We had a nice little break from our backpacking trip with a quick stay at a countryside vacation rental outside of Mérida. Hacienda Sac Chich is a beautiful property that was a vestige of the old agricultural ways in the area and was brought back to life through modern renovation. Apart from renovating the hacienda portions of the property, the owners also built a contemporary home on the property, called Casa Sisal, which was where we stayed for a single, wonderful night.
The property is tucked away in rural part about twenty minutes southeast of Mérida. Despite the owner’s clear instructions, we had a few issues spotting the unassuming turn for Ticopo. After about ten minutes of winding through narrow country roads with tall seas of grass on both sides, several unsolicited “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” allusions from my travel companions, and growing doubts that we would ever find the place, we arrived in the tiny town of Acanceh and the gate that lead to the house. Unfortunately, we arrived right at nightfall, and were unable to explore the property in daylight. Despite this disappointment, we knew we had arrived at a special place.
The home was done in a contemporary style and full glass walls on both sides that pulled all the way into the walls. After helping ourselves to the freshly baked banana bread left out by the host, we headed to the backyard. It was sprawling and lined with lighted palm trees on opposite sides. And the best part…the entire lawn was twinkling and shimmering with fireflies. It was truly mesmerizing and nothing less than magical. I tried to capture the beauty on video, photos, and whatever long-exposure tricks I could tease out of my camera, but to no avail. Just trust me…it was amazing.
After our oohs and ahhs died down, we explored the rest of the house and the two rooms. They were simple, but beautiful and comfortable.
Unfortunately, Tiffany and Rutit had to leave for the airport at 5 am the next morning, so they never got to enjoy the place in the light of day. But I took enough pictures to incite them into jealousy.
While we were getting ready to take a dip in the pool, one of the property caretakers stopped by to clean the leaves out of the pool. He kindly took us on an impromptu tour to the other parts of the hacienda property. He didn’t speak much English, but with a compromised franken-Spanglish between the two of us, I was able to learn a lot of interesting things about Hacienda Sac Chich.
The property was owned by a couple from California, who had spent about ten years renovating the property. The hacienda structures themselves dated back to 1850, and were used to produce henequen, or an agave cactus plant that is made into a strong straw and rope-like material. (Through later research, I learned that sisal was the henequen rope. Eureka moment).
Unlike the starkly modern Casa Sisal, the other parts of the property stayed true to the hacienda feel while mixing in modern comforts and fresh textile accents. The hacienda consists of two houses, Casa Vieja and Casa Nueva. The former was the Casa Maquinas of the original hacienda, or the machine house, where they processed the plants. The entire renovation and design was done by an architect named Salvador Reyes Rios, who specialized in the revival of abandoned haciendas.
The place is a beaute. From what I could gather, the entire property is regularly rented out for vacation and for intimate weddings whenever the owners are not staying there.