In the small, ochre-hued city of Izamal, an historic
city in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Coqui Coqui Casa de Los Santos
promises a saintly and characteristically well-scented
Izamal, among the oldest cities in the Yucatán Peninsula,
harbours a certain mysticism – it’s known as the “pueblo magico”
(magic town) so that observation is not likely to win us any prizes
in astute observation. However, if awards were to be dished out
we’d certainly present one to Coqui Coqui Casa de Los Santos – a
secluded retreat in the so-called “yellow city”.
Housed in a restored colonial building, Coqui Coqui de Los
Santos lives up to its name (and the town’s religious reputation)
sporting a selection of St Anthonys in one dimly lit corner, glass
bell jars and rosary beads in another. Authentic peeling
blue-and-pink frescoes, antique tapestries and ornate floor tiling
populate communal spaces that interiors fanatics would go gaga for.
Yet, true to all Coqui Coqui residences, it’s the heady scent of
the perfume shop, which drifts across three open-plan rooms, that
is most likely to draw you in…
With only two rooms, Coqui Coqui books up quick (particularly at
Easter and in late December).
Bed down in The Pyramid suite (which sits adjacent to an ancient
Mayan pyramid) or, for something worthy of a Madonna (or a papal
saint), check in to The Convent – climb the stone-slabbed stairs to
your room and, on turning the lock, reveal a
black-and-cardinal-pink hideaway. A wrought-iron bed frame, topped
with gilded crown, white-fringed sheets, a sofa at the foot of the
bed and hand-painted ceiling draws the eye in all directions.
Mottled charcoal walls, candelabra and twin claw bathtubs create a
vibe that would suggest this room is much less saintly than its
What’s for breakfast?
Take breakfast on the open-air patio – the rustic open kitchen,
framed by wooden arches and columns has been known to beckon even
the most resistant of breakfasters from their chambers. An
assortment of breakfast foods, including freshly squeezed orange
juice, Coqui Coqui own-blend coffee (served from individual black
Le Creuset cafetieres), homemade granola and vanilla yoghurt and a
selection of toast and Mayan honey (the vanilla-bean infusion is
particularly good) are presented on a large dining room table
plotted under a low-hanging lampshade. Closely inspect the
gold-dipped glassware and white linens as you sample your
How about lunch and dinner?
Lunch can be arranged on special request but generally, the only
meal plated up at Coqui Coqui de Los Santos is breakfast. The
locale is small, as is the choice of dining options. Still,
Kinich’s offering of hearty Yucatecan cuisine more than compensates
for the town’s otherwise (very) limited gastronomic offering.
Is there a bar?
Crack open the minibar mezcal or mix your own margarita in-room
and enjoy on the terrace with views of the convent as the sun melts
into the canary-hued town.
Though the spa may be simple in its layout (two beds in a wooden
shuttered room), treatments are nothing to sniff at – starting from
under £60, all treatments use Coqui Coqui Perfumeria massage oils.
We recommend the Rebozo Technique which begins by “cleaning your
energy” with a bouquet of healing herbs and lemons or the Healing
Stones for Body and Soul – an ancient therapy that helps release
tension on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level.
Things I should know
The hotel isn’t wheelchair friendly.
Within a short walk I can find…
Convento de San Antonio de Padua. The centrepiece of the city,
this baroque monastery is an easy spot – like much of the Izamal,
it’s adorned in ochre yellow.