A stunning mix of traditional materials and contemporary design, the team behind Chable was smart enough to realize how strong the raw materials they had to work with were, and got out of the way.
Gentle restoration exists throughout the original buildings where needed, but enough of the property shows the wear and tear of time to make it feel as though you’ve stumbled across a secret, hidden treasure.
The guest suites are new builds, but fold into their jungle surroundings with ease. If not for the occasional visit from housekeeping, you could easily spend your time here completely in the buff with your neighbors none the wiser. The bathrooms are enclosed in glass and showers are open to the sky above.
Each suite has a private plunge pool (a necessity when temps routinely soar above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity index is also high), enormous closets, and ultra-comfy beds.
In keeping with the property’s history as a sisal plantation, a hammock hangs over the plunge pool, perfect for a mid-afternoon siesta in the shade. Custom-designed furniture and textiles are super comfy, whether in your suite or relaxing in the bar area in the main house.
Chable has three food venues: a wellness-themed restaurant at the spa, a casual spot by the main pool, and Ixi’im, a stellar restaurant from the team behind Quintonil, one of Mexico’s most acclaimed restaurants.
Ixi’im also boasts the largest tequila collection in the world - bottles from small family-owned distilleries compete for shelf space with vintage Jose Cuervo.
Everything a tequila lover could ask for, plus delicious mocktails.
Beyond having some of the most beautiful treatment rooms I’ve ever seen (the dual treatment suites overlook the property’s breathtaking cenote), the spa has a separate pool (pictured here, above right) and a wellness restaurant serving a deliciously healthy menu (I do love a good chia pudding…)
The service was unfailingly friendly, kind, and helpful.
Worth Going Out Of Your Way For:
“Off the beaten path” might be a phrase coined for Chable - 45 minutes south of Merida which itself is a 3.5 hour drive west of Cancun - you have to really be looking for this property to get here.
For those who want to be mobile and independent, the drive is easier than it sounds and there’s a small airport in Merida (connections through Miami, among other gateways) - the hotel will arrange transfers for you.
Hamak, the hotel group behind Chable, recognizes the location may be off-putting to some, and has just opened a second Chable property in Maroma, on the Riviera Maya just south of Playa del Carmen. For me, the ideal way to experience the Yucatan peninsula would combine a few nights at both locations, enabling you to experience the seclusion and peace of the jungle while also getting some classic Riviera Maya beach time.
Tucked away behind the tiny village of Chochola, Chable Yucatan feels like a secret. After nodding hellos to approximately seventeen dogs lazily sunning themselves in the village, we turned up the access road to Chable and, after a brief conversation with the woman manning the gate, turned into the property itself.
Our first glimpse at Chable was through the restored 19th-century gates of what was once a major sisal plantation. The main building, which houses the reception, library, small shop, and a bar, is original to the property, as is the sweeping expanse of yard leading out from it. One could as easily imagine kids playing soccer here as a tent set up for a wedding under the stars.
Accommodations are set up in 36 casitas and 4 multi-bedroom villas, each of gorgeous contemporary design and blessed with private plunge pools.
Privacy is paramount at Chable - the property is huge (the staff will whizz you around on golf carts if you like); each casita offers total privacy and the landscaping is such that you can’t tell if anyone else is on site. The property was reasonably full when we visited and we maybe saw ten other people during our entire visit.
Generally, when travel agents go on hotel/resort site inspections, you spend between half an hour and an hour walking through the property, seeing different kinds of rooms, taking a glance in a fitness center, exchanging business cards, and then you’re on your way.
Not with Chable - at Chable, we were welcomed like honored guests and spent five hours exploring the property and eating lunch at Ixi’im (although which restaurant to choose from for lunch was a tough call - the menu at the wellness restaurant in the spa was really calling to me - the fact that we had that choice at all was amazing; at many resorts, most of the restaurants only serve dinner and you’re left with a buffet for lunch).
For those who can afford the steep rates, I honestly can’t think of an occasion that Chable wouldn’t be perfect for - weddings, family events (kids are welcome), wellness retreats, small corporate events, special occasions, girlfriend getaways - you name it, Chable is perfect for it.
While You’re In The Area:
Excursion-wise, Chable has you covered - Merida, the capital of the Yucatan state, is about half an hour away by car (be sure to check out Casa Tho for some stellar indie shopping and Oliva Enoteca for lunch); the Uxmal ruins are 45 minutes to the east of Chable; and the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, known as the winter home for flocks of flamingos, is 45 minutes west of Chable…all well worth a visit.
Don’t Take Our Word For It:
“A raft of awards has already started rolling in for Chablé’s impressive design. Mexico City-based interior designer Paulina Moran is responsible for an artsy laid-back vibe, sprinkling the main hub – a restored 19th-century hacienda – with antique tiles, modern art and vivid colour pops.”
Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability; complimentary breakfast for two; $100 resort credit; complimentary transfers to and from the Merida Airport; early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability