Summer vacation and my friend invited me to spend a month in Mexico at her favorite out-of-the-way little resort, far from the hustle of Cancun life. The place she loves is a little “inn” call Sin Duda Villas (without a doubt) located near the village of Xcalak (Shka-lak) at the very far south end of the Xcalak Peninsula, butting up against Ambergris Caye in Belize.
Since this was my first time in this part of Mexico, I had a couple of wants. A real kitchen with all the fixin’s—stove, oven, real refrigerator & something like a living room. Cooking is a hobby and for me this is what I needed. Another was to be able to snorkel from shore without crawling through the sea grass I had read about. I’m a beginner snorkeler and a little fussy. Finally, I was concerned about my costs for a month.
The first letter I got back from Margo (the owner) was so personal and endearing and answered all my questions, even with a “deal” to help with my costs – that I knew this was going to be a financial , intellectual and emotional “fit.” This was even before I got there!
The rest of the story only became better ! You’ll see that as you read the reviews! Sin Duda Villas is a little bit different from the other little hotels there. Perhaps it’s the eclectic, adventurous and exuberant personalities of the owners – whatever it is, everyone who was visiting felt the same—kindred spirits wrapped in a kaleidoscope of color and amusement.
We chose and shared a double room, a large space with a full sized deck with hammocks and twin beds with such an array of colorful sheets & Guatemalan coverlets – a space just right for 2 women friends.. The interior hues of our room were brilliant and with such design that of course you’d know in a moment this place had been done by an architect.
The details in the room were inventive – (actually all the rooms were unique, because we asked to see every one of the rooms of the other guests). The layout and the special features –various collections—(Robert’s devil masks!), the use of Mayan pottery and statues, wall art of Mexican and Guatemalan weavings, interesting textiles and paintings, and (again Robert’s) assemblages of art/craft, the candles and wrought iron work created a different atmosphere for living as you stepped through each door; with niches and books and color everywhere.
Best of all for me, the kitchen was perfect! What Margo and Robert have created is the option to rent one of three double rooms (at a lesser cost than renting an apartment), then with the double room, there is a full-sized kitchen, dining room and living room that is “shared.” The concept is so smart because Sin Duda runs on solar power, so having a communal kitchen for these double rooms is very “green,” and I loved it!
For an enthusiastic cook, the kitchen was everything I needed. An array of cooking & baking pots and pans, bright Caribbean dishes for as many as 12, plenty of storage and purified water, and a full sized refrigerator, with ice already made when we arrived—I was in heaven. There’s a large table, seating for 8, and the rest of the room full of wicker furniture surrounded by their main Library of hundreds of current books! The kitchen was patterned after a Maya great room with vaulted ceiling and authentic pieces of art from a Mayan elder, now deceased. Wonderful!
And then I had a tour by Robert. What fun to have him explain about the different way of life, living with solar power! We climbed to the rooftop decks (where later, on 3 occasions Robert gave the most educational star lectures) and I could see forever. Above was blue sky and sunshine, with picturesque exploding sunsets, and below me -- the white sand beach with perfect access for snorkeling walking out to what they call “the hot tub” for putting on gear and that beautiful Caribbean Sea.
As the days unfolded, my life became totally relaxed and simple. I think I read 12 books from their unbelievable library, including 3 books I’d brought with me. I cooked to my heart’s content and we invited other guests for a couple of parties in the Cocina, and twice when one of the fishermen scored, we gathered around the outdoor grille with those “Margo-ritas” which are the most delicious (and a little dangerous if you have more than 2), waiting for what would be an unforgettable meal together – fresh grilled fish and new vegetables from the Grocery Trucks probably picked yesterday.
We did go on some forays: To Chetumal for the day, another day to Mahahual when there was a Cruise Ship in port, eating at 100% Agave with one of Margo’s friends; and one trip to Belize with XTC dive shop.
Each day was a new adventure. The snorkeling--unbelievable: I saw turtles, rays, even one time when my friend was making her underwater snorkel noises, there was a nurse shark! Most of the time we snorkeled from shore for the exercise, and within a few meters there is a coral head with vibrant marine life. Sometimes we used the kayaks and were able to paddle out to the barrier reef, and just inside the reef where the water is “deep” there were larger fish and creatures beyond belief.
Not everyone has the luxury of being a month on vacation, but my children are grown, I’ve worked every minute of my life to a point of some seniority, so I could do this – and I now encourage each of you to decide the style you like for a vacation and just do it.
Being around Margo and Robert and their guests was a combination of travelogue, art seminar, extreme adventure outing (maybe that was the Margo-rita?), college astronomy class, mixed with humor and generosity, in a rustic and elegant setting, plus my love of cooking in a good kitchen, and up-to-date books of every genre to read in a place which augmented my best spirits. This vacation, this time at Sin Duda was an adventure and a memory created that I’ll cherish forever. Thank you to my friend for inviting me to her favorite place. Now I know why!
I hope each reader will seek her/his own needs and perhaps you too will be a good fit at this very unique hideaway—Sin Duda Villas. It is --- “without a doubt” everything I needed it to be!
- 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