One of the great things about running a luxury travel site for 14 years now is that we get to see the best hotels progress over time, the good ones getting better as they age. Like a good bottle of Bordeaux, the Hacienda Xcanatun Merida Hotel tasted better this third time I visited than it did during the previous stays.
Hacienda Xcanatun has long been the top luxury hotel in Merida, with the only real downside being its 15- or 20-minute ride from the Paseo Montejo and Centro. The grounds and rooms easily made up for that though and unlike the Marriott-run Yucatan hacienda hotels out in the countryside, this one doesn’t isolate you in a place where there’s nothing else to do nearby and nowhere else to eat. From here you’re just a short hop into Merida (the suburban north’s restaurants and malls are even closer than the center) and if you head the other direction you can be on the beach in a half hour.
This was never a property to rest on its reputation though and the owners were constantly striving to improve and upgrade. These efforts went into overdrive during the pandemic shutdown when an injection of cash from Angsana–a Banyan Tree brand–allowed them to renovate and expand the guestrooms and finish up a few lingering projects. Now there’s not a small room in the whole place and despite an additional building since we last checked it out, the room count went down because each suite is 1,300 square feet or more. Come take a tour and check it out!
While we wouldn’t advise spending more than three nights at most of the Yucatan Peninsula’s other hacienda hotels unless you’re with someone you really need to catch up with and talk for days, at Xcanatun you can eat really well, lounge by two pools, and get some work done on the fast Wi-Fi. There are also smart TVs in the rooms now, a tech addition that was shunned for most of the hotel’s history, so you can curl up on the sofa together and watch a movie at night.
There’s a full spa on site where you can get your wraps, massages, or facials. Since Hacienda Xcanatun is now part of the Asian Angsana brand’s collection though, a full-blown new spa is on the way in an adjoining lot, along with more rooms and an additional restaurant.
The current Casa de Piedra restaurant has long been one of the best in Merida and it didn’t disappoint this time. There’s an outdoor patio area overlooking the grounds, plus a stunning indoor restaurant and bar that make use of the hacienda’s original high ceilings and some remaining machinery to set the mood. They have a nice range of dishes to get your Yucatan cuisine craving, like the obligatory cochinita pibil or sopa de lima, but if you need to take a break and order something healthier, that’s an option too. This beet and orange salad with goat cheese was terrific.
There’s a full bar on site, with some excellent cocktails, a good wine selection, and craft beers from two local brewers. I was happy to find a couple from Patito in my minibar in the suite, along with a capsule espresso maker to get moving in the morning. You can also order about half the restaurant menu items from room service. Since every suite here has some kind of furnished balcony or terrace, you won’t have to worry about where you’re going to eat it.
Although this one may not hold onto the past as much as the other haciendas in Mexico, it’s more of a proper luxury hotel that will leave you delighted more than disappointed in every aspect.
We’ve just posted an all-new detailed review of the property, along with new photos we snapped while staying on site for two nights. It’s not hard to get great photos in such a photogenic place, so we had a hard time narrowing down the choices. See our review of Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana Merida in our online magazine.