Why Mexico City for 2018?

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Xaman, an exclusive cocktail bar in the Colonia Juarez neighborhood of Mexico City.
Xaman, an exclusive cocktail bar in the Colonia Juarez neighborhood of Mexico City.

It was a challenging year for many destinations, and Mexico was not spared. Zika, drug violence, hurricanes, Trump's wall chatter and earthquakes: 2017 gave Mexico more than its share of trials. But the country, which is not new to adversity, landed gracefully on its feet. And nowhere is this better exemplified than in Mexico City.

Back in September, Mexico City was struck with a 7.1-magnitude earthquake, leveling buildings, shaking surrounding states and killing more than 200 people. In the days following the quake, thousands of soldiers, rescuers and civilians worked together to clear the rubble, while the city remained in a state of emergency and chaos. In the days that followed, millions were left without power.

But in the months that followed, Mexico City rallied quickly and effectively, to the point where a week after the quake struck, all airports were fully operational, public transportation was back in action, hotels had reopened, and most of the major sites were operating on regularly scheduled hours. Today, the city is back in action.

"Mexico City is completely back up and running and has been except for a few days immediately following the second quake," said Zachary Rabinor, CEO of Journey Mexico. "There are still some vestiges of damaged buildings, but all sites of interest, hotels, restaurants and other tourism services are at 100%."

Not only that, the city has many new exciting developments that travelers going into 2018 can look forward to. Here are some of the highlights of what to expect in Mexico City next year.

Discover Juarez

Colonia Juarez is the neighborhood du jour in Mexico City. While a few years ago Condesa and Roma were the hot spots on the bucket list, today Juarez is enjoying some time in the spotlight. Residents are creative types like chefs, artists and designers, who are breathing new life into the neighborhood with restaurants, cocktail bars and galleries.  

Hanky Panky is one of the city's newest speakeasies, not to mention an exclusive spot. The only way to get the address and secure a visit is by making a reservation over the phone or applying to become a member.  Xaman is another cocktail bar that pays homage to Mexico's pre-Hispanic roots.  Milan 44 is a brand-new food hall and market that is great for casual dining.

And speaking of dining ...

Eating Mexico City

New and established chefs are setting up shop in both historical buildings and new constructions, helping to revitalize neighborhoods.

Pujol, which is one of Mexico City's best-known restaurant names, opened its next iteration in March in a midcentury modern space. The more casual restaurant has an 11-seat, 12-course omakase taco bar and a dining room with a six-course tasting menu.

Cantina Fina, an outpost of Roma's Fonda Fina,opened in November. The cantina's rustic decor throwback to Mexican pubs, with a sophisticated menu.

Comedor Jacinta is the newest restaurant from Chef Edgar Nunez, which opened last fall in Polanco. The menu is simple Mexican.

Where to stay

Mexico City continues to develop its hotel scene, from boutique properties to full-service business hotels. Here are a few that have recently opened, undergone renovations, or are slated to open soon.

Hyatt recently announced that the Park Hyatt Mexico City will be a part of a mixed-use development in Polanco. The building will feature 155 guestrooms and 23 Park Hyatt Residences. It is scheduled for completion in early 2021.

Barcelo Mexico Reforma opened its doors in Mexico City earlier this year and caters to business and leisure travelers.

Ritz-Carlton recently purchased property and began construction for a new skyscraper hotel to open in 2019.

Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City has undergone a $14 million renovation, which provided updates to its guestrooms, meeting rooms and public spaces.

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