Holiday Inn, Mexico style

A change in my itinerary for a trip to Merida, in Mexico’s Yucatan, moving me from a converted hacienda in the center of downtown, to a Holiday Inn left me disappointed.

But this Holiday Inn, in Yucatan’s capital city, is not your average American Holiday Inn. Turns out this Holiday Inn was also a hacienda in days gone by, and it retains some of that charm.

Merida hotel room

A hotel room at the Holiday Inn in Merida. Photo by Terri Colby

First off, the hotel is built in a Spanish colonial style around an interior courtyard, providing lots of pleasant green space away from the noise of the main street outside the hotel.

Check-in was not as efficient as in most U.S. Holiday Inns, but when I got to the room I was pleasantly surprised: a king-sized bed with canopy, inlaid tile floors, dark wood furniture, a small desk and a tiny balcony overlooking the courtyard and fountain.

The hotel had a lovely outdoor pool and hot tub on the second floor with plenty of palapa space to keep you out of the sun, if need be. The hotel’s fitness center (indoor) overlooked the pool area.

Colorful murals throughout brought a playful atmosphere to the space. And there was a variety of Mexican artwork on the walls as well.

In front of the hotel is an open-air bar-b-q restaurant. I never ate there, but friends (and online reviews) said it was a great place for a casual dinner, with good food and moderate prices. The setting is definitely lovely.

Holiday Inn swimming pool

The swimming pool at the Holiday Inn Merida offers lots of space and palapas for shade. Photo by Terri Colby

For me, however, the most remarkable thing for a Holiday Inn was the breakfast entertainmaint. The hotel had a breakfast buffet that is common to many hotels in Mexico offering both American

music at breakfast

Musicians entertain during breakfast at the Holiday Inn in Merida. Photo by Terri Colby

fare like scrambled eggs and cereal and Mexican dishes like chilaquiles. The food was OK but nothing to write home about. But, at breakfast in this Holiday Inn in Merida, a pianist tickled the ivories on a grand piano, accompanied by a cello player as I sipped my coffee and considered whether to fill another plate with chilaquiles.

Prices are moderate, with a Saturday night stay in November for a standard king-sized room going for about $92 U.S.

If your plans include a stop in Mexico’s Yucatan, don’t be put off by the Holiday Inn brand. It might just be what you’re looking for. Check out this website for more information on the hotel. For more information on attractions in Merida, check out the city government’s tourism website.


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