In a neighborhood on the verge of rediscovery, JSa Arquitectura transforms a formerly hip hotel into a brand-new hot spot filled with work by emerging designers.

In Mexico City’s central Cuauhtémoc neighborhood, the new Hotel Carlota revives a once-glamorous location. The 36-room hotel takes the place of Hotel Jardín Amazonas, a popular 1970s hangout that had fallen out of favor and lingered on into the 21st century as a run-down budget motel.

Today, as in the 1970s, the central courtyard is an oasis within the city. Along with a pool, the area is also home to a market-centric restaurant.

For architect Javier Sanchez of JSa Arquitectura, the transformation from motel to (boutique) hotel began with
The street-facing mirrored-glass facade is likely a remnant of a 1980s renovation—an attempt to modernize the building as the colonia deteriorated around it. The architects decided to keep what they considered a challenging design element to showcase the concept of the building, much like the neighborhood around it, slowly revealing its beauty layer by layer.

To complete the project, JSa called in an army of young interior designers and emerging artists, who transformed each room into a singular place to stay in the capital city—one that combines chic accommodations with a total immersion in a city's booming design scene.
A pool is still the focal point of the courtyard, but its modernized, streamlined design makes a dramatic statement.
Little remains of the former hotel except for the motel-style exterior corridors, which combine a concrete-brick lattice and plywood details.
Each room was designed by a group of young interior designers and features details like custom wood installations, concrete furniture, rugs by Lagos del Mundo, and works by contemporary artists curated by Arróniz Galería. The black stairs lead up to a private roof deck perfect for sunbathing and enjoying views of the city rising around the hotel.