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“A Perfect Holiday in every respect - "without a doubt"”
Review of Sin Duda Villas

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Sin Duda Villas
Ranked #1 of 4 Xcalak B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Summerland, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A Perfect Holiday in every respect - "without a doubt"”
Reviewed 10 August 2010

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!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with friends
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2 Thank Paradisefound03
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)
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English first
ludington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 April 2010

i would need many pages to discribe sin duda ..last summer was our 11th visit !! bob and margo are the best of the best. sn duda is not for everyone. if you seek nightlife "fake mexico" and don"t seek adventure. please stay in cancun or playa del carmen.-bill kipp ludington mi.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank bayoubill87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jackson, Wyoming
1 review
Reviewed 18 April 2010

After a long day of travel we arrived at Sin Duda Villas and were greeted by Robert and Margo as if we had known each other for a hundred years. They showed us our enchanting accommodations and we immediately felt at home. We were able to change rooms several times during our stay and experience first hand the thoughtful and charming design of each apartment. The village of Xcalak is a wonderful place to spend some time. The options for exploration (ruins,wetlands,ocean and cenotes) are plentiful and Robert and Margo were always more than helpful in arranging particulars. I would highly recommend Sin Duda. "Without a doubt" the highlight of our trip to the dreamy Yucatan was Sin Dudas Villas and Robert and Margo themselves

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ssppot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
61 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2010

Sin Duda is a relaxed spot that's worth the drive. Owner/architect Robert incorporated Mayan elements in his building design, and he and wife Margo make guests feel welcome. We enjoyed the provided bIkes,kayaks, and beach lounges.Rooms are colorful and well equipped. We used the shared kitchen, and Margo provides breakfast granola and coffee. There are just a few small hotels and houses, so you have the beach to yourself,. The only negative is that when you walk along the shore, you run into tidal debris on the undeveloped sections. Other than that, it's great.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 2nothome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
colorado
1 review
Reviewed 20 March 2010

muy bien to robert and margo the graciuos owners of sin duda villas,xcalak,mexico
wow what a spot to escape a cold colorado winter. sin duda is ON the beach with the shimmering carribean sea just outside your door,fantastic snorkeling in bathtub warm water only yards away. our apartment #8 was a great,looking out at morning sunrises out of the ocean was priceless,the villas were well kept and clean,tastfully decorated,with rooftop big views of the ocean and laguna estuary behind. local food trucks come by every day almost
with groceries,tortillas,donuts. happy hour every day with killer 'margoritas' served up by margo/robert our extremely interesting hosts. we loved the lack of touristas,hotel row,noise,traffic,and all that stuff you get up north in cancun,playa del carmen. xcalak is a sleepy little mexican village with a cool ex-pat community along the coast. the diving was world class,with tarpon,eagle rays,turtles,unbelievable coral gardens,i was the only diver that day,with multiple dive sites only 5 minute boat rides away. ah the fun ends so qiuckly and now it's just a dream cause we are back in colorado at 9,000 ft.and it's 2 degrees out.........
......thanks sin duda villas,we will be back..............loved the corgis.
jim and annie lewis
central city, colorado

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank wanderjim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Idaho
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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
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
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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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