July 25 – 29, 2016
Mexico City, Mexico
This post is a continuation of Hotel Review: Camino Real Polanco
Week 2 at the Camino Real Polanco was off to a rocky start. I arrived at approximately 6:30pm on Sunday and was running late to meet my colleagues for dinner. I was assigned a room and quickly dropped off my belongings and ran out to dinner. I didn’t realize on my way in that the room was located in a smoking area of the hotel.
When I returned from dinner, it was all I could smell in the hallway. The room was located on the first floor of the hotel, and while I typically don’t care to be in first floor rooms, I absolutely cannot handle being in a smoking room. I called and asked to be moved and they were able to accommodate me on the second floor. I was a bit peeved that I was assigned to this room in the first place – I double checked my reservation and confirmed I had requested a non-smoking room.
My new room was different from the one I had the week before. Sure, it still had that delightfully tacky purple carpet, but this room was much smaller – about ¾ the size of the old one.
This isn’t an issue for me – I was traveling for work by myself, so I certainly didn’t need much space. The most notable difference was the bathroom, which had a shower area instead of a tub. Given the unusual size and design of the tub, I much preferred the shower.
And of course, the room was stocked with Molton Brown products.
Despite the smaller size of this room, the outlets were still uncomfortably far from the bed (and annoyingly so). The room didn’t have much of a view – a small grassy area (to call it a courtyard would be a major round up), though this was a strong upgrade from my view last week of a plain white wall.
After I left my room the next morning, I found my key card didn’t work. Seemed like an error in coding it the night before. I came to the front desk to try and see what was wrong and they didn’t know, but provided me with a re-programmed key. I did ask about the original assignment to a smoking room, and the associate at the desk was unable to provide any details regarding my incorrect assignment.
The hotel has a gym-on site, as well as a pool. As mentioned in my previous review, there are several restaurants on-site of different cuisines, which is convenient, especially if you’re traveling for work and don’t have much time to run out for meals.
The location immediately outside the hotel is not particularly fantastic. There are a few restaurants within walking distance from the hotel for convenience, but the Polanco area has several excellent restaurants, a mere 10-20 minute uber ride away from the hotel. Would definitely consider staying in the Polanco area again (although would similarly be open to exploring other areas).
For public transportation, the hotel was not located particularly near any subway stops, although Ubers were reasonably priced and plentiful.
Check in: 7/10 – Check in was a little bumpy the first week, as the front desk associate seemed not to know how to help me.
Elite Recognition: N/A – This hotel is not a member of a major hotel chain/alliance
Room: 6/10 – The rooms were old and in dire need of an update. The room I had in the second week had a better bathroom, which was a plus. The pillows were flat and the bed was stiff.
In-Room Technology & Entertainment: 5/10 – The only technology the room had was the existence of a TV and outlets. Several points off for overcharging for wifi
Staff: 8/10 – Very friendly and eager to help, although didn’t have much power to be able to provide more than the standard day to day incidents. For issues outside of this, the staff seemed to struggle, though I suspect this had a lot to do with the language barrier.
Location: 8/10 – Near plenty of restaurants, but the immediate area is underwhelming.
On-Site Dining: 7/10 – Plenty of options, though quality of food ranges greatly.
On-Site Amenities: 8/10 – Standard amenities such as an on-site gym, and a pool. Several on-property restaurants were a plus, but amenities lacked that je ne se quois
Hospitality Services: 8/10 – Concierge was available on-site. My colleagues and I made a few inquiries for assistance, though did not end up using these services in the end.
Hotel Appearance: 6/10 – While the lobby seems renovated, the room and hallways are visibly dated.
Overall Rating: 63/90 (70%) ★★★★★
Though seemingly low given solid marks in several areas, the drab room and lack of free wifi were major deal breakers. Would likely avoid this property in the future if I were to return to the area on holiday, mostly due to the wifi charge. I rank free wifi as a high must when traveling to a foreign country, so I would not be likely to select this property again. Perhaps their average guest does not find this a valuable perk.