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One can imagine that Mexico City bid farewell to 2009 with considerable relief. The bad economy coupled with spurts of regional violence kept visitors away early on, and in April, when the city became ground zero of the H1N1 pandemic, tourism fell off a cliff.
Fast-forward to the new year. In December, Mexico City became the first city in Latin America to legalize gay marriage and same-sex couple adoption. Also, it’s among seven cities worldwide selected by FIFA to broadcast all the 2010 World Cup games live on giant, public screens. Add to that the city’s humming design scene, its affordability, and legions of innovative restaurants, and the only question left is where to bed down.
After a few delays, Las Alcobas opened January 18 in the city’s affluent Polanco district. Designed by Yabu Pushelberg, whose clients include Four Seasons and St. Regis, the hotel is both modern and homey. Its 35 rooms are softened with hand-knotted rugs and contemporary Mexican art. At the top end are three penthouse suites with wraparound terraces. A small spa grants relief from the urban bustle. Near the hotel, guests can shop Avenida Presidente Masaryk, visit the modern art museum, and dine at the city’s top tables, all without hailing a cab (the traffic has yet to improve). From $415/night; lasalcobas.com
Find more exciting hotels in our Mexico City Travel Guide.
From the February/March 2010 issue of Sherman’s Travel magazine.