Merida, Mexico: Where to Stay and Where to Shop

Merida, Mexico is known as the “White City”.  Maybe because of the white limestone that some of the buildings are constructed from…

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IMG_0656Maybe because it is so clean and trash free for a city of about 1 million people?  Not sure.

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For two days now, I’ve been telling you the reasons I love Merida.  Here are some hopefully useful facts.  The places that I loved during my four days and four nights in Merida, Mexico.  The hotel that felt like a home for 2 of my four nights.  My favorite restaurants and shops.

A mini-guide or outline to some great places in Merida’s city center.

STAY:

I stayed at Luz En Yucatan, right next to Santa Lucia Park when I first visited Merida 6 years ago and again on this trip.  It’s gotten even better.  And though not the most posh or pricey, it is now #1 on Tripadvisor.  The location, the varied rooms, the fact that the place is half common space, the pool…

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And the website is MOST amusing.  You are asked to choose whether you are “exceedingly”, “moderately” or “not at all” successful when inquiring about rates.  ($54US to $95US – they do adjust based on your proclaimed ability to pay!)

The entry foyer – somehow staying cool in the hot dry heat of Merida.

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When I asked if they require a deposit for my reservation, Tom, the owner wrote:

We do not require deposits. And since we feel “real life” is sufficiently punitive, we do not “penalize” for cancellations.

Your word is your bond but please let us know if your plans change.   Ummmmm….BRILLIANT!

Luz is special for lots of reason.  Full kitchen and large dining room for common use, a bar table that is FREE…(people seemed to be returning often to this egg yolk colored Vanilla drink with a cow head on it.  Shiver.)

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a 5 gallon water jug and full coffee set-up (in your room, 2 “welcome beers” in my refridge,  a hammock in my room (thought I prefered my bed), gorgeous thick towels and plenty of them.   Oh…and get this.  WIth the coffee pot, there is enough sugar and creamer and coffee.  You don’t need to ask for forgotten filters or extra sugar.  It. Is. All. There.  A modern day miracle.

It’s things like that…like the 5 towel hooks in the bathroom (more than enough for the towels – fancy that!) or the inside tip about a secret cenote just outside of town that will have you loving this hotel.

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I was in a pool side room – right under the umbrella…my patio, little hammock and the door to the HUGE room.

IMG_0648My bathroom.

IMG_0469Luz en Yucatan is often full but try to get in.  You’ll love this spot.

SHOPPING:

Just across the street from Luz is the newly re-done Santa Lucia Park with some fabulous restaurants, shops, a Dairy Queen (a very popular spot) and live music and dancing on Thursday nights.

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Most importantly to me, there is a delicious chocolate shop and cafe.  Don’t ask me to pronounce the name:  ki’Xocolatl.

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Delicious and unique chocolate flavors, I loaded up on bars for souvenirs and…for myself.  Chocolate soaps for about $30pesos, the bars are $50peso…very reasonable I think.

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IMG_0402Cool labels with flavors from all over Mexico.  The shop is super fragrant and the bars delicious.  Stop in.

Another favorite shopping spot of mine was on Paseo Montejo…the wide boulevard lined with lots of mini-Versaille-like mansions and lots and lots of banks.

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And a beautiful Starbucks.

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At the base of the street, there is a boutique hotel called Hotel Casa San Angel.  It’s an absolutely gorgeous place to have breakfast and feel sophisticated.

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Gorgeous vaulted ceilings.IMG_0532

The breakfast I like to eat when I’m feeling posh (eating light so I can stuff myself at the French Bakery later).

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The lobby complete with a cat that wanted nothing to do with me.  And therefore I loved it.
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Look at the superiority!  The disdain!  Bravo!IMG_0541They have a lovely boutique.  Stop in…look around.

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About halfway up the boulevard is El Estudio (15 minute walk from Casa San Angel) – filled with beautiful things curated from all over Mexico.

Lots of great stuff…

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And these bags from Erica Maree (used to live in Merida, now lives in Puerto Vallarta) that I am obsessed with.  Forced budgeting is a downer…I returned to Belize bag-less.IMG_0590Glass, embroidery, pottery…so many pretty things.  Check out their website or facebook page – El Studio.

Tomorrow I wrap up my trip to Merida…with the cuisine and the amazing restaurants.  Remember that Merida is now just a plane ride away.  Tropic Air‘s introductory offer is still on…

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Let me know if you are going, I may have to place a bag order.

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  • TarheelBornGal

    You found some great spots! If we return to Merida, I’ll definitely re-visit this post. The chocolate alone is worth a return trip, and I love the looks of the hotel. But that dairy “adult beverage”(unrefrigerated, eek…), no thanks!

  • Lisa

    Wow. That is a beautiful place. I wouldn’t want to leave either!

    • Belize Blog

      Just a few more weeks…