The Red Tree House – An Oasis in Mexico City
Sometimes its best to avoid the tried and true path of travel, and venture out to find a new discovery. Mexico City is exceptionally large in size, making the decision on where to stay somewhat challenging. Although the extensive subway system can get you from one end of the city to the other (for less than a dollar), being in a desirable location for shopping, dining, and just strolling about, should remain a key factor in where you decide to lay your hat at the end of the day.
For LGBT travellers, many choose to stay in the Zona Rosa (gay) area, which is adjacent to the Reforma (financial) area, and there are plenty of mainstream chain hotels to choose from. However, like in many larger cities around the world, there’s often a second emerging gay district in the city that is known primarily by the locals. In Mexico City, this is the Condessa area, and it’s where you’ll find an array of dining and accommodation options. After visiting both Zona Rosa and Condessa, I definitely had a preference for the latter.
Condessa comes across as more fashion-forward, artistic driven, and upscale neighbourhood than the much more commercialized, city-like, hectic pace of Zona Rosa. Sure, this is where the nightclubs, bars, and sex-shops are located, but it’s also only about a 30-minute walk, 3-subway stops, or $10.00 cab ride away.
The gay-owned Red Tree House is a small piece of oasis within the confines of a big city. It’s located on a side residential street, yet only steps away from some of the top restaurants and designer name shopping. Rooms range from standard with king bed ($100), to suites ($150). The penthouse at the top has two separate and detached bedrooms, each with their own full bathrooms, and separated by an outdoor rooftop terrace ($250). All suites include a separate lounging area and kitchenette with a mini-fridge. Hot and cold buffet breakfast is included with all room types.
The reception and hospitality staff go over the top to make sure the needs of every guest are met, and they are more than happy to offer directions or suggestions on nearby places to visit. As well, there’s an evening “happy hour” where guests are welcome to have a complimentary glass of wine or locally crafted beer, and mingle with others staying at the property. It’s a great way to strike up a conversation, especially for those who might be travelling on their own.
The common area is split into a front lounge with sofas and chairs, and a dining area with a long shared communal table. There’s definitely a feel to this place that makes you think you are staying with family or friends, which in a way you are. The walls are adorned with artwork from both local and international artists, a great library of books in a variety of languages, an outdoor interior terrace to relax in, and there’s even a resident dog that greets guests upon their arrival after a day of sightseeing. It’s that added attention to detail that makes this place so comfortable.
There’s no restaurant onsite, so other than the included breakfast, guests can enjoy the abundance of international dining options available within a few blocks. Walking around the neighbourhood day or night there’s always people roaming around, mostly residents from the area, but some tourists as well. As well, it’s not uncommon to see same-sex couples openly embracing or walking hand-in-hand without a glance from anyone. Establishments in the area are more gay-friendly, and tend to be more subdued bars and pubs, than the larger scale nightclubs found in Zona Rosa.
The hotel can arrange airport transportation, bike rentals, and more. So next time you’re planning a visit to Mexico City, be sure to check out The Red Tree House in Condessa.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.