Hacienda Honeymooning - Hda. San Jose

Hacienda Honeymooning - Hda. San Jose
For a romantic - and unique - honeymoon which will transport you into the past and allow you experience a kinder, gentler age, think about visiting one of the five haciendas in Starwood Hotels & Resorts' Luxury Collection.

Scattered throughout Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, these venerable haciendas are a testament to the lives Spanish conquistadores established in their adopted homeland as they found a way to eke out a living (usually growing sisal).

Today, some of these have been refurbished and transformed into luxurious small hotels where you can soak up the atmosphere and lifestyle of those long-ago days when the properties were at the peak of prosperity.

Hacienda San José

Located a 45-minute drive from Mérida, the 18th century Hacienda San José is such a jewel. Tucked into a lush jungle enclave with brilliant bougainvilleas, graceful palm trees and lush foliage lining its magical walkways, it's the perfect spot for a honeymoon.

With only 11 guestrooms and four Maya-style casitas, the petite hotel lends new meaning to the Mexican adage: "Mi casa es su casa."

Rooms are studded with modern-day "musts" such as AC, ceiling fans, complimentary Wi-Fi, cable TV, Egyptian cotton bed linens, goose down pillows, a fully stocked mini-bar, luxe toiletries and iPod docking stations. Bathrooms feature plush robes, hairdryer and scale, as well as luxurious toiletries.

Some of the rooms have outdoor bathtubs clustered around a charming, jungle-shaded patio and all have been restored using materials and techniques and colors typical of the period.

The Maya casitas - tucked under grass roofs typical of the area - are located in a more secluded area and feature unique "hanging" beds, outdoor bathtubs and other unusual features.

For an exceptional honeymoon experience, book the Casa del Patron's (owner's suite) with its private garden, pool and courtyard.

Situated in one of the former factory buildings overlooking the main garden, the restaurant showcases international and regional fare using fresh organic ingredients grown in the hacienda's gardens.

A small spa offers a host of soothing treatments and a graceful pool promises the perfect spot for lunch under a canopy of ancient, majestic trees. Later, slide into one of the cozy hammocks where you'll be assured the perfect shaded siesta break.

When you're ready to explore, the hotel can arrange for tours in the area to such to places as the mesmerizing ruins of the legendary Chichen Itzá, the colonial town of Izamal, or to mysterious underground rivers (cenotes) and the subterranean Maya caves of Lol Tun.

This will be one honeymoon you'll never forget!

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