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.
- 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