Casa del Balam Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Merida
Arnold.smolders stayed here on Jul 19, 2012 during their trip titled: Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.
Our first proper day of the tour began with another five star buffet of corn flakes and lukewarm milk as we got ready to leave at 7:30am. We headed for chichen itza, one of Mexico's most famous Mayan sites.
I was slightly bemused when I came down because the staff at reception all gave me funny looks and Lisa our tour guide burst into fits of laughter. Surely I wasn't having that bad a hair day?? Turns out they were laughing at my tshirt. I made a conscious effort this trip not ...
... cave, I was in complete disbelief we were under the ground swimming amongst millions of years in the making. There aren't many moments in this life where your world stands still and you get a true glimpse at real beauty. A window of treasured consciousness! I lay on my back floating with my ears just below the surface, all I could hear was the sound of my own breathing. I couldn't believe it, I was swimming in a cave, just me, Stuie and four other people. This was a moment i ...
... when swimming in the fresh water Green Canyon this time took up the offer of a life buoyancy vest so that I could just float and admire the view above from below.
We got back late - close to 5 pm so my “hop on hop off” 90 min tour of town was not really possible as ...
This morning's lesson went quickly; certain Spanish verbs are a bit tricky because vowels in the root can often change when you conjugate them in the present tense. This is the last thing I'll say about the content of the lessons, I promise!
In the afternoon we had a Mexican cooking lesson. I partnered up with the appropriately named Maya, a 55 year old Swiss primary school teacher, to make guacamole. The other two pairs prepared ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Casa del Balam Hotel Merida
Affordable Luxury-A Fine Hotel
I stayed at Casa del Balam with my ll year old son for just one night during the last week of April 2005. We had been staying in a budget hotel on Isla Mujeres for 4 days, so we nearly jumped for joy at the luxury this hotel offered (at an affordable price). I cannot stress enough what a, well, class act, this hotel is. Excellent service and attendants, so friendly, willing and available to help in any way.
Anyway, upon arriving here, the friendliness was refreshing, and after our weary bus trip across the Yucatan, when we walked into our Gorgeous room, we both just fell down on our beds and sighed a sigh of relief (as if we were back in our own comfy home with all the modern conveniences and tasteful thick sheets). I think we both spent a good hour in the shower upon arrival (lol) and then relaxed in the luxury of the air conditioned room. The room was furnished handsomely with colonial details. Also, a t.v. (which my child enjoyed briefly) We had a non-complimentary breakfast on the first floor, amidst palms and lovely columns, and ventured out into Merida and on to Uxmal (FABULOUS Mayan ruins).
In the end, we loved the beach at Isla Mujeres, but we were very happy to stay in Merida, a welcoming, friendly city with such a fine, genuinely graceful hotel. (We ventured on to Playa del Carmen, to yet another wonderful hotel).
Casa del Balam - what a treat!
We absolutely loved staying at this hotel. The building itself was superb and the staff members were friendly and helpful.
The location was also good and we would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel. It was a great chance to stay in a Mexican hotel rather than an American-style hotel.
Perfect weekend place
This hotel was once part of a colonial home so the entry and patio garden are exquisite with a perfect location for historic center activities (the Gran Plaza, the Cathedral, etc). The actual hotel rooms however are in an tower addition that was clearly added much later and have much more of a Motel 6 flavor. That being said it is still the ideal location for savoring the flavor of Merida especially on the weekends when they close off the streets to traffic and you can easily walk everywhere, returning to you quiet, sound insulated room for a good nights sleep.
Stylish and comfortable
I first stayed at Casa del Balam in 1993 when I enjoyed its atmosphere, comfort and pretty swimming pool. This time I returned with my husband and 2 children for a 3 day stay as part of a longer holiday in the Yucatan.
We booked the holiday through Expedia, which was straightforward, except the cost. The Expedia booking warned that our reservation cost was for 2 adults, and might/might not include tax (not good enough I feel now). When we checked in we were informed that we would be charged USD 105 a night for a room with 2 doubles plus the extra single bed we requested.
The hotel is very comfortable, and we liked our 5th floor "junior suite" room. The pool is still pretty, the hotel is well located, and we enjoyed breakfast there. We didn't stay for drinks or dinner as it was very quiet in the evenings, even though it was the Easter holidays. The aircon was very efficient (sometimes too much), and the only noise problem we had was one windy night when the staff put up canvas blinds on the outside which flapped in the wind.
Our only problem was on checking out, when the bill, now in pesos, was for much more than the quoted price in dollars. When I questioned this, it turned out it was for 105 USD plus tax, and possibly an extra occupant. When I explained that we had been quoted just 105 USD on checkin, they agreed to charge just that. They then tried to charge the higher fee. I got my way in the end, but it took 30 minutes. I think this was due to poor communication between the staff, and limited numeracy skills (I took control of the calculator in the end). They rather quaintly don't use computers. Other charges, such as meals and phone were charged correctly.
Overall I would still recommend Casa del Balam, but just pin them down on costs.
We've been to Balam twice in one visit; first and last
My fiance and I had booked Casa del Balam for a week in mid-January of 2005. We left after the first night. Why? We could not sleep. On two sides of the hotel, two of the busiest streets in El Centro of Merida produce incredible levels of unending all-night noise. Repeat; all night.
In addition, the "queen-sized" bed was much too small for a decent sleep (no kings were available), plus, as others have mentioned, the hotel has seen better days.
After checking other Merida hotels we found that the Hyatt offered stone-quiet, larger rooms, with king beds AT 2/3RDS OF THE COST OF ROOMS AT CASA DEL BALAM. Adios.
Delusions of Grandeur...
Casa de Balam, according to the Lonely Planet guidebook, is "wearing at the edges a bit," but when I and a friend visited in June 2004, some of the rooms had been newly renovated, and ours was clean, quiet, and rather nice. However, while the facilities have gotten better, the service has declined; what spoiled it for us were that some members of the staff definitely have delusions that Casa is a grand hotel and restaurant for elite clientele, and they expect frequent and large tips. If you don't grease their palms immediately, grandly, and often, word gets around, and you can expect to be snubbed, to get bad service, and to be treated poorly overall. Given how uncomfortable we were made to feel here, I'd definitely opt for a slightly shabbier hotel any day...!
We spent just on night in Merida at Hotel Casa Del Balam and we enjoyed it a lot!
The hotel is in the very centre of town, it's not new but it's old fashioned charming!
Bathrooms are very nice and the aircon was working perfectly.
Buffet breakfast could have been better!
This was a great hotel, right near the hubub of the merida center...best room in the house 112, big balcony overlooking the pool and quiet (comparatively), I would imagine, to the streetside rooms. I sort of miss waking up and hearing echoes of distant music that is so plentiful in merida. Hotel staff were great and attentive, room always cleaned and well stocked...free water/drinks in fridge too. Air conditioned, although didnt really need it when we visited.
very much recommend this place...
Fantastic hotel, great location
I have recently stayed at the Casa del Balam, however I have been a guest there several times previously. I started my stay in the Dolores Alba but after my laptop was stolen from my locked room I moved to the reliable Casa del Balam.
The hotel is great, parking is just next door and included in the room price. There is a barbershop (the barber cut my hair as a child and remembered me) a travel agency in the same building - but not part of the hotel. There is a restaurant that is part of the hotel that has very good food. There is a quiet pool off the open air lobby.
The hotel 1/2 a block away from the center of the city, much closer than the Hyatt.
The Casa del Balam is without question the most authentic hotel in Merida. You will most certainly not be disappointed at the Casa del Balam.
Non tourist spot
Nice place to go.