Price Band: $
Tags: Colonial, sightseeing, city, economical
Price Band: $
Tags: Colonial, sightseeing, city, economical
In a nutshell:
Charming hotel with lots of colonial charm, located in the heart of Merida close to the Cathedral and main plaza. Rooftop swimming pool, pretty courtyards, restaurant and in-house travel agency for excursions.
Entering the lobby from Parque Hidalgo, you cannot fail to be impressed by the colonial warmth of the arches and colonnades, rising above gleaming black and white tiled floors.
Pass through to the courtyard and you will see why the Caribe labels itself “the Real Colonial Atmosphere in Yucatan”. Shady walkways around the courtyard on each of the three floors house terracotta potted plants and pleasant seating areas.
The main charms of the Caribe are in these public areas; guest rooms are pretty and functional, but you are unlikely to spend much of your time there.
You’ll find more advantages in the excellent location, one block from the main square and with good views of the cathedral from its small rooftop sun terrace.
Parque Hidalgo, the shady plaza on which the hotel is situated, is a focal point of the city and ideal for people-watching at the many cafe tables that spill out into the square. We’ve spent many a pleasant evening here, lingering over a drink or a simple meal and watching the mingling of tourists and locals.
There’s a lot to see in Merida and its surroundings and we know that you’ll find an excellent base, and great value for money, at the Caribe.
As you make your way through the hotel to your room you’ll notice the refreshing greenery and shade of the central courtyard. The seating areas in the hallways are so pleasant that it’s easy to while away the heat of the day curled up here with a good book. It’s rather like having a shady patio outside your door.
On the top floor there’s a small pool and sun deck, with great views of the cathedral. This historical building was originally used as a convent, and whilst the nuns may have appreciated the view from here, they probably wouldn’t have approved of the facilities for today’s sun-worshippers.
The hotel’s rooms are arranged over the three floors, with most of the superior rooms on the third floor, near to the swimming pool.
Note that the hotel does not have an elevator.
Summary of room facilities
Air-conditioning, TV, room safe, hairdryer, wireless internet access
One double and one single bed, or three single beds
Larger and more recently renovated rooms, one double and one single, two doubles or three single beds.
Bedroom with two double beds, separate sitting room with sofa bed, view of Hilalgo park
Your base in the city is a pretty room with all the essentials and a fair dose of Mexican charm. Wooden furnishings and pastel fabrics set the scene, and you’ll also find a telephone and TV. All standard and superior rooms have air-conditioning – we’d say this was essential in the summer in Merida.
Standard rooms usually have one double and one single bed, but some rooms have three single beds.
All rooms have a modern tiled bathroom with walk-in shower. Towels could be a little more plush, but this is the only real indication of the price you’re paying. You might find more frills in the more expensive hotels, but character and value for money are the hallmarks of the Caribe.
Most superior rooms are located on the top (third) floor near to the swimming pool and are a little more spacious and more recently decorated than the standard rooms. We reckon that they are worth the small supplement. Most of the rooms look out over the pretty courtyard and its greenery.
These rooms have either two double beds, a double and a single, or three single beds.
The hotel has one suite which overlooks the Parque Hidalgo. It has a bedroom with two double beds and a living room with a sofa that makes a double bed.
The living room has a comfortable sofa which converts into a double bed. This beautiful room is a great place to while away a warm afternoon with a cool drink and a book.
Regional specialties are featured in the Caribe’s restaurant El Rincon, just off the central courtyard. The Yucatan has a distinctive cuisine that is an attraction to visitors from other Mexican states as well as to foreigners.
Probably the most well known dishes are pollo pibil (chicken marinated in orange and spices then barbecued in banana leaves) and poc chuc (pork fillet cooked with tomatoes, onions and spices). Here you can try these, or more international dishes if you prefer, all at very reasonable prices.
There’s a pleasant, relaxed ambience around the wooden tables nestled under the arches. You’ll often find someone playing the guitar in the afternoon.
Breakfasts are served here too – there are a variety of set meal options ranging from American style bacon and eggs to “scrambled eggs with Yucatecan sausage”, all offered with toast, coffee and fruit juice. You can also choose from an a la carte selection.
Outside on the Parque Hidalgo, El Meson is an outdoor cafe ideal for drinks and snacks.
The rooftop pool at the Caribe is a pleasant oasis that seems a long way from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of Merida below.
Although not large, it’s plenty big enough for a refreshing dip to cool off during the heat of the day. While you swim, you can enjoy vistas of the Cathedral that’s located adjacent to the hotel.
The nearest airport is Merida – by road the journey to Hotel Caribe takes about 10 minutes.
Central Mérida is a grid of one-way streets, numbered sequentially. The streets running roughly west-east have odd numbers and those running roughly north-south have even numbers. What’s more, where Calle 59 takes traffic one way to the east, Calle 57 and 61 take traffic one way to the west etc. Therefore it is easy to navigate to a particular address, though the central streets are all very narrow and extremely busy.
Note that the weekly “Sunday in Mérida” festivities involve the closing of Calle 60 to vehicular traffic and the whole of the historic center will be very busy on this day.
The Hotel Caribe is located on the Parque Hidalgo on the corner of Calle 59 and 60 (it is in the far corner of the square). If you call a bell boy over from the hotel he will take in your luggage and direct you to the car park, which is one block away.
From Mérida airport: From the airport, you’ll enter the city on Avenida Itzaes, which runs approximately in a north-south direction just west of the center. After you have passed the Zoo, turn right down Calle 59 and look for the Parque Hidalgo and the hotel on your right at the junction with Calle 60.
From Cancun airport: From the airport, follow the signs for Merida and Chichen Itza on the toll (“quota”) highway #180. You can also take the free (libre) highway #180, but this will take longer because of the speed bumps or “topes” at the entrance and exit to every town. The toll and free highways merge about 40 miles outside of Merida. Keep following the signs for Merida “centro” and you will cross a junction with the periferico (ring road) and enter the city on Calle 65. In the center of town, turn right on Calle 60 and look for the hotel and the Parque Hidalgo on your right after the junction with Calle 61.