“Spend the night amongst Chichen Itza's Mayan temples, in this beautiful 500-year-old colonial hacienda”
Dotted around the grounds are 12 rustic cottages, many of which housed Chichen Itza's excavation team in 1923. Fully refurbished and extended to accommodate 28 guestrooms (all named after people connected with the dig), they're stylish and contemporary, yet still exude ancient charm. Outside, each room has a terrace furnished with hammocks, rocking chairs, cushions and aromatic candles.
Filled with hand-woven textiles, wooden carvings and colourful locally-made cushions, the otherwise white rooms are bursting with colour. The ensuite bathrooms have a tub or shower, and organic toiletries and fluffy bathrobes are provided. Aside from air conditioning, fans and hairdryers, there are no mod cons - although the absence of a TV is more understandable than the fact that the rooms have no phones but offer room service!
Standard Rooms come with 2 smallish double beds, a table and chairs. Honeymoon Rooms overlooking the central gardens are the same size as the Standard Rooms but feature one queensize bed. The bigger Master Suites have either 2 double beds or one kingsize bed, as well as indoor and outdoor sitting areas and tea/coffee making facilities. The plushest room is the Catherwood Suite, which has a Mayan-style tub in its bathroom and a large patio area.
With an on-site vegetable garden and fruit orchard, you can be sure you're getting the freshest of ingredients in every meal. Breakfast is typically Mexican: fresh fruit and coffee followed by eggs. Huevos rancheros (a mix of fried eggs, tortilla chips, chilli sauce and refried beans) sounds scary, but it's strangely tasty so it's worth being brave.
The lunch and dinner menu, served on the terrace or under the stars in the garden, includes a range of Mexican favourites and regional Yucatacán dishes (remodelled to suit American palates), together with some international surprises like gazpacho. Foodies will enjoy the delicious lime soup, shrimp ceviche, and red snapper with parsley sauce. Children and vegetarians are also well catered for, with a mixture of healthy salads, club sandwiches and meat-free lasagnes.
The quality of the food is excellent, and although the waiting staff definitely run on Mexican time, the only real downside is that the cost of a meal is expensive (presumably the assumption is that most American tourists won't notice much of a difference in dollars to what they'd pay back home). But that's the price you pay for being able to roll out of your bed in the morning straight into the ruins.