This is a holiday rental to be reckoned with. Stunning architecture and impressive attention to detail, all laid out perfectly for travelers requiring only two bedrooms. Some builders could easily have fitted four bedrooms into the same space, but proportion and design win out here. I have rented four homes in Mexico over the last two years and Casa Sisal was hands down the most beautiful of them all.
The owners were on hand to meet me and provide me the lay of the land. They were extremely welcoming and helpful, even to the point of equipping the kitchen with provisions prior to my arrival. I didn't require staff to come in everyday to clean as I was there only 4 nights, but I did take advantage of the staff's preparing three dinner meals for my guests and me. The food was very good, and the staff very friendly. Another plus: the owners' 10 year old German Shepherd, Eva, would make a point of popping by occasionally. One evening, while the owners next door were away, Eva found her way to the door and made herself comfortable on the floor the entire evening.
The house is beautiful as are the grounds, which when provided ambient lighting in the evening made the property all that more magical. The pool, the ponds, the long stretch of lawn, the palm trees that line the property and the high old wall that surrounds it all combine to make this a special place.
A word of warning. There is nothing...and I mean nothing...in the immediate area that could provide you the basic necessities. If you don't have a car, you will have to plan carefully to bring everything with you....that or pay someone to do the shopping for you. This is not an issue for a few days, but could be if you were staying there a week or longer. Be advised that there is no TV reception there as well so you may have to do without watching your favorite sporting events. But that is the beauty of Sisal. You are in a world of your own, separated from all those daily events and thoughts that you can do without. I basically did nothing all the time I was there, aside from a day trip to Chicken Itza, and I didn't miss a thing.
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Casa Sisal is approached from across an expanse of lawn that is set off by palm trees against rock walls by day and a chorus of fireflies by night. The pool reflects the moods of the sky and cools you in clear water a few steps from your bedroom doors. The house itself holds surprises and exquisite features in every room and opens completely to the outdoors whenever you wish. This house is heaven. I can't wait to go back and take friends or family!
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Magical is the word that comes most quickly to mind, also spectacular, exquisite, amazing, mind-blowing, unexpected, beautiful, enlivening! Casa Sisal, where I stayed for 5 days with a group of women celebrating a big birthday at Hacienda Sac Chich, and then for 3 more days with my husband, surpassed all my quite high expectations. Having studied the website, I knew this would be an unusually fine experience. I still found myself struck speechless by the beauty and joy of this property, the people who built and maintain it, and the staff who lovingly tend it. The people of the Yucatan are kind, welcoming, open-hearted. I felt absolutely joyful the entire time, even though the temperatures were quite hot during our stay. That just made plunging into the gorgeous pool all the more refreshing. I felt fully alive!
Life is lived closer to nature here. Casa Sisal has sliding glass and screen doors on both north and south sides so that, when they are opened all the way, the living area becomes part of the wide open space that surrounds this spectacular home. Relaxing in the pool at sunset, we sipped margaritas, listened to mariachis, and watched fireflies twinkle in the 2 acres of lush green grass which were once drying fields for the henequen fiber (made from agave) that made many hacienda owners rich in the 1800's.
(See, we not only had FUN, we learned so much, too! Go see nearby Sotuta de Peon, a working hacienda museum of henequen production. And Uxmal, of course! A wonder of ancient Mayan civilization. And do some great shopping and eating in nearby Merida, tambien! Oh, and swim in the cenotes, the underground caves filled with clear, cool water!)
Cyndy and Howie Berger, the proprietors, are two of the most interesting, talented, creative, and kind people you will ever meet. Casa Sisal and the larger Hacienda Sac Chich, are their labor of love and creative vision. They are true artists of life and make you feel like you are part of their ongoing creativity.
Mexico has always had a piece of my heart, but here I fell in love with the culture, the language, the history, the food, and the creativity of the Yucatan, all new to me. And the hacienda renovation movement is just going to grow. If you want to experience the cutting edge of wonderful, go stay at Casa Sisal, or book the entire Hacienda for your family and friends. You'll come home remembering how good it is to be alive!
The Hacienda Sac Chich is a stunningly beautiful and restored hacienda about 40 miles south of Merida. The main kitchen is large and well equipped, the bathrooms are numerous and large, the bedrooms are well furnished and quite comfortable, there are several lovely outdoor and indoor rooms for socializing, and a lovely small pool. The Hacienda offers a small staff for cleaning. Our Spanish language skills were limited, which constrained interactions. However, the staff was always friendly, charming, and helpful.
The location is rural within a very tiny village close to a few somewhat larger villages. We liked the setting and it gave us a sense of the Yucatan apart from its wonderful tourist attractions. We were a group of all women and felt safe in the hacienda and taking walks around the countryside.
We'd highly recommend a walk of Acanah, a village about a mile from the Hacienda, to experience its market. It is necessary to have a car to get into Merida and various sites like the Celestun Nature Preserve and the Uxmal Ruins. Our only concern during our wonderful stay was that hot water in several of the bathrooms was erratic. This was a relatively small inconvenience in an overall wonderful place.