We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Beautiful property with some issues...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Xinalani Retreat

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Xinalani Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Palatine, Illinois
Level Contributor
194 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“Beautiful property with some issues...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2013

I attended a yoga retreat at Xinalani from 12/29/12 - 1/5/13. Here are some of my thoughts:

THE FACTS:
-Getting to Xinalani is a 45 minute boat ride from the marina. With your luggage. In a small boat. You'll get wet. Your luggage might too. I thought it was good fun but not everyone did...
-You climb out of that small boat in the water. You definitely get wet. If you're not completely physically mobile, this is your 1st sign this is going to be a hard week for you.
-The resort is off a beach, built vertically into a jungle-y mountainside. To get from the beach to the lounge to the restaurant to your cabin to the yoga studio is a long, long, long vertical walk up stairs and mountain pathways.
-Everything is open - suites, bathrooms, retaurant, etc. All have open air components.
-Bugs and critters (Tejon, specifically) are part of your package, so to speak.

THE GOOD
-It's really a beautiful place, with a beautiful beach.
-Some of the staff is amazing: Modesto, Arturo, and Antonio all come to mind.
-If you understand the concept of an eco-yoga resort, this fits it to a T. Rustic with some aspects of luxury but keeping in mind, it's not the Four Seasons.

THE BAD
-Those vertical stairs might be the death of you, especially if it rains, or at night. Bring a flashlight and move cautiously.
-Some of the staff wasn't so hospitable. Baronessa was snippy with us. The chef was a bit gruff, too.
-They really CAN NOT provide gluten free meals. It was a struggle to explain, and to get straight answers. If you are GF for medical reasons, don't go here. Overall, I thought the food was very average.
-We asked for 2nds on chips and salsa one night and were told that they didn't have any more. Or guacamole, either. However, when we paid extra for it, they had both available. We felt like chips, salsa and guac should start every meal, and it felt funny to pay for these staple resort foods...
-If it rains, you will be damp and cold. The resort is very outdoors, and the rain is unavoidable. It rained 3 days while we were there. I thought it was a good excuse to loll about and do nothing but if you're there for hot fun in the sun, there's nothing for you to do when it rains.
-Because you get to Xinalani by boat, it's hard to just pick up and leave, and in bad weather, even harder, because the waves make it unsafe to leave by boat.

Overall, my trip was fun. I met a great group of girls on this retreat, and they made the trip amazing. I don't think any of us will return to Xinalani. The reality is, there are a lot of resorts like this out there, and there's no reason to go back to a place that isn't exceptional in every way.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mmmidwesterner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

190 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    149
    22
    13
    5
    1
See reviews for
17
42
53
4
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2013

I am a big fan of Mexico and have traveled to many parts of the country over the years. I went to Xinalani for a relaxing retreat before winter set in. It is easy to get to, with a transfer service from the Puerto Vallarta airport. It is a safe and convenient location for a Mexican getaway, even if you are not looking for a yoga retreat. The location is a beautiful beach with perfectly furnished detached bungalows tucked into the hillside jungle. As an eco-retreat, guests are of a mind to respect the conservation of water and other local resources. We requested vegan food and were overwhelmed with the expert and creative preparation of every meal. There were snorkels, surfboards, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for guest use as well as a nice little spa. A short walk leads to the adjoining fishing village and a moderate hike takes visitors to a waterfall. The staff was excellent - friendly and genuinely interested in the guests.

Room Tip: Lots of stairs lead up the hillside to the bungalows. Ask for ocean view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank santafesunset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ParisTravelfreak, Owner at Xinalani Retreat, responded to this review, 4 January 2013
Dear SantaFeSunset,
Thank you so much for your kind and positive review. We hope to see you and your friends again soon.
Happy new year!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2012

Everyone I was there with kept saying, "Can you believe how great this place is?"
A beautiful jungle setting, spacious, clean rooms, consistently impressive food, charming, well-trained service, and the yoga studio commands a stunning view of the bay and the jungle.

We all had different levels of experience in Yoga but everyone's needs were met. definitely going back.

Room Tip: Everyone I was there with loved their room
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Barry D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ParisTravelfreak, Owner at Xinalani Retreat, responded to this review, 4 January 2013
Dear Barry D,
Thank you very much for your positive review of Xinalani. I'm glad you enjoyed your experience with us, and it would be a great pleasure to host you again soon.
Happy New Year.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2012

So Ive been to 4 different yoga retreats in central America, two of which in Mexico and here are some things I feel that everyone should know before they book this resort:

- its not really a resort, the element of luxury doesnt exist, its an eco retreat
-the rooms arent enclosed, they are open air, there are curtains but really minimal privacy....we even had animals come into our room twice, once in the middle of the night while we were sleeping (and no we didnt have food in our room)
-the yoga is the most basic, beginners yoga there is, if you do yoga regularly you will be bored and disappointed. also classes are only once a day and there is only one instructor
-everything is over priced. and most things are a la carte, should you want to do any activity etc, its all not included and costs more than it would in the USA, all in all for what they charge you (and it being in MEXICO) its probably double what its worth
-the beach doesnt really get any sun, because of where its located (north/south) you get little to no sun all day
-also the beach is good for surfing, not for swimming, the current is too rough and large waves crash on the shore
- the staff is very attentive, really care about the guests, in my opinion too much so, imagine going into a store just to browse and a sales person wont leave you alone, its similar to that. I am here to relax on holiday, I dont want to talk to every staff member anytime i go anywhere or at every meal. whats funny is though there was never anyone at the bar in the middle of the day or evening, maybe i drink too much but on holiday in mexico isnt it normal to have cocktails at 4?
-its a young vibe, most people are here alone, some in couples
-there are 50-100 vertical steps into the hillside to get anywhere
-the food is excellent and they accommodate food illnesses, but dont come on christmas because even though its "all inclusive" they charge you $70 for a "special" dinner without forewarning you, I guess the spirit of Christmas has been lost on Xinalanai
-getting to and from here (from PVR airport) takes 1-2 hours. I dont recommend taking their transfer, its not reliable and outrageously overpriced, in fact the boat that should have picked us up missed us and then we had to take a taxi to get to another port for a boat, somehow the services dont communicate with each other.
-the place is incredibly remote, they do have wifi, but dont plan on leaving
- the bar area smells like sewer because any time anyone flushes the toilet the septic system omits the worst odor EVER
-they did construction on one of the bungalows all day, even on christmas, loud hammering ...all day
-its cold in the mornings, there are no serious bugs that bite (and EVERYTHING bites me), its really humid, and really informal, you dont need to pack much at all

all of the above can be taken as a positive or a negative, just depends really what you are looking for, but all of that information wasnt quite detailed on their webiste. their website is beautiful and they must have spent a lot of money on it. It served its purpose as a relaxing few days away, but its target market is VERY specific and people shouldnt be fooled. Did I have a good time: yes it was fine, not amazing just fine. Would I go back, No.

Furthermore I would appreciate it if the resort didnt write a response to this because I am being open minded and objective offering a point to of view to travelers that you dont advertise, which is why tripadvisor was created. I read the responses someone at Xinalani wrote to anyone that didnt give them 5 stars and they are all retaliatory and elitist, which is wrong, this is a medium to give our opinion and experience and unless you offer an apology you cant change the negative things I felt, so making excuses is really sad.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank ucantfakeawesome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ParisTravelfreak, Owner at Xinalani Retreat, responded to this review, 31 December 2012
Dear ucantfakeawesome,

Thank you very much for your honest review, which we think will be helpful for future guests. We are grateful for the list of areas of needed improvement you've pointed out. Some are humanly manageable and will be accomplished within the next few days as we are truly committed to excellence in our field, some are more related to God's will.

I'll take your suggestions to improve the amount of details on the website in my New Year's resolutions list. This I trust will fine-tune the expectations of future guests.

I want to offer a sincere apology for the few kinks in the quality of the service you received. My concern is that your narration and the tone you're using connote to me as disappointing, with a slightly sweet-bitter taste in the mouth. That makes me truly sorry, for the purpose of this place, that we've put so much love and energy in, is to help our guests build a sustainable, pure and nurturing sense of wellness that they can bring back home and rely on.

Just for truth's sake regarding our readers, your comments about the sunshine, the roughness of the ocean, and the humidity need to be related to the specific days on which we enjoyed your company (last week of december 2012):
- the weather changes all the time, and as stated on the website on the section about surf and on the FAQ page, our beach is exposed to north swells, which means from november to march, we get nice waves. But that's ONLY FROM NOVEMBER TO MARCH
- the beach does get TONS of sunshine all year long, but when approaching the winter solstice (dec 21st), for a reason related to our specific spot on the planet, and the inclination of the Earth vs the Sun, the path of the sun is aligned with the mountain behind us, which leaves us in the shade until 11 am, and after 5 pm, but that sunny window gets larger and larger as we get closer to the equinoxes (March 21st and Sept 21), so it's not as simple as the orientation you described, which DOES allow us LOTS of SUNSHINE
- The humidity is indeed above 75% on average all year long, but that's standard in sub-tropical areas.

On behalf of all the staff at Xinalani, I wish you dear ucantfakeawesome a very fulfilling new year, many blessings to you and your loved ones, and wish to see you again soon.

Kindest regards,
JBB
co-founder
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 December 2012

Overall, this was a great experience. What made this retreat most extraordinary is the fantastic group of people I got to meet and connect with. Each morning, you have breakfast at a communal table. Yoga class follows and then free time before lunch with the group again. I enjoyed my experience and am happy I was able to disconnect from city life and remember that the simplest things in life bring the most joy.

The resort is quite new - only three seasons in, and it was clear that there are definitely areas they can improve on. There wasn't a lot of attention to detail - our scheduled activities had issues (wrong date recorded by the staff, overbooked, etc). When addressing this with the front desk, they were not helpful until I made it clear I wasn't happy with the situation and was not going to accept the mistake with just an apology. Hopefully in time (and more training) they will improve the service in that regard.

The food was good - Chef Felix is talented and puts a lot of love in the meals. But if you have special dietary needs (eg: a vegetarian or someone who needs meat), you'll probably get frustrated.

Make sure you bring ear plugs if you are sensitive to noise (because you are sleeping in front of the ocean and the waves can get loud at night). I found it soothing but some others found it hard to sleep through. Bring bug spray - we made a natural one made of tea tree oil, witch hazel and lavender. Bring a book light to read at night as the rooms are quite dark. They do not have decaf tea at night (which is something we all wanted since you don't want to be caffeinated before bed), so bring that.

It can get chilly at night so bring a light sweater.

Go to Xinalani with an open heart and you'll be amazed by the people you meet and the experience you will have.

Room Tip: There are a LOT of stairs. If you can't handle the walk, you may want to ask for a room closer t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MsAmyChan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2012

It is a fantastic, little retreat in the middle of the jungle with a great ocean view with all services. Eco-friendly and family friendly. The food was a dream, incredibly fantastic, Perfect in every way. The service is amazing, everyone is willing to help you and serve you all the time. I traveled with my 4 year old and my mom, and it was perfect for all of us even though I was kind of worried as I went for a yoga retreat. At the end it worked out perfectly!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Carlaga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2012

OMG - best place ever! Go to their website and look at the pictures - they are all unbelievable and all real! It was way more than I ever expected. Food was delicious and staff wonderful. Very clean! Do know though that there are a lot of stairs involved so you get your exercise - which was great for me:) Water is very warm to swim in too.

Room Tip: I was in an Eco Chic Suite and I loved it!
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AnnHankinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Puerto Vallarta
1.4 mi away
Hotelito Mio
Hotelito Mio
#1 of 1 in Cabo Corrientes
4.5 of 5 bubbles 41 reviews
7.2 mi away
Hotel Mousai
Hotel Mousai
#4 of 127 in Puerto Vallarta
5.0 of 5 bubbles 432 reviews
7.3 mi away
Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa
Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & ...
#12 of 127 in Puerto Vallarta
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,757 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
5.2 mi away
Hotel Lagunita
Hotel Lagunita
#2 of 4 in Yelapa
4.0 of 5 bubbles 328 reviews
10.1 mi away
Vallarta Shores
Vallarta Shores
#3 of 127 in Puerto Vallarta
4.5 of 5 bubbles 313 reviews
5.0 mi away
Barcelo Puerto Vallarta
Barcelo Puerto Vallarta
#33 of 127 in Puerto Vallarta
4.0 of 5 bubbles 4,143 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Xinalani Retreat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Xinalani Retreat

Property: Xinalani Retreat
Address: Maria Montessori 650 Int 2 | Col Aramara, Puerto Vallarta 48290, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 90 Speciality Lodging in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Xinalani Retreat 3*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Xinalani is one of Mexico's premier retreat centers. We offer a wide range of activities related to health, fitness and fun, in an environmental friendly setting. We have 23 guest rooms in the jungle, a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (fixed menu, 3 meals included in fare), a beachfront lounge bar, a beach club, 3 fully equiped yoga spaces, a spa with a complete array of massages and treatments, and a little souvenir store. Our 4 acre pristine beach front property is solely accessible by boat. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com so you can book your Xinalani Retreat reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing