Just north of Parque Santa Lucía, Hotel Maison Lafitte (Calle 60 between Calles 53 and 55, tel. 999/923-9159 or toll-free U.S./Canada tel. 800/538-6802, www.maisonlafitte.com.mx, US$70 s with a/c, US$75 d with a/c) is a classy hotel that’s more intimate than a high-rise but less homey than a bed-and-breakfast. The 30 rooms are modern and comfortable, if a bit small; hyrdromassage showers, wireless Internet, and minibars are standard. Ground-floor rooms get some foot traffic in front—if you don’t mind the climb, ask for an upstairs unit, where you’ll have a view of the hotel’s leafy courtyard and the lovely tiled pool. A guitar trio plays soothing Mexican music in the lobby and restaurant Thursday–Saturday evenings as well as Saturday–Sunday mornings—a perfect start to a day or evening. An extensive breakfast buffet also is included in the rate.
Facing Parque Hidalgo, the Gran Hotel (Calle 60 at Calle 59, tel. 999/924-7730, www.granhoteldemerida.com.mx, US$57 s with a/c, US$61 d with a/c, US$88–107 suite with a/c) is a classic Victorian building, with Corinthian columns, beautiful tile floors, and a soaring atrium surrounded by several airy corridors set with armchairs and low tables. Opened in 1901 and restored in the 1980s, it’s worth peeking into even if you don’t stay. If you do stay, you’ll find elegant, (mostly) spacious rooms with tiny bathrooms, all with ironwork headboards and heavy wood furnishings. Be sure to look at a few rooms before deciding: some have no windows and others have industrial carpeting—both features that are painfully out of place.
Hotel Caribe (Calle 59 at Calle 60, tel. 999/924-9022, U.S./Canada tel. 888/822-6431, www.hotelcaribe.com.mx, US$52–59 s with a/c, US$56–64 d with a/c, US$90 suite with a/c) is ideally located on Parque Hidalgo, just one block from the central plaza with dramatic views of the cathedral from the rooftop swimming pool. Rooms on the lower floors are colonial in style—bright yellow walls, high ceilings, and tile floors—but are somewhat musty and showing their age. Top-floor units are remodeled and sport modern decor, small bathrooms, and low ceilings—they’re reminiscent of a souped-up Super 8 Motel but have direct access to the pool. All units open onto wide tiled corridors with archways that overlook a leafy courtyard. A huge plus—and rare treat—is that guests can enjoy complimentary rounds of golf at the Club de Golf La Ceiba.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition