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.
- 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