St. Regis Mexico City

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by canucklehead, Jun 19, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    I was able to take advantage of a rate mistake, where upon arrangement with the hotel, they honoured the mistake rate for the first night and offered a rate of $189 + tax for my other nights. As it was a new hotel, I was interested in seeing how luxurious this St. Regis was compared to others.

    Location: Paseo de la Reforma 439, cross-street is Rio Misisipi, travel time from Juarez Int’l airport is approx 30-45 minutes.

    Transport: I used Sitio3000, based on advise from the Mexico – Guide to the Mex Airport thread. Cost was 152 pesos to Zone 4. The driver did not know the hotel (its fairly new) and it was not in his outdated (2006) map book, but I told him it was on Paseo de la Reforma after the Sheraton Maria Isabel (4 blocks to be exact). Traffic was not bad, so I think the ride was only about 35 minutes (my return trip was even faster given no traffic on the road).

    Reception: Upon arrival at the hotel the bellman collected my suitcase and escorted me to the elevator. The glass walls and marble floors were very nice and clean. I like a hotel that has clean lines and is not too cluttered. The front elevator takes you to the reception desk which is located on the third floor. At the front desk, the bellman asked if I would like some champagne (Veuve Clicquot, I think, based on the orange label) or sparkling water. The agent at the front desk took my information (cc, passport) and told me that I was upgraded to a Grande Deluxe room. When I mentioned that I had booked that room, she looked back at the records and said, ‘ah yes, you did book that room type’. I told her that I was a Platinum member and asked if there were any upgrades to the suites. Basically, she lied and said the rate I had did not allow it. When I pressed her on why, she stammered a bit, punched some keys and said I have given you a city-view room, avoiding the topic. Had I not been too tired, I would have pressed the point to ensure a suite.

    She handed the key to the bellman, who escorted me to the room. He mentioned that the bay of elevators to the right were for the hotel guests and that the other ones were for the Residences. He also said if I was interested, there were two PH units still available for purchase. I did not ask the price J. The elevators are magnetically operated, where you flash the card in front of the sensor and input your floor #. The display tells you which elevator will take you there.

    The room: When I arrived on the floor, there was an instant calming smell. Not sure what it was (citrus, ginger, cinammon?), but it was calming (Ommmmmmm!):D The door to my room was also magnetic key operated – I found that I could keep the card in my wallet and still open the door. When I got in, I realized that while it was a city view room, it was still a Grande Deluxe room (confirmed by the Revenue Manager – all rooms that face Paseo de la Reforma).

    The St. Regis offers a butler service, and the butler for the floor was at my door within 5 minutes of my arrival. He seemed genuinely pleased to have me there, offering to help unpack and press any clothing I had. He took me for a tour of the room. It was king sized bed with very nice (Pratesi) cotton sheets. On one of the bedside tables was the master console for the room, which included the telephone and lights. It also had a few themed light configurations (like nighttime, hallway, work – more light switches and settings than I know what to do with!) Two sliding doors opened to lighted closets containing a set of drawers (for some reason, one of the lights had a mind of its own and would come on in the middle of the night!), mini-safe and your usual assortment of closet things, including 2 bathrobes and sets of slippers.

    In addition to the bed, the room had a corner sofa, round glass-top table and a desk with HSIA. The internet speed was as good as I have had in any hotel! There was a 42” LCD TV and mini bar which I did not touch in my entire time there (a good sign, IMO). The room had floor to ceiling windows but from the 6th floor, I could hear the street traffic, but the plush curtains were able to block much of the noise!

    The bathroom was set with marble floors, in the centre was a double vanity lined with onyx. The amenities were by Remede. Two bottles of water were also provided, though my butler said to call if I needed more of anything. Two glass doors separated the sink area from the toilet and the shower/bathtub. The shower was really nice with an overhead rainshower – it was set about 7 feet, so it did have a nice rainfall quality. There was also a separate handheld shower. The bathtub was a nice deep soaker (but I did not use it). Included in the bathtub amenity was a hand-held wire spongy thingy-mabob.

    Butler: It was nice upon my return in the afternoon to find the butler had placed a fruit bowl on the glass table. The second day I got a sponge cake (very sweet and decadent), as well as a box of local candies from the Butler. He wrote a nice note about it being ones he used to have as a child. My colleagues and staff loved the candies as they were consumed on my first day back. The only requests I made of the Butler was peppermint tea in the afternoon. I was nursing a sore throat and the tea and biscuits (which arrived 5 minutes after my request every time) hit the spot!

    Food and Beverage: On the third floor is Diana’s, the main dining area. A J&G Steakhouse is supposed to open, but it does not look like that will happen until the end of the year. Grande Deluxe guests get free breakfast, and I have to say, it was a big meal! For start, they provided café con leche, along with very nice (freshly squeezed?) OJ and a plate of fresh fruit. This was followed by freshly made croissants and assorted pastries (its just me, but there were 5 pastries to eat/choose from). For mains, I opted for the egg-white omelette, which were served with toast and various salsas. YUM! For a la carte ordering, the American Breakfast or above ‘healthy’ omelette was 230 pesos. While I was in the restaurant, there were usually no more that three other tables (of the 25-30 in the room) occupied. There is also a terrace, but as there were smokers there and it was windy, I opted to eat inside.

    In addition to Diana’s, on the third floor is a nice bar (Decanter Room) and a small library-like seating area. While I did not go to the Atrium, there is another clubby area (called the Atrium) and the King Cole Bar.

    Concierge: As I was interested in sight seeing, the Concierge was helpful in finding a tour to go to the Pyramids. She was very helpful in identifying where I needed to go and also found out that one of the tours no longer operated (saving me a trip as that was the first suggested itinerary). She did offer to get a personal guide, but I did not see the merit and extra cost for a day trip. Finally, the Concierge is the place to start if you need a driver, in particular, back to the airport. The cost was $40 USD, and a 10% fee if it is billed to the room. The car I had was a Chrysler 300 and the fellow got me to the airport in about 20 minutes (Sun afternoon, no traffic). Aside from the hostess of Diana, the Concierge was the only other person to greet me by name, which is a nice touch.

    Neighbourhood safety: I had heard Mexico City may be dangerous, but I did not experience anything, nor was I fearful when walking around the area. As mentioned, it is close to Zona Rosa and it was no problem to find, nor did it feel ‘unsafe’, including late at night. As Paseo de la Reforma and the area around St Regis was relatively affluent (many banks and shopping areas), including the Japanese Embassy a couple of blocks away, it is fairly guarded with security.

    Other notables: One of the managers also left a box of very nice chocolates to make up for lack of room upgrade. He admitted that I should have been upgraded and there were suites available, but as I had got the message after I had unpacked, I did not want to change rooms, as he wanted to meet me and show me the room before making me change. (Note: the Revenue Manager did offer to upgrade my room to an Executive Suite on a high floor in advance for my next trip.)

    As I was on vacation, and had brought mostly casual clothing, I felt out of place as most people were in Smart Casual (sport jacket, tie…) attire or more formal.

    I did not have much time, so I did not use the fitness centre (exercise equipment, small pool, whirlpools on the 15th floor). I also noted the lack of high traffic, not sure if the hotel was mostly empty or everyone was more sedentary, but it was pretty quiet in the hotel.

    The hotel is within a 30 minute walk to major tourist areas in the city, including the Anthropological Museum (which blew me away!), Zona Rosa (5-10 minute walk) and the historical city centre, including Diego Rivera’s mural, National Palace, Templo Mayor… The subway is only a few blocks from the hotel and I had no worries using it to get to Frida Kahlo’s house.

    This hotel and the Sheraton are nicely located for a night in Zona Rosa, and speaking of which, a shout out to Casa de Tona, where I ended up eating twice. Its packed with locals and tourists, but the food was great (and inexpensive).

    A few things detracted this hotel from being a true luxury hotel. First, I was not happy with my check-in. This does not apply just to just St. Regis, but any hotel in the SPG program. If a suite upgrade (if available) is part of the Platinum amenities, the guest should not have to do the legwork to find out if the room is available (or email a Manager). I expect there is significant pressure to not hand them out, but I see no use in annoying the client, especially at luxury hotels. While the Rev Manager did attempt to make amends, it was aggravating to be shot down for a suite when it was clearly against SPG benefits.

    Second, in my passing through the hotel, the bellman were often too pre-occupied to open the door. I think there was only one occasion where they opened the door.

    Third, the linen had a smell of bleach or cleaning chemicals.

    Checkout: Speedy. They asked if I need a bellman to come collect my luggage, but as it was one carry-on wheelie, I told them I could take care of it. Quick stop to the Concierge to get my driver ready (she called downstairs) and I was on my way.

    Conclusion: Would I stay there again if I was in Mexico? Sure, the price is good and the good things that were great (Butler, Concierge, Diana’s, location) outnumbered the annoyances.
     
    TRAVELSIG, Chad, Jslo and 1 other person like this.
  2. Quasiconvexity
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    Quasiconvexity Gold Member

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    Thanks for the detailed and interesting report. Any pictures to share?
     
  3. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    I realized I should have taken pics of the room, but I did not get around to doing so as I wanted to see so much of the city (and loved it)!
     
  4. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    Fantastic report! Thanks canuckle. Sounds like a great spot.
     
  5. Chad
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    Chad Silver Member

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    I had a week long stay here about a year ago and echo some of the points from the first review.

    At checkin I was also given a bit of bum steer in relation to a potential upgrade. Being late at night I let it slide. The next day, after requesting a duty manager explain to me the upgrade procedures at the hotel, I was shown a couple of junior suites which were available - I ended up keeping the Reforma View Grande Deluxe Room.

    Breakfast was included in my rate, I also liked the pastries, but even though I ordered the same meal each morning it was always slightly different - one morning I would get a slice of toast, the next a bread basket, the next two slices etc, side items like hash browns, tomatoes and sausages also seemed to follow a random pattern.

    The terrace is also a pretty nice place to have a drink in the evening.

    I had some language issues which made everything involving the butler a tiresome chore. Everyone I encountered spoke English, far better than I could ever speak Spanish, however I think they are more accustomed to a US accent and had troubles understanding my version of HRM's English. For example housekeeping cleared away the cutlery that was provided with my fruit basket - it took about ten minutes on the phone to the butler explaining I needed a knife for the fruit basket - the butler than arrived with a new fruit basket instead.

    Location is great though, nice walk up to the park and museums - it was also a pleasant walk down to the historical zone. I'd have no problems staying here again.

    I don't really have any proper photos but:

    [​IMG]

    (Sitting area and desk - flat screen TV is above the desk)

    [​IMG]

    (Bed - luckily my linens didn't have a chemical smell)

    [​IMG]

    (Night view of fountain)
     
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