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Thursday, May 26, 2022

La Casa Azul — The bright blue icon behind Paseo de Montejo

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Veronica Garibayhttp://yucatanmagazine.com
Verónica Garibay Saldaña is a Mexican columnist, communications major, and poetry enthusiast. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.

Over on Calle 60, a few steps away from Paseo de Montejo sits a large, baby blue building. Not surprisingly, it is known by the name “Casa Azul.”

Entrance to the now boutique hotel. Photo: Paola Félix

Built in the 19h century, the now boutique hotel was declared a Historic Monument in 1982, and to this day preserves its original French-style architecture. It has become one of the most iconic buildings in Paseo Montejo, and a passage in the history of the Porfirian Yucatan of the 18th and 19th centuries. 

La Casa Azul is unmissable when walking around Mérida’s Centro. Photo: Courtesy

Nowadays, it is a living example of the opulence experienced during one of the most important periods in the history of the Península: the henequen boom, which gave the state wealth and prosperity during the rule of Porfirio Diaz.

This boom initiated the construction of a large number of mansions for landowners and merchants, as well as great urban advances in the infrastructure of the city.

The French style in which the property is decorated is typical of Casonas built during the Henquén boom. Photo: Paola Félix

Like many other Casonas in Mérida’s Centro, the plans and design came from France, a country that exercised an important influence during said period. The Casa Azul originally belonged to a sugar planter from Tekax, who used it as a temporary residence during his stay in Mérida, when he exported his products to the port of Progreso. 

The renewed hotel maintains its classical style. Photo: Paola Félix

The property passed through different hands until it was acquired by its current owners in 2011. They chose to restore and modernize it while maintaining its iconic color and facade.

Inside, Casa Azul shelters wide corridors decorated in French-colonial fashion. The interior design was done by Sofía, the owner’s daughter, and she maintained the original aesthetic with high-end, comfortable new pieces.

The suites are named after different neighborhoods of the Centro. Photo: Paola Félix

These corridors surround an interior open courtyard adorned with a Mayan stone fountain in the middle.

In Yucatán Magazine: El Pinar — Colonial pink mystery on Calle 60

Another outdoor space of the building is the terrace, where one finds the pool and sitting area for the restaurant. 

There is a restaurant by the same name inside the hotel, whose menu changes every day. Photo: Paola Félix

In the years since the hotel opened its doors, it has welcomed personalities from all corners of the world. The owner says that many politicians, ambassadors, and celebrities have made a stop in this iconic building. 

The rooms maintain the same aesthetic as the rest of the building. Photo: Paola Félix

If you’re looking to visit, reservations begin at around US$300 a night. But if not, a stroll in front of the building is enough to admire its timeless beauty.

In Yucatán Magazine: Casas Gemelas — French legacy on the Paseo Montejo

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