Hotel Geneve in Mexico City opened its doors to the public in 1907, and from the begining it has been an innovator in tourism. It was the first hotel to receive solo female travelers, it was the first hotel to offer taxi services as well as phone services, dry cleaning, elevators, a tennis court and even a hairdresser, all rare commodities at the time. Heck, the first sandwhich served in Mexico was served here too, in 1910!
All this attention to detail and leading services made this the prefered hotel by people who’ve shaped the world’s history, including Sir Winston Churchill, Charles Lindbergh, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez or former Spain’s president Felipe Gonzalez, and is today an accessible accommodation option to anybody who wants to stay in a hotel that’s not just a place where to sleep.
Highlights of Hotel Geneve
Hotel Geneve’s gradeur becomes obvious as soon as you step into the lobby as the facade could very well be inconspicuous were it not for a few flags that stand out, yet walk in and you’ll notice a few things that stand out right away. These could be the wood reception, perhaps the old safe boxes stacked up besides the concierge’s dest or the couches that you begin to see in the hall. By now you’ll most certainly want to walk in to see a bit more, and its the hall with its high ceiling, old bookshelves with hundreds of books and red couches that will point out you’re in a different place.
Look left and you’ll see the phone bar, the hotel’s signature bar where at night you can hear live music while enjoying a drink of your choice, surrounded by a collection of old telephones. Oh, and it comes with its own British phone booth right in the middle too. Right after the phone bar you’ll see a small corridor that will lead you to where the former hairdresser was. Sure, there’s still one that works too, but you’ll need to set an appointment and while it does look old, it was renovated recently.
Back in the main hall you’ll see a closed area after noon with what appears to be a small courtyard. It is here that breakfasts are served (buffet breakfasts are the most popular choice) while listening the singing of birds and the water fountain, allowing you to forget- if for a while- that you’re in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world.
Let’s be clear: unless you can fund one of the larger suites in the hotel, the rooms at hotel Geneve are nice and spacious, but will not be reminded as the most comfortable you’ve been in. This said they are appointed well enough with a bed or two, a fridge, and a bathroom that all are kept very clean and of coure exuding a traditional- or should I say vintage?- appeal.
Yet its the signature suites and rooms that offer the best of the hotel, with wooden floors, large and decorated spacious bathrooms, and with several rooms per suite that make them look more like an apartment . These suites are also named after famous historical celebrities, including Porfirio Diaz, Mexico’s Revolution leader who brough his family to the hotel for a lunch the day before he started the revolution, denying and rumors of it despite he was just about to start it a few hours later.
Hotel Geneve is not your typical, business hotel. It is one you come to because you want to make your choice for accommodation not only a place where to be comfortable for a few days but also teaches you about where you’re at, and why not, some history about it too.
It is here that the hotel exceeds all expectsations, and even if you can’t spend a night or two in it for one reason or another make sure you drop by and ask for a guided tour: these are available too and you’ll get to see and learn things that most visitors skip when preparing a Mexico City itinerary, unfortunately.