“Beautifully restored family-run Art Deco mansion, near leafy parks in one of Mexico City's classiest neighbourhoods”
Whether its above the quiet street or overlooking the plant-filled courtyard, all 13 rooms (1 Executive, 3 Classic, 8 Deluxe and 1 Club) are decorated with subtle flair. Walls are painted distinctive colours - olive green, burnt orange, crimson red - and wood-strip floors are polished to a high sheen. Refurbished wardrobes and wingback chairs from the city's antique markets are offset by high-wire spot lighting and industrial-chic shower rooms.
Our first-floor Deluxe, number 110, was a slate-coloured corner room with windows that opened onto a narrow veranda above the inner courtyard. Across the hall, number 112 had a small terrace with table and chairs; at the front of the house, Deluxe number 107 had a pair of French doors opening onto Juliet balconies facing the trees. We loved the smoked-glass walkway with gun-metal railings beside Executive Room number 114, overlooking the sitting room of moleskin sofas and tiled floors below, sunlit by the vast skylight above.
All rooms have raised beds stacked with fresh cotton pillows and linen; state your preference for double or twin beds when booking. Bathrooms have thick sinks and power showers; some (rooms 101, 103, 107 & 109) have marble baths. All the necessary tech gadgets - phones, WiFi, plasma TV with cable - are here; nothing seems out of place in these clean, classic and comfortable rooms.
One section of Villa Condesa's lovely interior courtyard is domed with glass, and here, like a little oasis with potted trees and flowers, are tables for dining. At breakfast, there is one large square communal table and some smaller ones for those who aren't good with groups before noon. But even non-morning people will appreciate the excellent Mexican coffee poured liberally and immediately. A bowl of fruit and a basket of bread will precede a hot dish of huevos or, as we had one morning, a traditional sope (an open-faced tortilla) with tomato, avocado and cheese.
We were happy we opted for dinner on our first night. Our meal began with a fish soup, followed by a rosa y verde pargo - a whole red snapper with a terrific salsa duo of spicy tomato and spinach/avocado. Villa Condesa will be offering reasonably priced set 2-course meals like this every evening, as well as lunches. You can choose from chicken or beef, fish and pasta dishes plus vegetables - Chef is keen to cater for every requirement. The dining terrace also has an espresso machine plus bottles and glasses at one end, which constitutes the honesty bar area - help yourself to a range of beers, soft drinks, sparkling mineral water, tequila, rum, whisky and vodka.
But if you prefer to eat out, the neighbourhood is chock-a-block with restaurants - stroll along Amsterdam Avenue encircling the Parque Mexico. Baja-inspired seafood can be found at Merotoro and we really liked the tuna tacos at Second. The cheap-and-cheerful taqueria of El Califa on calle Alfonso Reyes has tasty arrachera (flank steak) tacos; some say the best in town.