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“Hidden Gem”

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Villa Dolce Vita - Soliman Bay
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2013

My husband and I just got back from a week at Villa Dolce Vita, our second time there, and we had a truly enjoyable vacation. Our first time here was January 2007 and it was one of those places that we said we would be back. We travel to different countries and locations so this was our first trip back to this part of Mexico since then and I wouldn't have stayed anywhere else. The owners, Connie and Chris, are great hosts and Soliman Bay is a wonderful quiet place to get away from it all, especially the tourist crowds! Absolutely beautiful, rest and relaxation, enjoy the sun and beach with no big resorts, no lineups, and no one hassling you trying to sell you anything. Villa Dolce Vita is very private, right on the beach, with lush gardens and ambience you just can't get from a big place. Check out the website http://www.villadolcevita.com. Guests can enjoy relaxing by the private pool, under the palapa or on the beach where there are hammocks and comfy beach chairs. Take the kayaks out into the bay, snorkel from the shore, or go for long beach walks. You can walk a long way in either direction if you are game to make your way over the rocks, make sure you take water socks! You can also book a massage with a local masseuse, she came to the Villa and we had our massages right on the beach, wonderful! The breakfasts prepared and served by your hosts are delicious, something different every day, and enough to tide us over until dinner. There are a number of restaurant choices in nearby Tulum, Connie and Chris will make recommendations, our favorite is Oscar y Lalo on the highway just outside the entrance to Soliman Bay and Don Cafeto in Tulum is a must. There is one restaurant on Soliman Bay, the Sahara Cafe, we ate there twice, a bit pricey (by local standards) but the food and service and ambience were excellent, lots of choice on the menu, and you can walk there. We also went to the supermarket in Tulum to pick up a few snacks and other essentials (beer, wine). When we were here the first time we did quite a bit of sightseeing as you are close to many attractions, this time we did not plan to do very much and never did get around to going to a few of the places I would go back to (such as the ruins at Tulum) because we just did not feel like straying too far from the Villa. You really are best off with renting a car and the only minor complaint is that the wi-fi is a bit patchy but that is not unusual in out of the way places. Highly recommend!

Room Tip: We stayed in the lower unit both times, a few steps out your patio door onto the beach or pool, love...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Barb_and_George_2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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42 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
louisiana, USA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2013

My wife and I stayed at Dolce Vita from September 5th through the 12th, 2013. The owners Chris and Connie are from the states and were a wealth of information regarding restaurants, beaches, and tours in the area. They rent out a two room casita that is separate from their home and right on the beach! At night the sounds of the surf will lull you to sleep. The sun comes up directly across Soliman Bay affording many spectacular sunrises! Coffee is made fresh early each morning so its a real treat to sit on the beach with a cup and watch the day begin! The bay itself is relatively calm due to a reef that shelters it and affords pretty good snorkeling among the rocky outcrops that you find in the grassy bay. If you get out to the reef the snorkeling is supposed to be really good. I intended to paddle out there one day and check it out but even seven days just didn't seem to be enough time to get all of my to do list accomplished! Each morning Chris would whip up an amazing breakfast! Different every day and so filling we rarely ate anything again until supper. There's a great restaurant, Oscar and Lalo's, right where you turn off the highway to get to the villa and they also operate tours from there. The owner, Virginia, is also American and is a pleasure to deal with! We used her service to book a tour to Coba and highly recommend them! We had rented a car in Cancun which was a great move and really a must for staying on Soliman Bay cause its a mile or so down a dirt road to the villa from the highway. The road is very bumpy so you are forced to go slowly past the other private villas as you head to the highway , but hey, you're on Mexico time now! We wanted this, our second trip to the area of Tulum, to be a more relaxed, exploring kind of vacation and the rental car really gave us that option. Driving in Mexico was really easy and having spoken to several Americans and Europeans who live in the Yucatan, really safe! A lot of the negatives regarding Mexico in the news have nothing to do with this area. Our decision to stay on Soliman bay and especially at the Villa Doce Vita was perfect because it is central to so many great things to do in the area! Playa El Paraiso, an amazingly beautiful beach, along with the town of Tulum and the Mayan ruins of Tulum are a few scant miles in one direction. In the other direction is Xel-Ha park and Akumal Bay which are amazing spots for snorkeling. All within six or seven miles! We never traveled much farther than that in all seven days and never really needed to! The beautiful grounds, quiet beach and secluded tropical setting of the pool at our home base were a strong incentive to go nowhere at all as well! Great place, great food, great hosts, and as the saying goes, "location, location, location!" What more can I say!!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank psoper49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Venice, Florida
Level Contributor
34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2013

We loved our stay at Villa Dolce Vita, a serene slice of heaven. It was amazing to be able to jump into the beautiful pool surrounded by palm trees and lush vegetation with the stunning view of Soliman Bay. Each morning, breakfast under the huge palapa by the pool was superb (just couldn't have been more delicious!) and the table settings very colorful. The walks on the beach were delightful, morning and evening.
Rooms
Gaspar and Diego did a super job each day on ground and room maintenance. Room was made up each morning. Gaspar even picked a coconut and we loved the milk and meat from it!
Loved the beer, waters, etc. in the room small refrigerator!
Enjoyed the conversations with the owners Connie and Chris...great tips on restaurants, sightseeing, life experiences, etc. Really made us feel welcome and like being with family.
Great location near Tulum. Many things to see and do and the highway from Cancun to Tulum is excellent...4 lanes. A car is a must unless you plan to spend all your time at the Villa.
Highly recommend Oscar y Lalo Restaurant just a mile away.
Loved the Grand Canote near Tulum where we snorkeled inside and outside the caves.
The Tulum Ruin was outstanding.
We could go on and on but Villa Dolce Vita was an amazing place and we highly recommend this piece of paradise.
Thank you Connie and Chris.
Alan and Kathleen

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Alan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Armstrong Creek, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2012

We stayed at the VDV for 4 nights in mid Aug 2012. While looking for accommodation away from the hustle and bustle from Cancun, we set this place as our benchmark and nothing else compared. We weren't disappointed either. And why would we be? We stayed on the second floor guest room, (our request) the one with the bay veiw. It was so great to wake up to the sound of the waves and to have the most amazing breakfast served by our wonderful hosts in Connie & Chris every morning. Loved those banana and pecan pancakes Chris :-)
Such a great place to relax when you're done shopping in Tulum. Unwinding with a couple of beers on the hammocks on the beach was fantastic. Oh, you'll need to stock up the mini fridge with Coronas if you plan to stay a while.
Our only gripe is that we walked 100 metres to the left, so we could avoid the broken coral sea bed to launch ourselves into the water. When I say "gripe" its because it's the only physical thing we did the whole time we were there, apart from put drink to mouth.

Can I suggest like most others have, is you'll need to rent a car to get there and to get around.

All up, we had a blast and would return tomorrow.
Gary & Jane

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gary T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2012

My wife and I have just returned from our stay at Dolce Vita and stumbling across this small slice of heaven was one of the most fortunate things we have ever done.Connie and Chris were ,as stated by many others , wonderful hosts offering help and advice as well as great breakfasts . Waking up to a sunrise over the Caribbean and taking walks along a near deserted, palm fringed beach will be among our most enduring memories of Villa Dolce Vita . A hire car is a must whilst staying here , if only to reach the myriad of excellent restaurants Chris and Connie will recommend. We'll be back .....we hope .

Room Tip: We had the upper room which had a small balcony providing a direct view of the bay but either of the...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kevin A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, OR
Level Contributor
132 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2012

We booked 8 nights at the Villa Dolce Vita in Soliman Bay. We are so glad we did. It was so relaxing and peacfull. Not the fast paced resort areas like Cancun. A very quiet bay.

I had all these plans of things to do, but that all changed. I found myself being so relaxed I didn't do half the things I had planned on doing. I packed our snorkel gear only to use it once as the beach and pool area along with sand gravity kept me pinned down all day long.

SAND GRAVITY: Laying on the beach in a lounger (or hammock) and not able to get out of the lounger. Sand gravity keeps you stuck in the lounger so you are not able to get out. The sand pulls you down. I hate sand gravity. Ya right.

I was up early every morning watching the sunrise and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

A car rental is a must. We had dinner in Tulum. I had my dining list but ran it by Chris first and ruled out several and added a few and her knowledge help us, as both Chris and Connie were right on with the dining options. We would not veture out one night without first checking with them. They gave us the pros and cons of the different places. Their knowledge helpled make the trip that much better.

We had the lower unit. They are identical (the upper and lower). Glad we selected the lower unit as we found it to our liking, not that the upper would have been any different. We were only a few steps away from the pool and about few more away from the beach. I will post a picture of the view from our room. What a great place.

Breakfast was served daily at 8:30am unless we suggested otherwise and we didn't. It was perfect. Under the big palapa. Coffee was served early. They grind the coffee beans fresh for every pot. The breakfasts were different every morning and very good. I was very surprised at how great the breakfasts were. Because of the fullfilling breakfasts, we only had lunch twice in the nine days. But we did bring a few snack foods along to hold us over until dinner.

The only regret we have is we only booked it for 8 nights. I will be smarted next time. There were guests in the upper unit when we arrived. They were there several nights and had booked another place in Tulum after VDV. They told us they checked out of Villa Dolce Vita and went to check in at the other place and within two hours came back and asked Connie and Chris if they could book for several more nights. They had a three night opening so they took it. Now if that doesn't tell you what it is like.

If you are interested in Villa Dolce Vita, I would book early as there are only two rooms. Most of their bookings are repeaters and I can see why.

CONS: Ya like there are a lot of them. The beach is very nice and relaxing (took two naps in the hammoks on the beach) but and there is always a but, we found the seaweed to be a little distracting. Not on the beach but in the water. We like to swim in the ocean and you needed to go way out to do this, but we didn't (Darn sand gravity).

The road into the VDV might be a con to many, but not to us. It was a bumpy dirt road, but we enjoyed the drive each time. It got shorted each trip.

PROS: CONNIE & CHRIS. They are the best. We have stayed at a lot of places over the years and many B&B, but their knowledge is over the top. Some of the best hotels couldn't give you the great advice they give you. I wouldn't make a move without asking them first and then following their advice. They do know what is going on.

The atmosphere is another pro. The pool is sparking clean. The beach kept up to high standards. How does it get any better than this. Great value for the dollar. My feeling is you had better book this soon before prices escalate and more people find out about this place.

Again we liked the bottom room. We did something we have never done in 20 years of travel and we kept the doors open all night long. Yes it might be kinda stupid on our part, but the breeze that came through the room was fresh. We never used the air conditioning once. Didn't need it, as the breeze kept us cool.

We always felt safe. Don't know why, but for some reason we did. We felt safer on Soliman Bay in VDV then at home. Never felt that before.

We knew check in time was at 2:00pm. We arrived much earlier but they were such great hosts. We just stayed by the pool (was that ever a hard thing to do) until the room was ready as Gaspar was working on it as we arrived. It was ready before 2:00pm and we got our room. Try that at a large resort.

I have never been one to be much for the wildlife, but this place was loaded with new adventures. We saw such birds I didn't think ever existed. I think this is a good place for bird watching but I'm not sure as I am not into bird watching etc. But then again I am into snorkeling and had a hard time getting out once because I was way to relaxed (darn sand gravity, it just keeps me in the lounger on the beach).

Everyone should experience this type of vacation at least once in their life.

If you would like more info, don't hesitate to contact me. If you want a quiet place VDV is your place. Very romantic.

Room Tip: Lower was our choice
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Caribbean5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2012

If you are looking for a peaceful, get-away-from-it-all slice of paradise then go to Soliman Bay and stay at Villa Dolce Vita. If you are looking for the all-inclusive experience, go elsewhere.

Villa Dolce Vita is a a beautiful, small B&B style property. The two guest rooms--in a seperate building from the owners home--are cozy, clean, comfortable and private. The in-room fridge is stocked with beer, soda, and water for your arrival and there is a jug of purified water for drinking. The bed is very comfortable and the A/C blows ice-cold when you need it. Additionally, kayaking and snorkeling equipment are provided free of charge.

The water in Soliman Bay is aquamarine blue, cyrstal clear and perfect for snorkeling, kayaking and swimming. And, since it is protected by a reef, the waters are calm most of the time. One note about the beach--there are some rocks and sea grass just off shore so it might be a good idea to bring some water shoes. Please don't let this deter you as the beach is gorgeous.

The grounds are immaculately landscaped and so very lush. The pool and covered breakfast area sit between the guest rooms and the owner's house. There are wonderful views of the Bay and gardens from this area and it is a great spot to get out of the mid-day sun if it is too much for you. And, if you must use the computer during your stay, there is wi-fi in this area.

Connie and Chris are the perfect hosts. They provide a full breakfast each morning with fresh fruit, pastry, coffee, juice and entree. They also can provide a wealth of information on area restaurants, attractions, shopping and things to do. And, when you want to be left alone, you will be.

Since Soliman Bay is away from it all, you will probably need to leave the area for lunch and or dinner. Tulum town is just a ten minute drive and full of fantastic restaurants. Tulum beach is a few more minutes away from the town and also has many great restaurants. It really was fun exploring both of these areas but in the end coming "home" to our slice of paradise made for the perfect vacation. We will return!!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank VTtraveler58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Dolce Vita - Soliman Bay

Property: Villa Dolce Vita - Soliman Bay
Address: Soliman Bay, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Soliman Bay
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Soliman Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 2
Also Known As:
Villa Dolce Vita - Soliman Bay Hotel Soliman Bay
Villa Dolce Vita - Soliman Bay Mexico

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