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“As remote and wonderful as it gets!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Carolina

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Casa Carolina
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Beach road "Calle Costero" | 2 kms north of Xcalak pueblo, Xcalak 77940, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Xcalak B&B and Inns
San Francisco, CA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“As remote and wonderful as it gets!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2010

I have been wanting to write a review about this place for 2 years now (we went january 2009) because this was one my favorite vacations! Remember that Xcalak is for a trip of adventure, not luxury or tourism. You have to be easy-going and not need a lot of stuff/activities to enjoy this vast spanse of undiscovered nature. I would alot at least 7 hours to drive from cancun, especially if you are going to make stops along the way. we stopped in akumal for lunch, we missed the turn to xcalak because it was getting dark, the road became just dirt with huge potholes in it, and it was pitch dark, so it took us over 8 hours to get there haha. but how worth it! the hosts couldn't have been more fantastic! they are really out to make the most of your stay.
Only 4 rooms, so its very cozy and personal, but also quite private. Room is super clean with a great bed and plenty of space. Best part was the stunning balcony with chairs, mini table and one of those great man made hammocks (perfect for a nap!). Balcony has the most stunning views of the carribean sea. You could go up to the roof of the hotels where there were lounge chairs
Room had a full kitchen, although we didn't use it as we prefer to eat out on vacation. Only downside was restaurant options are quite limited. there is one place that delivered to us, but there were only like 3 different things we could order. otherwise we would drive to other restaurants in town - whatever we could find that was open at that time in this sleepy village. however, whereever we ate, the food was always spectacular, fresh and tasty.
The beach at the hotel is small but its only for the hotel guests. There is a looooong private dock stretching from the shore where boats can pull up to, or you could jump in for a swim. I did yoga every morning on that dock while my bf always slept in. Don't expect turquiose waters on this eco-friendly beach - "turtle grass" grows in the first 100 feet or so of super shallow water, which allows all sorts of wonderful creatures to live there. We would take our snorkels and jump off the dock to discover various colorful fish, lobsters, stingrays, crustaceans, etc. Each day we were there, we asked Caroline to hire us a snorkel tour (Noel was our guide each day) where we hit up tons of gorgeous snorkel spots (i wish i knew the names of all the cool fish and creatures we saw! i know we saw barracuda and sting rays and giant conchs crawling around, etc etc) and we also saw the mangroves, and some of the clearest green blue waters i have ever imagined.
we really wanted to learn how to scruba with caroline's husband (forgot his name! Bob??) but the water was kind of rough and we decided it was too rough to have a good time learning how to scuba for the first time. otherwise i hear the scuba trips they do are amazing. hotel has free kayaks and snorkel equipment for use - there is a small coral reef within swimming distance from the hotel.
Caroline had the best continental breakfast with items like fresh homemade muffins, hard boiled eggs, chopped up tropical fruit, fresh made orange juice or mango juice, and great coffee. This was served in the guest lounge/dining area which was nice. We became friends with the other 5 guests at the hotel and on the last night we all played a fun game of poker. there is really nothing to do in xcalak after sunset, so you kind of rise and sleep with the sun.
We were very sad to leave! This area is so peaceful and remote. the nature and wildlife are breathtaking. I would recommend this place to anyone looking to "get away from it all", looking for spectacular snorkeling, scuba, or fishing, or just looking to see a corner of the world very few people have ever seen. thank you casa carolina for such a great vacation!

  • Stayed January 2010, 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
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195 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (45)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
CANADA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2010

I had been traveling for the past month.When I rolled into Casa Carolina it was like going back ino a time warp .No phones no telly and your Hydro from the sun and the precous water from the sky.This place is for the real travelers.
What can I say about Bob and Carolin.They are a wonderful couple who 10 years ago had a dream,They risked every thing and built this place from the ground up.Yes this is there home and I really saw it when we were battoning down everthing and waiting for "Huricane Richard" to come.
I will miss the nightly get togethers I had with all the other guests and discussed the travel tales and the world.But I will be back soon.
Thanks Bob and Caroline for making the last part of my trip so memorable

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Laporte, CO
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2010

I've visited Xcalak once a year for the past 7 years and have always stayed at Casa Carolina. For me, it's (obviously) been a great fit. I have sometimes been traveling alone, others with a signif other, and once with a close friend.

I like a lot about Casa Carolina: the rooms are efficient and very functional for cooking most meals yourself (which I prefer); it is outside of town but close enough to walk or bike in (I have always arrived by bus/taxi, so this can be important); the swimming, snorkling, and kayaking from the dock at CC is wonderful!; the scuba diving in the area is great and it is usually the case that the dive boat picks you up at the dock at CC, which is quite a luxury and rare in my experience; the owners are very knowledgable, helpful, and friendly. Needless to say, I'll be back.

  • Stayed January 2010, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangs, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2010

Bob and Caroline made us feel at home the minute we arrived on their property. Caroline's directions were perfect and we had no trouble getting there. We were offered alternative accomodations because of some remodeling on their house. Wow!!! We had the whole top floor of a villa next door--thought we had died and gone to heaven!! We so appreciated Caroline"s thoughtful help understanding the proper use of the house and how to conserve the precious resourses of the house! We went there to scuba dive but because of the high wind, we were unable to. That was disappointing but Bob and Caroline felt worse than we did about it. As perfect of hosts as they are, they cannot control the weather. We loved our long chats with them , laughing and exchanging life stories. Tootsie was a great host, too. We would love them to visit us in Texas so we might return just a little of their hospitality!!

  • Stayed September 2010, 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.
Salem, OR
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2010

My wife and I are just at the end of a four week trip throughout the Yucatan. I decided when we started that I would write a review of the one place we liked best. We didn't have any trouble agreeing that Casa Carolina in Xcalak is that place. We stayed in all kinds of places, from mega-all inclusive resorts where you could be anyplace in the world that has a beach in front of it, to places that were one step above camping, with communal bathrooms and limited or no electricity. At a lot of places that described themselves as green, or eco-resorts, it just meant they had limited, or no, electricity or running water. Casa Carolina strikes the perfect balance of beauty in a natural, unspoiled setting, with as much convenience as is possible in an area where apparently everyone has to make their own electricity and collect rain water. It's all done so well that it was easy to forget at first that we were off the grid. But it wasn't that hard to remember to turn off the fan when we left the room, which was really the only adaptation we wasteful Americans had to make. The rooms at Casa Carolina are beautiful, well designed, and clean. The view of the Caribbean from the room was magnificent. Sometimes it was hard to motivate ourselves to move from the hammock on our balcony. But we were always glad we did, because the snorkeling and kayaking were well worth it, and the hammock was still waiting for us when we got back. Bob and Caroline are terrific hosts. It was a pleasure to be at a place where they still know the meaning of customer service. We left feeling like we had made life-long friends.

Xcalak is not what most people think of as either a typical Mexican town, or a typical resort community. That's the reason for making the effort to go there! It doesn't get enough tourists to support a lot of restaurants. Sometimes we were the only customers at a restaurant. Go to Xcalak if you're looking for true tranquility. We have every intention of going back. We'll be staying at Casa Carolina again, and we'll stay longer next time.

  • Stayed August 2010, 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.
Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2010

Fantasic place to stay; great people and unbelieveable place, magical. Caught my inshore grand slam there. Have gone there probably 8 times, with friends, significant other and solo, and can't wait to go back later this year. Would recommend to everyone, but then it would get too crowded

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Bronx, NY
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2010

Xcalak is a tranquil, heavenly place, and Casa Carolina is situated on one of its loveliest beaches. All four rooms stand mere steps from the shoreline, so you awaken each morning to the sun rising over the sea or, occasionally in the rainy season, to a distant storm blustering breeze and light rain onshore. It really is quite a beautiful spot.

Casa Carolina is a no-frills kind of place: they provide breakfast (boiled egg, mini muffin, fruit, juice and coffee) and daily maid service, but not much else: So if you want a hotel that offers cocktails and totopos+guacamole at any hour of the day, this isn't the place for you. Each room provides the means to self-cater (stove, small fridge-freezer, full complement of tableware, etc.), and there's so much good food in the village and nearby that you certainly won't starve. (In fact I put on 10lb during my stay o.O )

The rooms are clean, attractive, and spacious. They include a small kitchen, a lovely Mexican tiled bathroom with roomy shower, a portico with chairs and optional hammock, and a shelf loaded with second-hand books that previous guests have left as part of the hotel's unofficial book exchange policy (leave your summer reading behind for future guests if you care to, and feel free to take a book home if you're not finished reading it by the end of your stay -- nice!)

Most reviews here remark on how hospitable and helpful the proprietors are, while some describe them in less attractive terms. For my part I'll say this: it's true that Bob and Caroline do what they can to make Casa Carolina the kind of place people want to come back to. It's true that they're keen at times to involve themselves in your daily arrangements (breakfast conversation, fishing, scuba, dinner reservations, etc.) in a sincere effort to be congenial and helpful. It is also true that in so doing they can at times come across as a bit busybody-ish. In the end it's a matter of preference: either you like the involvement of management in your vacation or you don't.

Example: A couple weeks before our arrival we'd made dinner reservations by email with the owners of the Leaky Palapa for the first evening of our stay. We re-confirmed our res. with the restaurant a couple days before departure. Shortly after arriving at the hotel Caroline asked us what our dinner plans were. When we told her, first she questioned the certainty of our reservation, then took it upon herself to radio the restaurant to re-re-confirm. We tried to tell her it wasn't necessary, yet she insisted. Some might appreciate this degree of attention; some, such as we, felt it to be excessive, officious, and unwelcome.

While I appreciate all that Casa Carolina's proprietors do for their guests I don't particularly love that they loom in the memory long after my vacation is over. Indeed, this is the only hotel stay of my life that warrants a discussion of the proprietors themselves. Highly unusual. It's my personal opinion that somewhere along the line they have misjudged - and perhaps overestimated - their role. On the other hand, they have loads of faithful fans and return customers, so their approach to hospitality is obviously working for them and their guests. What can I say? Tastes differ.

I truly had a lovely time at Casa Carolina. Would I return? Probably not. Would I recommend Casa Carolina to others? Of course! And heartily!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Carolina

Address: Beach road "Calle Costero" | 2 kms north of Xcalak pueblo, Xcalak 77940, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Costa Maya > Xcalak
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Xcalak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on the Yucatan's Caribbean coast in the village of Xcalak, Casa Carolina is a beachfront B&B catering to travelers who desire something different. With only four guestrooms, Casa Carolina offers privacy, intimacy, and individual attention in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. All rooms are oceantfront. Breakfast is included, and all rooms have kitchenettes, giving you the option of eating in or dining out for the rest of your meals. Kayaks and bicycles are included. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Carolina Hotel Xcalak
Casa Carolina Xcalak, Mexico - Costa Maya

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