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“paradise!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Holbox Hotel Mawimbi

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Holbox Hotel Mawimbi
Ranked #1 of 19 Hotels in Holbox Island
Certificate of Excellence
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“paradise!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2012

I stayed for a week at the Mawimbi in an upstairs room with king bed and balcony-the octopus room, our first visit to Holbox. Our friend had the flamingo room downstairs with a queen bed and not view. Mawimbi and holbox were lovely. Clean, comfortable mattress (I've slept on many very hard ones in Mexico), spacious porch with hammock, clothes line, writing desk and chairs and 2 chairs to relax in. The tap water is safe enough for tooth brushing and taking pills, and they have purified water and cups available too. The breakfast included in the price of the room was delicious: fresh fruit,( mango, banana, papaya, orange, pineapple) with or without yogurt and a basket of toast with butter and homemade fruit jam, and juice and coffee or tea. For an extra 5 or 6.00 U.S. you could get an omelette or other egg dish. There are only 11 rooms at the Mawimbi and it feels cozy and intimate. The guys at the bar learn who you are and you can just run a tab during your stay and wander up to the bar/restaurant from your chair or hammock and order beverages whenever you please. The restaurant at the hotel had good food. We ate the fish tartare (like serviche, yummy), guacomole, and cheese quesadilas. All were tasty. The mango juice is amazing with or without liquor. The beach is mostly white sand with a fair amount of shells. The water was warm and swimmable. The only down side was a foot wide wall of seaweed that had washed up against the shore and you had to walk through. The Hotel next door offers yoga, massage and wind-kite classes if you want to be more active and also has a beach front bar/restaurant for variety. Do NOT MISS a short walk down the beach, away from town, the "Slow Food" restaurant. It looks like a dive, but has great margeritas and amazing grilled fish caught fresh that day and served with a variety of preperations. We also like Pollo Mago, a inexpenisve restaurant in town mostly frequented by locals. Check out their mole sauce. From the Mawimbi you can walk to town in 10 minutes and buy groceries, liquor, crafts and food. It feels less like a tourist trap and more like a real town. The island has both an elementary and middle school and the middle school is right across from the hotel. In the morning we would watch the kids in their uniforms heading in and one day I got to hear the school orchestra practice. There were a few downpours as this is the rainy season, but nothing that ruined our stay. Sometimes just overnight or for a few hours it would rain. Mostly hot with afternoon breezes and lovely to lie out and read in. My favorite were the mattresses and pillows on the beach suspended by ropes so you could nap and sway in the breeze. Also boat trip to swim with whale sharks was great as was trip to see flamingos. Island tour was o.k. but two stops were boring, bird island and the overdeveloped mangrove swimming hole. I'd skip that one. All in all, the transfers arranged by Mawimbi went great. The man was there at cancun airport with our names on a placard. The van was large and had A/C. We stopped en route for snacks and drinks. The 2 hour drive to the ferry takes you through many small villages. At the ferry, your van driver takes you to the boat and they load your luggage. Its a 20 minute ride and you can stay downstairs inside on the boat or go to the top deck for the view. At the dock, a taxi/golf cart, the main form of transport in Holbox, will meet you with your name on a sign. The only tricky bit was 3 big ladies and 3 big suitcases were a tight squeeze. Also, driving through puddles to the hotel was a little messy, but its just 5 minutes. I can not WAIT to return. This place has the perfect combo of not too built up and touristy, but still comfortable with nice ammenities.

Room Tip: I don't think there are bad rooms. The least expensive one is downstairs with a double bed and...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank MJudithB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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615 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    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 (106)
Date | Rating
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English first
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2012

Holbox island is not for everyone. But if you enjoy the adventure of getting there as much as arriving it is fabulous. I have stayed at Mawimbi many times. I love that is owner operated. Onni and Carmello have been on the island for a very long time and have built a lovely get away. Loyal employees, wonderful food and a location to die for. The best hammocks and swinging beds on the island. It is small and intimate, very accommodating. Better for adults than kids. All the rooms have great fans and air-conditioning .

Room Tip: manatee--two beds, upstairs, kitchen downstairs and a sweet view and deck.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Susannabananna55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Verona, Italy
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 May 2012

My 3rd visit to Holbox Island and Mawimbi is my favorite hotel. We stayed 2 weeks The owners moved to the Island many years ago from Italy. The love of nature and respect for the environment of special place is reflected in how they combine modern comfort and aminities in a simple way.
My sister took the large apartment "manety" with kitchen. The bedroom on the second floor enjoys a wonderful view of the beach and the kitchen allows one to prepare snacks, drinks and simple meals.
I took my favorite room "caracoles" it is one of 2 beach front rooms two steps to your hammock or swinging bed. The bed has a mosquito net. This year there was a few days of rain during the visit and a few more bugs than last year.
This year was unusual for the season with east winds and some seaweed on the beach but for swimming once you get into the sea the water was clear and excellent swimming. We went out one day to fish. Fantastic. we fly fished for Jackfish. after catching our dinner it was catch and release with lots of bites. We saw flying fish, silver rays and dolphins. One day we went into the mangroves on kayaks, wonderful guide and fantastic birds, egrets, flamingos, and many other exotic species. we even saw a baby alligator. My sister took a trip to see and swim with the whale sharks. It was great.
Some tips: bring sunscreen, a hat, and bug juice. A water proof zip bag for your camera if you go out on one of the many boat trips or kayaking. a pocket flashlight if the moon is not full for walking on the beach at night. The food at Mawimbi is very good home cooking good service and excellent fish. The seafood tartar and pasta is great. also check some of the simple local restaurants a short walk away in town.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Daniel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Underwood, Washington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2012

We stayed for two nights and it was very pleasant. Right on the beach, very clean, charming rooms, most of them you can see at least a little of the ocean from. We found the hotel staff very helpful, especially in the restaurant. Its very nice to be able to walk out from your room, have breakfast in the shade outside, lounge on the beach, they provide beach chairs, hammocks etc. I believe all the rooms now have air conditioning, its a short walk from the ferry (although hot - nice to get a "taxi" when you get there). We liked the small hotel atmosphere, food was quite good in the restaurant. There are a lot of nice restaurants in the village, which we felt very comfortable exploring.
Next time with more time, we would rent bikes and explore the island. It was low season, so we had some cloudy days and windy (which kicks up seaweed on the beach) but the prices are better and it was still paradise!

Room Tip: Upstairs rooms have better view, I think they might be better than the Cabana's which have more...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Telopealabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
36 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2012

My husband and I went to Holbox for a wedding and stayed at the Hotel Mawimbi for 3 nights. It was a great little place to stay, full of charm. This place has less than 10 rooms, the nicest beach on the island with lots of lawn chairs, hammocks, and palm trees, a restaurant and bar on the beach where the bartender (ours was Francisco) remembers your name and what room you're in. The rooms are what you would expect in Mexico, tile floors, fairly sparse but comfortable. Our room (the Crab room) was decorated in simple Mexican decor with pretty tile and had a nice balcony that overlooked the beach. The A/C and hot water were good and you could also open the windows to get the ocean breeze. Considering there were 4 rooms right next to us, the place was fairly quiet and you can drown out the noise with the A/C if you need to. There was free bottled water in the room and access to extra beach and bath towels in an armoire at the top of the stairs in the hallway if you needed them. We were travelling with another couple and when I booked the reservation we were told that both rooms had a partial ocean view but when we got there, the only view that my friend had from her balcony was of a thatched roof. Make sure you clarify what your view looks like before you go. Most of the rooms have a partial ocean view and a couple of suites have a full view but confirm just in case. The food in the restaurant was good-especially the seafood, and the hotel is right by downtown so it's easy to walk to other restaurants. The hotel has free wifi too. The front desk was very helpful when booking travel to and from the island and making plans. The hotel is dog friendly and a few dogs lounge on the property but keep to themselve so if you hate dogs this may not be the place for you. Overall I would recommend Mawimbi. It was a great place to truly get away from it all. A few other thoughts on travelling to Holbox. If you're looking for a place to really get away this is a great place to go. It's a 2.5 hour car ride from the Cancun airport and then a 30 minute ferry so it takes awhile to get there. Once you're there, everything is cash, the roads are all sand and everyone drives golf carts. It's super relaxing and there are no crazy vendors walking up and down the beach trying to sell you things. That being said, there are much prettier beaches in Mexico so you might want to consider Playa Del Carmen or another destination if you're looking for the crystal clear blue waters. There was a ton of seaweed on the beach that you had to wade through to get to the clear water out past it.

Room Tip: Confirm what kind of view you're getting when they say partial ocean view. One or two of the ro...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TwoTexasTravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2012

It's difficult to say what left us feeling a little bit unimpressed with our stay at Mawimbi but I'll try. The front of house staff at the hotel were faultless, keen to help and friendly whilst the rest of the staff were just a little bit uncommunicative at best and occasionally bordering on surly. The hotel undoubtedly has the best kept beach front on the island with loungers, hammocks and swinging beds all adding up to what should be the perfect desert island get away but... but... The beach is far from pristine, the waters of the Caribbean mix here with the murkier seaweed choked waters of the gulf of Mexico and in the afternoons as the tide comes in and the onshore wind picks up the water at the shore edge is positively unpleasant. That's quite aside from the island wide sulphurous smell. I thought perhaps that this was due to the mass of drying seaweed that fringes the entire shoreline but in fact I discovered when I disturbed the sand near the shore that the sand itself smells sulphurous and actually discoloured my silver jewellery as happens in sulphur springs. The water just really wasn't all that nice to swim in because of this. But of course none of this is Mawimbi's fault but it remains a mystery as to why the hotel don't clean the unsightly seaweed from the shoreline in front of their property. It sort of feels to me that the hotel is freewheeling a little thanks to its first place position on trip advisor.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Governbridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mawimbi, Gerente at Holbox Hotel Mawimbi, responded to this review, 22 May 2012
Thank you for your review and your comments, we appreciate your time doing it.

I would like to explain to you our reaction with the seaweed.

Some years ago, each hotel in Holbox had a big beach in front of it, however, the beach is continiusly erosionated in Holbox, due to natural phenomenons as hurricanes, it means that the island is losing "sand" each year.

We need dunes to gain "sand" to the beach; and the natural way to do it is keeping the seaweed at the beach, in order to avoid the concrete breakwaters.

Actually, it is forbidden to take the seaweed out of the beach for everybody.

We really don't want Mawimbi at the edge of the beach.

Seaweed really plays an important role in the Caribbean ecosystem. We can take the seaweed out of the beach but in the future is possible that we will regret of it. Sargassum can help bulk up eroding beaches.

It would have been a pleasure to speak about the seaweed with you during your stay with us.

Warmest regards,

Mawimbi
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2012

I spent a few days in Posada Mawimbi and it has been one of our most memorable trips. Ornella and Carmelo, the nice lady in the front desk, the staff at the bar which is on the beach made our stay a quite pleasant one. Full of good vibes, good service and really good food ( the ceviche is awesome) , makes this place a most go, a really great getaway.

You could also take your pet on request, which makes it even more special.
We're looking forward to going back there!!! Just loved it.
Thanks to Mawimbi's staff your such a nice time, we really felt at home.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LoreCabre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Holbox Hotel Mawimbi

Property: Holbox Hotel Mawimbi
Address: Calle Igualdad s/n, Holbox Island 77310, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Holbox Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Holbox Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mawimbi is a small charming tropical "hotelito" with only 10 rooms, built in the middle of a lush tropical garden located in the beautiful white beach of Holbox Island in Mexico Hotel facilities includes 2,500 square meters (8200 feet) of beach with wood sunbeds, hammocks and swing beds. This palm shaded beachfront oasis lies just beyond the outskirts of Holbox town, only two blocks distant. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hotel Holbox Island
Holbox Island Hotel Mawimbi

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