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“The simple, quiet life at Sin Duda Villas” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sin Duda Villas

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Sin Duda Villas
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Xcalak, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Xcalak B&B and Inns
Merida, Mexico
1 review
“The simple, quiet life at Sin Duda Villas”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

Rarely have I had the opportunity to experience such elegant simplicity.. Sin Duda was lovingly and knowledgeably crafted to provide just such a peaceful, quiet experience. The backdrop of calm provides a perfect setting for bird-watching, day-dreaming, snorkeling or diving the reef, kayaking, beach-combing and star-gazing.
Three or four times a week one of two trucks pas by down the quiet sand trail bringing fruits, vegetables, meats, cookies. Because of the remoteness I had expected to be in a "make-do" mode but found all I needed to prepare healthy meals, right off the grocery trucks. I stayed at Sin Duda Villas for three weeks and absolutely never ran out of something fabulous to do, see, eat, read...
I had read on their website about the wonderful library of books but still was surprised at the number and quality of books in every single room. I read and read...and read for three weeks! What a treasure of books! I really can't over-emphasize this. When it gets dark and the jungle birds have piped down and there's no more sights to see (other than a sky FULL of brilliantly shining diamonds) the books call...and I regret only that I couldn't read more of them!
There were times in between other guests, like Goldilocks I sampled several different rooms. Each room is unique but they all have one thing in common; the beds. I was amazed to find that every one of them was a Papa Bear bed; big and firm but soft on the top like a feather bed. Every one that I tried was..."just right!" The main problem with the beds is that while you sleep...you can't be reading! And one other thing on the subject of the beds...The Sheets! What a fabulous collection of sheets! From adult/childishly cute (like teddy bears wearing business suits) to elegant (orchids, to match the ones growing all over the jungle garden surrounding the property) I really enjoyed them!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 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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178 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Northwest Territories, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2011

My wife & I stumbled upon Sin Duda shortly after they opened their doors and have been back several times to visit with Robert & Margo and the affable corgis, relax in the no stress atmosphere and explore the reef just outside the door.
We have snorkeled & dived all over the Caribbean and Sin Duda's ranks right up at the top: there is a really surprising diversity of critters in safe, shallow, easy access water. Rays, turtles, moray eels, puffers are right there waiting for you.
The hotel is pretty & comfy. Heavy concrete construction means you don't hear your neighbours and that is a huge plus for us! I sleep like a stone there.
Sin Duda is not for everyone. There are no uniformed waiters or silly organised shows on the beach but Robert will give a lecture on the stars from the rooftop or engage in friendly discussions about favourite books and authors.
This is the place to relax.
We'll be back. Sin Duda is a favourite spot.

  • Stayed March 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NT, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2011

Margo and Robert are warm and gracious hosts. (The Margo-Ritas are delicious!) We had a lovely, romantic room with our own balcony overlooking the ocean....very romantic. It was a very comfortable room too, lovely decor and thoughtfully appointed, quiet and peaceful. The snorkelling off the beach out front was the best we had on the Mayan Riviera and we enjoyed paddling around the lake/lagoon at the rear of the property in the kayaks provided. We would definitely like to go back, but would stay longer in a kitchen unit so we could prepare some of our own meals as dining options nearby are limited. If you're looking for utter relaxation far from the crowded resort areas, this is the place!

  • Stayed March 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xcalak, Mexico
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2011

Once again I was drawn back to Sin Duda. This was my seventh visit but this time I brought friends. I wanted to share this special place with some special people, who like me, want to get away from their fast paced lives, and just STOP for a minute. Even though its a little further down the road, Sin Duda has great style and a cool rustic elegance. It is a magical relaxing place where you can just "be", with nature right on your doorstep. It is inspiriting to know that Sin Duda exists in total harmony with it's environment. The ocean breezes - relax; the lovely palapas - shade; the cute kitchens - convenient; and at the end of the day, oh the beds - comfy cozy.

The owners, Robert and Margo, were welcoming, generous and knowledgeable. They greeted us like dear old friends. We asked Robert he would mind giving us one of his star gazing tours, and he obliged. M and R were always accessible to answer any questions we might have and they helped arrange a trip to Belize and dinners in town.

We snorkelled from Sin Duda's shores for hours every day. The reefs go on for miles and every day we explored a new area. We saw stingrays, eels, angel fish, lobsters, parrot fish, cowfish, porcupine fish, balloon fish, trunk fish, lizard fish, flounder and so much more. We were delighted when a Loggerhead Sea Turtle came swimming towards us and then followed us along. And the very next morning, we were thrilled to see turtle tracks on Sin Duda's beach leading to a large mound, which we were told was a turtle nest. What an honour! That night, over those fiesty Margo-itas, there was much excitement and celebration over this event.

I can't wait to see what next year's Sin Duda adventure will be!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

I must warn you about Sin Duda. Be prepared to cushion the fall of your jaw when you arrive. An explosion of color frames the inn's entrance as hibiscus blooms the size of saucers compete with other tropical flowers whose hues make photographers immediately reach for their cameras. Guests are embraced first by the ineffable beauty of the tropical landscaping. Think Fantasy Island and South Pacific rolled into one. Think ... paradise.

The inn alone is a jewel, but in the hands of owners Margo and Robert, its beauty becomes the backdrop for attentive care that is genuine. In my decades of travel, I've never had hosts who gave so much thought to the comfort and enjoyment of their guests. Sin Duda is isolated (which I love), but the inn's design is an exhibition of taste and creativity. There is nothing generic about Sin Duda. You don't know what to look at first: the glorious tropical flowers and palms that hug the inn; the water of the hypnotic Caribbean that softly pushes itself to within yards from the inn; or Sin Duda's myriad architectural details that entertain and inspire conversation. Some people decorate their properties from the shelves of Pier I Imports or Pottery Barn. Not Robert and Margo. Robert, a retired architect, not only designed Sin Duda, but he fashioned many of its embellishments with fantastic collages of pieces delivered to Sin Duda's shores by the sea. Any of his works could easily hang in museums of modern art. Unbelievable talent.

Margo and Robert are intellectuals but hardly snobs. I've rarely met people so clever, witty and educated who are so humble and dedicated to their inn. Margo is the embodiment of a host. My every need was anticipated, and if she should ever tire of the inn business, she should consider a job as a diplomat. The woman excels at it. Because of Sin Duda's rural location, it's powered by solar and responsibly collects rainwater to supplement its wells. Margo kindly explains the guidelines for using Sin Duda's resources without sounding preachy. In fact, if you're not a conservationist, you'll want to be one after a stay at Sin Duda.

Robert, truly a Renaissance Man, guided me through the Caribbean's offerings from its glorious waters to the night sky dripping with stars. After talking to Robert, I had an understanding of the magnificent coral reef so close to Sin Duda, and I could identify many constellations. His enthusiasm for the world and everything in it is contagious.

In Spanish there's a saying to describe a sound sleep .... "like a rock in a well." That's how I slept at Sin Duda. The first-rate bed would do The Plaza or The Carlyle proud. Frankly, I was surprised to find such a luxury at Sin Duda because of its remote location. It's an example of Robert and Margo's dedication to quality. I was in the middle of nowhere, but I had every comfort.

I speak of the owners in friendly terms because their guests interact with them. Their apartment is open to all the guests, and I noticed it was where most guests chose to congregate. Who wouldn't want to? Margo's charm and ability to know what a guest needs before they know they need it ... Robert's enthusiasm for the wonders of nature and the comfort of his guests. Guests are drawn to them like the tide to the moon. They are, in a word, fun.

During the past 30 years, I've logged thousands of miles. Many of those travels have been to beautiful tropical settings. However, nothing I've seen compares to Sin Duda. The inn alone would have impressed me, but in the artful hands of owners Margo and Robert, Sin Duda becomes the Everest of out-of-the-way inns. Without them, Sin Duda would still be a pleasant place to enjoy the Mayan Riviera, but it is Margo and Robert who imbue their small inn with magic. There's no other word for Sin Duda .... magic.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Louisville, Kentucky
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

Stayed here for three nights and had an absolutely wonderful experience. Snorkeling, kayaking, stargazing on the rooftop porch, and just sitting for hours on the beach. Walks along the beach are fascinating here. This is not Cancun. This is not a place for everyone. There is no air conditioning, but it actually works out just fine because the house is designed in a way that the breezes from the ocean cool you down. If you are looking for a postcard-perfect beach, you might want to look elsewhere. The beach is wilder. Unusual objects wash up on the shore. You can spot gigantic crabs among the turtle grass and thousands and thousands of conch shells. But swim out a bit through the calm waters and explore some of the most incredible reefs! So many tropical fish! And when you are finished, you can come look them up in Robert's tropical fish books. Speaking of our hosts, Robert and Margo (and Lane!) were fabulous hosts who made is feel very welcome in their lovely home. We enjoyed having long conversations with them about all kinds of things over a couple of Margo's "Margo-ritas", which by the way are extremely powerful! Robert designed the building and the architecture is awesome. The room was spotless and very well cared for. The decor was really fun- lots of folk art and whimsical touches throughout.

When you come to Sin Duda, you should be prepared to cook your own meals. We stopped at a large grocery store in Tulum prior to arriving and stocked up on the basics. The appliances are perfectly sufficient for all of your cooking needs unless you are dependent on a microwave. Delicious homemade granola and yogurt are provided for breakfast.

One of the only complaints about the whole experience that I have is that to get to Sin Duda, you must drive down a very long and pothole filled road, which after awhile becomes pretty annoying. But once you finally arrive-- paradise! Perhaps that's just the price you have to pay for being able to really, really get away from it all.

  • Stayed July 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

This place has a lot of potential. The location is amazing, magical even. But, the owners just fail short on a bunch of really easy things. 1. How about a little bit of hot water? I know it's "eco" and "remote" but there are stores just a couple hours away that sell new hot water heaters that work. 2. How about a comfortable bed? The mattresses are bottom end and they're old and lumpy to boot. 3. How about a refrigerator that keeps my food cold? We used the refrigerator in the shared kitchen and our food smelled questionable after 2 days. It was obviously a temperature issue as the freezer never made ice. Our next visit to Xcalak, we'll opt for renting a house.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sin Duda Villas

Address: Xcalak, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Costa Maya > Xcalak
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Xcalak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Come stay with us at the end of the road on our secluded beach--a respite from bright lights. Using ecologically responsible technologies and a cheerful perspective to conserve our unique environment, we live through seasons leaving only footprints in white Caribbean sands. Presenting 6 remarkable spaces designed by the architect-owner, buildings reflect his appreciation of Mayan simplicity, form and tropical colors--a bit of whimsy tossed here and there, peaceful and decidedly rewarding. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sin Duda Villas Hotel Xcalak
Sin Duda Villas Xcalak, Mexico - Costa Maya

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