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“Birding at Xixim”
Review of Hotel Xixim

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Hotel Xixim
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Celestun
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 April 2014

I really love this place! We arrived after dark following a 10 hour flight and 4 or 5 drive (we were so exhausted that none of us are sure how long it really was). So, waking up in beautiful, peaceful surroundings was magical. One of the first birds I saw was a Mexican Sheartail right in front of our room - I couldn't believe it! Yucatan Wren quickly followed. Two major targets in the bag! Other goodies in the area included Yucatan Bobwhite (seen three times along the access road) and White-lored Gnatcatcher. I went on the morning birding tour to Chunchumil, organised by the hotel, with Alex Dzib. This was great and got me my first views of some nice Yucatan endemics - such as Yucatan Jay, Yucatan Flycatcher, Yucatan Woodpecker and Orange Oriole. Highly recommended. I was back at the hotel in time for breakfast. I also went to Celestun Biosphere Reserve on a trip arranged by my travel agent and we saw masses of American Flamingos, as well as Bare-throated Tiger Heron and other good stuff. Similar trips can be arranged directly with the hotel too. The grounds are fabulous, with lots of native fauna and flora. Many plants have numbered markers and a lovely leaflet describes them (available on the website I think). The beach is amazing. I walked for miles without seeing another soul - the place is remote! Coffee and/or tea are brought to your room every morning. The coffee is very good, but I'm told the water for the tea was not quite hot enough. Food was generally very good. I particularly liked the Mexican breakfasts, which were a new experience for me. The beer selection is great and I also really liked the Margarita de Habanero - hot! Service is quite relaxed and not quite as formal as some other similarly priced hotels. There are one or two negatives - minor in my view, but worth mentioning. The access road is as bumpy as people say - quite an ordeal after a long flight and long drive. But, it didn't seem so bad after this. It is good for birding too! On our morning trip to Celestun there was a misunderstanding about our breakfast. We understood that we would be going birding for an hour or so, have breakfast at the hotel, then go on the boat tour. There were wires crossed between ourselves, our guide and the hotel. Not sure exactly how it happened, but we now know that a lunch box applies to breakfast as well as lunch! In the end we had a lovely breakfast in a cafe in Celestun, so we didn't go hungry! All things considered, this was my favourite place during the two week holiday to Mexico - peaceful, beautiful and relaxing.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank JohnBirdSolihull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XIXIM, Owner at Hotel Xixim, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2014

Dear JohnBirdSolihul,

Thank you so much for your comment: “this was my favorite place during the two week holiday to Mexico - peaceful, beautiful and relaxing”.

I am also thrilled that you found and observed the many endemic, rare and beautiful birds that live and thrive in the Celestun Biological Reserve.

Thank you also for your comments about our food and pristine beach – that our guests enjoy both is our main goal, besides bird watching and relaxing.

We still are very sorry about our access road. 1/3 of it is now refurbished. We really hope and pray, that soon we can assure our guests, that it is fully restored. Please excuse this inconvenience. As to lunch, there must have been a misunderstanding – please excuse this too.

Hopefully your path will find Xixim again in the near future. We would love to be your host again and pamper you as you deserve.

Wishing you a wonderful day,
Kind regards
Verena Gerber

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68 - 74 of 349 reviews

Reviewed 6 April 2014

Wow this place is terrific. True the dirt road to get to Xixim is tough but as I understand is shortly due for repairs. The tranquillity, the food, the rooms all outdid our expectations. Friendly and helpful staff always looking to improve our stay! The gorgeous grounds and the beach right in front perfect for morning meditation. We loved the huge netted Yoga room with the magnificent sun sets. Our group of six cant wait to come back next year.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Ariane A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XIXIM, Owner at Hotel Xixim, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2014

Dear Ariane,

In my name and in the name of all the staff that works at Xixim, Unique Mayan Hotel, we thank you heartily for your magnificent review.

For all of us it has been a great pleasure and honor to attend such a nice group of easy-going, open-minded, beautiful, meditative, soul-searching ladies.

We are more than excited, thrilled and enthusiastic to be your host again next year.
By then, we hope the road is fixed.

Wishing you a wonderful day and a blessed Easter,
Namaste
Verena Gerber

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Reviewed 2 April 2014

Apart from the fishing boats in the Gulf of Mexico we appeared to have the sea and beach to ourselves for a large part of the stay. The hotel seemed fairly full but apart from at meals we scarcely saw any of the other guests. It is unlikely they were exploring the local sites because the hotel is good 10km down a bumpy road from the centre of Celestun. When we were there biting insects were abundant in the surrounding countryside - the hotel does have mosquito suits to lend if you want to explore. Spectacular birds including cardinals, woodpeckers, hummingbirds and parrots. Very well appointed bungalow bedrooms but without air conditioning.

We found the reception desk slightly lacking in enthusiasm but there was a very energetic owner/manageress.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Rick 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 5 April 2014

Dear Rick S,

Thank you for having posted such a nice review and thank you for considering that I am an energetic owner. I normally do not manage the resort, but the general manager went for one and a half months to Morris, Minnesota to enhance his English, thus I had to take over. It was really fun, but the best part of it is obviously talking and getting to know our guests a little bit.

Indeed Xixim, Unique Mayan Hotel, is at the end of the road, but there is where you can find pristine nature and untouched wildlife, one of our main features we offer.
I am sorry, that our receptionist was somewhat dull. Normally they are very friendly and accommodating, but perhaps she had one of those days or a ruffle with the boy friend.

As to the bumpy road it is being fixed right now. I hope and pray it will stay so for a long time.

Hoping that your path will bring you back to Xixim in the near future and that you had a pleasant trip home.

Wishing you a pleasant and fun weekend
Kind regards
Verena Gerber

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Reviewed 5 March 2014

Like other reviewers our first disappointment was the shocking 10 kms of dirt road we had to endure before we got to the property. We feel that the hotel should make guests aware of this prior to arrival. Once we got there we were delighted with the beautiful room set in lovely grounds with the beach right in front. Sadly this delight was short lived as we soon became aware that it was impossible to spend anytime from mid afternoon onwards outside the room without being attacked by mosquitos. Trying to enjoy a cocktail in the bar whilst watching the sunset was impossible despite being covered in mossie spray. We took refuge in the hot and stuffy restaurant where we had a very average meal. We were the only guests in the restaurant for dinner, in fact there seemed to be very few guests in the hotel in general so the atmosphere was somewhat lacking. There didn't seem to be a lot of staff either as the guy who ran the bar also came and acted as our waiter for dinner. Breakfast next morning was also average. It's such a pity that this place is so beautiful and has so much potential to be amazing yet it is being run in a rather amateurish way. They are doing their best to keep the mosquitos at bay by spraying the grounds in the evening and hopefully the road is going to be improved but in our opinion the hotel is lacklustre which is such a pity.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank j.fordham
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 March 2014

Dear j.fordham,

I am very thankful that you took your time to write your comments about Xixim, Unique Mayan Hotel.

I am obviously not very happy about the outcome of your experience. I know we have mosquitoes, but this season has been very unusual. Due to very heavy rain during September to December 2013, the groundwater level raised and still today in March we have some places where it is flooded [normally from November on, we have no flooded areas and thus no mosquitos any more]. These areas are obviously the perfect hatching ground for mosquitoes, other insects and other species.

Stuffy restaurant should not be. The only reason for this is that our staff did not turn on the AC, because of few guests. This attitude is despicable, but understandable as one of our eco-policies is lower energy consumption. I apologize for this.
The road should be ready next month.

In confidence that in the near future we arrive at this potential that you envision for us. I assure you, we are working and have been working hard on this issue.

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

Have a great day
Kind regards,
Verena Gerber

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Reviewed 4 March 2014

Three of us drove the 10 km from Celestun to Xixim for lunch on Sunday, February 23. Although the road from Celestun to Xixim is washed out and full of horrible large holes that you have to VERY slowly negotiate your way around, or down and out again, I expected the private road on Xixim's own grounds would be good, for the final 1 km. Boy, was I wrong! Their own private road is the worst part of the trip! Although the food was well presented, very good and reasonably priced, I would strongly recommend AGAINST going there unless you are driving an old 4-wheel drive vehicle that you don't mind your shocks and alignment being seriously damaged. Once we finally made it there, we walked the deserted beautiful beach then went into the restaurant for lunch. The restaurant also has a pool table, foosball table and large-screen TV with videos and Nintendo available. Throughout our whole meal, young boys were playing Nintendo with the volume up FULL and also playing off and on with the pool table. Definitely NOT a relaxing or romantic atmosphere. Do not go there looking for that. We had a look around the grounds and into a room. These are the most expensive rooms within probably at least 100km and they were disappointingly very basic and rustic. They look 2 star and are priced as though they are 5 star.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank rogerandchris
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 March 2014

Dear Rogerandcris,

Yes, we are sorry about our deteriorated access road. As you know, our dirt road was washed away by the unusual heavy and prolonged rains we had from September to December 2013 causing potholes that you can’t avoid.
Also the roads in Celestun town have been washed away and have serious deterioration.
Since January, when it stopped raining, we have contacted the Yucatan State Government and asked them to fix the road going to Xixim. They have agreed, but the priority has been to fix the roads of the town, which I surely understand.
The government has assured me, that after they repair the Celestun roads, our will have his turn. I really hope and cross my fingers, that this will be finished before Easter Holiday.

As to our private street, I totally agree, it’s quite a disaster. We tried to fix it with our Bobcat, but, obviously, as it always happens, when you need your tool the most, it brakes down. As our bobcat is about 30 years old, we could not find the spare part we needed in Merida. We had to ask for it in Mexico City, but, as it is such an old model, they had to search all over Mexico and the USA to find it.
But, halleluiah!! Yesterday, March15yh, 2014, we received it in Xixim and now the Bobcat is working again. In one week, our road should be up and going.

I am also sorry, that you had guest playing and a lot of noise in the bar El Santuario during your lunch. We have restaurant Zaxim downstairs, with a very enjoyable elegant atmosphere without TV and games. Next time you should ask to be attended at this setting.

I really hope your path will bring you back to Xixim in the near future and that you program a night’s stay. I am positive your opinion about our pristine place will change.

Wishing you a wonderful day
Kind regards
Verena Gerber

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Reviewed 5 February 2014

We were on a 3-week tour of The Lost World of the Mayans and our group arrived from Medida at night. What a surprise to find this splendid oasis after a long drive over a bumpy road with deep potholes caused by rain. Our bungalow faced the ocean, the room was large and well-appointed. The linens, towels were of good quality as were the pillows, not the rocks one finds in many hotels when traveling the world. The shower is outside, protected by walls. Our one regret is that we were here for only one night. Our tour guide took pity on the group and we had a 10 AM departure so we could explore the grounds. Dinner was superb with excellent wine. All the service personnel were solicitous and gracious. Breakfast was good. We were fortunate not to have mosquitos during our stay there

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank angten
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 February 2014

Dear Angsten,

As a curious person, which I am, I took a look at the trips you have taken. According to Tripadvisor, you have visited 29% of the world. WOW!

Taking this in account I am very honored and more than pleased with your excellent, beautiful review of Xixim, Unique Mayan Hotel.

Yes, we are sorry about our deteriorated access road. We hope we can have it up and going for the Easter Holidays. As you know, our dirt road was washed away by the unusual heavy and prolonged rains we had from September to December 2013 causing potholes that you can’t avoid.

On the other side, I am very happy, that mosquitoes did not molest you. Indeed, it exists: there are months and seasons when we do not have them.

I obviously wish and hope that your path will take you back to Mexico and Xixim, where we await you to pamper you again.

Kind regards
Verena Gerber

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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.
See more room tips
  • 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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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: £137 - £211 (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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