The first property in the Hacienda Collection to be transformed into a hotel, Hacienda Temozón is the largest and best known of the group. (read about Preserving History One Hacienda at a Time.) President Felipe Calderon of Mexico has stayed in the patron’s suite and welcomed President George W. Bush and others to visit for diplomatic discussions. An elegant alley of royal palm trees leads to the imposing red and white main colonial style house with its grand salons and verandahs. The living room features mammoth oil paintings, antique furniture and memorabilia from its glory days. The restaurant overlooks a sweep of lawn bisected by a long stone swimming pool with chaises shaded by a thatched awning on side and an elegant row of columns that remain as relics of a past structure. The twenty-eight rooms are located in original buildings that bear the names of the former purposes such as pharmacia and escuela. All feature eighteen-foot-high ceilings, exposed beams and authentic historic touches like tiled floors, wrought-iron beds and antique carved wooden tables. There are even woven cotton hammocks in case you want to sleep in the traditional Mayan fashion. As with the other Haciendas of Mexico properties, the lure here is the appeal of living for a while in a place where time seems to have stood still. Behind the pool is a grand building that once served as part of the sisal production. One massive room contains the saddles and carriages of the patron along with faded photographs of the heady times when this area was considered a center of such great wealth that its elite lived as extravagantly for their time as sheiks do today. A small antique train now transports guests through part of the eighty-eight acre property to a distant cenote for spa treatments. Or they can descend by candle light into another cave for an underground mud treatment and massage. More traditional activities include biking, tennis, horse back riding and excursions to cultural sites such as Izamal, the yellow city; Chichen Itza: Mérida or other less well-known Mayan ruins.
As part of the Fundación Haciendas del Mundo Maya efforts to develop initiatives within the community to generate income, there are artisan cooperatives in the town of Temozón, which you can visit. In one workshop, women embroider linens; in another, they fashion horn into frames, small dollhouse like chairs and other decorative objects; and in another, they weave sisal into bags and tassels like those used on all of the hacienda room keys. The Fundación now supports almost 250 artisans and their crafts, which merge traditional techniques with a more modern aesthetic, are sold in the hotel gift shops as well as in stores in Izamal and Mérida. Just down from these workshops are a community school, health clinic and library—all of which can be toured with those interested in learning more about the sustainable efforts of the hacienda’s owners.
Who it’s right for: Those who love history and a sleepy way of life, but don’t need beach time. It’s the perfect place for quiet reflection or painters or writers.
Who it’s wrong for: Those who expect modern design and comforts or lots of action or beach time.
Read about Preserving History One Hacienda at a Time
Read a member postcard about Exploring Mexico’s Haciendas
Read about Hacienda San José
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