When I decided to travel to Merida Mexico I had no intention staying 2 weeks in this chaotic but beautiful historical city. Day by day I started to like Merida more and more. I got to know some off the beaten path places where only locals go and made some local friends.
Im sure my Merida Mexico travel tips will help you out a lot, check out my Merida travel guide in the link. What made my stay extra special was that I stayed in a super lovely and charming boutique hotel: Kuka y Naranjo.
In this review you will find out why I think this is one of the best places to stay in Merida Mexico and it is not going to break the bank.
Leaving this ‘hotelito’ made me sad, because the owners of the place became like friends. Their outstanding hospitality was touching, but moreover we shared the same views about lots of things going on in this world. There was a great connection! This sweet and well traveled young Mexican couple decided to buy a 150 year old house and in 9 months they turned it into an amazing boutique hotel. Their passion for the Kuka y Naranjo project is touching and the result is beautiful.
Im 100% sure with such a jewel and their approach this place is going to be an iconic hotel in Merida Mexico.
About Kuka y Naranjo
The name of this boutique hotel is derived from the history of Merida Mexico. It were the Spaniards that arrived here and found the Maya settlement in and around Merida. It took a little while but they blended in and found a way to live together in the same place. The Kuka tree is an endemic palm tree from Yucatan Peninsula, Naranjo stands for the orange tree of the Spaniards.
Trees give birth to something new and that is exactly what Kuka y Naranjo stands for as they turned a 150 year old house into a brand new small boutique hotel with only 7 rooms. The personal touch is one of the cornerstones of this lovely place.
Stylish boutique hotel with soul
Kuka y Naranjo is a boutique hotel like no other Merida Mexico hotel. The owners created several communal areas where people can hangout and mingle. There is a lovely garden in the back of the hotel with chairs, tables and even a kitchenette.
There is also a rooftop terrace with sofas to hang out. A lovely place to have a drink and share stories under the stars at night when the wind picks up and temperatures are finally nice. The 24 hour reception is located in a kind of living room where guests can hangout in the AC and there are many books for the grab.
The interior is very homey and modern style is mixed with classic touches. Music is played on an original vinyl record player and there are a bunch of lp’s to choose from. You are free to give this a go.
Decoration is totally on point and when you walk in it feels like walking into an oasis, all the greenery and the plants around surely help creating this effect.
Walking into the door of Kuka y Naranjo is like closing the door of the Merida Mexico chaos behind you and stepping into a sanctuary!
Location Kuka y Naranjo
Kuka y Naranjo is very well located within walking distance to all the cool things to do in Merida Mexico. The main square is just 3,5 blocks away. This is where you want to be and especially in weekends. Plan your Yucatan itinerary so that you experience Merida Mexico during the weekend. Some streets are closed for traffic, there are small festivals everywhere, restaurants put their terraces on the streets and every Sunday morning the city center becomes one big bike lane and is closed for traffic. Merida Mexico weekends are lit!
The ADO central bus station in Merida Mexico is only 3 blocks away as well and just one block from Kuka y Naranjo is the Parque San Juan. Here you will find the colectivos to all the day trips from Uxmal.
Have a look at my Merida Mexico travel guide for all the recommended day trips.
Rooms Kuka y Naranjo
All rooms have a unique name and a meaning, mine was called La Mejorada, named after an area in the city. The bed was heavenly and probably one of the best mattresses I experienced on my complete 2 month trip in Yucatan Peninsula. Without a doubt the rain shower was the best ever. So much pressure, something rarely seen traveling in Yucatan. Although Im all about saving the planet I did take an extra 5 minutes in the shower to treat myself! Im sorry...
Rooms don’t have televisions but that is on purpose and I think it is great! The travelers Kuka y Naranjo is trying to target aren’t the ones watching tv in the room. Something much more valuable is the hammock and the private rooftop terrace the La Mejorada room has. There was also a little fridge and safe.
Click here to check their rates and availability on booking before they are fully booked.
Breakfast Kuka y Naranjo
Prepare yourself to a great start of the day. The owner always had a passion for cooking but he is now able to eat his heart out as he prepares every meal himself and personally serves it to you at your table. There are fresh fruit platters waiting for you as well as homemade coffee. His cinnamon creations were heavenly. The fresh fruit juice and the healthy breakfast that I was served every morning was a blessing.
Ecotourism is a cornerstone of Kuka y Naranjo
As I mentioned already the contribution to local communities is one, but at Kuka y Naranjo they also try to keep the footprint as small as possible. All the soaps, shampoos and toiletries are organic and handmade. They just started producing their own biogas as well and in the future they want to run the hotel as much as possible on biogas. All food leftover are being decomposed and turned into biogas. Im pretty sure the owner is considering solar power panels in the future, but I didn't see them around.
Something I really valued is that they do everything in their power to not use any plastic products at all. It is kind of a plastic free hotel. Single used plastic is a total no-go at this Merida boutique hotel. There is for example a water dispenser and there are reusable glasses next to it which you can bring to your room instead of bottles of water in the room! Big yes to this and I think all the Merida Mexico hotels should take a look at how Kuka y Naranjo approaches a plastic free hotel!
Also they only work together with locals, so the furniture is from around the corner, the food is fresh from the market, the workers are locals from Merida Mexico, the organic soap is handmade with ingredients bought in the city, the plate you eat from is locally produced and so on. Basically anything you can think of comes from Merida Mexico. This way they help the local communities and by staying at Kuka y Naranjo you indirectly help the local community as well. Working only with local products is one of cornerstones of Kuka y Naranjo.
Kuka y Naranjo is also planning to start organizing workshops for its guests given by local artists. By inviting these artists to the hotel they try to form a cultural bridge to the local communities.
Review Kuka y Naranjo
Overall you already sensed that Im a huge fan of this new boutique hotel in Merida Mexico city center. I sincerely wish the lovely couple of this place all the best, but Im 100% sure that they will succeed and that Kuka y Naranjo will become one of the more popular places to stay in Merida Mexico
They only opened only in April 2019 and if you are traveling to Merida Mexico you should quickly check their rates and availability on booking before they are booked out.
I hope this Kuka y Naranjo review was helpful for your trip to Merida and I am happy and excited for you may you decide to book this lovely and charming place!