About Urbano Rentals

Urbano Rentals features town homes in the historic center of Merida and nearby country estates for vacation rentals. Our properties have the highest standards of design and comfort. Most of the rentals were designed by and for ourselves. Our first house the 17c L’Ermita de Santa Isabel is in one the oldest barrios of Merida’s colonial era and our newest house the contemporary Meson San Sebastian is just around the corner. In 2001 our first design project upon arriving in Merida from New York was to collaborate with Salvadore Reyes Rios and Josephina Larrain on a home in the Colonial town of Izamal. This home and studio for the owners of the Hacienda San Jose Cholul also serves as an artist in residence retreat & gallery. Next we designed and renovated The Orangerie at Santa Ana in the heart of Merida’s most popular ex-pat neighborhood a master suite was added in 2011. Two properties designed by Reyes-Rios and Larrain were added to our rentals in 2006, the Casa Azul de Santiago and the Hacienda San Antonio. Josh Ramos designed his home El Portico de la Candelaria in 2007. It is our most luxurious rental. In 2012 we added Mayazul, another Reyes Rios + Larrain project finished in the same year as Rosas y Xocolate Hotel. Mayazul is actually two houses that are easily combined giving 5 bedrooms, ideal for a family reunion. For the holidays in 2016 we started renting a large casona that we designed and renovated in 2006, Villa Los Arcos.

All of our houses are in colonial Merida’s historic center except a private hacienda near the village of Acanceh  30 minutes from Merida.  We hope that as our guests you will feel more at home than and less like tourists.  In fact many of our guests have bought homes in Merida over the past 15 years.

About Us

We came to Merida in October 2001 from New York where we had a store in Soho. Naturemorte was on Broome Street and featured antiques from France and Mexico mixed with designer home furnishings from Spain. Josh was a textile designer who specialized in home furnishings. He was raised in San Diego and graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago. He attended the Art Institute Study Abroad program in San Miguel de Allende. Josh has a fine arts degree but his passion is design. In Merida he designs furniture as well as homes. John was raised in Texas and studied art and architecture. He worked in art galleries in Houston and New York before moving to Paris. In Paris he worked as a designer for firms like Hermes, Christian Lacroix Couture & Sonia Rykiel. In 1998 John took a year off to study film at New York University. In New York John met Josh and they started making trips throughout Mexico. Both avid collectors of crafts and antiques they soon could not contain their collections and decided to open Naturemorte. On one such trip they bought a beach house on the gulf coast and the Ermita property in the colonial city of Merida. After 15 years of living in Merida we have completed about 15 homes for ourselves or for private clients. Some of these houses are available to rent for your vacation.

About Best of Yucatan

Our Best of Yucatan blog has existed in one form or another for the past 15 years.  Now we have created a website where you can find all the information you´ll need for your vacation in Merida and the Yucatan.  There are links to the many articles about Merida in the international travel magazines like Travel+Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler, fashion magazines like Vogue and W, design magazines like 1st Dibs and AD.  Reviews and suggestions for which restaurants to eat in and what to order.  Day trips from Merida that will take you to Maya ruins and Colonial Haciendas with a break at the cenotes or nearby lagoons and beaches.  We have guides for shopping, galleries and suggestions on how to spend your week in Merida.  We are the oldest blog in Merida without advertisers so our only agenda is helping you discover what we love the most about living in the Yucatan. 

“John Powell and Josh Ramos, design-minded expats from New York, meticulously renovate and restore charming old houses in and near Merida, and rent them out to travelers.”

–  T Magazine