The Condesa DF is the latest in a string of design hotels to open in Mexico - its sister establishments include the minimalist Habita hotel and Deseo in Playa del Carmen.

In a 1920s wedge-shaped building in the heart of the Bohemian Condesa neighbourhood, its central feature is the triangular "Patio", home to the restaurant and bar.

Rows of white shutters create geometric patterns across three floors leading to open sky. Lush green foliage, turquoise walls and brown textiles dispel any notion of minimalism. Fibreglass lamps shaped like balls of wool hang in the bar, while cosy alcoves are filled with retro furnishings and rich walnut seating.

A floral motif recurs throughout the hotel - from the cushion covers down to the customised chopstick wrappers accompanying the sushi served at the rooftop juice bar. The roof terrace, with its peaceful treetop views, is also home to a hammam, thermal bath and gym. Meanwhile, a slick nightclub and cinema fill the basement.

LOCATION

Condesa DF, Avenida Veracruz 102, Condesa, Mexico DF (00 52 555241 2600, www.condesadf.com).

The hotel's peaceful location contrasts with the city's clichéd image of smog, traffic and over-population. With its wide, jacaranda-lined streets dotted with bars, art galleries and boutiques, Condesa is emerging as a neighbourhood stylish enough to rival the fashionable Polanca in the trend stakes. An added bonus is the fact that the hotel is next door to the verdant Parque Espana.

Time from international airport: The journey can take between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on the traffic, and costs around Mex$359 (£16)

COMFORTABLE?

The 40 airy bedrooms are tastefully designed in moss green, cream and chocolate brown, spiced up with retro lamps and indigenous touches such as hand woven rugs from Oaxaca. IPods - nailed down to bedside tables - feature in each of the rooms while minimalist terrazzo tiling fills the spacious bathrooms. Try to avoid the "patio" rooms, however, which have only internal windows looking over the courtyard. Meanwhile, the "balcony" rooms, while spacious with large windows, somewhat bizarrely have no balcony. The best place to stay is in one of the "terrace" rooms, which have large, outdoor decked areas, perfect for al fresco breakfasting or star-gazing.

But the king of all rooms has to be the Top Suite: complete with glass-fronted walls, a wraparound roof terrace and booming sound system, it is even possible to hire the space for up to 70 of your closest friends, should you so desire.

Freebies: In keeping with the establishment's design-conscious ethos, cool white bottles of New York's Malin + Goetz bergamot body cleanser and peppermint shampoo.

BOTTOM LINE

Doubles start at US$145 (£80), up to US$395 (£219).

I'm not paying that: Stay instead in a balcony room in the Colonia Roma at Casa de la Condesa, Plaza Luis Cabrera 16. Doubles from US$74 (£41) (00 52 55 5584 3089).

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