Since the Spanish conquest, Mérida has been the cultural capital of the entire Yucatán Peninsula. At times provincial, at others ‘muy cosmopolitano,’ it is a town steeped in colonial history, with narrow streets, broad central plazas and the region’s best museums.
Mérida is not an ‘undiscovered Mexican gem’ like some of the tourist brochures claim. Simply put, it’s a tourist town, but a tourist town too big to feel like a tourist trap.
Mérida seemed like the perfect place from which to kick off my adventure into the state of Yucatán. The ADO first class bus left Chetumal at 07:30 and glided into Mérida bus station 6-hours later, for the reasonably priced ticket of £18.00. It was then a short taxi ride, costing £1.50, to my guesthouse.
I am still keeping an eye on my budget deficit and so, after a fair amount of research, I decided to stay at a guesthouse by the name of Yucatán Vista Inn – a place that ultimately reminded me very much of Faulty Towers. The reviews were varied to say the least, but the place was close to the centre of town, and the price was right.
Here is a recent review from TripAdvisor:
Feedback from client:
I was astonished with our experience at this guesthouse. In fact, the night we arrived I had to re-read the reviews to make sure it was the same place with the same owner.
The guest house is clean, has a/c and a lovely pool. Room 2, a small room next to the pool is lovely, quiet and private. However, what negatively impacts the place is the owner. He means well, but his social awkwardness and disorganization made me feel like he’s in the wrong business. There is no warmth, generosity or ease in his manner. Consequently, the place lacks charm. Breakfast, if he arrives in time to make it, is white bread, coffee and jam.
At the time you arrived, there was no-one but myself running the place, including cleaning the rooms, and the pool, preparing the continental breakfasts, and doing the administration which is now quite onerous due to the new tax reforms, and the abolition of the ‘pequeno contribuyente’ flat tax regimen. Perhaps your personal attack on me tells more about you than about me.
My personal footnote:
In reality, once I got to know the owner (Alan – from London) he turned out to be a really nice guy. I think ‘eccentric’ would describe him best.
During my stay I got to meet some lovely people who were returning long-stay-guests. All in all, Yucatan Vista Inn turned out to be a great choice.
Next stage: More about Mérida.