It's impossible to miss the rose petal–pink exterior of Rosas y Xocolate, a boutique hotel that sits on the most important—and scenic—historic street in the city of Mérida. That facade hints at the nature of the entire experience of staying at Rosas y Xocolate, where the owners strive to continually stimulate guests' senses. Many of the design elements of the hotel speak to aspects of Yucatecan history. The walls of rooms, for example, were colored with a dye produced by using a Maya technique of boiling tree bark. Throughout the hotel, guests see knotted strands of neutral-colored fibers; these are bundles of sisal and henequen, fibers that were once harvested in the area and which made many plantation owners wealthy. Gorgeous colonial-era tiles line the floors. Colorful hand-embroidered throw pillows, made by Mexican artisans, adorn couches and beds. And in the bathrooms, visitors will find handmade chocolate soap.
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The two impressive colonial-era houses within which Rosas y Xocolate is situated are surrounded by similarly stunning examples of period architecture. Paseo de Montejo is Mérida's classiest street, and it draws locals and visitors alike for leisurely strolls at any time of the day, any day of the week. Often, visitors will be treated to a musical or cultural performance; the city of Mérida hosts arts in the square nearly every day. For more culture, guests can explore one of several museums in the neighborhood; Casa de los Montejo is a stunning option, a completely restored Renaissance-style structure built in the 1530s as a residence. Visitors can tour the building, which contains furniture and objects from the period; there's also a small section devoted to contemporary Mexican art (often, exhibits focus on photography) and a gift shop with a good selection of local handicrafts.
Need to Know
Rooms: 14 rooms, 3 suites; from $235. Check-in: noon; check-out: 2 p.m. Dining options: The hotel's on-site restaurant has an extensive menu with international influences. Moon Lounge is the rooftop terrace bar. Spa and gym details: The hotel has an on-site gym, but most guests end up spending far more time at the spa, which specializes in treatments that incorporate cacao—chocolate—and roses, along with Mexican herbs and spices.
Who it's for: Travelers who appreciate unique design; and couples, as the hotel is incredibly romantic. Our favorite rooms: All of the rooms have outdoor terraces with soaking tubs, but the Master Suite Rosas y Xocolate is our favorite. Its terrace allows guests to look out onto Paseo de Montejo, the classy street lined with colonial-era beauties. Sweet treats: An on-site chocolatier makes sweet treats available for purchase in the hotel's boutique.