EST. 2009

March 30, 2019

That Super Siesta

A SINGLE DAY FEELS LIKE AN ETERNITY IN VALLADOLID, where time seems to stand as still as it has since the city's colonial era. Cobbled roads are lined with pastel-toned, Spanish-period edifices, built literally with stones from demolished Mayan structures. No modern buildings to be seen here.

The locals are unhurried. The pace is languid. Take your time especially since most everywhere is a leisurely walk away. The city center is conveniently compact, with roads arranged in a neat grid intersected only by Calzada de los Frailes: a quaint street where where the multicolored facades house both boutique shops and hotels so high in style.

Hacienda Montaecristo is one such, working with 30 local tanners, weavers and embroiderers who use ancient Mexican techniques to produce textiles and leather goods. Caravana also has its roots in the Yucatán, aiming to preserve Mayan culture in creating "neo-artisanal" pieces. Part shop, part hotel, Coqui Coqui lists Valladolid as one of its locations, housing a spa, perfumery, guest rooms and a plunge pool.

In and around the town square, the Iglesia de San Servacio is Valladolid's postcard attraction, with its two towers standing alongside symmetrically-arranged palm trees. The Museo de Ropa Étnica de México displays a small, colorful collection of regional costumes. The Casa de los Venados is in fact a private home, which opens its doors to visitors for guided tours around its folk-art-filled rooms.

A few hours suffice for a culture fix in Valladolid, leaving plenty of time for long lunches, and even longer siestas.

With no beach, limited landmarks, and a sensible night life, Valladolid visitors usually treat the sleepy city as a base for exploring the rest of the Yucatán. I too ventured out but mostly stayed in town to simmer in the languor I can never have in London. Poolside under the Mexican sun is never a bad place to be.

Tresvanbien, Calzada de los Frailes, Hacienda Monteacristo, Casa de los Venados, Iglesia de San Servacio, La Casona Valladolid, Hotel Casa del Mayordomo, Valladolid.