Review: Starwood’s Fantastic Las Alcobas, Mexico City

Las Alcobas is a small boutique hotel in the Polanco area of Mexico City. It joined Starwood two and a half years ago and has just 35 rooms (4 suites).

The area is near Lincoln Park, street food and fine dining. It was a nice easy walk to eat at Pujol, arguably the best restaurant in Mexico, which I’ll share thoughts on separately.

The hotel is a category 6 property and room rates can be high for Mexico City. Not cheap, but while the hotel was asking around $450 a night during my stay they had the SPG50 rate plan available which you have to call Starwood for: 1000 Starwood points get you 50% off rack rate, allowing me to book the room for $250 per night.

There aren’t a lot of suites at this hotel but they do try to upgrade Platinums. I requested an upgrade with Suite Night Awards but that didn’t clear in advance. They use junior suites as the room type for those, and the hotel was sold out of junior suites.

Here’s where the upgrade at experience at this hotel was super interesting. I was told I was given a deluxe room as no upgrade was available. We were shown to the room we were pre-blocked into. It was small. It was well laid out, modern yet with local influences, but small.

The bathroom was lovely.

Even though I selected points instead of soaps I was told we could choose two soaps from the display in our bathroom which was distinct from the soaps at the sink and for the shower.

Here were the toiletries in the shower.

There’s a closet.

However after being shown the room, and brought our welcome drinks, the phone rang.

At check-in we were preblocked into this small room. I had asked about a suite. I was told they were sold out and couldn’t be accommodated.

I’m not sure why, though I suppose it’s because I asked, after we left for the room we had been assigned to they actually looked and we were told the hotel had ‘found’ a suite for us and wanted to know if we’d like to move?

When we accepted they let us know it was on the same floor — the 6th — as our current room, and someone would be by to collect us and bring us there in just a few minutes.

We didn’t unpack. It turned out they needed the few minutes to customize the room. For instance I asked for extra bottled water. The hotel assures their water is filtered. Still I prefer to drink bottled. They had a whole refrigerator full of bottles when we walked into the suite.

The showers are amazing. The staff member who escorted us to our first room described the 8 head shower as being “a human car wash.”

Since this was a suite there was a separate living room and dining room as well as a second bathroom.

Platinums receive breakfast in the Anatole restaurant — continental (fruit, pastries, coffee, juice) plus you’re welcome to order your choice of entree from the menu. And this is in addition to not as your welcome amenity (I chose points rather than Mexican soaps).

I didn’t like the coffee at the hotel though cappuccinos were fine.

The hotel provides all guests with internet; morning coffee, tea, or smoothie; complimentary shoe shine; complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks from the minibar.

Each evening with turndown service there were treats as well as more bottled water.

The hotel doesn’t have a bar. It has two restaurants, one inside where they provide breakfast and one around the corner which I did not try.

Service at the hotel was consistently friendly but not always well-executed. Still I was completely happy here. I didn’t check out the gym or spa during the short stay but from the outside the spa looked absolutely lovely and I’d try it on a future visit.

I felt safe walking around at night and in the early morning, which isn’t something I’d say about many parts of Mexico City. It’s a high-end, established, and eclectic neighborhood. There’s art and street food and American statutes and streets named for literary figures.

There’s also a vibrant night life in the neighborhood, things seemed to wrap up around 6 a.m. Walking around an hour later places were cleaning up from the night, I saw one club sweeping up needles. So there’s that.

One note for families: Las Alcobas Mexico City doesn’t welcome children under 7.

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