Charming Casa Lecanda

Stephanie Hill shares Charming Casa Lecanda on The Style Bungalow

Stephanie Hill shares Charming Casa Lecanda on The Style Bungalow

In the heart of Mérida, one of my favorite Mexican towns, is a peaceful haven known as Casa Lecanda – a 100-year-old restored house turned boutique hotel with elegant white archways and a lush tropical garden. No, I’m not technically getting married here, but I knew I wanted to make this property very much a part of my wedding experience. So I thought, since I’ll be traveling back and forth quite a bit between now and the wedding and need a rehearsal dinner spot (yes, it’s 2020 and my wedding is this year) – why not make Casa Lecanda my little home away from home? 

Fashion Blogger Stephanie Hill shares Charming Casa Lecanda on The Style Bungalow

When friends ask, “What should I do in Mérida?” I always say, “buy a book and relax.” Sounds simple but Mérida has that effect on you. It’s a small town centered around beautiful homes, and Casa Lecanda is the perfect example of this. Because there are so many charming corners on the property, you can steal a nap from their hammocks, reflect poolside while sipping fresh lemonade and inevitably feel inspired by the beautiful Mexican interiors, which draw me in every time I visit. I love how all seven of the rooms have custom furniture, original clay tile floors and large restored doors and windows while maintaining the original authenticity of the house. 

Style Blogger Stephanie Hill shares Charming Casa Lecanda on The Style Bungalow

Lighting is everything, right? One unique feature of the hotel is their use of light colors to increase the effect of solar lighting in the interior areas. It makes the hotel feel even more open and romantic. 

And the scent

Charming Casa Lecanda on The Style Bungalow by Stephanie Hill

Just thinking about it makes me swoon. The Yucatan, thanks to local Coqui Coqui Perfumeria, has the most incredible scent that evokes so many sweet memories with my fiancé. My favorite? Taking a steamy bath in the jungle underneath the stars (where there’s no light pollution!) and sharing a glass of wine with him. Like a scene from a romantic film, we poured the Tobacco bath oil into our oversized concrete tub, split a bottle of wine and without a care in the world we laughed for hours. I’ll never forget peeking through the open windows at the full moon and thinking to myself, “what a time to be in love…” For this reason (and more), the perfumeria has a special place in my heart and my fiancé now wears the Tobacco cologne, which became my all-time favorite scent. 

The moment you step into Casa Lecanda, you are immediately greeted with citrus notes from their Flor de Naranjo, a fresh and lively scent with orange blossom, and the most hospitable staff that welcomes you with a warm smile, cool washcloth, refreshments and knows you by name.

Stephanie Hill shares Charming Casa Lecanda on The Style Bungalow
Another exciting component…I met KT Merry, my wedding photographer, during a photoshoot last year (click here and here to see the photos). KT’s photographed some of the most luxurious weddings around the world – the kind of weddings “without a budget,” the kind you dream of and talk about for the rest of your life, with celebrities and all. Intimidated but also intrigued, I asked her for advice, knowing she would be an expert in all things wedding-related. At that time, Pedro and I were not engaged yet, but we’re talking about the possibility of marriage so I knew it was coming… I excitedly whispered, “KT, I secretly dream of getting married in Mérida one day…Miami is great, but Mérida is magical. If he proposes, should we do it?” Without hesitation she said, “yes.” 

A few months later, we were engaged. When KT called to congratulate us, I told her I wanted two things, “to get married in Mérida…and to have her shoot our wedding.” 

Charming Casa Lecanda on The Style Bungalow by Stephanie Hill

Sharing Mérida with others has become a treat for us. Some people love it, like my mom who tried to extend her trip when we visited in July. Some people hate it because it’s small, quiet and requires time and multiple trips to truly see and experience it. I always say, “if you like tourist attractions, Mérida isn’t the place for you. If you like spontaneity, old world charm and a bit of romance, Mérida’s your town.” 

Last October (during those final, hellacious weeks of my apartment project), I pushed aside my obligations for a few days and dashed off to Mérida with KT to shoot our engagement photos. I was in charge of the itinerary so I made sure to visit all our favorite spots as well as stay at our favorite hotel, Casa Lecanda. We showed KT and her husband our wedding venue, a semi-restored hacienda from the 1700s (now owned by the most fascinating couple from New York and their 10+ rescued dogs. Unfortunately I can’t share details since that hacienda is a private home.). We took them to the famous Coqui Coqui boutique hotel (which only has two rooms), La Fundación de Artistas, the local cathedral (which dates back to the 1500s), the Mérida Mansion and more. We discovered so many incredible restaurants together (KT and her husband are vegan/plant-based! Update: since this trip, Pedro and I have adopted a plant-based lifestyle as well!) and captured so many special moments together. The trip certainly had its ups (and many late night cocktails) and downs (like getting lost a few times, lol). But hey, that’s why they call traveling an adventure, right? 

With a spark of old world charm, lots of surprises and pops of luxury (like Casa Lecanda) blended so intricately together into a small, romantic town in the Yucatan, it’s easy to fall under Mérida’s spell. And we cannot wait to return… 

Xo, Stephanie

In case you missed it – check out the blog post, “How to Select the Right Wedding Photographer” for more from KT.

Dress: (c/o) Andres Otalaro

Earrings: Jennifer Behr

(Here are some of my favorite past looks from Andres…)

Photography by KT Merry

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