The cultural capital of Mexico’s jungle-wrapped, beach-fringed Yucatán Peninsula, Mérida has a unique blend of colonial history, Mayan culture and a buzzing cosmopolitan scene. That’s matched by its charming collection of hotels, where impressive villas and art deco gems have been transformed into exceptional retreats. If you’re looking for a place to stay, here are the best hotels in Mérida.
You’ll feel like you’ve entered another world as you step inside this early 19th-century beauty; glide up fairytale staircases, past elegant columns to sink into a sumptuous bed framed with a rococo-crested headboard padded with velvet. The clue really is in the name. Dripping in antiques at every turn, life in this boutique ‘secret palace’ does feel rather grand. Plus it’s conveniently located in the historic center of Mérida.
Colonial magnificence awaits at the rather stately Fiesta Americana. The rooms are like those you’d find in a quality international hotel, the common areas elegant and classy. Conveniently located, great restaurants are within a few minutes’ stroll. The highly rated restaurant Kuuk is just around the corner and should be on every foodie’s to-do list. Think bubbles of smoke lightly flavoring ceviche.
This blue-fronted boutique bolthole is the hotel version of that laidback friend who puts you at ease in their company. The rooms open onto a palm-potted framed pool. Walk-in closets and rainfall showers come as standard. The complimentary cocktail and snacks on arrival are nice touches, as is the honesty bar. The vegetarian breakfasts are artworks of tropical fruits, granola and yoghurt.
A homestay vibe awaits at Casa Flor de Mayo, where eight rooms are set across three buildings. A fully fitted community kitchen is a great spot for talking about your day with fellow travelers, as is the shared lounge and TV room. The warmth of the colors on the walls echoes that of the genuine Mexican hospitality of the owners, who will, on request, invite a local chef in to create a Mexican feast.
A tasteful flavor of the Yucatán’s best natural materials and talents make this place a unique spot. Original clay-tiled floors, handmade sinks and cedar wood doors are complemented with spirit-lifting Mexican folk art. The hotel offers cooking classes and will arrange market tours and history walks. Choose between just six luxurious, spacious and individually designed suites. All come with refrigerators and a Nespresso coffee maker.
A piece of art deco history, this hotel’s façade gives a nod to the French influences that make up the cultural blend of Mérida. It’s a budget-friendly option frequented by business travelers, but its convenient position is a real bonus for leisure visitors too. All will enjoy the indoor and outdoor pools. Close to Paseo de Montejo, the main vein of Mérida, and Plaza Grande, the city’s main attractions are on your doorstep.
If it were a chocolate, this hotel would be a handmade rose cream crafted with love and care. The owners of this pink-hued delight clearly want to major on the sensual elements for their guests. Solid cedar woodwork and cotton fabrics feature in all 17 rooms, which also have outdoor tubs scattered with rose petals for soaking in the moonlight. Rosa was the owner’s mother, and the chocolate connects the spirit of the place to the Mayan culture’s use of cocoa.
Fronted by an all-white neo-classical façade, Casa Lecanda is colonial-era opulence at its most enchanting. Guests stay in traditional rooms with four-posters and plenty of original furnishings. The heart of the hotel is undoubtedly its charming dipping pool, which has an arched walkway running down one side and tropical vegetation overhead. An equally alluring hammock patio is the place to hang after a day pounding the streets of Mérida.
This historic hacienda dates back to 1820, retaining many of its original architectural features. Rooms are set around a central courtyard filled with tropical plants and an elegant pool area, making a peaceful enclave from city life. Each air-conditioned room has wooden floors and a canopy bed with Egyptian cotton sheets. Mérida’s 16th-century cathedral, one of the oldest in the Americas, is a couple of minutes’ walk away.
Surrounded by four acres (1.5ha) of lush vegetation and tropical flowers, Hacienda Xcanatun is a beautifully vibrant escape just outside central Mérida. Recently restored to its 18th-century majesty, it now offers 18 guest rooms with Mexican details and garden views. Its iconic Casa de Piedra restaurant is a firm favorite among locals. Located in what used to be the threshing room, the menu is a blend of Yucatecan cuisine and ingredients executed with French cooking techniques.
Kuka & Naranjo is a truly unique small hotel. A physical embodiment of the owners’ commitment to retaining and sustaining the cultural uniqueness of Mérida. Channelling classy curiosity-shop chic, sustainability is key here. Think organic breakfasts, repurposed furniture, guests are asked to take short showers and the self-cleaning dipping pool is chemical free. Beautiful bedrooms, all named after districts of Mérida, display local crafts against a soothing backdrop of pastel shades. Yucatán cooking classes are an added extra.