Just got back from a week at Xpu Ha Palace Resort. I can't say enough about how amazing the resort is. I had read all of the reviews so thought I knew what to expect, but it was BETTER than I imagined it would be. The staff are the most pleasant and accomodating people I have ever enountered. The resort is set on tropical grounds, you feel like you are in Tahiti or a tropical paradise. The open air lobby, bar and paths are peaceful and quiet. You hear the birds first thing in the morning and its a great way to wake up. The animals are a nice diversion as you walk down the paths..you can see the crocs, flamingos, turtles, monkeys, etc. Really cool. We took advantage of the other palace sister resorts while we were there, and although we could see why those other hotels might apeal to a younger, party loving type couple or groups of friends, we prefered the peace and tranquility at Xpu Ha. For example, one day we spent the entire day at Aventura Spa. There was a convention AND wedding going on (it has over 6000 rooms, I think Xpu Ha only has 150 or so total) and the pool was swamped with drunk/loud partiers. There were hardly any lounge chairs available, even by the lagoons. The crowd was rude, VERY loud and mostly VERY drunk!!! I understand that was their choice for their vacation,but its not how I want to spend mine. Aventura gets high marks for sheer size/quantity. Its amazing. Very luxurious lobby, nicer restaruants, more choices. Good entertainment every nite. But at the end of the day, it was nice and a huge relief to take a short/cheap cab ride back to paradise at Xpu Ha! We also went to the Playacar in Playa Del Carmen a few times. That was our next fave resort. Smaller but very nice, had a European/South Beach vibe. The staff there was awesome as well, nice restaraunts, lovely bar. Close to Playa Del Carmen, close to the ferry over to Cozumel. We spent a day at the Cozumel Palace, went snorkeling and then had lunch/hung there. The Cozumel Palace was much smaller than it looks on the web site. Again, I think I would go nuts if we had stayed on Cozumel for the entire week. Good for a day of sightseeing/snorkeling tho! We found that Xpu Ha made a great home base. Close to Aventura and Playacar and lovely to return to. We did two tours, they were included in our package. Tulum was amazing, a nice half day tour. The guide was of Mayan descent, a wonderful/informative man. Very pleasant trip. I was happy to note that Palace Resorts supports the Mayan people, and seems to have a social conscience. We stopped at a Mayan Cooperative where all the crafts were handmade and all the proceeds go directly to the Mayan families who make them. The tour to SKIP is the tour to Islas Mujeres. It was AWFUL!! Its not the Palace's fault, it is run by a separate tour company, but it was a waste of a beautiful day better spent by the pool at the resort. You ride the bus for over 2 hours to get to a ferry pier. Its very confusing and disorganized when you get there. An employee asked us if we wanted water. Charged us $6 a bottle, then wouldn't give us change in US dollars!! Then its a half hour, very choppy ferry ride to the Island. We thought we were being brought to a nice beach for the day. No,you go straight in to "Dolphin Discovery". Like a cheap U.S. water park! A small FAKE beach, a small dirty swimming pool. You are stuck there for 3 hours! "all the food and drink you want", but who wants it? It was mediocre to poor quality food and the drinks were in micro sized cups. In fairness to them, you can always pay $75 per person to do swim with the dolphins if thats your thing, or pay extra $$ to do a boat tour around the island. At that point I just wanted off the ferry...so I'm laying on this fake beach after a 2 hour plus bus ride from hell thinking "I left Paradise at Xpu Ha for this!!". Then they take you into the shopping district for all of 45 minutes to go to the chintzy tourist traps. We did not get back to the hotel till about 9:30 om. So in total, we wasted about 13 hours on this disaster. To quote my boyfriend "It took us less time to get from NY to cancun!!" We were totally disappointed in this tour. My recommendation is if you want to see Isla Mujeres that badly, book your own tour/transportation thru a different company. I also had some spa services at Xpu Ha. They were amazing-better than alot of spa services I've had at home. I don't know if the staff was brought over from Aventura Spa or not, but they were great!! The spa was small but lovely. The food at Xpu Ha was delicious. Granted there are more choices/restaraunts at the bigger sister resorts, but we were fine with what they offered. Everything was delicious and the presentation was lovely. Even our one room service dinner was amazing!
My one big concern before going was I kept hearing that there was no beach at Xpu Ha. There is a very small rocky beach there with lounge chairs. Very relaxing to just sit there and catch some rays and close to the bar. But if you just hang a left and walk 3 minutes you are on the most beautiful beach we saw the entire time we were there. Its a lagoon!!Technically it is the beach for Barcello resort, but in Mexico beaches are public property. So we just brought our towels and we were able to use their loungers and relax on the most beautiful beach- it compares to the one I saw in St. Johns! The other concern I had was other reviewers kept talking about the big ugly green fence they built to screen out the hurricane damage. Yes, it is there, but it is unobstrusive, it is covered with climbing plants and greenery. It is very sad to see how gorgeous the old property must have been, when they had rooms right on the beach. If I loved it this much, this small, I can only imagine how gorgeous it must have been before the hurricane, and to have a room with a vew of the beach. But, honestly, our view off our back porch was so private and tropical, we didn't mind at all. When I look at the quality of service/food/accomodations and compare it to what I have read on the other hotel reviews for hotels in same area (Barcello/Catalonia/Royal Tulum) I am SO happy that we chose Xpu Ha for our trip. We were so happy/impressed with the service at all of the Palace Resorts that we purchased a membership. They were offering some amazing deals in celebration of their 25th anniversary of the chain. Trust me, go to Xpu Ha and you will not be disappointed! It was the most luxurious and relaxing vacation I have taken. Better than my cruise to the Carribean (St Johns, St. Martin, etc)! Loved not only Xpu Ha, but Mexico/Rivieria Maya area.
- 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
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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