This was our first visit to Mexico City & we wanted an affordable place that was both close to the Zocalo and not too close due to noise. Hotel Principal was a fair place on both counts. I reserved online through booking.com a king room w/ private bath for under $40/ night. When we got to the hotel and showed our reservation, the desk clerk first gave us a tiny windowless room with only a double bed & a bathroom down the hall; after one glance at the room we went back and insisted on the King w/ private bath and were given one without argument. The bed was clean & firm, there were 2 old night stands & a desk w/ chair.
The location was pretty perfect: 4 blocks from the Allende Metro stop (& Cafe Tacuba!) and about 5 blocks to the Zocalo with all its busy-ness, culture & charm. Hotel Principal is across from the Supreme Court, on Bolivar, which is a semi-busy street (as are most streets in Centro Historico) and we endured jack-hammers in the middle of the night on 2 occasions (Sat 4am & Mon 1am). The windows & walls are thin & we had an unhappy baby next door. Earplugs recommended. Saturday night they had Bolivar restricted to bicycle traffic, which we thought was great: thousands of cyclists pedaling around for hours!
The free wi-fi was pretty sketchy, sometimes non-existent, sometimes fair if one sat in the middle of the bed & pointed the computer in the right direction. They provided 2 bottles of drinking water & glasses in the room (no coffee or fridge).
The cleaning staff uses some very potent toxic cleansers to which we had an allergic reaction so we taped a note to the door asking them to not clean the room during our stay due to allergies and, though they still made up the bed, we didn't have any further issues with the toxic bathroom problem.
Security was somewhat of an issue: the room safe had no locking device on it; also while we were expected to leave our key at the desk while out of the bldg, we did so only once because upon our return at midnight the desk was unmanned and there were all the keys for anyone to take, so we took ours and kept it with us from then on.
Over all, we got what we paid for: a clean, cheap place to sleep, close to the action & public transportation. This is a good hotel for travellers on a budget who don't mind a very basic room.
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- Also Known As:
- Principal Hotel Mexico City
- Hotel Principal Mexico City