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Mérida is the capital, and largest city, on the Yucatán Peninsula. Mérida is also the region's vibrant cultural heart, rich in colonial history with its graceful plazas and far reaching cuisine choices, but also beating with traditional colour in the narrow streets and bustling markets. And you're close to the peninsula's ancient treasures and the beaches and resorts of Quintana Roo. It is the kind of city with something to offer every budget. The best places to stay in Mérida range from friendly hostels, elegant colonial grand dames and luxurious jungle escapes with all the trimmings.
Mérida's Plaza Grande, the historic centre, is where you'll find a lot of the little shops and cafes, but it also hosts regular markets, concerts and performances. This is also where you'll find the severe, square cathedral, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Governor's Palace and stonework reclaimed from the ancient Mayan city Mérida was built on top of. The downtown area is also where you'll find the hostels and inexpensive restaurants, while the more boutique offerings and elegant restaurants are in the city's north.
Mérida retains a wonderful colonial feel, partly due to the jungle setting and architecture, and partly from the climate - it's tropical, so people get most of their work done in the morning, take long siestas in the afternoon and come back in the evening when the cooler breezes roll in off the Gulf of Mexico.
Nowhere is Mérida's grace and elegance more obvious than on El Paseo Montejo, a romantic street upon which to stroll of an evening. One of the other great places to be is the Plaza Grande on Sunday evenings when the whole area around is closed to traffic and there are bands and free concerts and street vendors keeping everyone sated and refreshed.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Mérida vary from boutique city centre pads to a luxury jungle retreat with all the trimmings.
In Mérida's historic heart
- Rosas & Xocolate (Chocolate and Roses) is a themed property, converted from two beautiful mansions. The conversion is luxurious, and the themes run all the way to the chocolate spa treatments.
For a jungle escape
- The Hacienda San José is a stylish jungle escape with a world class spa. Accommodation is in a collection of 11 rooms and four very private villas. The villas have private jacuzzi pools and hanging double beds.
On a budget
- Hotel Hacienda Mérida offers fabulously stylish accommodation just a short walk from the main square. A traditional exterior belies contemporary interiors plus a bar and two pools.
Best Hotels in Mérida
Hacienda Xcanatun 18 rooms from $230Mérida (Km 12 Carretera Progreso Merida)
A beautifully renovated Hacienda situated just outside Mérida. Well proportioned rooms are traditional in style with high beamed ceilings, antique furniture and tiled floors. Boasting two freshwater pools, a fabulous spa and renowned gourmet restaurant. Close to many Mayan ruins. Superb.Spa breaks - A glorious spa offering holistic treatments using indigenous herbs, flowers and honey.Local exploring - Well located as a jump off point for exploring Mayan ruins.Sights nearby - Explore the Mayan cities of Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Dzibilchaltun and Yaxunach.Birdwatching - Find over 100 species at the mangroves in the Celestun Nature Reserve.Recommended by - I Escape
Hotel Hacienda Merida 12 rooms from $82Mérida (No 439 x 51 y 53 Centro)
Unlike its traditional facade, this hacienda, located in the heart of Merida is contemporary in style. There is a bar and two chlorine-free pools. Whilst only breakfast is served, you are stumbling distance from the bars and cafes of Plaza Mayor. Book early for the balcony rooms!Local markets - Mercado Maya for local souvenires such as Panama hats and hammocksSights nearby - Visit the beautiful Iglesia de JesusFour poster beds - For romantics.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - I Escape
Rosas & Xocolate 14 rooms from $235Colonia Centro Mérida
Uniquely themed hotel made of two converted mansions. 'Chocolate and Roses' run throughout the property, from the simple but attractive decor to the chocolate spa treatments. Also offers a luxury range of amenities such as spa, gym, restaurant, breakfast in bed and swimming pool. A quirky delight.Spa - Unique cocoa paste used for facials and massage.Swimming Pool - Interior courtyard pool.Lively - Offers DJ/NightclubFishing - Excellent fishing nearby.
Hacienda San Jose 15 rooms from $270Mérida (Yucatan)
Hidden amidst thick jungle find an absolute treasure of a property. A small boutique hotel painted mustard yellow. Enormous rooms are traditional in style with high ceilings, whirring fans and four poster beds. A superb spa is utterly spoiling and the pool completely tranquil. The perfect hideaway.Hideaway - A small boutique property nestled in the jungle.Diving - Dive in Mayan sacred cenotes for an unforgetable experience.Sights nearby - Make a trip to the ‘yellow city’ of Izamal.Secluded setting - For escaping.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Casa Lecanda 7 rooms from $207Mérida (Centro)
Casa Lecanda is situated in central Mérida. It offers smart rooms with high ceilings, tiled floors and large bathrooms whilst there's also an outdoor pool-perfect for a refreshing dip to escape the heat! Visit the wine bar and enjoy international cuisine in their restaurant. A superb city choice!Sights nearby - Go see La Mejorada Park, Merida Cathedral or the Main Square (all of which are within walking distance)Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor