October 4th, 2012
It would take years to explore one of the world’s largest cities, so this time we focused on Mexico City’s vibrant food and design culture. (For more on Mexico City, click here.)
Located in the ritzy Santa Fe business district, boutique hotel Distrito Capital occupies the top ten floors of a skyscraper, which means breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings, not to mention its trippy Tron-esque entrance. Both Lady Gaga and Bono have stayed there…what else is there to know? Distrito Capital, Av. Juan Salvador Agraz 37, Santa Fé, México City, 1-866-978-7020, www.hoteldistritocapital.com
Searching for the new and hip? You’ll find it in the city’s Condesa and Roma districts. Parque Mexico is a great place to start exploring and discovering beautiful art deco architecture, charming sidewalk espresso bars, local boutiques, and artisanal chocolate shops like Princesse Cacao (Fernando Montes de Oca 81, Condesa, 5211-0276), all while meeting at least fifty dogs and their hipster owners. End your stroll on the sun-soaked terrace of Hotel Brick (Orizaba 95, Roma, Mexico City, 5525-1100) for a margarita or two.
If you’ve already said hello to Frida and Diego, then give Rufino Tamayo a visit for a contemporary art fix. Along with the famed Mexican painter’s works, Museo Tamayo houses a permanent collection of his peers (he did live to almost a 100!) like Rothko, Miró, and Warhol as well as rotating contemporary exhibitions. The museum is located in the Chapultepec Park, which could easily rival NYC’s Central Park in its beauty. Museo Tamayo de Arte Contemporáneo, Paseo de la Reforma y Gandhi Bosque de Chapultepec, México City, 5286-6519, http://museotamayo.org
Mexico City’s food choices are abundant, from taco stands to fine dining establishments. One of the latest favourites is restaurant Azul Histórico in the Centro district, which has taken over the gorgeous courtyard of the newly opened Hotel Downtown. Surrounded by historic brick, lush trees and beautiful people, feast on Mexican specialties like organic hibiscus flower enchiladas and Tixin Xie fish. Azul Histórico, Isabel La Católica 30, Centro Histórico, Mexico City, 5510-1316, http://azulhistorico.com
It won’t be hard to find incredible things to buy in Mexico City, but local designer Carla Fernández caught our eye with her amazing draping and a fresh take on Mexican knitwear — yes, that includes the legendary poncho. Thank us when everyone asks you, “Hey, where’d you get that?” Carla Fernández, Molière 58-A, Polanco, Mexico City, 5912 8010, http://carlafernandez.com
January 18th, 2012
We don’t know much about Mexican folklore, but these charms look like they’d safeguard us from even the most menacing of Mayan spirits.
A modern spin on traditional Mexican masks, the wearable sculptures (from $55) are made right here in Toronto by Mexican native, Tania Orozco. Each one is hand-painted and embellished in multi-hued swarovksi crystals. They’re kitsch, in a good way, and should fend off the meanies, at the very least. —Athena Tsavliris
September 1st, 2011
“A modern-day Eden,” is how James Lohan, publisher of the Mr & Mrs Smith hotel guide, describes Verana. We spent three nights at the magical Yelapa, Mexico beach resort and here’s what we loved:
The location – On the edge of the jungle overlooking the sea.
The rooms – Each one is unique and carefully thought out. Antique red ceiling fan in one, Mexican table football players on the wall of another.
The breakfast – Each morning a thermos of coffee and cakes are secretly delivered and left outside your door.
The spa – A massage to the sound of waves crashing against the rocks is pure heaven.
The cocktails – Sensationally lethal vodka, soda and fresh lime drinks before supper.
The turn down – Flowers and little cards cut out from Mexican lottery cards are left on your pillow.
February 17th, 2011
When the icy winds of February threaten to put a chill on your love life, it's time to shed some layers and fly to warmer climes.
Our recent jaunt to the all-inclusive Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, Riviera Maya in Mexico has us thinking, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..."
1. Our massive open-concept suite made entirely of cool white marble that felt grand, modern, and princess-like.
2. The complimentary bottle of high-end sipping tequila, ice and citrus welcoming us in our room, perfect for sampling on the ocean-view deck.
3. Spacious pool areas and beach cabanas, quiet customers, and porters equipped with mini-Evian facial spritzers.
4. A huge array of healthy juices at breakfast, including our favourite, "vampire juice" with beet and apple.
5. No need to miss your Americano—rooms are equipped with high-end Nespresso machines and a fully-stocked hosted minibar with snacks, should you wish a quiet retreat on your deck, watching the sunset.
6. Fresh mixed seafood ceviche, served poolside, with handmade chips.
7. Ultra-fine white sandy beach that feels like walking in baby powder, and warm, calm water, perfect for swimming or kayaking.
8. Four high-end restaurants serving French, pan-Asian, Italian, Spanish, and traditional Mexican cuisine, plus numerous bars and bistros. Don't miss the huevos rancheros for breakfast at Azul.
9. A hydrotherapy spa like no other. Block off an entire afternoon for the Water Journey with hot and cool water experiences, a reflexology pool, massaging "water beds," a mud masque to refresh your skin, herbal steam, and sauna. Completely transformative.
10. And did we mention the weather?
Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, 1-866-230-7221, http://rivieramaya.grandvelas.com
June 30th, 2010
If it’s good enough for Jennifer Aniston, it’s good enough for us. Mexico’s pristine and serene San Jose Del Cabo on the Sea of Cortes (think Cabo’s sophisticated sister) had us at “Ola.”
At the Mexican-owned Marquis Los Cabos resort, they’re so serious about relaxation, they’ll bury your BlackBerry for you. While pondering the hotel’s impressive collection of art and sculpture, enjoying spacious private casitas and eavesdropping on the international clientele, you won’t miss it a bit.
The resort’s pool is a good metaphor for the pleasures you’ll have: absolutely infinite. If the soft, sandy beaches, crashing surf and grey whale sightings don’t get you, how about baby sea turtles?
Sunrise yoga on the breezy spa deck will get those limbs limber for beach walks. Follow with an all-organic Holistic Breakfast of egg white omelets and celery smoothies and you’ve now earned those margaritas.
Take a trip onto the charming village of San Jose, where the boutique hotel Casa Natalia tucked off the main square offers sublime cocktails in a romantic courtyard, perfect for a marriage proposal. www.casanatalia.com
The stunning arch of the open-air lobby of Marquis Los Cabos mimics the shape of the Baja Peninsula. Could there be a more memorable setting for a sunset wedding?
To view rates and packages, visit www.marquisloscabos.com
March 4th, 2010
With its boho vibe and colourful baroque architecture, Mexico's San Miguel Allende is a tropical hotspot for artists, writers and expats.
It was a last minute booking, but thank goodness we found a room at Casa Luna Quebrada. Cooking classes, communal breakfasts, a lush open courtyard and hippie-chic bedrooms, make this colonial villa the perfect place to stay. www.casaluna.com
Ceramics, antiques and folk art are sold in abundance in this charming town. Artists' studios and galleries are mostly open to the public and the many flea markets sell anything from fresh food and flowers to woven rugs and traditional Talavera pottery.
Street tacos are tasty, but if it’s haute Mexican you’re after, look no further than La Capilla. The setting (a renovated chapel) and view (Gothic-style church) are breathtaking. 10 Cuna de Allende, 52 415 152 0698.
Spend a day splashing in the hot springs at La Gruta, a private park on the road to Dolores Hidalgo (daily 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; US$5). If you get peckish, the lawns are covered in banana trees.
September 3rd, 2009
Why wait for next summer to say I do? A destination wedding takes the stress out of the venue search (and puts a neat cap on the guest list), and even your future monster-in-law looks better with a tan.
The adults-only, all-inclusive Casa Velas Boutique Hotel in Puerto Vallarta might just be the best-kept secret on the Pacific Coast.
Extremely private and exclusive, we’ve never felt so posh and pampered as we did during our weekend stay. Poolside mahi mahi ceviche and bubbly are an afternoon must in the cool white cabanas, while the private beach club (with sushi bar and lap pool) beckons come evening.
The dads can golf while the girls get pampered in the immaculate hydrotherapy spa, plus there are private villas for your VIPs.
So, how about renewing those vows…?
From US$240 per person, including golf and spa treatments, www.hotelcasavelas.com
See snaps from our trip on today's Editors' Diairy.