Retiro Maya Eco-Hotel and Retreats
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Travel Blogs from Tulum
So we approach the first location “The Pit” driving through dense jungle and come upon a car park in the middle of no where. We wander for 50 meters and then see the hole, the sink hole of glorious blue water with a number of divers just surfacing, good news for us as they would be out of our way. We check and double check our gear and kit up, wander down the steep steps into the hole and jump on into the water. The water ...
... instead we arrived at ten in the evening after departing from Caye Caulker at eight in the morning. The only bearable part of the trip was the half-hour ferry to Belize City, where we hopped on a rickety bus made nicer by some music from the fifties, that has brought us to the border with Mexico very slowly and stopping to load and unload passengers every two hundred meters. The thing that always leaves us puzzled is that sometimes there are also bus stations, but the driver ...
... memorable ones were as follows:
Set up by a New Yorker who saw an opportunity to set up a 'trendy’ grill style, deep south restaurant, with a Mexican influence. This is the place where everybody seemed to be trying to get a table. It opened at 6pm and didn’t take reservations, so the queuing started at 5.15pm and continued to snake around the car park until the gates ...
... home along with fish, eels and crayfish.
We took a tour to swim with sea turtles and visited other cenotes including Dos Ojos (two eyes) where we swam through limestone caves into a great cavern which was full of roosting bats.
We then stayed for four nights out of town in a nice little bungalow by a white sand beach on the Carribean Sea. Our little cove was perfect for sunbathing, ...
... decided o leave Playa del Carmen early. Id packed and caught a taxi to the bus station by 7:30 and i was on a bus heading to cancun by 8. It was a lovely quick drive of less than an hour to Cancun bus station and then a further twenty minute taxi ride to the Roal Islander. I had breakfast. In one of the restaurants then sat by the pool until i could check into my room at twelve. I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the beach before going back ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Retiro Maya Eco-Hotel and Retreats Tulum
Best location on the Tulum coast
We found the Retiro Maya while we were walking on the beach South of the Tulum Ruins. We left the hotel we were staying at to stay there. This is a great place for the traveler who desires natural romantic luxury. The name is perfect for this hotel because it really is a retreat and we departed totally relaxed. There was a patio with a table, hammock and a great view of the ocean in front of our room. The shower is built among tropical plants and it feels like you are bathing outside, but are in your large private bathroom. The owner, Lu was attentive and helpful. The rooms do not have electrity which is what we wanted. We spent the evenings in oceanside restaurants or walking on the beach. We do reccommend that you bring flashlights because there is ony candlelight available in the rooms. Among this part of the coast, the mosquitos get hungry at sunset and at dawn, so be sure to use the mosquito netting which is over the bed. They are building an airport in this area so be sure to visit Tulum within the next 5-10 years. One can spend a few weeks here because there is so much to do and see.
Pretty but, Not fun
She lost our reservation even though we had paid in advance for 2 rooms for 2 nights. Although she made up for it by giving us two other rooms, we could not stay there because we were attacked by mosquitos in the middle of the night. The owner has an attitude of "love & light", but actually, she's didn't try to be very helpful about the mosquitos. If you are paying 180. a night, why not have Mosquito nets? Also no water before until 7:30 am. There' s also very few candles to use at night. But the beach is so beautiful. Next time we'll try to reserve earlier, which is how we ended up there, it was the last place to have an opening in November.
Avoid Retiro Maya.
A terrible experience. There are so many better places to stay than Retiro Maya. The cabanas are way over-priced - $180USD in high season for a cabana with no screens, inconsistent water, cheap mosquito nets, uncomfortable mattresses, and a cheesy, bothersome "bar" on the beach (over $4USD for a corona?!). The owner even verbally chastised us for bringing in our own food rather than eat the substandard and over-priced food they offer. Try Hemingway or Arrecifes or anywhere else along the beach for a better option...I've stayed at both places in previous years and enjoyed them.
Se trataba de la segunda vez que nos quedábamos en el Retiro Maya pues la primera, en el 2003, ninguna de las cabañas tenían cuarto de baño. Esta vez nos quedamos en la cabaña doble "amarilla", justo en primera línea por lo que era imposible estar más cerca de la playa. La Cabaña estaba limpia y era cómoda aunque la mosquitera tenía algún agujero que otro (a pesar de lo cual no nos mordió ningún mosquito). La ducha fue el único problema pues cuando se duchaban en otras cabañas a la vez que me duchaba yo no había agua, se podría haber arreglado fácilmente. La playa aquí es preciosa. No había normas sobre la ropa, algo que se agradecía mucho pues hizo mucho calor mientras estuvimos allí. Lu, el propietario, y su amigo, que estaba alojado allí a la vez que ayudaba, eran muy agradables, simpáticos y serviciales. Pagamos 73 euros por noche lo que resultaba bastante aceptable para estar ubicado en ese lugar. Sólo había un paseo hasta la Posada Margarita donde puedes tomar unas copas y comer. Muy bueno pero caro.
Una magnífica playa
Una playa magnífica
La playa es preciosa, que en un tiempo era un Cabanas con una bonita playa pero ahora necesita obras de remodelación. El techo de nuestra cabaña goteó durante dos días seguidos. Por 85 euros por noche no recibes mucho a cambio. La dirección podría haber tenido una postura más activa ya que, por ejemplo, carecen de caja fuerte para guardar los pasaportes, los objetos valiosos, etc. La seguridad en las cabañas es la misma que te esperarías de una choza cuyo techo está totalmente cubierto de madera por lo que hubiera esperado una caja fuerte siguiendo los consejos que aparecen en los manuales para todo este tipo de establecimientos. Nos cobraban 0,30 céntimos de euros cada vez que nos pedían un taxi. Considerando que pagamos 75 euros por noche por cada habitación sin prácticamente ningún otro gasto adicional, esto me pareció demasiado. Al final los propietarios tenían perros (por seguridad, aunque al parecer todos los complejos los tienen) pero no parecía que limpiaran la suciedad que dejaban los animales. Como he dicho anteriormente la playa es magnífica y por lo general el tiempo siempre acompañaba pero hubiera sido necesario mucho más esfuerzo para justificar el precio, la ubicación y el paraje natural, pues éstas no son razones suficientes. Lo principal es que hubieran tratado al cliente como una prioridad.
Our second stay at Retiro Maya - first stayed in 2003 when none of the cabanas had bathrooms. This time stayed in the "yellow" double right at the front - could not have been closer to the beach. Cabana was clean and comfortable although mosquito net had a few holes (though didn't get bitten). Only complaint was shower where water from other cabanas would come up drain if they were taking a shower at the same time. Could be easily fixed.
Beach is just beautiful here. Clothing is optional, which is a good thing when it is as hot as it was when we were there.
Lu the owner and her friend who was staying/helping were both friendly, welcoming and helpful.
We paid $95 a night which was OK given location.
Short walk to Posada Margerita for evening drinks and meal. Very good but expensive.
This place was so relaxing. The cabana was great, as it had stucco walls and not just the wood slats. Solid floors covered with sand were a pleasant feeling to wake up to. There were a few holes in the mosquito netting, but we brought along some clips to close these up, and didn't get too many bug bites. This is pretty much camping, so I don't mind a few bugs. I felt totally safe and secure enough to leave things in the cabana with the lock we were given. We used the shared bath which was very clean. The showers were made from very pretty large stones. We did sometimes have to wait for the water to come on, but hey, it's the beach, we were so relaxed, we didn't mind waiting. Maybe it's a little pricey, but we didn't want to stay in one of the cheap cabanas without windows. We didn't try the restaurant, so can't comment on that. But all in all, it was so peaceful and relaxing. The owner's dog and cat were great beach companions and the staff were all very pleasant. I would definitetly stay again, but in addition to the flashlight we had, I would bring another battery operated light to read by.
Kathleen and Angel
I recently stayed at Retiro Maya for a week with some friends. I was impressed with the beach, but unhappy with Retiro Maya as a whole. The resturant was terrible. We spent much of the trip walking down the road to other resturants. We stayed in a quad with a jungle view. The cabana was decent, but the private bathroom was too rustic. The shower was a concrete slab with a hose sticking out of the wall. There was hot water. The staff was neither friendly nor helpful. If you need to use the phone to make arrangements, the owner charged $1 per minute on her cell phone. The area is so charming and there are a lot of options. Keep shopping, you will be glad you did.
Lovely beach, with at one time lovely beach cabanas which are now overdue for a refurb, the roof in ours leaked two days on the trot.
Basically at a $100 a night minimum you dont get a lot for your money. The management could be little more proactive. For instance they don´t have a safe to store passports and valueables etc. The security of the cabins is as youd expect from a palm frond roofed timber shack, so i would have expected them to have a safe, as all the guide books advises all such establishments have. Also they charge $1 every time you ask them to call a cab. Considering you are being charged $100 a night for a room with virtually no overheads i thought this a little tight. Lastly the owners have dogs ( for security purposes, all the resorts seem to have them here) but didnt seem to clean up after them!
As i say above the beach is great and generally the weather is usually great but a lot more effort needs to be put in to justify the prices the location and the natural setting just arent enough. Putting the customers first would be a start.
Great place, some room for improvement
My wife and I (college teacher, consultant, 50's) spent a week at Retiro Maya in March, 2005 and had a wonderful time. We'll go back as soon as we can. The resort is a small collection of rustic beach cabanas, run by an owner who signs her emails "peace and love," and who bills it as the "place for romantic love," which I guess refers to the large comfy beds and candle light. It appeals to people who value close contact with sand, sun, and sea, without a lot of modern facilities and technology between them and the environment, but who also want a bit more comfort than straight-out beach camping. That's us. We brought a whole suitcase full of snorkel gear for excursions to cenotes and reefs, but wound up just completely relaxed on the beach with good books for the entire week.
On the positive side, Retiro Maya is in a perfect location right on a fabulous beach, close to two excellent restaurants: Posada Margherite (a 5-minute walk north along the beach) and Ana y Jose (a 9-minute walk south along the beach). The beach itself is fantastic -- soft, cool sand, no rocks, few weeds, plenty of surf for riding the waves, nearly deserted, except for right in front of various resorts, clothing optional (30% to 40% topless, 5% to 10% nude when we were there), goes on for miles to the south for long walks. The cabanas are nicely sized, with king-size beds, good mattresses, stick exteriors, stucco interiors, sand floors, thatched roofs, mosquito nets, covered front porch with hammock and two very comfortable wooden chaise lounges with blue canvas pads, no electricity, candles provided, clean sheets and fluffy white towels. Next time, we would go for the cabanas with private bath and shower nearest to the beach. The owner Lu was away the week we were there, but the staff were nice and helpful, although they didn't speak English. The restaurant was nicely designed, but we used it only for breakfast, which was just average in quality and price. We ate most of our meals at Posada Margherite (small, beach front, italian, expensive, great coffee, reservations required) and Ana y Jose (larger, dramatic design, a bit less expensive, good sea food, no reservations), with a couple of excursions to Zamas (good Mexican and sea food, Saturday live entertainment, moderate prices, beach front) and Tres Chiles (on the road to Tulum pueblo, inexpensive, excellent Mexican food, terrific service, bring insect repellent).
There are, however, several areas where improvements are needed. Retiro Maya needs a better restaurant (other guests who ate dinner there were unimpressed); better shared bath facilities (there were periods of no water, no hot water, stopped up toilets, no candles in the bath house, and the showers provided very little water); and better maintenance. Our cabana had some holes in the mosquito net (although we didn't get bitten), the exterior padlock and fittings were rusty (but workable), and the wooden lounge chairs outside were starting to deteriorate, with slats loose from their nails. My impression is that Lu has been putting most of her time and money into upgrading the cabanas with private baths, and thus has not focused as much on keeping up other things.
Bottom line: for us, the deficiencies were mere annoyances, compared to the wonderful location, fabulous beach, nice staff and well-designed cabanas. We can't wait to return.