The first time I visited Paris, I stepped out of the Gare de Lyon and into the intoxicating Parisian boulevards. An accordion player serenaded the passersby near the Seine as we ducked into a café for a quick espresso to check the map and figure out where our hotel was (this was 2004. No smart phones in sight). Our place wasn’t too far and I was happy to walk because c’mon PARIS. We strolled to our hotel built sometime when architecture didn’t matter to people and the lobby was bland and the room was bland and the view was bland we really could have been anywhere in the world. Bland hotels, even in Paris, are still boring as hell.
That’s not what Moveable Feast is about.
We seek out exquisite accommodation that speak to the history of the place. We want to be able to put our ear to the cracks in the ancient walls and hear the stories of many years past, yet still have world class amenities. It’s a delicate balance.
For the Yucatàn, we chose the marvel that is Hacienda Sac Chich just outside the small Mayan town of Acanceh. The main house of the Hacienda is over 200 years old, complete with a towering smoke stack. The main building in its heyday was used to process Hennequin agave into sisal, the tough ropey fiber that was the Yucatàn’s first gold rush. There are still the giant discarded remanants of the old machines still hanging from the 40 foot ceilings. The hacienda itself as once a self supporting village, complete with mini bodega and small huts for the workers.
The once coveted Sisal fiber would eventually get replaced post World War II by manufactured and cheaper materials (it still broke my heart to carry the large plastic mesh bags full of Yucatecan citrus, wanting everything to still be wrapped in lovely Sisal potato sacks) and after its demise, most of the haciendas in the area were abandoned and went to ruin. Some have been purchased, renovated, and restored to a whisper of their former glory. The owners of our hacienda went one step further, cleared a great lawn of dense jungly overgrowth and perfectly lined up Great Palms like a mini Versailles. Across the lawn, they built an architectural wonder of minimalist clean lines constructed using many of the same building methods as the ancient Mayan pyramids. The juxtaposition of old and new as the many layers of history, creativity, and innovation stacked on top of each other made Hacienda Sac Chich absolutely perfecto for Moveable Feast Retreats.
Oh and yeah, the beds were super comfy.
You should see the spot we have picked out for next year. Some hints… It’s twice as old, twice as big, and the beds are still super comfy. Sign up for our mailing list below and get in on our pre-sale discounts!