With elite status in 3 major hotel programs, we tend to leverage the cost and value of our accommodations by participating in loyalty programs. That being said, some of our most memorable and enjoyable stays have been at smaller boutique hotels. For us, smaller boutique hotels have typically offered a hotel experience in a less conventional setting by being located in more residential neighbourhoods, offered more personalized and attentive service, and the rooms and properties tend to showcase unique and innovative designs often influenced by culture and history. When we were faced with thousands of properties in Mexico City, we were faced with the following choices:
1) A generic and stuffy high-rise-style chain hotel in Polanco where we have elite status
2) A chain or non-chain boutique hotel outside of Polanco where we do not have elite status
Our Choice: Ignacia Guest House:
In the end, we chose Ignacia Guest House, a relatively new boutique hotel with open air facilities in Roma Norte, a trendier neighborhood also near Condesa. As a newer hotel that was completed in 2017, Ignacia Guesthouse is still relatively under the radar, but we don’t think it will remain that way for too long. Initially, the main building was a mansion and despite its renovations, it has preserved the original floor plan from 1913. In addition, a lot of the interior you see in the mansion is the same and has just been restored. The hotel is named after the housekeeper, Ignacia who resided there for more than 70 years.
Our Room – The Amarilla Room:
Ignacia Guest House has 5 rooms; the mansion is separated by a courtyard where a new building was built for the 4 regular guest rooms and the suite is in the mansion. We chose the “Amarilla Room” because you can enter from the courtyard, it has a nice balcony, and it’s yellow. While some might find the yellow too bright (including my husband), I absolutely loved it and it reminded me of my bedroom when I was a teenager as it was painted the same shade of yellow.
The Common Areas:
The main floor of the mansion has the front desk and common space for guests, including a seating area, honor bar, library, eating area, and kitchen where breakfast is prepared each day. The courtyard has a bar area where snacks and cocktails are served daily from 17:00-19:00 and a seating area for guests to enjoy the outdoors. While Mexico City may seem quite busy and crowded at times, the courtyard is an oasis of serenity and greenery.
The Daily Breakfast:
Do not skip the complimentary breakfast, even if you might feel compelled to go have breakfast outside of the hotel. Breakfast is prepared daily by 1-2 chefs using ingredients and products from the local market in their kitchen, also known as my dream kitchen! While the main entrée varies daily, each breakfast comes with fresh juice, coffee (Mexican coffee and prepared fresh to order in espresso drinks), a fresh fruit plate, yogurt, homemade granola, and a break basket featuring local pastries. We were fortunate to be there during mango season when the mango was super ripe and delicious and enjoyed the orange conchas. As for the entrée, we had a cheese and vegetable quesadilla one day with fire roasted tomato salsa.
The Cocktail Hours:
Between 17:00-19:00, the hotel serves up a light and refreshing cocktail of fruit juice with a bit of mescal and local snacks, which we enjoyed in the courtyard or on our balcony while reading one of the books from their library. One day, the cocktail was pineapple juice and mezcal and the other green melon with mezcal. My favorite book from the library was “Poetic Pragmatism” or “Pragmatismo Poetico”, a Spanish and English bilingual book by Mexican architects. This was the perfect intermission after a day of exploring and before heading it for dinner.
Attention to Detail: Design and Amenities:
The room itself was small but very comfortable and you see their attention to detail in almost everything, from the small coffee cups, books in the room, the toiletries by LoreDana, and the filtered water by Casa Del Agua, both local products produced by local companies. You can tell when the designers executed their vision well; a large bathroom completely in marble with local toiletries and a compact and visually appealing closet with shelving for luggage to minimize clutter in the room.
The Staff and Service:
As for the hotel staff, everyone was friendly and top notch. We would even say they’ve been some of the friendliest and most helpful we’ve ever encountered; you truly feel that the staff are proud about the property and care about it, and also care about the guest experience. At the front desk, it was a delight to chat with Magda about the neighbourhood, Mexico City and to learn about the jacaranda trees and Julio gave us some good tips about what to do and followed up via email with additional details after we had set out for the day. While Uber is available from Mexico City, we opted for the transportation provided by the hotel and found it very helpful and convenient and highly recommend it. We’re not sure if they use more than one driver, but we had the same driver on both trips and he was very nice and professional.
The Key to Mexico City – Ignacia Guest House:
In addition to being such a unique and hospitable place to stay, Ignacia Guest House was the key to our stay in Mexico City due to its location which is steps from all of the things we wanted to see and experience. I really hope we get to visit Mexico City again and stay at Ignacia Guest House. Until then, I’m remembering the whimsical experience of standing under a jacaranda tree as I ring the doorbell and wait to be let in, followed by that walk through the stunning mansion’s library and my dream kitchen, through the courtyard and up the stairs to the Amarilla room where we rested comfortably and reflected on our experiences in Mexico City.
Do you prefer chain hotels or boutique hotels? Have you stayed at Ignacia Guest House? If so, which room?
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