I am a careful, well-traveled individual, who books early for an upcoming trip and chooses only the most highly recommended hotels. Until my recent experience at Hotel Julamis, my approach for the past 8 years has worked very successfully.
Six months before visiting Merida, I sought a good B&B for a week's holiday with a friend. Based on the excellent Tripadvisor reviews of Hotel Julamis and of its owner, Chef Alex, I requested a room with 2 beds. Chef Alex informed me that the only room he had in the B&B hotel with 2 beds was booked, but that he could offer the house/apartment next door (at a higher price/night). He assured me that this accommodation was lovely and just as nice or better than the rooms in the hotel. I sent him a deposit.
We arrived quite late on Saturday to meet a very friendly and amusing Chef Alex, just as the reviews had stated. Unfortunately, our warm welcome ended when we saw our accommodation!
Not only was the place run-down with peeling paint on the walls, it was also so dusty/dirty that one could measure the height of the dust with a ruler, and there was thick black mold between the bathroom tiles. Although very unpleasant, we took our showers that evening and went to bed. That night was when my healthy friend started coughing. She woke the next morning with head and chest congestion (that disappeared within an hour of our departure for sightseeing).
Chef Alex seemed such a nice man that we decided to say nothing and spend a second night (Sunday) there, just in case my friend's symptoms were a fluke and had nothing to do with the accommodation.
Unfortunately, that next night, my friend coughed continuously, and the following morning (Monday), she woke up extremely congested. After breakfast, my friend told Chef Alex that she was ill, likely from the dust and mold. She asked if there was anything he could do to assist us. Chef Alex told her that he would be able to move us into the B&B on Wednesday. We decided that we would stay the 2 additional nights and make the move on Wednesday.
In the meantime, the dust and dirt were left untouched in our accommodation, and we tried to cope with the situation.
On Tuesday, we asked Chef Alex what time we would need to be packed and ready to move on Wednesday. He then informed us that now the room would not be ready until Thursday. And that was the last time that Chef Alex treated us in a polite manner.
We decided then that we had no choice but to leave. On Wednesday morning, we asked Chef Alex if there was anything at all he could do to help us. When he said “NO!”, we informed him that we simply could no longer stay due to my friend’s inability to cope with the dust and mold in the house.
Then, things became truly ugly: I handed Chef Alex the cash to pay for the (4) nights we had stayed. When he insisted that we owed him for the entire 7 nights that we had reserved, I disagreed, stating that he had misrepresented the accommodation and that this was a health issue. To our shock, he again insisted that the house/apartment was just as nice and clean as the rooms in the main B&B!
For the reader’s information, I have attached 4 photographs showing the house/apartment so that you can judge for yourselves.
The final straw in this distressing scenario was when Chef Alex dialed the police, asking them to come and arrest us for not paying our bill!
Fortunately, our taxi arrived before the police did, and we quickly left. The sound of the door slamming behind us was the last we heard from Chef Alex!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Julamis is an urban affordable retreat located within Merida’s Historic District where its personalized service will meet up your expectations and guide your daring explorations throughout Yucatan’s Mayan world, ecological reserves and tranquil beaches. The hotel is composed of two floors accommodating one master suite and 6 standard guest rooms, each with private bathrooms, A/C and mini bars. There is a central courtyard with a lush garden where a complementary… ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Julamis Hotel Merida