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“tropical paradise with luxury and incomparable service”

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Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
Reviewed 5 March 2010

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.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank mlb50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 February 2010

PAY ATTENTION; If you want Las Vegas style over-the-top luxury, shopping, hot action, motorized sports, music and parties all night, THIS IS NOT IT.
If you want a relaxing, refreshing, enriching experience, THIS IS IT.
In all our travels around the world my wife and I have never experienced such friendly staff working to make our stay enjoyable. I will miss many of them.
Xpu-Ha Palace is more of an eco park hotel than one of the many mega resorts that fill the Yucatan. We awoke to tropical birds in the trees outside our deck, At dinner, racoons would come out to the outside dinning tables for handouts (don't do it). Iguanas lounged all over the place. There is a pretty decent private zoo on the grounds with guides if you want. I got a pretty good movie of some crocodiles (in one of the enclosures) tussling while walking from lunch to our room. You can go to other resorts and see a manatee in captivity being fed lettuce. Here you can, if you are lucky, see one in the lagoon on the grounds and swim with it.
This place used to be 4 times the size but after Hurricane Wilma destroyed the entire resort, they rebuilt it much smaller and set it back from the water so there are no ocean view rooms. The roofs of all the buildings are palm thatch so they don't weather hurricanes well.

Your neighbor is in another building. You will never hear anything through the walls because your walls are all exterior walls. 2 units per building. One upstairs, one down. We had an upstairs unit so our ceiling was the thatch roof about 15 feet above us. Each unit has a deck/patio with table and chairs, hammock, and two lounge chairs. The deck is bigger than many rooms we saw at other resorts. The rooms are spacious, clean, and well appointed. Housekeeping was very good about any needs leaving extra towels for the hot tub and keeping the fridge stocked with complementary drinks.

This property no longer has a beach. But the Barcelo Resort beach next door is huge and we walked there a couple of times. Beaches are public property in Mexico but the lounge chairs and buildings on them are not so bring your towel.

This property is part of the Palace Resorts chain. They provided our transport to the ruins at Tolum and Chichen Itza along with guests from other Palace properties. Our all inclusive package included the tours.

The food was good and best when it was Mexican and you asked for it Mexican style. Many of the dishes are made for gringo tastes and can be bland. They were happy to customize our meals to meet what we asked for. In the restaurant, there were more staff than guests so service was good. We were never charged extra for premium alcohol. It may not be displayed but when I asked for a premium tequila, it was provided. We talked to other people from other properties and this was not the case. The wines were good but not much selection.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank CJSJ25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2010

This trip was one of a kind. I stayed here with my grandparents, parents and sister. We had a unforgetable experience, thanks to the beautiful hotel the great things to do and the fantastic staff. Thanks to Xpu-Ha for a wonderful vacation. We plan on comming back very soon.

  • Stayed: August 2009
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2  Thank katie-693
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2009

My boyfriend and I stayed here for six-days to get away from the winter in Chicago! I'm currently in graduate school and he works a lot, so neither of us had much time to plan a trip. Neither of us had ever been to a resort before but because we were short on planning time, a resort was our only trip option. We picked the perfect place for us! Xpu Ha Palace's staff is the best I have ever seen! To be honest, it was strange to be treated with so much undue respect! When I was carrying my tray back from the lunch buffet, someone asked me if they could carry my plate! This was definitely a first for me! Speaking of lunch, the food was superb! I noticed some other commenters have been disappointed with the lack of selection at Xpu Ha. It's true that the menus for the Italian and Mexican restaurants basically stay the same day after day, but you can visit another Palace resort and have dinner there if you would like variety. The resorts have reciprocity, so you can use the facilities and eat at any of the resorts. My boyfriend and I went to Adventuras and had a nice dinner at a sushi restaurant one night. The taxi ran us about $8 each way. The setting is beautiful and you really feel like you are in a rain forest! The beach at the resort is a bit small and rocky, but you can walk to a nearby resort that's maybe a five minute walk away. The one piece of advice that I would give to a potential Xpu Ha guest is to use the public transportation known as "colectivo." Taxis to and from the hotel are EXPENSIVE, but if you just flag down the white vans that say "colectivo" on the highway, they will stop and take you to where you want to go. Maybe ask at the hotel about this option. As I sad, my boyfriend and I are not "resort vacationers," but we found Xpu Ha Palace to be one of the best vacations we have ever had!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank clatter328
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2009

We spent the week of Thanksgiving at Xpu Ha and would love to make it a family tradition. The ease of travel with two young children was remarkable, and the experience for them and for myself was unforgettable.
The people staffing the resort were easy going, professional, friendly and accomodating. My children now both want to be hostesses as a result of Jaqueline's warm, capable presence. (I'd like it if they would learn to give a facial like Rocio, that was heaven!) Several (all) members of the waitstaff, and the activities director made each day easy and fun, and made it posible for me to enjoy my meals while still keeping two very happy energetic children in check. This goodwill rubs off on the guests - who were so kind to us all as well. I wish I had noted more names, the concierge turned a mistake on my part into a very successful day. The restaurant manager was so congenial, it was definitely as if we were dining in his home.
If you have kids <10, this is a destination resort in the best sense of the word - you could spend the full week loving the place. Those with older kids could sprinkle in a few of the wonderful day trips to break up the week, and build the perfect blend of adventures. We did the Tulum tour (my first bursh with Mayan history - I highly recommend it, was very doable with children) and a day at a water park. Even that was all-inclusive, a nice touch. (Aside from booking the week, I spent <$200 during our full stay, including heavy patronage at the gift shop, that would not cover us for a single day at a local theme park.)
The beach was glorious, with a <5 min walk along an oceanside path to a consistent surf that was never overwhelming but managed to be exciting enough to keep you in the water for hours. The pool was ours - nearly private for the first two days - and was so well maintained and entertaining, with slides etc for the children and a section with music to liven it up if that was your wish.
I very much enjoyed our meals, and was grateful for the care taken to provide the children with meals to their liking. I have one extremely picky eater, will opt to not eat at times, who was happily provided with her favorites on my request, breakfast, lunch or dinner. The buffets have good variety and great fresh fruit alongside tasty options to suit any mood/palate. The dinners were really quite lovely, plated with artistry and prepared delectably. The care that went into each dish was evident and we never left the table unsatisfied.
The option to walk and explore vs taking the available trams (elec. golf carts, pleasantly quiet) was a life saver in light of the plentiful food. My children loved to grab a bike for the most part, easy level pathways, perfect. Up to our very last hours at Xpu Ha we were happily exploring and finding the last spot to visit up close with the coatimundi, what a way to end the trip.
If I can put it together we'll be back in 2010, with a few siblings/cousins, grandparents...
Final note - no one was homesick for even a moment, we've got some homebodies so that tells you how fabulously full our days were.
Two bits of advice - bring/buy bug spray (I was fine, one of my children was much bitten) and pack casual wear. Most days we wore swimwear and cover-ups; nights we dressed-up in capris, t-shirts, and were very happy with that. Ah, and one fleece, the dining room was cool in the evenings, especially when my little diners spent a good portion of the dinner hour posted at the glass wall watching the raccoons - charming wee little fellows, nothng like our northeastern bruisers.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank aleighre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya

Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km. 265, Xpu-Ha 77710, Mexico (Formerly Xpu-Ha Palace)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Xpu-Ha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Xpu-Ha
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Xpu-Ha
Price Range: €67 - €150 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya 3.5*
Number of rooms: 144
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

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