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“Authentic atmosphere, poor service”

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Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
Reviewed 2 March 2014

We stayed at Bel Air the end of February and experienced overall poor service.

First of all, if you are looking for cheap transportation from the Cancun Airport to Bel Air, I recommend using the ADO bus that will drop you off at Playa Del Carmen (about $25 total for 2). The ADO shuttle is located right out of the airport past the people trying to get you to use their transportation. It is a red shuttle bus with a staff on the street that will give you your ticket. When you get dropped off in Playa, use the Collectivo Shuttle that runs 5am-12am. They pick up at the intersection of 15th ave north and 2nd North (about $3-$4 per person).

Upon arrival at Bel Air we were greeted with great service from Aldo. He is very knowledgeable. A majority of the staff seem to have incorrect information and this can be frustrating at times. Many staff gave off the feeling that vacationers paying to stay there were bothersome when asking for any service. Towels in our hotel room were not replaced and had to be asked for (this seemed to be common because staff were looking for a tip), toilet paper had to be asked for, and housekeeping would normally show up in the late afternoon hours. If you do not know Spanish, staying at Bel Air will be challenging.

The resort is very different because of the jungle atmosphere and animals everywhere. That was pretty cool and everything was very pretty. We liked that every room has a balcony and they are laid out more like small condo's. On a side note the complimentary free Wi-Fi only seems to work in the lobby. We could not get it to work in our room.

You will need to take a shuttle that the Bel Air provides to get to their beach. The shuttle runs every 20-30 minutes and is a first come first serve basis. Note that the shuttle stops running at 5pm. The beach is shared with Catalonia Resort. There, Bel Air does have a small bar and offer sandwiches. The service while at the beach was excellent. We did try to walk down the beach back to Bel Air instead of taking the shuttle and this will not work. There was a Catalonia staff there to greet us where their property ends who would not let us continue.

We chose to not spend much time at the pool on the resort because of the service and the atmosphere. One day there was a staff trying to get the handful of people there to play bingo and seemed more like a retirement home environment. The bartenders at the swim up bar were not very inviting. They did not seem to enjoy being there which can make you feel like you are bothering them to get a drink. Also, anytime you order a drink or food you have to give them your room number and sign. This seems like a poor system. There is a beach area by the pool but it doesn’t come close to comparing to the beach you are shuttled to.

The food was so-so. I know Bel Air advertises a restaurant with an Italian Mexican Fusion but what this really is is a buffet with mostly Italian and a little Mexican food. I did think the food they offered was good but was not what was advertised. The service we received from Sebastian was excellent. I never experienced their breakfast buffet so no help there. The snack bar they have by the pool is pretty disappointing. If you like hamburgers, wings, chicken fingers, and fast food quality you will like it. Bel Air advertises 7 restaurants but that too is misleading. There is one main restaurant, the pool snack bar, and a sushi restaurant. I never thought there was such a thing as bad sushi until we experienced this place. The rolls are all rice and the rice mostly resembles a paste. The only sushi that they offer is shrimp and tuna.

The night life at Bel Air is pretty disappointing. The only bar that is open after 5pm (excluding the restaurants) is the Lobby Bar. Basically if you are looking for some more excitement, Bel Air may not be for you. There too the bartender seemed bothered anytime you order a drink. We are 100% positive their bottles of liquor are watered down. I am not one who has a big tolerance but was somehow able to drink double drinks all day with next to no effect until I had a couple beers.

I saw in other reviews that the check out process was poor but I thought it was very smooth and fast. We needed to leave at 4:30am. Bel Air had a taxi ready and staff there 20 minutes prior to pick up luggage.

In my opinion this resort may be better for families and a 50+ crowd.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Amanda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jorge R, Gerente at Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 12 March 2014

Dear Ms. Amanda,

Thank you for your detailed review. We sincerely apologize for the service issues you experienced during your stay in our Hotel. I have reviewed your comments with the heads of each department involved to ensure this doesn’t happen again. We continually strive to provide a quality service. Read your comments let us clearly understand that we don’t meet your expectations and we offer you a sincere apology for that.

I hope you give us the opportunity to serve you again in the future.

Sincerely,

Jorge A. Rodriguez
General manager

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377 - 383 of 2,872 reviews

Reviewed 27 February 2014

We stayed at this resort for 7 days in February 2014. It is a small relaxing resort. We found the staff very friendly, the rooms (look like huts) were clean and the beds very comfortable. The cleaning personal spectacular. The balcony was large and had a wonderful hammock. My favorite place! The pool area was very clean and inviting, never had to worry if there were available loungers. The weather was wonderful and the sounds of nature all around you was very intoxicating. The zoo animals were amazing to see everyday. We walked a lot and enjoyed all aspects of the resort. At night you can go and enjoy a drink in the lobby bar. There are no shows, no dancing, no late night parties. This was quite fine with us. We took a bus into Playa and Tulum, always felt very safe. Unfortunately we have a couple of complaints the biggest one being the food. Breakfast was alright as we would have toast, omelet, some fruit.......lunch and supper were either order off the menu or a buffet was sometimes offered. It didn't take long to get tired of the menu food and there weren't many options available in the buffet and the foods were not very appetizing. Also having to take a shuttle to get to the beach was bothersome as they only ran once every hour. On the flip side, once you were on the beach it was well worth the wait. Last is the mystery ATM. We were told it was broken, however I don't think they even have one. When our week was up we were NOT ready to leave the beautiful weather, gorgeous beach and relaxing atmosphere. Would we go again.....yes, however I would probably bring a jar of peanut butter along!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank Kris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jorge R, Gerente at Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 12 March 2014

Dear Mr. Kris,

Thank you for writing a review and for choosing Bel Air Xpu-Ha for your vacation. We are pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay.
As you said, we offer a variety of activities and I am pleased to hear that I enjoy them.

Thank you again for your feedback and for your preference.

Sincerely,

Jorge A. Rodriguez
General manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2014

I stayed at this hotel for 9 days and apart from the food and a few issues with room service I would say that it was an okay hotel. Food was terrible it was the worst ever. Even the Japanese restaurant did not have much to shout about. There was hardly any vegetarian options apart from salad and on most occasions it was mixed with ham or some left over meat from the lunch time menu. Sometimes it was the same old food again and again. On several occasions I requested a safety deposit box and was told by Aldo that I would get one but I did not. On the website it states that there is a money exchange facilities at the hotel but when I asked they informed me that they didn't offer that at all but they did have a cash point however that was out of order and it stayed that way until I left.
The hotel had a free shuttle that took guests to and from the local beach for free but I didn't find this out until the end of my holiday. Maybe they should have put that info on their welcome /information sheet. The zoo at first is amazing especially when u see the vast amount of animals they have but when you go round again you feel sorry for them being cooped up in their small boxes. Room service / cleaners often didn't come until late afternoon by which time I felt as though I had to stay awake to let them in otherwise when I didn't answer the door no one would come. Repeatedly had to ask for my mini bar to be stocked even the basics like tea coffee and water was hard to get. Its not to say I didn't have a good time, I did, the staff were very friendly and I made some great friends but I just wouldn't recommend it to anyone as a 4* star hotel it needs a lot more to attain that standard.

Room Tip: You can't get a good room I complained about a massive hole in my front door they said all rooms...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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Thank A_crazy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2014

We had an excellent stay at the Bel Air. The staff were friendly and the room was large and comfortable. If we had paid a lot for the accommodations we would have had some complaints (wifi not working in room, animals in ceiling, chewy meat, beeping smoke alarm in restaurant, cold coffee, inconsistent room cleanings, etc.), but overall there was little to complain about...The weather was amazing, the large balcony was lovely, the pools were nice and the beach (via shuttle) was breathtaking! The Bel Air isn't the Four Season's but it's a charming little gem that we will certainly return to. Hey, it's The Bel Air!

  • Stayed: February 2014
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2  Thank Lailalai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2014

First of all I have to say I am a firm beleiver that wherever you go, there you are. That said, my friends and I have a good time wherever we go because thats just who WE are. This resort does not provide you with shows, entertainers and discos as other resorts do. If thats your thing, you wont find it here. It is a quiet place, full of Beautiful animals, vegetation and a cenote that makes you appreciate the nature of it rather than a party scene. But we still partied and had fun, made friends and were treated excellent.
We stayed for 1 week, all inclusive and arrived around 10:30pm. We were immediatley assigned our room and told to hurry for dinner as the buffet was still open, but not for long. We dropped our bags at our rooms and were driven down to the restaurant. Buffet was good, great choices and we were impressed. Wine was also very good. After that we found our way to the lobby to close the night with drinks where we found Thomas, the usual lobby bartender we shared many conversations and good laughs with every night Then we headed into the gorgeous rooms for our first night. We awoke to sounds of animals roaring, birds and lizards chirping. Exciting! So many animals to see as we made our way down to breakfast it took us an hour to get there due to exploring.
Breakfasts were always terrific with many fruits, hot griddle made-to-order and other good sides and pastries.
Lunches around the pool were wings, cheeseburgers, nachoes, pizza etc. ALL very good.
Carlos was always hopping to make sure we had fresh drinks and whatever else we needed he attended to.
Dinners were sometimes buffet, sometimes menu and the Menu had a LOT to choose from. We allowed our favorite host to order for us and wow did we feast! Several courses later....stuffed. Thank you Genero and we miss your humor and fun as well our favorite waiter Marcelino. We never waited for anything with these guys watching over us and we only enjoyed our dinners when they were serving us. Sebastin also did a good job. Thanks guys!!!
Sushi restaurant was a dud for us, waited way too long and didnt like what we got, so we stayed with what we knew and had a great dinner every night.
Went to the beach via the van, a ten minute ride tops. There was a beautiful beach and an area just for guests of Belair. We had our cold beers and ceviche and sandwiches served either right to us or we went to the little hut. Either way, we were well taken care of and the beach here is gorgeous for swimming and a little action too for shopping, restaurants and music
In the mornings between 6-8am the lobby has some coffee and pastries/fruit out for you and I enjoyed going myself, pouring a coffee and walking the grounds and looking at all the animals. This was great alone time and there is so much here to discover in the lobby and all the grounds. At 3pm everyday, there is a show for free if you are a guest and it was adorable and fun to see. So glad we went. Very informative and interactive, the trainers did a great job.
Now to get around this resort as it is VERY spread out, there are at least 5 or 6 different carts zipping all around and you just have to wave at one or wait for one to come to take you all about. If you are lucky, you will ride with Ricardo and he is the funniest driver and speaks great English. But he is NOT crocodile food. (inside joke) All of the rooms are gorgeous just as advertised in the pics. All seem the same. Always cleaned and restocked daily. Nice to sit on your porch and chill for a bit and comfy beds. Room has a free safe to use also. TV, but who cares about that?
The lobby staff is very helpful, we took many trips off the resort, there is SOOO much to do in this area. We went to the Puerto Aventuras, XCARET and Playa Del Carmen. Had a great time every where we went and we just took taxis to and from. Felt very secure everywhere we went. This is one of the best vacations we have had and weve been going to Carribean for 20 yrs. Why? The resort is beautiful, we love animals, the workers were awesome, food was good, discovered new awesome drinks (try a mango tango) and the entire Mayan Riviera is beautiful itself so much to do. Recommend - yes. But I know people are all different and may not see what we saw as a gem in the jungle. But thats ok, grumpy high expectationstype people can stay away because we plan to return!

Room Tip: All of the rooms are the same. Top ones can be a little louder as I compared with other guests.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank ONYoyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2014

I just want people to know that as far as a 5 star resort goes this one is very substandard.
The food quality and service is the worst we have experienced in 10 years of travel.
The selection in the restaurant is repetitive and service very substandard we had a 2 1/2 hour wait to be served one night and another night our friend just walked out and went hungry it's unacceptable . Sunwing and signature vacations need to be more honest with travellers as a 3 and a half star for this property is a stretch . This was a large high end property that was damaged in a hurricane and the area that you stay in in what they were able to salvage from that event. The beach area is eroded and no sand so they bus you to another resorts beach and that was ok but a bit of a pain . We are not fussy at all and as long as a resort has a nice beach clean rooms and good food I am a happy camper, aside from the rooms being acceptable the rest is just not even at a reasonable standard. Please take this review as it is but you will find this is exactly what you will get at this property for the money.

Hope you all have a great vacation wherever you go happy holidays folks

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank addicted2mexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2014

The villas were excellent, very helpful staff and the scenery was fantastic. The food was exquisite, i would definitely recommend the sushi bar. I would return to this resort without question. I never made it to the beach but if it was anything like the rest of the place i can imagine it was excellent.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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2  Thank zerodeval
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

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 Spa Hotel in Xpu-Ha
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Xpu-Ha
Price Range: £54 - £143 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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