Some of the more sought-after hotels are clustered around the Chapultepec Forest. There, you can find high-end chains (especially in Polanco, to the west of Chapultepec) or kitschy boutiques (in Condesa, to the east of Chapultepec). As you move more toward the city center, you'll find affordable hotels with rates as low as $50 USD a night.
- Traveling business professionals make up most of the clientele of the top hotels, which often offer substantially lower rates Friday through Saturday." -- Frommer's
- If you reserve through the toll-free reservation numbers, you may find rates as much as 50% off during special promotions." -- Fodor's
Staying here could be your best bet. You'll be located near many museums and city landmarks, you'll save a little money, and you'll face less chance of getting lost. But there's a downside: noise, noise, and more noise during the day, and limited diversions in the night.
- Overall, walking in the Centro Historico is safe. The best recommendation is to avoid those streets with an excessive amount of street vendors. Use your common sense." -- Wikitravel
Trendy Zona Rosa is a good place to look if you like to be surrounded by activity. Here, you're still close to the touristy sites of Centro Histórico, but you have the convenience of nightclubs and bars thrown into the mix. Families might want to stay away: All the lively nighttime activities do up the caution quotient, and many travelers suggest you keep your wits about you when moving around at night. Zona Rosa is also the most GLBT friendly area of the city.
There's an added bonus: Lodging in Zona Rosa often comes with a fantastic view. The triumphant Ángel de la Independencia overlooks the Paseo de Reforma right outside many hotel windows.
- You will easily find yourself accosted by people in the streets selling goods and services, be it dance and strip club promoters, tourist information from police officers, tours from taxi drivers, plus the usual crowd of street vendors, lottery vendors and beggars. If you're not interested, just ignore them." -- Wikitravel
It can be hard to resist the shiny shopping plazas and upscale restaurants of Polanco, and if you stay here, you can expect the hotels to be outfitted in the same finery. This largely residential area of the city, just west of the Centro Histórico, attracts plenty of business travelers, and the weekday rates reflect as much.
Condesa still has an up-and-coming vibe that Zona Rosa has long since relinquished. As such, you might be able to get a better day rate here. Boutique hotels rub shoulders with some excellent dining opportunities here, and you'll find some off-the-beaten track shops to spend a few hours in during the day.