Bargain hotels in Mexico City Advice: It's not difficult to find a place with a double room for $25 or less.


Can you supply the names of some centrally located budget hotels in Mexico City? I'd like to spend $25 or less for a double room.

You're in luck -- scores of hotels in Mexico City cater to a budget-conscious clientele. And with the recent slide in the peso exchange rate, you can stretch your dollars even further. (As of a few days ago, the peso was worth around 13 cents.)

In the Centro Historico, the neighborhood that surrounds the grand central square known as the Zocalo, and in a few other spots, there's a bargain hotel on almost every block. Typically, rooms cost between $10 and $25, and come with clean beds, sheets and towels. Some have televisions, some have a desk and chair, and all have individual bathrooms and hot water 24 hours a day.

Ten minutes from the Zocalo, through two giant wooden doors and into a modest colonial-style atrium is the 50-room Hotel Montecarlo at 64 Uruguay, one of the city's great bargains. Clean, well-appointed rooms surround the three-story atrium. The best part is the price: $10.25 for a room for two. Information: (525) 514-1418.

Five long blocks from the Montecarlo, at 34 Belisario Dominguez, is the 70-room Hotel Antillas, with colonial ceiling beams, a pleasant bar and double rooms for about $15. Information: (525) 526-5674.

South of the Palacio de Bellas Artes is the 103-room Hotel Marlowe at 17 Independencia, with a pleasant dining room and double rooms for $25. Information: (525) 521-9540.

One drawback of staying so close to downtown is the noise. The area also attracts a fair number of petty criminals. Visitors should be wary of street crime, and it is prudent not to leave valuables in your hotel room.

If you're looking for a quieter neighborhood, you might try the 45-room Hotel Edison, named for the inventor, in the Tabacalera district west of the Zocalo at 106 Edison. The entrance is a little dark, but the rooms are modern, spacious and well-lighted, and the water pressure is great. Doubles start at $14. Information: (525) 566-0933.

For a trip in the late spring or summer to Italy's Umbria region, I would like this information: distance from Perugia to Rome and hotels in Orvieto and Perugia.

Umbria is a region of hills, rivers and deep valleys in central Italy. Orvieto, some 75 miles north of Rome, is set on a great rock near the Paglia River. Its Old Town is strongly medieval in character.

The hotel La Badia, (39-763) 90359, fax (39-763) 92796, about 3 1/2 miles south of Orvieto, is in a renovated 12th-century abbey. There are tennis courts and a pool on the grounds. The hotel has 26 rooms, all with bath; a double costs about $170. Specialties of the restaurant include crepes filled with ricotta and spinach with a gratin bechamel sauce. A meal for two, with wine, is about $95. La Badia is closed January and February. The Virgilio, 5-6 Piazza Duomo, (39-763) 341882, fax (39-763) 343797, is across from Orvieto's cathedral. There are 13 rooms, all with bath, and a double costs about $115. It is closed from Jan. 15 to Feb. 15.

Perugia, on hills overlooking the Tiber Valley, is some 107 miles north of Rome. The capital of Umbria, it has medieval and Renaissance buildings and remains of Etruscan walls.

The hotel Brufani, 12 Piazza Italia, (39-75) 573-2541, fax (39-75) 572-0210, is on a cliff edge near the city center. Built in 1884, it is undergoing a renovation. It has a cafe-restaurant, and there are 20 rooms and four suites, all with bath and most with a view. A double costs about $327. In the same square is La Rosetta, 19 Piazza Italia, telephone and fax (39-75) 572-0841. Established in 1922, it slowly took over surrounding palazzi and now has 96 rooms, all with bath. A double costs about $110.

All the hotels accept some credit cards; the prices listed are for June 1997.

Pub Date: 12/08/96

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