The Yucatan Peninsula’s largest city, Mérida, also known as “La Ciudad Blanca” or The White City, has become one of Mexico’s most treasured cultural capitals. A place that offers a unique mix of colonial architecture with a discernable Mayan flavor, it is now being revived by entrepreneurial locals looking to bring a fresh perspective to their hometown. Among some of those forward-thinking locals are Connie Estrada, Julián Malleville, and Jimena Rosado who founded Casa T’Hō – a curated shopping center featuring local boutiques as well as a contemporary restaurant by Chef Adriana Aguirre called Guillermina.
A prominent space within the historic 19th-century building, Guillermina has been designed to honor the original architecture while bringing a contemporary perspective to the mix. Designed by the Cancun-based design firm WEWI Estudio, the restaurant is located between two of Casa T’Hō’s boutiques. The firm wanted the space to feel natural within the building as if it has always existed. Guillermina’s bar, for example, was made out of salvaged marble from the floor of another of the house’s unused rooms. Furthermore, the newly made concrete tables were designed to emulate the look of those same marble floors.
However, true to Casa T’Hō’s mission to celebrate local talent, the designers worked with Mexican artisans to furnish the space – whether that meant finding blacksmiths to create the custom brass lighting or carpenters to craft the light wooden pieces, such as the chairs and the display shelving, that give visual warmth to the room.
This simple and poetic space serves as the perfect backdrop for the light fare that the restaurant serves – a contemporary twist on local dishes. Here, you can dive into a plate of vegan tacos made with tamarind tortillas or a freshly made tropical fruit smoothie – all suitable to re-energize you while exploring the Mayan city.