What a truly fantastic place! Great location, lovely guests, excellent food, perfect hosts, wonderful time. OK, we’re running out of superlatives...
Despite its remoteness, Xcalak was pretty easy to get to. We were traveling independently so didn’t have a rental car but still managed to get there without a hitch. Murph’s advice was spot on and from leaving Tulum (via bus and taxi) we were on the beach with our clothes off in less than three hours. Ah...freedom.
We stayed in La Selva, which is one of the first floor rooms with a huge terrace. It’s a really nice large hexagonal room with a good cross breeze and a view of the ocean. (A fan is provided but we didn’t end up using it most nights because of the breeze). And with so many lovely places on the grounds to relax we didn’t spend much time in the room. In the first few days we experimented with different locations – the end of the jetty (perfect for the late evening sun), the waterfront on the sunbeds (great tanning spot), a hammock for an afternoon snooze or – if we really wanted to get away, there was the upstairs terrace of Villa Sonrisa.
If you come looking for Disneyland you’ll be disappointed; the pace of life slows right down at Sonrisa. We spent our days relaxing, chatting, swimming, snorkelling, diving, eating great meals and having the occasional cold beer (or two). There was enough to keep us occupied when we wanted but we never felt pressure to keep busy.
Oh, and afternoon bocce was great fun; as was the post match cold beer in the ‘hot tub’. The hot tub, for the uninitiated, is relaxing in the balmy evening shallows of the Caribbean sea, shooting the breeze and forgetting all the cold weather and grief back home. If there was ever an antidote to the rat race, this was it.
We are both divers and have dived in Mexico and all over Central America. The local dive shop XTC is the best outfit we have come across so if you are a certified diver, or want to get certified, we highly recommend you do it with them. They are professional, friendly, their equipment is new and flawless and the diving off the coast is excellent.
A word about the food at Sonrisa...Superb. The highlight was on Valentines day when Murph and Cindy went all out to make it a really special evening (although I don’t think they were responsible for organising the sublime full moon that rose over the jetty). We had surf and turf - lobster doesn't come and fresher, or better, than that.
We can’t really rate this place highly enough. We booked for 8 nights and loved it so much we extended our stay twice and ended up staying for 11 nights. In fact, if we didn’t have other plans we’d probably still be there now!
- Also Known As:
- Playa Sonrisa Xcalak, Mexico - Costa Maya
- Playa Sonrisa Hotel Xcalak