Casa del Balam is another of these nice-enough hotels with a cute patio in the middle and an air of being an old building while I believe it to be pretty recent.
The lobby is a bit dark (you tend to miss the reception desk when you walk in) and one of the two lifts has sometimes troubles starting but we always got to our floor, the fifth one. On one side the windows of our room were overlooking the pretty University of Yucatan and the Opera buildings (or something like that), but on the other you have a not so nice garage- junkyard; the advantage is that it allows for an open view on the rest of the city (but not much to see anyway).
The room was big and comfortable and could have been so much better it the management decides to replace the white light bulbs with a more soft light, get rid of the fake Greek column holding the TV set and maybe reviewing some of the paintings on the wall. The beds are sufficiently large and comfortable and you do get free wireless internet; the bathroom was spotless and sufficiently spacious.
A downside is that whenever you switch off the AC water condensation starts to form on the ceiling where the AC is located and in few hours you have water all over the floor. The management seemed helpless and suggested that we turn on the AC to avoid it.
Breakfast is served in the patio and service was overall courteous and efficient.
Casa del Balam is strategically located on calle 60, the main artery in the historical centre, only a block away from the main square and a 20 minutes walk from the beautiful museum of anthropology on Paseo de Montejo. There are plenty of restaurants around Casa del Balam, although we found the best ones in town to be rather in the area of the Paseo de Montejo.
- 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