Monday, March 26, 2018

Hacienda Chichen Hotel

 16th Century Casa Principal 
Arrived at Hacienda Chichen and happily checked in to our cottage suite. The location was fantastic, just 10 minutes to the ruins of Chichen Itza while surrounded by a beautiful jungle. The Hacienda has a very interesting history and has been used by many major archaeologists in studying the ruins of Chichen Itza. John Lloyd Stephens and artist Fredric Catherwood stayed here in the 1830s and brought the relativley unknown ancient Maya culture to public awareness.

Hacienda Chichen Original 16th Century Gate
Hacienda Chichen was among the first of Yucatan's Haciendas. This hacienda was built by the Spanish in the 16th Century around the 1540s. All colonial haciendas in the Yucatan were designed to operate within the Spanish feudal power structure and such was the case at Hacienda Chichen. 

The Main house (Casco) belonged to the hacienda Lord who was appointed by the Spanish Crown.  Hacienda Chichen structures were built by recycling Maya stones from the temple ruins; some can still be seen in the main house.
Recycled Maya Temple Stone in Main House

Alux – Maya Elf
In the 20th Century, Hacienda Chichen was bought by Edward Thompson, US Vice Consul. Through Mr. Thompson, the Carnegie Institute established its first Maya Archaeological Expedition Head Quarters at the hacienda in 1923. Rustic cottages were built to house the archaeologists and their research teams. Excavation and reconstruction began on Chichen Itza's Maya temples the same year. This group pioneered Maya Studies and Maya temple restoration in Mexico.

Dinner with Jaime Playing Music
The  Hacienda Chichen main house and cottages were later developed into a wonderful hotel. The 28 room eco-hotel has each of its rooms named after one of the archaeologists who stayed there. It has spacious terraces, a museum, jungle gardens, a conservation area of regional flora and fauna and a wonderful staff who makes staying here super fun.
Stephens Cottage 
We stayed four nights at the Hacienda Chichen in the Stephens Cottage. It was private and very nice. We had a informative guided bird tour with Bibiano which allowed us to see many jungle birds. We also had Bibiano's son, Jaime as our early morning guide to the ruins before the tour buses and the mob got there. The hacienda has a private path and gate into the ruins. Jaime is quite a person.

Colonial Hacienda Ruins
Hacienda Chichen is like a dream with a beautiful jungle setting and birds everywhere. The attentive staff is always there when you need them. There's also the beautiful covered al fresco dining room in the main house and the food is quite good. The front desk arranged the tickets to the ruins and Jaime as our guide. 

We had a wonderful time and shall return. 

Highly recommended!

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