If there is one thing I always try to seek out, it’s unique travel experiences that are specific to that region. While researching for my trip through the Yucatan Peninsula, I became obsessed with the idea of staying at a Mexican Hacienda – essentially an estate (typically that had once been a plantation in its heyday) that has since been converted into modern accommodation.
I combed through options until I stumbled upon Hacienda Yaxcopoil – a Yucatan plantation located near Merida, Mexico that dated back to the 17th century. While a popular event and wedding venue, there is only one room available for overnight stays. I promptly booked a visit, which turned out to be one of our most memorable stays of the entire trip.
During the day the Hacienda is open to the public for group tours, but by night we had the entire property to ourselves, save for the owner Miguel, who has had the plantation in his family for generations.
Walking through the main Moorish gates, you are confronted with a castlelike stretch of stone facade, that despite its low level is breathtakingly imposing and grand.
Miguel took us all around the property, illustrating how it has been meticulously maintained and painstakingly restored to its original glory. He took us through all the various buildings on site, pointing out former uses of specific rooms, and what was used for what during the plantations most prosperous times in the prime henequen boom that provided the estate’s wealth.
The main building overlooked an expanse of grass while beyond lied the machine room – complete with the original machinery, and completely open to the public – local children sat on the steps, playing and eating popcorn.
We explored the property further, and I was so taken aback by the sheer scale of the buildings, their colonial architecture, and intricate detailing housing a very utilitarian purpose.
As dusk drew a stillness settled upon the entire property, and we became acutely aware that we were the only guests, which was both eerie and magical. We took one final walk before settling in for the night in the only bunker building. The next morning we awoke to a homemade breakfast that we ate right on the front veranda of our room before biding Miguel and his spectacular Hacienda farewell.
If you ever find yourself in this part of Mexico, I sincerely urge you to make a stop at this spectacular spot – you will not regret it!