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“Great vacation spot” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Balamku Inn on the Beach

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Balamku Inn on the Beach
Ranked #4 of 21 Mahahual B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Fiji
Level Contributor
61 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Great vacation spot”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2013

We stayed at Balamku for 4 nights and enjoyed the service, breakfast, and accommodation. Unfortunately it was a little too windy for any diving, but it was a great place to go to escape reality for a while. We took the kayaks out and went snorkeling, and enjoyed going into town during the day. Our room (5) was private and beautiful, and I enjoyed the low-impact systems in place to protect the natural area.

Room Tip: If it's very windy then a downstairs room may be better, but the palapa is a work of art
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 87SCuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
balamku, Owner at Balamku Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, 22 January 2013
Thank you for your comments. There were indeed a number of windy days while you were here which inhibited diving and snorkeling. You two were very positive about the weather and found other options to enjoy. Hope you can return to enjoy the great diving here
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279 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2013

What's amazing about this place is not just that it's off the grid (solar and wind power, eco toilets, and rain water supply), but that it's gorgeously built and maintained.

ROOMS: All the rooms are round to begin with - these "Palapas" (two-storey 'houses' - each guest gets a floor) have thatched roofs and are beautifully decorated. The staircase to the second floor is spiral - I only read after that this amazing construction is also a design used to minimize damage when there is a hurricane. Apparently Balamku surived two in the past decade with minimal damage (you certainly can't tell now). Inside, beds are firm and comfortable. Sheets are fressh - none of that "stinky pillow" syndrome that sometimes happens at beach hotels! Walls are decorated with what I think are Mayan woven materials - beautiful bright colours. The sinks - the sinks are ceramic with fish and designs - I wanted to buy one to take home!

BEACH: Beach has chairs, private thatched umbrellas, outdoor picnic table and chairs with sun protection and HAMMOCKS - this was great. The swimming is great for kids because it doesn't get deep fast. The best part is watching all the birds fly over - pelicans fly so low and birds also seem to congregate on the point.

FOOD: All breakfast is free. Breakfast is fresh, healthy, and service is very good. Coffee is self-serve, always a bonus. Home baked granola too, in addition to sweet papaya, pineapple, and banana. Lunch and dinner you have to go out. But drinks are served between 5 and 7. Lovely, lovely dining room. BIG breakfasts available for those who want lots: pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast. tortillas, etc.

ACTIVITIES: Plenty to do! Trips to town, dinners out, walking, all kinds of mini-trip/activity options in town offered as well. I kayaked out to the reef with my brothers (supplied for free) - snorkel equipment ($5 I think) was fine. You have to know about fish and reefs to appreciate this one - my brother is a scuba diver, so he could point out a lot of the fish I wouldn't have seen, like the "stick fish". Saw angel fish (bright blue colours), parrot fish, little black and yellow striped ones, all kinds of purpley corally things (sorry, brother knows all the names, I do not). He also went scuba diving every day - there are several places.

I had two great massages in my room as well - half the price of what I pay in Canada and GREAT.

Lots there to see if you're just sitting - Iquanas, birds galore, ghekos, crabs... Just on the point I found a huge conch shell, fully intact.

WEATHER: we were there in December for Christmas - OVERALL GREAT weather. A couple of days were windy - but that's what being right on the ocean is like. (I always bring ear plugs for sleeping anyway, and this was good for the 2 windy nights - by contrast, my sister-in-law sleeps better when there is ambient noise!)

TIPS:
If you like exercise, I found walking into town a nice idea and it's all by the ocean. Takes about 45 minutes. Taxi back is an option, especially if it's dark.

Get the massage! Ask Carol the owner for the one she recommends.

Bird and fish identifier cards are in the main restaurant - I had no idea I was seeing "bananaquits" for example...

Drinking water is supplied, you just have to fill your own bottle.

Scuba and snorkelling - WELL WORTH IT - you can go out yourself on the kayak - very fun. but also good to be taken out.

Try the Italian restaurant in town - yes, it's Mexico but this food was great and NOT expensive!

Room Tip: Second floor rooms have the beautiful thatched roof (very high). Each room has own balcony/verand...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • 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 Giddy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
balamku, Owner at Balamku Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, 16 January 2013
Thank you for this detailed review. Your family enjoyed all that Balamku has to offer..we do lunches here but I think you were making your own as many guests do here (eg guacamole and fruit) We encourage this as well as bringing your own drinks to bar. Hope you will all return soon for the fun and games in our secluded part of Mahahual.
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Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
69 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2013

More than a hotel or a small resort, this a REAL place to enjoy rest and tranquility away from it all, even in the highest season it'll feel empty, and that's a luxury for me.

1. The beach. It's really small, not wide, not long, not deep, and not that nice. You can't swim because there is coral everywhere. The owners have decided not to clean it completely to avoid erosion. You can't really walk left or right along the beach because this place has no neighbors, so it's savage, un-walkable land. You are confined to the small hotel beach.

2. It is an ecological hotel. This was kind of nice for me, it was the first real experience of this kind, and hoteliers should come and check it out, because it really seems to work. There are no water lines serving the hotel (6 km from the town, Mahahual), so you have to be conscious and not waste it. WC is also ecological, so it works differently than normal ones, but it works pretty well, you just have to get used to it. The only thing I didn't like was the noise made by these small wind turbines that generate power. They make huge noise all night long, and I guess that takes away some of the charm of this place.

3. The hotel is far from the town, and the road is in awful conditions, so it can take 20 minutes by car to get there, painfully slow. So, if you want and ice-cream, have dinner, buy beer, or just wander around and see the town, you think it twice.

It is, in general, a great little hotel. Nice furniture, nice touches, good taste. Carol, the owner, doubles as a helpful concierge during breakfast: she goes from table to table being extremely helpful. Wifi signal is weak or non-existent some times, but the place is so nice and quiet, nobody seems to need it.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the small (but noisy) wind turbines.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Antoine_K_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
balamku, Owner at Balamku Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, 8 January 2013
Thank you for your positive comments on Balamku. We appreciate your interest in our ecological systems and yes, there is one room that, when really windy, can be annoying with the wind generator. Thank goodness it isn't really windy that often here! The road now is waiting for the new government change over to implement the repairs needed. We assume this will happen soon. Meanwhile,we drive slowly and take it easy...no justification, just our current reality. Thanks for staying with us!
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Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2012

The four of us enjoyed Balamku for several days. The cabanas were spotless and comfortable, with lots of hot water and beautifully appointed rooms.We were served delicious and hearty breakfasts while viewing the beach and deciding on a kayak trip,or, some excellent birding, a walk to town for shopping, or a snooze swinging in a hammock on the beach.....
Many fellow guests had diving and snokelling trips organized and had great experiences as well. Also not far, were the amazing cenotes and ruins which a person can visit all within a day....even with a long lunch break at any of the excellent restaurants nearby. Wonderful helpful, informative hosts made a great difference to our very pleasant stay!!!!

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • 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 neverhome53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
balamku, Owner at Balamku Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, 24 December 2012
Thank you for your comments and enthusiasm. Yes, there is a lot to do in our area..expeditions without the hassle of crowds is our specialty down here. Hope we have the pleasure of your company again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2012

Let me preface this review by saying that we loved the place itself. The rooms were beautiful, the location was great (just outside of town), the breakfast, book exchange, snorkelling trip organised, etc etc- all was wonderful.

BUT. On our first morning there, we went on a snorkelling trip, and because it was such a nice hotel, we thought nothing of leaving our wedding rings on the sink in our bathroom (mine, a cheap imitation-diamond ring bought specially for the trip; my husband's, his $1200 AUD gold ring he's had for the 8 years we've been married). We returned from the day trip to find our rings missing (at that time we'd only noticed my husband's missing, but we later realised mine was also missing). We turned our room upside down, looked in the bathroom sink drain etc, but didn't spot the rings. We informed staff, who also searched our room and contacted the cleaner who'd been in the rooms that morning. The cleaner was adamant that they hadn't taken the rings, and the idea was put forward that maybe the rings had been accidentally swept into the bin when cleaning the sink. We ended up running all over the town (and rummaging through disgusting dumpsters) to try to locate the bin bags, but to no avail. Carol seemed quite distressed about the whole thing, but stuck by her cleaner and insisted she'd employed him for a long time and doubted he'd take anything. Eventually, she said that Mexicans are very poor and if he had stolen them, it'd be because the temptation was too much!! We never found the rings, and know they were stolen.

My sister was quite angry that nothing extra was done for us, and in retrospect, we kind of were too- no strong effort on the staff's part to find the rings (we had to try to locate the bin bags in dumpsters ourselves, and when we couldn't find them it was kind of left at that), no discounts on our stay or anything offered, nothing. Considering it was my husband's wedding ring, and worth a ton, both physically and sentimentally, it was actually quite disgraceful.

So all in all, I'd say yes, the place is great, but if you do make the decision to stay there, watch your valuables!!!

Room Tip: Don't trust the cleaners!!!!! We had upper rooms, which were great!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HeatherPH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
balamku, Owner at Balamku Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, 13 December 2012
This was a terrible loss and extremely upsetting for all. I apologize for not thinking of compensation for the loss with a discount. We have learned from this. All rooms have safes now ( this happened a while ago) but this doesn't appease the lingering feelings. The young man was fired 2 weeks later; but again, we should have handled this differently.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2012

You just can't beat Balamku, it's simple...
Amazing location, beautiful cabanas, tranquil, relaxing, great value, eco friendly with a wonderful owner and hostess. Put that all together and you get the most relaxing, fun, unspoilt environment and back to nature holiday you could wish for.......just do yourselves a favour and go.
Thanks Carol it was amazing,
Jody & kat x

Room Tip: They're all great but if you can get them 4, 5 & 6 are particularly private
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 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 jedi1901
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
balamku, Owner at Balamku Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, 13 December 2012
Thanks to two fabulous guests who returned and then returned again. Lots of fun and bright spirits.
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Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2012

Our stay at Balamku was fantastic. We had reservations for another hotel, but when we arrived, the beach, rooms, and service were not as advertised, so we went door to door looking for another hotel. Thankfully, the second hotel we stopped at was Balamku. The beach is pristine, the rooms spacious and clean, and the service was incredible. Carole, one of the owners, made our stay comfortable, friendly and efficient. She is a lovely woman with a real knack for making people feel at home. We live in Playa del Carmen, so we get to stay at a number of hotels up and down the Riviera Maya and Costa Maya. I can say without hesitation that Balamku is one of the best hotels we have stayed at. Many thanks to the owners Carole and Alan.

Jim C.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • 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 Jim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
balamku, Owner at Balamku Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, 21 November 2012
In our business, great guests make it all worthwhile and these folks from Playa are just another example of how lucky we are . Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Additional Information about Balamku Inn on the Beach

Property: Balamku Inn on the Beach
Address: 5.7 kms. south of Majahual, Mahahual, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Costa Maya > Mahahual
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 21 B&Bs / Inns in Mahahual
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Balamku is a small ecological hotel that offers beautiful rooms all facing the Sea and directly on the beach. We guarantee privacy, tranquility and excellent service. Since we are 6 kms south of Mahahual, our hotel is never noisy or crowded. We do not work with cruise ship folks so privacy is never compromised. The newly improved beach road makes access to town easy in less than 10 minutes. Kayaks are free to explore the reef just metres from our beach for great snorkeling. Large breakfasts are included as well as taxes.Enjoy the Caribbean Sea away from the crowds and relax in our natural environment.Please join us for private YOGA here or in town. Exceptional experience! Look for our YOGA retreats on FB ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balamku Inn On The Beach Hotel Mahahual
Balamku Inn On The Beach Mahahual, Mexico - Costa Maya

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