"I snagged this apartment after an abrupt cancellation by a family from the United States visiting their relatives in Mexico. They inexplicably deemed the location to be undesirable and left, leaving the owners in a lurch during holidays. As a Mexican living in the United States, I feel compelled to address this issue in my review of this apartment, its amenities and owners.
Centro Historico in Mexico City is much like the Sultanahmet in Istanbul or Trastevere in Rome. There are fantastic streets, there are great streets and then there are the not so great streets. Do I walk around texting on my iPhone with pesos hanging out of my pocket at night? No. I don't do that here in San Antonio, Texas, where I reside. Yes, thirty years ago, this was once a rough, working class neighborhood but then so was Soho in New York City. Today the neighborhood is in rapid transition, historic apartments and buildings are being snapped up by Europeans and Americans in the know. Investor Carlos Slim, the "richest man in the world", purchased the colonial building on the corner. The location is ideal, it is ground zero for Mexican culture and history from the sacred stones of Tenochtitlan and the plazas of Spanish Inquisition to world class museums and a main plaza filled with demonstrators, indigenous healers and Catholic pilgrims. It is alive with the chaotic commerce of the Capitol of Latin America against a backdrop of subtle decay and restored beauty.
With that being said, I must go on to say that the apartment is wonderful and has all of those things you just do not find in most vacation rentals. Wine bottle openers, travel guides, spices, pasta strainers, French press coffee makers, flower vases, gallons of bottled water, a clothes line - the things you take for granted at home but somehow are absent in most vacation rentals. Your Mexican neighbors are mothers raising their children, professors and politicians who always have time to say "buenos dias" or "buenas noches" in the stairwell. The characters directly out front, have even stopped me to tell me that my keys fell out of my pocket or gave me tips on the tricky front door lock. It is a friendly environment.
The owners are gracious, sophisticated, worldly and kind. Arturo, a Mexican artist-mathematician-historian-linguist-marathon runner and his partner, Sarah, an English painter-artist-chef-avid mystery reader can answer any question you may have regarding the city.
Come, stay, don't cancel."
Date of Stay: December 2014
Review Submitted: January 7, 2015