While visiting the Mayan countryside during the 1990s, I happened across the Gran Hotel while exploring Merida. The elegant woodwork and marble staircase struck me, and I promised myself to stay at the Gran Hotel de Merida someday.
That someday arrived during January 2011, when my wife and I were guests at the Gran for three nights.
The Gran’s location is ideal, about a block and a half from the central square with all its history, people watching, architecture and dining venues.
Photos of the Gran are indeed Grand. The woodwork, the marble, and the statues are impressive. It reminds one of a romantic movie. Close your eyes and imagine the lovely Adelita awaiting her handsome revolutionary in the courtyard just outside the hotel entrance. Don’t know how much of the revolution touched Merida, but the courtyard image of the lovers in passionate embrace is nice.
The Gran is not quite like the photos. The wear of over 100 years is apparent. It is not bad, decrepit wear but wear nonetheless. Adjust your expectations and remind yourself that you are staying at the Gran for an experience as well as an accommodation. If you want an intercontinental hotel, where you won’t be able to determine if you are in Toronto, Amsterdam, Tokyo or Minneapolis, then head up the Paseo de Montejo.
There are no elevators at the Gran. If you are tired or want to save your back, ask one of the staff to haul your luggage up the stairs.
Our room was large and had an elegant feel. We enjoyed sitting, reading and at times working on our laptop in the large hallways next to our room. The wireless was first rate.
As is the case in many Mexican hotels, you do not flush your toilet paper. Rather, you place it in the wastebasket located next to the toilet tank. The air conditioning was loud but had lots of cooling power.
If you are looking for a good experience that the Holiday Inn and Marriot will never, never provide, stay at the Gran.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Offering international and local food at the restaurant, and free Wi-Fi throughout, El Gran Hotel is located in a Colonial-style building, 100 metres from Merida Main Square. The rooms offer Colonial decor, cable TV, air conditioning and wardrobe. Featuring a shower, private bathrooms also come with a hairdryer and a bathrobe. Extras include a safety deposit box. A wide range of restaurants can be reached within 30 metres. At El Gran Hotel you will find a 24-hour front desk and a terrace. Other facilities offered include a tour desk. The hotel is 100 metres from Merida Cathedral and 600 metres from La Mejorada Park. The property offers free parking. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Gran Merida