From the late 19th century, a rapid and far-reaching period of industrialization began in central Mexico City, which would transform the city’s landscape. Urban expansion would eventually force an exodus of the upper class, which resulted in the sale or abandonment of numerous former multi-story houses of the rich, which were soon adopted and divided into individual rooms into so-called vecindades – affordable apartment buildings. The Mexican circle is one such building, a vecindad, that has received a quiet modern makeover from an architectural firm, Ambrosi | Etchegaray. The resulting contemporary renovation combines elements of the nineteenth-century residential building’s past with a newly discovered contemplative treatment characterized by its restrained Shaker-inspired interiors. The sum acts as a luxurious domicile for travelers with an almost monastic commitment to simplicity.
The portfolio of design and lifestyle hotels of the hotel developer Grupo Habita in Mexico is characterized by organic and intimate details, all of which respect the building’s past and go beyond the bare veneer. It’s a design philosophy that we also found in another Mexico-based Grupo Habita property, the Escondido Oaxaca. And like its sister hotel in Oaxacan, the Círculo Mexicano in Mexico City is built on a historic architectural framework with just enough contemporary details to refresh the space without losing the inimitable texture and patina that only time can bestow.
Ambrosi | Jorge Ambrosi and Gabriele Etchegaray von Etchegaray play a reduced game in the former residence of the renowned Mexican photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo, both in public and private spaces. The rooms show an ascetic tonality and combine cool granite and basalt stone floors and walls with simple Shaker-inspired joinery, which is attributed to the furniture studio La Metropolitana in Mexico City.
Accented by warm points of light and a few selected wall-hung useful accessories, each room presents a reduced tranquility as the sum of every stay – a refuge and relaxation from the kinetic energy of one of the most pulsating creative capitals in the world.
All rooms have free Wi-Fi, organic toiletries, wireless speakers, rainfall showers, and a safe. Eighteen of the twenty-five rooms have their own sky-lit terrace, while the others have balconies with views of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Additional amenities include an Audi House Car, concierge service, co-working space, valet parking, 24-hour security, room service, hairdresser and bike rental.
Open terraces to the sky welcome natural light while maintaining an intimate and secluded sense of privacy. The roof terrace acts as the most important social hub for all guests and tempts to spend long days by the pool with a picturesque panoramic view of the capital, especially Latin America’s largest and oldest cathedral, the Metropolitan Cathedral, which is apparently an arm’s length away.
What: Mexican circle
Where: Republic of Guatemala 20, Historic Center, Mexico City
Cuauhtémoc, 06000, CDMX
How much: From $ 182 per night, double occupancy
Highlights: The hotel’s rooftop terrace acts as the social centerpiece, with a lap pool and adjoining restaurant overlooking the capital’s Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Palace, the Templo Mayor, and the Torre Latinoamericana. Look forward to a selection of organic wines, traditional mezcals, freshly prepared fruit water and juices from the terrace bar.
Design Attraction: Each of Círculo Mexicano’s 25 rooms is decorated with pieces by local Mexican artists and artisans, including hand-sewn textiles sewn by Oaxacan artisans and the pared-down simplicity of the wooden furniture from La Metropolitana in Mexico City. Also note the photographs on the walls attributed to one of Mexico’s most famous photographers, Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902-2002).
Book it: Mexican Circle
Photos courtesy of Habita Group.
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