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“Wonderful experience!”
Review of Mayan Beach Garden

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Mayan Beach Garden
Ranked #1 of 22 Mahahual B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 March 2014

A solo traveler looking for a remote inn surrounded by natural beauty and great snorkeling, I was so lucky to find the Mayan Beach Garden, where I stayed for almost four weeks during January/February 2014. I can’t thank the hosts and proprietors, Marcia and Kim, enough for providing me with such a wonderful experience. In need of checking out from the hustle and bustle of Chicago (and its harsh winter), I arrived to find what I would describe as the ideal traveler’s inn.

Having stayed in four of the rooms while there, I don’t think you can go wrong staying in any of them. They are quite comfortable—more than I would have expected for an inn located so remotely—and are kept tidy on a daily basis by the staff (all of whom were very friendly and happy to accommodate me). The rooms, like the property itself, are very well maintained, with Marcia’s artistic touches apparent in the hung artwork and room details.

Set on an expansive beach, the front of the inn provided me with opportunities to sip a tequila before dinner and watch the sun set (I suggest that tequila drinkers ask for Mayan Beach’s own-barreled tequila—it was very good). Meal times proved to be one of my favorite experiences: Kim, who usually joined us guests for dinner, is such an easy to like, affable man—I think he (and Marcia, via her everyday interactions) sets a relaxed informal tone that welcomes everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from (dinners are communal, which, despite my preconceptions, I very thoroughly enjoyed). I had a great many interesting conversations with my fellow guests at that table.

It didn’t hurt that the food was FANTASTIC. I couldn’t believe it. I’m a bachelor, not a chef, but I spend half of my income eating out in Chicago, and I thought the food was great. And the meal plan I signed up for was very, very reasonable. I also drank 4-5 cups of coffee a day—it’s French pressed and very good. Those kind of touches, in the middle of that remote area, that helped make this a really special place: it’s not the Ritz Carlton—but how could it be and still maintain its place as an environmentally friendly, small, independently run inn? From this context, it provides fantastic comfort and amenities.

But my favorite experience was snorkeling—wow!!! The reef is a long way out, so there is a lot to explore between the beach and that reef. The first time, alone, and went out a bit, but not far (unfortunately, I saw “Jaws” when I was eight years old). But the next time I went out, I went with Marcia, who had generously asked if I’d like to go with her. I got out farther this time, and for two hours we went through some amazing coral formations and saw all different types of fish and a few rays. I went out snorkeling with her for three hours another time—which may have been one of the best experiences of my life (I hope I’m not setting her up to readers as an expected guide—she just happened to be going and I tagged along). The key is getting near the reef. Where I went, water is no more than 10 feet deep, all the way out to the reef.

I didn’t see a lot of solo traveler reviews, so I do want to say that I found being on my own at Mayan Beach perfect. In retrospect, I'm not sure what I would have done staying at a "regular hotel" or rental property for a month. The meal times provided me with an opportunity meet other guests, which led to opportunities to do things with others, and make some friends, too. And I had plenty of opportunity to soak up privacy and solitude, and even worked 35+ hours a week from my computer while I was there.

Having stayed at Mayan Beach for almost four weeks, I saw both how hard it must be to run a place like this so well and how successfully the proprietors strove to make their guests’ experiences there positive ones. I was also fortunate to get to know Marca and Kim a little bit during this period of time, and I found them to be absolutely wonderful people. I don't know how they do it. I can’t thank them enough for making my stay one I will never forget. Thank you!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Dmorri35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcia B, Owner at Mayan Beach Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

When people stay with us for a month's time, we get the opportunity to bond with our guests. When you left, there was a hole that won't be filled until you return again. I loved snorkeling with you and showing you the beauties of the reef and of nature. May you always remember us as we will remember you until you return again to us. See you next year!.

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170 - 176 of 360 reviews

Reviewed 26 February 2014

We just returned from another wonderful stay at Mayan Beach Garden, our 9th over 10 years. We prefer to stay in smaller venues, away from the crowds and noise, so this is perfect for us. Located on a beautiful white sand beach with a breathtaking view of the aquamarine Caribbean waters. Wonderful snorkeling off the beach where you will find colorful live coral, lots of fish and rays. Long quiet beach walks, kayaking and hanging out in a hammock are other ways to pass the time. Visits to Mahahual, Bacalar, Chetumal, the Sian Ka'an and several Mayan ruins make for interesting day trips.

Whether you choose to stay in a cabana on the beach or one of the large rooms, you will enjoy a comfortable bed, hot showers and a view of the ocean. I could sit up in bed, look out the window and see the sun rise. My advise is to opt for the meal plan so you can enjoy 3 freshly made meals every day. The food is delicious and it is a great opportunity to get to know the other guests.

The staff is friendly and helpful and respectful of your privacy. Owners Marcia and Kim are very knowledgeable about the area, can answer any questions and provide some entertaining stories. Check out their website for pictures and additional info.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Changitah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcia B, Owner at Mayan Beach Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

I have to give kudos to this writer. Not only am I thankful for the review, but this guest spent their beach combing vacation roaming far and wide to collect 34 bags of beach trash that washed up. REALLY. Now I offer a beer or soda for each bag collected, but you don't even drink beer or soda and you still picked up bag after bag. It shows. . . the beaches look great. The birds and the turtles are also thanking you (not to mention that jaguar)!

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Reviewed 26 February 2014

My husband and I spent a week at Mayan Beach Gardens in early February, on the recommendation of our daughter who goes there whenever she gets the chance, and we agree that it ranks with one of the best and most relaxing holidays we’ve ever enjoyed. .

This boutique off-the-grid hotel, managed by proprietors Marcia and Kim and their staff, is located on the road to Mahahual, alongside a sand beach fringed by the Mesoamerican reef. Several of the rooms have decks which overlook or lead directly onto the beach. We had the “Uxmal” room, which we loved – open and airy, with views east and south over the ocean from the hammocks on the shaded deck. The décor is simple and elegant with delightful quirks – like the conch shell in place of a tap spout (metal rusts quickly in the salt air).

It’s worth the long trek from Cancun airport to enjoy strolling along uncrowded beaches and the excellent swimming conditions – warm, clear water inshore of the reef. There’s plenty to see within a few hundred metres of the shore, although the most impressive elkhorn corals and fish shoals are on the far side of the reef breakers. The hotel also offers a selection of kayaks, for above water exploration and quick access to a good snorkeling spot.

It’s well worth opting for the meal plan, as the food is good value, freshly prepared and delicious. All meals are served in an open-air dining room and are Mexican cuisine with an emphasis on fresh fruits and veggies. A selection of house cocktails, spirits, beer and wine are available at the bar. You will not go hungry. Dinner is a beautifully-presented three course meal at a communal table, where you can enjoy meeting other guests and Kim’s dry humour.

While I could have spent the entire week between hammock and ocean, there are other cultural and outdoor activities within striking distance of the hotel, and Marcia is a fund of information about these.

Highlights of our stay included:
• Joining Marcia on a swimming expedition across the reef to the “fish aggregation point”
• Tortilla Tuesday – learning to prepare torillas, sopes, empanadas etc from scratch in Marcia’s kitchen.
• Tequila tasting, with tapas – a history and tasting of pulque, mescal and a selection of sipping tequilas
• Fresh tortilla chips and salsa with most meals, as well as an amazing seafood soup presented in a coconut
• A visit to the Dzibanche Mayan ruins - it was just us, the birds and a great big sky. A far cry from our experience of the crowds at Chichen Itza.
We're already planning to revisit as soon as we can.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcia B, Owner at Mayan Beach Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

It was such a pleasure to meet both of you and to match you to your daughter, who we love. I'm also delighted that you enjoyed our reef. I always wonder how it stands up to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, so your comments are especially appreciated. I'll pass on the comments to Fernando, Fabiola, Kim and the rest of the staff. Has the baby arrived?. . . .

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Reviewed 22 February 2014

Mayan Beach Garden is the best place i have ever stayed in Mexico, bar none. Have been going for 35 years. Marcia and Kim have developed a wonderful, relaxing, place with a warm personal touch. The rooms are simple but incredibly well executed. The beach was awesome. The staff is courteous but not dotting. The atmosphere almost compels you to relax (Jill and i parked the car and never even opened the door again until that sad moment when we had to put the luggage back in the car to leave). And, the food in the restaurant is absolutely delicious.
We highly recommend the Mayan Beach Garden and will be returning, hopefully soon.

Room Tip: Get the stand alone cabana or one of the two rooms right on the shore.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcia B, Owner at Mayan Beach Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

You are the true beach vacationer. I love it when people know how to take a beach vacation. The fact that you parked the car and didn't leave speaks to our desire to make sure that you can relax and get into the land of "mañana". Hammocks on every deck are there for that purpose and we picked this location so you could take endless beach walks. Thanks for the review and we look forward to seeing you again.

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Reviewed 22 February 2014

The Mayan Beach Garden is an oasis hidden away from the highly commercialized portion of the Yucatan running from Cancun on down. The food was outstanding. Our room was spacious and quiet (except for the surf which readily put us to sleep. We signed up for a cooking course and learned how to make tortillas and their varieties. That was a lot of fun. Great pina coladas too.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank pcwolfe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcia B, Owner at Mayan Beach Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

I enjoy reading the reviews and finding out what people liked about Mayan Beach Garden and then matching the review to the writer. Trip Advisor prefers we don't identify the guest, but usually I match it up pretty well. I'm glad you enjoyed the cooking class. Hopefully we will see you again in the future and we'll try to have something new to offer.

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Reviewed 17 February 2014

What a fabulous experience we just had at the Mayan Beach Garden! My husband and I have been exploring the Yucatan for several years, and on each trip we venture into new parts of this beautiful region. This year we were very fortunate to spend three nights at the Mayan Beach Garden Inn, and it was a wonderful stay in so many ways! Hosts Kim and Marcia have created a class act in this amazing outpost of civilization, comfort, and beauty along a remote stretch of the Costa Maya. We were traveling with another couple, and the four of us agreed that the MGB offered the most comfortable accommodations and the very best food of our entire trip. Oh, the FOOD!! We loved it - so fresh, tasty, and well-prepared; and can I just say that the margaritas were the very best we had during our entire vacation? There were a couple of other things that made MBG a very special part of our trip: the intimacy of the place and the way dinner is offered with all the guests made for a really fun way to meet and trade stories with other like-minded travelers, and the exceptional helpfulness of employees Martin and Rafael was the icing on the cake. JUST GO THERE!
PS - There is no pool or fitness center, so try the ocean! Bring DEET; you are off the grid and in the jungle!!

Room Tip: As two couples traveling together, we loved beachfront king units 2 and 3!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank beachlover2487
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcia B, Owner at Mayan Beach Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

Your review brought a smile to my face. Thank you for taking the time to write. We appreciate that only a select few travelers find the vacation spot that matches their personality and that we were able to match yours! The weather continues to be spectacular, the roads have dried up from the earlier rain and the jungle birds are singing! We hope to see you again this way.

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Reviewed 14 February 2014

The Mayan Beach Garden was exactly what my wife and I were looking for after 2 weeks exploring Chiapas. It is an extremely well run establishment on a beautiful stretch of the Costa Maya, just 1/2 hour north on Mahahual on a very good road.

The food is incredibly good and the bar is well stocked! Had the best margaritas of our entire trip!

We loved taking trips into the Sian Ka'an Reserve which starts about 20 km up from Mayan Beach Garden on a paved road. Ask Marcia for a map and be sure to hit the beach in front of the abandoned house at 24km within the reserve for some of the best from the shore snorkeling anywhere in the world.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank CEOCAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcia B, Owner at Mayan Beach Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

The Sian Ka'an is certainly a must see and I'm glad you made it up there despite less than perfect roads. A vehicle with high clearance is definitely a good idea - mainly for maneuvering potholes in the beach road. 24 km might be far for some folks, but boogie board beach and the shipwreck are much closer. Thanks for mentioning the Sian Ka'an in your review. I'm not sure that everyone is aware of its beauty.

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Additional Information about Mayan Beach Garden

Address: 20.5 km N Camino Costera | 11 km norte de aceso de Rio Indio, or 3 km sur de Aceso de Placer, Mahahual 77940, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Costa Maya > Mahahual
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 22 B&Bs / Inns in Mahahual
Price Range: £80 - £105 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Mayan Beach Garden 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secluded off the grid solar powered beach front Inn, nestled on sandy white beach on the Mexican Caribbean. Walk for miles in either direction, swim or snorkel from shore. This is the closest Hotel to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere- maps and independent traveler's guidance are available. King sized beds, fans and large bathrooms in each room. Hot Breakfast included. To protect the tranquility and quiet of the hotel, only children over the age of 12 are allowed during the months of January, February, March and April. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mayan Beach Garden Hotel Mahahual
Mayan Beach Garden Mahahual, Mexico - Costa Maya

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