The Mexican boutique hotel company Grupo Habita really does have its fingers on the pulse when it comes to opening in the right neighborhoods. Their design hotels seem to pop up just seconds before another area hits the big time. In this case, it’s the city’s downtown, or “Centro,” which has undergone a massive re-haul in the past decade—thanks in part to Mexican multi-billionaire Carlos Slim—and is now suddenly the place everyone wants to be. Downtown is located in a 17th-century palace, with a classic colonial courtyard, a 1940’s mural by Rafael Gonzalez Lozano, and 17 pared-down bedrooms with high vaulted ceilings, traditional terracotta-tiled floors, and many original architectural details. With a rooftop pool and bar overlooking the other ornate colonial rooftops of the Centro, it’s a pretty ideal oasis from the bustling streets. The Downtown shares the palace with several small, independent boutiques, the traditional Mexican restaurant Azul Historico, and a hostel named Downtown Beds.

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