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“simply paradise” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Playa Sonrisa

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Playa Sonrisa
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Xcalak
bandol FRANCE
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“simply paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2007

We were at playa sonrisa from march 10th to 13th and we were sad to leave this place at the time of departure to Playa del Carmen.
This hotel is a gem on the riviera Maya and Murph an Cindy did a great job to preserve this so wonderful beach.
We are a french couple and we love to discover some remote clothing optional resort and when we saw this adress on a web site we knew that is was the right place where to stay.
The cabine are on the beach,clean, housekeeping each day, with air conditioned or fan there is a real bathroom with cold or warm water the queen size bed was confortable
Murph gave us a good explanation about the state of mind of this place and it was truly a good choice.
The breakfast is served in the restaurant with hot beverages, fresh fruits, cakes,yoghurts, bread with butter etc...you can get several kind of beverages and you have just to put on a room booknotes what you grabed in the fridge.
Playa sonrisa is a real nudist place to do snorklling in a hot clear water with wonderful colorful fishes, Murph rent us kayaks to go along the reef to see more fishes in a garden with rocks and corals.
You can get also a dinner at playa sonrisa and it 's really worth it
Cindy speciality is a plus, just go to tast the flavour...
There is a roof where you can work your tan and swim among plenty fishes and when the sun goes down and the sky light on it's like a magical moment that we would like to keep for ever.
Well, I asked to my girlfriend to become my wife at playa sonrisa I think it's a real place altought we were 3 times in Végas.
Peoples we met there were so friendly, all were Americans so we inproved our english..lol..We went with them to get dinners in different restaurants along the shore and in Xcalak it was a real plus to share our time with such nice peoples.
We want to warn all spring breakers or people who need to have television or laptop with dsl connection and uncorfortable with nudity that it's definitly not a place for them.
We are looking forward to flying back at the playa sunrisa maybe for our honeymoon and we want to say again thank you for all the pleasure we have got during our stay.
Sorry for all the mistakes in english we did in this post
Laurence and Gilles from FRANCE

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — the dirt road to go..
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank sosko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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81 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chadds Ford Pa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2007

Every day we spent at Playa Sonrisa was beautiful and more than we could ask for. We were there for four nights in Feb.
Murph and Cindy graciously and unassumingly did all we needed a host to do. The rooms were large and kept clean, the water bottles full and the breeze was lovely each night.
We used his guidance and kayaks to paddle twenty minutes each day to an unbelievable live reef, full of fish, coral, turtles and other creatures. We just spent time in Tullum and Punta Allen and this area has the healthiest reef we saw. ( we saw three turtles one day )
The beaches, walkable for miles in one direction a little less in the other were narrow and typical for this remote barrior reefed area. The water is clear and warm here and a healthy environment of turtle grass creates a haven for small fish, and sea life mingling with shore birds and animal life, all pretty tranquil and natural.
Breakfast each day was warm fresh muffins, fresh fruit, juice and good coffee. We had one dinner there and it was delicious. On arriving Murph let us know his restaurant would be closed for Sat and Sun ( Their time off ) so he had considerately made us a reservation in town at this cool chef owned place called the Leaky Palapa. Lobster and fish is the norm anywhere in Excalak. Great food and service. We ended up going back the next night. Lunches were available at Sonrisa each midday.
Cold beer and wine all day , just write what you use on the pad and pay when you leave, simple.
All the guests we met were quite interesting and naked most of the time. This was new to us ( the naked part ) and we easily adapted. The sun and secluded area and gardened premises made this all very enjoyable.
The long drive down from Tullum is interesting, watch for small animals crossing ( we saw an anteater ) and for parrots flying in large flocks along the long road in. The potholes are no worse than any other older unmantained roads.
We hope to be back next year.

  • Liked — Honest and thoughtful hosts
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Malvern8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Puebla, Mexico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2007

We are repeated guests at Playa Sonrisa. Actually we stayed there three times within 12 months (last time dec. 2006 - the same time as the Chicago people stayed there).
We just love Playa Sonrisa, Cindy and Murph are great hosts, Cindy's food is just exquisit and delicious. The installations are perfect and considering that the destination is far off the beaten track and logistics are complicating everything, it is not overpriced. When it comes to AC, it was not neccessary at all, because temperatures dropped down dramatically last december and there was no need (even for people from Chicago) to use an AC.
When it comes to limited electricity and water I think it is a fairly good contribution to our environmental situation, however some people do not care about the environment.
For us Xcalak and Playa Sonrisa is the perfect place to go and we are very happy that it is not a "everybody's destination". If you love the show, big hotels, fancy restaurants and discotheques you'd better go to Cancun.

  • Liked — nice and big room, diver friendly, personel treatment
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Heikejohanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newfoundland, NJ
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2007

For recharging yourself, there's no better place than Playa Sonrisa's low key elegance. This was our second visit, and we were even more impressed this time! Breakfast is included in the rate, with ample fruits, eggs, and muffins to keep one full 'till lunch. Tuna wraps and roast beef sandwiches kept us out of the kitchen 'till the 3 course dinner starting with soup was brought out. Happy Hour often started in the "hot tub" - a shallow spot off shore where the water warms for sunset viewing. Grab a little "butt" stone to ensure the marine life doesn't surprise you, and sip your libation in serene style. Don't come here looking for discos or organized activities - this is a place where you can explore the reef in a kayak with snorkel gear, or paddle around to see what the neighbors are building. AND, don't dread cook's night off - there is a fabulous restaurant in town run by two Canadian women who bring amazing dishes out of their kitchen! You can't meet better hosts than Don and Cindy!

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank SunGoddessSher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TN
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2007

We returned (very unwillingly) from Playa Sonrisa on Feb 16, 2007, after nine glorious days of peace, wonderful company, superb hosts, lots of laughter and good humour, excellent food and flawless service. Our initial plan was to drive out from Playa Sonrisa during our stay there, to visit the various Mayan sites, but - frankly - the beach and the tranquil ambience very quickly won out over that idea! Another time, we'll stay closer to the various historical sites and complete those visits before heading down to Xcalak and Tranquility Base (aka Playa Sonrisa!)
Having been naturists for decades, this resort suited us down to the ground, but we can see why it would be so supportive and welcoming to someone trying out social nudity for the first time. An excellent place to (literally) dip your toe in the water. Its relaxed and tranquil atmosphere, and the laid-back attitude of people who choose to stay here, are perfect for easing your way into it - or not, as your choice may be. Very much a live-and-let-live place to stay.
Even in February, don’t forget the suntan lotion to protect your skin and, if you are adversely affected by biting bugs, some insect repellent might be a useful addition for the evenings. It really depends upon whether you react to them or not.
Make sure to enjoy a game of “Bizarre Bocce” (boule/petanque) with Donn and Cindy during your stay. It rounded off many a perfect day for us during our visit. I still reckon that those palm trees are remote-controlled!!
All in all, a great place to visit if you want to escape from the madding crowds and just relax and unwind. You cannot find more accommodating hosts.

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
Thank 2MetreMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charleston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2007

We just got back (Monday) from Playa Sonrisa. We loved it. The beach location was great, the accommodations were great, the food was wonderful and the hosts were the best. Just in case you don’t know, this is a clothing optional resort. However, it is optional and you can bare as much or little as you want. You will feel comfortable there if one of you is into some nudity. Check out their web site at www.playasonrisa.com to get details. The website is an honest overview of the little resort and layouts what you should expect in a remote location of Mexico. Don't expect to call home every day or be on email. This was part of the lure for us and did not seem to bother any of the guests while we were there. You will meet interesting people from all over the world. We made friends we expect to visit sometime from the West Coast to Canada and maybe even Ireland.
They serve breakfast as part of the room costs, but lunch and dinner are optional and extra. However, we loved the food and ate every meal there we could. When we could not eat there, we visited the Leaky Palapa in Xcalak, 7 kilometers and 30 minutes away! Great food too. The road is potholed but I cannot imagine needing a 4x4 vechile and saw very few while there.
Sonrisa only has room for 4-6 couples so email for reservations, although, some people do just show up. This happened while we were there and a couple from California dropped in, did not know it was CO, and stayed and loved it. The rooms are kept unbelievably clean. We stayed in one of the two beach front rooms and the view was wonderful. I have some wonderful sunrise pictures!
The two people who run it, Donn Murphy and his wife Cindy started it six years ago, are wonderful and seem to have it down pat how to run a small resort. They have a beach bar that is an honors bar with everything you would expect. We loved to walk out on the dock to the two palapas on the end for sunning and shade and drinks. One of the most enjoyable days of my life was spent alternating from sunning, getting hot, slipping off the dock into the beautifully clear water, swimming and then getting back into the sun or shade. Occasionally, I would get us another beer or drink… and I read 5 books while there.
There are some excellent snorkling places just a short kayak ride away. Murph provided directions, the kayaks and even went with us one day. You can snorkle sans suit if you want.
If you are into partying (which is good) or golf (which I like), or hot dancing places (also great), you will not find it down this far in Mexico! Cancun would be better. If you want to relax, read books, enjoy your spouse, walk the beach, and just hang out, you should try this place.
Lastly, the five-hour drive from Cancun to Xcalak is not that bad! More interesting than 5 hours in the US. Email me if you have questions…. Islandboy5@bellsouth.net

  • Liked — Beautiful sunrise and very clean room.
  • Disliked — Really, nothing we did not like. King size bed, daily maid service, hot water, etc.
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank IslandBoy5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SE Minnesota
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2007

Last winter, my wife and I wanted to get away from the now over-developed area south of Cancun and chose Xcalak and Playa Sonrisa after surfing the net for a while.

Murph and Cindy were great hosts, and we've never had better food when in Mexico. Her soups are something special. We also had several good meals in Xcalak.

We also had the best snorkeling we've ever had. Just take a kayak out a few hundred yards and snorkel away. The beaches are long and basically deserted. I was a little concerned about the lack of 24/7 A/C (we sleep with the window open in the Minnesota winter). However, we just shut the windows and ran the A/C until the generators were shut off. About 2:00 AM, I would need to go on potty patrol, and I would open the windows to a nice breeze. We slept very well.

Getting up in the morning and taking a walk (usually without meeting anyone) or just laying on the beach in the beautiful morning light (see picture) provided some of our best memories. We've been going to the Mayan Riveria for over 10 years, and this was the best place we've been. People who enjoy all-inclusives may not like this place as much as we did, but then I hope those people stay at the all-inclusives because I don't enjoy those kind of people!!! Anyway,we're going back next month.


By the way, we aren't naturalists but got along just fine----the beach is such that you can do what you want and not be near anyone that isn't doing what you're doing.

  • Liked — The snorkeling, beach, food, and lack of crowds.
  • Disliked — If there was anything, the lack of all-night A/C, but not a big deal with the sea breezes.
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 427435
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Playa Sonrisa

Property: Playa Sonrisa
Address: Caribbean Costa Maya | 7 km (4 mi) North of Xcalak on the camino costero (beach road), Xcalak, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Costa Maya > Xcalak
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Xcalak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 6
Also Known As:
Playa Sonrisa Xcalak, Mexico - Costa Maya
Playa Sonrisa Hotel Xcalak

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