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“Reluctant to share....loved it Shambala so much"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shambala Petit Hotel

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Shambala Petit Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Carr. Bocapaila - Tulum Ruinas km 7.5, Tulum 77780, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #32 of 77 Hotels in Tulum
Calgary, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Reluctant to share....loved it Shambala so much"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2011

My g/f and I stayed at Shambala Petit in November. We choose Shambala as a intro to our trip. We were returning to the 5* luxury Esencia on the Mayan Riviera. We fell in love with Shambala b/c of it's simplicity and genuine vibe. It had an understated feel while still feeling upscale. There are no tvs, almost no phone reception, and is generator run....we felt so unplugged, and so relaxed. We ended up going to Esencia as planned but rather than extending our stay at the 5* villas, we came back to Shambala. Carlos is the owner/manager and his attitude matches that of Shambala - relaxed, peaceful and genuine. Shambala is a serene and simple place that doesn't attract the kind of travellers you are trying to avoid. At night the moon lights the whole beach up. All the villas are steps from the water and you can hear the ocean through your windows. The ocean breeze keeps the bugs away. I will go back again and again. It's a magical place.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
paris france
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2010

We were very disappointed upon our arrival at Shambala and feel that for the following reasons:
-8 of the 10 rooms are tiny, far too small to be comfortable for a 10 day stay ;the bed alone took up 95% of the space ; the rooms are impossibly small.
-9 of the 10 rooms are not 'sea facing'but are crammed together in a narrow lot and face each other
-there was no light at all in the bathroom of most rooms
-water came pouring into the bathroom of Almar at night from the rain and got all our stuff soaked
-we had no bedside table or reading light in most of rooms
-there was not electrical outlet in most rooms
I went to talk to Roberto the first night but, having paid 100% in advance at his request, he told me that a refund was not possible. He said that asking for an electrical outlet for my husbands shaver and a bedside table and lamp was something that none of the rooms had, not even the most expensive room at $600 per night. He claimed that nobody in the 9 years he has been there has ever complained about any of those things and that he was further surprised by my request because I had been to Tulum before. He acted as if what I requested was outrageous.
We were confronted with the following realities:
-we were given no 'minibar' on arrival at Almar.(as advertised) We had to walk to a restaurant and buy bottled water the first night.When we changed to "albaba" there was a water dispenser in the room. When we asked for a refill we were told that normally it was refilled only every other day but since we drank a lot of water they would refill it daily.Roberto inferred that we were asking for something extra.
-there was no welcome bottle of wine (as advertised on the website we booked thru) we had to ask for on the third day and it was finally given to us after a lot of hesitation and some discussion
- there is no restaurant, bar or menu on site(as advertised)
-there was no coffee or tea available.(as advertised)
-we were never offered any shuttle to town or anywhere (as advertised)
-the staff speaks only Spanish and they do not try to communicate,even with people who understand some or a lot of Spanish
-Roberto was out of sight except at breakfast;we were not given a "warm welcome" and nobody "looked after us".We were never asked if everything was alright nor if we needed anything or any information. We were never offered any drinks of any kind for our non existent "minibar cooler".We felt like we were an imposition and in a place where the rules were made to the convenience of the staff, not the guests.
-the breakfast hour was not determined in advance. On the first day we went to the breakfast room at 8:00 but were asked to come back in half an hour, which we did, then they said 10 minutes more, then another 10 minutes more...finally we sat down anyway.Roberto came in and reprimanded us for coming to breakfast by ourselves and told us that they would come tell us when it was ready each day,not the other way around.Roberto said he would arrange hot water and coffee from 6am on. We did not wake up early for coffee on the 2nd and 3rd mornings but did on the 4th morning but there was no coffee so we had to go out for it. The 5th morning I had to beg and plead with the staff who begrudgingly gave me one cup of coffee before 9am and on the 6th morning they threw me out of the breakfast room and shut the door in my face because they were not ready and understaffed that day! I totally lost it at that point and yelled at Roberto who then started to say it was his house and asked me to leave......although we made up later and did not leave, it was a thoroughly negative experience. The next day he did install a coffee machine that was ready to go first thing in the morning.
-At the time of our reservation Roberto said he would offer us and our friends an upgrade if possible upon arrival. But when we asked about changing rooms he told us that we would have to pay $30 per night extra. FYI, the hotel was mostly empty the entire time.
-At Roberto's request we paid 100% in advance. He said that Nov and Dec were busy months, particularly the time we were coming. In fact, the hotel was almost empty the entire time.We will NEVER AGAIN prepay any hotel.
After extras for the room change and taxes we paid about $1770 for a 10 night stay. We consider that it was quite expensive for what it was and very stressful.
Colleen Fortier

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShambalaTulum, Owner at Shambala Petit Hotel, responded to this review, July 7, 2011
Dear Friends: Some people in this world is impossible to please, we all know that.

In Shambala Petit we do our best to accommodate the needs of all our guests, we don't know always, the kind of sadness that people carry on their Lifes, our mission is to give love and care to all our guests, some people is open to receive some people is to close to receive, we love what we do and we try every day to give our best to our beloved guests & make their experience in this house unique.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2010

Shambala was a haven for me during a much-needed getaway alone. October is the best season in tulum: no crowds, things are generally cheaper, good weather and lots of untouched white sand to sink your toes into.
My 6 day retreat was pure heaven: yoga next door at yoga shala, yoga at shambala at any hour of the day to do my own practice, sunrise swimming in the warm sea, walks along the beach, fantastic breakfasts with Carolina and her lovely daughter, a kind and considerate staff at all hours, holistic massage with Chandree up at Maya tulum, ceviche, fish tacos and ice cold beer at el camello, stargazing every night, watercoloring on the beach, floating meditation in the clear, calm sea. Best of all, baby turtles hatching and scurrying to the sea. It was a slice of heaven. My casita Al Mar was small and simple. Just as I wanted. The temperature in the room was comfortable. Great shower.
I'm coming back.

  • Stayed October 2010
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2010

We tried to stay here and booked everything months in advance. A WEEK before our trip, Roberto contacted us to say that the "ladies" who do his booking had messed up and also booked a yoga retreat for the same time so he could not accommodate us. Considering there are other reviewers with this same experience, maybe he should consider firing these ladies. Or come up with a better lie for the fact that he could make more money renting out the hotel for a yoga retreat than with individual guests.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2010

Went on a yoga / pilates retreat here. We were 15 of us, including the 2 instructors. Roberto, the owner manager, only books groups in 'season' (I believe he said that he books individual casitas starting in June).
The resort is right on the beach, arranged in a horseshoe, with the yoga studio (from which there are incredible ocean views) on one end. It has traditional local architecture, with thatched roofs, bamboo walls, etc., and great style. The woods used are dark colored with a background of white sand. There are large, pillowed, white cushioned, dark wood loungers scattered around the resort and lined up elegantly on the beach. Throughout are accents of orange - quite chic.
We were served 3 beautifully presented, fresh, varied, excellent meals a day, prepared by 2 amazing chefs . No alcohol is served, but one can bring one's own and / or walk down the beach to nearby establishments.
The staff is attentive, efficient, and friendly. I still can't figure out how Roberto managed to be so peaceful and warm, and do all he did for us. We had massages at the resort (Carolina is great!) and also at a spa down the beach (Fabio may be even greater!) .
There is a rustic element to the resort, so if you're looking for the comforts and amenities of a large American hotel, this would not be your place. They're eco-conscious, here, so there are no electric outlets in the casitas, and only one ceiling light and one ceiling fan. Candles are required for the bathroom, where the sink faucet produces cold water only, and the toilets are dual flush with the paper going into a nearby can. The showers have (very) hot water, which is good as the ocean breeze come right thru the bamboo walls on a windy day.
Anyone who's been to Tulum knows about the gorgeous beaches, sand as soft as talcum powder and an ocean perfect for swimming, snorkeling, kyaking, and kite sailing. Taxi cabs are abundant, for shopping trips or excursions, as are ceynotes, ruins, etc., with wonderful, multi lingual guides in abundance.
It was a great experience. Thank you, Roberto, for creating the Shambala Petit Hotel.

  • Stayed March 2010
    • 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.
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2010

I visited Shambala in Feb. 2010 with my students for a retreat. All aspects of Shambala were wonderful- the food is incredible, the location perfect, and the staff is super sweet. My students were thrilled and fell in love with the place too! We loved our cabana and all the attention that Roberto- the owner puts into his place. Unlike some of the other places in Tulum, Shambala provides beach chairs, beds, and umbrellas. There are also a bunch of little spots around the place to relax. I was thrilled with the Shambala and will be coming back with more retreats in the future!

Stayed February 2010
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2010

I was on a yoga retreat at the Shambala with my sister and a group of people. I walked the full beach many times, and found Shambala to be the most enticing hotel on the beach. The owner & his staff were incredibly accomodating to the group's needs, which made us feel very much at home. I only left Shambala a total of two times in one week, and was perfectly content to remain at the hotel. The rooms were kept very clean, and there were several cozy hideaways to tuck away by yourself, or to get out of the sun. It is very much a boutique hotel experience, so an ideal place for some peace & tranquility.

  • Stayed February 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Shambala Petit Hotel

Address: Carr. Bocapaila - Tulum Ruinas km 7.5, Tulum 77780, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Tulum
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#7 Best Value Hotel in Tulum
#26 On the Beach Hotel in Tulum
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Shambala Petit Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is my great pleasure to introduce you to my retreat Shambala Petit Hotel, located on the South Beach of Tulum, Mexico. You may already be familiar with the magic of Tulum and the beauty and peacefulness it has to offer. It’s endless white sand beaches and crystal clear ocean come together to create an unforgettable experience unmatched in The Mayan Riviera. Tulum is a calm and relaxing destination where tranquility is found just moments after arrival. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shambala Petit Tulum
Hotel Shambala Petit

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