I wrote a review here about the haciendas south of Merida to Uxmal and back. Here I'll tell you what the pro's and cons of more of the local haciendas. My background in Art, Fashion and Design make me a horrid snob about all things visual. And my years 25 years of living between Paris and New York make me a food snob who eat's in local restaurants as little as possible. But when friends and clients are in town....well one has to eat.
Best Places to eat!
has the best restaurant of all the haciendas. Situated as it is on the North side of Merida it has a loyal local following that the other hacienda's don't enjoy. I had lunch there last Sunday and I can only assume that the chef was on vacation but otherwise I am normally happy. As usual the appetisers are more interesting than the entrees. The Yucatecan food is very good indeed. The gardens are delightful. If you plan to stay here I'd search for the simplest room otherwise you might think your in Palm Beach 700 miles away. I always dine on the terrace as the sponging affect on the dining rooms walls reminds me of a previous incarnation as a decorative painter in NY in the 80's. And I find live piano music makes me want to crawl out of my skin.
Hacienda San Jose de Cholul
is my favorite place to have lunch. As I know it is not going to be great I always stick to the safe stuff. Guacamole and the soups and salads. Then I'll take a risk on the entrees knowing I can either send it back or save myself for dessert. I never get to fussy about the food here because the setting is perfection. The staff is local and very kind. Sometimes they are suprisingly sufficient. If you are there at night have a drink in the sunken palapa bar. The stars are fantastic out here so far from a city.
it is often mentioned as the best place to have Yucatecan food. I wouldn't know. I have never been there. Any place that advertises as much as locally as they do cannot be that good. It's very popular for weddings and quinceaneras. I get enough local color on a daily basis. But you might try it on your way to or from Cancun as it's right off the highway.
Hacienda San Antonio Millet
a privately owned hacienda that does not have a restaurant is available for rental and the only meal I have ever had there is breakfast when I was hosting the World Monument Fund. But it was one of the nicest breakfasts I have ever had anywhere. And it is very luxuriously and tastefully decorated. I'd chose to stay here if I was traveling with family or a friends and wanted privacy and beauty.
It used to have the best restaurant in the Yucantan. Unfortunately Hurricane Isadoro in 2002 closed the hacienda down. It has since been restored and is available for private rentals. It has a beautiful dining area and lounge. Hopefully someone there can still cook.
if you find yourself on the road from Merida to Campeche at lunch or dinner time go to hacienda Santa Rosa. Not because the food is good. It might be but it probably won't be. But the hacienda is really beautifully restored.
There are nice craft shops here if they are open. You walk along the tracks of the old hennequen carts to the gates of the hacienda and along the porch of the casa de maquinas there are tables set up under whirling fans. The soups and tamales are good. the guacamole can be good too. have a beer. visit the museum or the store. take a break.
Hacienda Temozon Sur
It's best to reserve here as they sometimes only have enough food for their guests unless you reserve. The food has not been great the last 15 times I have eaten there but I keep going back for the ambiance and the views. and it's close to Hacienda Yunku where I've spent a lot of time.
Does not have a restaurant but if you choose to stay there you will have the very best Yucatecan food from a very good cook from the village. There service is beyond excellent. Petac is by far the best place to stay. The only problem is you must rent the entire hacienda. Still it's worth it.