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“Tropical paradise needs management overhaul!”

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Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
Detroit, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Tropical paradise needs management overhaul!”
Reviewed 7 January 2014

Our family decided to take our first vacation together and chose to spend the New Year in Mexico. There were 11 persons in our group with ages ranging from 5 to 70 years old. This resort seemed to offer alittle something for everyone. A zoo, gourmet dining, and luxurious rooms. We booked our stay in March and traveled from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and California. We reviewed tripadvisor and found mixed reports but most dated back to early 2013. The price was a good value for us. We booked 5 rooms and all arrived from various states to find:
Pros
A tropical paradise location as described
An on site zoo with many animals and beautiful plants and flowers
A private beach access point (only a short ride to a real sand covered beach)
Wonderful all you can eat daily buffet
Friendly staffpersons
Beautifully designed accommodations
Close access to attractions
Cons
Wrong or missing bedding for our entire stay (queen duvet on a king bed and no top sheet)
No telephones in some of our rooms for the entire 7 day stay
No wash cloths for the first 4 days of our stay
Some guests were required to pay food costs for double occupancy of $120.00 per day while being told it would cost $80 per day
Room charges for services where we paid the staff in cash
Televisions with no remote controls for our entire stay
No hot water for the luxurious oversized jacuzzis
Rooms where the flooring requires deep professional scrubbing
Our room was missing a lock upon arrival and required an hour of our stay for maintenance to locate one on another room.
No shuttle service (cab cost from airport is $120.00 usd each way)
A broken ATM that was never serviced during our 7 day stay ($42.00 usd to nearest city with a bank or ATM)
No generator (we experienced a power outrage on New Years Eve and were locked out of our rooms in a jungle without lights with no telephone to call for help)
No wifi in our room, restaurant, nor anywhere else but the lobby
A Management staff who was unable or unwilling to address any of the above problems either with a complimentary or compensatory adjustment
Animals that appeared underfed and neglected
Odors of mildew in our room and sewage
No access to call anyone for room service, or any service or even room to room for help (no telephone)
Finally, it is important to note that since the travel club who this resort participates with acts merely as a referral source, we had no options to move to another location. We paid our money in advance and possibly would have to seek other accommodations in Cancun at 2 to 3 x the cost due to the holiday. The area has absolutely no services in the immediate area because developers have taken over every single bit of land for all inclusive resorts. The closest towns of Playa Del Carmen or Talum are a hefty cab fare of $40 usd to access banks, stores, etc. I've vacationed to Cancun and Puerto Vallarta but never experienced such disregard for customer satisfaction by Management. We knew we were going to experience conditions that are typical to jungle like conditions like mosquitoes but when the hotel describes accommodations as gourmet and luxurious, it should include the basics. Belair needs to crank up it's quality control and give people what is represented on the website. While to weekly rate was too good to be true, Belair made it up in food rates, double tipping, (I forgot to mention that the propina (tip) on your food receipt says not included when it really is part of the all inclusive rate according to the Manager), and duplicate charges. Once there, they've got your money and your stuck without enough money or time to adjust and find other accomodatations. Overall this trip comes in around the same price as any other all inclusive trip to Cancun. The food was delicious but not exactly gourmet. We had lots of stews and fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu of steam table items felt more like a Mexican style Golden Corral. This place has such potential but the competition is strong in this region and substandard management places Belair Collection Xpu Ha in jeopardy of becoming the next Mayan Ruin!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank Momwheaton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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prince albert
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2014 via mobile

We arrived on saturday jan 04/2014 today is tuesday jan 07/2014 check out on jan11/2014.Am typing this review from our beautiful,huge balcony in the jungle,wifi has wored perfect for us in room and on balcony.Note,do not login to the belair page as says in on the paper you will receive from hotel desk on arrival!It will say wifi room belair/ xpuha.ignore this its wrong! Type belair in top space nothing else then xpuha in second space as password u will have no problem,or shouldnt if you are room715:) this is where we are and have had great wifi service even in a rain downpour! Our room has been kept spotlessly clean by maids,fresh towels everyday,and sheets changed everyday which i havent seen at most resorts. Seems silly to me to put clean bedding everyday,certainly not needed or expected but they have been doing this for us,i know because i we hAve came back to our room everyday when maid was here and have seen with my own eyes.Have had a jacuzzi bath every nite,hot water everytime,no problem! we have walked to the restaurants,pool and beach average walk time7 mins from our room in building 7.Lobby and lobby bar are closer about a 4 minute walk.Have walked Round all the resort and do not understand why or how people are complaining thAt the walk to and from their buildings is a long walk. Last nite was raining when we wanted to go for supper,called 0 thats front desk asked for cart to pick us up he radioed the bellboy while i waited on the phone said bellboy would be at our building in 15 minutes. We walked outside in 15 minutes and he was driving down the path to pick us up,so,no problems there . We opted to walk back from supper as the rain had quit. A cart was driving by heading in same direction as us and politely asked if we wanted a ride . We said no thank you we were walking off pur delicious supper! When we first arrived on saturday lunch and suuper were buffet fish,pork on,beef in sauces,rice, mexican dishes were the choices. We liked what we ate and were full. Yesterday and today bfast,lunch are al la carte, we had steak for lunch and chicken with mozza cheese,green peppers and onions stuffed inside with spaghetti and alfredo sauce,had fries with the steak. Also the mexican beef tips are so yummmmmy!bfast can be a bit slower to get your food lunch and supper much quicker. We do not drink alcohol no comment there sorry. Previous reviews claim hard to get wAter im a huge water drinker plus brush teeth with bottled water,and we bring our own coffee grinds and make coffee in our room in the am's. We asked mI for extra water bottles on first day and when we go for bfast,lunch and supper tKe any empty bottles with us And the bartender happily refills them for us from a big jug or purified wAter.even ask if we want ice,which the ice is made from purifeid water .they put the ice in a pitcher then the water from big jug then fill my bottles! So,really a little common sense,for past reviewers you wouldnt have had issues with getting water!come on!Im going through a minimum of 3 -4 litres a day and have not a issue yet! My hubby drinks pepsi at home from cans,he is pleased the miads have canned pepsi for him! We just tell them no beer,no7up,no orange pop just mucho pepsi and voila,he has 4-6 cans of pepsi,we do tip the miads 1-2$ a day,and the waiters a dollar at every meal,we do so because we have received excellent service and service with happy faces and positive attitudes:).Mini fridge works great, as well as air conditioning.Snack bar at pool,hamburgers are ok not the best and not the worst we have had,fries were cold when we received our orders but had they been hot they wouldve tasty great!beach at resort is as past reviews say but we knew this and was not a surprise to us. The beach the resort shuttles you to is the same beach catalonia royal tulum is on. We have stayed at the catalonia many times and recognized the private restaurant in the pictures of the beach when researching the bel air resort! I was so excited that the beAch bel air shuttles you to was same beAch as catalonia royal tulum because it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!sugar white sand,aqua clear warm water,and can wAlk for at least a mile to your left or right! Bel air has about 20-25 beach beds all with palypas and a little table to set your refresment on. Coke and ice water for us here lol,sorry no comment on the alcohol refreshments as we are non drinkers! Ok,heres a money savin tip for anyone interested in a massage. Hotel charges 120$ american for a 1 hour massage,pricey considering T home i pay60$ for a1 hour ,assage! Dont get me wrong,im aware im not back in canada,but really!?!?! Come on! I dont think or believe the massage therapists in mexico are any more trained than the ones back home in Canada!seems like a big money grab to us! Sooooo,if you want a massage and dont want to walk away feeling ripped off, take the resort shuttle to the beach,right behind the belair beach beds to your right is a spa set up,has aroof and lime green curtains surrounding it they close if it starts to rain or if wind picks up. We had a couples massage for 1 hour each and OMG they were awesome,relaxing massages and we paid 500 pesos or 45$american per person! is what they advertise for price. We have alot of pesos so we opted to pay in pesos. They did ask if we wanted lots of pressure we said yes as we enjoy deep massages!wow excellent massages we both received! We knew anout this massage hut from our previous trips to the catalonia royal and had gotten massages here then as well as spa at catalonia massages were over priced as well! Bel air does bring,fries,tortilla chips,salsa,liquid cheese etc to beach for snacks all will get cool because there is no warming trays. If you want a yummy hot meal and not afraid to spend a bit of cash do try the restaurant to the left they have amazing food and reasonably priced. Or walk further left from bel airs beach beds ,past the catalonia royal tulum,that will be the first resort you come to not far at all,keep walkin and you will arrive at el cielo hotel,small hotel with amazing rooms and food right on the beach! So far we are pleased with the service,room and food Nd the beach bel air shuttles you to . Here until saturday,and will be happy to go back home to saskatchewan canada,to our family and friends but def not to the COLD and snow,was -40to -50 temps back home while we have been here and thats what we left behind,has been like that back home since beginning of december!being here has been a fantastic breK from those temps and not looking forward to going back to them!hopefully it will warm up a bit at home for when we get back! I do recommend this resort,as we has not had a negative experience here yet,on our 4th day! Time to go enjoy the rest of my vacay:) had to type this review as past reviews annoyed and surprised me! Enjoy if you do choose this resort,we certainly are:)

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
12 Thank beach a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2014

I just returned from 10 days in the Yucatan and stayed at Bel Air for 5 days and I would not recommend it for the following reasons:

1. IT ISN'T ACTUALLY AN ALL INCLUSIVE! We booked through Kayak.com and were told it was all inclusive for 250$/night. Upon arrival, we were told it was an additional 90$ per person per day. Even after trying to talk with the hotel reception and manager, they would not accommodate us.

2. IT IS ACTUALLY A ZOO! The rooms are very spread out and it requires a lot of walking or waiting for a golf cart to take you to your room. In addition, there are many odors of animals throughout the hotel, which I found unpleasant. The animals are beautiful but are in very small cages and look sad/underfed.

3. THERE IS NO WIFI IN THE ROOMS! They advertise that you can get WIFI in your room, but this isn't the case.

4. MINIMAL HOT WATER: I got ONE warm shower in the 5 days I stayed there and requested on numerous occasions that they attempt to fix this... it was never fixed.

5. It took 3 days to get the TV to work and 5 days to get a phone in the room (only got this because one of us got sick and I demanded it was for safety that we have a phone in case of an emergency).

6. THEY CHARGE 90$/NIGHT FOR EXTRA GUEST! They had the nerve, after all of this, to charge the 3rd person (we were given a room with one king bed) 90$/night extra.

7. RUDE AND UNACCOMMODATING! They work against their guests, not with.

8. NO BEACH ACCESS! You have to get in your car or take their beach shuttle 5 mins down the highway to get the the beach. (once you are there, it is however a nice beach).

SAVE YOUR MONEY AND DON'T WASTE YOUR VACATION HERE!!!

Room Tip: I didn't notice a difference in the rooms
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank dena b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2014

Before booking I did read the reviews, and they fell into two categories: A) good value for the price and B) awful. Our family group of 11 (5 rooms) had both experiences during our 7 day vacation spanning the 2013-2014 new year.

I have traveled in Mexico before and this place was half or a third the cost of other all inclusive resorts. As a result, you need to know you are not staying at the Marriott. This is not a hotel up to the standards of what you are used to if you only travel in the US or if you generally stay at starred locations. At Bel Air, set your expectations low as they figure out how to run a hotel.

Cons: painfully slow check-in process; missing amenities (see all other reviews); bait and switch all inclusive pricing; areas of property not well maintained; not many English speaking staff (I am fluent in Spanish); no documentation for charges incurred; weak drinks; one member in our party had no bed blanket and couldn't get one for 3 days; another had no light in the shower, etc.

Pros: awesome gourmet Mexican food; super friendly staff; quiet, relaxed atmosphere; animal park that our kids loved; on-property cenote/lagoon; giant hot tub in every room; the beach club was actually old-school Mexico, like it used to be before the hurricane, and I liked that; great room service/clean rooms; The new year's eve party was so much fun and we danced to a great live band for 3 hours. Plenty to do, especially if you snorkel.

Recommendations: If you stay here, negotiate the lowest price possible and lower your ambitions for what it will be like. Realize you are staying in the jungle so you will see some spiders, coatis, and tons of mosquitoes. Do not stay at peak time--they don't have the staff to properly handle a full resort. Even though it's an all inclusive, start handing out some propinas (tips) and watch how your drinks get stronger and your service improves considerably.

I spoke with a manager at this hotel who had recently arrived from years of restaurant management in the US--he had only been on the job a month or so, just like the new general manager they've recently brought on. He said it all: They have a long way to go to bring it up to the standards of other hotels in the area, but that Bel Air has good people, and that is a good start.

Room Tip: Be prepared to walk a lot no matter where you are. All rooms are fine--upstairs has the thatch roof...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Angela A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 January 2014

Very dissapointing experience for our dream family vacation! First of all the service at the only restaurant that there is...Slow, very slow and not very friendly. The smells of the animals are present everywhere you go. And the worst part: there is no beach! just a small strech of rocks and reef!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Claudia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aurora, Colorado
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2014

This was made as a trade through Interval International and was the worst deal ever. They made us pay for the all inclusive and the food was the worst I have ever had in Mexico and I have been traveling there for over 10 years. Food from a road side stand would have been better. Can you imagine they have NO fresh juice? - it was all from a bottle. The service was extremely poor quality like the people had been hired yesterday and never trained in how to serve. The web page showed all kinds of amenities that were not available. No beach on the property, you had to take a shuttle that was unreliable going there or getting back. The beach they took you to had very limited snacks and no restrooms nearby - just a public shared that was very bad, almost port-a-potty condition.
They advertised several restaurants but there was only one, and no buffet while we were there the week before Christmas. No bar or grill in the lobby, the pool closed at 8pm but the snack bar, towel room and pool bar closed at 5pm. The only redeeming quality was the Sushi bar that was only open in the evening but who wants to eat Sushi 6 nights in a row? The hotel is not close to anything so unless you have a car or want to pay for taxis and a half hour drive to the nearest town - good luck. They did have some animals to enjoy but they looked like they wanted to escape this place too!
The people working there were extremely pleasant, they just did not know how to provide good service.
My recommendation - go somewhere else, this was definitely one of the worst places in Cancun. And talking to the locals later confirmed that both the hotels are the same in Cancun!
Personally I have traveled and eaten at various places and this was the first to ever make me so sick I had to go see a doctor and get an injection to stop the vomiting and internal infection.

Room Tip: The rooms on the upper floors are the best.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SB_Lenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Onancock, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2013

The name is luxurious and the internet photos enticing, especially for those eco minded folks that imagine a vacation in a large eco park filled with miles of walking trails, lagoons for kayaking, bike riding, yoga classes, and a beautiful white sand beach on the Riviera Maya. "Buyer Beware" is all I can say. What they do not tell you is that you are actually staying in a zoo. Yes a zoo complete with tigers, panthers, chimpanzees, alligators, deer, antelope, and exotic birds. No one can totally be upset about that except that the smell of the pens did linger too long the first few days no matter where you were. The rooms were nice and featured a Jacuzzi and patio porch with lounge chairs, a small table and chairs and a hammock. Very romantic till the farm smells intrude your reality.

And that small 50 yard stretch of white sand beach was truly a bust for anyone that wanted to enter the water. It is a total no swim zone full of rock and coral reef. We had to walk a couple hundred yards to the adjacent hotel beach and impose ourselves on their facilities and beautiful sandy beach.

The stay required a mandatory "all-inclusive" fee of $80/person/night which is very reasonable but again not in this case. That is the same cost for a room along with the food and drinks if you walked in off the street. It definitely deflated my economic sensibilities after exchanging a week of my time share for the stay, especially in light of the food. The menu was limited and the same each day but could satisfy everyone's palate. The problem was that if you liked a particular dish and ordered it a second time, it was totally different that the first time you ordered it. Different ingredients and different preparation and presentation made for a disappointing dining experience. The real highlight of our vacation dining stay was breakfast which was served from 6:00am to 8:00am. Needless to say, I never saw it and being on vacation, one would expect to sleep a little longer don't you think?!?!

The eco park was actually part of the mangroves and jungle native to the Yucatan and came complete with mosquitoes and heavy humidity. (Our clothes, even those still in the suitcase, didn't dry our till we moved to another hotel. The long walk to the restaurant facilities was enjoyable except for the copious amount of spaulding, deteriorating concrete sidewalk that make walking in heels or thin soled shoes dangerous and painful. Golf cart transportation service was somewhat lacking and make sure you bring your own towels to dry your seat. Otherwise, the service was friendly and decent and the kayaking and snorkeling were included in the all-inclusive fees.

The internet description did not tell any lies... it's what they don't tell you that made this a very bad choice. Never again!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Norman G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya

Property: Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya
Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km. 265, Xpu-Ha 77710, Mexico (Formerly Xpu-Ha Palace)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Xpu-Ha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Xpu-Ha
#4 Spa Hotel in Xpu-Ha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya 3.5*
Number of rooms: 144
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bel Air Xpu-Ha is the newly open Resort of Bel Air Collection at Riviera Maya. Feel with your family the natural environment, the perfect place to rest and delight yourself. A unique place for a romance experience. Enjoy our facilities surrounded by natural beauty in an eco-paradise. A gourmet experience in each of our restaurants, from Mexican-Italian fusion cuisine to sushi & martini delightful Japanese style, all in a la carte menu selection. Premium brand drinks and appetizing snacks in our Bars at Lobby and pool area. A unique layout of a cozy and peaceful guestrooms in liberate getaway with all the luxury and comfort of a five stars resort, refurbished indoors with jacuzzi and branding amenities; a relaxed exterior and a spacious terrace with hammock. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya Hotel Xpuha
Xpu Ha Palace Xpuha
Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya Mexico - Xpu-Ha

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