A hotel with a past

The Hotel Roosevelt, which abuts the Colonia Condesa on Avenida Insurgentes and Avenida Veracruz, opened its doors in  1938. Anecdotes about its past proliferate. Until the mid-1940s, there was a bullfight stadium located in walking distance. An arrangement was made in which the toreros were allowed to change into their bullfighting gear at the Roosevelt, and then march through the streets, parade-style, to the arena. Cubans swear that this is where Fidel and Che stayed while planning the revolution in the late 1950s. Actor Ignacio López Tarso recalled a friendly manager who allowed him to sleep on the roof in the 1950s, before he became a star of Mexican cinema.

By the early 1990s, the Roosevelt had acquired a seedy reputation. Some women who worked at a couple of notorious night spots in spitting distance, the Bar Jemma and Cherry's Bar, would take their clients to the hotel to exercise the world's oldest profession. Soon after, the clubs closed down and a new management took over. Rooms were renovated and the facade was changed (as was the hotel's reptuation). Over the summer, the facade was repainted -- how long will it remain that white? Today it is one of the very few modestly priced hotels in the area, a decidedly expensive neighborhood by Mexico City standards.