Across from Santa Lucía park, Hotel Casa Lucía (Calle 60 between Calles 53 and 55, tel. 999/928-0740, www.casalucia.com.mx, US$141–158 s/d with a/c, US$199 suite with a/c) is an elegant hotel built in the shell of a 19th-century mansion. Rooms are spacious and sumptuous with deep beds, thick curtains, and marble bathrooms; Persian rugs and antique furnishings are nice touches. The large interior courtyard has a well-kempt pool and palapa lounge—a fine place to cool off after a day of sightseeing. Continental breakfast is included in the rate.
Serene and understated, Villa María (Calle 59 at Calle 68, tel. 999/923-3357, www.villamariamerida.com, US$140 s/d with a/c, US$164–187 suite with a/c) has 11 comfortable rooms in a renovated colonial mansion. Many are two stories, with a loft for the bedroom and a small sitting room below. All have canopy beds, tile floors—some beautifully patterned, others simply white—and original artwork on display. Units open onto a sunny atrium with Moorish arches and a small fountain; it doubles as the hotel restaurant, which is highly recommended for its French cuisine.
The Fiesta Americana (Calle 56-A at Av. Colón, tel. 999/942-1111, www.fiestamericana.com, US$135–165 s/d with a/c, 240–708 suite with a/c) is Mérida’s top luxury chain hotel. Rooms are modern and well appointed, though some at the standard and executive levels had surprisingly saggy beds—you may want to check your room before committing to it. Governor and presidential suites are huge and luxurious with private terraces and sweeping city views. Though the pool area is marred by noisy air-conditioners, the common areas are gorgeous, with a soaring lobby, luxurious spa area, and upscale shopping center below. ADO also offers first-class and deluxe long-distance bus service, including to Cancún, directly from the hotel.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition