INAH has announced its objections to changes at the former Presidente InterContinental hotel in Merida. Photo: YEL

The former Presidente InterContinental Hotel on Avenida Colon in Merida was almost completely switched over from warm salmon-pink to a cool midnight blue when INAH, guardian of Mexico’s heritage, pasted numerous red “Obra Irregular” signs on the facade and gate posts.

Work at the site appears to have stalled as a result.

While it is not clear what the irregularity was, the hotel’s most obvious transformation was a change in hue in preparation to become a Hilton Curio Collection. Some of the original pink is still visible from the street, but a more subdued dark blue covers most of the front.

INAH has a list of approved colors for historic properties. An art gallery on Calle 60 was also pasted with red stickers when its front was painted black.

The signs, slapped over the fresh coat of paint, said work at the site violated rules protecting historic monuments. The change is subject to an administrative procedure, the sign reads. No announcement explaining the action was visible on INAH’s website and an email to the local office was not answered.

The posh 127-room hotel-zone icon was a general’s mansion at the turn of the last century. It was rebuilt into a hotel in 2000 and renovated in 2016.

The hotel-zone gem was feared lost when it closed months into the global pandemic. But it was quickly announced that a new operator was booked to run the iconic site.


Yucatán Expat Life is a news and information source for people who love it here. Sign up for YEL's free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.