Part 7 Monger Matts Mexico Adventure
Zona Rosa where I stayed in Mexico City is situated between two main artery roads with Paseo de la Reforma (or just Reforma) to the north, and Av Chapultepec where Insurgentes Metro Station is, to the south.
The main happening part of Zona Rosa probably stretches as far as Calle Havre to the east and maybe Calle Florencia to the west, with the mainly pedestrianized Calle Genova running right down the middle. And, basically equating to within only a 5 or 6-minute walk in any direction, max, everything in Zona Rosa is Central. I found just walking around here with no particular agenda a pleasure. Everything you need, want or don’t know you want is probably in Zona Rosa, or close by.
As well as the Hotel Royal Reforma I highlighted in green 7 other hotels on the Zona Rosa map, all of what I think are good hotels in an excellent position. The two green lines either side show what I consider to be the boundaries for the best entertainment areas and the Pink lines I highlighted near the top end of Calle Genova is where I saw ‘Rosa’s own Ground Zero Gay Street action. While I thought just that little section of street was in ‘Your Face’ a bit, a lot, YMCA wise, as parts of it certainly looked like the musical, the rest of Zona Rosa definitely was not. I could actually live here in fact.
Just choosing what I thought to be the best location to stay in Mexico City was a job in itself, but just trying to choose a decent hotel went on and on and in this instance, I blame Trip advisor, or more to the point blame myself for reading only the bad 1 star Terrible and Poor reviews of what I considered to be around 8 likely hotel possibilities. You name it, I read it, Room not ready when person arrived; did not honor their reservation; wifi sucks!!; rooms not cleaned properly; rooms too small; live cockroaches spotted on the duvet (better than fresh semen I suppose 🙂 ‘I got food poisoning from their breakfast buffet,’ yuck, yuk and more yuck it went on and on.
Hotel Royal Reforma ****
Thankfully at my chosen hotel the Royal Reforma, which was my third choice for the 4 nights due the other hotels being full, none of the above applied. At a cost to me of $80.00 US per night which I think I paid more of a premium for, for the fact that the hotel has a small outside pool on the roof top terrace which I thought at the time would have been uncomfortably freezing cold if the much cooler nights together with Mexico City’s high altitude above sea level was anything to go by, my room on the 6th floor though, with a view, be it nondescript, was clean with adequate space and the bed was comfortable. The air con worked fine and there was always hot water. The wifi did work but I got a better signal and internet connection in the room via my local sim card.
Mongering only 10 minutes up the line
Very close to Insurgentes Metro Station (Pink Colour Metro Line 1) with the Zocalo main square, in the very center of Mexico city only 6 stops away with 1 change, and two of the main mongering street areas only ten minutes up the line, the hotel was in an excellent location anyway.
Girl friendly hotel? Discreetly, I wouldn’t have thought it would have been a problem, but for me this was never going to be an issue, not in Mexico City!! It was later confirmed by one of the nighttime street corner touts that girls do visit the Hotel with no problem.
First Evening Zona Rosa
By the time I had checked in to the hotel, unpacked, took a long soak in the bath and got ready to go out it was around 9pm when I hit the streets for the first time. Being up in the mountains Mexico City is one of the highest capital cities in the world and when I went to have a look at the pool and night view from the rooftop terrace I noticed the big difference in the nighttime drop in temperature, so I was wise before I went out to put on warmer clothing.
Outside the hotel turning right onto Calle Amberes I was instantly overwhelmed by the sheer variety of restaurants, bars and just places to go for coffee and for the next half hour or so I just walked around getting the nice feel of the place and working up quite an appetite at the same time.
So where better to stop than for a steak and some beers at a good place I found called Regios, close to my hotel. Always busy with a nice ambience I returned here more than once during my stay ordering their ribeye steak on the bone washed down with a bottle or two of Modelo, another excellent Mexican beer recommended by one of the waiters.
Touts, a far cry from the usual Shite
Close to the restaurant I had my first encounter with one of the many Zona Rosa nighttime street corner touts who claimed to be able to arrange any service and any girl you wanted. Each with their own bit of street corner territory I was quite surprised to find these gentlemen (and a lady) not menacing but always polite, not at all persistent and in your face, a far cry from the usual shite that I’m used to who try to block your way in the street when walking, and go off on one if you don’t reply to them in the correct manner, this was another pleasant surprise I found in Mexico.
On my first night in Zona Rosa, the lady tout, a blonde hair MILF doing her round close to the restaurant told me that if I wanted female company she would arrange a car to come and park on the opposite side of the road from where we were standing so I could examine the goods first. Good idea. But feeling tired by that time and ready for bed, I knew though in the next couple of days here in Mexico City I would more than make up for it.
Day 2 Mexico City
With breakfast not included in the price and no incentive really to get up early to go down for breakfast, I had a lay in on my second day and in the room with the internet and the guide book open again, I tried to familiarize myself more with the layout of the City while trying to work out some sort of daytime itinerary and how feasible it would be to use the Metro subway.
Tired, Spa Massage
During my first couple of days there I seemed to have very little energy left in me. Whether it was the high altitude of the City or all that overindulgence in Veracruz now catching up on me, or maybe a combination of both, around lunchtime I booked myself a massage at a Spa place I passed the previous night on Calle Genova. Because they were busy they could not fit me in until 4pm and when I went back at the stated time the cute oriental girl on the desk, though as thick as shit, laughed as she told me there had been a double booking and could I come back at 5o’clock. But, I wish I hadn’t bothered, at a cost to me of 380 pesos the massage was neither relaxing nor the young butch looking masseuse dyke that I had particularly friendly and I find having my face covered and being smothered in layers of heavy towels for nearly an hour not particularly comfortable or relaxing and things like that can put you in a bad mood.
Mexico City Metro
With not much of the day left and waiting for the evening rush hour to die down a bit, it was dark by the time I purchased from the ticket booth at Insurgentes station x 5, 5 pesos tickets to travel on the underground Metro. The good news is though, travelling on the Metro is both safe I thought and cheap. At every station, I saw some sort of police presence down by the platform, and often as well by the main barriers and ticket booths. One 5 pesos (or 20p) ticket allows you to travel throughout the whole Metro system and transfer or change between stations as many times as you need at no extra cost. Usually at certain times a section of the station platform and sections of the train are for women and children only, if they choose, and that’s the only slight problem or misunderstanding I encountered in the Metro when a policeman waving me away, wouldn’t let me enter part of that platform reserved for only women and children.
Insurgentes station only has the one line so with no complicated platform train changes to do, it was a perfect station for me to test the water, and to test the water further I was cautiously going to check out two main mongering areas, 5 and 6 stops up the line. In principal, it was quite easy really, going there all I had to do to confirm I was on the right platform for the right train was to see the word Pantitlán, the end of the line, lit up on the front of the train, and likewise, returning back to base in the opposite direction, the word Observatorio, the other end of the line, should have been lit up on the front of the train.
Coming up in Part 8 of my Mexican adventure I first do the ground work, and in one of the dodgiest mongering areas in Mexico City pick up the first of what was probably the most non-looking street pros of my whole trip.
By Monger Matt