Hacienda Petac, Yucatan Mexico
As the taxi pulled through the gate and slowly drove down the long driveway, my eyes lit up and my mouth fell open when I saw all of these vibrant fall colors welcoming me. I had arrived at Hacienda Petac and for a moment I could have sworn we were driving into a beautiful painting hanging in an art gallery. I was already in LOVE with Hacienda Petac before I even set foot on the ground. This feeling of warmth and surprise stayed with me over the next few days, and only started to fade when I was back in that taxi and he slowly pulled me away.
Hacienda Petac is a five-star luxury estate just outside of Merida, Mexico in the Yucatan peninsula. This magnificently restored hacienda sits on 250 acres of beautifully maintained land with enchanting gardens, lush landscaping, tropical plants, exotic flowers and gorgeous trees. It is a historical oasis that offers an extraordinary experience for all of your senses. The hacienda is a luxury vacation rental for groups, and can only be rented in its entirety. It has 7 bedrooms and can sleep up to 14 people making it the ideal location for large family vacations, intimate retreats and special occasions.
As I explored the grounds when we first arrived, I made my way to the back of the hacienda and saw this rustic archway from a distance. As I walked closer I began to shrink but my heart began to swell and tears came to the surface of my eyes. I caught my breathe and took a few minutes to soak in the magic of where I was standing. Moments like this are a true gift and fill me with such joy. It also let’s me know I am somewhere truly special.
Hacienda Petac was a working hacienda from the mid 1800’s to 1974. First as a sugar plantation then as a henequen (hemp) plantation. The current owners bought the estate back in 2000, and the renovations and restorations took over three years to complete and then opened for guests in 2004. The hacienda is usually only rented for a week at a time and is often used for weddings and large events, but they do have a few girls weekend getaway specials!
Hacienda Petac Amenities
The property has a relaxing pool area and the staff is on hand to provide you with towels, beverages or light snacks as you relax poolside. There is also a small luxury spa offering a variety of services, a small gym and a large jacuzzi outside with an outdoor sitting area for relaxing. On the other side of the property there is a sophisticated game room with large leather chairs, a card table and pool table. This room looks like a classic cigar room where the men might retreat to after dinner for drinks, that being said, it is also very kid friendly and has many board games for the entire family to enjoy.
Photo by Keryn Means, walkingontravels.com
When I took a dip in the pool late one afternoon I asked for some coffee. I thought she might have put it on the table near the lounge chairs but she delivered it to me right as I swam up to the side of the pool. If you know me, you know I love coffee, and well, having it delivered to me poolside in a beautiful coffee cup and saucer was just dreamy!
Each bedroom is very spacious and has an ensuite luxury bathroom.All guest rooms are furnished in their own unique style but come with all the modern amenities you would expect to find. There is also a relaxing patio area just outside the rooms and they will ask you what time you would like your coffee delivered to the patio each morning.
My room was in the building that was an addition to the original building and a bit more modern but still very true to the typical hacienda style of the rest of the property. This particular building has two bedrooms with a fantastic tv/entertainment room in the middle that separates them. My room had a large king bed while the other room has two queens beds, which makes for a great area for those traveling with children, I could easily see this being the kids wing if traveling with multiple families.
They provide laundry service daily and it was as if little fairies had come into my room each time I left. Taking away my laundry and towels, putting away my toiletries and organizing any other items that were left out. They would decorate my bathroom with fresh flowers, and stepping out of the shower onto flower petals was just another special treat.
Exquisite Outdoor Dining
The Hacienda is a full-cater estate with an excellent staff that prepares all of your meals. The menu is filled with regional Mexican cuisine that includes traditional Mayan flavors. For every meal we sat down at a table that was carefully decorated with colorful dishes and fresh flowers picked right from the gardens. I thought that they might have done this just for our very first breakfast to really impress and welcome us, but they did a different presentation and set up for every meal. We also asked if they were doing it for us because we were a group of writers, but no – this is the standard and they do this for all of their guests. They assured us we were being given the exact same experience as anyone who stays at Hacienda Petac.
Cooking Class & Cocktail Creations
While lounging by the pool was nice, we also had the opportunity to roll up our sleeves and get in the kitchen! But before I get into the food, did you see the blue tiles in the kitchen!!? Fabulous. Every inch of this place is designed and styled to perfection. Our cooking class was taught by the hacienda’s incredible house manager Colleen and two of her lovely staff members. Some of these women have worked on the property for 13 years. The entire staff is like family and takes pride in bringing the traditions of the Mayan culture to life here at the hacienda.
We learned to make the traditional Yucatan dish, Panuchos, bean-filled tortillas that were then fried, (we made the tortillas and stuffed them) then layered with lettuce, cabbage, and chipotle shredded chicken and topped with slices of cucumber, tomato, onions and avocado. This was an entire group effort and one of my absolute favorite things we did, says the person who does not cook! We also mixed up two cocktails, the spicy Hacendado and the refreshing Paloma. Cooking classes are not included in your stay but can easily be arranged.
Excursions & Extra Experiences
Excursions can easily be arranged through Hacienda Petac. The hacienda is located about 30 minutes from the colonial town of Merida. Merida has many restaurants, art galleries, shopping and is a nice place to stroll around for the afternoon and early evening. Other popular activities in this area are visiting the Mayan ruins such as Chichen Itza or Uxmal as well as taking a swim in one of the many cenotes (a natural swimming hole) that this area is very well known for. You can also go on a guided bike tour and kayak through the mangroves.
As I mentioned, the hacienda has an incredible house manager, Colleen who handles all the details of your stay. She can help you create your itinerary, set up excursions and handles any special requests for your group. She speaks Spanish fluently, is a wealth of knowledge not only about the hacienda but Mexico and the Yucatan peninsula. She is one of the main reasons our stay was so flawless. She makes you feel like family from the moment you arrive until the moment you depart.
On the last night of our stay Colleen had us serenaded by some of the most famous musicians in the Yucatan, Los Tres Yucatecos. This trio has been playing together for more than 30 years and it was the perfect way to end our unforgettable stay at Hacienda Petac.
Staying at Hacienda Petac was an extraordinary travel experience that touched on everything from luxury, service, culture, history, style, taste, relaxation, and nature. It was honestly one of the most memorable places I have ever stayed, truly a dream. If you are planning your epic 40th Birthday party, a family reunion, a special anniversary, girls getaway or an intimate retreat and want to be blown away, then this is the place for you!
As the taxi slowly started to pull away, I looked out the back window, waved to my friends and silently said to myself, I’ll be back someday.
Disclosure: This was a full media stay for a travel writer / influencer trip.