Casa Sisal

Our first time in Merida and we get to stay at Casa Sisal. Wow. Staying there ranks as one of the highlights of my life. Is that kind of sad? Maybe, I don't know, but this is, without a doubt, the nicest place I have ever stayed.

We found Casa Sisal on the internet and it looked like something out of a magazine (which, technically, I guess it is.) So we just had to stay there. Let's be super fancy once in our lives! Could we afford it? Mmmm, sort of. It was a bit pricier than other rentals in Merida, but Angie used her super friendly nature, which I do not possess, to talk the owner into lowering the price just a bit so we could squeeze it into our budget. And I am so glad it worked out.

Casa Sisal is part of Hacienda Sac Chich, which was part of a large henequen operation in the mid to late 1800s. Casa Sisal is a newer, modern house built within the walls of the old drying fields. I'm not going to spend a ton of time pretending I can relate the history properly. Go to their site or just google it and find out more about the fascinating history of the place.

Casa Sisal is undeniably amazing, tranquil and beautiful. And it is also incredibly engineered. While Angie relaxed by the pool, I wandered the house trying to figure out how certain aspects of the house were built. (Note there is a book at the casa with photos in it that detail the construction of the house.)

As someone who has built and remodeled houses, let me geek out a bit on this.

This one is not my photo, I don't take nice photos.

The doors on either side of the casa slide open. And they slide all the way flush into the side walls so it appears there are no doors, as you can see in the above photo.

This terrible photo of this beautiful place is mine.

You can see in this photo, above, that the screens are closed and a little bit of one of the glass doors is peeking out on the left. Just the attention to detail to be able to build a pocket into the walls for these massive doors to slide away completely out of sight on both sides of the building was so impressive.

The airflow was so good that we never once turned on the air conditioning. And I can only imagine there are some massive beams holding up the roof over those openings.

Another interesting thing was in the bedrooms. You can see them in the photos above if you look closely. Here's a photo, below, from inside where I've circled one of them.

These little "kicklight/skylights?" are in the bedrooms.

These little, I don't know what exactly to call them, "kicklight/skylights" are in both bedrooms. And, again they are a cool feature in a well-thought out design. Close the curtains on the windows but still get some light into the room.

I do not understand how these are built, structurally. The walls above them just float over them. They go right to the frame of the door. What is holding the wall up there? Is there some sort of cantilevered beam?

I get how the sliding pocket doors and other things work. These still boggle my mind.

Every morning we would be visited by William, who would sweep the floors and check to see if we needed dishes washed, which we didn't since I always washed the dishes the night before, or anything else we might need for the day.

I have a strange aversion to letting people clean up after me. I know it's their job, but I'd rather they come and have everything clean and then just go relax or something. I don't know if that's how it works. If I'm staying a long time in a hotel I'll usually make my bed (which I never do at home) and make sure the towels are all hung nicely. In my head I'm thinking they'll really appreciate it, but maybe they don't. Or maybe they don't care at all.

Angie thought William was just the greatest and had to get a picture to remember him by. His English was a million miles better than my Spanish. He said he was learning English from the owners of the hacienda whenever they visited. And he would ask us certain words to add to his vocabulary and we would tell him stories of where we were from. We would try to get him to understand these bizarre concepts of frigid cold that actually burns and snow that is deeper than a human. I'm not sure if we succeeded.

He wondered why so many homes in the U.S. had slanted roofs, unlike the traditional flat ones in the Yucatan. And we asked him about the weather and about life there. It was a nice trade-off of info. He was so sweet and so much fun to talk with. I hoped we didn't take up too much of his time and get him into trouble.

Our only annoyance staying at Casa Sisal was the frogs. There are small ponds surrounding all of the house. And for a period each night, the frogs would be croaking fairly constantly which kept us awake.

Did I go out and tell frogs to "please, shut up"? Yes, that may have happened. And do I understand the uselessness of that effort considering frogs don't speak, and that even if they did, it would most likely be Spanish here? Maybe. But, by a certain point, they would quiet down and we would fall asleep.

Every evening, these giant birds, I guess they were crows but they were huge, would swoop down to the pool and sit there drinking the water out. So much so that every day the landscaper would have to come and fill the pool up again. It was cool, in a spooky way.

One morning we wandered about the yard of Casa Sisal, and near the far end is a large stone opening that leads to the main house of the hacienda. That house was being rented when we were there, but that day one of the ladies who was renting it called us over and gave us a tour.

It's an amazing place. A large place, so if you rent it you almost need to go as a group, but still amazing and beyond any words I can find to describe it.

If the opportunity to stay at Hacienda Sac Chich ever presents itself, I suggest you take it. Especially if your main goal is to relax and unwind. You're a bit of a drive from the center of Merida, but not so far as to make it a pain. Angie's favorite country is Thailand, but her favorite house (so far) is this one.

Some photos of Casa Sisal by Angie
I love the wood floors and the sunken living room area.


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