The hotel is in a beautiful building attached to a small mall. A very attractive 5-level interior atrium serves as its centerpiece. The hotel's location is convenient to Merida's beautiful downtown, although the streets themselves with their odd/even numbering system (not always in order) require some patience and guesswork. This beautiful city has been around since the early 1500's and it is a very charming place to visit. As is the case in most areas of Mexico, Merida is safe, reasonably clean, and the people are quite friendly.
We sprang for a Junior Suite (about $200 USD per night) since it afforded a bit extra room and we were traveling with our two young daughters (ages 3 & 6). A bit pricey for what we got but I suppose it was worth it in the end. The small suite had several positive features including four balconies, the living room, and of course the sofabed which accommodated the two children quite nicely. My 6-year-old would routinely wake up early and she figured out how to work the remote control for the living room television better than I. On the negative side there was only 1 bathroom and I would have expected at least an extra 1/2 bath in the parlor. Our king bed was below average in comfortability - an old mattress the likely culprit. The air conditioning would only work certain hours of the day (i.e., morning and night) and was automatically disabled during mid-day...I'm not sure if this was a cost-savings policy or if the energy consumption is regulated in this fashion by the local municipality. The water tasted a bit odd as there was very noticeable mineral or metal flavor. We were on the 4th floor and could hear furniture moving in the room above us so the ceilings are not soundproof. And lastly, though no fault of the F.A., the Holiday Inn across the street seems to have converted its front parking lot into a restaurant and we could hear the band playing until about midnight.
The staff was outstanding. We particularly appreciated the assistance of Elmer and Joao from the Bell Desk. Joao arranged a horse and buggy to meet us at the front entrance of the hotel and told us the correct price to pay (anywhere between $200-$250 pesos) for a 45-minute tour. I highly recommend this activity and also suggest it be done around twilight as the midday heat was subsiding and the colors that the setting sun bestowed upon the architecture were stunning.
I thought Los Almendros was average at best. The Yucatecan food was tasty but the service was unattentive. We found about the same level of service at the main restaurant during breakfast. There was a Pediatric convention in-house and most of the group seemed to have buffet breakfast included in their tariff, and I think that our a la carte menu orders were not aligned with the staffing ratios. I thought the prices in both restaurants, however, were less than what I would normally expect to pay. I guess between the good food, the good prices, and the average service we made out okay.
If this hotel were in a large U.S. city I would have rated it a 3. But operating a first-class hotel in Merida cannot be an easy task and I have to give them some extra credit. The facility is beautiful and the staff (other than the restaurants) was overwhelmingly professional, friendly, and largely bilingual. To accomplish this feat in Merida, Mexico deserves an extra point - hence the well-deserved 4 rating.
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- Also Known As:
- Fiesta Americana Merida Hotel Merida
- Merida Fiesta Americana