Fiesta Americana Merida blends well with its historic surroundings
Built about three years ago to blend with the neo-classical colonial architecture that characterizes Merida, the capital of the state of Yucatan, the Fiesta Americana Merida has achieved a mixture of grandiose elegance and local charm.
Occupying the entire block, the hotel faces historic Paseo de Montejo, now the heart of the citys financial and commercial district, which was once the fashionable address of Yucatans opulent henequen barons. Their renovated mansions, now taken over by banks and other commercial concerns, still flank this French-style avenue thats best seen from calesas, the horse-drawn taxis typical of the city.
Five floors wrap around the hotels facade, featuring rows of French doors behind iron-grille balconies. The hotels facade rises behind one of Meridas "belle epoche" renovated mansions. The two-story white building has been incorporated into hotels shopping area. The lobbys ceiling, which rises several stories above the polished marble floor, exquisitely ornamented with giant, brightly colored leaves and flowers.
Though it opened in 1995, just after the onset of the Mexican Peso crisis, the Fiesta Americana Merida has maintained a steady flow of business. When three additional Fiesta Americana properties are completed along the coast south of Cancun next year, the Merida property, as well as a companys three other five-star hotels in Cancun, will be part of vacation circuit offering ecotourism, archeology and sun-and-fun activities. Plans are in the works to connect all seven of the hotels by private air and land transportation (in the form of private air strips and shuttle busses).
The hotels main market is business groups and conventions from Mexico City (53%). The Leisure clients come from Europe (28%) and US (18%), primarily from Florida. The remainder of leisure guests is a mix from other parts of the world such as Latin America and Asia, in that order. The manager says that the hotel is very popular with mature clients from Florida who are interested in music, culture, food and the folklore festivals offered every Sunday in Merida. "Its a short flight from Miami, and they stay in luxury accommodations at reasonable prices".
The hotels 350 rooms include 22 executive suites, one presidential suite, and two rooms equipped for physically challenged guests. The Fiesta Club floor offers 33 rooms, as well as concierge services, a searate check-in area, an Honors bar open in the evenings, a small conference room and a private lounge offering continental breakfast and hors doeuvres daily. All rooms have marble floors and are elegantly appointed in lavish neo-classical style, with comfortable sitting and work areas. Rooms have individual climate controls, fax and modem connections, three telephones, TVs, safes, purified drinking water and minibars. The spacious bathrooms feature large tubs with showers, hair dryers and an assortment of toiletries.
A business center features several conference rooms and offices furnished with computer terminals and office equipment. A secretarial staff versed in several languages is available. Meeting facilities can set to 2,100 people and are equipped with audiovisual and teleconference equipment. A pool area, tennis court and health spa with whirpools, massages, sauna and steam bath are offered.
El Mural offers regional specialties in an elegant atmosphere. The restaurant features a fresco depicting famous politicians and artists. Café Montejo offers a more informal atmosphere, and serves buffet breakfast and lunches. Room service is available 24 hours a day. After-dinner entertainment and live music are featured at the hotels two bars.
Service at the restaurants has improved noticeably over the last year. Meals are served more efficiently, and the wait staff is more responsive to guests needs. The entire hotel staff remains as friendly and courteous as ever. The hotel provides an in-house travel agency to arrange day trips, baby-sitting, laundry, currency exchange and daily newspaper.
Strongest Selling Point
Its central location, about 20 minutes from the airport and 30 minutes from the cruise ship stop of Port of Progresso, is a highlight. Meridas center can be reached in about 5 minutes by taxi.
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