We recently updated our reviews of two hacienda hotels near Merida, so it seems like a good time to highlight these unique lodging choices.

Most of them are part of the Starwood Luxury Collection, so more than a few road warriors end up booking them with points earned from a year of business travel. If you pay like a normal guest, the prices can seem like a bargain or a travesty depending on the time of year. Right now they’re on sale. Come January, it’s a different story.

My favorite around Merida is Hacienda Temozon, pictured at the top. I visited it again recently with my family (my mom even) for a late lunch after a trip to Uxmal. If you try to pop in like that they’ll make a big production of it like they’re doing you a huge favor, but after that it’s all smiles as you eat on an open balcony room overlooking the grounds. Better if you can stay for a while though as this atmospheric place is great for lounging and wandering, checking out the old farm implements, sisal production machinery, an narrow-gauge railway that was used for transporting workers and crops.

The two others in this collection, Hacienda San Jose and Hacienda Santa Rosa, are more remote and lonely. We don’t have a review of the latter because it was devoid of guests both times I visited and neither time could I find someone fluent in English to answer questions. Your mileage may vary, but go there with someone you can talk with for hours on end because there’s not a lot to do and you can’t just pop out for a bite to eat elsewhere.

Hacienda Xcanatun is not remote or lonely: it’s a short drive from the center of Merida and it stays busy. The excellent restaurant often wins awards as the best in town and it’s open to the public. This doesn’t have the sprawling grounds of the others, but it does have well-tended gardens, two pools, a spa, and rec room/TV room. See our full review of Hacienda Xcanatun.

Campeche doesn’t get nearly as many visitors as Merida, but for some that’s part of its charm. It’s a fortress city perched over the Gulf of Mexico and it’s a city on the rise, with public money sprucing up the center and private investors renovating historic homes.

The Luxury Collection has two hacienda hotels there and we have detailed reviews of both. Hacienda Uayomon pictured above is the remote choice, out in the countryside near the ruins of Edzna. Puerta Campeche is the luxury choice in the city itself, occupying buildings that were once a home, warehouse, and store.

In all these properties, you will get a strong sense of place, from the surroundings to the decor to the focus on regional specialties in the restaurants. Some of the various hacienda hotels in the Yucatan are part of an international conglomerate yes, but these are about as far as you can get from the idea of cookie-cutter hotels.