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“A Travel Poster for Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Pez at Turtle Cove

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El Pez at Turtle Cove
Carretera Tulum a Boca Paila Km 5.5, Tulum 77780, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #5 of 74 hotels in Tulum
Rochester, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“A Travel Poster for Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

With hotels it’s always the little things the make them either amazing or abominable. When I first arrived at El Pez on a sweltering afternoon, I was welcomed by the managers, Michael and Julia, who and handed me two things right away: a cold wet hand towel to wipe my face and an even colder Margarita on the house. I knew then I was in good hands.

Set on the beach road portion of Tulum El Pez makes a Corona commercial look like a life sentence in a Foxconn iPhone factory. Fronted by its well-kept white sand beach, the ocean and rock outcroppings, it offers a view worthy of a travel poster for Paradise. The resort itself is a short walk to superb restaurants along the beach road, like El Tabano and Posada Margherita, or a short cab jaunt to others a bit further down the road, such as Casa Jaguar. If you're willing to rent a bike, you can pedal to the spectacular seaside ruins in the Tulum archaeological zone, just a few miles north of El Pez. .

The hotel offers two types of accommodations - regular rooms and six two-story cabanas (with one party per each story). I took a 2nd story cabana, done in a mix of unrefined woods and festival colors that I like to call "elegant rustic." The room was outfitted with two ceiling fans (which are barely needed- the ocean breezes cool the rooms like someone's waving a giant palm frond over you all day long), a large balcony with a sunbed, and gossamer mosquito netting around the king-size bed. The bathroom was spacious with a large shower stall, an abundance of bath and hand towels, and plenty of counter space for all your toiletries. There was a sizable closet for clothes as well as additional space to hang more clothing near the bed. To safeguard your valuables, there was also an easy-to-use security safe. The daily maid service was excellent, keeping the room as clean as it was beautiful.

While the natural illumination at resorts is usually of a quality Impressionists would have killed for, the artificial version is often a little less impressive. Here, the lighting was especially good in the bathroom, something other resorts falter at. The hot water was abundant, and the water pressure itself was strong, two qualities that typically come up short in seaside accommodations' plumbing. The abundance of electrical outlets near the bed and the additional daybed were extremely useful when you have, like I do, a laptop and phone to keep plugged in. While I was told before I arrived that the wi-fi signal would be weak in the room, it was strong for my first 7 days there, then inconsistent the last 3, However, the signal in the dining area was always strong and made for easy online access .

There were never fewer than 3 bottled waters in my room, and the staff was always happy to grab you another any time you wanted one. Another pleasant touch was the teal-colored basket of beach towels.

Each morning started off with a picnic basket left at your door. Inside was a thermos of fresh-brewed coffee I sipped on the balcony, watching the sun rise over the Caribbean, the surf break on the beach, and the fish dive bomb into the sea for their breakfast.

When I eventually worked up the ambition, I went down to the dining room/commons area for the breakfast that's included with the room. The morning meal included coconut granola, yogurt, fresh fruit (e.g., cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, papaya, mango, etc), and juices made from those fresh fruits on the spot. Omelets are also available, with basically any kind you want, from veggie to ham and cheese to bacon or any other permutation of eggs that strikes you. The nighttime dinner menu was mostly salads, steaks, chicken, and seafood, all of which were of a uniform high quality. (On a scale of 1-10, the guacamole and pico de gallo ranked an 11.) The bartenders whipped up their their libations with skill and panache, but especially excelled at their signature drink, the "coco-lito," a mojito made with coconut water.

The restaurant/commons itself was more like a quirky lounge, a wide open space with eclectic furniture: distressed tables (my favorite was one with a ebony-purple etching of a crow that looked straight out of Carlos Castaneda and Don Juan) and chairs, couches, divans, and a cabinet full of books and board games. The space was delightful for early morning views of the ocean or late evening vistas of the emerging stars.

More picturesque than practical, the beach immediately in front of El Pez is a little too rocky for swimming. But all that's required for a dip is to walk about 100 yards south to a miles-long, sensuous strip of white sand and turquoise water that will dazzle you. If the ocean's a bit choppy, you can always use the resort's private pool.

Should you want to dive, snorkel, kayak, bike, tour ruins, or swim with whale sharks, Michael and Julia will help you arrange any kind of excursion you like. Their helpfulness is part of what make El Pez an oasis that leaves you as refreshed as a spa, and feeling as new as tomorrow.

Room Tip: If you can splurge,the cabanas offer the most space, luxury, and views. as well as the most privacy...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mnjbitton12, Manager at El Pez at Turtle Cove, responded to this review, October 13, 2012
Dear Charles,
We cannot begin to tell you how honored we were when we read your review! It means so much to us and our entire staff that you would take your time to write such an eloquent & detailed review! You are correct that it is the small details that make all the difference and it is rewarding to know that those things we strive so hard to provide do not go unnoticed by our guests. Having guests like yourself is what really makes this job so enjoyable and satisfying for all of us here at El Pez. It was truly our pleasure to have you stay with us and we hope you are able to return very soon!

Best Regards,
Julia & Michael
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326 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
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English first
Sarasota, Florida
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

Stayed three nights and I couldn't have been treated any better. Their staff, Derek, Antonio, Wilbert and Rubin are the best. They made our stay very special. The room #3 had a great view and wonderful ocean breeze. Not to mention clean and spacious. Breakfast which is included was outstanding. Dinner was so good we ate there all three nights. As the title of this review stated we hated to leave but we will be back.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElPezTulum, Manager at El Pez at Turtle Cove, responded to this review, October 2, 2012
Chas,
Thank you so much for the thoughtful review! Derick, Antonio, Wilbert & Ruben were so excited to hear you mentioned them specifically-what a great compliment! We want you to know that we truly appreciate guests like you & enjoy reading your feedback. Thank you for sharing your experience with everyone on TripAdvisor. We hated for you to leave too, but hope to see you again soon!

Warm Regards,
Julia & Michael
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Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

10 reasons I love El Pez. 1. The staff (sweetest ever). 2. The coffee basket at your door every morning. 3. The location (a short walk to awesome restaurants). 4. The rooms (clean, bright and breezy). 5. The beach bag of towels in your room (and unlimited fresh waters). 6. The beach (just a two minute walk). 7. Board games in the lobby 8. Bikes! 9. Fresh juices. 10. Most quiet and peaceful place I have ever stayed. Will be coming back here every year.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElPezTulum, Manager at El Pez at Turtle Cove, responded to this review, October 2, 2012
Hi Alice!
Thank you so much for sharing all the reasons you love El Pez! Reviews like yours are why we enjoy what we do so much! It was such a pleasure to have you & your hubby stay with us & we are already looking forward to your return-hope it is soon!

Take care,
Julia & Michael
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Brooklyn, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

We spent 4 nights here recently on the second leg of our honeymoon trip and absolutely fell in love from the start. Michael and Julia are terrific! My wife broke her toe while there and they ran to their home to get her some ibuprofen and were constantly checking to see if she needed anything. The staff there is top notch too. Great food and great drinks. We cannot wait to go back. I can't recommend this place enough!

Room Tip: Opt for the cabanas if you can afford it. Well worth it!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElPezTulum, Manager at El Pez at Turtle Cove, responded to this review, August 25, 2012
Hi Corey!
We can't tell you enough how much we appreciate your sweet review! You & Rori were such a delight to have stay with us! We were so glad to see that despite breaking her toe, you guys had a great time and maintained such a positive attitude. We can't wait until you are able to come visit us and beautiful Tulum again! Keep in touch!

Warmest Regards,

Julia & Michael
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012 via mobile

We arrived at the hotel on August the 19th, 2012. We were surprised by a stinking smell but could not make out where it came from. Also, at arrival, we were asked to pay the full amount of our stay (6 nights), which we said we would do the following day. We had already payed for three nights, as a deposit. Well, when we woke up, we found out the smell came from the filthy beach, filled with trash and seaweed spelled by the ocean as a consequence, apparently, of a hurricane occurred 10 days ago. Whereas the rest of the hotels in the area had decided to clean their beaches, el Pez had not. We had to leave inmediately, and they refused to refund our deposit (full 3 nights), even though it was not our fault that they had decided not to clean their wherabouts. We felt badly treated and strongly recomend not to go to this hotel; highly overpriced and unable to understand client service.

Stayed August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElPezTulum, General Manager at El Pez at Turtle Cove, responded to this review, September 9, 2012
It is very disappointing that you would use a legitimate forum such as TripAdvisor to write a false review just because we did not comply with your demands.

This review is not about a dirty beach or bad customer service, as our beautiful beach is cleaned twice a day, despite a hurricane or not, and our customer service is unsurpassed as noted in nearly every other previous review. We find it surprising that at no point during the time you were in our hotel, even when asked, ‘how is everything with your stay so far?’ did you mention the topics of your review.

Our policies are made very clear to our guests both in the Reservation and Cancellation section of our web site and in the Reservation Confirmation email guests receive once they have made a reservation with us.

Not only did you refuse to pay the remaining balance of your stay at check in, citing your travel plans had changed, it was only after we explained the following morning, that we would not be giving you a ‘FULL REFUND’ including the night that you had already stayed in our hotel, that you threatened ‘to write as many bad reviews on TripAdvisor as they would allow’. We do not appreciate threats of blackmail.

It is truly a shame that you would discredit all the hard work of our employees, who strive everyday to provide an immaculate and friendly environment with impeccable customer service, just because you did not get the free night stay that you demanded. We are always open to accept constructive criticism from our guests, which helps us to keep improving our hotel, but we refuse to be blackmailed and bullied by someone looking for a free ride.

Michael & Julia
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Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

I just returned from a 6 night stay at El Pez and I can't stop raving about it! The managers Michael & Julia greeted me with a smile and made me feel at home instantly. The accomodations were impeccable. I stayed in a sea front room with a king size bed, private shower, ceiling fan, not to mention the white sand beach at my doorstep. Every morning I woke up to fresh gourmet coffee awaiting me on my terrace. The food is prepared fresh at your request. I highly recommend the fresh fruit platter with coconut granola & yogurt,also the fish tacos are divine, especially with a Coco-jito.
I have to mention that during my stay Hurricane Ernesto came in to town. The managers and staff took iniative immediately and made the evacuation painless.....and I was able to return to my immaculate room the next afternoon!
Lastly, the convenient location of El Pez made my planned excursions to the Mayan ruins, cenotes, etc, simple. I can't wait to go back to El Pez!!!

Room Tip: I chose the sea front room with "the view", but I would recommend a cabana for families..
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElPezTulum, Manager at El Pez at Turtle Cove, responded to this review, August 25, 2012
Hola Lori!
Gracias for the awesome review chica! We had such a great time with you & were so happy to hear how much you enjoyed your stay! Thank you for taking time to share your experience with other travellers. We especially thank you for your recognition of how we handled Hurricane Ernesto. The staff worked very hard those two crazy days, so they are thrilled to see all the hard work was appreciated by the guests. We hope you are able to return to El Pez very soon!

Best Regards,

Julia & Michael
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2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

El Pez is Wonderful! The managers, Michael & Julia were very helpful and made us feel right at home. We had not even planned on staying in Tulum. We had lunch there after visiting the Mayan Ruins. We continued our travels and decided to change our plans and return for 5 days! The oceanfront rooms upstairs feel like you are in a private cabana. The hotel restaurant is fabulous too. If you want to leave the complex, you can walk to many great restaurants and a few cute shops.

Room Tip: We loved the pink upstairs room. Very private and a wonderful view.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElPezTulum, Manager at El Pez at Turtle Cove, responded to this review, August 25, 2012
Hi Lisa!
Thank you so much for the review! We were so pleased to have you & John change your plans to stay with us. It was so fun hanging out with you both and we are really looking forward to your return in December for John's birthday! Thank you for the wine too-it was very good!

Take care,

Julia & Michael
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Additional Information about El Pez at Turtle Cove

Address: Carretera Tulum a Boca Paila Km 5.5, Tulum 77780, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Tulum
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Tulum
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Tulum
#6 Romantic Hotel in Tulum
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Pez evokes the feeling of a private villa on the beach, with all the amenities of a small boutique hotel. Featuring six Luxury Cabanas, four Sea Front King Rooms and Two Sea View King Rooms, suitable for solo travelers, couples and families, El Pez is situated at picturesque Turtle Cove, where the Mayan fisherman and pelicans create a visually stunning seascape from the hotel balconies and around the hotel grounds. The setting is both intimate and romantic and a stunning backdrop for weddings, family gatherings & romantic getaways. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
El Pez At Turtle Cove Hotel Tulum
Pez Ocean Palace Tulum

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