InterContinental Presidente Merida
What We Love
- Boutique hotel style and service, but all the big amenities of a larger resort (pool, restaurant, bar, gym and business center)
- Central location a short walk from Merida’s historic center
- Frutas y Flores restaurant serves Mexican and international fare in a traditional dining room
- Mod cons: 42-inch flat-screen TVs, minibars, coffeemakers and iPod docking stations
What To Know
- Most rooms have views of the central courtyard
- Consulado bar is open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. only
- The pool is not heated
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
In what was originally a Spanish general’s mansion dating from the early 20th century, this 127-room boutique sleep is a comfy base in Merida’s central, upscale Palacado Monteo neighborhood. Renovated in 2012, the property retains many original features, from the ornate lobby decked out in marble, chandeliers and huge columns, to the elegant central courtyard and interior corridors. The guestrooms are classically styled in white, beige and gold, and all have 42-inch flat-screen TVs, minibars, coffeemakers, iPod docking stations, desks and en suite bathrooms with walk-in rainfall showers. Most rooms overlook the sunny internal courtyard, though the Suites have private balconies with views of the cityscape. On the ground floor, the Frutas y Flores restaurant is open from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily and dishes up traditional Mexican and international fare in an ornate dining room. The Consulado bar serves beer, wine and cocktails until 11 p.m. daily. If you’re looking to keep up your workout, the small gym is open around the clock, and there’s an outdoor pool surrounded by manicured gardens.
In the Area
Start at Merida’s main square, variously called the Zocalo (after Mexico City’s famous square) or the Plaza Grande, and check out the historic sights with which it’s lined, from the 16th-century cathedral (the second-oldest in the Americas) to the Museo Casa Montejo, which was once the home of Spanish conquistador Francisco Montejo. Don’t miss the modern art museum MACAY, which showcases the contemporary side of this ancient city. Sample Merida’s best home-cooked Yucatecan food at La Chaya Maya, a buzzy restaurant with two downtown locations (the newest in a lovely mansion) where you can dine on such regional specialties as chichinita pibil (a roasted pork dish) or salbutes (fried tortillas heaped with turkey, pickled onions and avocado). Nearby, see what’s cooking at Apoala, an upscale joint on Santa Lucia Square that serves mostly Oaxacan-inspired dishes to well-heeled Meridanos. Shop for beautiful artisanal clothing and accessories, as well as hand-crafted candles and fragrances made in nearby Valladolid, at Coqui Coqui, a chic boutique that wouldn’t be out of place in New York or Paris.
How to Get There
I am a Spire Ambassador, and stay frequently at InterContinental hotels. However, I had a stay which was completely not up to InterContinental standards.
First, it seems that this hotel suffers from an acute plumbing problem - upon entering the hotel, you immediately smell the sewage, which is a very bad sign. This continued throughout our stay; we stayed in two rooms, and we could not use the bathroom of one room, because the smell of the sewage was so intense. Despite discussing this with the hotel's team for 3 times, this was not resolved and we could not use the bathroom (they claimed to be handling it, but clearly the problem was never resolved - as the smell stayed with us throughtout our stay in the hotel). Further, the toilets in our rooms got clogged 4 times during a 2-night stay, which is ridiculous. Each time the hotel fixed the problem, but then it just came back upon the next use of the toilet...
Second, it is puzzling to stay an an InterContinental hotel where most of the staff barely speaks English. I called Instant Service one evening in order to request slippers - I got transferred between 5 (!) people, before someone actually understood some English (and then brought us something else, and not slippers...). Ridiculous.
Third, the service is not up to InterContinental standards. Most times I called Instant Service, I never got a reply - how is this an InterContinental?
Fourth, the breakfast at the restaurant is appalling - very crowded, and resembles an all-included cheap resort, rather than a high-end InterContinental.
After complaining about all of the above to the hotel management, they refused to offer any kind of compensation at all, which only shows how poor the service is at this hotel. After some more correspondence, they agreed to credit my account with 2,000 points - absolutely insulting.
Next time, I will be trying the Hyatt next door - seems much newer and in better condition.
Very fine older hotel with outstanding staff. The facility is clean 24 hours a day and the service and food was adequate. The swimming pool was small and was mostly used by children and their parents. The bar device was very good and location was across from the convention center. The price was reasonable. There are three other major chai hotels within a block.
The hotel is attractive as you arrive. Porter was attentive and friendly. Good start. Check-in was a little more challenging with an attendant that spoke very little English (ok, shame on me for not speaking Spanish!). Once checked in we were led to a very large room. However, no effort had been made to cool the room prior to arrival and it was in the middle of July. Can you say "HOT!!". Once in the room we turned the A/C and turned on the ceiling fan. The fan was very loud, but we suffered through to get the air moving. With that said, we could not run the fan that night as it was simply too loud to allow for sleeping. Bed was comfortable and pillows were good. Unfortunately, the room did not meet my standards for clean. Hair on the floor indicated it clearly had not been completely cleaned, as did water marks left on the bedside totable. The killer was in the morning when the water would not heat up and we took cold showers. Maybe that's ok in the middle of the day after being subjected to Merida weather, but not first think A.M. Upon mentioning this to the front desk at check-out, I was told it was a "city" water issue. Really? I thought hot water heaters were installed to address this need. I much would have preferred to be told that they would look into it. Overall, simply not at the same level as other InterContinental branded properties.