Lodging in Mexico City can be very cheap, and I can say there are lodgings for all budgets. We have nice hotels which aren't expensive at all, and some of them are very well located depending on the area where you want to be. Again, I suggest that you stay in the central-south part of the town, but obviously the closer you are to downtown or the touristic zones, the more expensive the lodging will be.
There are a couple of hotels I recommend very much, where my ex-fiance used to stay every time he came to Mexico City and which are nice (I've been there so I saw it with my very own eyes!). Both are placed down south, close to Coyoacan area and right in front of a metro station. The 2 hotels are next door from each other and their prices are very similar, just about the same actually. These are the MONTREAL and the FINISTERRE hotels.
Unique Quality: The rooms are fairly big (as well as the beds & bathrooms) and clean, good looking and they have cable TV. The hotels have their own restaurants, but they're expensive and it's better to walk a few meters and go to the nearby restaurants, which are cheaper. Both hotels are located across the street from a Metro station (Taxqueña), which will allow you to move around and go to the most interesting parts of the city easily and quickly (it's the starting point both for the metro blue line #2, which leaves you right in downtown, and the train that takes you to the Xochimilco area). The avenue where they're placed is an important one, so you'll always have taxis available if you need them. NOTE: the price does NOT include breakfast.
Directions: Almost across the street from Taxqueña metro station, south of town. The email of the Finisterre Hotel is: email@example.com (as posted in the yellow pages).
Paseo de la Reforma 500, Colonia JuÃ¡rez, Mexico City
Campos Eliseos 204, Col. Polanco, Mexico City
Avenida Juarez 70, Colonia Centro, Mexico City
Andres Bello 29, Mexico City
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Address: Calzada de Tlalpan, 2073, Colonia Parque San Andrés, Mexico City 04040, Mexico