Bedding Down in Puebla
These two new luxury hotels are helping put this baroque jewel on Americans’ radar
BY BECCA HENSLEY — Fall 2018
Look: Step out from the Cartesiano into Puebla’s electric historic district, a place awash in baroque, chic, old, and new. Formed from two centuries-old mansions plus a modern building, the 78-room hotel defines Puebla’s ongoing connection between the present and the past. Upbeat and contemporary, it nevertheless provides an intimate mansion experience with sleek furnishings and vibrant artworks.
VIbe: Though set amid architectural grandeur, Cartesiano casts formality aside to greet and serve guests with the casual warmth common in today’s boutique hotels. It’s friendly, yet elegant.
Eats: You’ll rush to breakfast just to see the sunrise from the terrace at Centena Cuatro, which overlooks Popocatépetl puffing its volcanic smoke. The restaurant serves an all-day, modern interpretation of regional Mexican cuisine. Café Hercilia, the more informal courtyard restaurant, offers fast bites.
Insider Tip: Don’t miss the Spa Cartesiano, a refreshing haven that crowns the rooftop. Services go beyond anatomical; for example, a reiki treatment restores energy flow and activates mind, body, and spirit.
Details: From $229. 800-745-8883; hotelcartesiano.com
Look: In the oldest part of town, just across from San Francisco Church, the Rosewood comprises a cluster of refurbished homes and buildings from past eras joined together to create a haciendalike outpost that fuses Puebla’s history with its contemporary outlook. Restored with ancient stone, found doors and furniture, and contemporary art and amenities, the 78-room hotel looks as if it were built for a king.
Vibe: Stylish and very Mexican in mood, it manages to be as welcoming to families as to honeymooners. The friendly, casual service creates an ambience that makes guests want to hang around the hotel.
Eats: The hotel offers several dining options, all with Mexican flair. Try Pasquinel Bistrot, an all-day dining experience with a formal edge — as ideal for Mexican breakfast as mole enchiladas. The more laid-back Cafe Azul Talavera has a stellar Mexican wine list. Los Lavaderos, a bar built into an old outdoor laundry expanse, serves craft cocktails amid a historical yet hip ambience.
Insider Tip: Don’t miss the sunset over Puebla’s cityscape and Popocatépetl from the buzzy rooftop bar.
Details: From $250 per night. 888-767-3966; rosewoodhotels.com/en/puebla
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