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The Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City -- Muy Bonito y Delicioso

Part 1 of 3:

Paseo de la Reforma 500, 
Cuauhtémoc, 06600 
Mexico City, DF, Mexico

Phone:+52 55 5230 1818
 

There is a certain indescribable and unmistakable scent that permeates the air of a Four Seasons Hotel.  You recognize it the minute you breathe it in.



As we fought the traffic of this enormous city with millions of people, the manic energy of the metropolis was both overwhelming and exciting.  


The ride from the airport provided bumpy streets, sweat filled air tinged with city smells and miles and miles of graffiti laden buildings.
  

And then we arrived at the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City and as the doors to our car flung open, that scent of calm elegance infused with a sense of place overtook the cumulative stress that is always the underbelly of travel.  


Built in 1994 as a replica drawing from both French and Spanish influences, this high rise hotel is more of a modern hacienda located right in the middle of it all.  Juxtaposed to the crowded city from whence we just came, the enormous marble- laden lobby was filled with perfectly cut flowers and an assortment of interesting art as well as objects d'arts.

We were immediately greeted like old friends and then swept to the reception as our luggage was handled without further attention on our parts.  Everyone had a genuine smile and a gracious welcome, and although we're not special, they made us feel special.  Therein lays the magic that is Four Seasons.  Add in the inescapable graciousness of the Mexican people, and we knew at that moment that we had made the absolute right choice to make this hotel our home in "El D. F." as the Mexicans call this grand city in the center of their country. 


Mexico City is the nation’s capital city and the focus of Mexico’s political, cultural and economic life. It’s the largest metropolis with a population of over 25 million and covers an area of 597 square miles. Its wide boulevards are lined by both modern glass and steel structures and the colonial architecture of the past. 
  

What we found absolutely amazing is that the city offers 75 museums and 10 archaeological zones. Mexico City’s historical centre is a 668-block area around the Zócalo (which is its main square) that has been designated a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. 

The district encompasses more than 1,400 historic structures, including the Templo Mayor (Great Temple of the Aztecs), as well as private mansions and civic and religious buildings.  This city is a must for a fun, interesting and diverse travel experience, and we’ve made our home to do so at the Four Seasons, right in the middle of it all.

THOSE SWEET SUITES: FOUR SEASONS DOES IT SO RIGHT

As our readers have come to expect, it's all about the suite for us and for you.  If you've followed us over the years, you too agree that it is incomprehensible when people say, "it's only a room, and how much time do you spend in the room."  This is downright blasphemy to the cumulative ears of The Dining Duo.  A suite is one's existence when in a foreign city, and if you can't be as comfortable as you are when you're home, then what's the point of traveling?

The Four Seasons' suites are large and cozy and our particular suite number 411 measures just shy of 800 square feet, although honestly, it seemed a lot larger.  When we entered the suite we immediately felt like there was space to spread out and unwind.  Just through the main door, there is an expansive second "powder room" with separate sink and toilet that allows two people to not have to constrict themselves into one bathroom, no matter how large. 


A small hallway (complete with a little thoughtful table onto which we kept track of room keys) gave way to walls of olive highlighted by white moldings sporting a living room, dining area and writing desk that was expansive and open. There is a general feel in these rooms of casual elegance, and lamps throughout replace the harshness of bright overhead lighting. 


Full curtains puddle to the floor and when opened reveal large French windows opening to an absolutely beautiful courtyard that looks like it's from the Castle of Chapultepec.  


This is truly a breathtaking courtyard, with arches on several levels and a spectacularly manicured formal garden surrounding a lush trickling fountain at the center.  At night, fire leaps from the spray as well as from pots around the courtyard, and we find ourselves glued to the window watching the flames lick the sky.


Our first night, a bottle of tequila had been set thoughtfully on the coffee table, and on the dining table is a welcoming appetizer of fruits topped with some sort of wickedly hot spice, foreshadowing the taste treats that the Chefs at The Four Seasons Mexico City have created for our dining pleasure.  There are tons of bottles of water everywhere, and our bellhop thoughtfully whisks up Scott's favorite Negro Modelo to help the perils of travel fade from memory.


Oh, but this was only one half of the suite.  Large double doors sweep open to reveal the elegantly tailored bedroom that is washed in a sunny shade of yellow.  The bed is sheathed with crisp white linens covered with a snuggly down comforter, and Michael plops on the bed only to sink into the softest feather pillows imaginable. The Four Seasons are known for their beds, and we must say that sleeping on a bed that seems to mold itself to our bodies is a total joy.  If nothing else, the bed and linen made for dreamy, restorative sleep filled nights.


More yards of drapes curtain off an area with a couple of chairs for reading and lounging, and a large chest of drawers allows for storing the myriad clothing we've brought to enjoy a more formal (than Los Angeles) Mexico City.  The art on the walls is eclectic and tasteful, each with a different type of gold frame, setting the decor to a feel of a city apartment that we would love to have here, or in New York City. 

A large walk in closet provides space for even more hanging clothes (and  there was a closet in the entry as well), and it's such a pleasure to be able to hang clothes so they don't all smash into each other and look wrinkled before you even put them on.  A marble counter is thoughtfully placed just outside the closet for all those things that build up in your pocket that always gets lost (like money, lip balm, receipts, and the like).

The bathroom is a great size.  Containing a soaking tub, glass shower, and separate toilet area with bidet, it's a pleasure to enjoy when tired and needing a little space to spread things out.  There are also doors, which seem to be missing from so many modern hotel suites.  Doors are great for guests; you can shut them and have some privacy, and after all, isn't that what bathrooms are for?  The products are L’Occitane, which we love, and all you have to do is ask and products will be free-flowing.


Each afternoon something new arrives in our suite.  One night it was cheese, crackers and a wonderful bottle of Mexican red wine to compliment the selection.  Another night it was the freshest and tastiest guacamole ever and incredibly crispy chips (we can't get these chips in the states, so maybe we should go in the "chip-importing" business) along with a selection of four different types of Mexican beers (and a charmingly framed explanation of the beer choices).  Add in the two flat screen television sets, one in each living area, and The Four Seasons Mexico City made our stay so pleasant, it was really all we could do to even leave the room.

In the morning, when we peeled back the curtains and the light flooded the bedroom, the yellow walls gently woke our spirits.  We wandered off to the mini bar where there was an assortment of great snacks and more importantly, the same Nespresso machine that we have at home, along with a selection of pods of all kinds to satisfy your "must have" coffee hankerings.  Night after night, the courtyard rooms were so quiet and snug that we awoke refreshed and ready to take on the sights, aromas and tastes of this fabulous must-see city.

FOUR SEASONS INVENTED SERVICE - MEXICANS INVENTED HOSPITALITY; WHAT A MARRIAGE

Four Seasons Hotels invented service and when you add in the Mexican innate cultural sense of hospitality, it's really the epitome of graciousness; the Four Seasons doles it out in abundance.  Whether you are the housekeeping staff, the concierges, the waiters, the bell staff or anyone in between, we were made to feel like we were guests in someone's home.  In a large hotel of this size, this is a difficult task, and truly a testament to the model-handsome (and we really mean movie star handsome) General Manager Jose Adames.  No doubt there is abundant training here, but frankly, if we worked for GM Jose, we would do whatever he asked!

The concierge staff is all exceptional.  Two standouts are Stefano and Raphael.  Normally, we question the suggestions of concierges because they usually recommend the last place they got a free meal, but that wasn't the case here. As we usually do prior to leaving our home, we called the concierge and asked a host of questions, all of which Raphael adroitly answered.  Upon arriving, we discovered that Stefano had an enormous knowledge of the foodie scene in Mexico City and backed it up with an iPad displaying decor and food pictures.  Could there really be anything better for us foodies?  Raphael understood the customs of the restaurants, and both worked their magic to obtain last minute reservations in a town where getting a table at the hottest spots is nearly impossible.  They both outlined the variety of expeditions for us (such as the pyramid tour, more on that later), without pushing anything on us.  In fact, Stefano even offered to bring us his own scarves for the colder early morning balloon trip over the pyramids!  This is truly above and beyond. We were so impressed.

GM Jose's new reign is bringing innovative improvements to the hotel too, including a new restaurant by Chef  Rolly Pavia of  L'Oesteria del Becco fame, new refurbishments to the public and living areas of the hotel and so much more.  We are loving it as-is, but we can't wait to return next year to tell you about the exciting new additions that will take the Four Seasons Mexico City from sensational to sublime.  

CUISINE TO EXTREME: SO MUCH TO EAT, SO LITTLE TIME:

We were truly surprised, and pleasantly so, at how many great dining options there were right in our own hotel. 
 

GOOD MORNING MEXICO CITY!

There are two perfect ways to start the day when in Mexico City.  One is to roll over in bed and grab a comfy robe when room service rings...

...and the other is to pull on some clothes and drop into the dining room of the Four Seasons’ Reforma 500 for some typical Mexican morning eats. We opted for both during our stay.   


Room service was perfectly prepared to order, delivered exactly on time (as if they waited outside our room for the clock to hit the appointed hour) and was piping hot.  Although there weren't any particular stand-out must-have dishes, it really didn't matter because we welcomed the freshly made hot latte and espresso, as well bacon, eggs, pastries and a variety of other sensation items.   


Mango has just come into season and honestly you just can't get this fruit in the United States with the equivalent popping flavors.  All the juices were fresh, so think Payaya, Mango, Orange or whatever you fancy.  The gent who delivered it to us was of cheerful spirit and set up everything on our table for our dining pleasure.  We love eating like little piggies whilst lounging in thick cotton robes and looking a mess.  Seriously, isn't that what pampering yourselves is all about?  Four Seasons does it so well.

Another beautiful way to awaken is to dine in Reforma 500's sun filled dining room or their outdoor terrace amongst the flowers and fountains.  If you're experimental with morning foods, make certain to try the chilaquiles, a very traditional Mexican breakfast consisting of corn tortilla cut into quarters and lightly fried.  When you add Habaneros, green peppers that are so hot a fire engine follows, the flavor is off the charts delicious.   

Trust us, they are not for the weak of heart, but Michael ate every morsel of his new favorite breakfast and then sat at the table sweating; well worth the mop-up job.  Another stand out was their take on croissants that was more like almond cake.  We coupled this and a variety of other breakfast choices with freshly squeezed papaya and mango juice and there really was nothing better.  We went back several times for those almond croissants, by the way.  If only they could overnight them to Los Angeles.

NEXT PART 2:  A LUNCH FIT FOR A KING, MEXICO CITY HIGHLIGHTS AND DINNER AT THE FOUR SEASONS WITH THE FABULOUS CHEF KANO
  
¡Hasta pronto y buen provecho!

El Dining Duo
Michael and Scott


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