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“Great Location. Beautiful Colonial Mansion.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hostal Zocalo

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Hostal Zocalo
Calle 63 #508 Planta Alta x 60 y 62, Col.Centro | Off he central square of Merida City, Merida 97000, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 47 Specialty Lodging in Merida
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Location. Beautiful Colonial Mansion.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2011

Right on the Zocalo. Hostal is located in an historic colonial mansion. Fantastic free breakfast served. Highly recommend this hostal!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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383 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
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English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2011

We stayed here for a couple of nights and while we didn't warm to Merida very much the hostel was great! We booked a private room and got one of the basement ones which I believe are quieter and you have less people to share the toilets/showers with. However the wi-fi wasn't great down there, the room itself was on the slightly small side but for what we were paying and where it is located it was absolutely perfect (right on the main square!). Plus because we were down below it was much cooler than the rooms on the upper floor. Also the one big thing it has going for it is the breakfast - it was amazing! Pancakes and omelets made to order, loads of fruit, cereal, tea/ coffee and freshly made juices. Definitely the place to stay if you are visiting Merida.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2011

Hostal Zocalo is a great place to stay. It’s in an historic building right on the main square of Merida. Most of the central attractions are within a five or ten minute walk, if not right across the street. I stayed there for a few days, went to see some other hostels, and was glad to come back. It has a good vibe, relaxed and casual. The rooms are fine for the most part, though you need to check them first since they are not all the same. When I read the review about the hot room, I thought, “Why didn’t you ask for another room?” I stayed in that room too and told the staff it was hot. They put me in a larger room with better airflow at the same price, no problem. The rooms on the lower level are even cooler, or so I was told. I also stayed in one of the dorms (mixed?) and it was fine. A cross current of air and the overhead fans kept the hot May nights tolerable. No idea what the other dorms are like.

The breakfast is fantastic. I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it. Four or five kinds of cut-up fresh fruit (papaya, pineapple, mango, watermelon, cantaloupe, bananas), three kinds of cereal, yogurt, bread and butter and jams. After you’ve eaten all of that, one of the staff comes up and asks if you’re ready for your omelet and if you’d like it “con todo”, meaning with cheese, tomato, and onion. Add in all the coffee and tea you want, milk, and fresh squeezed orange juice, too. I saw some people eating crepes as well. An amazing way to start your day.

I find some of the negative reviews here misleading. During my two week stay there were problems with the water at times, or with the toilets smelling bad, but if you told the staff, as I did, they cleaned things up and told you there were other bathrooms available downstairs that were clean and had running water. It's hard to blame the hostel for someone getting “tourista” and leaving the toilets a mess. The water pressure is another thing: not very strong at all.

The common area has old comfy sofas and a big, soft chair, plus you can use the dining area for your laptop or whatever (except during breakfast). (Sketchy Wifi though.). There are all sorts of potted plants everywhere, giving the place a homey feeling. You can use the kitchen and the dishes, pots and pans, stove and oven, etc and a lot of people did. I preferred to eat out.

I saw several people leave and come back during my couple of weeks there. They brought others with them. That says something. I met people from Mexico, the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia. Definitely an international atmosphere.

I plan to go back there again on my next trip. I hope it doesn’t change.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2011

I planned to try various hostels in Merida, starting with Hostal Zocalo because of its great location, but it was so laid back and comfortable that I never considered leaving. I spent my whole trip there. I liked the historic building and the large common areas. I met people from at least ten countries, who gave me a lot of good info about what to do, etc.
The BREAKFAST! I normally don't eat breakfast but it was so good, with such variety, that I looked forward to it every morning.
The owners and staff were very helpful as well. I grew to like them very much.

Any negatives? Well, cold showers would be terrible normally, but in the heat of May in Merida, they were actually refreshing. The bathrooms alternated between spotless to pretty stinky, but things were in general clean.
I highly recommend this hostel. I plan to go back when I return later in the year.

Room Tip: Check out available rooms. Some are better.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2011

Ace vibe. Hip hosts, Moises and Trina. Hip laid back atmosphere with lots of plants and a live and let live attitude. That said, the attentive staff and amenities were anything but lax. Everything was first rate!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2011

My husband and I stayed here for a few nights. The entire place is very dimly lit, and the wifi was intermittent. The breakfast was by far the best free breakfast I've ever had at a hostel: You can order a custom made omelette or a crepe as part of the breakfast, they have a selection of cereals to have with milk or yogurt, and fresh fruit, and unlimited tea and coffee. Sometimes the fruit is appealing, sometimes it's just your standard over-ripe banana, but on the whole the breakfast cannot be beat.

The rooms, however...
Our private room was a nice sized room but impossibly dim and hot. We had a stand up fan but it didn't seem to make much of a difference. It was definitely cooler outside, for the gentleman who slept in front of our room on a hammock, and we wondered if the people sharing the open space dorm beds weren't better off in terms of temperature.

The owners were lovely, as well as most of the staff, especially the breakfast lady and cleaning ladies. The receptionist staff were ok.

The bathrooms were very hot, and hot water does not exist. Absolutely none, do not believe the hostel's ad. Not a lot of privacy, but that's what you get in a hostel. I think the men had it better because they had 2 (or 3?) smaller, seperate bathrooms.

The common areas are great in the daytime, very spacious and inviting, but at night it is really poorly lit, so unless you brought a headtorch, reading is rather difficult.

Would recommend for the breakfast and the atmosphere. If we went back, we'd consider using the dorm beds.

Room Tip: Solo travellers, bring a hammock!
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2011

I wish I could recommend this place but unfortunately, I can't.

First the bad:

The mens bathroom is awful. It stinks. I held my breath every time I went in there. There are no proper doors on the stalls. Yes, that's right, no doors. What's up with that?

When I arrived they had just installed a new ceiling fan in the dorm. The new fan unfortunately only has two speeds: "Off" and "gale-force" speed. Seriously it is like being in a tropical storm. If you sleep under it you are likely to catch a cold. The only reason I can see for installing that fan in the dorm is to encourage you to get a private room.

In the lounge area / common area there is only space for a few people, despite the fact that the hostel holds about 60 people.

The reception: often the person manning the desk is one of the owner's 14 & 15 year old bratty kids. That is unfortunate as they are not all very nice to deal with.

If you have a room at the front of the hostel, beware the screeching birds in the morning.

Also, please note that the owners seem to be attempting to manipulate the reviews by pushing satisfied guests to leave a review.

The good: The hostel is in a colonial building. It is centrally located. The breakfast is very good. Most of the staff were nice (except for the bratty kids). Zocalo is a step up from Nomadas.

There are a number of other hostels in Merida that are far less crowded. Folks, please try some of the other hostels in Merida.

Room Tip: Way to get the best room is try a different hostel
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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostal Zocalo

Address: Calle 63 #508 Planta Alta x 60 y 62, Col.Centro | Off he central square of Merida City, Merida 97000, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Yucatan > Merida
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 47 Specialty Lodging in Merida
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Old residence of the famous yucatecan artist Jose Peon Contreras, located in the heart of Merida, with a spectacular view of The Plaza Grande on 63rd Street in the ancient Mayan City of Tho' founded, whatever it was rigth in the palace of warriors. Here is your home! We ensure that your rest is pleasant, with hot water, comfortable beds and clean cotton sheets. The kitchen is the heart of this space, where you can meet people from all over the world, that tell fantastic historis about great travelers... In a creative and free environment. And to be sure you will to the march whit a firm step through these lands of the Mayab, we offer the best breakfast you can find, rich, healthy, varied, plentiful and quality; whit all The fruit you could want, eggs, cereal, bread, milk, coffee, tea, jams, caramel milk, peanut butter, honey, brown sugar, yogurt and more.... YOUR ARE WELCOM! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostal Zocalo Hotel Merida

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