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“Nice but could do with some tips on interior designing”

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Hotel Casa del Balam
Ranked #13 of 103 Hotels in Merida
Certificate of Excellence
Rome
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Nice but could do with some tips on interior designing”
Reviewed 19 November 2009

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.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
2 Thank ulpio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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seattle
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2009

We visited the lovely city of Merida for the Hanal Pixan festivities (mayan day of the dead). The Casa del Balam is a lovely hotel built around a gracious mansion. he hotel is right next to the lovely theater/opera house and just a couple of blocks from the main square. The rooms were well appointed and the staff was gracious and accomodating. Parking was gratis at a lot just next door. The hotel has a quiet and beautiful courtyard filled with tropical plants that seem to have been there since the old days. With a lovely, secluded pool in the back and a well recommended restaurant and bar, I couldn't have enjoyed my stay more.

  • Stayed October 2008
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank duplicateaccount
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2009

We arrived Sunday afternoon, and the streets near the historic downtown 1-2 blocks south of the hotel were blocked. Police explained how to get to the hotel no problem. Parking is free and inside a locked gated parking lot. Sunday night is awesome cultural experience. The location is fabulous for walking at night...very safe, fun, musical. Festivities go on to 9pm. Rooms AC can get very cold, not sure about the reviewer with the fan. Room is clean, spacious. Some outdoor rocking chairs outside our room on the 7th floor to look north. Breakfast was very nice fresh fruits, juice, bread in a beautiful garden.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank gte338f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeleeze, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2009

Consider your ability to tolerate heat before you stay here. As temperatures in Merida commonly soar to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you might welcome a cool, air-conditioned room after a long day spent hiking the ruins. OK, so you won't find air-conditioning here. You say you'll settle for a room with a nice, strong fan? Unless you've packed your own portable fan in your luggage, you won't be enjoying the breeze from a fan while you are here either. Oh sure, the rooms supposedly have "fans" in them, and the porter will even show you how to adjust the speed, but in reality there is just one speed - "super energy saver". With my hand 6 inches from the vent, I could no longer feel any air. I reported a "broken" fan to the management and the next day they said they checked it and "fixed" it. Now, you could only feel air 5 inches from the vent! "Open the window", you say? The windows are sealed shut! Otherwise, the hotel is in a great location and in fairly good condition.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rockyroadie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tulsa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2009

Gorgeous hotel in a very old building in downtown (Centro) Merida. Location is grand, as sidewalk cafes and the central plaza are just a short walk away. Merida is a stunning city, with activities into the wee hours, and superb architecture and a lush colonial feel. There was music in the streets, at the cultural center next door to the hotel, and a band playing on a nearby roof.

The hotel was exceptional. Lovely decor, stunning central courtyard, very nice pool area. Free breakfast, attentive staff, overall a fabulous, wonderful, can't-wait-to-repeat experience.

Stay away if you don't like a rich, varied city life. If you're happy at a Holiday Inn, don't bother. If you love unique, historically rich, beautiful small hotels, this is your ticket.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LoveMexico4Life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
51 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2009

We booked this hotel by phone as we were travelling to Mérida. The rate that they quoted us (US$85 per night) was lower, as we discovered later, than what they were quoting people who just happened to show up while we were checking in (although they might have just run out of cheaper options).

We got a room with two queen beds and a cot on the top floor - which is good, because the road can be quite noisy. Parking around the corner was trouble-free and included in the price. The air conditioning was excellent and strong, and the room was very clean although I thought I had a bit of a musty smell (but nobody else in my family noticed it). The bathroom was also well appointed, with bath and all.

In the heat of Mérida in the summer, a swimming pool is important (it's why we had chosen to stay there) and it's the first place we went to. We were pleasantly surprised to find out it's also beautiful - in a small garden, surrounded by trees and bougainvilleas - as well as clean and of a sufficient size, not a paddling pool, although more for refreshing than for vigorous swimming. Beach towels are provided and they bring it to you at the pool.

The double window kept the noise of the street away during the night.

At breakfast, we were pleasantly surprised: the "continental" breakfast included with the room price was *not* a sad affair of limp bread and stale butter, but a very good one with fresh local fruit in season, good bread and pastries, fresh juice, and decent coffee. Other tables were having proper Mexican breakfasts and they looked happy.

The experience of this fine hotel was made even better by thoroughly friendly service.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Diegodelizia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Yorkshire
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2009

My boyfriend and I stayed at the hotel for three nights (as a treat) whilst travelling around Mexico.
There are no safety deposit boxes in the rooms; we were therefore careful to ensure that all of our valuables were 'hidden' at the bottom of our bags. This however, did not prevent our mobile phone and what was left of our Mexican currency (around £150) been taken from our room, whilst we were on a day trip.
We can only assume that these items were stolen by someone who had access to the room, as there was no damage to the door etc.
When advising the hotel management of the incident they were totally unhelpful. When discussing the incident they suddenly couldn't understand our english or spanish- which they managed to understand perfectly before the incident. Since leaving the hotel; we have tried on numerous occassions to call the hotel and speak to the manager, who apparently is never at the hotel!
The hotel itself is ok, but there are plenty of nicer hotels in the area for less money!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank vicky055
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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