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“A Curate's Egg - good in parts”
Review of Hotel Xixim

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Hotel Xixim
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Celestun
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 January 2014

This was a first-time visit to Mexico with my wife and four-year old son, we stayed for a week over the Christmas period. Opening night on Christmas Eve involved unexpected entertainment from a local dance troupe and joining in whacking the heck out of a pinata, which we enjoyed. The meal afterwards of rabbit looked great, but it was hard going finding the meat on it. I think there's a reason rabbit is rarely seen on menus these days. Generally though, the meals were well presented, good quality mexican food.

The complex is well designed, the rooms spacious with a high level of finish. The water feature/pool at the back on the chalet was a nice touch, but the water did need refilling each day as it disappeared overnight (it is mostly only a couple of inches deep.) The staff were attentive and friendly.

The two pools did the job, although there was little difference between the family pool area and the adult one. The loungers were ok unless you wanted to sunbathe, they weren't big enough to lie flat on. The weather had become very mixed for the duration of our stay so we had to grab what sun there was when it appeared.

There were predominantly Mexican families staying when we were there, although I felt the hotel was missing a trick by having virtually nothing for young kids to do. The games room had offered table tennis, fussball, a snooker table and tv, but nothing aimed at little kids. And the snooker table would frustrate serious players, the balls roll to one corner as the table isn't level. We didn't visit the yoga classes in the mornings but I did use the gym. It had just enough equipment to be workable, but due to the policy of no air conditioning it became an extremely sweaty experience, like working out in a greenhouse.

The beach I found frustrating. It is advertised on the website as being a few yards from the chalets and having 3 miles of white beaches with tranquil waters. That simply is not the case. In retrospect I should have guessed this by the absence of beach photos on the site. It is about 20 meters from the chalets, making the view from there predominantly scrub. The beach itself is largely covered in seaweed and flotsam and jetsam of the sea. Which is great if you are a beachcomber, less so if you came for white beaches. There were many pelicans about, that was special, and we were told a one kilometer walk would bring us to flamingo territory. We kept trying to convince our little boy to make the walk with us, but the first attempt was aborted due to impending rain, the second ended due to running out of actual beach not covered in seaweed. Maybe it was the time of year/high tides.

The battle with mosquitoes was ongoing. There were a couple of complimentary patches for it in the room, and the land was sprayed occasionally by the staff. We also doused ourselves in bug spray throughout our time there. But still ended up with bites. I think you just have to accept you'll get bitten, it's the nature of the location.

It's a two hour journey from the airport, but the last half an hour is the toughest part, a dirt road loaded with potholes. It was such a bumpy section I'd think twice about the whole stay if you were prone to car sickness. And there really is nothing else around the resort in terms of places to eat, it is very isolated. Cancun it ain't. Visit Merida (worth about three hours of your time) if you are keen to get out. Or the ruins of Mayan Uxmal if you like some history, well worth it.

Overall, a lovely place but with some fundamental flaws. Maybe better for a few days rather than a week.

Room Tip: Bring bug spray. And a good book.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank deadwing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XIXIM, Owner at Hotel Xixim, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2014

Dear Deadwing,

I am very thankful that you took your time to write your extensive review.

First of all, as I didn’t know the expression Curate’s Egg, I looked it up in the web. Wikipedia gives the following definition: “Some authorities define it as something that is an indeterminate mix of good and bad and others say it implies a preponderance of bad qualities.”
I sincerely hope you meant the first definition.

As in any enterprise there are things that we can and are willing to change and others that we can’t.

What we can improve:
You are totally right in your opinion of the snooker table. We had a professional one that got the moth and we had to change it. This new one was not a fortunate choice. We are sorry.
We are also thinking to hire a qualified person to do special activities for children during the seasons when we have mostly families, such as the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. We thought of yoga for kids, theater, nature quests, etc. Any suggestions are welcome.
Last but not least, our 10 km dirt road. Yes, this rainy season has hit Xixim badly. It has rained almost continuously for 4 months, washing away the compactable dirt layer and leaving an uncountable number of holes. We could not amend this before the season, precisely because it didn’t stop raining. We hope we can get some job done now in January or at the latest in February.

What we are unable to alter:
Unfortunately mosquitoes are uncontrollable, inspite of our frecuent fumigations and all other measures, because our resort lies between two waters where mosquitoes thrive. As you say, it’s the nature of the location.
Due to the continued bad weather, seaweed and other organic waste is brought by the waves and high tides to our shores. In the 20 years Xixim exists, this is the first time this occures in December on our shores. As somebody said: “welcome to the climate change”. Nevertheless I can assure you, we have white sand beaches full of shells, conchs and other rarities from the sea. I am sorry this was not the case on your stay.

One last comment: our gym has air conditioning – perhaps you were not told, uupss, again sorry.

I very much appreciate, in spite of the above, that you find our place a lovely one.

We would obviously love you to come back in a season with less lousy weather to verify the above said.

Wishing you a wonderful 2014,
Kind regards
Verena Gerber

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84 - 90 of 373 reviews

Reviewed 8 January 2014

It was my first stay in the eco resort, which I enjoyed a lot.
Our bungalow was nicely done, spacious and clean with a partial ocean view. The food was very good, especially the NY dinner. The hotel is located in the nature reserve so you are surrounded by the virgin nature. The beach is a big plus. The owner and the staff are very friendly and hospitable. You can have a complimentary transfer to and from the Celestun village, where you can have an unforgettable boat trip down the Celestun river and see hundreds of pink flamingo.
We were concerned about spending a NY eve in this remote place, but the nice and warm program was organized by the owner and the staff, making it a very special experience:the highlight for me was the life music by the local singer.

To be aware of: the road to the hotel from the village (10km) is unpaved and with constant rains it is of not the best quality, so have a bigger car to drive. There are plenty of mosquitos in the area, especially after the rain, so have a repellent with you.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Yelena S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XIXIM, Owner at Hotel Xixim, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2014

Dear Yelena S

We are honored and proud that this experience in Xixim, Unique Mayan Hotel was your first stay in an ecoresort. Most of all, that you enjoyed it a lot.

I also thank you very much for your kind comments about myself, the owner. I am not always in Xixim, as other commitments need to have my attention, but when I am I love to pamper and attend my guests, hoping that they feel like I do: at home.

I am also very pleased you liked our New Years event. We prepare it with lots of love and joy for all of you, our guests. I fully agree that the highlight is being in the beach at midnight with a bonfire and lovely soft Mexican music song by Celestun’s singer Paloma (meaning Dove).

I hope you had a safe trip home and that this is not your last visit to our beautiful country Mexico.

Happy 2014!!!
Kind regards,
Verena Gerber

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Reviewed 18 December 2013

We spent one night at the hotel in mid-December. The place is really well kept, well designed and the staff is really helpful and super friendly. It's location is both awesome and poor. They also have games (table tennis, foosball, billiards) and the food is quite good. It is located in the area rife with local wild life and is right on the ocean. Since it is located in the preserve, there are lots of mosquitos, many more than if you'd stay outside. Unfortunately we didn't have any pants or long sleeved shorts so we couldn't get fully covered and were literally attacked by mosquitos. The repellent offered at the hotel doesn't work. If you decide to stay here, bring appropriate cloth and the repellent brand "Off". If I'd do it all over again, i'd take a quick round trip from Merida and back to see flamingoes and then go back, skipping overnight stay. If your plans are different, come well prepared.

Room Tip: if you're staying on the beach, the choice should be the ocean view.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank leonidl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XIXIM, Owner at Hotel Xixim, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2013

Dear Leonidl

Yes, this rainy season has hit Xixim badly. It has rained continuously for 3 months, flooding the valley of the dunes. Indeed, right now in December, we still have some areas that are flooded. We are lucky it is not stagnant water, it is what we call life water and it is still there, as the seawater label is unusually high for this time of the year.
Unfortunately mosquitoes are uncontrollable, inspite of our frecuent fumigations and all other measures. As you say, the best thing is to protect oneself with a good repellent and long sleaves. It also helps to take a vitamin B complex – somehow mosquitoes don’t like the smell of it.

I fully understand your statement “I'd take a quick round trip from Merida to see flamingoes and then go back”, but I can assure you that the calmness and beauty and gifts that Mother Earth has to show you here in Xixim, Unique Mayan Hotel, are not present in the Paseo de Montejo.

Wishing you a happy Christmas and a wonderful 2014,
Verena Gerber

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Reviewed 15 December 2013

Xixim is nature and luxury combined in a way that allows visitors to enjoy both without negatively impacting the breathtaking environment around them. The natural surroundings are amazing and the bird varieties are endless. The service was great too. As stated in the other reviews, mosquito repellent is a must, but if that's the price of being surrounded by natural beauty, I'll gladly pay it! I highly recommend this place to people seeking a relaxing vacation that is not the typical tourist attraction.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tracy N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XIXIM, Owner at Hotel Xixim, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2013

Dear Nancy N,

We are obviously very happy and proud of the title you gave to your review “Definitely going back”. Thank you so much for this and your incredible marvelous review.

I also very much appreciate you to state, that pristine nature can’t live without mosquitos. You are totally right. There are lots of species here in Xixim, Unique Mayan Hotel, that thrive around mosquitoes such as birds, geckos, dragon flies and bats amongst others.
Nevertheless we try to control them, fumigating assiduously and urge our guests to use the vitamin B patch that we provide without cost and, if this is not enough, use our bio- fliendly mosquito repellent.

Please consider Xixim ‘tu casa’ – your home. We will be very pleased to pamper you again in this pristine nature committed place.

Wishing you a merry Christmas and a joyful New Year,

Verena Gerber

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Reviewed 30 October 2013

The Service and Grounds:

The food, service and amenities were great, and we enjoyed swimming and kayaking in the ocean very much. I had a blast riding a bike on the dirt road near the complex (I maintained enough speed to outrun the mosquitoes). It's a good place to get away from technology and converse, experience nature and reflect on life.

The staff were all extremely friendly and spoke english, the food fresh, and the rooms immaculate.

On Skeeters:

Unlike some, I grew up in an environment with mosquitoes, so I wasn't bothered very much by them during the stay. I had two tiny bumps come and go on my ankle for a 3 day stay. Others had dozens of welts appear.

One of our party members developed large welts on his back from them (he was assaulted during a bike ride to see the flamingoes), while other developed painful sores.

With better preparation (Calamine lotion, incense to burn (keeps mosquitos away) and light long sleeve clothing, I would return. But, then again, I am the adventurous type.

Room Tip: Read up on and be prepared for BUGS! Not just mosquitos. Do your homework. I found the population of...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Craig K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XIXIM, Owner at Hotel Xixim, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2013

Dear Craig K,

Thank you so much for your comment “It's a good place to get away from technology and converse, experience nature and reflect on life”. This describes Xixim impeccably. This is exactly what we offer!!

Yes, this rainy season has hit Xixim badly – mosquitoes are uncontrollable, inspite of our frecuent fumigations and all other measures. As you say, the best thing is to protect oneself with a good repellent and long sleaves. It also helps to take a vitamin B complex – somehow mosquitoes don’t like the smell of it.

On top of this, it still is rainy here in the Yucantan Peninsula – fish scales are growing on us. In the 20 years that Xixim exists I have never experienced so much rain and water. Nothing doing, climate change perhaps?

Please ponder returning to Xixim during the winter month from November to April May – mosquitoes are almost gone on this months. Also please consider Xixim ‘tu casa’ – your home. We will be very pleased to pamper you again in this pristine nature committed place.

Kind regards
Verena Gerber

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Reviewed 28 August 2013

My wife and me have to travel a lot because of our jobs and we truly appreciate places that offer us peace and cosiness. I would say, Xixim is medicine for our souls in our modern world. It is one of the few places in this world, where you can be in touch with the nature without giving up the comforts and benefits of our modern civilization. The fact that the hotel is in the middle of a nature reserve in Yucatan is a guarantee for silence and rest. I had never had the opportunity to see, how beaches look like in their natural being (very clean, soft sand...). The bungalows have an amazing view to the sea and we got every morning coffee in our own room. The staff is very kind and helpful and the kitchen is amazing! The tour guide is a local resident and he knows all about the animals, plants and situation from the region...
In few words: we will certainly go again!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lohengrin85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XIXIM, Owner at Hotel Xixim, responded to this reviewResponded 1 September 2013

Dear Lohengrin85,

I myself and all the staff that works at Xixim, Unique Mayan Hotel, thank you very much for your precise and truthful review. Comments like yours encourage us to give a better, personalized and warm service to our guests.

Thank you for labeling our resort as ‘Medicine for the SOUL’ – I also really think so. It has been to me and I sincerely hope that it has been to other guests and will be also for the coming ones.

I am obviously thrilled that you consider visiting us again in the future. Please consider Xixim ‘tu casa’ – your home. We will be very pleased to pamper you again in this place of peace and cosines, as you describe it.

Kind regards
Verena Gerber

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Reviewed 13 August 2013

I was stunned by the beauty and location of this resort. It was so peaceful, quiet and the beach is very lovely. We traveled to Celestun from Merida on a day trip and decided to spend the night there with our friends and children. We were a party of 7 (4 adults, 3 kids - 8,6 & 1.5) The grounds were beautiful, the food was good, the staff were friendly and they have a great recreation room with lovely views of the water which had a foosball table, pool table, TV and Wii. The kids had a great time until....Shortly after we arrived, we went to the beach and we started getting bitten by the mosquitos. My friend developed huge welts which she still has now!! We used the patches provided by the hotel right from the start but they take 36 hours to take effect and if you are planning on being in the water, they don't stay on very long. We did also use various types of mosquito repellent with and without DEET but they really did nothing. A few days after leaving the resort, the adults all became very ill with Dengue Fever. Our symptoms included - Severe headache (mostly in the forehead), pain behind the eyes which worsens with eye movement, body aches and joint pains, nausea or vomiting. The incubation period for Dengue actually ranges from 3-14 days. The kids also got bitten badly unfortunately the 1.5 year got it the worst for the 3 kids. We were so sick that it pretty much ruined the rest of our time in Mexico which we spent at an all inclusive resort in Cancun. The walk to the rooms or the beach became a mad dash to dodge mosquitos!! The cabanas were very nice and peaceful, I did really like the look but the mosquitos pretty much ruined it all. There was also not hot water which is never nice especially with such beautiful showers. The amount of mosquito bites we all received while at this hotel was unbelievable. I would strongly recommend the hotel management to do something about the mosquito issue. They did fumigate but I think it has to do with the vegetation around the hotel. I know it's an Eco-resort but in my opinion, air conditioners in the rooms and in the restaurants, bars and gym is a must. Unfortunately, we will probably never go back because of the health risk. We have never seen or been bitten by so many mosquitos in our lives!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank VW1505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XIXIM, Owner at Hotel Xixim, responded to this reviewResponded 16 August 2013

Dear VW1505,

I am really very, very sorry that you and your friends got dengue fever. It is a terrible disease and yes, very painful.

As to mosquitoes, ¡sí señor! We have a reliable and renewable supply. Especially at dusk and after it rains. It is most probable, that you hit both – dusk and rain.

One of our main concerns in the hotel is precisely to control arthropods in and around our resort. We have tried everything that has been available in the market: butane gas, octenol, pyrethins, citronella, screens that attract insects and capture them – with no avail.
Also, we suggest and provide to our guests mosquito repellents of any kind, being the best, until now, our transdermal vitamin B1 patch.
By the way, I read about a new patch, which is called KITE – it sounds like magic – I really hope it works, as it should ‘hide’ yourself from the female mosquito because she can’t sense your CO2 emission, which is the reason that attracts her to you.

If this is true, our goal of controlling – not killing - the mosquito population has a chance. I am positive that we humans should not destroy the whole mosquito population, as it is the main nourishment of many species that lived and thrived here long before we settled down in this pristine environment, such as birds, lizards and iguanas.

On another matter, it is really strange and unacceptable, that you had no warm water in the bathroom – I deeply apologize – this should not happen. I will look into it ASAP.

I regret, but fully understand that you probably won’t come back because of this unfortunate experience, but I would like to invite you again to what you describe as a peaceful, quiet, lovely beach resort during the wintertime when I promise the mosquito population is almost nil.

Kind regards
Verena Gerber

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Additional Information about Hotel Xixim

Address: Km 10 del Viejo Camino a Sisal Celestun, Celestun 97636, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Yucatan > Celestun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Celestun
Price Range: £125 - £195 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Xixim 3.5*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
XIXIM: a different alternative. Consciousness, love for intact nature, rediscovering yourself, high quality and the simplicity of our services are the secrets that we generously share in our paradise...Hotel XIXIM is an ecological paradise. Bordered by an unspoiled beach that stretches forever, a dwarf palm plantation and an abundance of indigenous vegetation, the environment here has always taken precedent over profit, in this very special, luxuriously rustic hotel. At present, we have 32 thatched cabanas, 24 junior suites with 2 four-poster double beds and 8 master suites with a king size bed, each with its own private verandah and en-suite bathroom. An extremely large thatched, double-story rondavel with sweeping views of the beach, golden sunsets and our pool area. Upstairs one will find El Santuario, our fully stocked bar and lounge area, and downstairs, our pride and joy, Restaurant Zaxim. The buildings dramatic thatched roof with the longest, straightest tree trunk supports, graphically canopy your occasion.Our Wellness Center as a set of architectural human and natural elements: palapas and mangroves, buildings and coastal dunes, windows overlooking the emerald-green sea, open spaces yet of intimate dimensions, each and every one of them integrated to the pristine nature. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Eco Paraiso Xixim Celestun
Eco Paraiso Xixim Hotel Celestun

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