More about Xpu Ha Palace
Xpu-Ha Palace is a MUST!
My husband and I stayed at Xpu-Ha Palace May 3-10, 2003, for our honeymoon. It was fabulous! Weather was great -- hot and humid, but it's Mexico. We didn't get the room we wanted on the beach, but ours still was great -- request second floor so you get the thatched ceiling (be aware that it's natural and little things may crawl through). We stayed in Mocasin in the Reptile Village. Food at Ragazzi (open-air buffet where breakfast-lunch were served) was OK -- cooked to order stuff was great -- food on the buffet was either not hot enough nor cold enough for my taste, but I didn't care much. You can eat dinner at Ragazzi, or chose Mariachi (Mexican) or Bambu (Italian/Asian) -- or room service. We ate at Mariachi a couple times and Bambu once (Italian night). Lots to do, lots to see -- don't be surprised if iguanas or raccoons cross your paths. We had to wear pink bracelets the whole time to show which program we were with. We were given a fruit plate with champagne, and offered a "romantic dinner on the beach." Well, the dinner turned out to be in one of the restaurants and you had to chose from a very select menu. We never did ask why it wasn't "on the beach" when our guest services person told us it would be. We went with Pleasant Holidays, and there were certain tours included with the package -- Chichen Itza light and sound, Coba, Tulum -- do them all!!!! We didn't do Ek Balam/Vallodolid, but will next time. We paid extra to go to Cozumel's jeep/snorkel tour -- not what we expected, but fun. We also went to Xcaret -- another fun day, and the night show was worth the trip. We will go to Xel-Ha next time too. If you go through Pleasant/Expo, you'll probably work with Luciano. The hotel people will tell you to book with them, but don't. Go through Luciano only for your included-tours. For those of you who wonder, Xpu-Ha is pronounced either Shpoo-HA or Eshpoo-HA -- we heard it both ways. The resort has a lot of walking, although golf carts to come by. You have to pay for laundryy soap (or use the resort's shampoo) and wash in the jacuzzi tub! There is a beauty salon on site, where they offer braiding. There are several activities planned throughout the day, which we didn't do, because we were on tours all the time. We hated to leave, and think 10 days would have been better, but that wasn't offered through Pleasant Holidays (Saturday-only flights). We can't wait to go back!!!!!!!!
25th anniversary at the Xpu-Ha Palace
We stayed at the Xpu-Ha Palace June 29-July 4 (wished we had been able to stay longer). We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary and we very pleased with our choice of resorts. The service was outstanding. The food was much better than most AI, and we didn't have a single bad meal (we did go up to the Aventura one night and Moon Palace another night for dinner). The room was always clean, and the bed was changed and remade every day (even though I made the bed each morning). Towels were always plentiful, and the jacuzzi was cleaned every day. There was a slight musty smell when we first checked in (we were there two days after Tropical Storm Bill came in and caused them to close the ocean-front units for a few days due to flooding), but I had taken Febreeze (always take it when we travel) and air freshener because of the posts I had read about the musty smell. Sheets and towels always smelled clean, and our clothes never had any musty odor from the drawers or closets, so it was never a problem after using the Febreeze and air freshener. We were never approached with Time Share people, and we had no problem at all with staff. They were always super helpful and gave us several good tips. The beach was beautiful, and they cleaned up the sea grass every morning early. The atmosphere was better than we could have dreamed. If you want the grandioso hotel atmostphere, don't stay at the Xpu-Ha, but if you want privacy, romance, beautiful beaches, great food, superb service, and an adventure--the Xpu-Ha is your place! I will have a full trip report with specifics and will answer any and all email questions. We have a lot of great tips that we learned from the hotel staff, including a very cheap way to travel to Cancun. Here's hoping your trip to the Xpu-Ha is as great as ours was!
All Inclusive? What the Hay
Resorts are not my bag. I am used to camping and exploring but somehow I decided this might me a good trip for the family. The Xpu Ha palace was awesome. It is located about an hour south of Cancun in an area that appears to be several acres of wetlands/forest. The staff was friendly, helpful and encouraged my crappy attempt at Spanish. We stayed in souped up thatch apartments equipped with a hot tub and a hammock. Food and drinks were included. Although the buffets were good they do get tiresome after a while. There was snorkeling and animals on site with lots to do. A beautiful beach. There were shows each night for the kids.
Prices are reasonable. I think we paid about 800 for 5 night...alcoholic drinks and food incluido. Kids were free.
Animals especially iguanas were everywhere. Near where the lagoon meets the estuary, marine iguanas were roaming around the rocks sdfsdf
The resort has golf carts (some rather large) that would transport you from place to place. We hoofed it once or twice, but the place is huge. One of the unique qualities about this resort was the "zoo"! All within the acres of beautiful grounds were animals. There were crocodiles, monkeys, deer, an aviary (birds), some wild cats and flamingos. I found it very different to enjoy nature this way on beach/dive vacation.
If you want to stay dry, don't visit this place. Besides the ocean, and snorkeling area, there were several large swimming pools. The guy at this bar liked to tease us by only speaking Spanish (He had perfect English).
Other water activities included kayaking in the interior of the resort, there are even some cenotes on site (no diving those however.)
The snorkel area is really nice here. In this section an underground river meets the sea. The natural rocky inlet is home to a great variety of fish. One of the days, a manatee came in to join us! I never expected to see a manatee in Mexico. Excellent snorkeling on site! Way above average.
After a LONG, LONG day of travel; we finally arrived at the Xpu-Ha (pronounced ish-poo-hah) Palace resort. There was only one couple in line in front of us, so we couldn't wait to get unpacked and have a cocktail. The problem was, the couple in front of us wanted to argue with the poor check-in clerk. Each time he assigned them a room, they were dissatisfied, and wanted something better, or closer to the ocean. I was so tired I just sat down on my suitcase. I remember thinking "I'll take the room they don't want"! After about 25 minutes of negotiations, it was our turn. The clerk looked us in the eye and said "There is a way to act, and there is a way not to act, here is your room Mr. and Mrs. _" We thanked him for being so prompt, and got on our way.
As it turned out, the bad behavior of the people in front of us was to our benefit. Our friendly clerk, as a means of extracting revenge, gave us an ocean front room (the complainers were somewhere in the middle of the complex). The room was beautiful, with a raised area with a two person hot tub. It had a very large deck with a hammock and double chase lounge and table. The maids left lovely towel sculptures each day. The only complaint I have is the moisture. Nothing would dry - ever! I heard it was not as bad if you had a upper level room. I didn't mind too much, we're in the jungle after all.
My husband and I stayed at Xpu-Ha in November, 2002. This was one of the BEST vacations, ever! The hotel was only 20% booked (that surely changed the week of Thanksgiving!) and we were spoiled ROTTEN! One word of caution - you MUST be a nature lover to enjoy this hotel. Motorized vehicles are used VERY sparingly. The walk (yes, you walk EVERYWHERE here) to the lobby was - no kidding - 40 mins. And we're NOT slow walkers! We did, however take advantage of the bike check-out once we found out about them. The snorkeling was great. DON'T let the tour person talk you into the Chitzen Itza Light and Sound Show!!!! Definitely make the trip, but only the morning trip. The L&S show featured: plastic chairs in the open grass (=mosquito buffet), colored flood lights on the ruins (whoopee) and a story told in - SPANISH!!! We booked outta that show and stayed at the bar till the buses left. By that time it was dark and late - and on top of that, our van (we were supposed to be in an air conditioned bus, but the trip was overbooked) was stopped by the Federales and boarded and searched. I will DEFINITELY go back to Xpu-Ha. The scenery is great, the rooms are clean and the staff is wonderful. (Say "Hi" to Manuel if you go there - he makes grasshoppers out of leaves!)
Xpu-Ha is a wedding paradise
Xpu-ha was by far the most beautiful place that we have visited. Its natural beauty is unsurpassed. We got married on May 19, 2003, in their wedding gazebo and the service and beauty exceeded our expectations! We are already planning our next visit there. Our room was in the "ostra", or seashell block (they name their room blocks after various animals). We were conveniently located next to the main restaurants and we did have an ocean view. Make sure you request and upper room, since they have an enormous thatched roof ceiling! The hotel has excellent service and excellent food (I put on nearly 5 pounds in one week!--too much good ice cream!--try the coconut!) There is also so much to do! The snorkeling was so much fun and there were a lot of fish to see. The beach itself is gorgeous and the waves were perfect for boogie boarding. There were so many meandering, tropical paths it was easy to get lost at first, but by the end of the second day, we were finding our way around without a problem. Make sure you take an early morning visit to see the cenotes on the grounds--I did and it was one of the most peaceful moments in my life. We tried the continental breakfast room service and it was also good, but the breakfast buffet was the best. The Mexican, Italian, and Oriental restaurants were superb (can't wait to go back and eat their sushi! Best I've had). Bike riding around the grounds was fun! We took two free tours. One to Isla Mujeres, and one to Tulum. The one to Isla Mujeres was my favorite. They take you to their own private beach on the island where you can either do optional activities, such as swim with dolphins or snorkel (for a fee) or just laze around on the beach, eat lunch, and pet sharks (free). Then we went shopping, but honestly the prices in the gift shop at the hotel itself are cheaper than if you bargained merchants down more than 50%. Tulum was beautiful but HOT! Make sure that you are in good shape if you visit this resort and do not have any problems walking, somtimes ts natural state, and although there are trams that ride around and pick people up, at times they do not run very often and we ended up walking a lot. This place is NOT for the physically challenged. If you're lokking to just relax in one of the most pristine tropical settings this is the perfect place! This is not a party hotel, Cancun Palace would be a better choice for that (My husband's brother and parents stayed there and loved it)....
Beach at Xpu-Ha Palace Resort
Xpu-Ha beach (snorkeling at left point)
swimming with dolphins- where?
Am going to be in mexico , staying at Xpu-Ha on the yucatan in november I want to book a swimming with dolphins experience, but am keen to know that the place I pick treats the dolphins well and gives them a good enviroment to live in. I have looked at a place at puerto adventuras where you can also swim with manatees and stingrays which looks great, but I am not sure if it is ecologically sound- has anybody any experience of this place?
My other two options are at xel -ha and Xcaret, any info from anybody that has taken part in the dolphin experience at any of these locations , particularly-did the dolphins seem happy, healthy and well cared for.
Re: swimming with dolphins- where?
Xel-Ha had dolphin shows and people swimming with them etc.I watched several shows and people enjoying swimming with them.It looked a good place.Dolphins looked very happy and had a beautiful huge lagoon to swim in and they looked very well cared for etc.I highly recomend Xel-Ha myself.
Re: swimming with dolphins- where?
I do work in Puerto Aventuras,so I see these poor animals every day.They stay in poor conditions,dirty water,next to fisshing boats.Last month a dolphin died here due to bad conditions,this company is called Doplhin Discovery,they have over 40 dolphins in pueto aventuras,cozumel and isla mujeres,so if 1 or 2 dolphins died its oke for them,they are amking big money.Try scuba diving at xpuha hotel,in the lagoon lives a manatee,you could see...!!