One's first impression of Los Arcos in Merida, Mexico, is, like the city itself, deceptively simple. Like most of its companions on the relatively quiet street in the old "Centro" district of the city, the facade is simple and elegant. The true treasures that await are revealed, gradually and cumulatively, only once the massive polished wood door is opened, and one is welcomed into the inner sanctum by the equally elegant and gracious host, David. The word "treasures" is apt. One is immediately surrounded by them: a lavish profusion of antiques and art in a setting of architectural splendor belied by the sober exterior.
One's progress through the main house presents a gentle unfolding of beauty and taste. In our case, on a visit in February, our "progress" was delightfully relieved by meeting "the children", three endearingly affable dogs and a somewhat more aloof panther-esque black cat, not to mention a proffered refreshment, which was most welcome after the long drive from the transparently more "glitzy" and superficial tourist haven of Cancun.
After we had decelerated to a more genteel tempo appropriate to Los Arcos, David guided us past the jewel-like, blue tiled pool and through the lushly verdant walled garden to one of the two guest rooms nestled cozily at the rear of this little Eden. I must admit that, after the grandeur of the house, I expected the guest room to be something of a let-down. It was not, in any respect. If you are accustomed to bland, boring and generically homogenized lodging, a la Holiday Inn, you won't find it here. The room was tastefully and comfortably appointed, with clear attention to every detail, the beds caressingly enticing, the bathroom suite opulent. Everything was immaculately clean and in its proper place. In short, it was a sanctuary of peaceful serenity.
As I said, the treasures of Los Arcos are revealed gradually and cumulatively. Have I mentioned breakfast? This event, which, in the course of our four-day stay, became a kind of daily and much anticipated ritual, was served up alfresco in the walled garden. This, in itself, was a delight, having just escaped from the icy grip of a Pennsylvania winter. But it doesn't end there. We were treated to a changing and titillating repast prepared daily to order by cook and general factotum, Alberto. In all things, I noted, Alberto performed his good office with a quiet, courteous and unassuming competence. He added yet one more dimension to the overall great pleasure of our visit.
I have but one complaint about Los Arcos: that it was, ultimately, time to pack up and leave. I have been a temporary resident in a great many hostelries in many parts of the world. This is one of the rare few where I can say, with conviction, that I actually felt at home (well, better than home, actually). Thank you, David!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An intimate bed and breakfast in Merida, Yucatan. Enjoy a private pool and lush tropical gardens in our luxurious oasis. Within easy walking distance of colonial El Centro, yet quiet and isolated. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Los Arcos Bed And Breakfast
- Los Arcos Hotel Merida