Tranvia de la Hacienda
XVII century palace in the forest of Yucatán A XXI century palace
between Chichen Itza and Uxmal
This newly opened nature resort includes majestic hacienda buildings and spacious private pavillions set in tropical gardens, 38 luxurious rooms and suites in all exquisitely furnished with art and antiques, featuring private wading pools filled continually with invigorating mineral spring water. Exquisite renovated Yucatán Cuisine, with organic and homegrown fruits and vegetables.
Hacienda Katanchel preserves the splendor of Spanish colonial architecture and ambiance. Yet it is surround by thousands of acres of vibrant jungle, exotic wildlife, and the Maya archeological wonders of Mexicos Yucatan Peninsula. Masterfully restored to its original magnificence, the haciendas 39 suite property recently as a luxury hotel and multifaceted "nature resort".
The Hacienda dates back to the 17th century when it was built on the grounds of an ancient Maya settlement. It was one of many Spanish land-grant ranches in region, originally devoted to raising cattle introduced from Spain to the Americas. Subsequently, and of much greater importance, came the spectacular boom in the 19th century of the cultivation of henequen (sisal) which is now coming into ecological vogue. This agave sisalana cactus plant provided strong fiber used for manufacturing rope. The Yucatan flourished as the most important purveyor of henequen (then called oro verde or green gold), and these haciendas generated enjoyed immense wealth and opulence.
The regal architecture of the capital of Merida (just 25 kilometers west of Hacienda Katanchel0) testifies to this golden era that ended in the 1950s, when nylon and petroleum byproducts replaced henequen for producing rope.
The spacious pavilions feature their own gardens and Maya-style orchards characterized by four types of plants: decorative, fragrant, eatable medicinal; two private terraces (with inviting Yucatecan hammocks); and a unique plunge pool. Here, guests literally immerse themselves in the ambiance of Nature, luxuriating in the invigorating mineral water pumped by turn-of-the-century windmills from 16 old wells. The pure, chemical-free flows continually back into the land for irrigation. This same recycling concept applies to the newly built semi-Olympic size swimming pool
The lofty restaurant retains its original name: Casa de Maquinas (machine house". The old henequen-processing factory). It serves superb imaginative cuisine, as well as Yucatecan regional delicacies, much of which is made with organic homegrown fruits, vegetables and herbs.
The Tienda de Raya (the name for the traditional hacienda on-premise general store and wage payment center) has become a spacious lounge, library, office, and boutique featuring Maya crafts. Meeting venues are available from ballroom to classroom formats.
Guests enjoy a variety of sophisticated special-interest activities: exploring the estate itself for birdwatching, medicinal plant studies, nature walks, and seeing reforestation project, as well as visiting neighboring centuries-old haciendas. Over a dozen distinct excursions (optional at additional cost), designed and escorted by scholars or on your own private rented car, take in major Maya archeological sites such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal, as well as lesser-known treasures like the ancient city of Ake. The colorful Convent Route covers dozens of close-by-picturesque colonial towns, each with historic convent or monastery. Among natural wonders are cenotes (cavernous wells, ceremonial sites in times, and now great for swimming), and amazingly pristine wildlife reserves one, on the coast, has pink flamingos galore. And for a "sun-sea-sand" picnic outing, there is a lovely pristine beach just a 40-minute scenic drive to the north. The hotels comfortable vans and other vehicles as well as private small jet and prop aircraft transport passengers to sites of interest on the Peninsula also in your private rented car.
location: 26 km. east of Merida (off the Merida-Cancun Highway)
mailing address: Yucatan, Mexico
zip code: 97470