The Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico - Grandeur and Panache personified
Ever seen a Hotel so grand that you start gasping for breath? This is what happened to me when I stepped inside Gran Hotel in Mexico City. A huge Louis XV chandelier right at the entrance welcomes you inside the world of grandeur and glory. Located right in the middle of Centro Historico(historical center of Mexico City) overlooking Zocalo and the National Palace, Gran hotel is definitely a luxury brand among the hotels in and around Mexico City.
The Gran hotel was born in the year 1968 and exhibits the French art nouveau style of the pre-revolution era. The origin of this historical building dates back to 1526, when it was built as the residence of Rodrigo de Albornoz, Contador Real(Royal Auditor) for Nuevo Espana(New Spain which Mexico was the crown jewel of back in those days).
Just like the cream and icing on top of the cake is its best part, the stained-glass canopy crafted by Tiffany in 1908, which is one of the four biggest in the world is the best part about the hotel and travelers from all over the world visit the hotel just to witness this beauty with their own eyes.
You do not need to be staying at the hotel to see it, the management is courteous enough to let you walk in and take pictures of the canopy and chandelier along with the beautiful bird cages which make the hotel lobby truly a one in a million.
There are two wrought iron elevators located in the hotel lobby and they still run. I was privileged to take a ride in them a couple of times because these are only the second oldest elevators to be built in Mexico. The first ones being the elevators in Palacio postal.
Remember the opening scene of Spectre(the James Bond movie), where Bond is running all around and over buildings - this is exactly where it was shot? The hotel is not just historic but also epic. A lot of movies were filmed here and the hotel has been and continues to be visited by prestigious guests from all over the world. The staff are extremely courteous and trained well enough to be able to give you a guide like tour of the hotel.
For a hotel this magnificent it is not easy to match the panache with equally amazing rooms and amenities. But I was really not surprised because I was expecting something mind blowing and that is exactly what I got. I was in the master suite and the room was furnished with rich and beautifully decorated furniture with a touch of antiquity in the interiors. I could sit on my bed and gaze at the beautiful historic buildings of Zocalo. They were beautiful by the day but by the night, they were spell bounding. I probably have never spent that much time gazing out of my window at night ever before.
The hotel has all the hygiene facilities like a gym, meeting rooms, exquisite lobby and concierge and a coffee. But it also has a roof top restaurant which deserves a special mention. Go there in the evening for a couple of cocktails and you will know why. To just sit there and witness a beautiful sunset sky along with the hustle and bustle of the tourists in Zocalo is an experience worth an evening in itself.
I had been wanting to visit The Gran Hotel since the time I landed in the city and I finally did it. I am so glad for the opportunity provided by the hotel and I can just say this that I have never witnessed another heritage hotel like this one. The luxury, the history and the love here is unique. Stay here on your next trip to Mexico City and be a part of centuries of history.