I spend a lot of time in Mérida, Mexico as I own a beach house near there. I’ve always come up short when people have asked for a recommendation of the best place to stay in the city though. The best hotel has been outside the city (Hacienda Xcanatun), which is a drag if you like to stroll and see music performances in the parks without depending on a car.

Finally, says our correspondent who reviewed the new Rosas and Xocolate, “this small hotel on the edge of Mérida’s historic center is the luxury lodging the city has been waiting for.”

The color scheme follows the name, with lots of rose-colored walls offset by chocolaty browns. In other words, the place has character. Here’s the kicker though: it’s far closer to the historic center than the Intercontinental Villa Mercedes at the other end of Paseo Montejo. So you can avoid the taxis altogether until it’s time to go to the airport. (Though touring the city by one of the horse-drawn carriages passing the hotel is a must.)

This is Merida’s first design hotel with real substance and a sense of place, eye-catching without being too gimmicky, and retaining an old-fashioned sense of space and grandeur. Historic details, such as the intricately patterned concrete floor tiles and beautifully carved wood doors, are offset with sheer, color-saturated walls, in line with Mexican modernist architecture. In the lobby, a massive braid of rope hangs from the ceiling, alluding to the mansions’ roots in henequen (sisal) fortunes.

See our full review of Rosas y Chocolate in Merida, capital of the Yucatan.