Monday, July 13, 2009
Vacation Recap - Merida, Yucatan
So I say it's time we return to the Mexico vacation recap. When last we left off I was in Tulum with the fiance and my mother. The purpose of our trip to Tulum had been to go and check out a potential wedding site. It turned out to be everything I hoped it would be. Gorgeous. Perfect for a destination wedding. And also bleeding money.
Unfortunately, on our second night there the lady who ran the place told us (and believe me she was gutted while explaining things) that they didn't know if they would be around in a couple of months. Much less in November 2010. I was sad - in fact I'm still disappointed. Nonetheless I was determined to still have a fantabulous time on my Mexico vacation!
And next was the beautiful colonial city of Merida - the capital of the Yucatan. Our trip to that city had nothing to do with wedding related activities. We were just going because we had heard it was beautiful. You see once upon a time Merida was once amongst the richest cities in the world (all thanks to the production of henequen into fabric). And it shows!!!
Do you see that ridonculous mansion!?!?! I took the picture on the Paseo Montejo. A massive tree lined avenue very reminiscent of the Champs Elysees in Paris. Simply stunning.
To be honest I was expecting Merida to be nice but I was really WOWed by the city. It was full of beautiful architecture, fantastic museums, wonderful stores (I picked up an amazing silver bracelet and some beautiful and inexpensive designer linen pieces), expansive plazas, and beautiful hotels.
Now not all of the city was as sparkling and clean as the Paseo Montejo and the restored hotels. Some of the city had a bit of a gritty appearance mixed in with the history. In that way it was REALLY reminiscent of Europe. I figure it's bound to happen with old historical cities! I think it only added to the city's charm!!
The history of Merida was absolutely pervasive everywhere we went. Take for instance the Cathedral - stunning architecture and constructed in part with the building stones of an ancient Maya temple.
The public buildings of the city were also incredibly beautiful. In fact some of them were reminiscent of the Sorbonne (Paris IV) buildings where I studied in Paris.
The art inside the buildings was also absolutely incredible. They were full of gut wrenching works that showed the history and beliefs of the Mayan people. Such as the fact that the Mayan believe man was created from corn.
The paintings also showed the brutal way in which the Spanish Conquistadores destroyed Mayan artifacts.
And the way in which the Mayans were ultimately enslaved by the Spaniards.
Such beauty and sadness mixed together in one magnificent locale!
On the whole there were a couple of things that stood out from my trip to Merida - the first being the people . . .
So proud of both their history and the fact they were Yucatecan! A pleasure to be around!! :o)
And probably the biggest highlight of my trip to Merida was my hotel. Oh. My. It was magnificent!!!!
We stayed at the Hotel Hacienda Merida and I could not have loved it more. In fact it's been voted one of the Best New Small Luxury Hotels of the World by Conde Nast. And I can see why:
The Hacienda was very small and wonderfully appointed. The love that had gone into creating the place was evident throughout! You see the place is owned by a French man of Corsican descent (an incredible host) who turned his vacation property into a hotel. He's filled the place with wonderful touches such as paintings done by his father:
On our one night in Merida (yes our time there was too short) we enjoyed a glass of wine while enjoying the beautiful courtyard. It was honestly one of the most memorable moments of our trip!
The arcade was light up at night making the setting romantic . . . relaxing . . . perfect!!
Needless to say I LOVED LOVED LOVED the Hotel Hacienda Merida. It was absolutely special! I've travelled all over the world and I can honestly say it ranks right at the very top of my favourite places I have ever stayed. Maybe even at the very top!
Not only would I wholeheartedly recommend a trip to Merida but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend you stay at the Hacienda Merida. In fact, I can honestly say I would stay there in a heartbeat!!!
All in all my time in Merida was too short. I loved it there and I look forward to going back sometime in the future. Swine flu or no swine flu! :oP lol
PS: It was 45 degrees and I was dripping in sweat in the above picture. Hence why I look all hot and bothered and my wet hair is pulled back! :o)
PPS: The Hacienda is super reasonably priced for what you get too! Awesome value for your money!!