Yucatan’s capital is famously called “the white city”, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find a mosaique of strong, passionate colors all around it. A walk along its famous Paseo Montejo is a trip within a trip: from Parisian-style mansions that will transport you from French classic architecture to traditional Mexican ice cream parlors that evoke the last remains of the golden years, the variety is exhilarating, specially because it all fits and matches. This is, at the same time a strong Mayan capital (Yucatan is home to Chichen Itza and Uxmal, and to more than one million people who still speak Mayan language), and the neat colonial city where visitors will find the boutique hotels of their dreams at quite affordable prices.
We are particularly thinking about two colors of luxury:
Rosas y Xocolate
The classic surreal dream about life in pink comes to life in Merida, covered with utter elegance, lots of roses and a velvety chocolate flavour. Two former colonial mansions located exactly at the Paseo Montejo were masterfully transformed into this sensual palace, where avant-garde design reigns. After a good sleep in their cozy, tastefully decorated rooms; wake up to their spa, specialised in choco-therapies that use 100% organic Yucatecan cocoa nectar (great for all types of skin). At the restaurant, go for the beautiful terrace and grab a lemon Margarita. Pair it with the exotic chicharrón de pulpo (crispy octopus with Mexican spices). On your way home, think pink and don’t foget to get some local chocolate for the people you love.
Paseo Montejo 480 x 41
97000 Merida – Yucatan, Mexico.
Call: +52 999 9242992
Casa Azul Hotel
This very accurately self-proclaimed historic monument-hotel is a majestic homage to the classic blue. It’s forged doors open the path to the colonial glory of the past. If you are into antiques, or a fan of Gabriel García Márquez’s ‘Love in times of Cholera’, look no further. Only 8 rooms that recreate the magnificent grandeur of the Mexican XIX century are the perfect location to experience what it’s like to be the Hacienda’s owner: every detail is carefully prepared to achieve lavishness and beauty. Take your favorite novel and enjoy it in the patio listening to the water running inside the imperial fountain, take a dip in the backyard’s pool or enjoy an evening conversation sitting at the blue terrace, watching people passing by.
Calle 60 No. 343 x 37 and 35
Call: +52 999 9255016
Our chromatic recomendation: You don’t have to choose between pink and blue to feel the daintiest combination of colors in the Yucatan Peninsula. Take a one-day excursion to Ría Celestún (check out the YouTube video), a biosphere reserve framed by the purest white of the sand and the strong turquoise of the Caribbean sea. The breath-taking azure of the sky is the perfect scenery for the pink flamingos that migrate there every winter. If animals and nature are your thing, be very alert: if lucky enough, you’ll find exotic birds (endemic ducks and pelicans are famous among the locals), crocodiles (watch out) or even turtles.
Foodie tip: Merida is the best place to enjoy cochinita pibil, one of Mexico’s gastronomic treasures. Run to my personal favorite of the city: La Chaya Maya (Calle 62 x 57, Colonia Centro; just ask the locals, they know the way), where you can have great handmade tortillas to taste it. Also, look for lime soup and virtually any other Mayan specialties that sounds good to you. This is the Yucatan, no matter what you order, it promises to be delicious.
Regular Jaunt Magazine Contributor, Jesus Catalan Meneses, ex-journo turned blogger (like me!) and very Mexican Taconnoiseur is back to give our readers a taste of Merida, Mexico. Whether he’s writing, researching social media, travelling, cooking or finding the greatest places for tacos, quesadillas, and enchiladas, Jesus’s love for Mexico can only be matched by his love of Mexican food.