Price Band: $$$
Tags: Sightseeing, experience, luxury, romantic
Price Band: $$$
Tags: Sightseeing, experience, luxury, romantic
In a nutshell:
Romantic and intimate hacienda with beautiful gardens and a large, enticing swimming pool. Most rooms are set in the original hacienda buildings; Mayan Villas are independent casitas newly constructed with a mix of traditional and modern decor. Good location for sightseeing trips to Izamal, Merida, Chichen Itza, Valladolid and more.
With just fifteen sumptuous guest rooms, the Hacienda San Jose offers guests the chance to experience the lavish lifestyle of the henequen lords. The Hacienda is ideally situated close to Merida and many other of the “must-sees” of the Yucatan, yet also offers guests the chance to lighten their sightseeing trip with a little indulgent relaxation.
Exploring the fascinating history of the region can be exhausting, and we reckon that there is no better way to recuperate on a hot day than to take a refreshing dip in your private plunge pool, or to stretch the muscles in the fabulous main pool. In the evening, dine on the finest regional cuisine with service fit for a king.
It is also worth pointing out that Hacienda San Jose would make an idyllic setting for a small wedding. Groups as large as twenty two (or as small as two) can enjoy the intimacy of the tranquil location and the luxury of the excellent facilities. The original chapel, beautifully restored, is the perfect place to take your vows, and couples can even choose a traditional Mayan ceremony.
Whatever the reason for your visit, we strongly recommend a stay of at least three days in order to fully explore the facilities within and around Hacienda San Jose. We guarantee the visit will be infinitely more memorable than a simple sightseeing trip.
When restoration began, the Hacienda San Jose was little more than a shell. Turning this to their advantage, the architects had more freedom to create the most luxurious and intimate of the three sister hotels. San Jose is exceptionally pretty, with colorful gardens in the central courtyard and pretty pastel blue facades. Around the perimeter of the buildings are lawns and orchards, with many of the rooms opening to secluded gardens and plunge pools.
Inside, the suites are furnished in a simple but stylish manner that brings out the beauty of the natural materials – warm wooden beds, smooth ceramic basins and cool tile floors. Each room is equipped with cable TV, air-conditioning, servibar and direct dial telephone. Small touches are pleasing; fresh flowers and fruit on arrival, pretty bathroom accessories and very soft towels.
The fifteen suites and rooms are arranged in groups, following the lines of the original constructions. Thus the main building now houses three rooms, including theCuarto del Patron. A further three suites were created from the lofty machine house, and three more were originally the steward’s house. The remaining two suites were once the old coach house. Four new rooms called Mayan Villas were constructed in the style of a traditional Mayan house.
Each group of rooms has its own character, and the division also makes the Hacienda ideal for small groups. Families or friends choosing two or three rooms together with often be delighted by extended communal areas screened from the other sections of the hotel.
Summary of room facilities
Wireless internet access, hairdryer, cable TV, minibar, iPod docking station, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, room safe.
King bed or two double beds, 430 sq. ft.
King bed or two double beds, terrace, plunge pool. 530 sq ft.
Hanging king bed, outdoor plunge pool, hammock. Independent building located in the gardens.
Master bedroom with king bed, separate sitting room, private pool, terrace overlooking gardens.
There are two superior rooms at the Hacienda San Jose. The first, room #2, is located next to the Master Suite and is often reserved in conjunction with the latter for a family group. Superior room #2 has a king bed. This very pleasant room shares a terrace with the master suite (the terrace is partitioned by a wrought iron screen). The outlook over the Hacienda gardens is delightful.
The second superior room is #9. It is located in the Old Machine House and has two double beds. This amazing room has its bathroom built around the lower half of a huge Ceiba tree. Mayan culture has great respect for these tall trees, considered to be the “tree of life” – it is very unlucky to uproot them.
This room doesn’t have a plunge pool, but the large main swimming pool is only a few yards away. In front of the room, a terrace with outdoor furniture overlooks the central gardens.
Each Superior room has a luxurious bathroom with a huge walk-in in shower and a stylish vanity area.
There are eight Junior Suites at the Hacienda. Each is a spacious room with a private plunge pool. Soaring ceilings and simple but high quality furnishings add a touch of real character to these rooms.
Old wooden doors open out onto the gardens of the main courtyard to the front, where chairs and tables under the trees provide a shady area for breakfast. There’s also a dining area in the room itself (the main restaurant is open all day but room service gives guests the opportunity to spend relaxing mornings in their suite).
Junior Suite #3 – This pretty suite has a small terrace overlooking the main courtyard. Furnished with chairs and a table, this is a great spot for breakfast or pre-dinner drinks, or simply for watching the activity around the hotel. The suite also has a lovely outdoor plunge pool accessed through the bathroom to the side of the suite. It is screened by shrubs and is very shady.
Junior Suites #4, #5 and #6 – These suites are located in the Stewards House and are some of our favorites.
The Stewards’ House is surrounded by gardens and trees, with all three rooms overlooking a tranquil orchard to the rear. Suite #4 has a daybed shaded by a thatched roof, whilst 5 and 6 have stone terraces ideal for lazy breakfasts. Further seating areas under the trees in front of the rooms offer a good vantage point over the main courtyard. Each room has gloriously high ceilings and oversized bathrooms. All three also enjoy private plunge pools. Suites #4 and #5 have a king bed, suite #6 has two double beds.
Junior Suites #7 and #8 – These adjacent suites are part of the old Machine House, next to the restaurant. The spectacular swimming pool is also close by, so these rooms are ideal for guests who don’t want to walk too far. The suites have private plunge pools in secluded gardens. A terraced walkway runs in front of the rooms and has further seating areas overlooking the central gardens.
Junior Suites #10 and #11 – The remaining junior suites were formed from the old coach house of the hacienda. They are quite different in design, with arches dividing the rooms, lower ceilings, and circular plunge pools in the gardens to the rear. Taken together, the suites have considerable privacy. One has a king size bed and the other twin beds. The bathrooms in the Coach House Junior suites have the same exquisite style as the other rooms in the Hacienda San Jose. The huge walk-in showers are a real delight.
The Mayan villas are the latest additions to the Hacienda San Jose’s guest rooms. There are four villas built in gardens adjacent to the main buildings; just a short walk from the restaurant and bar.
Each villa consists of two oval shaped houses that are – from the outside – similar in appearance to the traditional Mayan na, the small thatched roof houses you’ll see in rural Yucatan. The bedroom occupies one building and the bathroom the other, whilst connecting the two is a corridor featuring twin marble basins in a stylish vanity area, plus doors to the outdoor plunge pool and terrace.
The interiors of the Mayan villas are far from traditional! For those who love rooms with the rustic character of a palapa roof but can’t live without air-conditioning, this will be paradise – both a remotely controlled air-con unit and a ceiling fan are provided.
The sumptuous bedroom includes a full length day bed that’s almost Asian in style, and a king size bed suspended by rope. There’s even cable TV, direct dial telephone, a minibar and CD player (with a selection of Mexican music supplied).
The oversized bathroom includes an enormous walk-in shower and dressing area. From the connecting hallway doors open to the private walled garden with its plunge pool, and also to the secluded terrace that’s furnished with a hammock and outdoor seating. Room service can be delivered to your terrace for that romantic and very private dinner, or a lazy breakfast in the sunshine.
By the time the demand for sisal had reached its peak, around the beginning of the twentieth century, the hacienda owners had ploughed much of their riches into creating lavish accommodations with all the latest comforts of that time.
When Merida sweltered in the summer heat, they escaped with their families to the fresh breezes of the hacienda estates. Each hacienda traditionally had a suite of rooms called thecuarto del patron that was reserved for the owner during his visits. At the Hacienda San Jose, the cuarto del patron is now the Master Suite.
Located next to the chapel, the Master Suite boasts a bedroom, spacious bathroom and a separate sitting room. The sitting room opens out onto the terrace and is equipped with a hammock.
All the Master Suites’ rooms overlook pretty gardens and have high, beamed ceilings. A stone terrace encircles the accommodations and leads to the pool.
The suite’s private swimming pool has been converted from a former water reservoir and the ancient walls can still be seen around its perimeter. Set on a secluded terrace adjacent to the suite, the pool is fed by natural mineral water and is always cool and refreshing. This is no plunge pool – it’s around twenty feet square and big enough for swimming. The pool terraces are furnished with loungers for sunbathing.
A shady verandah runs along the side of the Master Suite and overlooks beautiful semi-private gardens.
The hacienda’s restaurant serves the best regional cuisine with a real Yucatecan flavor. Breakfast is served from 7am (or earlier if you wish) so guests can enjoy the freshness of the early mornings and make a good start on their excursions. A fresh pot of coffee is delivered to your room at your chosen time every morning, to kick start the day.
At any time of the day, the meals here are to be savored rather than rushed – they are certainly one of the highlights of a visit. At night, the stone walls are floodlit to spectacular effect and dining under the majestic arches is a magical delight. The finest linen, silver cutlery and soft candlelight please the senses, and the temptation to linger in the cool evening breezes is very strong.
For special occasions, a Mariachi band can be arranged, but there is always soft Mexican music playing in the background.
The swimming pool at Hacienda San Jose is incredibly enticing. For a hotel with just fifteen guest rooms, this is a very large pool. There is a shaded area at one end of the pool and also a Jacuzzi.
Ancient Mayan techniques have been employed in waterproofing the swimming pool. A coating known as Chu-kum, which is a type of tree resin, gives the unique reflective appearance, similar to the effect of the soft white sand beneath the Caribbean coast.
Refreshments can be ordered by the pool – you’ll find that staff will quickly come and check your requirements when you settle into the sun loungers. Soft towels, cool drinks and additional sun shades will be provided while you cool off in the pool.
Bear in mind the temptations of this swimming pool when planning your itinerary. Sightseeing is hot and thirsty work, so plan for early morning starts and allow for some recuperation time around the hacienda in the afternoon.
The nearest airport is Merida (about 40 miles away) and the journey to the hacienda takes about 80 minutes by road. The hacienda has a remote and tranquil location and is not accessible by public transport. Taxi drivers may not be familiar with the location, so we recommend using the hotel’s transfers or driving to the hotel with good directions.
Cancun airport is about 180 miles / 3 hours away by road.
From Merida airport:
Set the car’s odometer to zero.
At the airport exit take the Campeche -Chetumal exit on your left.
At 3 km. take the Cancun-Motul exit on your left
At 20 km. take the Tixkokob – Tekanto exit on your right
At 33 km. you will be in Tixpehual
At 38 km. you will be in Tixkokob
At 44 km. you will be in Euan
At 50 km. you will see the sign of the Hacienda San Jose on your right. Turn left (the hotel’s entrance is on the opposite side to the sign).
At 51 km. you will arrive at the Hacienda San Jose.
From Cancun airport:
Take the Cuota (toll) highway in the direction of Mérida.
After about 225 kilometers (140 miles), take the road to Izamal.
From Izamal, take the road to Citilcum, then to Cacalchen, end then take the road in the direction of Euan (ask the people in the village for the directions if you do not see the signs, just say the name of the next villages in a question tone and people will put you in the right direction)
Once you have passed Cacalchen after about 6 kilometers, at the left side of the road is the sign of The Hacienda San Jose. The entrance is on the opposite side of the road to the sign.
Once you have entered the property, you will arrive at the Hacienda in about 5 minutes.