More than twenty years ago, at the very beginning of my exploration of Mexico City's Centro Histórico, I stayed at the venerable Hotel Isabel. At that time, it seemed remote from the 'action' closer to the Zócalo. The revival of the Centro had not begun, so the walk down deserted streets at night to get back to the hotel was intimidating. The hotel, which opened in 1920, is housed in a former colonial mansion. It's funky charm and low prices attracted a bohemian following--the writer John Ross lived there from 1985 until his death in 2011.
I've recently begun to update my Mexico City guidebook and decided to stay in the Centro for a few days to work on that section of the book. I was ready for a re-visit to the Isabel. An Uber transported me the 4.8 kilometers from my home in La Condesa to the Centro Histórico, and I spent two wonderful days as a tourist there (more about that in future posts).
Twenty years has not affected Isabel's funkiness, but perhaps has even added to its charm. I loved staying here! The price (500 pesos a night), location, ambience and cleanliness all add up to my idea of a great hotel.
Isabel la Católica 63
Centro Histórico, CDMX
tel. (55) 5518-1213
View from my window