Yucatán Revisited: The Magical Chablé Resort and Spa

Chablé Resort and Spa
Chablé Resort and Spa

I almost don’t want to tell you anything about Chablé Resort and Spa. I certainly don’t want to let you know how absolutely amazing it is, because I don’t want it to be entirely sold out for my next stay. And there will definitely be a next stay. Trust me, you will feel the same when you go.

This part of Mexico holds a special place in my heart. This was my second time flying into Mérida, my fourth hacienda hotel stay in the Yucatán, and my fourth visit to the general area. You can see all of my past Yucatán posts here.

Arrival into Mérida (MID) couldn’t be easier. If you have visions of Cancun in your head, let them go, because the Mérida airport while equally modern, is pretty much the exact opposite. You will clear immigration and customs in about twelve minutes, even with a checked bag, and I am being generous. Walk down a short hall and your driver will be there waiting for you.

It’s a quick 30-35 minute drive from the airport to the hotel which is located southwest of Mérida, just outside the small town of Chocholá. I arranged my transfer with the hotel, and my driver was courteous and the SUV was brand new.

Ixi’im Restaurant
Ixi’im Restaurant

Chablé is all about duality, and you can see it right from the start. Cool pod swings hanging from ancient trees next to original hacienda walls that are left partially and beautifully in ruin. Haute cuisine that could compete with any restaurant in Mexico City made with herbs grown twenty feet away in a traditional raised bed Mayan garden called a Ka’anche’s.

And then there are the rooms. While some of the original hacienda structures have been rebuilt and modernized for public spaces, the rooms are 100% completely new construction. The hard product is stunning. Every one of the 38 rooms and two villas has it’s own plunge pool, outdoor hangout and dining space, and of course the traditional Mayan hammock. The air conditioning is cold, the in-room technology is fun, and the moon shower is romantic.

Chablé is a resort, so you will find all of the usual amenities. A gorgeous main pool that is a centrally located oasis, with full poolside food and beverage service. A large gym, with all of the latest fitness equipment. If they added a couple of Pilates Reformer machines it would be absolutely perfect (hint, hint!). There are multiple restaurants and bars, as well as a small boutique.

Chablé is also a spa, and what a spa it is! I am usually a Swedish Massage person when it comes to spa treatments. It is my standard test, because it is the most basic of spa options. If a spa cannot do one correctly, then there is little hope for anything else. This time, because the spa is truly so inspiring, I went big. I did one of the two hour signature journeys and it was AMAZING. You are going to have to trust me on this. I don’t want to tell you any more, because the spa at Chablé is best experienced with as little preconception as possible.

There is a lot to see and do outside of Chablé , but the truth is that most people end up canceling their plans because the resort pulls you in and it is hard to let go.

My advice? Double whatever length of stay you had in mind, so that you ave plenty of time to be active and to relax.

Contact me today via email or phone at +1-508-485-3061 about booking your stay at this world-class gem in the Yucatán and take advantage of the following complimentary Virtuoso amenities for all stays in 2017 and 2018:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Full Breakfast for two daily, served in restaurant
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Complimentary transfers to and from Mérida Airport
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Additionally, there is currently a great promotion that offers your third night free for stays through December 20, 2017!

Stay 3 nights stay in a Casita with private swimming pool and daily breakfast, daily activities, roundtrip transfer to and from Mérida and $100 resort credit.

Casita King or Double starts from $2,259 per package based on 2 people.

**50% Deposit required at time of booking. Cancellation without penalty if cancelled 7 days prior to arrival. If cancelled within 7 days of arrival deposit it’s non-refundable. A 3 night minimum stay is required. Tax and service charges apply.

Disclaimer: My stay was at a reduced rate for travel advisors. 

Trip Report: The Yucatan with Catherwood Travels

Lunch at Cenote Xchen

Lunch at Cenote Xchen

Travel is always interesting, most often enjoyable, and sometimes simply magical. I came home from my trip in the Yucatan with Catherwood Travels and almost immediately contacted them to book another trip. It was that good.

Our trip began at the Fairmont Mayakoba where we were picked up by our guide and driver. We headed out on a brand new highway to the first stop on our tour, Ek Balam. This is one of many archaeological sites, Mayan ruins, that you can visit throughout the Yucatan. It is known for it’s beautiful preserved plaster work. To have an English speaking guide who is also an archaeologist was absolutely invaluable. Thank you Julia!

Ek Balam

After a touring the ruins we went back to our van where were greeted by our driver with cold towels and water. Much needed after a couple of hours out in the sweltering September heat. Our next item on the itinerary was the privately owned Cenote Xchen. On our way we drove through small Mayan villages and the surrounding farmland. It was interesting to see the main crops (corn, beans, and squash) planted together symbiotically in the fields.

Corn

Cenote Xchen was a fun stop. We had the most amazing lunch cooked on site with fresh handmade tortillas. But not only was the food delicious (coconut ice cream for dessert!), the setting was spectacular. We had menu cards, cloth napkins, palm frond chargers, and real glassware. This was not your average picnic lunch.

Lunch at cenote Xchen

After lunch we went swimming in the cool cenote and it was truly an otherworldly experience! You walk down a tight spiral staircase and into an ethereal landscape. The water was refreshing and dark, punctuated by long vines descending from the ceiling. My camera did not do the experience justice.

Cenote Xchen

Our evening was spent at Hacienda San Jose Cholul, one of the Starwood Luxury Collection Haciendas. This former henequen plantation has been lovingly revised and restored and has all the amenities needed for a wonderful stay. I would especially recommend it for couples as it the setting is quite romantic. Hacienda San Jose Cholul is part of the Starwood Luxury Collection, and therefore as an exclusive member of their Starwood Luxury Privileges program I am able to offer my clients the following amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival if available
  • Early check-in if available
  • Daily full breakfast for two guests
  • One 100 USD food and beverage credit per room, per stay (valid in the Hacienda restaurant only and excludes alcohol, taxes and gratuities)
  • Late check-out if available

The next morning we headed out for a visit to Izamal, one of Mexico’s Magical Towns. It is a beautiful town that is also known as the Yellow City as most of the buildings are painted a cheery goldenrod color.

Izamal

Here we rode a buggy around town, visited the cathedral, toured the art museum, and shopped for jewelry at the must-visit La Flor de Cocoyol. Here they craft jewelry out of local plants, including henequen.

Art Museum in Izamal

Lunch was enjoyed leisurely at Casa de Madera. This is a spacious four bedroom luxury villa rental tucked away on a side street in the heart of Izamal. In addition to the usual amenities it also has a lily pond, small swimming pool, and comes with daily cooking staff. Speaking of which, the highlight for me was the fresh handmade tamale appetizer. Delicious!

Tamales

Next we had a quick tour of Merida, the capital city of the Yucatan. This is another colonial Mexican city with great architecture and a large central square. We toured La Quinta Montes Molina, formerly a home and now a museum of fine European antiques and artifacts. An example of how nobility lived in Merida at the turn of the 20th Century.

After the tour we stopped for ice cream. I chose Elote, which is made from corn. If you like corn casserole, you will love elote ice cream!

Elote ice cream

That evening we were treated to a magical pre-columbian music and light show at Amphitheater Ochil. This was followed by a wonderful private dinner with traditional Mexican music and a tour of the museum at Hacienda Ochil.

Our night, although not much was left of it, was spent at another Starwood Luxury Collection Hacienda, Hacienda Temozon. It is another former henequen plantation that has been lovingly repurposed and brought back to life as a luxury hotel. They even have tennis! The Starwood Luxury Privileges amenities are as follows:

  • Upgrade on arrival if available
  • Early check-in if available
  • Daily full breakfast for two guests
  • One 100 food and beverage credit per room, per stay (valid in the Hacienda restaurant only and excludes alcohol, taxes and gratuities)
  • Late check-out if available

Once again, thank you very much to everyone at Catherwood Travels! I had such a great time in the Yucatan and cannot wait for my next trip with you in April.

If you would like to see more photos of my trip, please visit my Flickr page. If you have questions or are interested in booking a stay in the Yucatan, or a day trip, please call me at 508-485-3061 or send me an email.

 

Trip Report: The Yucatan from Cancun to Merida

jaguar

Jaguar

Can you hear the Yucatan calling? I recently returned from a trip to Mexico where I attended the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Americas conference which was held at the Fairmont Mayakoba where I stayed for four nights in a Deluxe Casita Room (photo tour below).

In addition to making some wonderful contacts for my clients and strengthening existing relationships with suppliers, I was fortunate to be able to take a couple of side trips. I flew into Cancun and spent two nights at NIZUC. I had not been since shortly after they opened and I wanted to experience the resort now that it is fully operational.

NIZUC

I also popped over to the Ritz-Carlton Cancun to check on their new room product. It is absolutely gorgeous, and a huge improvement over the formerly more traditional decor. The property is always impeccably maintained, but the decor just didn’t say beach resort. I was thrilled to see that they also have new lounge cushions on their pool chairs.

Ritz-Carlton Cancun

After ILTM Americas concluded I was thrilled to have been selected to go on a post-conference trip with Catherwood Travels. Many thanks to everyone who made the trip amazing, especially our guide Julia! We visited the Mayan ruins at Ek Balam, had an outstanding “picnic” lunch and swim at their private cenote Xchen, visited the beautiful golden city of Izamal, had a quick tour in Merida, and stayed in two of the Starwood Luxury Collection Haciendas, among many other fun experiences!

Lunch at cenote Xchen

I am more convinced than ever that the Yucatan is the prefect destination for people who are looking for both beach and culture. There is truly something for everyone. Plus, with numerous nonstop flights from all over the United States it is easy to get to, and offers some of the cheapest airfare to any warm weather destination.

Stay tuned for additional posts and photo tours of my experience in the Yucatan!

Trip Report: NIZUC Resort & Spa – 2014

Site Inspection: Ritz-Carlton Cancun – 2014

Trip Report: The Yucatan with Catherwood Travels – 2014