Location, as they say, is everything.
The St. Regis Mexico City has nailed that one. The gleaming, 31-story structure sits smack on the Paseo de la Reforma, the wide avenue that runs in a straight line, cutting diagonally across the capital city. (View a slideshow of images from the hotel here or by clicking on the photos.)
It's modeled after the great boulevards of Europe, such as Vienna's Ringstrasse and the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
The roundabout containing the famous Diana the Huntress fountain and statue fronts the St. Regis, the foliage of Chapultepec Park borders the hotel and the neighborhoods of La Condesa and Zona Rosa are within walking distance.
"This is a luxury corporate hotel," Bernard de Villele, general manager, told me over dinner at the Chef's Table at the J&G Grill, a restaurant developed by Michelin-starred Jean-Georges Vongerichten and now found in 22 St. Regis hotels around the world. "We are heavily booked during the week. My aim is to make it a luxury corporate resort by being innovative, by reinventing ourselves and by elevating our service to even higher levels."
The St. Regis Mexico City has some impressive competition in Mexico City's luxury arena, including the Four Seasons, Live Aqua Mexico City Hotel & Spa, Las Alcobas, the W Hotel Mexico City, Marquis Reforma and the InterContinental Santa Fe. The Hilton Mexico City Santa Fe opened in April, and the W Hotel Santa Fe will open in 2015.
De Villele is not worried. He said he welcomes properties that elevate the luxury standard, and he is on a track to continue to raise the bar at his property.
He joined the St. Regis Mexico City in February, having served as general manager at the St. Regis Mauritius prior to that and other luxury properties earlier in his career.
It would be hard to improve upon the hotel's service and amenities. The wake-up call and its follow-up came right on time, followed by coffee delivered by Suzette, my butler (every one of the 189 guestrooms has butler service).
The concierge staff, the top-hatted doormen, the maitre d's at Diana restaurant and J&G Grill and all staff greeted me by name.
It wasn't just me. They did it with everyone, and it was a nice touch.
What provided the extra wow factor were the airy public areas filled with unusual fresh flower arrangements; Diana's Terrace, the outside dining area at Diana, which afforded a great front seat for the nonstop action on the Reforma below; and the "fishbowl" kitchen scene at J&G Grill.
"Mexican people like to watch food being cooked, but they don't like to smell it, so we enclosed the kitchen in a big glass window," said Maycoll Calderon, director and executive chef at J&G.
I liked to watch it, too. My spot was the long bar area near the tables, where the specialty was the ginger margarita, rimmed with agave salt.
The menu at J&G Grill changes with the seasons, and the food is fresh, delicious and different, like the avocado pizza the chef showed me how to make in a cooking class and the limes he said were his go-to ingredient for just about every dish.
Cooking classes, $125 per person, are held twice a month for hotel guests, no more than 10 in a group. "We cook, and then we eat what we've cooked," Calderon said.
Guy Santoro, the executive chef at Diana, also oversees Decanter, billed as the smallest restaurant in Mexico City. It is actually a private room in the hotel, seating 12, where Santoro serves up to an eight-course meal upon request.
"I believe that luxury is in the details and in the emotions. At the St. Regis we strive to consistently make a positive emotional deposit in the memory bank of our guests," said de Villele.
That desire to please is apparent throughout the hotel, which opened in 2008. The first two floors are public areas, and the lobby and reception area are on the third floor, reached by elevator.
When guests reach the lobby, they then move to a second bank of elevators accessed by a room card to the guestrooms on floors 3 to 16; floors 17 to 31 are private residences.
I took an elevator from my room on the 10th floor to the Remede Spa on the 15th floor, also the locale of the indoor pool, Jacuzzis and the gym.
For the next hour, I was exfoliated, scrubbed, massaged and lotioned with an agave rub, hot stones, moisturizers and aromatic oils that smelled so delightful I never wanted to wash them off.
"You like?" Alma, the spa therapist, asked me as I awoke from my coma.
"I like, a lot," I said. "Many, many gracias."
De Villele later told me that the staff "desires to place the senses and tastes of our discerning guests in a state of permanent levitation to ensure that they have a gran momento in our vibrant city of Mexico."
My first was over way too soon, but I had managed to tuck many gran momentos of the hotel and the city in my memory bank.
Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.