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“Nice - but a bit noisy!”

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Hotel Casa del Balam
Ranked #14 of 103 Hotels in Merida
Certificate of Excellence
Oxford, UK
Level Contributor
27 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Nice - but a bit noisy!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2009

The hotel itself is very nice, large rooms, and big breakfasts. It is a beautiful builiding, nicely decorated. However, it was a bit noisy the time we were there. We had to switch off the fridge in our room at night , & the sound of air conditioning units coming on from either above or below our room was quite loud. Worst of all when we were there, was workman digging up the pavement with a JCB in the street below our bedroom. They started at 11.30pm & continued until the early hours! I reaise that the hotel can do nothing about it, but I was woken up by it every night!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ItchyfeetOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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493 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (73)
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Grasse
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2009

We really enjoyed three days here, especially because of the location - near to the main square and nice restaurants and especially good on Sundays when the centre is part-pedestrianised. Rooms not amazing but quite adequate and matching the style of the hotel, which is colonial and historic, certainly not plush or wizzy. Nice litle pool area and good for breakfast in the nicely buzzy atrium/quadrangle in the middle. We didn't have any problems with noise.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank TPrR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
260 reviews
154 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2009

Stayed here during a 3-day stopover in Merida on the way to the beaches. Picked this hotel based on excellent reviews here and it's location and price (~80/night).

Location is GREAT -- 1 block north of main plaza, but far enough away to avoid the noise and craziness there on weekends. Right in the middle of historic Merida. ~10 minute walk from Paseo del Montejo. I can't think of how it could be improved.

Nice courtyard, but it was unused while we were there (temps > 110 degrees!). Nice A/C! Big rooms, plan but clean. Really, no complaints about the hotel at all. Except...

The last night we were there, there was roadwork involving jackhammers IMMEDIATELY BELOW OUR WINDOW. Sleep was impossible. Actually, conversation was pretty much impossible. This is not the hotel's fault, but you should be wary -- or ask when booking what's happening with road work. We had no warning.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PlannerGeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2009

I can't say enough about my experiences other than it was excellent. It was very clean and the service was great -- I had no problems whatsoever. It's a charming little boutique hotel right in the middle of the Merida -- close to handicraft shopping and the main square. Every night there seems to be some kind of arts & cultural activities close by. As a solo female traveller, I found Merida and this location to be safe and convenient.

The food is the restaurant was also great -- good presentation, tasty, and cooked just right. The ambiance in the hotel is very tranquil and lovely.

The only downside was that the air-conditioning in my hotel room was noisy when it was on the highest setting, but once I put in on medium or low, it was not as noisy or not noisy so I was able to sleep comfortably.

The beds were comfortable, and for a three-star hotel, it should actually be a four-star hotel in terms of quality and experience. I highly recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Merida.

Another highlight for the hotel is the free wireless Internet -- there's an access point on every floor of the hotel, so signal is strong and very good no matter where in the hotel you are.

Great excursions that are closeby are Chichen Itza and Uxmal.

A word of caution if you wander the streets of Merida: Beware of strangers approaching you trying to entice you to go to wonderful Mayan or handicrafts -- it's a scam, turns out the person trying to engage your attention to go the store is in kahoots with the sellers of the shops, and the prices are drive way up since you've been flagged especially if they saw you walking out of the hotel.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank julienlim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norway
Level Contributor
86 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2009

We arrived to Merida by bus, and walked from the bus station to the hotel. It was a Sunday, and all the streets around the main plaza were closed due to a music festival. Very suprising and nice! Music everywhere! I would really recommend Merida on Sundays!

We just walked in to the hotel and asked for vacancies. We got a nice big room on the 6th floor. Very welcoming and helpful staff at the front desk!

The aircon did make some noice when running on low and medium, but cant complain about that. Purified water are also provided in the room, and also a minibar. (You have to ask the staff for the key..)

I think its a good value for money, and the hotel have a nice location. Close to everything.

We did not try the restaurant for other meals than breakfast, but it was ok.

  • Liked — Location, big room, clean, welcoming staff
  • Disliked — Bit boring breakfast if you dont want eggs, noisy aircon, the minibar is locked
  • Stayed January 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Reiserundt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
148 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2009

There is a great confusion in hotel rating sites on how a hotel should be catagorized. This hotel may not be called a "luxury" hotel by some definitions, but I found it to be a very gracious Boutique Hotel.
Trip Advisor calls this a 3 star, while the official Mexican rating is 5 stars. This confusion comes from American tastes and standards. Comparatively, for the country, this is truly a 5-star hotel, but for lack of things like business centers and fitness facilities, it gets the lower rating.
The rooms are very attractive--not the usual cookie-cutter modern of U.S. hotels. There are a couple of details in the finish which are not up to snuff--concrete built in shelves and aborite furniture tops--but the artistic woodwork on the closet door and the tile floor do look nice.
The greatest aspect of this hotel, though is the beautiful common areas. The rooms open to very attractive open-air halls which are nicely decorated, with antique elevator and rocking chairs. They look down to the two courtyards. The first is in the lobby area, with lush tropical trees and fountains. The second is a gorgeous pool area. No matter where you go, your view at any angle is a treat to the senses, with intricate detailing of landscaping and decoration.
The food and service in the dining room are great.
Outside the hotel is one of the most charming "centro historico" areas anywhere, with Yucatan folkloric entertainment in the Santa Lucia plaza and music at other plazas as well. The buildings all around are beautiful Spanish colonial, and the area is safe to walk at night.
Merida is a feast for the soul, a refreshing escape from tacky tourist zones, as genuine as you can find in the "real Mexico." I noticed there are a few other nice-looking hotels as well.
There may be posher places, but the relaxing, laid-back grace of this historic hotel is truly the essence of what we call a "boutique" hotel experience. I stayed two nights on a Caravan bus tour of Mexico's ancient civilizations, and for quality of ambiance and experience, thought this the best hotel we used.

  • Liked — Beautiful common areas, location, food and service
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Heikermeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
seattle
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2008

We spent a weekend at Casa Del Balam at the begining of November. We have stayed a couple of times before, the hotel only gets better. The rooms are pretty simple, very clean with good (not great) beds. The location is awsome, about 2 blocks from the main square, just past the opera house. The service is great, Rudolfo at check in speaks perfect english, and can offer advice on day trips. The restaurant and bar are really nice with very friendly service. The small pool is next to the bar, a wonderful place to get a beer. have a refeshing swim in a great environment. Free parking next door

  • Liked — Location, ambiance
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank hobbsd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Casa del Balam

Property: Hotel Casa del Balam
Address: Calle 60 # 488 X 57 | Colonia Centro, Merida 97000, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Yucatan > Merida
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Family Hotel in Merida
#20 Romantic Hotel in Merida
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Casa del Balam 3*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa del Balam is one of the oldest and most distinguished hotels in Merida and the Yucatan Peninsula, it's also one of the few original Mexican Art Deco houses left in the city. The hotel was built in 1970 incorporating facets of the original home of Fernando Barbachano Peon, pioneer of Tourism in Mexico. His daughter, Ms. Carmen Barbachano Gomez Rul (who was also involved on the family business), left the original facade and selected the name of "Casa del Balam" (Mayan words for "house of the jaguar") to honor his father nickname "balam" due to his visionary sharp business mind. Ms. Barbachano was very devoted of the colonial period and decorated the house accordingly. Big wooden furniture, rocking chairs and wrought iron accessories were part of her fine selection. She had envisioned a place where every touch could softly spoke of the serene ambiance of the city, and where friends could be made instead of just mere clients. When looking at the amazing interior of this Casona and experiencing the warm specialized service of its personnel, one can easily understand that Ms. Barbachano did accomplish her desire of uniqueness, and in a very exquisite way! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Del Balam Merida
Casa Balam

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