In this post, I am sharing my favorite Yucatan Haciendas, magic old haciendas in Mexico that have been refurbished and turned into amazing luxury hotels where history meets luxury. If you are ready to splurge and get pampered, the Luxury Haciendas of Yucatan are the place to be.
These spectacular Luxury properties that you will find scattered around the Yucatan Peninsula are old mansions and “fincas” that have been restructured and turned into spectacular hotels while conserving the romantic feel of the past.
A brief history of the Luxury Haciendas
What you see now as gorgeous upscale hotels, didn’t have the same feel and look in the past. In fact the old haciendas were basically like small villages with the luxury master home where the owner or the manager family would live ( usually the owners were living in the city of Merida) and the shops nearby, while far away closed to the field there were the humble homes of the workers who were definitely not treated in a luxurious way.
what is now a huge chimney attached to a big room, was before where the heneken was processed after being ripped left in the sun to dry.
The hacienda Sotuta de Peon is one of the few haciendas where you can take a tour and learn about the process. Close by, you can also fin hacienda Yaxchopoil which is now a museum managed by a local community. You can ask for 1 hour tour where you will be walked around and explained the history of that specific haciendas.
In colonial times the heneken was called the green gold, as it was used for making ropes and other useful objects making all the hacienda owners super-rich until the synthetic fiber was introduced. It was cheaper and more resistant and rapidly replaced the use of the natural Sisal fiber (also called heneken) causing the decline of this fruitful business.
The economical events together with the Mexican revolution and the revolt of the workers who couldn’t accept anymore their poor labor conditions caused the abandonment of the majority of the haciendas.
Some of them have been acquired by private wealthy families and turned into museums (like Yaxchopoil), restaurants, like Hacienda Teya or Hacienda Ochil (now closed), while others have been completely transformed into the luxury hotels that I am talking about in this post.
You will see though, that in the majority of the cases the refurbished Haciendas have preserved the original structure and when possible even some of the details, including the majestic chimney, symbol of those times.
During my time in Yucatan, I have visited quite a few and these below are my favorite.
Chablé Resort & Spa
There are luxury haciendas and then there is CHABLÉ, above everything else.
I have had the honor and pleasure to visit the outstanding newborn Chablé Resort and Spa which left me in complete awe with its charm, beauty, and class. Your stay in this luxury hotel becomes more like a shamanic retreat where you can’t help but regenerate and reconnect with your true self.
Peace, tranquillity, comfort are just the beginning of your life-changing experience, almost surreal. The stunning 38 casitas and 2 extensive villas conserve part of the historical buildings of the old hacienda, combined with the most modern and finest pieces of Mexican furniture and art, each one surrounded by lush vegetation for your privacy and a full connection with mother nature.
The restaurants are run by the world-class Mexican chef Jorge Vallejo, recently awarded #22 in the world.
The spa is a unique world of holistic healing combining the old Mayan tradition with modern techniques and the finest natural products.
And in perfect line with everything else is the exceptional service brought by the genuine and warm-hearted spirit and hospitality of the Yucatan people.
For the ultimate luxury experience, the master suite has its own outdoor pool for maximum enjoyment.
Overall a truly mystical experience that will touch your heart for life.
The hacienda is located only 30 minutes drive from the city of Merida.
The picture in the header is also courtesy of Karyn Millet Photography for Chable Resort and Spa.
You may also want to know about the origin of the Haciendas
Hacienda Sac Chich
Bought and refurbished by an enthusiastic American couple in love with Mexican culture and arts, this property is one of the most beautiful architectural project I have ever seen in Mexico. Although the merit goes to the world-famous and pluri-awarded architect Salvador Reyes Rios, there is no doubt that the owners’ creativity and personality has a lot to do with the charming touches and homey feeling you get when you step into this best kept secret property.
It’s just surreal. When you arrive in the central area, the first thing that you notice would be how the old hacienda feeling and the new modern additions and touches combine harmoniously together, creating a dreamlike atmosphere of elegance and coziness.
The room’s decorations come from the most sophisticated Mexican fabrics and designs with the perfect combination of colors. More than a resort is your private home, as it is preferably rented by large groups or family or as a wedding destination for the property’s logistics.
The “old” Hacienda is separated by the newer two bedrooms ultra modern house by a vast immaculate garden surrounded by beautiful towering royal palm trees. Entering the contemporary house takes you to a different world. Surrounded by water lily reflecting ponds, the so-called Casa Sisal is made of hardwoods, limestone, and an elegant and minimalist finish by the ancient Mayan technique called chukum. A private pool is the final touch.
The fact that the Hacienda Temozon was a Starwood Luxury Collection property was a guarantee for an awesome, blissful experience. However, what we found there totally exceeded our expectations. I had always dreamed of spending a weekend in one of the ever -popular luxury haciendas, and it finally happened – well, I made it happen with some friends!
Read more about Hacienda Temozon
Hacienda Santa Rosa
The Hacienda Santa Rosa is another hidden treasure of the Starwood Luxury Collection. Situated at an hour’s drive from Merida on the way to Campeche, this beauty is much smaller and more intimate than the sister properties, with only 11 guest rooms, furnished with the most delicate local art with great attention to details and comfort.
The old private estate of a nobleman’s of the 17th century has been refurbished with the rigorous intent to preserve the ancient architecture and everything possible to maintain from the original beautiful property, including the uniquely carved columns.
As you can imagine, service is impeccable and very personalized so that every guest can enjoy their privacy and, at the same time, be looked after by genuine Mexican attention and care. The breakfast is served by the pool with botanical garden views or in the privacy of your own suite’s garden, while the birds chirping is all that you will hear.
If you love to explore, you will have the Biosphere of Celestún at an hour distance, going west, and on the opposite side, the majestic ruins of Uxmal and the other Mayan city of the Ruta Puuc at another hour distance.
Hacienda San Francisco de Tzacalha
I loved this property. Tucked away from the most popular routes, this hacienda is a real gem in the middle of nowhere. Individually-owned, a huge estate, in the town of San Francisco, in northeast Yucatan, another beautiful example of how the past can be brought to life in the most magnificent ways.
The original hacienda actually was including the entire territory of what is now the town of San Francisco, until the land was expropriated by the Mexican government, and given back to the peasants. I have dedicated a full post to the history of the Hacienda San Francisco de Tzacalha.
I had the pleasure to meet the owner Mr. Richard Nichols who, together with his wife, bought the old property a few years ago and restored it with much love and passion and made it a great location today.
Quoting Mr. Nichols, “It is a live creature that requires constant care and interaction plus it catalyzes within you, as an inhabitant, constant creativity and activity. It needs feeding, taking care of, and cuddling”.
And this is what they did to restore it and transform the historic building’s old walls into the magic place you will see as you walk around the property. With huge spaces, lots of green and flowers, gorgeous suites, and excellent service, it’s the ideal location for weddings and celebrations of any kind.
Or, if you wish to have your piece of paradise to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, you can rent a suite or a full apartment with a private chef. You can contact them directly to make your reservation or inquire about the property.
This cozy little property offers the perfect affordable luxury experience compared to other more luxurious Haciendas of Yucatan. Nestled in the silence and tranquillity of Merida’s outskirts, the boutique hotel hacienda Ticum offers 13 lovely bedrooms, from the fancier and more sophisticated suites to the simpler and yet finely decorated ripios.
All of them scattered around a beautiful and manicured garden and closed to the relaxing swimming pools. The property’s fine restaurant, located by the reception, offers different menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is also a lovely patio closed to the smaller pool where to sip your cocktail or coffee’ while enjoying the sound of silence in this magic atmosphere.
The hacienda is also strategically located close to the Mayan archaeological site of Ake’, 30 minutes from Merida’s city, which makes an interesting visit off the beaten path in Yucatan.
SOTUTA DE PEON
Among the Yucatan haciendas, Viva Sotuta de Peon is one of the most unique although not the most luxurious. It is in fact the only fully operational hacienda Henequenera of all Yucatan.
Guests can enjoy a real experience of Henequen’s transformation process, from the plant to the fiber and from the fiber to the finished product. You will also have the opportunity to see the old machinery that has been fixed and brought back to life, the old main house, where the original owners used to live and is now a museum, a Mayan home, and last but not least, a real cenote, another symbol of the region that has been discovered within the property and now available for the guest to experience.
The old trucks will carry you around pulled by mules, the way it used to be in ancient times.
The property tour is available for both the guests of the hotel and the external visitors who are welcomed at a price. The tours take place at 10 am or at 3 pm. It is necessary to make your reservation. If you wish to stay for the night you will not be disappointed.
You will enjoy the comfort of the nicely decorated rooms, scattering around the immaculate gardens, the huge pool, and two restaurants that offer a sophisticated combination of fine dining and traditional dishes to conquer the finest palate. Please go and let me know how much you loved it.
More Luxury Haciendas in the Yucatan Peninsula
HACIENDA SAN PEDRO OCHIL (Restaurant only)
This stunning property from the XII century has survived from the turmoil of the Henequen dispute of the late XIX history. It has been rescued from the rage of time and transformed into a fine dining restaurant showcasing the best of the Yucatecan cuisine.
Besides the restaurant, the surrounding area is open and free for visits and enjoyment. Take a walk around and admire what has remained of the old colonial building, the theater, and the swimming pool. You can also make an exciting stop at the museum at the entrance, where you can browse through the stunning works made out of the Henequen and meet a local artisan who will show you how they are mastering this traditional craft.
You can also see what remains of the old machinery, ancient books, old photographs, and so forth. To get there, you need to take the Carretera Merida Uxmal and look for Abala at km 176.5. You could also make your reservation through their website Bon Apetit!
HACIENDA YAXCOPOIL – museum only
Yaxcopoil is considered one of the largest and most important haciendas who reached its apogee during the boom years of the henequen cultivation and was as well destroyed with the political and economic changes, which reduced it to only less than 3% of the original size. You will not believe it as it is already quite a large property.
Nowadays, the hacienda is conserved and open to the public as a museum where it is possible to admire some pieces of the original furniture, the main house, and the beautiful extensive gardens and don’t forget to look at the tiles, still original and one of the landmarks of the splendor of those times.
You will also be able to visit the machines used to process the Heneken. When you arrive at the entrance, you will be asked to pay 70 pesos (4 USD), which is a small cost that help them maintaining the beautiful property intact. I would recommend asking for a guide, who will be able to show you around for about an hour and explain in good detail some history and interesting facts bout the previous owners, the heneken processing, and the life in the Hacienda it was in the old times.