Mexico City provides a perfect balance between the bustle and energy of the streets and its art galleries, museums and fabulous restaurants. Sofitel Mexico City Reforma is just steps from the Angel de la Independencia on Paseo de la Reforma. After a day of business or exploration, there’s nothing better than a signature cocktail in the hotel’s 38th floor rooftop restaurant as the sun sets and the city comes alive before your eyes.
Paseo de la Reforma Highlights
The hotel offers a striking fusion of Mexico and France, and this mix of cultures continues as you explore the vibrant boulevard that is Paseo de la Reforma. Reforma (as the road is known to locals) was built by Emperor Maximilian I in the style of the grand European boulevards of his time. It was originally named Paseo de la Emperatriz for his wife, Carlota, and renamed as Paseo de la Reforma in 1872.
Begin your exploration of Mexican history and culture with a visit to El Angel de la Independencia, considered one of the city’s iconic landmarks. The angel towers more than 40 meters (131 feet) above you, and is just steps from the hotel. It was built in 1910 to commemorate the centenary of Mexico’s War of Independence.
Turn right along Paseo de la Reforma and stroll past skyscrapers and embassies until you reach Estela de Luz, a towering minimalist monument commissioned for the bicentennial anniversary of Mexican independence from Spain. From Estela de Luz, follow the Avenida Juventud Heróica to the striking entrance into one of the largest urban parks in the western hemisphere: Bosque de Chapultepec. The Altar a la Patria (honoring the young cadets from the Battle of Chapultepec) with the Castillo de Chapultepec greets you upon entering the park.
Favorite points of interest in Bosque Chapultepec include:
Cárcamo de Delores. There is a little-known Diego Rivera work hidden in the center of the park. While a hydraulic structure might not normally make a list of must-sees, in Mexico City it absolutely should when it boasts a Rivera mural called Agua, el origen de la vida (“Water, source of life”). There is a small gallery in addition to the beautiful and complex Tlaloc Fountain, also by Rivera.
Chapultepec Castle. The castle, once home to Emperor Maximillian I, is now the home of the National Museum of History.
National Museum of Anthropology. The largest museum in Mexico, it offers extensive collections devoted to the archeology and history of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic cultures.
If you turn left along Reforma when you leave the hotel, you can mingle with businesspeople taking a break, join young people on skateboards and watch visitors marveling at the incredible public works of art. Keep an eye out for murals and sculptures such as the famous Leonora Carrington bronze crocodile sculpture.
Alameda Central, the oldest public park in Latin America (constructed in 1592), is a 30-minute walk from the hotel. Today, the bustling park attracts people to enjoy the monuments, art and fountains. No trip to Mexico City is complete without a stroll through this park before viewing Diego Rivera’s famous mural Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central (“Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central”).
The Palacio de Bellas Artes, with its famous domed roof, is located at the other end of Alameda Central. It is one of Mexico City’s most photographed and iconic buildings. It features a shimmering golden roof and Art Nouveau style, but just wait until you head inside to see the striking Art Deco architecture. The palace is home to two museums, the Museo de Bellas Artes and the Museo de Arquitectura. The museums feature some of Mexico’s most admired and respected muralists, including Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo and José Clemente Orozco. When you see the metro station entrance outside Bellas Artes, you may think you’ve been transported to Paris!
The Monumento a la Revolución which, like so much of the city and Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, blends history, modernity and elegance. The views from the top of the monument, like those from the 38th floor of Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, help put the city’s sheer size and beauty in perspective.
From street food to world-class dining, you’re never far from a wonderful meal in Mexico City. In fact, two of the world’s 50 top restaurants are in nearby Polanco: Pujol and Quintonil. Be sure to reserve your table well in advance if you hope to dine at either venue. Before heading out for a day of sightseeing, step into the hotel’s Balta Restaurant for breakfast, where you can choose between a hearty plate of Mexican chilaquiles or a delicate Parisian croissant.
Relax and Unwind
Sofitel Mexico City Reforma’s Cityzen Rooftop Kitchen serves French-Mexican fusion cuisine to guests while they contemplate Paseo de la Reforma and the Angel de Independencia from above. Before settling in for a cocktail and a meal, relax in the hotel’s urban spa and pool. You can unwind with a pre-Hispanic-inspired massage or admire the city below you while luxuriating in the indoor saltwater swimming pool.
Every room in the hotel has floor-to-ceiling windows, which means incredible views of Mexico City are never out of reach. What could be more exciting than falling asleep to the city’s twinkling lights and waking to the morning view of the city and the distant mountains?
Reforma is often referred to as Mexico’s Champs Elysées. Once you’ve experienced walking under the jacaranda trees, admiring the statuary and towering skyscrapers and browsing the smart shopping arcades, you’ll know why. Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, with its elegant, Franco-Mexican blend of art, culture, cuisine, and architecture is the perfect choice to experience the heart of Mexico City.
Cassie Pearse has lived in Mexico for five years. Pearse is a travel writer and blogger with a passion for all things Mexico, a regular contributor to a well-regarded Mexico travel magazine, and has written two books about Yucatán. A third book is scheduled to be released this summer.