3. Merida, Mexico…November.2021

The Casa De Las Torres Villa 
I can’t go much further without telling you about this fantastical place we’re living in while in Merida.  This is the one of the main reasons Sherry came to Merida.  One of her friends had posted photos on IG about this place she’d rented on AirBnB, & Sherry wanted to experience it for herself &, thankfully, bring some friends along.  Everything else on the trip, came after the Villa.  So, take a trip inside these walls…it’s pretty spectacular & very quirky.  

The owners name is Greg.  And during our stay there, he nicely agreed to come over one afternoon & tell us about this place & answer a gazillion questions.  But, this is his passion & his face lights up when he talks about it.  It was not his original intention to build an event & AirBnB rental; his original intention was to build a home.  He told his architect, he wanted to build someplace that “he’d never want to leave”.  There are two original walls to the place he bought about 10 years ago.  I believe he bought it before he retired from his careers in the US, but he’s been full time in Merida for at least the last 7 years.

The outside is not much to speak of.  I’d learn while walking these streets, so many times, you never know what’s behind the walls of the places you walk by.  But the inside of this place?  Take a look.  As Bridget said one day, “He’s definitely committed to a theme”….that’s a huge understatement!

The Inside

This is the foyer…you can see the front door with a partial open wooden window.  

Right away you can see a religious theme going on….it’s in your face big; it’s everywhere!

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A vine covered window in the front of the house.

Across from the foyer is a big dining area.  Heres a mind blowing fact you should know as you view these photos.almost every piece of furniture was designed & built by a local carpenter.  Every painting on the wall & ceilings were painted by a local artist.  All the metal work was made by a local.  Just crazy & so very very amazing!

The hallway to the back part of the house.  Check out the ceiling!

You next walk through an open-air courtyard.  The two blue doors you see, are entrances into two of the bedrooms.  The barred window you see behind the table & chairs is into the shower that is in the master bedroom…the one I’m staying in.  It was so wonderful to hear the fountain running all night long.

This was Bridgets room.  She said it was a cave at night…super dark; a room with no windows.

But, look at this huge huge rosary on one of the walls in that room…wow.  

This was Bethany’s & Ben’s room.  Keep in mind…that bed was handmade by his carpenter….just crazy cool.

Then you leave the courtyard & other bedrooms behind, go through another set of glass & metal doors & into the dining room, kitchen & sitting room area.

The kitchen…notice the House Crest that was designed by his painter…more on that later.

The pizza oven.  Greg told us that in each room, he’d picked out one thing first & then everything else was designed around it.  In this room it was tile from a local tile shop.  He loved the colors in it.

Behind these doors are storage for the fridge, pots, pans, bowls, etc.

The sitting area.

This is the door into the Master bedroom…where I’m sleeping.

It was fascinating to listen to Greg talk about this project.  We asked him if he was religious given that so much of the house is decorated with religious stuff.  He said he was raised Catholic, but is not religious now.  But he loves the crosses, the big heavy darkness, the thick metalwork of the religious statues & icons & the religious paintings.  I guess so, because you can’t take two steps without seeing one.  It was so interesting though…I’d never thought of “Catholic” as a type of decor, but he’s proved you can do it!  And in a super big way.

The master bedroom is behind the blue doors in the above photo.  The first thing in your face is the tapestry on the wall above the bed.  He said he found this rolled up on the floor of a shop he frequents & it became the center piece of this room.  It took some negotiating in the middle of the night, not to hit your shins on the kneeling bench around the bed (only one bruise!) but then it became handy for sitting on, charging your phone, etc.

 The view from my side of the bed to outside was so nice…we’d leave the door open every night.  We could hear the courtyard fountain too.

And then there was the bathroom.  One of the craziest rooms in the house.  The shower was wonderful…you felt like you were outside the whole time.  Leaves on the floor of the shower from the live plants growing on both sides made it seem jungle like. The ceiling of the shower went all the way to top…all the way to the bell tower & was open to the sky.  I sort of wanted it to rain so I could shower under the house water & rain water at the same time…but, it never happened.  We had perfect weather, which was also great!

The sink we shared was a huge concrete one….yes, made in the next town over.  Greg said most of the town works at making concrete everything.

And, lastly & most surprisingly, was our toilet.  There was a closet on one side & the toilet on the other….all behind a custom build confessional.  Yes…that’s right.

And, here’s the toilet itself.  I had to stand on the seat everytime I flushed the toilet…I couldn’t reach it from the floor!  Kind of hysterical.

The box on the door held the TP.

I asked Greg about these high mounted tanks.  Was this a Merida thing?  No, he said he’d been to a castle in Mexico & they had one & he was fascinated by it.  Then he, rather proudly, said & I have more because every bathroom in the Villa is this way.  That was true, but thankfully, most weren’t as high as this one is.

The Outside
OMG…you know how I love outdoor spaces & this was a dream come true.  Hang on…because there are so many!

When you leave the main house & walk out from the living room, this is where you land.  This is what we looked out on from our bedroom.

This was “the beach”; with real sand on the floor..  Actually the only real comfortable chairs but it was also a great place to hang out at night, chatting & having a glass of wine.

Shells filled this table & all around the foliage outside.  Greg bought them local…someone sells bags of shells.

Greg had a local mask maker create these masks that decorate the wall.

There is a bathroom next to the pool…I’d use it frequently since I could reach the flusher on this one…plus, it’s just really cool!

Then it was time to go up a level by way of a vine enclosed spiral staircase.

We asked Greg how all this greenery could have grown so fast since he’d bought the property.  He said he had a gardener, but the climate was perfect for plants…growing season is all year-round.  Wow…again.

The view of the pool area from the second floor.

This is what you see on the second level.  I loved sitting on that little shady concrete bench on the left.

Another wonderful space for parties & entertaining.  Greg told us he’d never owned a house before he came here to Mexico.  That he’d wanted one where he could throw big parties…He certainly got his wish.

There’s a big grill & sink along the wall.

Now, we go through the archway to another space.

I knew right away, when Sherry took me on the tour, I would make it a project to sit in each of these outdoor spaces before I left.  They are so wonderful!

But, you can walk another 1/2 level up.

Then there’s another view.  I didn’t know what this dome was about, but would learn it’s part of Gregs personal residence.

More spaces on top…they were just everywhere.  It was like a puzzle…a really cool one.

I could see this from the top, but didn’t know how you even got to it.  But the detail in the paintings were wonderful.

And another set of steps to another level up.

This was my favorite early morning spot to drink coffee.

The bell…that’s another story.

And, this next part took me over the top.  The building of the Villa took three years….not a lot since most everything inside & outside was hand built, hand painted, custom designed, etc.  Greg threw parties & had events & soon word of mouth had other wanting to rent the space.  It was then Greg thought about buying the lot next door & building his own attached residence so he could rent the main Villa out.  He completed his residence during lockdown.  He invited us to take a tour of his personal residence.  It was then I thought, this design went from “commitment” to “obsession”.  Take a peek & come to your own conclusion!

Greg’s Personal Residence
The blue doors open to his living room & you’re greeted by his two big friendly dogs.  And you notice the centerpiece is a great big extravagant bar.

But, when he opened the doors, it revealed a huge ass television.

I loved this piece & asked him about it.  He bought it from a friend of his.  It’s called a Catrina..but look at the detail.

The kitchen was designed by his chef…I asked him if he liked to cook.  He said no, but his chef does all the events at the Villa, & he loves the kitchen.  Sherry was envious!  She loves to cook!

The guest bedroom & bathroom are just off the kitchen.

Then we went back through the living room & outside to the courtyard which replicates a fallen church Greg saw in Mexico.  His painter created the frescos along the wall. 

 Looking back to the living room & up to his bedroom.  

The view from the balcony in front of his bedroom.  You can see how it depicts a church in ruins.

The second floor is just his bedroom, bathroom & outdoor space.  But “just” is an understatement!  This will blow your mind!

The pink dome I’d seen earlier, is the roof of his bedroom.  This is so wild.  The carpenter made the wood chandelier; the painter did the rest.

A kneeling bench for end tables with a super detailed painting above.

This was super crazy…a Pope’s chair toilet.

The mirror in his bathroom.

Another great & colorful outdoor space.

Shells line the bottom of the fountain.  Notice all the solar panels in the background.

We learned so much about the intent & building of this spectacular & slightly weird place.  It’s amazing & awesome that most everything was created by local workers.  He even had a local potter create his House Crest on pottery that fills one of the wooden hutches in the dining area.

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Usually, when I travel, & even when I’m not just staying in my 4Runner, I never want to spend time in wherever I’m housed…I just want to be out exploring & moving all the time.  But, on this trip, we wanted to build time into each day to sit by the pool, chill out & I wanted to spend a little time in each nook & cranny outside.  It’s definitely a wild place & I can see why Sherry was drawn to come here.  And the visit with Greg was such a treat.  We’d ask about a certain piece in the house or painting or decoration & he would say, “now that’s an interesting story” & then tell us.  It was super great!

Sherry wrote a more detailed story about the villa.  Find it here & many more wonderful travel articles on her site.

And, if you decide you want to rent it, heres the link.  Enjoy!

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