Hotel Marbella was a good value for the price and if you go without specific expectations. If you need basic accommodations that are decently sized to American expectations this place could work for you. This isn't an especially cute corner of the city, but it seems reasonable if you use a little common sense. In large part, I chose the hotel for it's proximity to the Metro, however Ubers are so inexpensive, we took those nearly every place we couldn't walk. Nearly every place we went was less than $5 USD and most of those were under $3, including La Condesa, Zocalo, and Frida Kahlo house. It also looked like there were other streetcar/bus lines just outside as well.
The lobby is very nice and check-in was easy. Rooms seemed very clean and I didn't really notice any other guest noise, maybe once or twice while in the bathroom. There is a bit of street noise, so if you are used to dead quiet, it could be a problem. But if you're a city-dweller and are used to some signs of life outside, you'll probably be fine.
Staff was very responsive whenever we needed something. My husband uses a CPAP machine and the outlet in the room was too far from the bed so the hotel engineer rigged something up so we had a makeshift extension cord. So if you need a CPAP, see if you can fit an extension cord in your luggage. Also we found an additional outlet in the (non-functional) safe in the closet that's a good place to charge your devices.
If your room faces Frontera, close the curtains at night or you're going to have some hot sun smacking you in the face in the morning.
They didn't provide washcloths, they might have them on request, we didn't ask and made do without.
If you walk to the northwest of the hotel you can find some cute local spots. We had breakfast at Volver, a hip little breakfast joint that was delicious. There is a small Mezcal bar if you want to try some different types, La Botica. El Beso Huasteca is a cozy dinner spot with friendly staff. If you walk all the way down Frontera to Av. Alvar Obregon, there are many cute/hip bars and restaurants. To the east is Doctores, which is generally not a recommended neighborhood for tourists. However I didn't particularly feel unsafe near the hotel coming and going.
Breakfast at the hotel is fine, we ate there twice for speed/convenience before starting our days. The buffet is heavily Mexican dishes but they have another breakfast that includes eggs, toast and fruit if you want something standard. We also had a couple quick drinks at the hotel bar a few nights, the bartender who was there was very nice and attentive.
This place isn't hip and happening, but if you want to see some of the real parts of CDMX and public transportation is important to you, it's probably a good fit.
I dithered and ending up booking a 4 night stay at this hotel very last minute. It was Formula 1 weekend and hotel availability was scarce. Turned out to my advantage because I got to know a new neighbourhood which was utterly adorable. I felt very much at home there.
Others have commented that the hotel has a great location. I turned up at about 9pm and thought "hmmm in what way is this a great location?" The hotel is on a fairly busy intersection with Frontera and Chiapas. There are three 24 hour convenience stores on the corners and a BRT station. I got settled in, went to a 7-11 for a bottle of water and then went to the hotel bar for a nightcap. It was closed. The guy in the bar directed me to the mall 2 or 3 blocks away. The mall sucks and this was not great advice. It has international things like Chilli's there. Nobody goes to Mexico City to eat and drink at Chilli's.
I ended up going to the other side of the hospital for tacos from a late night wagon. Sure the area seems a bit sketchy but 5 tacos al pastor for 30 pesos left me happy, I had opened my street food account.
The next day I was having trouble with the hotel internet. There are two SSIDs. "Marbella" and "Marbella_" The latter was the one that worked and I was trying to connect to the former. As such, with work to do I went to Starbucks 9 minutes away in Park Luis Cabrera. At this point I realised what people meant by the great location. In short...
IN FRONT of the hotel is a hospital, medical supplies and funeral directors. This area is a bit chippy after dark and has mindblowing street food for the culinary aficionados. Really the things for sale at small carts and market stalls was headspinning and amazing value.
BEHIND the hotel is an utterly adorable neighbourhood, dozens of cute bars, bookshops and eateries there to be discovered. I walked around this part repeatedly. Top draw cocktails, boutique coffee shops, cheap eats, higher end eats. It has everything and is not overly polished. I felt I was getting an authentic big city experience and it feels very safe.
For those planning a trip. Orizabal has lots of cute bars and restaurants. Frontera has some regional cuisine, The triangle formed by Dr Pasteur is where the street eats are, three blocks north is Av Álvaro Obregón. A major thoroughfare with dozens of hip bars and restaurants. North of Av Álvaro Obregón is more of the same. Hugely walkable tree lined streets with cool independent bars to be discovered. You can have an amazing week of eating and drinking without straying more than 6 blocks from this hotel.
So yes, location for me was perfect.
Back to the hotel though. it is wonderful value for what it is. Check in was unfussy. It is a shame the internet is a bit clunky and you have to frustrate yourself using a SSID that has a very weak connection to the internet before picking the right one.
Reception staff were all adorable. As I said, the bar closes early. The hotel restaurant is always empty, the room service menu was a little international which is a pity given the authenticity of food in the area. I am sure the hotel knows what it's doing but none of the food was anything that I would have ordered. Prices were moderate though just in case you do need a hamburger at midnight.
The room appeared to have been brand new. As if it had been refurbished just before I arrived. No complaints at all in terms of maintenance
The bed was comfy. My room was on the first floor and there is a lot of street noise from the busy intersection outside. However the room had an excellent Honeywell HVAC control panel which heats, cools and vents. It raises the ambient noise level with an ear-pleasing hum and the street noise becomes less of an issue. The vent setting just seems to exist to make a soothing hum.
There was no mini bar in the room so no fridge for those of you that like to get some bottled water and keep it cool. Also no tea and coffee making facilities.
The cleaning regime appeared to be meticulous. I have never seen anything like it. All bedding and all towels are replaced every single day. Not great for the environmentally minded but isn't it lovely to sleep in freshly laundered bedding every single night. Two cleaners come with a variety of sprays and sponges and it is honestly like you sleep in a brand new hotel room every night.
Check out was friendly. I will definitely go back to this hotel. Book with confidence and do your homework about where the eats and drinks are. You will have a great stay.
Authorised taxi from the airport was MXN230 and an Uber back to the airport was MXN93 so cheap to get to and from. The Uber driver commented that the area around the hospital is undesirable, there are people sleeping rough after dark, people looking you up and down, but it's all about the tacos right? Well worth venturing into that area because where else in the world can you get 5 amazing tacos al pastor for a buck and a half?
This is a four stars hotel, and you get what you pay for, this zone is near very big hospitals which are across the street so you might hear some ambulances noises. The buffet is scarce in options but well stocked and tasty, the gym is small but you can get a decent workout while staying here.
Convenience stores just a few steps outside the entrance.
The price range is good.
Facilities are clean and nice, not luxurious. Rooms are average in size and commodities are standard (soap, shampoo, showering cap, and shoe polisher) No hair dryer nor iron. Safety box is there and conveniently has a power outlet inside but you have to ask for the key at the reception.
The shower is small and it`s difficult not to splash all over the bathroom because of the glass door. The water pressure is fine. Mayor drawback: there is no power outlet at the night tables so you have to charge your phone on the opposite side of the room. Compared to the other hotels located in this area (Benidorm Hotel is located just a few steps down the same street) Hotel Marbella appears to be the nicest option.
You get the most bang for your buck at this hotel. For about $63USD you get a clean, comfortable room in a great location. The breakfast is meh (though the fresh fruit is good) and there are no power outlets by the bed (annoying if you have to work or want the phone within arm's reach), and the "views of the city" mean "you can look outside your window and see things". But those were our main gripes, which don't amount to much. For the price it's well worth it.
Try to get a room that isn't on the street. Can get really loud and light sleepers will suffer.
OK, there are quite a lot of fairly critical reviews of this hotel so I am going to be as objective as possible because I think a number of comments are completely unreasonable and represent absurdly disproportionate expectations.
1. First, we paid the equivalent of a little over 50 GB pounds (inc local taxes) for a double room with breakfast included, booked on booking.com. For a decent city centre hotel that's good value, especially when you consider that a dive in Miami with no breakfast included can cost double (and usually does - as we found out just three months ago).
2. The room was fairly spacious. Yes, we could hear traffic noise from outside but it wasn't intrusive and didn't affect our sleep at all. In any case, it's a city so some noise is to be expected. We heard NOTHING at all from adjacent rooms. Beds were good but not outstanding. Air con worked fine. There are no drink facilities in the room. Indeed the very idea of a kettle in Mexico seems to be unknown. We'd spotted that in advance and brought our travel kettle, tea and coffee. The safe may appear to be broken. It isn't. The locking mechanism has been removed, so you go to the front desk, they provide you with a lock plus key and you go to the room, slot it into the hole in the safe door and turn the lock. Bingo! The safe is locked. You withdraw the key and keep it with you. The carpets could do with a deep clean; however, the ladies who cleaned the room were meticulous in their trash removal, bed-making, provision of towels, soaps and so on.
3. Bathroom. This was cramped and the door made it difficult to get round to the toilet. The shower was hot but not especially so and the flow was rather indifferent. So the bathroom was only so-so mainly due to poor design.
4. Internet. This does indeed vary. It's there 95% of the time but does occasionally drop out. On at least three evenings we were able to stream Netflix without problems beyond an isolated instance or two of a fleeting hiatus in the signal. Some evenings it was impossible to stream but email and the normal internet worked fine, albeit a little slowly.
5. Breakfast. Some of the criticisms are baloney. Compared to the plastic offerings at the average Quality Inn or Best Western in the US the buffet breakfast here is like a feast. There are three service surfaces. One has bread, jams and cereal, one has fruit, yogurt and juice, and the third has a variety of hot dishes of Mexican type and a chef who will cook you fresh eggs to order. While this was not absolutely the greatest hotel breakfast since time began it was a quantum leap better than ANYTHING we have had in US motels over 35 trips there, and is more comparable to going into a diner.
6. Location. The hotel is close to a metro station (Hospidal General) and there are plenty of other eating places up and down the road the hotel is in (though the hotel has an all-day restaurant anyway). It took about 45 minutes by taxi to get to the hotel when we arrived here, thanks mainly to heavy traffic.
7. General service is good to middling. The staff didn't exactly fall over themselves to tell us anything. So for example no-one mentioned the safe lock arrangement, or the need to collect a breakfast ticket each morning (if it's part of the deal you've booked).
Overall: for a major city centre motel in a good neighbourhood I think we got very good value for the money. A week in a decent US motel would have cost at least 50% more (perhaps $95 per night compared to the $60-65 we paid here) and only included a crummy plastic breakfast with rubber processed eggs and bread made of sawdust. Of course it has some shortcomings but it is not expensive and overall that makes this hotel a very acceptable option for a short or moderately extended stay..
Recommendations: bring a travel kettle, mugs and tea/coffee, and an HDMI cable to plug a laptop into the TV.