Hacienda Xcanatun

Near Merida, The Yucatan, Mexico
Book from GBP Book from £182 per night

Hacienda Xcanatun

Near Merida, The Yucatan, Mexico

An 18th-century hacienda transformed into a small luxury hotel with Old World colonial style, fine dining and a holistic spa

An 18th-century hacienda transformed into a small luxury hotel with Old World colonial style, fine dining and a holistic spa

Hacienda Xcanatun (ssh-kana-toon) - the name is Mayan for 'Tall Stone House' - offers luxury, attention to detail and gracious hospitality. It was two ex-advertising executives, Jorge and Cristina Ruz, who first put their heart and soul into creating an authentic hacienda experience. With the help of the best local craftsmen, it took a gruelling 5 years to restore this abandoned 18th-century sisal hacienda well beyond its original grandeur. The result is a beautiful hotel where traditional elegance is married with contemporary style and comfort. The former machine room is now home to an award-winning gourmet restaurant; the old chapel has become a salon for functions. Outside, acres of vibrant tropical gardens lead to manicured lawns and 2 freshwater swimming pools. Further glories lie in store: in 2021 the hacienda was acquired by the Singaporean Banyan Tree Group, who in 2022 remodelled the public areas, started construction of 36 new suites, a new spa and an Olympic-sized pool, and relaunched it under their Angsana brand.

Located a few miles north of Mérida, the hacienda is a great starting point for exploring Mexico's ancient Mayan sites. It's also a welcome retreat: the spa offers relaxing holistic treatments using indigenous herbs, flowers and honey; the only sounds are from birds and fountains.


  • The hacienda is luxurious yet full of character, history and charm
  • It's tranquil, romantic and thoroughly pampering
  • The personal and caring service is impeccable
  • There are 2 swimming pools and wonderful spa treatments
  • It's a handy base for exploring ancient Mayan cities


  • Construction was still ongoing during our last check (2024) - we suggest you ask the latest status before booking
  • We haven't seen the 36 new suites for ourselves yet
  • You're in the tropics, so watch out for mosquitoes and bring plenty of repellent
  • The hacienda is a 20-minute drive from Mérida's historic district so a hire car is handy (though not essential, as transfers can be arranged)

Best time to go

December to April is generally sunny and warm (though it can get cool in the evenings). May to August is hotter, wetter and more humid (afternoon showers turn the Yucatán Peninsula green); September and October bring the heaviest rains. We went in March, which was perfect.

Our top tips

Sundays in Mérida are great fun - everyone goes downtown for a knees-up and a margarita in the plaza, and the outdoor market brings the streets to life.

Great for...

  • Boutique Hotel
  • 18 rooms
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • Well-behaved children accepted
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service


Privacy is a priority here and all 18 suites and rooms are scattered in clusters throughout the flowering 9-acre gardens. Each has its own private veranda or balcony slung with hammocks and providing lush garden views.  Rooms are large and decorated with an appealing combination of Mexican and Far Eastern antiques, colonial Caribbean hand-carved furnishings, hand-woven textiles and original oil paintings. All have high beamed ceilings, full-length windows, grand carved cedar wood doors, polished stone and marble floors, and big comfy beds (either kingsize or twin four-posters).

Bathrooms are huge (even in the cheaper Superior Rooms) and spotlessly clean, with hydrotherapy or soaking tubs, plus showers, fluffy towels, bathrobes and hairdryers.

The light and airy Deluxe Suites have a comfortable sitting area, and a Jacuzzi tub and loungers set outdoors on a big private veranda screened by greenery. The slightly more expensive Master Suites have a separate (rather formal) living room, and 2 of them have bathrooms with an incredible handcrafted stone tub replenished by a cascade. We stayed in the Anna Master Suite (room 102), which was fabulous.

Features common to all rooms include air conditioning, overhead fans, minibars and CD players; welcome fruit baskets also await you in the Master Suites. There are no TVs but DVD players can be ordered from the reception desk. Tea/coffee making facilities are also available on request.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe box


Fine dining is an essential ingredient of Hacienda Xcanatun’s hospitality, and its restaurant, Casa de Piedra is popular with both local well-heeled Méridianos and guests. Occupying the plantation’s former sisal machine house, the sophisticated space offers several dining rooms and a romantic candlelit veranda.

Expect a fusion of French techniques with the freshest Caribbean and Yucatecan ingredients. Menus change frequently, although favourites might include grilled salmon with creamed leeks and a tomatillo-sesame seed sauce, sautéed tamarind chicken breast served with mango and jicama salad, or marinated quail on pilaf rice. Few diners can resist the pastry chef’s memorable desserts, and the extensive wine list features labels from the world's great vintners. Special diets can be catered for with advance notice.

Adjacent to the dining room, the carved antique mahogany bar has a baby grand piano and comfortable rattan seating to tempt guests to linger and sample Xcanatun’s special cocktail, made with Xtabentun - a honey-based Yucatecan liquor. It's also stocked with a range of spirits, including a selection of Mexico’s premium sipping tequilas. On weekends the bar and restaurant are filled with the sound of live music.

Note that the restaurant closes at 6pm on Sundays; on all other days it's open until 11pm. Room service is available until 10pm.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian options


  • Explore Mayan cities such as Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Dzibilchaltun and Yaxunach, and learn about their complex archaeology. The hacienda can arrange a private air-conditioned car and a bilingual guide, and set up unique itineraries to showcase both the ancient and living Mayas (see Rates)

  • Visit the area's secret sights - because of the owners’ deep ties to the Yucatán, guests enjoy access to private gardens, artists’ studios and exhibitions not usually open to the general public

  • There are also charming colonial villages to see, including Izamal and Mani (where Fray Diego de Landa burned all the Maya codices)

  • Check out fine museums, colonial architecture, shops and outdoor concerts in colonial Mérida, 20 minutes away. The Sunday outdoor market is an irresistible emporium of local crafts, colour and street dancing

  • Birders and eco-buffs will love the mangroves in the Celestun Nature Reserve, which features over 100 different bird species - including a large colony of pink flamingos

  • Visit one of the local cenotes (underground wells), where you can snorkel along a network of subterranean rivers and caves - a wonderland of stalagmite rock formations

  • Visit the hacienda's spa and indulge in an ancient Mayan treatment from a therapist schooled in holistic healing practices by her shaman grandfather. A long list of wraps, facials and massages are also available throughout the day and evening - in the spa, in your suite or in the Maya palapa in the garden

  • Lounge around one of the hacienda's 2 freshwater swimming pools. There's plenty of space, with comfortable hammocks and parasols

  • If you can tear yourself out of your hammock, a game of tennis or golf can be arranged at a private country club 5 minutes away

  • Half-day cooking classes can be organised in Mérida

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cooking classes
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Tennis coaching
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Windsurfing
  • Yoga


Children aren't encouraged as there are a lot of antiques and artefacts about the hacienda, but they are accepted under special conditions. One child of 12 years or under can stay free of charge on a rollaway bed in their parents' room, with a supplement for older children. Cots and babysitting (at an extra charge) can be arranged with advance notice.

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available


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:


Hacienda Xcanatun is located on the Yucatán Peninsula, 15km (a 25-minute drive) north of Mérida.

By Air
Mérida (25km away) is the nearest airport, though many visitors to the Yucatán land at Cancún International. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving both these airports.

From the Airport
Xcanatun is a 20-minute car ride from Mérida airport and hotel transfers are available. If you're flying into Cancún, you can either take a connecting flight to Mérida, charter a helicopter, drive or book a private car transfer (the journey is around 3-4 hours by road). There's also a luxury bus service from Cancún to Mérida. The hacienda is a 10-minute taxi ride from Mérida bus station.

By Car
See our car rental recommendations. Driving times from elsewhere in the Yucatán are around 4-5 hours from Tulum/Playa del Carmen and 2-3 hours from Chichen Itza.

Detailed directions are provided when a booking is confirmed.

More on getting to Mexico and getting around


  • Mérida Manuel Crescencio Rejón International 25.0 km MID
  • Cancún International 284.0 km CUN


  • Beach 20.0 km
  • Shops 5.0 km
  • Restaurant 5.0 km

Rates for Hacienda Xcanatun

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