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A design lover finds her dream city in the heart of Mexico.

I travel for design. My flight history is evidence: I first went to Marrakech for its riads, Palm Springs for its midcentury Alexander houses, and Pittsburgh for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. So when my husband and I were invited to a wedding in Mérida, Mexico, the Yucatán capital known for its Spanish colonial restorations and contemporary interiors, I was thrilled. The best way to get an up-close look at those buildings, I knew, would be the home-rental route: I could immerse myself in architectural variety and a private pool.

Beautifully designed Airbnbs like Casa del Limonero are easy to book in Mérida.
On Airbnb, I booked Casa del Limonero, a modern two-bedroom casita with minimalist lines accentuated by pops of color, massive glass accordion doors, and a courtyard with a plunge pool. More incredible design awaited in Mérida’s centro histórico. We fell hard for Coqui Coqui, a perfumery set in a sumptuous Belle Époque building (with a private suite for rent), and the new concept store Casa T’Ho, where the high-end accessories impressed us as much as the 19th-century mansion they occupied.
Pops of color accentuate the clean lines inside Casa del Limonero.

Hacienda Sac Chich, a sisal factory turned rental property, where our friends got married, oozed even more character. We explored the five-acre grounds with mezcal in hand, wandering between buildings, until a villa caught my eye. It was reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, near Paris, but with a sunken sitting space and an infinity pool that reflected on its surface the surrounding palm trees. The hacienda was the perfect mix of colonial and contemporary—Mérida in a nutshell.

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