Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya
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Travel Blogs from Xpuha
Wazzaaaaaaaaaa. Just about to say goodbye to Mexico one more night at Cancun. Sad Times. We have loved this place. Just amazing and will be definitely coming back in the future! Spent 4 nights in a pretty cool hotel at Tulum, where we checked out the famous ruins by the sea, checked out one of the new wonders of the world in Chichen Itza and swam with some endangered turtles 100m off a picturesque beach.
... 1493; 14; לתאר את התחוש 92;. מכיוו 03; שהמים צלולי 01; לגמרי וללא כל סחף או זרימה משמעו 14;ית, פשוט לא ...
... Archaeological Ruins and soaked in beautiful Mayan architecture on a cliff overlooking the most beautiful water and beach in the world.
Carlos and I have shared a lot with one another in the short time I've gotten to know him. I've learned about his struggle to earn money to send to his ten year old son in Mexico City. How tourism has declined because of safety fears and as a massage therapist his business has suffered.
He lives in a tiny, one-room apartment without ...
Zum Abschluss unserer Mexiko Reise wollten wir doch noch die Halbinsel Yucatan besuchen, welche uns, trotz hohem Touristenansturm, mehrfach empfohlen wurde. Also steuerten wir mit unserem Büssli in Richtung Campeche und weiter nach Merida, von wo aus wir unser nächstes Ziel, die Ruinen von Chichen Itzà, besichtigen wollten... Als wir von Merida in Richtung Chichen losfuhren, merkten wir, anhand ...
... on their age. A few f the youngest kids just ran around at the back doing their own form of interpretive dance. The effect was of each dance move making it's way like physical Chinese whispers from the girl on the right leftwards across the stage until a confused child on the end did whatever seemed best when it got to them 30 seconds later.
Our part in all of this was to design games to keep the younger residents of Tulum distracted (or ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya Xpuha
Loved Xpu Ha
If you wish to view the splendor of the Mayan Riviera, enjoy quaint but luxurious accomadations,enjoy tropical 'paradise' environment, be waited onby gracious staff, enjoy GORMET foods and pastries, do some snorkling ( see tropical fish, explore reefs then Xpu Ha Palace is where to go. Now, it is quite expensive, but you'll recieve so much pleasure in being there it's worth it The grounds a spread out on a lush, picturesqe,white sands, scenic rocks that used to be an ecological park. They have two large pools. three restaurants, several bars, gorgeous, just gorgeous!
Summer camp for adults and children
We read a lot of mixed reviews about XPU-Ha before we left there. +++It is absolutely beautiful. The lake, the laggon, even something that looks like a swmp are all crystal clear. There is snorkeling, diving and a sort of a zoo for both kids and adults. The rooms are not big but very clean and comfortable. ++The food is good at most of teh restuarants, we found a la carte to be the better places to eat. The hotel is huge and there is a lot of walking involved. Ladies-DO NOT TAKE HIGH HEELS with you. This resort is meant for the hiking gear to be used. It is not for people who like lounges, bars and high class dining in terms of clothing and atmosphere. It is also not for people who like huge carribean beaches. It is not for smokers. The entertainment is very poor. There is no real theater (yes, there is something they call a theater)I would definetely recomment this resort for people who just want to relax or walk a lot!!!
We returned Feb. 11th from our trip to Xpu-Ha. We loved this resort. The beach is beautiful. The staff was friendly and tried their best to make you comfortable. We were celebrating our 20th anniversary and we were traveling with friends who were celebrating their 25th. We called the hotel the day before we arrived and they put us in ocean front rooms. The food was very good for an all inclusive. It was nice that we did not need reservations at any restaurant for any of the meals. We ate at the Aventura a couple of nights. That is a great benefit of the Palace resorts, to be able to use the facilities of the other resorts. We rented a car for $30 a day. It was well worth it, the freedom to travel to and from the resorts and ruins was wonderful. I had read a few complaints about the walking, there is allot of walking around the resort. We really did not mind it at all, the pathways through the jungle were beautiful. And we could use the walk after all the food and drinks we had! XpuHa was beautiful in every way. Aventura was a beautiful resort as well, but we were happy with our choice to stay at Xpu-Ha. It was a much more laid back and tropical vacation. Our friends and I are planning to take our families back this summer.
The jungle grew on me...
We recently returned (New Year's week 2003) from Xhu-pa Palace (pronounced Es-scoo PAH or Es-shoe PAH) with our 3 children (6 yrs and 3 yr old twins). At the end of the week we agreed that it was a good trip and the resort was a good choice for our family but I think we could have been better prepared. Our travel agent picked it so we didn't "choose" the resort but we did spend some time scouring the web for reviews. There weren't many!
If your idea of a tropical vacation is big marble hotels with luxurious amenities, manicured grounds and or party-central, this isn't for you! Xpu-ha is a former Eco-park that has been converted to a destination resort. For the most part, the Eco-park remains intact. Its wild animal/bird refuges and pens, pathways through lush jungle vegetation, river and ocean waterways (snorkeling and kayaking) and pristine coral and sand shoreline.
Lodging: There are no 5 story monster hotel buildings here. "Villages" of rooms consist of clusters of 2-story hut looking buildings with grass palapa roofs. Two guest rooms per hut (one up and one down), 9 huts per village. The resort is quite large and many of the villages were spaced quite far apart and you really got a feeling of space with few people. Each room has a large deck which adds considerably to the room's living area. While billed as "a hammock for every room", we had to request them as we didn't have one in either of our rooms. The interior of the rooms are modern and very clean with large jacuzzi tubs and great a/c but there's very little room to move around, particularly if you add a rollaway bed which we did. Since we spent little time inside, this wasn't an issue. The top room is better than the bottom room as there is a cathedral ceiling with a big window. The bottom rooms are a bit musty. The huts near the beach and the inlet have the best views but many were also near the outdoor theatre which was loud and obnoxious late into the night. We stayed in the jungle which grew on me. Our path to the beach/food passed the aviary, crocodiles, turtles, flamingos and fish feeding. It was exciting for the children each time we went out.
Walking. Lots of it. Forget what they say about the golf cart shuttles. They run few and far between. Parents! Bring strollers for kids, even umbrella strollers for older kids 4-6. I would not recommend this resort to older folks who cannot comfortably walk 0.5 mile several times a day. Bicycles are available for use but the smallest ones were still too big for our 3 year olds and it was still a lot of peddling for our 6 year old. This was our biggest bummer of the week. Each night after dinner, we lugged the kids back to the rooms. Strollers would have easily solved this.
Food. We ate at each of the 3 restaurants. Our best experience was at the informal buffet and grill on the beach and we ate the majority of our meals there. The food was varied and quite good. We were very disappointed with the other 2 restaurants which were sit-down. One is billed as Mexican and one as Asian but the food was so bland and mediocre, it could have been anything. The wait was approx 30min-45min each time to be seated and about 40 minutes to get food after ordering. They could use some improvement here! We were happy at the buffet restaurant (Rigozzi) but my husband said he was a little bored with it after 7 days of breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same place.
Service. The service from all of the staff was excellent. Housekeeping was fantastic and responses to our maintenance/room requests were very timely. Room service was quick and good. The staff was great to children. We heard from others that wanted to change rooms that they had to badger the front desk continually to get on "the list" but eventually they were moved. I couldn't bear to move 5 people's worth of stuff, so we stayed.
Kids Club. The advertised Kids Club was pretty meager. We didn't use the service at all since they would only take ages 5 and up but we did see one group of about 8 kids with some guides on an Eco tour. A guest services representative told me that they recommend the sister property Moon Palace for kids as its Disneyland atmosphere really caters to them. However, we met a family that moved over from the Moon Palace to Xhu-pa because they couldn't take the "chaos" of Moon Palace. There were probably only 50-60 children at Xpu-ha and I thought it was just right. There were kids to play with at the beach but not enough to drive you crazy. We didn't mind having our kids with us all day since we all wanted to be at the beach so this wasn't a big deal for us.
The Beach etc: Our kids found the pool too chilly but the ocean was perfect temperature. We spent almost every day, all day, at the beach. The surf was gentle, the sand clean and white, the grade into the water gentle and safe -- it was perfect. We didn't have a problem getting chairs but we got there about 10am. Some days were especially crowded and people were sitting on towels. The restaurant and bar were right there. We brought a bunch of sand toys so our kids were popular and made lots of friends. We all snorkeled (even the twins) and kayaked. We did a guided Eco tour to visit the baby animals at the park clinic and we visited the Serpentarium and Aviary. There are off-site tours included in the All-inclusive packages but they were filled up when we looked into them the first day we were there. I would call and reserve ahead of your stay, especially if you are a larger group.
So! I hope this helps you in your selection. I think I would go back to Xpu-ha. No one got sick and the kids are still talking about it. The weather was perfect, the beach was perfect.
Our family of six spent a week at Xpu-Ha Palace over the 2003 New Year. Xpu-Ha Palace is definately an ecological experience. Xpu-Ha Palace is built in an Ecological Preserve. It is built like a zoo with an Aviary, a crocidile pond, a turtle pond, a monkey cage and a flamengo pond. The rooms are in huts with thatched roofs. The huts are in pods or villages. The rooms are nice... HOWEVER... the hotel promised us, and many others, rooms with two beds. Out of over 400 rooms, less than 100 rooms have two beds. We were stuck with rooms with only one king bed in them. Due to the make up of our family, our son ended up having to sleep on the floor the entire week! (The rooms are too small to add a rollaway and they don't have rollaways anyway!) The beach was wonderful, but there were not enough beach chairs. We discovered that the place is only a little over a year old and last Christmas season it was too new to be full. The place was definately not prepared (beach chairs or bed wise) for full occupancy, especially with lots of families. Living in the jungle was great. There is an estuary where they give kayaking ecology tours. We learned so much about the filtration of a bog and the various birls and animals in the area. The snorkeling area is nice. There is not much coral, but they have a fish feeding program of natural food to supplement the diet of the fish, so there are lots and lots of fish in the snorkeling lagoon.
The entertainment was fun, but definately not professional. The workers during the day, did the dancing and shows at night. They did have a nice Mexican quartet singing between tables at the lunch buffet. When we checked into the Xpu-Ha palace, there were all kinds of families who were upset because there were no rooms with two beds available. All had been promised rooms with two beds when they made reservations. There were also people upset because they had been promised ocean veiw rooms and none were available. We were in the bird huts, away from the ocean and just loved it. In fact, we decided that we would much rather be in the huts away from the ocean than the ones on the ocean. The huts away from the ocean really gave you a wonderful jungle experience, and the bird songs were lovely in the morning. The place seems huge at first, but we soon got used to it and really enjoyed the walking. With all the food we ate, we needed to do some walking anyway! One final note... some people complained of musty rooms - duh it's Mexico! But as an informational note, the upper hut rooms were much less musty than the lower hut rooms. The air conditioning really helped the mustyness, but if musty odors bother you, ask for an upper hut room! All in all, we enjoyed our time in the jungle!
Trip Dates: Dec. 5-Dec. 22, 2002
Great for families and for adults who loves privacy. noisy, drunk, topless merrymakers would definitely be out of place here. be prepared for lots of walking. All service staff members are great: Carlos Arzapalo, Hospitalilty Desk; Domingo, waiter at Mariachi Restaurant, Carlos, waiter at Mariachi & Bambu, Alejandro, waiter at Caleta, Fernando, waiter at Mariachi. Edwin, Ernesto & Alberto were our knowledgable Eco Guides. maids did an excellent job of cleaning the room and doing creative towel sculptures. using Chaza Travel, ask for Raul the tourguide. very intelligent and uses humor. chocolate, grilled salmon & ask for Mayan coffee. no seaweed & rocky shoreline at the swimming beach. Bad Timeshare Experience: Avoid Mayan Palace, not part of Palace, Inc. after saying "NO" Brims of Alabama had us rudely escorted out of the premises. we're spoiled. we want to come back. e mail me if you have questions. Caroline Edwards
We just returned from Xpu-ha Palace (December 2002)
The food had great variety and everything we sampled was excellent.
The beach was on the smaller side but not crowded-even Christmas week.
The staff was helpful, happy & courteous.
The rooms were bungalow style-ask for an upstairs one-they have thatched roof cathedral ceilings. The rooms either had 2 doubles or 1 king and all rooms have a 2 person jacuzzi & have a balcony or patio with a double hammock.
The resort itself is very large and there is a lot of walking but there are golf carts that run the resort constantly to pick up the the walking-weary. Mountain bikes are also available for guest use. Xpu-ha used to be an eco-park before the resort was built but the resort has kept the grounds as natural as possible and the eco-park still operates. The resort has an animal rescue program so we got to see many types of birds, snakes even spider monkeys.
This resort has it all-fantastic food, staff, service, accomodation & amenities. We'd go back in a heartbeat.
Privacy, Lush Foliage, and Wildlife Abound
Let me first say that this resort is not for everyone. If you are looking for a party and a huge beach, go to Cancun. If you are disabled, go somewhere else. There are few ramps, and many inaccessible places (you'd be hard-pressed to do any activities). On the other hand, this area of Mexico just isn't very disabled-friendly.
The layout of the resort: Realize that you will be walking here. The whole idea is to "get away". Our room was on the south side of the resort, and a 5-15 minute walk to anything. We loved it. We are very private people, and we liked being able to retreat. Even with my sprained ankle, we did well. The golf cart trams run about every 10-15 minutes if you would prefer to ride to your destination.
The room: absolutely fabulous. Throughout the jungle atmosphere of the ecopark are placed villages of several thatched-roof huts. Each hut has two rooms, one on the ground-level and one above. We stayed on a second floor, and had a huge "cathedral" ceiling of the thatched roof. Our king-sized bed was a bit on the hard side, but was adequate. Two steps up from the bed was a two-person jacuzzi. It even had seats built into it! Housekeeping comes by several times a day to straighten your room.
The resort activities: kayaking, snorkeling (wonderful!), scuba diving, beach (see my separate review on the Xpu-ha beach), fine dining, several eco-tours, 2 pools, shows and other activites at night. The shows, by the way, are not done by pros, but rather the staff. Still, they were a nice diversion. I have probably left something out--we stayed 7 days and did not do everything.
Off the resort: renting a VW beetle was $50 US, and allowed us to be tourists on our own. Aventura Spa Palace is 3 minutes away by car (you can also get a taxi), and is very luxurious. Plenty of tours are available from Chaza travel to local archealogical sites (Coba, Chichen-Itza, Tulum, Akumal, Xel-ha, et al). Playa del Carmen and other shopping areas are close by.
Food: First off, we did not get food poisoning. The mini bar in our room had bottles of reverse-osmosis filtered water, and all water in the room was filtered. We drink that and the water in the restaurants, and did not get sick. The room service was good but not great. The two dinner-only fine dining restaurants, Bambu and Mariachi, were wonderful. The service was spectacular, and the food was quite good. Bambu alternates Italian and Asian cuisine every other night, and Mariachi changes its menu of Mexican food every few days. Ragazzi is a buffet restaurant open all day, and has pretty good food--it's easy to find your American favorites here. The Caleta snack bar had great food (be sure to try the steak); we did not try Cocodrilos.
Service attitude: All I can say is that service is very different in Mexico than it is in the states. Most everyone was very helpful, but don't start complaining--you won't get a response. Our check-in process was a bit muddled, and I don't know why. We had to go to several different desks to get the process completed, when I believe that they should have come to us. When I said something about this to the front desk, they just stared at me. Nothing was done.
Overall impression: Perfect for our honeymoon. We were treated like royalty 9 out of 10 times. One should always expect a few hitches on a vacation, but ours were really quite minimal. I stated all of the problems that we had only to give a fair review. There is no doubt in our minds that we want to return to this resort.
Necessary items to pack: Sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, swimsuits, sneakers or other supportive walking shoes
Our Horrible trip to the Swamp
My husband and I went to Xpu-Ha Palace in April 2002. We have been to Mexico many times and this was by far the worst vacation we have ever had.
We arrived on a Saturday by Monday we had no water or power in our room. Because the resort was without power the food spoiled and I got food poisoned on Tuesday. I was extremely ill and didn't eat for most of our stay. Then we were again without water and power on Thursday. My Husband was severely food poisoned on Friday and was in bed all day Saturday.
We tried to alert the staff and management to this problem and the manager refuse to meet with us or any other guests. When we were checking out and waiting in the lobby for our transportation, we talked to other guests that had also had severe food poisoning. The management of Xpu-Ha tried to tell us we were the only ones that had contracted it. They lied constantly. We later found out that Fun Jet Vacations was well aware of the problems at this resort. Such as:
The Ragazzi restuarant is not open, the foundation is crumbling.
The golf carts that provide transportation around the resort are hardly ever available to take the guests anyplace. The walking distance is tremendous between the beach and rooms and restuarants.
We would never return to this "Swamp". The only nice thing about the entire Vacation was the rooms, they are very nice.
Xpu-Ha Palace is an ecological park resort about 90 kilometers (68 miles) from the Cancun airport, and about 30 km from the ruins at Tulum. Transportation was arrange by Vacation Express and ran pretty smoothly. The resort was a surprise. Comments about feeling like you just entered Jurasic Park are pretty much true. Everything at the resort is constructed of natural materials taken from the area (beach and jungle mangroves) and is very tropical and lush but not artificially manicured. They had an bay that was enclosed by a coral reef that contained tropical fish for snokeling (also one for scuba diving) an aviary, a place to observe reptiles and other tropical animals, eco tours and so on right on the premises. The beach was beautiful and miles and miles long reaching seamlessly into other neighboring resorts, but without the crowds that you would find on Cancun. However, the only nonmotorized watersports were the kayaks, scuba, and snorkel. They did not supply any sailboats (no hobie cats or sunfish, jet skis, etc., so if that is what you wanted, take advantage of the exchange privileges between all of the Palace resorts and go to Cancun for the day). You are transported from the lobby to your village via golf carts that run all the time throughout the village. Our village (Crocodile)was almost right on the coral reefs (breathtaking at dawn), but next to the outdoor bar restaurant "La Caleta" and walking distance to the white sands part of the beach - good location! Security was evident, the area safe, and the huts had all the modern amenities in pristine condition and scrupulously cleaned everyday. (They had satellite TV in the room but reception out there was so bad that we didn't bother with it.) We had a lot of rain for the first 4 days of our vacaton week due to an tropical low which they tell us is very unusual for May (the rainy season usually goes from June to October or November), so we did not take advantage of the two free tours the hotel offered. But, we went out in the warm rain and played at the beach and pool anyway - what a hoot! Caveat: If you book a tour with your travel representative at the hotel, make sure you understand the process for picking up your transfers and you don't get brushed off without one. We really got confused with our "agent" from Royal Tours (part of Vacation Express) and ended up being returned to the hotel after paying $304.00 for a lobster cruise and a snorkel excursion that wasn't arranged for by our tour company properly (now I'll have to be watching my credit card statements to make sure I get refunded properly). Two other couples asked for refunds from Royal Tours for similar mishaps with Royal Tours. The folks at the lobby told us that they hadn't had problems in the past but that the Royal Tours Rep "Omar" was new and very disorganized. (This wasn't a language issue as both my husband and I are fluent in Spanish and tried to get the "skinny" on everything). By the way, as this was our first trip to Mexico we were surprised that everyone speaks english well enough so that even if you didn't know any Spanish you could still get around anywhere. Anyway, Royal Tours gets a BIG black eye from us, but the Xpu-Ha Palace comes out a winner as we will contract directly with them next time we are there (they use Chaza Tours)and these tours would have been free - except for the Lobster tour. Now on a personal note. My husband and I were very impressed with the service and the staff in general. They were very kind, friendly, and just couldn't do enough for us. We ate mostly at the "Mariachi" restaurant and I do not believe we have ever eaten finer food in our lives. Even the "Oriental Bamboo" restaurant was simply divine. On our last day they brought us a bottle of imported Champagne to our table at dinner. We will be going back to Cancun next year possibly with the kids this time and try out another of the Palace resorts which we toured free. We were so impresse
a laid-back Mayan vacation.