If you are looking for a unique and luxurious experience during your time in the Mexican Yucatan, you should consider booking a night’s stay in one of the best Yucatan haciendas during your trip. Haciendas are large rural homesteads that were built by the Spanish Conquistadors between the 16th and 20th centuries and today, many of these properties have been converted into luxury hotels and restaurants.
These gorgeous colonial-era mansions have been renovated to suit the modern luxury traveler while still maintaining their original characteristics and charm. You can typically expect high ceilings with azulejo tiles sourced from across Mexico and Spain, antique furnishings, and ornate fixtures and fittings.
Many of these properties are home to on-site spas, outdoor pools, gardens and walking trails, and exquisite restaurants that serve unparalleled Comida Yucateca (regional Yucatecan cuisine) or Mexican classic dishes. Although they fall into the “luxury” category, many haciendas in this area are priced between $80 to USD 200 a night so while it’s still a bit of a splurge, it doesn’t break the bank, and luxury here is much more affordable than it is in the US, Canada and elsewhere.
You are in good hands here because I have been living in the Yucatan capital of Merida for the past couple of years and have visited over a dozen Yucatan haciendas during that time. My partner and I try to make the most of our time in Southeastern Mexico and often go on staycations to luxe haciendas or charming pueblos, rural areas, and lesser-known beach towns every weekend.
What are Yucatan Haciendas?
If you are not familiar with the concept, Yucatan haciendas are rural homesteads that were built by the Spanish colonizers through the 16th to the 20th century. A hacienda would often employ as many as 100-200 people and the complex would be made up of various different buildings and outhouses.
The main building would typically consist of elegant living quarters where the noble families that owned the haciendas would live, and the outbuildings would serve various industrial or agricultural purposes.
Many haciendas popped up during the henequen boom that ran from around 1880 to 1915. During this period, the Yucatan was one of the richest places in the world, all thanks to the henequen plant (“sisal”) that was grown locally and processed to form natural fibers.
The fibers were in high demand and were exported all over the world in order to make accessories, hammocks, bags, etc. Sadly, when synthetic fibers were introduced at the turn of the century, the demand for henequen declined rapidly and many of the haciendas across the peninsula were closed down.
Today, the only hacienda that still serves its original purpose in the Yucatan is in the town of Aké. Many fell into disrepair and you can check out a lot of abandoned, eerie properties as you drive around the Yucatan which have been reclaimed by the jungle.
Fortunately others were a little more lucky and were purchased by investors who breathed a new lease of life into the old buildings and transformed them into luxury hotels and restaurants.
Staying at a hacienda is a nice, intimate experience because most typically have less than 10-12 rooms and suites.
13 Best Yucatan Haciendas to Consider in 2023 and Beyond
Haciendas can be found scattered across Mexico but the ones in this list are concentrated to accommodation options in the Yucatan peninsula tri-state area which encompasses Campeche state, the Yucatan state and the state of Quintana Roo.
There are haciendas near Merida, Izamal, Valladolid, Campeche and other major cities within the region which make a convenient base for exploring these areas during your Yucatan trip Others are nestled in remote areas in the heart of the Yucatan jungle where your only neighbors are peccaries, iguanas and coatis, and you really have the opportunity to relax and unwind in nature.
If you are embarking on a road trip across the Yucatan and you dont have a huge budget for luxury accommodation, you could try and stay just one night in a hacienda so that you have the experience of doing so. Alternatively, many haciendas have excellent fine-dining restaurants on-site where you can stop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner whether you are a guest or not.
(Although often, reservations come highly recommended, especially in the high season).
If you are looking for a hacienda close to Merida, my recommendation would be to consider Hacienda San Jose or Hacienda Santa Cruz. Close to Izamal, you can consider Hacienda Sac Nicte.
Hacienda Chichen Resort and Yaxkin Spa
The gorgeous Hacienda Chichen Resort and Yaxkin Spa is one of the best places to stay if you are looking for accommodation near Chichen Itza. It is actually located right within the historical site’s archeological zone meaning that if you plan on being one of the first in line to visit Chichen Itza in the morning, you physically couldnt find a closer place to stay.
(Unless maybe if you decided to camp out in the adjacent carpark but its not necessarily something Id recommend!) Better still, hacienda guests can access the ancient Mayan city via an exclusive private entrance meaning that you can skip the general admissions line.
Staying at Hacienda Chichen
Guests are presented with a delicious, refreshing welcome cocktail on arrival and the service is unparalleled. The main hacienda building and its standalone suites and cottages have been decorated in a vibrant shade of yellow while the rooms boast high ceilings and colonial style decor pared with Mayan textiles, art pieces and hand-carved wooden furnishings.
Fluffy slippers and bathrobes are provided for your comfort, and the bathrooms feature large skylights so that you can experience the sights and sounds of the jungle while you shower.
The hacienda restaurant serves Yucatecan delicacies like sopa de lima (chicken and lime soup) and cochnitia pibil (slow cooked pork from the Yucatan), as well as foods to suit a more international palate like grilled chicken and New York steaks. Unfortunately, the prices are reminiscent of the United States, but everything is organic and grown in the haciendas own Orchard garden.
Time and again, Hacienda Chichen Resort and Spa is recognized in global media for its commitment to eco-tourism. The property has been recommended by the likes of Conde Nast Traveler and National Geographic, and has won countless awards.
For prices and availability, click here.
Hacienda Uxmal Plantation and Museum
Hacienda Uxmal Plantation is a historic hacienda that sits right across the road from the Uxmal archeological site, making it a perfect base for exploring the Uxmal ruins and the wider Ruta Puuc region. It is considered a Yucatan institution, largely because so many celebrities, royals and dignitaries have stayed here throughout the years and it was where many world-leading archeologists based themselves while they were excavating the structures at Uxmal.
The grand porticoed walkways of the hacienda are essentially a “free” museum as they are lined with photographs of archeological digs, as well as photos and accounts of all the notable people that have stayed here over the years. (This includes the likes of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Indira Ghandi and Jaqueline Kennedy).
Staying at the Hacienda Uxmal Plantation
There is a large outdoor pool in the courtyard of the hacienda, with ample sunbeds to rest on at the end of a long days sightseeing. The rooms combine Spanish and Mayan decorative styles with wooden furnishings and tiled floors and some come complete with spa baths with jacuzzi jets.
Wooden rocking chairs sit on the terraces outside the rooms and make a perfect place to relax while the poolside bar prepares some excellent tequila and mezcal-infused cocktails. The only downside is that the food and beverages at the hotel are very expensive, even for a tourist area.
The Hacienda Uxmal restaurant is open for breakfast only, and if you want to have dinner or lunch, you should head to the Coole Chepa Chi restaurant outside The Lodge at Uxmal. (The two properties are owned by the same country. Expect to pay at least $30 USD per person for very simple meal choices).
Click here to check the latest room rates and availability at the Hacienda Uxmal Plantation.
Hacienda Santa Cruz
Where: C. 86 S/N, Santa Cruz Palomeque, 97315 Mérida
Hacienda Santa Cruz is a gorgeous property close to the village of Dzununcán, just outside of Merida. The property dates all the way back to 1640 and sits within the Cuxtal ecological reserve.
Hacienda Santa Cruz is different from other Yucatan haciendas because the owners still live on-site. They pride themselves on their ability to give tourists a truly personalized travel experience and offer the same hospitality that you would expect if you were staying with family.
There are two swimming pools and a spa on site. The Casa de Maquin Restaurant here offers some of the best Yucatecan food in Merida.
Stop by for breakfast or brunch to enjoy a la carte dining and Mexican breakfast classics like chilaquiles, huevos Mexicanos, and homemade sweet bread. Better yet? A live trio will be there to play Mexican folk music as you dine.
Hacienda Santa Cruz offers several rooms and suites housed within the property’s main house. The property also boasts a small chapel, stunning gardens, and a small folk village that depicts what life was like here centuries ago.
Each room or suite here is decorated in a distinct, unique way and boasts Yucatan textiles or colorfully painted walls. You can check the latest room rates and availability at Hacienda Santa Cruz here.
Hacienda San Jose
Where: Km 30 Carretera Tixkokob-Tekanto, 97470 Tixkokob, Yucatan
Hacienda San Jose in Tixkokob is one of several converted luxury haciendas that is managed by Marriott. It sits just 36km east of Merida, encompassed by beautifully manicured gardens and tropical woodlands.
The colorful premises boast several spectacular rooms, suites, and self-contained villas, each of which has been decorated differently. The renovation and restoration efforts of the hacienda were made with explicit care to protect the original characteristics of the building and the personal touches that the former owners gave it.
Most feature 18-foot ceilings with exposed beams, 10-foot-high double wooden doors, beautiful wooden beds, dark tropical hardwood cabinets, and tile floors. Having hammocks in virtually every room and living space is a quintessentially Yucatecan tradition that is followed here.
The majority of rooms and suites at Hacienda San Jose feature woven cotton hammocks – the perfect place to lounge around and relax after a long day of sightseeing. The restaurant here, housed within an old factory building, is one of the best restaurants in Merida.
Tixkokob itself is a charming town, worthy of a little exploration. Foodie travelers will love the dining options available here.
Pueblo Pibil (Calle 21 & 28, N ° 180) and Celestial Cocina Jardin (Calle 27, Calle 18 y 20, 97470) are two great places to add to your radar. Click here to check the latest room rates and availability at Hacienda San Jose.
Hacienda San Miguel
Where: Federal Highway Izamal-Valladolid Kilometer 8, 97796, Uayma
Hacienda San Miguel is a gorgeous 16th-century hacienda nestled in the heart of the Mayan jungle just outside of Valladolid. It is remote enough that you feel that you are a million miles away from all of the stresses of modern life, yet close enough to head to the town center for lunch and dinner.
This is one of the oldest haciendas in the Yucatan and it’s a beautiful one. Its location makes it a convenient place for visiting some of the best places in the Yucatan.
Chichen Itza is approximately 45 minutes away from here and the ruins at Ek Balam are 25 minutes north. Like many Yucatan haciendas, Hacienda San Miguel thrived during the henequen boom.
Henequen was the main call of business until 50 years ago. in 1979, it was transformed into a cattle and beekeeping ranch and finally, a luxury tourism property.
The hacienda has witnessed many important historical invents, including the 1910 Mexican revolution. When scenes of violence broke out between the Spanish and the native people, the phone at the hacienda was the only way that the people of Valladolid could contact the people in Merida.
Today, the hacienda offers an indulgent luxury retreat in the middle of nature. There is a restaurant on site serving traditional cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Guests can relax by the pool, hike or cycle the various trails around the property, and play with their travel companions in the games room. There is a small church on site where employees would attend mass on Sundays centuries ago…
Where: Carretera Tekal de Venegas Km. 5, 97541 Izamal
Hacienda Sacnicte sits just outside the charming pueblo magico of Izamal. Pueblo magicos are Mexican towns and villages that have been recognized for being the site of transcendental events in Mexican history, being especially beautiful or cultured, or boasting a particularly interesting local gastronomy.
Izamal is a beautiful little town whose buildings have all been painted in a vibrant shade of yellow. This is in honor of the Mayan Sun God Kinich Kakmó. A pyramid dedicated to this deity can be found in the center of the city.
Izamal makes a pleasant day trip destination from Merida, Playa del Carmen, or Cancun. The brightly colored streets, often completely empty during the day except for the occasional street vendor, are a photographer’s dream.
Meander through the colorful streets, check out the 1561 Convent of San Antonio de Padua, and stop for Yucatecan food prepared using Mayan techniques at Kinich (Calle 27.299y 28y 30, Centro, 97540 Izamal).
While in the area, treat yourself to a stay at Hacienda Sacnicte. Since the hacienda is a little out of the town center, it is best suited to travelers renting a car and driving in Mexico. However, you can certainly organize a cab locally to take you to the hacienda.
Hacienda Sacnicte offers ten rooms and suites, each of which has been tastefully decorated. The furnishings are plush and modern, bright and colorful.
The high ceilings and exposed beams are the best characteristics of the hacienda’s past. The presidential suite here is the room where the Hacendado (hacienda owner) used to sleep and is the perfect choice for absolute indulgence.
You can check the latest room rates and availability at Hacienda Sacnicte here.
Hacienda Sac Chich
Where: Calle 16, Acanceh, 97380 Acanceh, Yucatan
The gorgeous Hacienda Sac Chich, hidden away in the Yucatan jungle, offers the perfect blend of old-world charm and modern interiors and furnishings. Here, historical buildings and award-winning contemporary architecture combine to provide lodging for up to 21 people.
The hacienda is only 30 minutes from central Merida but it feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Accommodation options here are much more spacious than those offered by other Yucatan haciendas.
Hacienda Sac Chich offers three self-contained ¨casas¨ (houses). They boast several bedrooms with living spaces and private bathrooms.
These casas make the perfect accommodation choice for a family, or a group of friends or couples traveling together. Alternatively, they are just as well-suited to the independent traveler that likes plenty of their own space while traveling!
Rooms and casas boast ceilings as high as 26 feet, many of which offer grand 13-foot doors that open out directly to the pools and gardens. The buildings here date back to the 19th century.
There are several freshwater swimming pools on-site, along with barbecues and a volleyball court. There is no restaurant, although Hacienda Sac Chich will prepare meals for guests upon request.
Most casas require a two-night minimum stay and prices vary depending on the specific casa you choose. Click here to check the latest rates and availability.
Where: Calle 20 S/N x 19 y 19A Comisaría Xcanatún, 97302 Mérida, Yucatan
Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana is located just 15 minutes away from the Yucatan capital of Merida. The property is renowned for being one of the most iconic henequen haciendas of the 18th century.
There are 18 gorgeous suites available on the premises, the largest of which boast their own private pools. The suites have been designed in such a way to give guests a feel for what hacienda life was like for the nobility in the 18th and 19th centuries.
A neutral color palette has been used throughout all of the suites, and the furnishings have been handmade using Mayan techniques. A smart TV, air conditioning, a minibar, and tea/coffee making facilities are available in all rooms.
Casa de Piedra restaurant serves up a selection of mouthwatering Yucatecan and contemporary Mexican delicacies. The menu is the brainchild of beloved on-site chef Gerardo Hernández and it does not disappoint. Even Merida residents and ex-pats will make the journey out of the city just to have the opportunity to dine here.
Where: C. 19 172, Misné, 97173 Mérida, Yucatan
Hacienda Misne is undoubtedly one of the best haciendas near Merida. It is just 15 minutes away from both the city center and Merida’s international airport.
The gorgeous property has been restored to its former glory and consists of several structures that have been painted in vibrant shades of red and yellow. It dates back to the 18th century and boasts a unique combination of architectural details from colonial times, with a slightly French influence.
The old defensive walls that used to protect the hacienda from any potential enemies or intruders still stand to this day. The property is surrounded by lush, tropical gardens filled with colorful, fragrant flowers and dozens of species of birds.
There are 42 large, comfortable rooms and 8 lavish suites here. They combine the comforts and amenities of modern life (wifi, smart TVs, rainfall showers, and MP3s) with the decadence of 18th-century Yucatan living (handmade furnishings in wood and iron, soft hammocks perfect for napping, etc).
The restaurant here caters to guests only. It is open daily from 07.00 am until 21.00 pm. You can check the latest room rates and availability at Hacienda Misne here.
Hacienda Temozón Sur
Where: Km 182 Carretera Merida-Uxmal, 97825 Temozón Sur, Yucatan
Hacienda Temozon is another Marriott managed luxury collection hacienda close to Merida. It sits in the heart of the Yucatan jungle, not far from Uxmal and the Puuc route
The property is spectacular – its exteriors boast coral walls and white trim, and its interiors feature 18-foot ceilings with exposed wooden beams. Each terrace offers its own private plunge pool.
The opulence of this place has attracted numerous jet-setters, celebrities, and politicians from across the globe. Indeed, two US-Mexico presidential summits were held here. Notably, Bill Clinton and Ernesto Zedillo in 1999 and George Bush & Felipe Calderon in 2007.
Staying at Hacienda Temozon places you just a short distance away from the archaeological sites of Uxmal and Mayapan. Nearby, you can also visit the eerily abandoned Hacienda Uayalceh whose rooms are still filled with decaying yet grandiose furniture…
Hacienda Santa Rosa
Where: Carretera Mérida Campeche DesviacióN, 97800 Santa Rosa, Yuc.
Hacienda Santa Rosa is one more renovated Yucatan hacienda that is managed by Marriott. It is the smallest of their properties and it is a charming place for a very cozy, personal luxe travel experience.
Other Yucatan haciendas may have accommodated dozens of workers and mined/harvested local resources. However, Hacienda Santa Rosa is the former private estate of a Spanish nobleman.
The buildings here feature uniquely carved columns, manicured gardens, and mysterious evening campfire pits. The hacienda is located close to the village of Maxcanú and the Yucatan-Campeche state border. Opting to stay here places you close to Celestún, Yucatan (61km away), the Edzna ruins of Campeche, and Campeche city.
The hacienda is located somewhat in the middle of nowhere. So, it may be somewhere that you consider staying if you have already visited Merida and the main highlights of the Yucatan and you are on your way to Campeche state.
Staying at the Hacienda Santa Rosa
Staying here would be a good way to break up the long journey to Campeche city. One of the best features of this property is its phenomenally spacious outdoor pool – the perfect place to relax at the end of the day.
When you check into your room, you are greeted with fragrant, fresh flowers, and unparalleled Mayan hospitality. The rooms here boast high ceilings, 19th-century floors, and vintage Mexican décor.
Dining here is an experience in itself and if you wish, you can ask the receptionist/concierge for a “romantic dinner” experience.
Then, they will set up a table for two in the middle of the woodland, away from any other patrons. Your seating area will be illuminated by twinkling candles while romantic music plays in the background. What could be a more romantic experience?
Hacienda San Francisco Tzacalha
Where: San Francisco Manzanilla, 97500 Dzidzantún, Yucatan
Hacienda San Francisco Tzacalha is a gorgeous, independently-managed property in Northeastern Yucatan. Its remote location makes the hacienda the perfect place to stay if you are looking for peace and seclusion.
The hacienda also places you very close to some of the best beaches in the Yucatan. From here, you are just a short drive away from the remote and sleepy beach towns of Dzilam de Bravo and Santa Clara.
Head a little further along the Emerald coast and you will arrive at the gorgeous upscale beach towns of San Benito and San Crisanto, the latter of which is encompassed by gorgeous coconut groves and exudes tropical island vibes.
The hacienda, like many in the Yucatan region, fell into abandonment and disrepair after the decline of the henequen industry. It was purchased by the Ruz Sosa family who has refurbished it with love and injected a new lease of life into the property.
The property consists of 15 self-contained villas and 11 private rooms. The villas here are complete with their own living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, multiple bedrooms, individual gardens, and small pools.
Hacienda Puerta Campeche
Hacienda Puerta Campeche is a decadent 17th century hacienda that sits on the outskirts of the Campeche state capital of San Francisco de Campeche. It is currently managed by the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) and its rooms and suites showcase the very best of Yucatecan culture and design.
Envisage rooms with 18-foot ceilings, wooden double doors, indigenous artwork pieces, and rust-colored tiles and you are halfway towards picturing the beauty of Hacienda Puerta Campeche. At check in, you are greeted with a complimentary non-alcoholic cocktail and the property can assist you with transfers to/from the airport if needed.
All of the air-conditioned rooms here sport rainforest showers, complimentary toiletries and comfy beds. Guests can enjoy the indoor and outdoor swimming pools and there is also a fitness center, a bar and a restaurant on site.
Click here to check the latest rates and availability at the Hacienda Puerta Campeche. The five star property is widely regarded as being one of the very best places to stay while in Campeche city.
Final thoughts on the best Yucatan haciendas
The haciendas showcased on this list are some of the best luxury properties to stay at during your time in the Yucatan, but no doubt as tourism to the region continues to increase, more similar-style accommodations will open up and this article will be updated accordingly. There are actually hundreds of old haciendas scattered across Mexico and wider Central America.
Many other haciendas in the Yucatan have been converted into restaurants. Hacienda Teya, for instance is a gorgeous 17th century property that serves some of the best elevated Yucatec cuisine in the peninsula, while restaurant Restaurante Ya-axka, close to Dzitya and Fraccionamiento Las Américas in Northern Merida is an eatery set in a chic hacienda that mixes Mexican traditions with refined contemporary cuisine and often hosts live jazz, blues and folk musicians at weekends.
There are of course, also those haciendas that were not so fortunate as to find someone who wanted to invest and renovate them. Many have haunting histories or can be seen at the side of the roadside, with towering trees and shrubs starting to reclaim them.
If abandoned places is your thing though, you might enjoy checking out Hacienda Misnebalam in the eerie pueblo fantasma (ghost town) of Misnebalam or Hacienda de Cancabchén de Casares in Cholul.
Have any questions about planning a trip to the Yucatan? I am always happy to help with any queries that you may have so please dont hesitate to reach out.
Safe travels and enjoy the Yucatan! Buen Viaje! Melissa xo