Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Architecture Wednesday: Hacienda Katanchel

Okay, so let's get this out in the open straight away. This house is too big; way too big. But it's gorgeous, and there is plenty of room for everyone, so.......maybe?

This is Hacienda Katanchel. Katanchel is a Mayan name that means “the place where one speaks to the arch of the heavens”. Sounds lovely.
The current owners acquired the land, and discovered five pre-classic Mayan Empire pyramid ruins under the grown jungle on the property. The ruins are part of an astronomical observatory that dates from the 3rd century, BC. Another interesting discovery was made by the owners when they pruned the trees that had been grown for over for three decades. Amazingly, they found more than thirty original building structures spread out in the surroundings of the main hacienda building, which probably served as quarters for the service employees of the property.  
It's a hidden treasure that preserves the magnificence and ambiance of 18th century colonial Spanish architecture, turning it into one of the most exquisite country houses of Yucatan Peninsula. Katanchel is surrounded by exuberant vegetation, exotic wildlife, and located between Chichen Itza and Uxmal, two of the Mayan World wonders, and is also very close to picturesque little towns, churches and colonial monasteries.

This palace--cuz let's get real, it is a palace fit for a queen--is lost in the jungle, though it is amazingly well-located 25 minutes from the populous Merida, Capital City of Yucatan State, and about 30 km. from the ocean and white sand beaches.

Jungles. Beaches. Mayan ruins.

Katanchel has been fully restored, respecting its original environment, to find the perfect balance between luxurious comfort and nature-ecologic ambiance, creating a privileged lifestyle with the sensation that time is no longer running out.

There is a main house and gardens as the hacienda center, and all building exteriors have been painted in brick red with white trim--the traditional colors of Yucatan colonial haciendas.

The Main House has a series of corridors with extraordinary terraces, halls, large parlors and rooms that are interconnected. The elegant classic decoration and furniture of common areas give Katanchel a unique and unforgettable personality.

Extended around the Main House are 33 smaller buildings called Pavilions, each one with a bright and ample bedroom and bathroom, with glazed tiles and floors made with fine yucatecan traditional materials. Every Pavilion has front terraces and charming back patios where a small private pool invites you to cool off.

Yes, there are thirty-nine bedrooms and thirty-nine bathrooms and five half-baths. I said it was big. in fact, it's over 2 million....million....square feet.

The Owner’s House offers all comfort and services, as well as other special rooms with customized names such as “Las Princesas” (The Princesses), “Las Niñas” (The Girls) and “Del Obispo” (The Bishop’s Room), the latter being located beside the Chapel, which dates back to the 18th century.

A chapel? What am I to do with a chapel?

Since fresh water is one of today’s most valuable resources, at Hacienda Katanchel water is pumped around the property from 16 wells by windmills, with the same technique used from the 19th century around this region. That’s why plunging into any of the chemical-free, filtered mineral water pools on the estate makes for an invigorating and pleasant experience all year round.
There is even a railroad on the property, which was used to transport Henequen [sisal] in freight cars pulled by mules. In the past, this railroad connected the fields with the Henequen plant, but now it connects the pavilions with the Main House and common areas.
The old Machine House (Casa de Maquinas), the place where henequen was processed in that time, has been beautifully transformed into a sophisticated Grand Hall and a beautiful dining area, maintaining the style of the unique old factory design, with high ceilings and large, open windows with views of the exotic gardens.
It's big. It's grand. It's spectacular. And it's all yours, along with thirty-eight of your closest friends, for the low low price of.....well, you'll need to contact Sotheby's for the price.

Sotheby's International Realty


  1. If you need to ask the price, you can't afford it, is what my mother always said. Holy crap!

  2. Anonymous10:01 PM

    Who cares if it's too big. Any place that doesn't have squealing entitled brats and American step-moms squawking, "Don't kick me!" is just beautiful.

    Can yo tell I've just come home from a resort vactation?

  3. Anonymous11:15 PM

    If I had the money, I'd consider turning it into a hotel and pimp that place out. It would literally be the perfect place to get away from it all.


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