Travel writer Neill James once wrote, "Once the dust of Mexico settles on your heart, you can never go home again." Well said, Neill. Well said.
In fact, of no place is this more true than Mexico City, one of the country's most beautiful urban landscapes, which for some reason is still relatively untapped by the US market. Travel Agent is just back from a weekend in Mexico City, and if we were in love with Mexico before, we are undoubtedly head-over-heels, sick in love now.
A frenetic energy pulses through the streets of Mexico City. Bright colors catch your eyes at every turn, while mouth-watering aromas waft from doorways where sizzling street meats turn on spits. The city is both ancient Latin America and modern cosmopolitan Euro-chic, and is a must for any traveler that is looking for the next best place to visit.
Be sure to check clients into one of the many Group Habita hotels in the city. These boutique hotels are scattered throughout Mexico City and have feels that are all their own. We stayed at the newest of the bunch, Downtown Mexico, which is in the heart of the Centro Historico, just steps from the Zocalo. The hotel has only 17 rooms and sits in a 17th-century palace. The design is minimalist chic (think gray tones, exposed beams and plenty of stonework). Our favorite spot in the hotel was the rooftop pool deck, from which you can see over into the Zocalo.
To help us during our stay, Travel Agent reached out to Journey Mexico, an expert in all things luxury in Mexico. We were met at Benito Juarez International Airport and whisked off to the National Museum of Anthropology for a private tour with expert guide Juan Carlos, who is beyond passionate about Mexico City and its history and culture. The following day, he took us on a private walking tour of Mexico City's markets and street food. You name it, we ate it. Filled with tacos, churros, quesadillas, tortas and fruit juices, this is one of the most authentic and local ways to see and appreciate the vibrancy of Mexico City.
The city is already one of the most popular tourist destinations among Latin Americans, but because of recent Mexico-paranoia experienced in the US, it has yet to become a hot travel spot among American travelers. This is soon to change as the city is exploding with new hotels, restaurants and galleries. It's only a matter of time.
Look for our full story in upcoming issues of Travel Agent magazine and Luxury Travel Advisor.