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“The beach at Sin Duda is without a doubt my new happy place.”
Review of Sin Duda Villas

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Sin Duda Villas
Ranked #1 of 4 Xcalak B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Idaho
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“The beach at Sin Duda is without a doubt my new happy place.”
Reviewed 14 March 2010

Margo and Robert are great hosts, very accommodating and responsive to guests needs. Guests need to be conservation minded. Sin Duda is off the grid and depends on collected rain water for much of the water use. I like that aspect of the experience there. It really fits with the low key, calm and relaxed atmosphere that Margo and Robert have created. Robert designed and built this small and beautiful hotel. The rooms are charming and comfortable and what a library! If you forget to bring something to read, don't worry about it! the snorkeling from Sin Duda is really nice. We saw turtles, rays and beautiful parrot fish, among other colorful finned beings. We shopped from the grocery truck and enjoyed the best, freshest food imaginable that we cooked in our Sin Duda apartment. Our standard fare at the grocery store in the US sucks, by comparison - why do we stand for it????

We also loved the village of Xcalak. One of the best things about Xcalak for us was the Leaky Palapa restaurant. The food was sublime and I was reminded of the film, Babette's Feast, and the transformative experience of eating well . Great food, great owners, staff and atmosphere! Our waiter, Louis, became our good friend. You can also hire him to take you bird-watching.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Higgee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2010

Sin Duda is a special place held near and dear to our hearts after traveling there twice and never wanting to return. Robert and Margo, your hosts, are endlessly hospitable, funny, warm and know just how to make you feel at home. Ever since our stay, we've renamed our favorite drink the "Margo-rita" in honor of our favorite hostess and her famous evening drinks.

The location is AMAZING! Far away from "the world", Sin Duda sits on a very quiet stretch of white sand beach, under some palm trees, and right in front of a living reef (literally, you can snorkel in front of the villa about 100 yards out and see reef teaming with life). The rooms are very comfortable and the stars are plentiful. We've spent hours there reading and sleeping on the beach, talking, swimming, walking in the sand and just unwinding in ways that aren't possible in less remote (and less beautiful) locals.

Things you should know: Sin Duda is not for everyone. It is a long drive from the airport in Cancun (6 hours) so it requires careful planning to get there safely before dark, especially since much of the drive is through very lonely jungles where you won't see life for miles. It is very remote, so you won't find a grocery store, fast food, television, telephones, or 24 hour electricity (for miles). There are a small handful of FABULOUS restaurants near by that are run by local expats and innkeepers, but they keep their own hours and may not have everything you want, so you need to plan to provide for yourself while you are there. The villa is eco-friendly. This means that you sometimes need to live without hot water, lights, a hair blower, etc. (from other reviews it is obvious that not everyone understands what that means). If you aren't comfortable with this, then this is not the vacation for you.

If you hope to achieve true relaxation, spend real time with your loved ones, and have the courage to strike out to somewhere outside the "hotel zone", then this place is as good as it gets.

  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank TheBestofTimes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota
Level Contributor
127 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2010

After staying at several mega-resorts in and around Akumal, we wanted to experience more of Mexico at a slower pace. Toward that end we spent several days at SDV in 2008. We thoroughly enjoyed it, so this year (2010) we spent the first two weeks of February there; and found that we liked it even more than in 2008! Margo and Robert are considerate hosts with an easygoing sense of fun. One feels like a member of a circle of friends rather than 'another customer'. Sin Duda Villas is a small eco-friendly place with a great staff, a clever design (Robert is an architect) and many thoughtful touches.
Some things that we'll remember: The quiet - the breeze through the coconut palms that sounds like a rain shower at night - the most comfortable lounge chairs on the coast - looking at the stars at night from the roof - talking Mayan history with Robert - the grocery trucks stopping at the front door - candles flickering in the evening - snorkeling in 'Margo's garden' (a large coral head 30 yards from shore) - watching the herons standing on the beach, looking for lunch - the corgi's taking offence to the herons - the sun rising out of the Caribbean sea in the morning - the quiet - 'running' into town to go to the Leaky Palapa - hermit crabs at sunset - hundreds of books around the resort - Margo's famous 'Margo-ritas' (use caution if drinking more than two!) - really great coffee - kayaking - evenings spent chatting with Margo, Robert and other guests - suggested vacation ideas (for the asking) - - - - and so much more. The question is not if we'll be back, it's when! (and the answer is not soon enough).

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Phil1ip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2010

Our most recent journey to the end-of-the-road was this last November 2009. At the end of a long and difficult year we knew just where to head for respite and renewal. My husband, son and I have been visiting Sin Duda almost annually for the past 11 years.
I just happened to be perusing the Trip Advisor Reviews and was a little dismayed to read a very recent post regarding what sounded like a bad situation (with a malfunctioning refrigerator)-- but the date of this malady occurred almost two years ago! From my perspective, and from most of the write-ups about Sin Duda, one would have to assume this issue has long since been corrected. In fact, we spent a week there during late summer 2008, (just after the reported problem) and at that time the communal cocina had recently been entirely renovated--new shelving, even more books, new paint and new appliances. During our visit this past November we found there were even more improvements. Robert (the Owner) is also a wonderfully innovative Architect from Seattle. The Casita (where we usually stay) had a new sunroom; and a deck for morning coffee, and best of all, all the rooms have new queen sized beds. The evolution has been really fun to observe.
Being from California, we are always impressed that this small resort, with about 8 bedrooms, can provide this high level of service without any negative environmental impact. Living entirely off the grid means there are so many variables that require constant monitoring. The delicate balance which must be maintained has to be both rewarding and challenging for those who choose to run these types of resorts-- requiring an extra level of commitment and diligence.
When Robert gives his "welcome tour" of Sin Duda he always tells the guests to report even the slightest problem so it can be resolved. Even for those of us who visit each year, we're reminded to report anything questionable-- and if anything arises its always a very quick fix. As far as the food goes there are wonderful fresh fruits, vegetables and meats available (brought to your door!) by the grocery truck every day.
At the risk of sounding much too philosophical for an online travel site I must say that one of the primary reasons we return year after year is the beautifully simple way of living. To fix fresh meals, drink Margo-ritas and enjoy fascinating new friends; to marvel at the starry night sky; to be lulled to sleep by the sound of the breeze in the palm trees (which sounds exactly like rain) -- is close to perfection. Every sunrise is stunning and a photographer's dream with hundreds of birds in synchronized songs, welcoming another day.
And behind all of this, Margo and Robert are working constantly, interacting with their employees, running pumps, keeping the lights on and the appliances running, hanging sheets out to dry, coordinating guests fishing and diving excursions over the short wave radio, yet all we notice from our comfy chaise lounge under our palapa is the blue sky, the white sand beach, and the stack of great books just waiting to be read.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank SunnyABC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2010

We stayed at Sin Duda the first week of January and really enjoyed our time. With four people in our group, we rented apartment which had sufficient space, a well-equipped kitchen, porch, living room and screens on all the windows. The hosts are lovely, very generous and helpful with anything one might need during their stay in Xcalak. The hotel is north of Xcalak, located on a lovely stretch with a healthy coral reef close to shore, in a quiet location. The hotel offers both breakfast and delicious margaritas at cocktail hour. The hotel also has kayaks, complete snorkeling equipment, bicycles, horseshoes, games, a library, lounge chairs and umbrellas, a communal kitchen/sitting room and more.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank lindseyteal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
seattle
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2010

So many people have already written about the really awesome aspects of this property - the quiet (we LOVED that they didn't encourage children to stay or play), the reef, the isolation, and that they are eco-friendly.

We enjoyed our stay at Sin Duda, but there are some aspects that I haven't seen mentioned that one should be aware of before choosing it. First, if you are not staying in a room with its own refrigerator, you are likely to find all of your food spoiling in 2-3 days and a complete lack of ice. This is because Margo unplugs the communal fridge every night - sneakily, late at night after we've gone to sleep! It's crazy - it might save her some electricity, but with most guests bringing their groceries from 4 hours away, it was exceedingly rude and annoying. Everything was warm every morning and, after we plugged it back in, the poor fridge could barely cool down during the next day before she'd unplug it again at night. So, don't stay in those rooms for more than a couple of nights if you need food.

Even in the suites with fridges, the distance from grocery stores would be a problem for staying more than a few days - the restaurants are very expensive and not plentiful (1 or 2 nearby?). The grocery guy brings a few things (great seafood and fruit), but you have to be there in the middle of the day to catch him and he doesn't have basics like milk or rice.

Second, we stayed during some chilly weather and didn't have hot water in the shower (not as advertised). We kept hearing that "there was a problem and not usual" but it wasn't fixed during our stay. I had the feeling that the roof-top solar water tanks didn't warm up if there wasn't a lot of warm sun. Brrrrr.... For $100/night, it should at least be as advertised.

So, all together, we're not sure if we would stay there again. There are lots of awesome spots in Mexico.

  • Stayed April 2008, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank SeattleSunrunner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leonard, Michigan
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2010

My husband and I headed back to Sin Duda at the beginning of December and once again had the most wonderful vacation. We have previously visited in March 2008 & 2009. The weather was absolutely wonderful and in the high 80s with only occasional rain at night. Also we were delighted that the beach road had been redone and was very drivable which made the drive to Xcalak easy.

We ended up staying in the upper apartment (Querencia) and loved the view from the balcony. The apartment is huge and had a lovely kitchen with a brand new refrigerator where we cooked up many wonderful meals. We also were in luck because the fish man came by and we were able to purchase shrimp and freshly caught grouper which we grilled on the new beach grill. We also shared with the couple below in Bailando and they shared the wonderful lobster they had purchased. So if the fish man stops by, make sure that you check out his seafood. Also it was quite inexpensive compared to grouper in the states.

We did not end up taking any tours on this visit, but we spent most of our time snorkeling on the wonderful reef. It was awesome and we saw numerous species of fish ( grouper, puffer, huge angelfish, barricuda, etc.), a couple of lobsters at Margo's reef, the biggest conch ever, and two huge rays. Luckily no lionfish. The coral was as varied as it was beautiful and we enjoyed every moment in the water. Sin Duda generously provides snorkels, masks, fins, and dive skins free of charge which helps decrease the amount of luggage one must bring.

The other activity we really enjoyed was riding Sin Duda's bikes to Xcalak and on the beach road to the north. The views of the ocean on the ride north were stunning and it was fun to check out all the lovely homes along the way.

Margo and Robert were as always the perfect hosts and we had wonderful conversations with both of them plus "margoritas" on the beach were the perfect final touch to our days. The service provided by the Sin Duda staff was wonderful and we enjoyed sundried towels and sheets. It was great having the ladies clean our room daily since we tended to drag in sand and such from the beach. They also provided laundry service for a small fee and it was nice to take home clean clothes.

I was suprised to read that someone had trouble from sleeping on the beds. We have never had a problem and it is the one place where my husband does not end up with his usual back issues from sleeping on a different mattress. This year we were greeted with a brand new queen size mattress for our sleeping comfort and we loved it even more. All the rooms have been upgraded in this way which is wonderful. Also we have found that if there are any problems with our room or anything, we just go to Robert or Margo and they will correct the issue. They want everyone to be comfortable and work very hard to make this happen.

Sin Duda is a wonderful and exciting place to visit. One can have a taste of Mexico with all the comforts of home which is why we continue to go back. It is also one of the most beautiful places that we have seen and felt on the night of our arrival this year that the stunning view of the full moon and its reflection on the ocean was worth all the miles we had flown and driven that day.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank tabbycatdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sin Duda Villas

Property: Sin Duda Villas
Address: Km 8 Xcalak Beach Road, Xcalak, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Costa Maya > Xcalak
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Xcalak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Come stay with us at the end of the road on our secluded beach - a respite from the noise and bright lights. Using ecologically responsible technologies and a cheerful perspective to conserve our unique environment, we live through seasons leaving only footprints in the white Caribbean sand. Presenting 8 remarkable spaces designed by the past architect-owner. Sin Duda Villas reflects an appreciation of Mayan simplicity, form and tropical colors. With a bit of whimsy tossed here and there. Peaceful, unique and decidedly rewarding. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sin Duda Villas Hotel Xcalak
Sin Duda Villas Xcalak, Mexico - Costa Maya

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