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Are Mérida hotel rooms undervalued? One hotelier thinks so

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The Misión de Fray Diego’s owner is pushing for higher room rates. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — Super-cheap room rates are not necessary to stay booked, one hotel owner says.

Hotel occupancy is above 60 percent, and tourism is growing in Yucatán. But why do Mérida 100-plus hotels have to be such a steal compared with other Mexican tourist cities, or even Europe?

That’s the question posed by Jorge Torre Loría, owner of the boutique 20-room full-service hotel La Misión de Fray Diego, which is a block and-a-half from the main square. His hotel was part of the convent to Las Monjas church on the other side of the block.

“Mérida does not deserve to have the lowest hotel rates in the country,” he said. “Hoteliers must stop thinking about the competition and agree to an increase of 25 or 30 percent in order to have resources to improve the hosting centers. We are super lagging compared to other areas.”

Torre Loría also complained that hotels go into price wars in the low season. He said he is confident that occupancy wouldn’t suffer if the industry dared to hold firm on their prices.

He compared a three-star 300-euro room in Europe to a 600-peso room in Mérida. That’s the range offered today by Centro hotels such as the Hotel Santa Ana, Gran Hotel and Del Gobernador.

Also today, a US$60 room at Los Aluxes, a full-service hotel, is marked down to US$35 on Orbitz, which backs up Torre Loría’s statement about low-season discounts.

His own hotel is a little more expensive, but still reasonable for a complex with valet parking and a restaurant. A US$95 room is on booking.com at $64 a night.

Add another digit to get what the same room would go for in Europe he said: 6,000 pesos or US$300.

“That can not be, it is worth raising the rate before the new hotels that are developed in Merida begin operations,” he said.

Attracted by the new convention center, chain hotels are adding 2,000 new rooms to the city’s tourist portfolio.

“The increase has to be authorized the Mexican Chamber of Hotels and hopefully they will agree.”

Source: Diario de Yucatán

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