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“Fifth Return to Copal!” 5 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 #62 of 74 hotels in Tulum
Houston
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Fifth Return to Copal!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2008

I started going to Copal about ten years ago. After the first three years I switched over to Azulik but hung out at Copal most of the time. For the past two years I spent part of my time at Azulik and the remainder at Copal's #28, known as the Casita. The Casita is a very large cabana on the south end of the property, high up on the cliff overlooking the sea. My understanding is that it was originally built for the owner's to use when they were on property. It was the prototype for the Villas of Azulik, which are right next door. I really like the Casita. It has a great location so that you can see up and down the beach in both directions. It differs somewhat from Azulik. The cabana itself is a bit more rustic than the Azulik units but it is quite a bit larger. The indoor tub/shower and bathroom sink are down the hall from the main room, as is the toilet. The floors of the casita are cement, rather than wood like at Azulik. The Casita has a very large covered outdoor deck with a large table, chairs, and outdoor tub (just like Azulik) and a place to hang a hammock. I brought my own hammock and really put it to use.
The Casita has a very comfortable king size bed. It has mosquito netting but not once in ten years have I ever needed protection from mosquitos. The sea breeze just blows them away! The Casita would be a good compromise if you would like a large unit like Azulik but at a lower price. It's a toss up with me. I love them both.
Hurricane Dean last fall really did a number on the beach at Copal. A large slice of the duned terrace is gone but they have installed a nice retaining wall. The net effect is that the beach is now much larger. They have also added several shady palapas and lots of beach chairs, as well as two hanging beds. The outdoor massage tent has been moved to a new pavillion built out over the beach. The beach itself was in the best condition I have ever seen. Deep, clean sand throughout.
I really enjoyed the beach bar. Good selection of food and drinks. A new addition to the beach bar staff this year is the lovely beauty from Guadalajara, Erica. Every person who stepped into the bar area was greated by her warm smile. She is a great asset to Copal.
My old friend Juan is still around. For years, Juan brought me my morning pot of tea, remembering from year to year what time I like to have it and always bringing the leche. Juan has now been promoted from room service to the morning shift of the restaurant where he continues to do a fine job taking care of his customers.
In fact, all of the staff at Copal were outstanding, friendly, and eager to help. One of the many reasons I keep going back, and will continue to do so.
I travel the world for a living. I return to Copal/Azulik year after year because it's my favorite place on earth! Contact me for followup questions, if you wish. Kensterfly at Yahoo.
Cheers!

  • Liked — Location, beach, staff
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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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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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2008

To be honest, Copal was a massive letdown for me. After reading some fairly positive reviews on Trip Advisor, and having spent too much time gazing at the amazing photos on their website, I know I made the wrong decision.

Copal is supposedly an up-market, eco resort - there's no power, the cabanas are perched on the edge of a reasonably picturesque rocky outcrop and the area is surrounded by gorgeous palms and other tropical vegetation. But, I might as well have been camping, and for the price we paid I was sorely disappointed.

We paid for an upper-echelon cabana but it was rougher than an Australian outback camping ground. Our "hot water" was a lukewarm trickle of water out of the crustiest looking shower head I've ever seen (there's a reason why they use candles for light). The mosquito netting was is such poor condition, and had such gaping holes, that i actually had to pull out my travel-sewing kit and make a few neon-green alterations in a bid to feel semi-protected from the local community of evening bloodsuckers. On top of that, the beds were harder and lumpier than one of my brothers home-made scones - and provided me with the most uncomfortable night of sleep of the duration of my holiday.

They weren't joking about the wildlife paying you a visit either. My partner and I made the foolish mistake of having one too many tequila's and leaving two squares of a Hershey bar on the table. Whatever devoured those two squares in the middle of the night made enough racket to make me think Freddy Krueger had dropped in for a casual visit.

The on site restaurant was very average so we ate there only once; Copal also have a "beach-side" (I use the term beach-side loosely) bar which served the worst margarita ever to have crossed my lips.

The location was also disappointing. While on the Caribbean I had expected to spend time on the beach and certainly in the water but the beach at Copal to me was not fit for swimming Having grown up by the ocean i know what a good, safe beach comprises of and this certainly isn't one. There were so many rocky outcrops hidden within the water and at the waters edge that i simply did not feel safe swimming there (and i am a confident swimmer).

All-in-all Copal was a bitter disappointment. I should have taken my friends advice and stayed at Zazil Kin - the accommodations there are bare, but no more so than Copal (and at less than a quarter of the price), the beach there is amazing (no rocks and totally safe to swim at) and they have the most amazing beach side bar that serves cheap and strong beverages (my partner will personally vouch for the margaritas). I don't think I'll be going back to Tulum in a hurry, for me it was just too touristy and the ruins were really average - only go there for the aqua water.

  • Liked — Leaving
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Colorado
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2008

After reading the reviews about Copal we didn't know what to expect. We loved it & felt the website did a good job of describing the resort.

We arrived late and were warmly greeted at the desk. Just as described, we were led down a candle-lit path to a little grass hut just above the crashing surf. The mosquito netting, tho unnecessary in March, was ultra romantic and the towels were braided into swans on the bed. We wandered down to the beach in the dark & it was absolutely magic.

We chose clothing optional because we enjoy the freedom of it. We weren't disappointed. It was comfortable to be nude or clothed, and the section of beach in front of Copal was always the most popular area, though never crowded.

The cabanas were rustic but charming. It wasn't perfectly clean but it was by no means disgusting. There was plentiful--but low pressure, salty water in the shower.

The staff was friendly & helpful; food was reasonable (not cheap) and overall quality just fine. There are other restaurants in easy walking distance and it's a $6 cab ride to Tulum.

Yoga at 7 AM was a treat. We didn't try the spa, but it looked decent.

Mostly, we met great people & lay in the sun on the beautiful beach. It was great.

  • Liked — Quiet, casual, romantic, clothing optional
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Thomas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2008

My husband and I stayed at Cabanas Copal for one week over Christmas 2007. We payed the holiday season rates, but it was completely worth it. We stayed in a Seaview King cabana (none of them have electricity) & it was amazing. We were up on a small cliff right in front of the ocean. The waves were almost too loud at night (as if that's possible!).

It's the perfect place to go to get away from busy everyday life. All of the hotels in Tulum are very small, mostly cabanas, and a lot of them do not have electricity. It will be a shame once they start building big resorts, but I guess it's only a matter of time. The food was not the best, but if you walk into town (only about 5-10 minutes), there are other options. Unfortunately, most of them are overpriced as well, unless you venture out to the real town on the main highway.
There were only a few things that we did not like about Copal. There were big holes in the mosquito netting on the bed. We sprayed it with bug repellent, and that seemed to work pretty well. Also, you can run a tab for all charges at either of the sister hotels as well - so when we were checking out, we noticed that one of the waiters at the restaurant next door (Zahra) decided to add a few extra dollars onto the tip we left him (even though we left a 25% tip already). It was pretty insulting, and it was removed from the bill immediately. We would still return to Cabanas Copal despite the tipping incident. It was a very relaxing vacation - we were able to read a couple books, swim in a cenote, explore the ruins, rent bicycles, and get plenty of massages! I would recommend this place for people who are looking for a true escape from the rat-race and can appreciate modest & rustic accomodations.

  • Liked — The simpleness.
  • Disliked — The restaurant
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulum, Mexico
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2008

We arrived yesterday at about 7 PM. The front desk is outdoors and inviting, with subtle lighting.

You can probably tell which cabana is ours. The cabana faces the ocean and is near the bar.

The restaurant is fine. There was soft new-age local music. The tequila selection is good. We had vegetable entries and enjoyed. The prices are reasonable and the service is good. We also had an enjoyable breakfast of yogurt and fruit.

The candlit room is charming and comfortable, cooled by sea breezes. The ocean waves are loud. I woke up to an amazing sunrise. I took some pictures and will post them soon.

The grounds and room are very clean. The grounds are impeccably landscaped.

at 7 am there were nude sunbathers and couples practicing yoga on the beach. Today my partner is booked for a chocolate wrap. I will go into town and pick up a few things.

A small crab got into our room. I don't know if it got out. It hid before I could catch it or chase it out. The front desks said they would look into it. They are very attentive to our requests.

Day one exceeds our expectations and we are already thinking about a return trip.

- SeviewKing15

  • Liked — Setting
  • Disliked — I worry about the crab in our room. Will it be ok?
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
redding, ca
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2008

We loved our stay. First time at a clothing optional and it was super comfortable. I am not an avid nudist but loved sitting out on the beach or chairs in the evening au natural. And folks were all ages, shapes and sizes so if you've had the desire, this is the perfect place to experience this type of freedom. One night we had a pretty foreceful tropical storm and our bed stayed dry. Your floors will get wet but it's part of the fun. You palapa is open so you will have baby crabs on your walls at night and some type of rodent that scurries around outside your cabins but we had no scary critters where they shouldn't be. The candles in the rooms still have us talking. They burned endlessly. Our spa experiences were the best. All the staff that we encountered were attentive and happy. Can't wait for our next trip.

  • Liked — Rooms, location and eco=experience.
  • Disliked — I cannot think of anything that I didn't like.
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Yorkshire
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2008

We had a great stay at cabanas copal. We stayed in the sea view king cabanas located behind the bar (which closes at 7pm so no problems with noise) and it had a great view of the sea. We watched the sun rise from our bed every morning and loved every minute of our stay.

The cabanas had an element of rustic charm and found it clean and cosy. There were some small issues which have been noted in some of the other reviews such as small holes in the mosquito net and worn towels (which the maid changed for new ones no problem). Nonetheless this didn't hinder the enjoyment of our stay.

The staff in particular the reception staff were extremely helpful and friendly. Our baggage was lost for a couple of days at Cancun airport and the reception staff did more than they should have to help track it down.

We hired bikes to get around whilst we were staying there which is definitely recommended as the only way to get around is by taxi. You can easily cycle to Tulum city, the Tulum myan ruins, various snorkling destinations and if your feeling a bit adventurous, Sian Kaan Biosphere reserve and Coba ruins. During our stay at copal we also enjoyed the breakfasts, the mayan spa, the breakfasts, the view from the bar, the wildlife and the breakfasts.

All in all, was it value for money - yes. Would we return again - yes. Would we recommend it to friends - yes.

Yes yes yes!

SA/JM - West Yorkshire, England

  • Liked — The view
  • Disliked — Salt water shower
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.

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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
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#62 Top resorts Hotel in Tulum
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Cabanas Copal 3*
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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