Mexico City has a booming, cultural explosion that has been on the rise over the past few years. Although I am officially a visitor — or, “visitante” as the migration sign illustrates for anyone coming into the country without a Mexico passport — I do consider myself a bit of a local seeing that I have over 30 passport stamps to Mexico on record.
Knowing the neighborhoods, language, hot spots and culture, it’s a treat to see the shift in a lesser known airport code becoming a sought out destination for art, cuisine and exploration, including wellness.
Boldly stating Mexico City is what Paris was years ago, as the city to see and a place travelers are quickly adding to their bucket list. Combining all of the allure Mexico City has to offer on a local luxury level, I was thrilled to be invited to the grand opening celebration of the high-end boutique Volga Hotel.
Here’s a glimpse at my well-being experience and why I recommend staying at Volga Hotel compared to the larger chains.
About the Reforma Neighborhood
With a population of more than 22 million, Mexico City is not the quietest of places to visit. That does not mean, however, that peaceful spots are hard to find within. Off the boisterous main street of Paseo de la Reforma lies a hidden gem of a street called Rio Volga and the location of Volga Hotel.
“The architect’s vision was for an unexpected jewel in a side street. Because when you walk down a side street, you don’t expect something modern,” explains Stefano Antoniazzi, General Manager and lead liaison at Volga Hotel.
“When I first saw the project, I thought, this is something I’ve never seen before. Considering that the lobby is not at street level and where you enter the building looks more like an office building as you look at the façade of the main building.”
One of the safest, cleanest areas in Mexico City, Reforma is where all the modern businesses, luxuries and ambience of Chicago meets New York City. It’s also where I learned to speak Spanish along the way. That being said, most people do speak English incredibly well. Of course, it is always helpful to know some basics or have a travel partner who speaks Spanish (i.e. myself, in our case).
Volga Hotel Wellness Inclusions
The greatest sense of calm and well-being you get from Volga Hotel is its welcoming atmosphere and nature-inspired vibes. While you may think you’re in a city and the only access to wellness could be a fitness center and spa, these are actually the two things that Volga does not have on its premise. They have even better.
With a rooftop pool that is perfect for a morning, midday or evening dip, there’s also an entire deck open for some yoga flow as well as on-call access to spa treatments with a carefully selected local massage therapist. These are only the beginning of wellness offerings for guests to experience. Exciting offerings in the works include meditation, sound healing, rooftop yoga classes and partnerships with local fitness studios.
Gastronomy at Volga Hotel
Mexico has some of the most flavorful foods to learn, taste and enjoy—from luscious fruits of local papaya, melon, ciruelas (plum-like cherries) and mamé (imagine a banana met sorbet and had a fruit baby) to its arugula greens, nopales tacos and blends of mediterranean, Japanese and Mexican cuisine.
“When you stay at Volga, you always have something to do morning, afternoon and evenings,” says Antoniazzi. “You don’t need to go out. Of course, guests will go out because that’s why they visit a city—for the choices . But it’s more than gastronomy here. A tasting is a possible presentation of a new wine or maybe luxury goods as well.”
Where Artists Can Be Found
Perhaps the untapped jewel of Mexico City is its artistic flair. From a cultural background, music streams through the veins of Mexican musicians, and those from around the world that have flocked there to be inspired and share their craft.
The real treat, according to Antoniazzi is the upcoming speakeasy bar with open complimentary access for guests only. Currently in its final build-out phase, “the project has only 48 seats, which is a privilege if you’re coming to listen to a singer or listen to a musician, a violinist, a cellist or a DJ. The bar is a very small, private space. That’s what I think [Volga] can give in terms of more value as a stay.”
In addition to the speakeasy bar, each floor has art weaved into it—on the walls, in the rooms, separate creative floors, and lighting and sounds throughout.
At Volga Hotel’s Doorstep
It’s not a small city to conquer in a few days. Mexico City is the largest city in North America followed by New York City and Los Angeles. Notably, within the city are quite a few sweet spots of architecture, nature and history to discover. While I have been to Mexico City a multitude of times, the last trip staying in Reforma at Volga Hotel allowed me front row access to:
- Running in Chapultepec Park every morning (the second largest park in Latin America)
- Visiting the Museo de Astropologia (the most renowned museum in Mexico City holding the world’s largest collection of ancient Mexican artifacts)
- Touring the Chapultepec Castle (dating back to 1784 and located on top of Chapultepec Hill in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park)
- Eating vegan tacos from a local taqueria (try the mushroom, nopal (cactus) and pineapple creation, called the gringo)
- Meeting local artists and indulge in a shamanic ceremony featuring a copal cleanse at Volga’s grand opening party
An urban cenote with a high-end dose of local, artistic luxuries, I cannot wait to go back to Volga Hotel and see everything when it is in its full bloom. Mexico City is beginning to spread its eagle wings, and wellness is at the top of its tier.
“It’s a pioneer in different experiences or talents. In this way, we explain why Volga Hotel is the perfect spot where art, social life, music, gastronomy and luxury hospitality converge in the same space,” says Antoniazzi.
Have you visited Mexico City before? What has you packing your bags for a buen viaje (great trip) after reading this firsthand experience?
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