Creating an oasis in the city at the Andaz Mexico City Condesa

Andaz Mexico City Condesa with Jacaranda trees in bloom
Andaz Mexico City Condesa with Jacaranda trees in bloom

Come springtime, Mexico City (CDMX) is set ablaze in enchanting swathes of lavender and mauve as the Jacaranda trees enter bloom, littering the parks and grand avenues with flowers and pleasant aromas to contrast the sprawling metropolis all around. Not yet drowning in heat and with cool evenings, April is the perfect time of year to visit the city which itself is entering a hospitality renaissance with tourists discovering this cultural and gastronomic capital while corporate travelers continue to deliver a consistent flow of midweek stays as businesses in CDMX benefits from Mexico’s current economic boom.

Against this backdrop, the Andaz Mexico City Condesa is one such newcomer, having just recently celebrated its first anniversary. Tucked just off the main thoroughfare of Avenida de los Insurgentes in the trendy and perfectly safe downtown neighborhood of Condesa-Roma, this hotel of 213 rooms including 20 suites represents a shining example of how dynamic, multi-space programming can drive demand from different segments and boost total revenue by increasing onsite capture per guest (TRevPAR or TRevPAG).

Following our first report on this luxury property where we focused on how generating a sense of community can diversify revenues and heighten guest satisfaction, one of this article’s coauthored byline (Adam) had the opportunity to revisit the Andaz Mexico City Condesa this past April, both to experience even more of the many gems in CDMX and also to uncover how the management team has created a veritable ‘Oasis in the City’ with diverse F&B offerings and event spaces.

To fully exploring the Andaz Mexico City Condesa and how it’s gone about crafting such a vibrant, TRevPAR-centric hotel, we interviewed both the property’s General Manager, Analia Capurro, as well as the Senior Marketing & Communications Manager, Antonio Mejia, discussing how the hotel programs for the leisure, hybrid and group segments across its four signature restaurants and six M&E spaces.

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Highlighting the city’s growth

Already getting close to 25 million inhabitants and as a city where north meets south, CDMX is developing and gentrifying at an electric pace due to a variety of converging factors. The nation itself is perhaps the largest beneficiary of the American nearshoring movement while new states and regions continue to open up for tourism and the burgeoning short-term rental market for those who can work remotely. Then for agriculture, Mexico is trumps all but a few – avocados, corn, beans, tomatoes, citrus fruit, chocolate, coffee and plenty more – while mining is also on the upswing. All this capital inevitably converges on CDMX.

Fun, eclectic and colorful seating at Cabuya Rooftop at Andaz Mexico City Condesa

Besides the corporate engine which has always delivered strong midweek occupancy, Mexico City has arguably the best culinary scene in the Americas, and the word is now out. Much like how the nation’s businesses congregate on CDMX, so too does its diverge heritage of regionally specific cuisines. While the city is famous for its al pastor tacos, these are but the tip of the iceberg for what’s on hand in any given neighborhood.

Combine this with numerous historical sites and museums, and it’s no wonder North Americas are now hopping down in droves for a weekend jaunt or a multi-day stopover before heading out to another lesser-known part of the country that lacks direct flights from the United States or Canada.

Beyond the ever-popular Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerta Vallarta (which all have directs from major cities in the lower 48 and also from other international gateways), think Guadalajara, Mérida, Oaxaca City, Puerto Escondido, San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato and Tulum (with its brand new airport that just opened in March), all just a quick flight from the nexus that is CDMX. And to give you a sense of this growth at the luxury end, besides the Andaz Mexico City Condesa, other recent openings include The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City in October 2021 and Soho House Mexico City in September 2023, with 1 Hotels, Park Hyatt and Rosewood all having properties in development.

How different hotel spaces increase group spend

The megatrend of megatrends for travel going forward is the prioritization of experiences and the ‘monetary value of time’ by consumers. While location and price will always be important criteria, hotel guests are increasingly optimizing for experiences over other factors by selecting properties that have outstanding amenities – both in the room and on premises – so that they have more at their immediate disposal versus having to venture elsewhere.

Comfortable, lounge seating at Derba Matcha Café at Andaz Mexico City Condesa

While there are numerous examples of hotels innovating in this regard, specifically for the Andaz Mexico City Condesa let’s focus on how this ‘amenitization’ affects the group segment. As Capurro pointed out, the property has hosted many multiday events over the past year where the entire itinerary takes place at various venues on property instead of, for instance, bussing the group to an offsite venue for one or more evening affairs. The hotel’s size means it can accommodate large room blocks while facilities like the 24-hour fitness center and the gourmet Derba Matcha Café around the corner from the front desk ensure group guests are well provided for in their spare time.

As one example in particular, Capurro cited a recent 120-someodd-guest wedding where the 17th-floor Cabuya Rooftop – festooned in hanging plants, eclectic furniture and colorful murals – was set up for a daytime ceremony, with the arch and altar positioned next to the pool for a captivating background of CDMX’s skyline comprised of the towers along La Reforma and in Polanco further afield. The reception was then held in the main, 6,157-square-foot ballroom capable of handling all banqueting needs, while the full-service Pasana Spa & Wellness on the second floor handled all the bridal party preparations. One breakfast for the group was held at a third space – Pórtico Restaurant, an artsy yet functional space on the first floor that extends into the courtyard – while another utilized a couple breakout rooms.

“From the standpoint of the wedding planner, having everything in one location means peace of mind,” commented Capurro. “Shuttling guests to and from offsite venues is often a logistical nightmare, but it’s done because planners want to introduce variety to the program in order to make the experience more memorable. Maximizing onsite capture is thus not a matter of building yet another banquet hall. Each space needs its own personality in order to create unique moments in time.”

Adding to this, Capurro remarked that, during the sales process, the Andaz Mexico City Condesa was specifically chosen because its spaces were all unique in both orientation, themed décor and artwork, thus creating different moods for each individual event on the schedule. Furthermore, because of the property’s amenitization, the group block was secured for three nights instead of two, representing a huge bump in the total contract value.

How different hotel spaces increase leisure spend

This prioritization of experiences is equally as strong in the leisure transient and blended travel (bleisure) segments. It all harks back to the desire to have a flexible home base while exploring a destination. For instance, Cabuya Rooftop is a big draw at any hour that it’s open (when not booked out for a wedding!), with a sunlit pool, comfy lounge arrangements, a tasty seafood-skewing menu, and a full selection of cocktails and mezcal. It works for families, couples, corporate guests wanting a reprieve, digital nomads who pull out their laptop to fire off some emails or locals wanting a scenic spot for lunch.

Breakfast buffet setup at Pórtico at Andaz Mexico City Condesa

The aforementioned Derba Matcha Café offers yet more varied programming for guests to spread out and change it up without having to leave the premises. Also, in the ground-floor courtyard is Pórtico that’s been given a Tulum aesthetic of rustic, natural furnishings centered on two oversized art installations.

And in preparation for a six-week renovation to fully enclose Cabuya Rooftop so that it’s rain-resilient, the programming at Pórtico has been expanded to include service during evening hours. Pasana Spa has likewise introduced a new Indulge in Serenity package, targeting both leisure travelers and local day guests.

It’s this sort of dynamic, diverse programming that will convince blended or hybrid travelers to reserve that extra shoulder night around a midweek business trip or persuade their hubby to tag along for ‘plus one travel’ where one occupant goes off to their meetings for the day while the other uses the onsite amenities. The city is always there for the taking, but when guests are a bit tired, not fully dressed, undercaffeinated or don’t have time to contend with Mexico City’s traffic, an oasis is they want.

When you craft such a place where each space is its own personality, word will inevitably get out and your metrics will improve over time. As a start, you’ll notice a gradual increase in length of stay (LOS) and TRevPAR, while the weekday-weekend occupancy ebbs and flows will smooth out, resulting in both a higher average occupancy rate and reduced cost per occupied room (CPOR) as the crunch of having all checkout cleans on a Friday or Sunday will be offset by longer average stays.

In discussing this progression with Mejia, the uptick in ancillary spend also correlates with more return visits and better lead time pacing. As all the onsite activity helps to brand equity, this then translates into a greater volume of direct bookings (RevDirect) versus the OTAs and a reduced need for intensive programmatic ad campaign spend, together boosting net revenues. Taking all these factors into account, the increased demand and heightened perceived value allow a property with personality like the Andaz Mexico City Condesa to raise rates above benchmarks for even better long-term growth.

In such a place as CDMX where north meets south and all the timeless history of Mexico comes together, this oasis-in-the-city example is thus one that everyone should watch as both a perennially healthy business and an experiential trendsetter for hospitality. It all comes back to the programming and the tireless work from team members like Capurro and Mejia to ensure that all the onsite spaces are exceptional in their own way.

Tags: Andaz Mexico City Condesa, group spend, leisure spend

Managing Partners at Hotel Mogel Consulting, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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