I am often asked which beaches I recommend for visitors to Merida. Yesterday I went to the little port of Sisal to visit Club de Patos. It´s a town I often went to for fish fresh enough to make sashimi. Most often I didn´t stick a toe in the water or stop for lunch. The recent renovations of the town center has ruined what ever charm it had for me. But I had heard great things about this little club and hotel at the edge of town….
Somehow over the past 30 years I´ve gone from being a beach lover to a hater. I´m the last person you should ask for advice on where to go, eat or stay at the beach. My love for Tulum was what brought me to the Yucatan in the first place. But now each time I go to Tulum I swear it will be my last time. That leaves places much closer to Merida.
I´ve been to Muelle de Sisal which is probably the most attractive restaurant but the dives in town like El Pepe Rey are just as likely to have eatable fare for a fraction of the cost. I´d walk around and find the place with the most locals and they are most likely to have the freshest seafood.
For years I´ve heard about the Club de Patos from friends who know the owner and some of them had worked on the decor and architectural details. It´s not that easy to get past the front gate but since I had an introduction I used it.
The entrance is not very inviting but once you cross the threshold you´ll be greeted with a nice tepid glass of Jamaica. You´ll want to stop and take a foot selfie of the tiles for your Instagram account, it´s obligatory. We reserved a week in advance to have a day pass which includes the use of the public grounds and lunch. Drinks, I knew are not included. The wine list is a well edited and priced selection.
The grounds are well kept with many indigenous plants on a winding path up from the beach. It´s just over a kilometer´s walk from the center of Sisal if you don´t care to drive.
After our very disappointing lunch I lounged here for a couple of hours ignoring the book I brought with me while trying to stay connected to the internet. This took up a couple of hours. Hours when I would normally be at the gym or taking a nap.
Several friends had told me that the food was very good but in fact our food was on the edge. On the edge of being poisonous I fear. The ceviche had been marinating for 24 hours at least and I´m not certain it was a fresh fish when it hit the lime. Then came a snapper on a bed of tomatoes and peppers. It had been bathed in achiote long after it´s death. It was a very fishy fish that had been steamed beyond death in aluminum foil and should have been transferred to a banana leaf to at least appear edible. That went strait back to the kitchen and guacamole was ordered. #sad. The guacamole was not really edible either but as the waiter was about to cry we pushed it around our plates and ate the chips. Skipped the dessert and the coffee and our wine had chilled by the time we had finished our dining experience. Yes we were served a piping hot bottle of Albariño. The waiter remained civil and we happily left the table and I survived the meal to write about it here today. My friend took off for the beach and I took off for the pool.
The fact that we are in low season now and the manager was in Mexico City lead me to believe that it´s possible one might have a very different experience in high season when the hotel is fully staffed and there might even be a chef on staff. In the end it was a pleasant enough day at the beach just an hour from home.
The last thing we did was look at a room. I was surprised to find that while the rooms are spacious and well designed the furnishings are rather cheap and the beds are all double beds. So yes you could try this place with a day pass but I would not recommend staying overnight and enduring 3 meals …
My friends were shocked that I wrote this review. They have always had good food and good service. Someday I will go back in disguise with one of them.