This is my second time in Merida and Casa Mexilio. I booked Casa Mexilio’s room for 14 days as I wanted to get to know Merida on its terms rather than my time constraints. Casa Mexilio’s location in Centro is very central as it’s only a few blocks from the main square. There is a doctor nearby, ½ block away, a dentist, 1 block away, and a homeopath across the street. (I was there to see the dentist primarily. I have never had better dental care than my new dentist there.) There’s a wonderful mercado behind the restaurant, a very quaint restaurant, and a plaza where salsa is often danced. The neighbors all live in similar looking houses and are all simpaticos to a fault. Everyone says buenos dias, tardes, noches in Merida. And, on many occasions, I was referred to as “Caballero” or Don Richar (forget the d!). In my last review, I sang the beauties of Casa Mexilio during my first stay there. Let me say that this time around, I had more time to photograph both buildings’ nooks and crannies as this guest house is photogenic to a fault. Everywhere one looks is an artful photo op. Frommer’s lauded Casa Mexilio for the most inventive use of space in all of Merida, and rightly so! One of the rooms I stayed in used the back of an armoire as a bed head. I did warn the ownership that I was going to copy some of their inventive touches. Having said that, had Frida Kahlo had been a designer instead of a painter, Casa Mexilio is what she would have produced as a Mexican hotel. Yes, there are lots of stairs but this is Mexico of 200 years ago and the buildings reflect that time epoch. There are actually two buildings, the main hotel and the colonial house across the street. Breakfast is held in the house’s charming fruit treed courtyard every morning consisting of coffee, freshly baked bread, papaya marmalade, aguas frescas, fresh fruit course and the main breakfast item (usually a choice of two). Carlos, Casa’s factotum, is going to chef school and prides himself in his sumptuous breakfasts, always supervised and critiqued by the long-time experienced direction of Roger Lynn, one of two owners. Roger is a fountain of knowledge about all things Mexico. He is a dual citizen (‘Merkan from the South and Mexican) and has studied Mexican and Yucatecan culture for 35 years. Co-owner Jorge, is an actual Mayan, who was born in the hacienda of the original owner of Casa Mexilio’s location. He, too, is an incredible source of knowledge about all things Mayan and Yucatecan, from all the vegetables and fruits to all the sweets made from them. Jorge waxes gloriously about Yucatecan desserts until he gets to candied yucca (to which he gives a rave review). The owners have to be approached with a cup of coffee in hand and very willing ears. They are somewhat reticent to share, but once they begin you can’t begin to buy the information they impart! The staff includes two very able young Merida brothers, Yban and Guillermo and a jovial Dona Mari, who heads the housekeeping. All of them, including the owners, adopted me during my stay and made me part of their hotel family. One of the highlights was to sit in the outside bench by the street and enjoy the cool evening breezes from the sea and talk with Jorge and Roger and whomever happens by and chat the evening away. One of the topics of conversation was the opening of an intimate bar on the antique appointed second floor of the hotel. According to plans forged during the breezy discussions one room will be dedicated to several wines (California, French, Spanish Mexican - - - yes there are wonderful Mexican wines!) by the glass. The other bar will serve cocktails and have two free libations, one wine and one cocktail with free appetizers. I was there for the retrofitting of the a/c units which had to be placed very laboriously in a manner that would not destroy the wall painted decorations by a famous local artist, much to the chagrin of the installers. The operative word on the bar is INTIMATE, as in a place to have a conversation with a friend or a rendez-vous, very romantic indeed. One thing I did not touch upon my other review was the cenote-like pool in the main building’s courtyard. This time I ended up my morning walks about after lunch in the hotel’s cool water pool and spend a good half hour. A young drop dead gorgeous Belgian couple were dipping in the pool in the early afternoon, when I spied them in a kiss. I asked them permission to take their photo through the iron grilled opening to the pool, would they oblige me in repeating their smooch? They did and I took what amounts to a photo of staggering beauty. (If anyone needs to go to the beach, there’s always a taxi willing to take you to Progreso, 200 pesos and 35 minutes later you can be at Shark’s having beers and appetizers right on the beach. It’s worth the trip!)
I did find that most of the customers of Casa Mexilio this time were European (Brits, Belgians, gorgeous Italians, Germans, Swiss, and French). They were all very complimentary of the services and rooms offered to them and the accompanying prices. What they liked best was the unsual setting, the wonderful breakfasts, the location, and the comfortable and beautiful rooms. What I liked best, as I lived the former during my first time, is that the hotel included me into their activities, and I was part of their family for two weeks.
My thanks to Roger, Jorge, Carlos, Guillermo, Yban, and Dona Mari for a fabulous two weeks in Merida. It wouldn’t have been the same without you. Anyone desiring information about Casa Mexilio, don’t hesitate in writing me. Do read my other review in Trip Advisor.
PS: The house across the street is being readied for a concert during the Merida festivities in October by the original owners of the house who were an all-girl music band in the 1950’s. The octogenarians are making a comeback in their former home, and the concert will be held on the roof of the house. The staff is busily decorating and arranging for 300 people to attend such a festive occasion. Now how do I manage another trip there for this concert since I just got back?
- Also Known As:
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- Casa Mexilio Guest House Hotel Merida
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