It was good enough for D.H. Lawrence

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Readers of Mornings in Mexico may recall that this is where D.H. Lawrence slept when he passed through Mexico City in 1923. The Hotel Monte Carlo, on Calle Uruguay in the centro histórico, still seems to be good enough for French backpackers and the sort of couples excited by the smell of mildew during their trysts. However, no matter what your scene, the hotel, whose rooms cost about $15 U.S. at the current exchange rate, has seen better days.

10 thoughts on “It was good enough for D.H. Lawrence

  1. Tapen - October 17, 2009

    Just for it’s location
    alone, it is STILL a
    good value.

    Tapen

  2. Michael Warshauer - October 18, 2009

    ¡Viva el Hotel Montecarlo!
    I started staying there on my second visit to Mexico City, February 1992. It was the equivalent of U.S. $14 a a night for a single room.

    When my wife and I started staying there in ’93, the peso price had risen but the dollar price had dropped. We last stayed there in February, 2004 for about U.S. $25. At that point, I realized that my aching, aging bones needed more comfort and we started staying elsewhere. The acrobatic antics necessary to enter some of the smaller bathrooms no longer amused me, nor were the infamous “eraser” pillows, with a consistency of firm rubber, still tolerable.

    The doorlocks on the rooms were always cantankerous, but fun if you liked puzzles.

    I always enjoyed arising early, going the to branch of the Pastelería Ideal across the street, and bringing back fresh pan dulce for us, the old night clerk, Arnulfo, and later, the security guard.

    Gracias, David, for reawakening memories of our earlier, more adventurous travels in Mexico.

    Saludos,
    Mike

  3. Felipe Zapata - October 18, 2009

    Dang, Mike, I was thinking of staying there at least once just so I could say that I did. But after reading your description of the place, I think I´ll just have to pass.

  4. D.F.rrante - October 19, 2009

    Hi David:

    Im a current member of Adefesio, a site that tries to capture as much elements of the city (Mexico City) as we can get, but, not just without sense. We try to show to the readers, the complexity of our city in a simple way (streets, builings, urbanism, people).. I recently wrote a little review of your book in Spanish, i loved it….PLease tae a look and tell us what u think,,, Best regards

    D.F.rrante

  5. Jose - October 19, 2009

    I thought the pace was good enough to rest for the night on my way down to Oaxaca. By the way I caught your talk to the university students on Mexican TV up here in LA. I think I’ll have to buy your book now.

    J. Velazquez

  6. Judy - October 20, 2009

    I vaguely remember a rotary phone, springy, uneven mattresses and a little window that looked into a sinister cubo de luz, without the luz. The best part of the Montecarlo is that fountain at the reception patio. Everything else is a bit disheartening from there.

  7. Javier - October 20, 2009

    Pase a visitarte David. Ciantas cosas excepcionales hay en el DF. Desde restaurantes, hoteles y tiendas clasicas, hasta le gente que quiere y propicia el turismo. Ojala que haya muchas paginas como esta que inculcan a propios y extraños a visitarnos. Desde la frontera mas bonita de Mexico, Puedras Negras, Coahuila, un amigo os saluda

  8. Susan - November 8, 2009

    I used to always stay at the Montecarlo in the 80’s and early 90’s. The staff remembered me and always let me keep my luggage there when I left for short side trips and the rooms were just right funky.
    Last year I took my husband there and the young guy at the desk hardly looked up from his computer game to greet us, though the phone system is still the old operator panel and phone booth routine. The rooms are dingy, and you are right, absolutely nothing has changed, except perhaps my taste and attitude. Sigh…

  9. Maureen Byrnes - June 14, 2012

    I have “enjoyed” this hotel many times. It would be of great interest to me if you wrote a piece about the old National Library next door. It was once the
    temple of St Augustine, and I believe the Monet Carlo was the old nunnery building. I cannot find anything much about the history of this building when it was a church/temple. When I was last in Mexico, a friend walked into the open front door of the ruined building and witnessed two men (construction workers?) playing catch with an ancient human skull from one of the crypts embedded in the floor. True story!!!

  10. Peter - December 11, 2012

    I stayed here in October 1983 after spending three days and three nights traveling by bus from Wisconsin. I was struck by its oldness, cleanliness and quiet. I am glad to see it is still in business. The 40+ year old telephone on the night stand is an image of the place Ill not forget for some reason.

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