Hacienda Santa Rosa

Near Merida, The Yucatan, Mexico Book from

Reviewed by Lucia Appleby
Luxurious and beautifully presented 18th-century hacienda outside Mérida, with a stylish modern finish
The delightful Hacienda Santa Rosa is located in the heart of the Maya archaeological zone, 70km south west of Mérida. Dating back to the 18th century, it was formerly a grand nobleman’s estate. More recently, it’s been beautifully restored and embellished with modern touches to combine the best of 5-star hotel luxury with the timeless grace of a historic hacienda. Much of the original structure has been retained: the arched veranda, high-beamed ceilings, enormous wooden doors and cool floor tiles. Antique furnishings and walls coated in hues of deep red, sky blue and ochre add to the hotel's character.

Hacienda Santa Rosa is also blessed with a friendly management who create a relaxed atmosphere in spite of the grandeur. There are just 11 guest rooms, all different, making it feel more like a private home than a hotel. This would be an excellent choice for anyone wanting to stay in laid-back yet sophisticated surroundings while having easy access to some of the Yucatán’s most impressive sites.


  • You'll find tranquillity, comfort and privacy
  • The hotel is surrounded by charming landscaped gardens, complete with strutting peacocks
  • It's a stylish and serene base for sightseeing excursions
  • Three of the suites have a private plunge pool
  • The hacienda is part of the Starwood group; the service is top-notch but the atmosphere remains endearingly quirky


  • Some may find the location too isolated: there are no towns nearby and most excursions require at least a 30-minute drive
  • It's only accessible by car or taxi
  • The pool looks great but it can be very cold
  • Meals and drinks are expensive, and the menu is limited
  • During our visit, we found some of the rooms to be slightly musty
  • Like other luxury hacienda hotels, it has a high price tag

Best time to go

High season in the Yucatán is mid-December to April, when it's typically drier and cooler (mid 70Fs to mid 80Fs). July and August can get extremely hot and it tends to rain heavily for at least an hour a day. September to November are the wettest months.

Our top tips

This is a great base for exploring some of the Yucatán's most impressive Mayan ruins. Make sure you bring plenty of books if you want to combine sightseeing with time relaxing in the tranquil grounds and luxuriating in the splendor of the hacienda.

Great for...

  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Hacienda Hotel
  • 11
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
Room: Superior Room


The 11 spacious rooms and suites have an air of luxury and exclusivity. With the exception of the Mayan Villa, which is set in its own small garden, all are converted from the original buildings and are set on the ground floor, with leafy garden views. The décor is understated 19th-century colonial style with antique iron bedsteads and crisp hand-embroidered bed linen (decorated daily with fresh tropical flowers). There are plenty of modern conveniences, including air conditioning, phones, minibars and hairdryers.

Most rooms have a private terrace and a garden area, and all have a large ensuite bathroom with a shower (many also have bathtubs). Three of the suites (numbers 4, 5 and 6) have small private plunge pools; the other 3 suites (numbers 8, 9 and 10) share a beautiful pool set in front of their patios, which is for the exclusive use of these rooms. This is definitely somewhere to pamper yourself, unwind and drink cocktails under the stars. The other rooms share the hotel's main pool.

Less glamorous than the suites, but a favourite with romantics, is the lovely Mayan Villa: a self-contained thatched bungalow with a dreamy kingsize bed suspended from the ceiling by ropes and covered with plump white cushions. Interior hammocks, a large bathroom with a walk-in shower, a private patio, and a garden with a small plunge pool add to the sybaratic feel.

Room 6 (a suite with double-sized twin beds) and room 7 (a Superior Twin) are adjacent to each other and would be ideal for a family. Room 10 is the largest and has its own sitting room. Extra beds can be provided in most rooms.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Wifi internet


Meals are served on the original hacienda terrace overlooking the pretty fruit tree-filled garden, or in one of the grand reception rooms. Alternatively, if you’d like to arrange a romantic candlelit dinner for 2, the staff will happily lay a table for you wherever you wish within the grounds. And if you’ve become so laid-back that you’re almost horizontal, you can order room service or ask for food to be delivered to your private terrace at a time of day that suits you.

The menu is a simple selection of Yucatecan specialities plus a variety of grilled meat dishes cooked on an open barbecue (chicken, pork, T bone, sirloin). Try the Poc Chuc - grilled pork fillet flavoured with spices and bitter orange juice and served with onions and a tomato sauce. There’s always pasta, pizza and salad on offer too, so most of the family’s tastebuds should be catered for.

The hacienda also has a well-stocked bar, ironically located in the former chapel, and an extremely elegant dining room with period furniture and an antique tiled floor which can be used for functions and parties.

If you want to eat out there are basic cafés in the nearby village, and excellent lunch options at some of the haciendas in the surrounding region. Try the famous restaurant Los Almendros in Mérida, which specialises in traditional cuisine with Mayan influences.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu


  • Staff can suggest many excursions, either self-drive or with a driver. These include the Puuc Route, which takes in Uxmal - one of the Yucatán's most beautiful Mayan sites (under an hour away) - and some of the lesser-known ruins in the area

  • Also within an hour’s drive is Celustun, a sleepy fishing village and nature reserve on the Gulf coast where you can see the thousands of pink flamingos that migrate here in winter. It’s also a great place for a seafood lunch

  • Numerous haciendas in the region are worth a visit. Hacienda San Pedro Ochil has an artisans’ centre with teams of weavers, woodworkers and potters, plus a restaurant serving traditional Yucatecan lunches. The hacienda at Uayalceh is one of the few in the Yucatán that still processes sisal

  • The Yucatán's state capital, Mérida, is about 50 minutes away. Known as the "white city", it has fine colonial buildings, pretty plazas and a lively street scene on Sundays. Shop for hammocks, panama hats and huipiles (traditional Mayan tunics/blouses), but watch out for the quality

  • Join an organised half-day trip to the Calcehtok Caves - a huge complex of caverns and tunnels which houses twisted natural formations and remnants of Mayan daily life - followed by a visit to Oxkintoc, one of the oldest Mayan cities in the Yucatán

  • You can tour several impressive convents in the surrounding area (known as the Convent Route)

  • Mountain biking and horse riding can be arranged

  • Back at the hotel, sunbathe by the outdoor pool, laze in your private hammock with a drink in hand, or go for a walk around the magnificent grounds

  • Enjoy a traditional Mayan massage on your terrace, or indulge in a therapeutic mud wrap

  • For evening entertainment, games such as cards, backgammon and chess are available

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Trekking
  • Wildlife


Children aged 12 and under stay for free if sharing their parents' room, but pay for meals. Extra beds and cots can be added to most rooms, and the hacienda provides a babysitting service on request.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Room 6 (a suite with twin beds) and room 7 (a Superior Twin) are adjacent to each other and would be ideal for a family.


Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

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