Hacienda El Mortero

We had an all-inclusive package in Cancun, which meant we paid one price for the room and the food, including all the drinks - alcoholic and otherwise.

Hence we were not able to scope out the dining scene. However, while out and about we did see a number of American franchises all over the Hotel Zone.

Our resort had a restaurant that catered to its guests' global palate; hence more of generic dishes, not completely "mexican" in nature.

Included in our package was a dinner at a nice restaurant a few steps from the resort. The only requirement before dining here is to make a reservation with the front desk before a certain time of the day, I vaguely remember the time limit to be before 5 pm. While we could have dined here every single day, we only went once, as we were out and about most of the time and would not know where we would be come dinner time :)

Hacienda El Mortero has a facade that pleases the eyes. Its cream exterior is a welcome sight after looking at rich colors of the surrounding hotels and resorts.

The vestibule opens into the bar area - where one gets a sampling of the decor inside the main dining area.

This is where people may have strong opinions for or against the interiors. Is it too much, too tacky, too over the top Mexican decor in your face or it's fabulous? I for one side with the latter. I thought the decor was enchanting, adding an ooomph to the ambiance and a little exclamation to the whole vacation.

Agaves lining the path.
Table for two?
The bar area.
The interiors with subdued lighting, so romantic.
The walls were adorned with religious statues.
The tiles were really nice.
But nothing compared to the ceiling.

And now for the food. Let's just say the food was fine, okay, higher than mediocre, but lower than superb. Or was I just expecting too much?

A few years ago I had a fabulous dining experience in Baja. So I ordered the same dish. It did not taste at all like the Baja version (pescado vera cruz), it lacked the freshness and lightness of the dish. Even the husband's dish of grilled chicken was just okay.

Vera Cruz, nice to look at but falls flat on the palate - IMHO.
Grilled chicken with the works.
To complete the Mexican dining experience,  the duo of oversized Margarita and a Mariachi band (I only snapped at the lead singer).

Cancun is a popular vacation destination.  I have seen people were split about this restaurant with almost the same number liking it and hating it.  What do you think? 

I love the ambiance, the decor, the service, the margarita, and the mariachi band.  The food however needs some improvement. 


  1. So colorful, even the food! I love mexican food but for some reason I've never tried some outside, I always cook them at home...haha next time! ;)

  2. i love the mexican feel!
    authenticity as its best.
    however as you put it, their food needs improvent so it'll be good to revisit them (if time and budget aren't an issue to you, hehe) and compare it with your previous experience.

  3. the entrance is elegant. and i love the colorful ceiling, the plate design and the duo of Margarita and Mariachi singer.:p

  4. I can't comment on the food, of course, but I agree with you on the colorful ambiance of the place. That's what Mexico is all about, IMHO! All-inclusive appears to be the way to go, in this case. :) (I think my daughter also did this on her honeymoon there.)

  5. Great mexican colours on this post! The ceiling shot is so very cool!

  6. I like the colors and the cozy atmosphere. The colorful fabric on the ceiling looks very attractive.

  7. In my country we have haciendas but in a different way that that. Delicious mexican dinner.



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  8. who wont love the ambiance. i just read about cancun on magazines. now im seeing it from your posts. i like the singing guy. he looks like he's a statue.

  9. Maria, I like the both the restaurant and the food! Beautiful post!

  10. i did not expect the interior of the place to be so colorful looking at the outside of the structure.

    looks like a cozy place though. :)

  11. very mexican nga ang plate pati si kuya! hahaha!! :)

  12. I love Mexican colors... the vivid colors exude a sense of celebration, parang laging may fiesta. Haha! The food though, I'm not too fond of. I have moods for it. But the plates look yummy, sorry to hear that they're not to your expectations.

  13. nice dining at the hacienda. Looks like an upscale place with great dining.

  14. You're right - the presentation of the food leaves a lot to be desired. However, the ambiance was certainly good.

    Geared up for the New Year?

    Many thanks for your patience, and for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comment. Come visit again tomorrow!


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