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Cantón Mansion - Rent a piece of history in Merida

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vacation rental description

This is a rare opportunity to stay in a truly historic and wonderfully elegant house. Cantón Mansion comprises three adjacent double height colonial townhouses that were built by one of the most famous native political figures in Yucatan’s history, Generalissimo Francisco Gregorio Cantón Rosado (1833-1917). General Cantón was in charge of all Mexico’s armed forces and later was governor of the Yucatan peninsular. He retired in 1902, one of the wealthiest Yucatecans of that era, owning many haciendas during the henequen boom.

On Paseo de Montejo stands one of Merida’s landmark buildings, Palacio Cantón, which for the past 60 years or so has been used as Merida’s Anthropology Museum, but was the home of General Cantón until his death there in 1917. The Cantón Mansion on Calle 56, part of which is offered for rent here, was constructed for his three sons, and the eldest, Eduardo, lived in this house. The three houses were originally connected on the second floor by archways, doors and terraces.

The house is presently owned by Christopher Collins Lee, concertmaster with the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra, and Christopher occupies the second floor of the property. 

Guests will have exclusive use of the ground floor of the property except for the entrance hallway and staircase which the owner will use for access to the second floor when he is in residence; his international playing schedule means he is often away from Merida for weeks at a time. If he is in residence while you are staying you may have the pleasure of hearing a violin maestro practicing his art, however Christopher would like to stress that the privacy of guests will be respected at all times.

The ground floor consists of a living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, bathroom, two inner courtyards, and the garden with terrace and large pool. There is also a music room on the ground floor with two pianos which may be available to guests who play the piano.

Like the Palacio Canton, to the north, the Canton Mansion was conceived and constructed by Italian architects and craftsmen led by Enrico Desarti, built in an eclectic style, with neoclassical, Spanish colonial, and French baroque elements. Desarti is also credited with building the Peon Contreras Theater just two blocks away from this house, where the symphony orchestra performs.

The Mansion Canton was constructed with and on top of megalithic Mayan building stones, which they used, turning them into the foundation, subterranean cisterns and walls. Under the front courtyard with the lion head fountain, for instance, lies the stone living room of a large Mayan dwelling inhabited over 1,000 years ago.

Though modern plumbing (street water) and concealed electrical wiring have been added, along with comfortable modern furniture, air conditioning, wi-fi and many other comforts of home, it should be stressed that the owner has opted to restore this historic house in much of its original Porfirian style, keeping many antique elements, the age-worn tiles being a notable example. It serves as a celebration of times past and an inspiration for the future. It is not modern, but rather for the historically and artistically responsive, it is in this spirit that the house is offered and hopefully appreciated.

The house is ideally located just two blocks from Santa Lucia and four blocks from Merida’s main plaza, Parque Principal, making it the perfect location from which to explore on foot Merida’s architectural, cultural and culinary delights.

Additional photos available on request. Also available on request are the dates when the owner Chris will be in residence.

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Last modified on 06-22-2014 at 4:21 PM.

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Neil Youngson 011-52-1-9999020452

house rental amenities

Sleeps 2-4 adults (sorry, no pets, children by agreement)

2 air-conditioned bedrooms with queen-size beds with high quality mattresses and linens. Both bedrooms open onto the second courtyard.

Living/reading room with comfortable modern leather furniture, well stocked library containing many best sellers both fiction and non-fiction, chess set. 

Marble-walled dining room seats six people beneath the crystal chandelier.

Kitchen equipped with fridge/freezer, gas cooker, clothes washer, microwave oven, toaster, coffee maker, blender and plenty of cooking utensils and good quality pots and pans. The kitchen is open onto the second screened courtyard where there is a table and chairs for an alfresco breakfast.

Bathroom with shower, sink and toilet, renovated using traditional polished concrete.

Totally private garden with terrace providing natural shade and hammock for your afternoon siesta. On the terrace is wrought iron patio furniture and two sun loungers, and next to the terrace the large pool.

There is also a music room at the front of the house containing two pianos one of which is a Steinway grand. Guests who are musicians may request access to this room.

A weekly house cleaning service is included in the price. Electricity is charged separately based on usage. A pool maintenance service and gardener is also included.

Bedrooms and bathroom are equipped with linens and towels, and the bathroom equipped with essential soaps and shampoos, etc. There is an iron and ironing board, and hair dryer.

Wi-fi internet is provided, and a TV with cable service and DVD player is provided in the master bedroom. Due to the preserved historic nature of the house it is not possible to have TV in the living room.

English speaking property manager

vacation rental rates

Low season April 1st to October 31st

Minimum 1 week stay

$695 USD per week

$1,650 USD per month

Electricity charged separately

High season November 1 to March 31

Minimum 1 week stay

$795 USD per week

$1995 USD per month

Electricity charged separately

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Neil Youngson 011-52-1-9999020452

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  • owner Neil Youngson
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Neil Youngson 011-52-1-9999020452

traveler reviews for this merida house rental

Oasis in the city

Review submitted: February 10, 2014   Date of arrival: February 1, 2014

We rented the property for 10 days. It's a very unique experience to spend time in a house like this, both historic and elegantly beautiful. The photos while accurate can't capture the ambience of the interior spaces. Courtyards bring in fresh air. I loved hearing the birds sing in the morning and early evening. The salon is lined with with a wonderful collection of books, music and DVDs. It's a beautiful room to sit in at night, listening to music, reading or watching a movie. We also enjoyed the dining room which has a stunning stained glass window, very large and colourful. The kitchen has everything you need to cook and its very convenient to have a blender for making smoothies/licaudos. The pool is also nice for a dip and very private.

The location is very good and provides easy access to the main plazas, wonderful restaurants, museums and the Paseo Montejo, which closes on Sunday for half a day to pedestrians and cyclists. Merida is a very safe city and being close to Calle 60 which is very lively in the evening, its really pleasant to walk home at night.

We were lucky to hear Christopher rehearsing with other musicians. That was truly a very enjoyable experience and encouraged us to get tickets to the symphony. The theatre where the symphony plays is very close by and is in a refurbished theatre, very baroque in style with a huge chandelier. Christopher is a very warm and thoroughly charming person and also knows about food. He recommended a nearby restaurant that was easily the best food that we've had since we got to the Yucatan. While Christopher is the owner, the property is managed by Neil, the property manager. He provides you with a cell phone with minutes in case you need to make some calls. He responds promptly to any request, is very polite and explains the details of the house well.

At times we were just happy to hang around the house, enjoy the pool and read. WIFI works very well. It can get quite hot in the afternoon and the house is a great retreat from the urban heat and noise of the streets.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Owners response: Hi Helen and Virendra,

thank you for a lovely review, and for telling me how much fun you both had staying here - with all the grandeur of this house I sometimes forget that actually it's a great place to kick off one shoes, and relax in a house that is fun to be in, right in the heart of Merida.

You said you'd be returning for another visit, I look forward to welcoming you back to Canton Mansion.


Helpful votes: 1 / 1


Quiet Elegance in Centro Historico

Review submitted: October 8, 2013   Date of arrival: September 10, 2013

My husband and I rented this home for 10 days in September. What a wonderful find right in the heart of Merida! The historic home is beautifully restored to its original charm, yet is still perfectly suited for a comfortable and relaxing stay, with all the modern conveniences needed(including wi-fi and cable television).

The property is exactly as pictured and described. Very quiet even though it is in the middle of the city. We were very happy to have pleasure of hearing Chris (the owner, who is concertmeister of the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra) rehearsing upstairs. He was a very gracious host who treated us like we were old friends.

The location is wonderful, just a few blocks from the Plaza Grande (one of the main attractions in Merida). The property manager, Neil, provided some wonderful recommendations for multiple restaurants within a few minutes walk. We tried many of them and were very pleased with his selections.

In short, we would highly recommend this property to anyone fortunate enough to visit the city of Merida. We will always have very fond memories of our time there.

Recommended for: girls getaway, sight seeing, tourists without a car

Owners response: Hi Joel and Belinda,

thank you for your kind review, I'm so glad you had such a great time in Merida despite the unusually wet September this year. Canton Mansion is indeed perfectly located for exploring Merida on foot with many attractions being no more than 10-15 minutes walk away.

The owner Chris is determined to continually improve the house for his guests and since you left the kitchen courtyard has been screened in to provide protection from direct sunlight for the more fragile plants and to keep mosquitoes out, and he has added additional furniture to the master bedroom and more art on the walls.

It was a pleasure having you stay at Canton Mansion and we hope to see you return some day.

Kind Regards
Neil - Property Manager

Helpful votes: 1 / 1


elegance, serenity in the heart of Merida

Review submitted: March 4, 2013   Date of arrival: February 1, 2013

To have found Canton Mansion for my stay in Merida was truly a stroke of luck; one might only dream of such a find right in the center of the historic quarter of beautiful Merida.

A regal entrance invites one into this elegant home, tastefully furnished to complement the various rooms. The Library was one of my favourite rooms where I spent hours reading, listening to music, and generally relaxing.... that is, when I wasn't sitting in the inner courtyard next to the kitchen, or stretched out in a lounge chair under a canopy of flowering vines in the outer courtyard after a swim in the very private pool, where swimming in the buff in so freeing.

The bedrooms are separated by an inner courtyard, and are furnished with very comfortable beds, and space to store belongings. Both have the option of opening a door onto the inner courtyard, which is where I generally enjoyed my morning coffee.

If you're lucky, the owner, Chris, who is concertmeister of the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra as well as a member of a string quartet, will be in residence. Chris lives in the upper level of the mansion, and I was fortunate to be 'home' on a couple of occasions when he, either solo, or with his quartet, was rehearsing. A special and wonderful treat!

Chris is also the consummate host....charming, hospitable, warm, and concerned that his guest(s) have all they need to be, not only comfortable, but happy in their surroundings.

One could not be more central; the main square (zocalo) is a five-minute walk, the Santa Lucia Park where there is dancing to live music every Sunday, and hosts concerts on other evenings, is two blocks away, and a plethora of restaurants, outdoor terraces, live music, shops, and markets are all in walking distance. And, the Teatro Peon Contreras where the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra performs is a mere 2-3 blocks away; there are several other theatres in walking distance as well.

On two occasions I hosted a dinner party in the elegant dining room. The kitchen is well provided with all one needs to 'cook up a storm' or put together a simple meal. We started the evening enjoying a drink with appetizers on the outside terrace; the ambiance throughout the evening was magical in this historic house I called 'home' for my too-short stay.

My plan is to return next winter and hope I may have the good fortune to stay at Canton Mansion.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Owners response: Hi Ileana,

thank you for a wonderful review, I know you enjoyed your stay at Canton Mansion but it's great for others to read about your experience of staying in this wonderful house. Chris sends his regards and hopes to see you next year.

Kind Regards
Neil - property manager

Helpful votes: 1 / 1


Reviews are the subjective opinions of travelers and not of, Inc.

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Neil Youngson 011-52-1-9999020452

Merida vacation rental

This vacation rental has been listed since 12/6/2012.

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