Selina Mexico City Downtown: A Detailed Review

Mexico City is a culturally rich and gastronomic hub that every traveler to Mexico should aim to visit. The Selina hostel chain has changed the landscape of hostel travel in Mexico, and their Mexico City facility receives travelers from across the globe. In this post, I’ll share my Selina Mexico City Downtown review with you.

Before you start rolling your eyes, know that I paid in full for my stay and I’m receiving no benefits for writing this post. On the contrary—Selina doesn’t even know I’m writing it.

So, sit back and enjoy my uninfluenced opinion based on the three weeks I spent at Selina Mexico City Downtown.

Accessibility Note: Selina Mexico City Downtown is not wheelchair accessible. If you’re a wheelchair user, head over to our post on Things to do in Mexico City.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, we might make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

My Selina Background

I’m a huge advocate of Selina. As a digital nomad, I love that many Selinas have a cowork facility. While 90% of the time I stay in a dorm room, it’s good to know that there are various private room options I can choose from when I’ve slept one too many nights with snoring dorm companions.

Of course, Selina isn’t for everyone. It draws in a crowd that teeters between backpack partiers and backpack digital nomads.

Since COVID, I’ve noticed more digital nomads infiltrating Selinas in Mexico. And with that has come a greater range of guest ages (i.e., not everyone is straight out of high school or college).

Although I almost always choose to stay at Selina when a destination permits it, the hostel chain isn’t without faults. I’ll be covering the good and the not so great about at Selina Mexico City Downtown.

Cowork at Selina Mexico City Downtown.
Cowork area.

What Does Google Think?

I’m in the midst of writing Selina reviews across Mexico. It always interests (and sometimes amuses) me to see how Google categorizes any given Selina.

In the case of Selina Mexico City Downtown, Google rates it as a 2-star facility. That’s spot on, in my opinion.

Selina is a hostel, but it also offers far more amenities than most other hostels. That, coupled with the array of room options—some of which are downright luxurious when you get into the Suite and Apartment categories—make it a solid 2-star accommodation.

Selina Mexico City Downtown Location

Selina is located near enough to Mexico City’s downtown historic center. But it’s a far cry from being right on it. Instead, expect around a 10-minute walk to get there.

The walk is fine to do during the day. As a single woman, I made the trip nearly every day. However, male or female, single or with a group, I wouldn’t venture walking anywhere outside the hostel at night.

Selina Mexico City Downtown isn’t in a tourist area. That comes with big benefits—you’ll be a block away from a huge market, there are loads of cheap street food stands, and no one will try to sell you souvenirs.

However, security is slim aside from Selina’s 24-hour security guard, which we’ll touch on later in this post.

On the plus side, you’ll be within walking distance to a handful of metro stations, making it a breeze to get anywhere in and around Mexico City.

Travel Tip: On the walk from Selina to the Zócalo (the main square in the historical center), stop for an ice cream churro sandwich at El Morro. The sandwich is called consuelo in Spanish. It’s to die for!

Now that we’ve covered location, let’s move on with this Selina Mexico City Downtown review and talk about the hostel itself.

Hostel Setup

Here’s a fun fact about Selina Mexico City Downtown—it used to be a hotel. A huge hotel, in fact, that can accommodate hundreds of guests.

Remnants of the former hotel’s glory days are still prevalent in the lobby, which has an elaborate staircase and chandelier.

Let’s back up to those steps, though. They’re steep, and they’re the only way to enter the building. So if you have limited mobility—or break your leg trying your hand at a Lucha Libre match—I don’t recommend staying there.

A large check-in area will greet you at the top of those steps. To your right will be a restaurant and lounge area. It’s also where Selina hosts many events—both for guests and events arranged by locals for locals. To your left, a staircase leads up to the cowork space.

After you check-in (which can be a brutally long process, and seems to be Selina’s undoubtedly unwanted signature), head towards the back of the hotel. There, more stairs will greet you.

An elevator will too, if it’s working.

But that darn elevator, let me tell you. It worked for only a few of the days during my 3-week stay. They were doing some major revamping of it when I left, so we can only hope the situation is better now.

Did I mention it’s a massive, multi-story hostel?

My advice to you is to bring a backpack and expect to hike up those stairs. If the elevator is working, then it’ll be a pleasant treat.

The elevator at Selina Mexico City Downtown that rarely works.
The ornery elevator.

Rooms at Selina Mexico City Downtown

Now we’ve arrived at our Selina Mexico City Downtown review where we’ll talk about what’s likely one of the most important things to you—the rooms.

Dorm Rooms

Selina Mexico City Downtown offers the following types of dorm rooms:

  • 4 beds
  • 8 beds
  • 10 beds
  • 12 beds (Male & female)
  • 12 beds (Female only)
  • 12 beds
  • 14 beds
  • 16 beds
  • 20 beds

Holy smokes, that’s a lot of beds!

As you can probably imagine, it’s possible to snag super low prices if you can tolerate the higher number of beds.

All dorm rooms come with sheets, a personal locker (you’ll need to bring your own lock). Some also have an en-suite bathroom.

If the bathroom in your room is occupied, there are plenty of other communal bathrooms you can use. The cool part about this is since the hostel used to be a hotel, the bathrooms tend to be spacious and fancy.

As a word of warning, not all the rooms have windows, which was the case with my 4-bedroom dorm. It had a fan that helped with airflow, but I was still craving a window.

Towels and blankets are available for rent. You’ll need to ask the front desk for details.

The dorm beds at Selina Mexico City Downtown leave a lot to be desired compared to some of Selina’s other destinations. They have an approximately 2-foot board by your head, which offers minimal privacy.

Example of bunk beds.

However, you’ll have access to a small shelf and (usually) an outlet near your bed. The mattresses themselves are decent, especially for hostel standards.

Travel Tip: If you are spending a lot of time staying in dorm rooms, consider bringing your own blankets and/or sheets. Snag a bottom bunk, then use the sheets to form your own little private tent.

Example of a fort tent you can make if you have a bottom bunk in a Selina dorm room:

My bunk bed with hanging blankets and sheets for privacy.
This setup kept me sane during my 3-months of dorm room hostel living in Mexico.

Private Rooms

There is no shortage of private room categories at Selina. When it comes to the Suites and Apartments, the decor and amenities are unmatched by many hotels.

So, if you’ve got the money to spare, consider staying in one of these options.

The Micro: An ultra-tiny room with a full-size bed and barely enough floor space to put your luggage. It’s the most economical option on this list and perfect for those wanting privacy without an extra-big price tag. You’ll need to share a nearby bathroom. It can hold up to two people and comes with towels and free toiletries.

The Standard: A more spacious option than The Micro for up to two travelers sharing a full-size bed. You’ll have a private bathroom. It comes with towels and free toiletries.

Standard Triple: Perfect for three traveling friends. You’ll have one bunk bed and one single twin-size bed. It’s equipped with an en-suite bathroom.

The Twins: An option for two traveling friends. You’ll have two single twin-size beds and a private bathroom.

Family Room: This private four-person room comes with either one bunk bed and two twin size beds or one bunk bed and one queen-size bed. You get to choose the style, subject to availability. You’ll have a private bathroom.

The Suite: A spacious and beautifully designed room with a private bathroom and Selina’s premium in-room amenities. It comes with towels and free toiletries.

The Suite+: Treat yourself to luxury with this comfortable getaway room. You’ll have a king or queen-sized bed, a table, sofas, chairs, and a private bathroom. Towels and toiletries are included.

Basic Studio Apartment, Studio Apartment & Studio Apartment+: Perfect for the long-term traveler, the Studio Apartments have all the comforts of home, including kitchens. You’ll have loads of space, a table to work at, and an area (or more) to lounge in.

A Note on Selina Pricing

Selina operates on a flexible pricing schedule. The following factors determine the price of your room:

  • How far in advance you book. The farther ahead you book, the cheaper your room will cost.
  • The number of nights you stay. The longer you stay, the cheaper the price per night will be.
  • Refundable vs. non-refundable rate. The non-refundable rate is cheaper than the refundable rate.
  • Whether you book with or without breakfast, Selina’s breakfasts are seriously amazing, so I recommend booking with breakfast included!
  • Whether or not they’re running any promotions. Promotions happen often, so keep your eye out for them.

At the end of the day, you’re more likely to get a good deal on your room (and encounter availability) if you aim to make your reservation as soon as you know your travel dates. It’s pretty amazing speaking with fellow travelers and learning just how much they paid for their last-minute stay!

Amenities

A Selina Mexico City Downtown review wouldn’t be complete without covering the amenities it offers guests.

One of the biggest attractions to the Selina brand is that they design their hostels so you don’t ever have to leave if you don’t want to. Obviously, as travelers, we want to. But you get the point.

Here’s what you’ll get to enjoy by staying at Selina Mexico City Downtown:

  • Free events and activities
  • Cowork space
  • Bar
  • Great WiFi
  • Communal kitchen
  • Art Gallery
  • Movie room
  • Tour desk
  • Library
  • Restaurant with AMAZING food

You can also bring your pet, provided you stay in a private room.

Selina Mexico City Downtown Cowork

I spent three weeks working at Selina’s Mexico City Downtown cowork space and absolutely loved it. There were plenty of places for me to set up my temporary workspace, whether it be at a long, communal table, a private cushy booth, or in gigantic beanbag chairs.

Booth at the Selina Mexico City Downtown cowork.

There were a few private booths for making calls, though the insulation was poor.

Since the cowork sits on the second floor above a noisy street, some of the street noise came into the cowork. I didn’t mind and appreciated the fresh air, but I imagine this could make it tricky for people needing a quieter workspace.

The WiFi was excellent, as is the case with nearly every Selina cowork I’ve been to.

A number of insulated glass offices surround the outskirts of the communal cowork space. It’s primarily locals who rent these spaces out, so it was nice working alongside people who weren’t strictly tourists.

There was always plenty of free water, tea, and coffee. Often, there were even little cookies or other goodies to eat.

I never had an issue finding a place to work in the communal area. On the contrary, it’s such a beautiful space—and such a large space—that it’s a shame more people don’t take advantage of working there.

Are you thinking about purchasing a colive package? If so, make sure to check out my Selina Coliving Review. I’ll show you when Selina’s coliving is a deal and when it’ll drain your money.

Important: The cowork space isn’t included with your room price. You’ll need to book and pay for this separately. There’s usually not an issue with availability if you book it upon your arrival.

P.S.- Are you interested in learning about other Selina cowork spaces in Mexico? Check out my Selina Mexico Cowork Review.

Safety

A 24/7 guard stands in front of the hostel. Normally, Selina only hires guards for the evening shift, so I think this speaks a lot for the area that the hostel is in.

That being said, I felt very safe during my stay at Selina, both inside and outside the hostel (again, I only ever walked the streets in the daytime).

The only other point worth mentioning here is that Selina hosts an incredible number of events, many geared towards and/or designed by locals. This means that at times the lobby area of the hostel gets really full.

Given this, it would be easy enough for someone with bad intentions to sneak in and hang back when the event is over. However, there’s always someone at the front desk and front door, which adds a layer of safety.

Cleanliness

As for my Selina Mexico City Downtown review of cleanliness, I was satisfied. Anyone who expects 100% cleanliness from a hostel all the time shouldn’t be staying at one. The staff could go through and do a thorough clean, and then literally, one minute later, a guest could come through and undo the work.

What I enjoyed most regarding the cleanliness is that there were so many bathroom choices. Not only that, but the communal bathrooms were individual and spacious since they used to be for a nicer hotel.

As for the cowork space, they cleaned it thoroughly every morning and brought in fresh water.

Selina Cancun Downtown Review: The Good

  • Vibrant, 60s-themed decor
  • Excellent WiFi
  • Spacious cowork
  • 24/7 security
  • Options for up to 20 beds in a dorm
  • Option for a female-only dorm
  • Tons of free local and Selina-sponsored events

Selina Cancun Downtown Review: The Not So Good

  • Steep staircase at the entrance
  • Elevator tends to break
  • The location isn’t a negative per se, but it’s about a 10-minute walk to get to the attractions.

Bonus: Bus Travel in Mexico

ADO is by far the best company for traveling around Mexico. Their buses are new, clean, comfy, and equipped with air conditioning and WiFi. If trying to book your bus ticket on ADO’s website makes your head spin, I recommend booking your ADO bus ticket through our friends at Bookaway.

I use Bookaway for most of my Mexico ground travel. You can even book a private transfer with them if that’s your style.

Selina Hopping?

If you’ll be staying at other Selinas in Mexico, check out my reviews on a few of their other properties:

Selina Cancun Downtown

Selina Isla Mujeres

Selina Oaxaca

Selina Playa del Carmen

Selina Puerto Escondido

That’s a Selina Wrap

Selina Mexico City Downtown offers an excellent base for exploring Mexico. Whether you want to walk to the center by foot or hop on the nearby metro to wander further, you’ll be able to do it all from this location. The staff was friendly, and in good ‘ole Selina style, their restaurant food was drool-worthy.

Questions? Leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help.

Alternatively, have you already stayed at this Selina facility? If so, what are your thoughts about my Selina Mexico City Downtown review? I’d love to hear about your own experience in the comments section, and I know others reading this will too.

Happy Travels!