although fairly similar in atmosphere, this particular slice of cuauhtémoc has long stood in the shadow of mexico city's more fashionable residential neighbourhoods polanco, condesa and roma. but as of late, the tide has turned and it could eventually join the ranks of the aforementioned, thanks to the recent opening – and the expected spin-off effect for that matter – of a stellar new establishment that pulls the cool crowds to its doorstep. opened years ago as a budget property, hotel jardín amazonas was more loved for its low rates than its comfort or available facilities. let's just say the previous owners never really saw the potential – the location alone, just off paseo de la reforma, the city's iconic thoroughfare, is a major plus – and the hotel gradually slid into a derelict state before it closed down little over a decade ago.
but luckily, it has been given a brand new lease on life, and now known as hotel carlota, it has become the toast of the town in hipster circles. responsible for the remarkable turnaround is ignacio cadena, a local designer with slew of high-profile projects under his belt. and although cadena created the new hotel concept, he couldn't have pulled it off without the expertise of architect javier sánchez. interestingly, instead of totally erasing the building's original lay-out, sánchez quite brilliantly rearranged it to fit modern standards and utilize its full potential. the new understated aesthetic oozes a distinctly modern vibe, subtly revealing an older blueprint, but at the same time it also firmly anchors the complex in the neighbourhood's urban context.
needless to say, the 36 guestrooms and suites exemplary showcases, each featuring furniture piecess by local design collective la metropolitana – mind you, they furnished the entire hotel – and unique art pieces by emerging mexican artists. the strict division between private and public spaces is intentionally blurred and has resulted in a new, more communal sense of hospitality, which of course, still allows retreat and privacy. an additional trump card of hotel carlota is a cool eponymous restaurant with an outdoor section overlooking the patio, and it's this particularly facility that pulls in the cool crowds in droves from across town. helmed by celebrated chefs joaquin cardoso and sofia cortina, the restaurant proposes a menu of market-to-table dishes, all made from the best local ingredients, and served in an unpretentious way. needless to say that the setting adds up to a contemporary culinary experience that's unique in the mexican capital. location: calle río amazonas 73 [cuauhtémoc].
© cadena y asociados / photography: camila cossio