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Canton Mansion - Rent a piece of history

Bedrooms 2
Property type house
Minimum Stay 7 nights


About the property

House, 2 Bedrooms, 1 Baths, 4 Sleeps

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.

Available on request are the dates when the owner Chris will be in residence.

More Details

Neil Youngson
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
July 9, 2018


Centro House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Downtown ...
  • Historic
  • Luxury
  • Romantic
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , A/C, fan, TV
    Bedroom 2 - 1 double , A/C, fan
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Video Library
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Private Pool
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • live theater
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Sleeps 2-4 adults (sorry, no pets, children by agreement) 2 bedrooms (1 queen & one mattrimonial bed) with high quality mattresses and linens. Both bedrooms have A/C and 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


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(14 traveler reviews)

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Canton Mansion - Rent a piece of history
average rating of 5.0 based on 14 reviews

Great stay in classic home

  • 5 of 5

Wonderful surroundings for those who appreciate old-world charm - Neil, the Agent, is charming and most considerate and Chris, the owner, is a delight when in residence.

  • Submitted: Feb 28, 2017
  • Stayed: January 2017
  • Source: Vacation Rentals, from HomeAway
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Beautiful historic home in great location

  • 5 of 5

We loved staying in this historic home. The location was perfect, as it was close to all the parks and so many restaurants. It was very hot while we were in Merida so the pool was a great place to relax. We actually took time to read several books from the well stocked book shelves. We choose to eat out, but noticed that the kitchen was very well stocked. The property manager, Neil, was very gracious and helpful. He picked us up at the airport, helped us get settled in, and gave us great recommendations for restaurants and things to do in the area. We hope to come back to Merida in the future and would love to stay here again.

  • Submitted: Dec 11, 2016
  • Stayed: December 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Peaceful,beautiful,memorable,one-of -a -kind house

  • 5 of 5

We stayed in Canton Mansion last year and we were so impressed with virtually everything about our stay that we vowed to stay here again ,this time much longer.

So this year we stayed full three weeks ,and loved every minute of it.

It's the type of the place you just do not want to leave.Merida is a stunning city ,full of cultural events and good restaurants,and still we spent most of our time here this time inside of the house ,enjoying the cool and unusual pool ,the shady patio around it ,reading in the hammock ,the large library not only of books ,but also of movies ,the two spectacular inner patios,well equipped kitchen ,humongous stylish bedrooms,stylish dining room like from a good Italian museum.

And this time we were lucky and Chris Collins Lee was in residence in Merida ,so we could enjoy the classical music of his string quartet when they were practicing in the music room.Needless to say ,we met Chris in person ,and enjoyed three symphony orchestra concerts where Chris plays the first violin,in Merida theather and concert hall 5 minutes away.

Like during our first stay last year ,this year all was impeccable, made possible by Neil,the house manager ,although I would rather call him mayordomo,to stress his excellent service, and of course ,the overall spirit of the entire fine stay.

We would grant 6 stars ,if it only was possible .

Next year we are coming again ,again for 3-4 weeks stay.

Andrew from Fort Myers,FL,USA

  • Submitted: Apr 27, 2016
  • Stayed: April 2016
  • Source: Vacation Rentals, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Andrew, it was a pleasure to have you and Noriko stay again at Canton Mansion - thanks for the great review and description of the house, being able to hear the string quartet rehearse is the perfect accompaniment to the wonderful classical architecture of this house. I look forward to seeing you again next time. Neil
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Cobalt, Ontario, Canada

Heaven on Earth

  • 5 of 5

How fortunate I feel to have had the opportunity to stay in The Canton Mansion. There is a feeling to this place that is so calming. When I first arrived I felt like a Princess, due to the castle like feeling. The building is grand. Tall ceilings, courtyards, private walled pool with pillars, flowering vines, palm trees. The library an oasis to listen to music and read. A gentle breeze blew in our bedroom all night as we slept so comfortably. How nice to be able to dine under the stars or watch the rain pour inside on the courtyard as you are preparing dinner. What a wonderful treat to hear Chris practicing his draws you to it. He is a very kind host! Although we searched and visited other homes to rent in the area, I knew immediately when I stepped into the Mansion that I had found our place. Without a doubt my husband felt the same. We have booked for the next two years and I cannot wait to come back. My experience here has been one of a lifetime and I feel blessed.

  • Submitted: Mar 11, 2016
  • Stayed: March 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beautiful house in Merida

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I often stay in rental holiday houses or apartments during our travels. This option always offers more space and more privacy than staying in a hotel and the price is either comparable or often cheaper than regular hotel room. It is difficult to predict how one will feel in such an apartment – usually they are very good, some surprisingly attractive , some less comfortable than expected . Canton Mansion in Merida - the house belonging to the violinist Christopher Collins Lee was really a wonderful surprise. We have read some reviews and expected a big stylish house but it was so much more that that. After entering this house from the busy crowded street of Merida one feels like transferred to another world, quiet space full of plants and beautiful things. We actually felt as if we were in some old residence in Italy, with high ceilings, patio with open roof, stone sculptures, swimming pool surrounded by trees and plants. The best things were books and music records, our host was not at home when we stayed in Merida but we listened to his music every evening and it added very special value to our stay in this great city. The house has unique atmosphere , it does not feel like a rental apartment ( although all the facilities are there- large, very well equipped kitchen with all appliances and modern washing machine, modern bathroom, TV etc) - it is really like being a guest in private home of a friend who has exquisite taste. The location is very good , in the heart of the old city , in walking distance to many attractions. The manager of the house , Neil, was very helpful in all matters and everything was very well organized. We also appreciated very much all the very useful information about the house, Merida and Mexico in general , which we found in the booklet in the house – it was very precise and helpful , we visited some of recommended places, restaurants, bought hammocks in La Poblana.. I hope we will be able to come to Merida and stay in Canton Mansion- for longer time- again !

Krystyna and Boguslaw from Gdansk, Poland

  • Submitted: Aug 18, 2015
  • Stayed: February 2015
  • Source: Vacation Rentals, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for a great review Krystyna, you describe the house very well, it does indeed have a unique atmosphere. I hope you and Boguslaw will return and stay longer next time, and hopefully get to meet Chris and hear him perform with the symphony or string quartet. Best wishes Neil
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Los Angeles

Fantastic Stay

  • 5 of 5

Canton Mansion exceeded my expectations. Neil, the property manager, answered all my questions, took me to the airport, and we even went on some mini excursions in the Yucatan. Chris, the owner, was extremely gracious and kind. The house is very large and from another time period. I'm grateful to both Chris and Neil for making this such a memorable experience for me.

  • Submitted: Aug 16, 2015
  • Stayed: March 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Weekly Rate: $595 - $795
Monthly Rate: $1500 - $1995

Low season April 1st to October 31st
Minimum 1 week stay
$595 USD per week
$1,500 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

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.