Reversing boom, 12 Merida hotels close as coronavirus slows the economy

Rosas & Xocolate, a boutique hotel, restaurant and spa on the Paseo de Montejo in Merida, temporarily closed in response to the caronavirus pandemic.
Rosas & Xocolate, a boutique hotel, restaurant and spa on the Paseo de Montejo in Merida, temporarily closed in response to the caronavirus pandemic. Photo: YEL staff

Merida, Yucatan — A dozen city hotels with a combined 500 guest rooms have closed as tourist numbers dwindle.

The Yucatan Hotel Association on Wednesday announced the impact of nationwide health measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In the morning, the association’s leader, Hector Navarrete Medina, reported that seven hotels offering 350 rooms had closed, but by 4, the number increased to 12. The hotels were not identified.

A small hotel boom was under way as Merida prepared for a massive Tianguis Turístico México, which was to have been this week, but has been postponed.

“I know that there are a couple of hotels that were supposed to open with the tianguis, but they have not started operations because they would lose if they open now without having clients,” he explained. “It will be very difficult for them to open in these months and they will continue waiting for a better moment.”

He said that the virus hasn’t permanently ended the construction boom.

“Yucatan is a very attractive destination that will recover in the long run,” said Navarrete Medina.

Hotels such as Rosas & Xocolate closed gradually, first its restaurant and then its spa. This morning, the front desk clerk confirmed that the entire hotel was closed for now. Hotel Casa San Angel, on the Remate de Paseo Montejo, also closed its doors.

The downtown Holiday Inn Express remained open, but closed its self-service buffet and promised that workers were being constantly monitored for COVID-19 symptoms. Public areas were being cleaned with more frequency, and with a hospital-grade disinfectant.

Major hotel-zone brands such as the Hyatt Regency, Fiesta Americana and El Conquistador, remained open this morning.

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