After reading several recent reviews, I felt like some folks might have been unhappy with the hacienda because it simply did not meet their expectations. Sometimes when places are raved about (and I LOVE this place) people decide to go based on these reviews and do not do any further research. Bad idea. The old saying: one man's trash is another man's treasure is all too true with resorts, destinations, food, restaurants, etc. So...it's important to read/research extensively so as not to be disappointed.
First, one poster saw a scorpion and a large spider at the hacienda. Mexico has scorpions; the jungle has spiders -- big ones. I recently walked upon a huge tarantula at a $700+ per day luxury resort in the Caribbean. The tropics have critters and they don't pay attention to the star rating of hotels.
Don't expect to get great ham and cheese sandwiches/clubs/hoagies etc. every place in Mexico. Buy those at Subway in the US. In this part of Mexico, away from the Americanized resorts of Cancun, your best bet is Mexican food. The Hacienda made superb Pollo Pibil, Mole, fajitas, guacamole, etc. Every night there we had a fantastic dinner by candlelight with nice music from local balladeers (as opposed to the loud, often off key, music of mariachis in lots of other places). Also, it was mentioned that food was scarce except at meal time. We found that we had only to ask and we were brought anything we wanted. Staying at the hacienda is more like staying with a family, rather than in a hotel. We especially enjoyed drinks and guacamole on the front porch in the afternoons -- made fresh on the spot & excellent.
I never felt at all as if the staff was rude. Most were quiet; some were shy; and the majority we found very friendly and helpful. They should not be expected to speak English. But, if they're willing to "try out" their English, as one poster mentioned, perhaps we -- being in their country, after all -- should be willing to learn a little Spanish.
We had a marvelous early morning bird walk with Bibiano and saw and identified many lovely birds we probably would have missed on our own. Bird walks are easily arranged at the front desk -- they are twice daily/early morning; late afternoon. Again, most of this information is found on their website, which is quite extensive.
And for those who might be offended that Mayan stones from the ruins were used in the building of Hacienda Chichen, you might find the link to the hacienda's history (on their site) interesting. It was built in 1523 and, yes, some of the stones from the ruins were used. There were not many rules against this sort of thing back in those days and I doubt that it would have made a difference to the conquistadores. The hacienda was bought in 1923 by Edward Thompson (vice consul of the United States at the time) and he arranged for the Carnegie Institute to set up its archaeological headquarters for the excavation and reconstruction of Chichen itza and live on the hacienda grounds. The Barbachano family (ancestors of current owners) bought the hacienda in the 30s.
You will be sorely disappointed if you go to Hacienda Chichen looking for a traditional luxury hotel with all the bells and whistles of a Ritz Carlton. It's not the Ritz. Thank goodness!! It's the first "green" hotel in the Yucatan and the owners make a practice of hiring local Mayans to run the place and they support a volunteer program in the local communities that helps bring health care, education, etc. to the people. Eco tourists will LOVE the place; others might not. I especially enjoyed sitting on the front porch of our casita in my rocking chair at night by candlelight, listening to the night birds, drinking a little wine, smelling the rich scent of a dozen different blossoms. That's the sort of place it is. Unique. And, if you're open to it, a special cultural experience.
- Also Known As:
- Hacienda Chichen & Yaxkin Hotel Chichen Itza
- Hacienda Chichen & Yaxkin Hotel
- Hacienda Chichen And Yaxkin Spa
- Hacienda Chichen Yaxkin Hotel
- Hotel Hacienda Chichen Yaxkin
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An eco-friendly boutique hotel, the Hacienda Chichen is committed to sustainable tourism and is devoted to Mayan culture and local community welfare. The resort consciously promotes an eco friendly environment rooted in Mayan tradition, which presents guests with plenty of romantic charm. An ambiance of ‘home away from home’ welcomes the Hacienda Chichen guests. The property’s close proximity to the adjourning Chichen Itza ruins is a major plus for those travelers wishing to avoid the crowds. ... more less
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