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“Wonderful place, program, and people”
Review of Genesis Eco-Oasis

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Genesis Eco-Oasis
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Princeton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wonderful place, program, and people”
Reviewed 7 April 2014

We went to Genesis to participate in a mayan cultural experience around food. We stayed at the stunning Genesis retreat center for 3 days and could have stayed all week. This amazing place is tucked in the center of a 300 person village of subsistence farmers. Lee, who built it, is committed to helping the local folks share their culture with the outside world. She crafted an incredible experience for our family where we went to the local market to learn about food, visited a tortilla maker, tasted local fruit juices with lots of explanations, and then spent an entire day with a Mayan family cooking a feast. Genesis itself is gorgeous, incredibly comfortable without being fussy, and magical just as the sun sets over the surrounding jungle. Lee served good food, was kind and generous as a hostess, and made us feel totally at home. Everyone we met there was a kindred spirit: down to earth, adventurous, interesting. I'd go back in a flash.

Room Tip: We had the Cielo room and the one next to it that shares a marvelous balcony and I recommend it high...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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1 Thank Liz3500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Chicago
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2014

My friend and I were motivated to stay here on a friend's recommendation. I was looking forward to staying in a village, and also my friends said that the sound of the animals would be practically deafening. It sounded like an experience!
The design of this place is amazing. I love that the kitchen is just as you enter, and all the little houses among the gardens. And Lee is warm, welcoming, and overall seems like a very cool woman.
My friends were wrong though - deafening sounds of animals? This wasn't all that much louder than where I grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the summertime. Maybe light sleepers would have some challenge, but I would have been up for more noise actually! I slept like a baby on my hanging bed.
Well, other than getting sick (nothing to do with Genesis). We were only there that one night and didn't get nearly as much chance as I would have liked to have enjoyed the grounds. I'm in love with Mexico, and hope to come back to Genesis on my next trip. With so much to do nearby - the ruins, cenotes, Valladolid - it deserves more than one night next time though.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chicago D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

Lee is an amazing hostess and brings her enthusiasm for the local area, her hotel and Mexico to her guests. She has meticulously planned and built an amazing tropical retreat. If you love tropical plantings, cool gardens and adobe architecture this is a place for you. The information provided about the local area, traditions and her Maya farm impeccable. We enjoyed the relaxing vibe of our courtyard gardens, pool, dining area and also bike rides to the Ek Balam ruins just 2 kilometers away. To be able to experience the amazing and cool cenote (open air limestone pool) in the Ek Balam ruins was so refreshing and a visual pleasure. Lee has used her imagination to use products and materials to save the environment. She also employs local persons in cultural and hotel activities. We had fun learning how to make tortillas with a local Mayan neighbour, what a hoot! We will be back.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Herbeeking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dunnvile
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2014

We stayed with a group of 17 of us from March 5th until the 12th. I had never been here before, but members of our group have been coming here for 10 yrs. First impression. I don't even know where to begin. Amazing. I love the open air feel of the place. The dinning area is inviting. The grounds are so lush with tropical vegetation. I walked around the grounds the whole week and don't think I had seen everything. (Cool bomb shelter) I had seen most of the rooms there and liked them all. I stayed in the Iguana room and enjoyed it. I loved the Bi-folding doors on the room and the front porch. The food served was mostly Vegetarian, which was fine for this Meat eater. After a day or too, I really enjoyed it. I have since come home trying to copy the food from Genesis in my own kitchen. The cook staff, yard staff, and Lee the owner were nothing short of AMAZING!!!!! There are toooooo many to list but my favourite things about Genesis are the Amazing pool which I enjoyed as much as I could. The Mexican coffee which the kitchen staff would make (Awsome), and Swerta my buddy, who I hope to see this summer. There is so much to list on here but I don't have all week to write about it. This really is one of my FAVOURITE places that I have been, and cannot wait until I get back here. See you again Lee. Tell Antalano Canada say's Hi.

Room Tip: I save the spa an excellent, counting the pool as the spa, which is breathtakingly beautiful.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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2 Thank lochliam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
deseraonto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2014

Can't say enough wonderful things about this retreat! We arrived after dark and we weren't sure if the door would be open. There was Lee to welcome us and offer us help with our bags and tea and made us feel welcome. She up graded our room at no extra charge. It was a special place with a hanging bed and outdoor private bathroom. The grounds were lush and the pool was clean and inviting with beautiful plants all around.
Lee has an awsome staff of very friendly gracious people. The food was home cooking mexican style served up when ever we were hungry. This retreat is very close to Ek Balam ruins and the city of Valladolid. One hour north is Rio Lagartos where flocks of pink flamingos can be seen. Chichen Itza and Merida are also within a 2 hr drive.
We stayed here for 2 nights and would stay her again. Ek Balam is a charming little village off the regular tourist places of the Yucatan. We have recommened this retreat to our friends and family.

Room Tip: stay in the bird's nest.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Dtravelling_show
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durango, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2014

My family stayed here for a few days during our trip around the Yucatan. It was our favorite place. We loved the lush and tranquil energy of the village, ruins and Genesis.
Each room has its own unique feeling and layout. If you can, stay in the birds nest. It is very magical, high up in the trees, with a hanging bed. The compound is a lushly landscaped garden, with a wonderful cool pool, in the center, that is filled with water that comes from deep underground.
The food was wonderful. Much of it organic, and grown on a nearby farm. The owner, a wonderful Canadian woman, also blended whimsical cocktails, that were made with fresh local fruit.
The owner also organizes wonderful cultural exchanges.
You can spend the day with a local family learning to weave or cook tamales, and just get to experience what their life is like in a small village. Our 8 year old son was introduced to one of the neighbor boys, and for the next 4 days that we were there, he so enjoyed playing soccer and hanging out with all of the village kids.
Ek Balam is a gem, if you are looking for a unique and authentic experience, spend some days at the Genesis Eco-Oasis!

  • Stayed January 2014
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Helpful?
2 Thank Triciagourley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moncton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 January 2014

Me, my wife and my son of seven stayed at the Genesis from December 17th to 21st. We arrived directly from Cancun airport late in the evening and were warmly welcome at our arrival and were cooked up a delicious ratatouille. We were pleasantly surprised by the authenticity, simplicity, and beautiful grounds of the place. The breakfasts were delicious, and every night the young chef prepared wonderful meals from local produce. The atmosphere was great. We fell in love with the place and the people and would gladly return any time we get a chance. Lee, the owner, was a welcoming and authentic woman who toured the pueblo with us and explained much of the Mayas' and the milieu's history and situation. The time spent in Ek Balam pueblo was by far the most rewarding of our trip to Yucatan. The ruins of Ek Balam are the most special ancient Maya site we visited, and the closeby cenote of X'Canche is one of the best we've seen and bathed in. Of course, the fact that the whole experience was tied in with environmental and social principles was more than great. We also ground maize and made tortillas, ground cocoa for chocolate drinks, and observed the weaving of great hamacs, all with native Maya. We're very happy we could buy our top-quality hamacs from the expert Maya at EK Balam. All in all, a marvelous stay at the Genesis Eco-Oasis, which we would recommend to any friend. We're now thinking of organizing writing and other retreats there, and at the very least, would love to do our own little retreat again. It is also very well located, a mere 17 km from Valladolid and a myriad of ancient sites, and away from the crazy city centers. Our WALK to the ruins with our son was GREAT.
I'm not including photos, they would not do the place justice, and others post them anyway.
I have nothing but good feelings and memoirs from the place.
NB Lee also makes a great Margarita!!

Room Tip: I find that each habitation has its own charms and advantages. Honestly, I'd like to try them al...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Emmanuel41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Genesis Eco-Oasis

Property: Genesis Eco-Oasis
Address: Ek Balam Village | Next to the archaeological zone, Ek Balam, Ek Balam Village 97743, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Yucatan > Ek Balam Village
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Ek Balam Village
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A one-acre Oasis of lush tropical gardens teeming with life, a pool of crystalline subterranean waters, fresh vegetarian, mostly organic home grown, home-cooked food; unique lodgings that compliment, rather than dominate, their natural surroundings. Guests are generally well travelled and in search of authentic cultural experience, contact with nature and intriguing archaeological sites of international importance. In partnership with several local families, we provide meaningful, respectful interactions and cultural exchanges through our Artisans Tour and Maya Cooking Class. We host a Pilgrimage tour that includes morning walks to untouristed sacred and natural sites. 2 Hours from Cancun or Merida airports; 1.5 Hr from gorgeous Caribbean beaches at Tulum or the biosphere reserve on the Gulf of Mexico. 45 Minutes from Chichen Itza; Half hour from the Colonial city of Valladolid, cenotes XKeken (Dzitnup) and Samhula and minutes from the Ek Balam archaeological zone, cenote Xcanche, cenote Hubiku and others. See our free Tours and Activities travel planner online at GenesisEkBalam. We are independently owned and use a portion of profits to provide ongoing work and skills development for local staff, intercultural exchange programs and animal welfare projects. Genesis has operated at Ek Balam for 13 years. It is owned by a local resident expat from Canada who lives on site. Management is Yucateca and also on site. Continental Breakfast Included. English Spoken. Reservation recommended. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Genesis Eco-Oasis Hotel Ek Balam Village
Genesis Eco-Oasis Yucatan, Mexico

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