We returned home from our recent visit to Mexico City completely smitten. Mexico's vibrant capital, built atop the ruins of a conquered Aztec city, is an intoxicating blend of ancient and modern. No single place in the city manages to capture this essence more than the DOWNTOWN Hotel --located in the heart of the city's historic core. The design firm CheremSerrano Arquitectos transformed the former palace into a 17-room hotel complete with restaurants and small outposts of some of Mexico City's best boutiques (including our favorite, Fabrica Social, which also has a shop in the Roma neighborhood).
After a long day touring the labyrinth Mercado Merced district with a guide from Eat Mexico, we made our way through the lobby, filled with trees lit by clusters of candles hanging from their branches. Tucked away in a corner, a narrow staircase led us up to our destination: the hotel's rooftop bar.
The hallway leading from the stairwell to the terrace was constructed of terracotta blocks--an indigenous building material--creating a lovely breezeway with peekaboo views of the rooftop pool (sadly closed during our visit).
On the roof, we found an oasis of cozy seating upholstered in army green canvas. The sofas and chairs were fashioned from large cushions lashed together with webbing in a variety of configurations. Double sided sofas obviously make sense in a rooftop bar or restaurant, but we think they could work in a home, as well, perhaps as an alternative to a sectional in a large room. We ordered a round of Micheladas, our drink of choice on the trip. Recipes vary, but they all include lime juice, beer and salt, and are the best way to cool down on a hot afternoon!
The tables on the rooftop were simple and cleverly built, made of large beams of wood fitted with inset glass tabletops. The beams had holes drilled into various spots that housed terracotta pots planted with succulents.
On the way back down to the lobby, we spied an arcade turned dining room that was punctuated with sofas upholstered in a burnished orange cotton velvet. They were gorgeous! We love orange sofas (our Cooper couch looks especially cute in orange), but these sofas got our heads spinning. We love how the flange seams and distressed fabric create a relaxed, lived in look.
The combination of orange sofas with black dining chairs and a checkerboard floor avoids a Halloween vibe because the designers mixed in vintage furniture, concrete tabletops, live plants and tons of natural light. The result is a room that pays homage to the building's past while opening up a bright and cheerful new chapter in its history!