It has been many years since I have visited Merida, a city I remember fondly for its ochre reds, bouganvilea bowers and delicious food. We stayed in a wonderful old colonial house with tiled floors and high beamed ceilings. I am looking for that again in Rosas y Xocolate, where I am staying on Paseo Montejo, but find instead a highly designed hotel with charming staff and spa but, for me, lacking in the aesthetics I want Merida to have. On the prowl I come across Casa Lecanda, a recently reconstructed colonial house with simple airy loveliness. My picks for a stay in Merida are this or Casa Azul, with at least one delicious dinner and spa treatment at Rosas y Xocolate!
One of the prettiest shops – and there are a few – in Merida, Yucatan’s nearly 500 year old city, is Coqui Coqui. Selling scented candles, soap and perfumes as well as a few nicely designed leather and fiber articles, the shop is a tiny gem of deliciousness. Stop for a cup if tea in the rear tea room, a welcome respite from the intense sun and often high humidity. Created by the same folks who have tiny lodgings of the same name scattered throughout the region (the Coqui Coqui in Tulum being the most written about), this is a charming store and story in a fabled land.