Boutique Hotel Quinta Chanabnal, Palenque, Mexico

The upscale Quinta Chanabnal property, set off the road leading out of Palenque town to the ruins, has a quiet jungle setting. That is at least when the howler monkeys aren’t screeching – a cross between a bark and a guttural growl. We only heard them around 5PM in the evening.

The extensive tended grounds include a lake and swimming pool with a series of pools and a shaded lounging area. Spaces are large and resort like but with few other guests to disturb the tranquility.


The deluxe room is huge. Decorated in exotic elegance the room is furnished in dark woods with brightly colored walls. A bench seat wraps around the window that faces a small garden. The bed is firm and comfortable. The large shower with both normal and rain shower heads has good pressure. Room amenities include a small mini bar fridge, hair dryer, safe, capsule coffee system and storage space for longer stays. Wifi connects well but is not fast, most likely typical for the region.

Quinta Chanabnal Dining Room

The elegant thatched roof open air dining room is beautifully appointed with stunning Mayan pieces. Tables are spaced throughout the room such that you feel that you are having a private dinner in this magnificent space.

Both the dinner and lunch menus offer a selection of international and local specialties. We tasted some of each. Everything was well prepared. Staff is friendly and prefers to speak Spanish but will accommodate you in English as well.

Fried breaded fish served with rice and spinach – two fresh filets perfectly deep fried with crispy outer coating and moist interior.

Club sandwich with French fries – an honest version of this international classic served with fresh hot crispy fries.

Chicken in black sauce – a local Mayan specialty. When we ordered this dish for dinner the manager came out to explain about the preparation. It’s an unusual dish made with chili ash. They actually burn up the chilies to make the sauce resulting in a mild chili and sour taste. The flavors are subtle enough that we found the dish more interesting for the story than for its taste.

Moroccan lamb with apricots, raisins and couscous – not the best Moroccan lamb I’ve ever had. It could have been more tender, but overall the dish was well prepared and a nice change from Mexican cuisine.

A generous basket of bread is served with dinner.


The continental breakfast included in our room price featured yogurt and granola, juice, an excellent fruit plate, a generous basket of breakfast breads and coffee or tea.

The huevos rancheros were nicely done topped with a great ranchero sauce but no sides.

The mushroom omelet was on the thin side but a good effort. Sides included – fried plantains, refried black beans and bacon.

Lunch at Don Mucho

Located just outside the gate to the ruins this shaded, large casual eatery serves Mexican and Italian specialties. The open air covered dining area extends out to the shade of large jungle trees next to a creek. Perfect for an after ruin breakfast or lunch.

The extensive menu includes local favorites, pasta, and pizza after 3PM.

We ordered the guacamole, the beef fajitas and the chicken fajitas. Portions are generous served with refried beans, salad and flour tortillas.

Drive from Campeche to Palenque

It took us 5 hours to reach Palenque with 2 short stops for gas, little traffic and following the posted speed limits.

December 15-17, 2019

For links to all the posts in this series see the Yucatan Peninsula page.