For those who only know Mexico as a place to kick off your flip-flops and throw back a few frosties on the beach, we say, "You don't know Mexico." Yes, granted Mexico's sun-and-sand towns are gorgeous and relaxing, but you can sit on a beach in about a million other destinations. This is the year to get to know Mexico's cities, or so says the Mexico Tourism Board. We say: It's about time!
It all started back in March at Mexico's annual Tianguis Turistico, when the tourism board announced that 2013 would be the year to explore Mexico's other side. You know, the side away from the sun and sand - inside its cities and small colonial towns. Then, at the beginning of July, Mexico City launched a new campaign targeting U.S. leisure travelers, explaining to them that Mexico City is in fact an international cultural destination. In fact, Travel Agent is headed down to Mexico City at the end of the month to take a peek inside this hot destination.
Mexico City is estimating more than 3 million international visitors and over 12 million in total. The city is constantly experiencing hotel and restaurant openings in popular areas such as Paseo de la Reforma, San Angel, Santa Fe, Centro Historico and Polanco. This year, the Ministry of Tourism of Mexico City has focused on developing new integrated tourism products such as bicycle tours, gastronomy and religious attractions.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts will open Hilton Santa Fe Mexico City in March 2014. The hotel will have 260 guest rooms, a restaurant, lobby lounge, rooftop pool, bar and fitness center.
This year, Le Meridien Mexico City made its debut at Paseo de la Reforma. It has 160 all-suite rooms, all with city views. There is also a fitness center, pool and restaurant.
JW Marriott Mexico City began a $30 million renovation to improve several areas, including its guest rooms, lobby, bar, fitness center, spa and new restaurant. It will be completed in the fall.
A flourishing culinary destination, Mexico City has much to offer in the way of gastronomy. Limosneros is a new restaurant in the Centro Historico that brings Mexican dining inside a historic building. Popular items on the menu include deer tacos, tortilla soup with two chilies, as well as strawberries with Mexican chocolate.
For multi-regional cuisine, visit Turtux, located in San Angel. Dine al fresco and sample octopus cilantro, dried noodles and creamy mushrooms.
Taste a bit of France in the Polanco neighborhood at Mora Blanca. The menu blends French cuisine with Lebanese and Mexican flavors. Try the pork sausage with brioche and red wine reduction, or the oxtail with hazelnut paste and morels.