Yucatan Living Readers Choice Award 2007
In 2007, we began the very popular Readers Choice Polls here on Yucatan Living. The Readers Choice Polls were created as a way for those readers who are familiar with places and services here in Merida and the Yucatan to share their opinions and discoveries with new residents and travelers. And of course, we had a hidden agenda too... we wanted to find out about new, better and different places in Merida that we could enjoy ourselves!
And so, the Yucatan Living Readers Choice Awards was born. The following are the categories, winners and runners up for each category in 2007. We have printed up some very respectable looking certificates, with which we will award the winners and which we hope you will see hanging on the walls of their establishments when you go to visit. We figure a Yucatan Living Readers Choice Award is a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, in a way. Thousands of Yucatan Living readers can't be wrong, right?
Now, without further ado (or drumroll, for that matter!) here are the 2007 Winners of Yucatan Living's Readers Choice Awards:
Small Hotel Under $100 a Room - For the best Small Hotel with rooms under $100 US within the Periferico limits of Merida, our Yucatan Living readers chose Luz En Yucatan. Luz En Yucatan is located on Calle 55 next to the Santa Lucia Church, and over the years, has built its reputation as a quirky but charmingly comfortable place to stay when in Merida. It appears that the new owners, Donnard and Tom, with the help of Donnard's lovely wife Fabienne, have managed to maintain this reputation while giving the place a facelift.
The Runner up in this category is the lovely and talented Hotel Marionetas.
Bed and Breakfast - The number of B&B's in Merida grew by leaps and bounds this year, so we expect this category to see a lot of activity in 2008. The 2007 winner of the Yucatan Living Readers Choice Award for Best B&B in Merida is... Casa Esperanza. Casa Esperanza is run by Claudette and her husband Sergio, and consistently has happy clients returning again and again. The rooms are comfortably furnished and Claudette's breakfasts are legendary.
For this category, Runner up is Cascadas de Merida, another local favorite run by Ellyne and her husband, Chucho.
Hacienda Experience - With over 50% of the votes, Hacienda Yaxcopoil was far and away our reader's most positive hacienda experience. There are many haciendas in the Yucatan around Merida, and we encourage anyone who comes here or lives here to visit Hacienda Yaxcopoil to see what life might have been like here 100 years ago. Then go visit a few more haciendas. Some of them are renovated, some are abandoned. Each one is unique and beautiful... collect them all! By the way, Hacienda Ake, which has a working Casa de Maquinas and a nearby Mayan ruin was the Runner Up in this category.
Place to Walk in Merida - Here's a subject close to our hearts, because walking is such an important activity for us. If we couldn't walk somewhere in Merida, we think we'd just have to curl up in a ball and die. The grande dame of avenues won this category hands down: Paseo de Montejo with it's almost-year-round sculpture exhibit and its turn-of-the-century mansions won with almost 50% of the votes. As avid walkers, however, we encourage you to explore the other places mentioned in this poll, especially the Runner Up location, the Acuaparque.
Taco Stand - As new residents, we often didn't feel comfortable eating at a taco stand until we knew someone else had eaten there and lived to tell the tale. That's why this poll is so valuable. Now our readers have spoken! And any of you newcomers or visitors have at least five taco stands you can frequent with impunity, enjoying everything that Yucatecan cuisine has to offer. The winner in this category was Wayan'e, with El Cangrejito not far behind. Hmmm, we get hungry just thinking about it!
Servicio al Domicilio Lunch - Would you believe it? The Yucatan Living Readers Choice for best place to deliver lunch to your door was won by the only German Deli in town... Meyer's Deli! Meyer's makes some incredibly delicious sandwiches, potato salad and has the best cold cuts in town, bar none. Next time you're sitting around the pool or at your desk and don't want to make lunch, give them a call! And don't forget the Runner Up, either. Pollo Brujo is a perennial favorite around here and has all those locations because their chicken just tastes so good!
Restaurant Near the Zocalo - Visitors and residents alike often find themselves wandering downtown wondering where to eat. This Yucatan Living Readers Choice Poll tried to shed some light on that dilemma by sharing the opinion of the Yucatan Living community. And which restaurant won? Well, a restaurant that appeals to both residents and visitors! Pancho's Restaurant, owned by the famous Wayne Trotter, beat out the Runner Up, Portico del Peregrino, by a handy margin. Must be those waiters dressed like banditos, with their big hats and their bandeleros filled with wine corks! OK, as residents, we must admit the waiters' costumes and the flaming Mayan coffee were not factors, but the good food, the friendly bar, the charming owner and the outdoor dining room certainly were.
Real Estate Agency - The Yucatan Living Readers Choice Award for Best Real Estate Agency was the most hotly contested category in 2007. There were more votes in this category than any of the other two categories combined! Our Readers Choice for 2007 is Real Estate Yucatan! We know that Alec and Gabriela and their agents work tirelessly to service their clients and that they certainly have earned this award. The Runner Up in this category, Tierra Yucatan, is no slouch either, and it was a very close call. With all the real estate activity going on in Merida and along the Yucatan Gulf Coast this year, these agencies, and the others in town, were incredibly busy and overworked. We congratulate the Winner and Runner Up on maintaining their great customer service in the face of such activity!
Well, that's it! Congratulations to all our Winners and Runners Up... and to our voters and readers, too, because in this contest, everybody wins!