10 Norte, Number 1402, Col. Barrio del Alto, rosewoodhotels.com
From $250 a night including Wi-Fi.
Rosewood Puebla, part of the luxury hospitality brand Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, opened in May 2017 in the heart of Puebla, Mexico. The colonial city, about a 2 1/2-hour drive from Mexico City, has a UNESCO World Heritage downtown district and is known for its Baroque architecture and abundance of noteworthy sights and museums. Rosewood Puebla is a nod to the city’s past: Its 78 rooms are spread among four buildings that date from various eras, ranging from the 16th to the 20th centuries, and surround a private courtyard. The décor emphasizes Mexican furnishings, contemporary works by artists around Mexico and traditional crafts from Puebla including colorful Talavera ceramics.
Rosewood Puebla is centrally located and within walking distance of the city’s most attractive attractions including the Puebla Cathedral, completed in the 17th century, and the Amparo Museum, which has a notable collection of pre-Columbian and colonial art from Mexico. Plenty of restaurants and stores are also nearby, and taxis are readily available right outside of the hotel.
Each of the property’s rooms has unique décor, but all are an homage to Mexico. A 500-square-foot Puebla room, the hotel’s second room category (there are five categories in all), was a handsomely appointed space. It had a warm feel with its wrought iron king-size bed, a comfortable sofa in bright pink — a popular color in Mexico — and embroidered throw pillows in blue, yellow and pink hues. The ceiling over the mahogany wood desk was covered in blue and white Talavera tiles, and the chandelier in the center of the room was constructed of both wrought iron and clay. There also were plenty of modern touches, such as the touch button lighting, which had nine settings, and the iPad on my nightstand, which I could use to order room services and make other requests.
Spacious and airy, our bathroom had a white marble floor, a large walk-in shower, double sinks and a free-standing copper bathtub. The mirror was decorated with blue and white Talavera tiles, and the upscale Italian brand La Bottega was behind the citrusy scented toiletries.
Two all-day restaurants, Pasquinel Bistro, serving refined Mexican cuisine, and Café Azul Talavera, a casual spot serving sandwiches and salads; a bar called Los Lavaderos (in a space overlooking a former launderette dating to the 19th century); a rooftop bar with 360-degree views of the city; a rooftop swimming pool, a gym and a three-treatment room spa. Guests also get five articles of clothing ironed for free.
If there is a lackluster meal or drink not worth imbibing at Rosewood Puebla, I certainly did not experience it. I enjoyed flavorful scrambled eggs with house-made corn tortillas and spicy salsas for breakfast, and a smoky, spicy mole poblano with chicken for dinner, which was so good that I ordered it again the next day. The produce was fresh and tasty, and the ceviches that I tried — prawn and oysters in a jalapeño citrus dressing among them — were light and flavorful. Post-dinner, I headed to Los Lavaderos for tequilas and mescals; the menu had more than 80 choices, many from small, lesser-known labels.
Rosewood is known for its high-priced rooms (in some locations, nightly rates can start in the four figures) and exceptional service, but in the case of the Puebla property, only the latter holds true: the staff could not have been more doting or efficient. For luxury-seekers, a stay is still in the realm of affordability. The hotel is one of the first high-end properties to open in Puebla and may entice travelers to visit a city they normally would not think to include in their Mexico itineraries.