Hotel Hacienda Xcanatun an elegantly restored 18th-century sisal
plantation and manor house that was converted into a luxurious
boutique hotel believes guests should have it all at their
fingertips. This unique corner of the Yucatan offers everything
from private outings to ancient Maya centers or the Convent Route,
to cenote diving and championship golf. But up to now, the missing
link was a great beach experience.
That has changed with the recent introduction of Hacienda
Xcanatun’s day-long Eco-Getaway Beach Excursion. On this special
trip, paradise seekers will discover one of the finest beaches in
the Yucatan during a full day at the environmentally friendly Hotel
Eco Paraiso Xixim. When returning to the hacienda, visitors can
also opt for a boat trip in Celestun’s wildlife refuge to watch the
flocks of feeding flamingos and other water birds.
“Guests asked us to find a place where they could relax for a
full day on a beautiful beach,” said Christina Baker, co-owner of
Hacienda Xcanatun. “While they love visiting museums, shopping and
exploring, at some point they want a day off to do absolutely
nothing. Others equate coming to the Yucatan with beaches they want
to have their cake and eat it too. This excursion is the perfect
The Eco-Getaway begins with a one-hour self-drive to Hotel Eco
Paraiso Xixim, located nine miles north of the village of Celestun.
Offering a complete break from civilization, the hotel lives up to
its name with its undisturbed coastal dunes bordered by gentle
green seas. The 15 private bungalows made from natural materials
are nestled in a coconut grove.
“Eco-Paraiso is the rustic side of luxe,” Baker said. “Hacienda
Xcanatun is colonial Mexico’s opulent side of luxe. It showcases
the ‘other’ Yucatan. Many guests are unaware that we have gorgeous
undeveloped beaches and incredible nature preserves nearby.”
Upon arrival, guests are given use of a thatched-roof seafront
accommodation, complete with private porch and hammocks. For
recreation, they’ll find a freshwater pool, bikes, kayaks and a
small natural history museum showcasing the local fauna and flora.
Two mapped nature trails meander through the property. Lunch
features the house specialty some of the freshest fish in the
Yucatan. The full-day Eco Excursion is available for $94 for two
persons (including lunch).
After a day of total relaxation, those with energy to spare can
catch a boat and explore Celestun’s National Wildlife Refuge that
is home to thousands of pink flamingos and at least 175 species of
waterbirds. The guided boat trek is approximately $45 for up to
According to Baker, visitor response to the getaway has been
“They love it spending the day in a pristine setting with
nothing but sea and beach as far as the eye can see. Birders
especially appreciate the nature walks around the resort where a
multitude of the Yucatan’s coastal birds find refuge. But they also
mention that insect repellant and sun block are musts!”
Guests can tie the Eco-Getaway Beach Excursion to any of
Hacienda Xcanatun’s packages, including the five-night Discovering
the Maya Package Plus Free Sixth Night plan that is priced from
$865 per person (based on double occupancy) from June 1-Sept. 30.
From Oct. 1-May 31, 2009, (excluding Christmas, space available),
rates are from $952 per person.
The package is designed for either do-it-yourself drivers or
those who prefer traveling with their own guide and driver.
Included are accommodations in a deluxe suite with terrace and
outdoor soaking tub, daily Xcanatun breakfast, one Maya spa
treatment per person, plus arrival transfers from Merida Airport.
Additional nights are $260 each, while spa treatments are $60. The
cost for a guide/driver is $180 per day. Taxes and service charges
Conveniently located in the heart of the Mundo Maya near many of
the Yucatan’s major attractions, Hacienda Xcanatun also offers
privately chauffeured and guided excursions to the great Maya
cities at Uxmal, Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. Guests interested in
the modern Maya can experience firsthand life in a traditional
village such as Yaxunah or Unil Ek Balam.
Activities include cooking in the Maya open-pit tradition,
hiking, birding and exploring unexcavated ruins in the company of a
local guide. Another day might be spent exploring Merida’s varied
and rich museums, classic mansions, fine shopping and open-air
concerts all only 20 minutes from Xcanatun.
At the close of each adventurous day, hacienda guests return to
a baronial, luxurious lifestyle that’s carefully maintained by the
hotel owners, who have long and deep ties to the Yucatan. Hacienda
Xcanatun features 18 spacious suites and rooms decorated with
period hand-carved furnishings, antiques, oil paintings and stone
and marble floors.
Each accommodation is air-conditioned and features a sky-lit,
marble-wrapped bathroom with a private patio or veranda. Welcome
respites are provided by the hacienda’s two freshwater swimming
pools and an intimate spa with the latest beauty and holistic Maya
treatments. In its gourmet restaurant, fine fusion Yucatecan
cuisine is paired with an extensive wine and cigar menu.
Guests can select from three types of accommodations Superior
Rooms, Deluxe Suites and Master Suites. Nightly published room
rates range from $235-$315, including breakfast for two. Taxes and
hotel service charges amounting to 22 percent are additional.