Housing is somewhat limited in Izamal , mainly because until recently few travelers stayed the night. Even today, most visitors arrive on large tour buses and stay just long enough to visit the convent and climb the pyramid at Kinich Kak Moo . Yet one of the Yucatán’s most charming restored haciendas is a few miles away, and there are a couple of good options in town.
There are rumors, too, that the famous Hernández family is buying property to build another luxury hacienda-like hotel here—true or not, there is no doubt that Izamal is rising fast as a tourist destination and accommodations of all sorts aren’t far off.
Hotel Rinconada del Convento (Calle 33 No. 294, tel. 988/954-0151, www.hotelizamal.com , US$40 s with a/c, US$50–65 d with a/c) is a good value in a perfect location. Facing the convent, the Rinconada del Convento (literally, kitty corner from the convent), is a rambling remodeled home with eleven somewhat sterile but comfortable rooms. All have mini-split air-conditioning, tile floors, and heavy wood furnishings. The unexpected plus here are the common areas—a beautiful terraced garden, a manicured lawn with lounge chairs, a well-maintained lap pool, and a lovely tile-roofed patio overlooking it all. Continental breakfast is included in the rate and is served outdoors, of course.
The grounds at Hotel Macan-ché (Calle 22 between Calles 33 and 35, tel. 988/954-0287, www.macanche.com , US$22–26 s/d with fan, US$35–57 s/d with a/c) overflow with tropical plants and local fruit trees, while the bungalows are decorated according to individual themes—Santa Fe, Casa Maya, Catherwood. Most have patios and a hammock, perfect for whiling away a lazy afternoon. Ditto for the small pool, which has a natural stone bottom, like a cenote might have. Breakfast is included and served in a pleasant open-air dining area; dinner is available—and highly recommended—if arranged in advance.
Also in the heart of Izamal, Hotel San Miguel Arcángel (Calle 31-A between Calles 30 and 31-A, tel. 988/954-0109, www.sanmiguelhotel.com.mx , US$54–59 s/d with a/c) is a good alternative if you want to be in the center but Hotel Riconada is full. If you don’t mind traffic noise in the morning, the large balcony rooms have terrific views of Parque La Estrella and the San Antonio de Padua convent. Rooms have high ceilings, tile floors, and of course those balconies, making them marginally better than at Hotel Rinconada, but the grounds, even with a Jacuzzi in back, aren’t as good. Continental breakfast is included.
About 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) south of Izamal is the charming Hacienda San Antonio Chalanté (outskirts of the town of Sudzal, tel. 999/132-7411, www.haciendachalante.com , US$35–50 s/d with fan, US$60–70 with a/c). Originally built as a Franciscan monastery and later transformed into a henequen farm, today this hacienda is a lovingly restored colonial-style bed-and-breakfast. Two manor houses hold nine uniquely named rooms, all have seven-meter (23-foot) ceilings, beautifully tiled bathrooms, and antique furnishings. The main house has a warmly decorated salon that begs you to stay late into the night, flipping through one of the archaeology books on one of the overstuffed couches. Fifteen horses also call the hacienda home—you’ll be sure to see a few wandering untethered on the grounds. And if you enjoy riding, guided horseback tours of the backcountry are offered for US$7.50 an hour. A stone-floored swimming pool and a temascal (Maya sauna) also are on-site. Rates include a full—and very tasty—breakfast. A taxi here from Izamal is about US$5.