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“Copal Cabanas No Longer Operating” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Cabanas Copal

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Cabanas Copal
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Tulum-Ruinas Km.5, Tulum 77780 , Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #64 of 77 Hotels in Tulum
Houston, Texas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Copal Cabanas No Longer Operating”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2012

We arrived after payment through website which is still opperational; however, the cabanas are now temperarory being run by Aslik. Half of the site is under consctruction; howverr, the prices are still good. There is no longer a bar, or resturant or pool operational; just some huts available w/a shared beach w/other Cabanas. A coke service from other cabanas bar is $12

Room Tip: There is no longer restaurant as they now use Zaha who doesn't have a menu to show. Previous I...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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405 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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Alfred, Ont,Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2012

This was our first time at Copal and likely will not return. It's not bad but Copal is a set of 10 cabanas bunched together with nice meandering pathways and it's a tight fit, on the one side with a fence and the other side is Azulik with yet again, more cabanas.
It feels tight.
The whole feel of the place is happy go lucky with basic amenities but it feels cramped. For the price we paid, We can do better.Much better. I mean, we consider ourselves ecominded, hippy'ish in some ways and it's not that it bothered us with being "basic"...it's the value vs the price I guess...
This section of the coastline seems to cater to more eco friendly guests and we liked it so much we will likely return..but not there.
We stayed in the Casita, the only cabana with unobstructed view of the sea. I understand the disapointment of returning guests, now that the neighbours fenced their side, the cabana has no beach acess other than going from behind and reach a flight of stairs between cabana #1 and #2 at Azulik. It's not far, but for the price, again...all they have to do is build a flight of stairs...
which brings me to the other bad feeling....
True, the cabanas are nice, plenty of windows, bathrooms are adequate and their's even a small tub outside with hot water.( although we could not fill the tub in one shot without runnning out of hot water). It was once a very tastefull cabana but the overhaul feel is that the owners are spending the strict minimum on maintenance and care. Sure it was clean enough within cabana standards but the rusted hinges, locks, uneven doors , they all add up and again, we paid over $200.00 for one night, I think we can do better....
It was rainy and cold the night we stayed. We thourougly enjoyed the outside tub, stayed in for hours.
Even the tub is showing signs of wear with cracked coating and exposed wood.
The local beach restaurant/grill down the road was extremely good. We tried to use the hotel restaurant but gave up after waiting and waiting without being served and after tasting the one on the other side we never tried again.
They just seem to have abandonned any good spirit related to this place.
I recommend the area but not the place...that section of the coastline near Tulum is offering lodging one after the other....plenty of other fish in the sea....

Room Tip: Any cabana other than the Casita will find you cramped
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

First a little history. I've stayed at copal several times since 2002 and loved it. the cabanas were/are simple and not fancy, very romantic setting, quite pricey for what it is, but taken as a whole ,the experience of copal was absolutely magical. so i didn't think twice about booking four days this January. you can imagine my surprise when a few days before leaving i surfed into trip advisor and was horrified at the recent reviews. staying in a cabana is definitely not for everyone and as the cabanas are on the beach and exposed to the elements they've always seemed a bit tired so we went and hoped for the best.
honestly. as it turns out, we didn't even look inside our cabana but i don't think the condition of the cabanas has changed much. which is, for a cabana, really acceptable.we were always comfortable at copal. the grounds were always maintained well and that also doesn't seem to have changed.
what has changed is the property itself. the property next door(papaya playa) has taken over a big chunk of what was copal and now the rrestaurantis gone, as is the little beach bar and the facilities that were available. modest as they were. also gone is the access to the beach directly in front of the cabanas. although you can with some effort get there. and really, it's only about a 2 min walk to azulik's.
contrary to other reviews, although moved a little farther down the beach at azulik, we found the staff at reception helpful and had no issues there whatsoever.
to be frank, because we've had history with copal, we were disappointed, I've always felt the rates were high at copal but, we overlooked the cost and the quirks because the property had so much going for it.
to be fair, prices have gone up on the entire beach,so someone who had never stayed before may feel better about it than we did,

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2011

I just returned from an 8 night stay at the Casita which was booked in January 2011, several months before Copal lost their land lease. The reason for booking so far in advance was to get the Casita at 50% off the normal rate of $290/night. I was anxious to see how it changed as I this was my 5th visit to Copal - 2 times in a seaview cabana, 3 times in the Casita. Fingers were crossed that it wouldn't be as bad as some reviewers indicated. Needless to say, I doubt I will be returning to Copal and would seriously think twice about moving over to Azulik. It's not the same and never can be.

The biggest complaint is that the fence between the 2 property boundaries blocked off all beach access for the remaining Copal units (see attached picture). To get to the old Copal beach, you have to go to the Azulik beach to the south, climb over the rocks and wade through the waves to get to the beach. No way you won't get wet trying to get to the beach. The second option is to use the stairs that are between Azulik units #2 and 3 which means you have to ignore the sign that says the stairs are for exclusive use of occupants in #2 and 3. The third option is to use the stairs for Azulik #1. We did all 3 but only after we saw other Azulik people using the #2/3 stairway and only when no one was in the #1 unit. From the Casita you can watch for the "best time" to use the exclusive stairways. You can use the Azulik beach but it isn't as nice as the old Copal beach.

Second complaint is that the Copal units are falling apart and it doesn't look like anyone cares. Fresh paint is going up at Azulik but you have plastic covering the windows of the seaview cabana falling apart and blowing in the wind, furniture that is falling apart, mosquito netting full of holes, the outdoor trash bins not being picked up. Things that good management would notice and get fixed.

Third complaint is housekeeping. I hate to sound sexist but our "maid" was a young man who didn't compare to the young women who use to service the Copal units. Other than the first day, no towel animals on our bed. Those animals were our main source of fresh towels so, no fresh towels unless you purposely left one on the floor for replacement. As others have noted, the sheets were stained. I wanted clean sheets so would pull them off the bed. Not sure if they were really changed or not as the new set had similar stains - in the same place but couldn't tell for sure.

Forth complaint is the is the lack of presence at the Azulik reception desk. When we got there mid-day, we had to go to Zahra to check in. Anyone can walk into the Azulik/Copal facility. The partial seaview unit behind the Casita was broken into while we were there and the occupant lost all his money, passport, credit cards and the thief even took the keys to his rental car and stole it. This happened during the late afternoon, early evening when someone should have seen something but didn't.

Even if all my complaints were addressed, Copal will never be the same. Papaya Playa is now run by a German company - Design Hotels. They acquired Copal, Papaya Playa and Tribal Village and once all the rennovations are complete, there will be 99 units spread over a half mile of beach. New bars, restaurants, entertainment options which means, more people, more noise, especially on the old tranquil Copal beach. If you like the party sceen, then this might be ok but not for me.

All this being said, I may go back to Tulum but I will find another place to stay. Even at 50% of the rate, it's too expensive for what you get. I would NEVER consider paying full price for Copal or Azulik. I hate to say it but try Papaya Playa - at least everying is new and you have 99 units to pick from.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Top Contributor
151 reviews 151 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2011

The maya spa by eco tulum located at cabanas copal was the site of my wedding the website made it out to be this absolutely amazing place with great reviews however when we got to the site after paying 2500 american for the wedding my husband to be did not want to get out of the taxi because it looked like we were in the middle of nowhere This site looks like a campsite not a 5 star spa I was hoping for holistic and natural looking but honestly it was a little to natural and unkept The shaman who is not the one mentioned on the website was absolutely fantastic and the temazcal (sweatlodge) was a great experience. Maria lidia firorentini was wonderful as a planner online but when you get to the site it is a different lady running things and she was not as organized i specifically asked for orange flowers and got red when I said something she was very mad and stormed off and came back with very wilted orange flowers should of kept the red ones as well The hut in which you get your hair done is very dirty full of spider webs and droppings on the floor, no running water and I sat on a tree stump and when i got dressed there was no privacy so they held a sheet up for me the hairdresser was a sweet lady who did a great job on my hair under the conditions the site inwhich we got married was pretty but we had to go down steep stairs on a cliff the ceremony itself done by Sylvan was amazing but do not pay the money for the translater she was horrible! also it is on a nude beach so be prepared for a show my boys were quite redfaced!

Room Tip: Beautiful place for a wedding bring your own flowers get your hair done at the resort or ask for hai...
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  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Seattle, Washington
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2011

This was our 5th trip to Copal.
Not only did we have a great time but once again we made friends we hope to stay in touch with the rest of our lives. We have met more wonderful and interesting people here than any other place we have ever visited. Maybe it is the lack of distractions to life like, no electricity, no TV, no clocks, etc, maybe it is the beautiful water, interesting beach, great location, getting rested, and getting unpluged from civilization with others who feel the same way, that makes becoming friends easier.
Even when we had a problem with our cabana, the management acted right away, exceeded our expectations, and upgraded us to a cabana in Azulik.
WOW is all I can say, we loved it!
We had all our new friends over to visit our Azulik cabana and all were impressed.
We had a wonderful, memorable time.
We believe life is what you make it. We long for the peace and quiet of Copal/Azulik.
Nature provides the most beautiful surroundings and the rustic nature of these 2 resorts allows you to relax and get back to the important qualities of life, your relationship with your mate, friends, laughing, gratitude for God's gifts.
If you are looking for the resort (people) to entertain you, go to the big all inclusives, but if you seek a beautiful quiet location, great people, nature's fun, and a place you dream about, we highly recommend this low key paradise.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2011

We came here 3 years ago for our honeymoon and loved it so much that we decided to come back. We are delighted that we did! had an awesome time! We stayed at La Casita and it was stunning. Watching the sea turtles a few feet away from our villa was quite special!
The people working at the facility made of this vacation a great time. Great place to relax, forget about the internet and cell phones.
The meals were delicious and there was always a huge selection of dishes, both local specialities and international, for both breakfast and dinner.
The Spa was incredible the temazcal and the mayan bath gave me back energy to continue with my life.
We did have an amazing time and would definitely recommend it to others

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Cabanas Copal

Address: Tulum-Ruinas Km.5, Tulum 77780 , Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Tulum
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Tulum
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Cabanas Copal 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Get ready for an exotic vacation at Cabañas Copal Hotel, away from telephones and electricity. Come to Cabañas Copal to relax at our seaside Caribbean cabañas and holistic spa. Our central location puts our eco-hotel just 3 km. from the Mayan ruins of Tulum. Cabañas Copal Hotel in Tulum gets you off the beaten path for an alternative vacation experience in our rustic eco-hotel. Our cabanas are nestled in the tropical jungle by the sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cabanas Copal Tulum
Cabanas Copal Hotel Tulum

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