Monday, September 24, 2007

First Impressions with Bocce and Mooning

If you arrive by helicopter then you may be forgiven for mistaking the moon viewing pod for a heliport but otherwise you might be underwhelmed on your arrival. The village is a typical Mayan puebla with nothing to buy coke and chip. The gate is nondescript by design, i.e. subtle. The bouganvilla drive is stunning and you arrive and park at the new car port and service house where you are unlikely to encounter anyone unless the other guests are playing bocce. You get a hint of what is in store for you when you round the corner and get your first peek at the loggia.


Palms & Pool

The swimming pool is made from the old irrigation tank of the hacienda. It is now surrounded by the palm garden and accessed through the the little shell grotto beside the chimney. It has the perfect combination of shade and sun all year round.

Casa Nueva Master Bedroom Suite

The Master bedroom has soaring ceilings and stretches from one private garden to another. There is a sunken living room at one end and the bathroom at the other. In the garden that opens to the bathroom there is a plunge pool and patio for meditation or just a hot bath in the morning or a cold plunge at mid day.

Through the Grotto to the Palm Garden

There must be two or three dozen varieties of palms in the gardens at Hacienda Sac Chich. It is a little hard to photograph the forest for the trees but here are some of my favorites.

Casa Vieja or The Old House

The Casa Vieja is 5 rooms that housed the machinery when the hacienda was a functioning factory. There are a few remnants from the old machines in the ceilings and scattered about. The kitchen it the most inviting room at the hacienda and the heart of the house. The living room is hardly used as one lives at the pool or out of doors most of the day and night in the Yucatan. Nevertheless there is a large coffee table ideally suited for large jigsaw puzzles. The bedroom beside the kitchen has a beautiful bed designed by the first owner who is a sculptor. The second bedroom has a new bathroom in a private court housed in the old water tower. This bedroom also has the mezzanine ideal for the kids...but not the toddlers.

Casa Nueva Guest Suite

There are two similar guest rooms on either side of the entrance hall in the Casa Nueva. Both have beautiful modern baths. The one on the left is probably quietest as it is further from the portico but the one on the right has a view of the lily ponds and a larger bed....

Casa Sisal the Newest house at Sac Chich

Casa Sisal is the newest edition to the Hacienda Sac Chich. A two acre walled lawn separates the Casa de Maquinas from this modern construction in the old drying field. There are two bedrooms and two baths and it can be rented with or without the rest of the property.

Gate between Casa Sisal and Casa de Maquinas

There are three options for renting the Hacienda Sac Chich properties designed for the size and needs of your group or family. Casa Vieja (2 bedrooms) can be rented with or without the Casa Nueva (3 bedrooms). In either case you will be renting all the grounds of the old Casa de Maquinas. Casa Sisal has a separate private entrance other than the gate shown here that joins the property. Sisal can be rented without the Casa de Maquinas since it has it's own kitchen, pool and grounds. In the event that you need 7 bedrooms the three houses can be rented together.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Hacienda Sac Chich
Casa des Maquinas

This old vine covered arcade was a storage room with a roof deck until the renovation of 2009-2010. It was beautiful then but more functional now and someday the vines might grow back.... I hope.

At the end of a palm lined lane on the edge of a Mayan village the Haciendas Sac Chich is hidden away. It seems as if a fortified Norman castle was plucked from the cliffs above the the Mediterranean sea and dropped into the Yucatan jungle. In reality the estate is a renovated hennequen factory that was once part of a larger 19c colonial plantation. First rescued a dozen years ago by an artist couple it has since been luxuriously renovated by a “gourmundo” couple from San Francisco. Leaving the bohemian chic house that was once the engine room intact they concentrated their renovation on 3 suites in the old disfribradora building. The two houses are joined in a U with an elevated arcade forming an inner coutyard. This romantic vine covered portico is the best place to dine alfresco or hang a hammock to avoid the mid-day sun.

Salvador Reyes Rios designed the suites in the Disfribradora and decorated them with help of his wife Josephina Larrain. The master suite is one of his largest and most dramatic rooms. In a private garden at one end is a Mayan chultun bath. The bedroom has ceilings that soar 20 feet with a skylight and a sunken lounge area with views onto the garden. The two guest suites are equally sumptuous with their use of beautiful hardwoods, limestone and custom designed furnishings.

Across the lawn in Casa Viejo, the former engine house, is the famous kitchen published in “The New Hacienda”. It has been updated but retains the antique tiled counters and it’s rustic charm. It has an ample table where 12 can dine comfortably. Here also is the living room and two guest rooms one with a bed designed by the former artist owner, Paul Fullerton. In the kitchen garden stand the 80 foot stone chimney that once served the hacienda. Through a grotto is the tropical garden with over 20 varieties of palms and plants that attract the butterflies, songbirds and parrots. Here is the pool formed from the old irrigation tank and shaded by tall coconut palms.

Sac Chich lies between Ticopo and Acanceh 30 minutes southeast of Merida. There are good regional restaurants within 20 minutes at Hacienda Teya and Hacienda Tepich. The Mayapan ruins and the working henequen plantation at Hacienda Ake are 20 minutes drive. Within 45 minutes are the Hacienda Temozon, Hacienda Sotuta de Peon and the Convent town of Mani.

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We design and restore houses in the Yucatan. more about us We also rent beautiful vacation homes and haciendas in Merida, Mexico