which only contained a few people, even though it was at the late end of the breakfast hours. Pleasant jazz music was playing in the restaurant and atrium area.
Arriving as early as I did, I was a bit worried that there might not be an available room. But checking in around 9:30 AM proved to be no problem at all. CONDESA df is certainly a boutique hotel, boasting just 40 rooms and suites.
The CONDESA df building is triangular in shape, and it has a unique covered atrium in the middle. The shutters are all closed at night, changing the upper levels from an open, airy feel to closed hallways.
Your room key at the CONDESA df is an actual key. Alongside it is a metal bar that you have to insert into a wall for the lights and A/C to function. It’s essentially the same system as the rooms that require a key card to do the same. The only annoyance is that it is a lot to keep in your pocket. I stuck it in my backpack when out and about.
The Patio Room is the standard award category at the CONDESA df Mexico City. These face the interior atrium and have a small patio at their entrance. My room (115) was just off the stair. The indoor plants provide some privacy to the pseudo-indoor patio.
The first thing I noticed was just how small a standard room is. Traveling solo, this isn’t an issue for me. But for those who appreciate some space, the CONDESA df Patio Room is a squeeze. It boasts a queen bed, a desk/table and chair, and a door that contains the closet and minibar.
The TV is small but it does swivel away from the way. At the distance from the bed and desk, though, you’re probably better off streaming from your computer or tablet.
The bathroom is pretty nice, but the tilework lacked the quality I would expect in a hotel of this caliber. I was also surprised by the shower curtain where a glass door would have worked very well, given there was no lighting right over the shower itself. I would have no complaints for a cheaper hotel in Mexico, but this wasn’t quite what I expected for a high-quality boutique property.
The lighting made it difficult to get decent photos of the minibar, but there is a nice assortment of snacks and small selection of beverages. Cigarettes in the minibar is a first for me, though.
Overall, I wasn’t especially impressed with the standard Patio Room at CONDESA df. The bed is comfortable, and I got good sleep, as it is super quiet facing the interior. The A/C made the most noise. The room is admittedly small, and the bathroom left me less than impressed. There was also no trash can in the room, which is a big oversight. My deadbolt did not work, either.
One of the best hotel features is its rooftop terrace restaurant that overlooks the two side streets and Parque España. My morning photos don’t do it justice, as all the furniture is moved, I would assume for cleaning. It was super cool in the evening, and very popular. Where the atrium was nearly deserted for breakfast, the rooftop terrace was hopping. I took a quick peek at 5:00 PM before heading back into the city center, returning again at 9:00 PM.
La Terraza made for a great end to a day visiting the Zócalo and historic city center for a cocktail and a bit of sushi. The restaurant is a bit spendy for a country as cheap as Mexico, especially the sushi. But I guess that is expected. What I ordered cost ~$14 USD.
Besides the rooftop terrace which is only open through the afternoon and evening, the atrium patio restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast begins at 7:00 AM on weekdays and 8:00 AM on weekends. Those are at least the official hours.
I didn’t realize it, but I’d showed up early for their weekend hours. After checking with the cook, the waiter still seated me and provided fantastic service. He spoke excellent English and we chatted for a while. It certainly helped that I was the only guest.
The eggs Benedict breakfast was better value that the sushi. The CONDESA df Mexico City breakfast menu ranges in price from 105 to 140 pesos ($5.50 to $7.00 USD). It’s not bad, but you can find much cheaper options in the CDMX. Coffee is an additional 45 pesos.
I checked out fairly early, leaving my bags at the front desk and heading to Xochimilco, a UNESCO world heritage site on the south side of Mexico City. Even if I had higher Marriott status, I would not have wanted to roll with late check out, as I would have been a bit stressed about getting back in time. I ended up spending the whole day out.
CONDESA df Mexico City: Final Thoughts
My stay at the CONDESA df was nice, but there were a few holes. First, I have to staff were excellent. Every single person I interacted with was friendly and helpful. The dining was also good, if you’re willing to pay relatively high prices for the location. It’s good value coming from the United States, though.
The main negatives were issues with the room. I’m fine with a small room, but the bathroom wasn’t up to snuff for the sort of property CONDESA df is supposed to be. The issue of the deadbolt not working didn’t bother me, as the hotel felt secure and is in a good neighborhood. But I know this wouldn’t fly for others (or for me in other situations).
Ultimately, I’m pretty happy with my use of a free night to experience this unique hotel. There are other luxury options in the CDMX if the award prices are at the off-peak levels (e.g. St. Regis and Las Alcobas), but this is usually not the case.