Avenida Colon N. 500, Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico
Old World elegance meets the most modern rooms in Merida, offering a refreshing alternative to the routine hotels a block or two away.
Surrounded by few commercial business chain hotels, this small salmon–colored revamp provides a more historic atmosphere in central Mérida than neighboring properties, but with the most tricked–out rooms in the city. Formerly the Villa Mercedes Hotel, it was upgraded to an InterContinental in 2005, and now boasts 127 fully refurbished luxurious and spacious rooms, including 4 exquisite suites.
Distinctive French architecture may be the first thing you'll notice. And once inside, the sense of Old World character will again be immediately apparent––the décor includes large marble columns, mosaics imported from Europe, and stained–glass windows. This six–story art–nouveau classic evokes a sense of refined elegance and intimacy that sets it apart.
The spacious accommodations (at surprisingly good rates) are what continue to wow new visitors. Guest rooms are larger and better–equipped than those found anywhere else in the Yucatan capital, with even the double bed rooms still leaving plenty of space for furniture. If you can get past the fact that this hotel does nothing to inspire the feel of colonial Mexico in the rooms (besides the framed photos of old Mérida on the first floor), you'll come to appreciate the international flair and spacious accommodations.
The InterContinental can claim rights to the best mattresses in town, but be warned that the walls are thin and all the floors are marble––hall noise may be too close for comfort come nighttime. But the list of luxurious amenities surely includes something that can help insure a peaceful night's rest. There are CD players by the bed and flat plasma screen TVs.
Luxurious baths contain dual vanities of green marble, deep combo tubs, and high–end toiletries. Several rooms have glass doors that slide open to street view balconies, so be sure to request one if you'd like to spy on the city happenings. Suites have whirlpools and double the space, so are well worth the premium. All club level guests get the usual private lounge perks.
Weekend brunches at the hotel's only restaurant attract a large local crowd. The rest of the time, you'll find a decent mix of local and international specialties served in formal style. Be sure to explore the numerous dining options that exist in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. You may want to go elsewhere for drinks too, since the small hotel bar, El Consulado, is literally tucked into a corner of the lobby. The pretty pool area is tiny too, surrounded by a courtyard with little room for sunning. The refurbished gym has aerobic equipment and a weight machine.
If you're in search of authentic Mexican décor and atmosphere, head to the center for a small inn situated in a converted mansion or head out a few miles further to Xcanatun. But if international style and comforts are important to you, this is the best spot to consider. Mérida's Villa Mercedes InterContinental Presidente is clearly the best choice among the larger chain hotels in this area.
Web Address: www.ichotelsgroup.com
Total Number of Rooms: 127
Published rates: $88 to $609
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.
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