October 7-13th, 2017
No way I'm returning to Mexico. I can't stand being in a place more surreal than my paintings.
Let’s start with one thing: the Yucatán isn’t really Mexico.
Ok, ok, so it’s technically within the country- that little cape perched on Mexico’s eastern shores, its face gazing towards Cuba? That’s the Yucatán, and boy howdy are we in love with it. The spirit, the soul, and the culture that infuse this seductive peninsula are a force to be reckoned with, and we can’t wait to share it with you.
But how to begin telling you about this gorgeous little corner of the world in just a few minutes? We could start with the history: deep Mayan roots with a European mind (for a while there in the mid-1800s, Yucatán even seceded from Mexico to form its own independent state). Or we could start with the healing waters of the local cenotes, the clear underground pools dotting the peninsula, the best swimming we know. And maybe grab a seat, because we could talk for quite a while about the food, which is decidedly its own; drawing flavor influences from not only the local Mayan and Mexican cuisines but also from Caribbean, North African, and European palates. Or we could tell you about how the philosophy of local, slow food is more applicable here than almost anywhere else we know: being so far removed from the rest of Mexico means food absolutely must be local and hyper fresh. Think farm to table (or should we say granja a mesa?), before Brooklyn even knew what that meant.
In short, the Yucatán is a place all its own. Surrounded by the sea, with flavors that even the most seasoned traveler has most likely never discovered, this Moveable Feast is a true exploration of the flavors and culture that have sprung from this unique history. In our many visits to the Yucatán, this place has always found new ways to amaze us with its flavors, its weather, its calm demeanor and deep care for quality. Its complex history melds Mayan roots with Spanish ideas, layered onto a loose relationship with the rest of Mexico. We just adore it. So we got a gorgeous hacienda from 1850 and want to share this place with you in the most delicious, relaxed way possible.
Sisal, the ropey tough fiber of the agave plant, used by Mayans for crude fabrics and paper, was once what made our Hacienda bustle with activity in the 1800s. The heavy iron machinery used to process the sisal is still present in its rusted over form today. Its stone arches still stand, ready to house leisurely candle light dinners.
However, the hacienda no longer stands alone. Across the field of local flora and fauna is a modern architect’s dream. Designed by acclaimed arquitectos Reyes Ríos + Larraín, this award winning casa features an open air layout, white concrete, luxury linens, and has been featured in countless publications from Condé Nast Traveler to New York Magazine.
There’s history. There’s sexy modern. And we’ll almost have as many pools as people.
Barriga llena, corazón contento.
(Full stomach, happy heart.)
You don’t even know what you don’t know. Historically and geographically, Yucatecan cuisine is a world apart from Mexico. Smoke, fire, spice, citrus, cacao, vanilla — all come together to make a cuisine that is rooted in Maya, and then blend that with what European contact brought to the table - garbanzos, olive oil, vinegar, black pepper, olives, almonds - only then do you get a fuller picture of Yucatecan cuisine.
We’re gonna cook things in pits. We’re gonna handmake our masa. We’re going to get unapologetically local. The result will be a melange of ancient flavors with modern sensibility blended together on your plate, a history lesson and a voyage for tastebuds all in one.
Ever tried Xtabentun? You will. This isn’t some back alley rice whisky. This is a liquor with a history as old as wine.
I mean, of course there’ll be tequila and cerveza. But we’ll redefine the margarita Yucatecan style, made with local cardamom and black pepper. Not your first choice? That's ok, we've got this fresh mango all ready as well.
Sitting by the pool? How about we scrape a vanilla pod into your pina colada made from a backyard coconut?
Point is, as far as bebidas go, we got you covered.
The Art of the Sobremesa
You know those dinners that end so slowly you can barely tell the difference between mealtime and the relaxed hangouts that happen for the rest of the night? The stretching on and on of conversations both serious and trivial, the quiet warmth of being safe amongst people who left their phones somewhere in another faraway room, who have nothing more important to do than share in the life that’s happening right this moment? That’s the sobremesa, and it’s central to everything Moveable Feast Yucatán is all about. Dining under the stars, enjoying every bite in an unrushed savor, meeting your tablemates in a way that goes far beyond the three questions you can get through at an average cocktail party. The art of the sobremesa is a way of life, and we’re all about it.
Cenotes are something you'll only find in the Yucatán. Because of the incredible geology of the region, there is a series of underground lakes and rivers that occasionally pop to the surface to make fresh water sink holes. The crystal clear turquoise water was a source of life for the Maya. Our off the beaten path cenote involved horse drawn buggies, some caves, some heights, and a sense of adventure that would make the original Yucatecan explorers proud.
We'll also visit the 16th century colonial town of Valladolid where the first rumblings of the Mexican revolution began. A magically quant town, the day will be spent wandering cobblestone streets, experiencing local markets, and exploring a beautifully open and colorful convent, originally built in the mid 1500s.
Accomodations in the Hacienda
Bebidas (tequila and cerveza for all!)
Daily Yoga Classes
Cultural Nights (Hacienda concerts)
Dives in Cenotes + a trip to the dreamy town of Valladolid
More inspiration than you can fit in a million suitcases
(all rooms are double occupancy)
$4,400 (per person)
Award Winning Modern Design
1 King Bed or 2 Queen Beds
$3,900 (per person)
Classic Hacienda Style
$3,600 (per person)
Classic Hacienda Style
Private Dipping Pool
$4,100 (per person)
Wait, so where is it again?
The hacienda is closest to Merida, nicknamed the White City. It’s the oldest inhabited city in North America (colonized by Spaniards in 1542 and literally built out of stones from the ruins of the Mayan city Ichkanzihóo). Damn.
That hacienda is bomb.
That’s not a question, but holy guacamole if we don’t agree.
Is it safe there?
The Yucatán is the safest state in Mexico, and Merida (the nearest city) has been named “The City of Peace.” We feel less safe in most US shopping malls than we do in the Yucatán.
What’s the weather like?
During Moveable Feast Yucatán, the weather will be hovering mostly in the mid 80s. Evenings are a bit cooler but we never need a jacket. Often, heavy rains will hit for about five minutes mid-afternoon, clearing the air for the rest of the day.
So are we going to lay on the beach?
You’ll have an awesome pool, and relaxing is a top priority, but we work super hard to make sure you couldn’t get the same experience anywhere else. This is not a bland beach vacation, because palm trees look the same everywhere in the world, and hotel buffets aren’t where the good stuff is. Laying on the sand doesn’t tell you anything about a place, and no one wants to go home with a sunburn and some knockoff souvenirs from the airport. In short: sun, yes. Water, yes. Avoiding the hordes of people doing all-inclusive deals in Cancun, yes.
Can I drink as much as I want?
All your food and liquor is included, and we like a good fiesta, but this isn’t the Carnival cruise line, people. We’re more about tasting all the local liquors and drinks with intention, and getting a lil tipsy is all part of a great vacation. That said, dealing with a terrible resaca (hangover) is no way to live a good life, so we encourage you to not live under a tequila fountain.
I want to travel with a few friends, is there a space for us?
YEP- we have just the room for you if you’re traveling with a small crew of besties. Email us for more specific room info and group rates.
I have food allergies/am a strict vegan/have a special diet. Is this the trip for me?
Minor allergies are probably fine- check with us ahead of time to make sure we can handle them. If you have a strict diet that requires a lot of separate effort, this may not be the trip for you, as many of our meals will be family style and extremely local cuisine. But we think the Yucatán is for just about everyone, so email us if you have specific questions about the menu!
(mark an x here for us.)
(unless you sent something weird)