Hacienda hotels in the Yucatan state of Mexico have normally followed a similar playbook, but Chablé Resort & Spa is a bold new addition that embraces modern design in the guest quarters.
It’s not that Chablé has ignored the roots of its location in the land where sisal fiber production once created an empire built on rope-making. The 18th-century grounds near Mérida retain the original stone wall, the main building still has the same original structure and façade, and one restaurant is housed in the machine works building. There’s a cenote on site that has probably been here for a few million years too—but now it’s the centerpiece of a modern spa.
The skilled architects embraced elements of the past when it made sense, using traditional tile in the bar area, for instance, or using Mayan raised bed designs for the on-site vegetable and herb gardens. The grand arches of the main building are highlighted with floodlights at night. Local art and pillows covered with Yucatecan textiles add a sense of place to the rooms.
The 40 casitas and villas are no high-ceilinged, big-beamed colonial structures with a lack of light, however. They’re bright, airy, and modern, with plenty of space for lounging.
Each casita is set in its own piece of jungle, and they’re incredibly quiet, with privacy ensured by a thick surrounding of greenery. A personal swimming pool has a white hammock hanging over it, and there’s a veranda with a modern patio set, a white outdoor bed, and a breakfast table. It’s difficult to decide what does it more justice, night or day. By night, amber LED lights surround the pool and candles illuminate the banana trees, while in the daytime, you can spot Yucatan jays, hummingbirds, and parakeets while enjoying your morning Eye Opener :coffee, tea, and pastries delivered to your door.
These guest quarters are the most advanced on this side of the Yucatan Peninsula—and the most luxurious. You’ll find a large smart TV, a surround-sound Bluetooth system, and an iPad linked to Spotify. There’s also complimentary flip-flops, “an amount of towels that not even an entire family could use,” and a fridge with complimentary local beer and soft drinks, with “a jar of sugar-coated cacao just waiting to be picked at.”
The restaurant here is one of the most adventurous you’ll find in the state, though non-foodies may find it a little too fancy for a vacation in the countryside. If there’s a certain brand of tequila you’ve wanted to try, you’ll probably find it in the bar: Chablé Resort has one of the largest collections in all of Mexico.
All this is going to cost you of course: rates start at more than $1,000 when you factor in the taxes and service charge. No other resort so effectively blends the traditional and modern on this side of Mexico, however, or presents such a luxurious experience to every guest.
See our full review of Chablé Resort and Spa near Mérida.