Where do I begin?
First the hotel, Bel Air:
Before I came I read some of the reviews and I was a little worried. But now that I have actually experienced it, I understand the problem. SOME people want a 5 star hotel with all the amenities for the same cheap price as a local-style resort.
NOT. GONNA .HAPPEN.
But whatever, if you are looking for a ritzy, full amenity, New-York style suite in the middle of the Mayan Riviera, this is NOT your place. If you are looking for an affordable stay and more for your dollar with a more authentic style, wildlife and experience... you will LOVE THIS RESORT.
We found it charming. We fell in love with the property, the wildlife, the people, the on-property cenote and the experience in general.
Our room was clean, the housekeeping was honest and dependable. The staff was kind and courteous and went out of their way to make us feel like friends rather than guests. Was the room remodeled yesterday with brand new marble tubs and golden plated faucets? No. Did we give two hoots? No. It was adorable with the tile motif and the Jacuzzi. My husband and/or I spent every night in that thing.
The food... well it was amazing. But, rather than trying to get Italian or American cuisine, which I could get every other night of the week in my own city... I opted for their specials which were local dishes, or I ordered a local dish of the menu. I LOVED IT! Honestly, it was some of the best food I've ever had. So, again, if you are there to experience the local culture and enjoy the culture of the Mayan Riviera rather than trying to be Paris Hilton eating caviar, you'll love this place.
The area was gorgeous. Seriously. The Cacun hotel district is overrated and this area is truly where it's at for people who crave a little privacy, some space, and some personalized service and some local flavor. The beaches, the cenotes and lagoons in this area are world class. We loved every minute of every day while were there.
Yet, others having basically the same experience complained about this or that little detail. Go figure. Some people need Waldorf style amenities to feel like they are having a good time. I get that, I just don't understand it.
Happy, adventure seekers are a different breed, I guess.
The property had coatimundi (coati to the locals), raccoons, iguanas- huge ones all over the place, peccary, crocodiles (in an enclosure), manatees, geckos, lizards and hilarious birds that cracked us up with their chattering. All over the expansive property. We walked everywhere just so we could hang out with all the natural wildlife running around there. What a TREAT!
Finally, the staff. I hope I can remember them all, because we became quite fond of them all. So many laughs, so many great cocktails, so many great meals, so many great suggestions on where to visit in the area. They were my friends:
Francisco, Adrianne, Patricia, the lady manager at the restaurant whose name I forgot but whose sense of humor I will NOT forget, Eliver (the best bartender in the world), Jesus, Simon, Victor, Giovanni, the security staff, the housekeeping, and all the other team members who made our stay a memory of a lifetime.
We didn't even use the kid's club or the kid's pool or the beach club... so that's a whole bunch of other stuff that was available.
One last word, I shopped at a little strip by Akumal, and also in Playa Del Carmen. I got most of my souvenirs purchased there. THEN, I went to the Cancun Hotel District before we caught the plane. 15 minutes into the flea market and I wanted to kill somebody. NO amount of Tequila can make those obnoxious vendors tolerable. God it was awful. I wanted to stage my own death so they would leave me alone, blood-sucking leeches.
So yeah, that's about it. I hope this helps. My husband and I went this time, and celebrated our 16 years of marriage, and a second honeymoon but we are booking our next vacay there with our kids and family friend. We know it will be a good time!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bel Air Xpu-Ha is the newly open Resort of Bel Air Collection at Riviera Maya. Feel with your family the natural environment, the perfect place to rest and delight yourself. A unique place for a romance experience. Enjoy our facilities surrounded by natural beauty in an eco-paradise. A gourmet experience in each of our restaurants, from Mexican-Italian fusion cuisine to sushi & martini delightful Japanese style, all in a la carte menu selection. Premium brand drinks and appetizing snacks in our Bars at Lobby and pool area. A unique layout of a cozy and peaceful guestrooms in liberate getaway with all the luxury and comfort of a five stars resort, refurbished indoors with jacuzzi and branding amenities; a relaxed exterior and a spacious terrace with hammock. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya Hotel Xpuha
- Xpu Ha Palace Xpuha
- Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya Mexico - Xpu-Ha