By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
The Presidente InterContinental in Colonia Polanco turned 40 this year, and to commemorate the anniversary, the hotel’s management and staff pulled out all the stops to offer a lavish 300-person, sit-down dinner on Monday, Dec. 4, hosted by Grupo Presidente director of operations Julien Debarle and the hotel’s general manager, Guillermo Valencia.
In addition to a five-course gourmet meal prepared by the hotel’s executive chefs, guests enjoyed the premiere of a 20-minute video chronicling the building’s origins and history.
First opened in August of 1977, for many years, the structure was the only high-end hotel in the Polanco area.
Over the last four decades, it has passed through several ownerships and has become a major tourist landmark in Mexico City.
The brainchild of then-Mexican Presidente Luís Echeverría, the initial million-dollar investment in the structure’s construction constituted the most ambitious five-star lodging in the country at that time.
When the imposing 130-meter-tall hotel first opened, it was known as the Presidente Chapultepec.
Before long, it became a key meeting hub for business leaders, socialites and politicians.
In 1988, the hotel changed hands when it was purchased by the Losada family, which made it the key holding in their Stouffer President hotel collection.
And in 1994, the hotel joined the ranks of the InterContinental Hotels Group and was renamed Presidente InterContinental Ciudad de México.
In the year 2000, the Losada family bought out the Presidente InterContinental nationwide and changed the name to Grupo Presidente.
Thirteen years later, a massive million-dollar, head-to-toe overhaul and remodeling project began, incorporating the latest in state-of-the-art design and technology.
Today, the Presidente InterContinental is still part of Grupo Presidente, a Mexican brand led by Braulio Arsuaga Losada since 2013.