After delay by INAH, Hotel Mérida finally open for business

A reboot of the Hotel Mérida has begun. Photo: Courtesy
A reboot of the Hotel Mérida has begun. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — Redecorated and updated from pillar to post, the historic Hotel Mérida has re-opened after being boarded up for nine years.

Seeing the Hotel Mérida reborn in the Centro Histórico is a breakthrough for the city, said Héctor Navarrete Medina, president of the Mexican Hotel Association of Yucatán.

The entrance to the restaurant, Piñuela, is on the corner of Calle 60 and 57. Photo: Courtesy

Already the hotel has received two five-star reviews on TripAdvisor, which on Saturday morning was listing rooms for $60, a special offer discounted from the $113 nightly rate. The new Hotel Mérida was listed as “in high demand” on booking.com.

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The Hotel Mérida’s lobby was designed by Roger Gonzalez Escalante, who also designed the boutique hotel Casa Lecanda, which was a leader of the boutique hotel movement in the Centro.

The hotel, for years a conspicuous decaying hulk on a major intersection, is the latest step in the Centro’s gradual transformation to a modern, fashionable destination.

Piñuela is serving breakfast, lunch and dinner off the lobby of the Hotel Mérida. Photo: Courtesy

Its restaurant, Piñuela, is run by the owners of the acclaimed Ku’uk restaurant. A sports-themed “bar subterráneo” has a wall of flat-screen televisions.

Embracing the 21st century, the new Hotel Mérida is on Facebook and Instagram, too.

The original Hotel Mérida opened in 1942, but in the 1990s it was sold to the Misíon chain, which shuttered it in 2008.

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With a budget of 40 million pesos, work on the structure began in March 2016, with plans to open in February. But INAH, the government body that watches historic renovations, delayed its progress somewhat.

The lobby of the Hotel Mérida glistens again. Photo: Courtesy

The 34-room hotel, technically larger than a boutique hotel, is a casona that was originally a private residence in the city’s gilded age.

This hotel does not include the attached tower, built in the 1940s and also under renovation. It is expected to be run as a Holiday Inn Express, although company officials did not respond to queries.

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