Five Best: Mexican Boutique Hotels

You don't have to slum it south of the border: Danielle Demetriou finds the most stylish siesta spots
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The Independent Travel

The Villa @ Merida Merida

This 19th-century nobleman's estate is now an impeccably restored retreat. The focal point is a central courtyard and gardens, with ornate fountains, tropical green fronds, a lily pond and an intricately shaped swimming pool. Lofty porticoes line the courtyard, providing canopied seating in the shade. Inside, heavy wooden doors give way to high-beamed ceilings and walls painted in a rich palette of red, dark green and ochre. The seven guest rooms, overlooking the garden and courtyard, are decorated in an understated but luxurious manner: rich-tone walls, dark wood furnishings, quality linen and wrought-iron beds. The ambience of a colonial home captured perfectly.

The Villa @ Merida, Calle 59, 615a between 80 and 82, Merida, Yucatan

(00 52 999 928 8466; www.thevillas group.com). Doubles start at $205 (£114), including breakfast.

Verana Yelapa

Cocooned in jungle overlooking the Pacific, Verana is a haven of modernist chic, the guesthouses ranging from the minimalist to the rustic. Casa Grande features stark cement walls, while the bohemian Palapa has no walls at all. Hibiscus scrubs and papaya body wraps are among the treatments in the spa. The perfect day comes to a perfect end with an outdoor petal-filled bath lit by scented candles under a star-filled sky.

Verana, Yelapa, near Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco (001 310 360 0155; www.verana.com). Doubles start at $380 (£211), full board; minimum stay five nights. Open November-June.

Hotel Habita Mexico City

The concept was simple enough: a hotel hidden inside a floating glass box in one of the world's busiest cities. The end result is a tribute to its creators' vision. The entire building is surrounded by a white glass case that shines by day and glows by night. The interior is a minimalist sanctuary with grey carpets, wood furnishings and Eames chairs. But the best is reserved for the top. The roof terrace is home to a stylish lap pool offering smoggy views over the upmarket Polanco district. The sixth-floor bar is one of the city's hippest hangouts. It is here that the beautiful people can be found drinking margaritas and dancing as funky visuals are projected onto nearby buildings.

Hotel Habita, Avenida Presidente Masaryk 201, Col Polanco, Mexico City (00 52 55 5282 3100; www.hotelhabita.com). B&B from $208 (£116).

Hotel Basico Playa del Carmen

From rubber tyres to latex, Hotel Basico has been made entirely from recycled materials. The 15 rooms feature raised utilitarian beds, latex curtains, factory tiles, whitewashed walls and exposed piping. Guests are transported to the bar, Azotea, by a freight lift, where the groovy gather to listen to DJs and watch films. Two swimming pools are fashioned from giant red petroleum tanks and a leafy patio is home to a stall serving food.

Hotel Basico, 5ta Avenida y calle 10 Norte, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo (00 52 984 879 44 48; www.hotel basico.com). Doubles from $166 (£92).

Ikal del Mar Xcalacoco

The hotel marks the spot where the jungle meets the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Its name is Mayan for "Poetry of the Sea". All 29 roomshave a mix of wood, stone and white furnishings. Private pools, outdoor showers and Egyptian bed linen boost the luxury quotient. A highlight of the spa is a Mayan cleansing ceremony with music, flowers, hot stones and a shower. At night, torches illuminate the jungle paths leading to the restaurant Azul and its bar.

Ikal del Mar, Xcalacoco, Mayan Riviera (00 52 984 877 3000; www.ikaldelmar.com). Doubles start at $641 (£356), including breakfast; minimum stay five nights

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