The Yucatan Mayan Retreat was easy to find down a little dirt tract. On arrival, we were greeted by Jorge the owner, who appeared fluent in several languages including English. Although we already had our own itinerary worked out he was on hand to provide advice and information if you needed. There were a few teething problems as we were 24 hrs late due to a detour to Canada. These were soon sorted out and even sooner forgotten about. Jorge showed us round and provided me with a much needed beer after our long journey and offered his services in taking me to buy some before the shop closed.
After a busy day out site seeing it was a pleasure to return to this little oasis to unwind and relax. The trees provided shade and there was always something beautiful to see from a bird to a butterfly or a tree frog. It was lovely to relax in an open space away from noise, and even lovelier that you didn’t have to sleep in a tent to be able to do it. It was also lovely to get up at sunrise, sit outside your room and be serenaded by the songs of exotic birds.
If I ever go back to this part of the Yucatan I will definitely stay there again – but maybe this time I will be lucky enough to rent the suite with the bath and not the one with the shower (although I spent so much time chatting with new friends that I am not sure I would have had chance to use it even if I did have it). We loved everything about the place, from its setting to the wonderful people we met while we were there. If you like to have nature around you it is definitely worth the short taxi/bus ride to Chichen Itza to stay here rather than one of the larger, more expensive hotels. So thank you Jorge for having the vision to build this.
Our room was clean, large and comfortable with an enormous bathroom. It had more mod cons than I am sure you would need. The living area had a bed, sofa, table and chairs, coffee maker, tv complete with several channels in English and Spanish, dvd player, safe and fridge (although Jorge advised us that the large fridge freezer in the communal kitchen worked much better). There was plenty of cupboard space in the living area and bathroom but there was not anywhere to hang anything.
There was mosquito netting on the windows. Although, if mosquitoes are a concern and it is mosquito season (it was not when we were there) you may want to take your own net as I am not if they may still get in through the gaps around and under the doors (or roll up a sarong to put under the door as we did). The room was cleaned every day and fresh towels provided. Outside our room we had a little table and chairs and a hammock.
The communal kitchen was pretty much complete with everything from microwave, cooker, coffee maker to cutlery, pans and plates – even a ceiling fan. The only thing it did not have was a kettle but water was easily boiled in a pan on the stove. Even though guests cleaned up after themselves Jorge kept everything spotlessly clean by cleaning it every morning. There was always a large container of bottled water for guests use.
At present, there are 2 mayan suites, one mayan house and several spaces for tents so there is accommodation to suite every budget. The way it was set up you could both keep your privacy and stay with the party you were vacationing with (as we saw several parties do). Or, as we did, you could sit in the communal kitchen and foster a community spirit and sit and chat with those others that were passing through the Yucatan. This enabled us to leave with email addresses of new found friends.
If you did not have your own transport you could either hire taxis, or Jorge hired himself out as a taxi or just a 5 minute walk was the bus stop which had regular busses passing through. Just a 15 minute walk was a beautiful cenote that was open until 5pm, where you could swim, or just sit and have an amazing lunch for just a few pounds. Piste was only a short bus ride away and there were plenty of places to eat there.
Even though we had our own bathroom I went to see the outdoor shower and it was lovely, worked into a tree. Other than the gaps under and around the doors, the only down side I could see about this retreat was that if it was busy with many couples staying, maybe one shower and toilet may not be enough, especially as they were contained in the same room.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Yucatan Mayan Retreat! Bienvenido al Yucatan Mayan Retreat! Located in the heart of Mexico’s Mayan Region, the Yucatan Mayan Retreat offers guests a personalized service of exploration and discovery of the Mayan culture and sites. ... more less