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“Animal watching” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya

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Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km. 265, Xpu-Ha 77710, Mexico (Formerly Xpu-Ha Palace)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Animal watching”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014 via mobile

We had a great time - quiet, relaxing, beautiful accommodations. Loved walking by the animals every day, counting crocodiles, looking at tigers. The jaguars seemed to be in a very small cage, though.
Aldo at the front desk was the best - fast, friendly, got things done. He was the most professional of the stuff that we encountered. Actually, everyone is friendly, but service in the restaurant was unbelievably slow. Some things you want to know: food - not great, service is bad. We were very happy not to have purchased all inclusive option.
Room: ours was fantastic, i think they all are pretty good. Cleaning sometimes ok, sometimes bad - twice they didn't put the top sheet on.
Beach - nonexistent at the hotel, if you have shoes, you can walk over some rocks for 5 minutes to the next hotel's beach. Or take the shuttle to their beach - xpuha, very nice.
All in all, if you expect 5 star- don't go. Lower your expectations and have a great time.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jorge R, Gerente at Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya, responded to this review, February 8, 2014
Dear Guest:

Thank you for having chosen Bel Air Xpu Ha. I am very pleased that our concept was to your great liking and that you found the magical atmosphere that surrounds us, superb.
I apologize if the service in the restaurant was not up to your liking. Thank you for bringing this area of opportunity to my attention. Be sure that I will personally check the service and quality in our department.

Sincerely,

Jorge A. Rodriguez
General manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,151 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Billericay
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

Firstly we ended up in the Bel Air by mistake as our holiday booking agent went bust so ended up being located here for our Honeymoon.

Pro's

- Breakfast was generally good after 9am, we turned up early a few times and there was no chef cooking fresh omelettes (which were excellent)
- Cenote's are beautiful
- The local beach was beautiful
- If you venture to the right of the coral beach, the old deserted part of the hotel has an amazing secluded bay, it was amazing for snorkling. The old hotel has been left to the elements from 2005 and literally looks like something from Jurassic park (after the dinosaurs have gone on the rampage)
- canoeing was all free
- Loads of natural wildlife - Coate's, racoons, iguana's, pelicans, etc, this is what the hotel should focus on, not the caged varieties.
- Staff all really friendly, limited English but hey your in Mexico not England so learn the basic phrases!!
- Wi-Fi was good, no connection issues

Con's

-Zoo animals in cramped pens, monkeys were in a ridiculously small cage with no stimulation whatsoever. The leopard cubs were in an even worse pen of solid concrete with a wooden platform & a glass front. This got extremely slippy when it rained and one of the leopard cubs looked like it had damaged back hips (this may have been a birth defect) . The lions and tigers all looked depressed and again although the pens were bigger in comparison to the others but still really tiny.
- Animals (monkeys & a lion cub) were paraded around the park during the day in order that you could have your photo taken with them - $50 US dollars! Again, this was really sad.
- Random days of A La carte and buffet with no real explanation why (the hotel was dead over the new year so it may have been to reduce wastage. My wife ordered a Chicken Ceasar salad, which literally had a piece of chicken the size of a chicken nugget.
- You are in the middle of no where, a taxi ride into Playa was $250 mx each way
- The upgrade fee of $70 US per person is a complete rip off, the food is average, its not 5*, the beer is not great either!

Room Tip: We stayed in Flamingo (great for getting woken up early, but the Coates climbed on the cage (see pho...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

I traveled with my girlfriend and stayed from Dec 27 to January 1st, the hotel is great. Staff is really friendly. We took a bus from the airport to Playa del Carmen and then a taxi to the hotel, much more cheaper. The hotel has a very nice zoo which we enjoyed a lot, specially petting a kangaroo!

There is no beach , you have to take a shuttle from the lobby or walk 10-15 min to get to a beautiful one. It is a quiet hotel so don't expect a big party at night, if you want to you can take a cab to Playa del Carmen in 15-20 min. The rooms are great, specially the Jacuzzi after a long day. The hotel is close to all the main attractions( Xcaret, Xplor )

There are still some " difficulties " experienced with management/reception but overall its a great value.

Room Tip: Choose a Palapa, and something close either to the lobby or the restaurant.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

We stayed at Bel Air in December and we have to admit we were getting anxious and worried reading these reviews on the way to the hotel, even considering rebooking. I'm glad we didn't as this was one of the best holidays we've ever had.

We were after a small, quiet resort in nature where we could relax and spend some active time out and about. If you are looking for a busy big resort with loud music and constant animation whilst chugging daiquiris from a giant thermos keg, this place isn't for you. For us, this was paradise.

Upon arrival the staff were wonderful, big thanks to Aldo and Rosa for all their help! We opted for the deluxe room with a terrace and jacuzzi, it was simply divine and very clean. The wifi worked perfectly at all times and we received a little cake each afternoon which was nice. The whole resort is pretty much set in the jungle and a bit disconnected but again-this is what we were after.

The resort is also an animal park/zoo and we absolutely loved that. We really felt like we reconnected with nature, it was very special to be around animals at all times. They are looked after very well and a lot of them are rescued animals which is why they are in captivity. The Bel Air park is doing a good job looking after them all.

There are three cenotes in the resort one of them is huge and home to a wild manatee family. We kayaked on it many times (it's free) and seeing the manatees so closely was one of the most amazing experiences of our lives, magical! At the cenote you can get a free glass of bubbly every evening during the sunset which is not bad either!

There is a coral beach at the resort but it isn't swimmable. We walked over (few minutes) to the long white-sand Barcelo beach every day however the hotel provides shuttles to another private beach of theirs as well. We didn't find this a problem at all. The pools are nice and clean as well, quite basic but that was enough for us.

The food is good, the a la carte menu is decent as it's the breakfast and buffet dinner. Again-if you're looking to go crazy on all-inclusive food and drink this isn't for you. The sushi place is nice as well. We stayed on a bed&breakfast basis and our bill was pretty small at the end of our stay. Breakfast starts at 8 and goes til 12:30.
* I would advise the hotel management to offer a few more 'European' breakfast options and perhaps serve more of the Mexican food at dinner time-it was so delicious but perhaps a bit strange for those who aren't used to it :)

There's a bus stop for Playa del Carmen right outside the hotel if you fancy a trip out and the reception staff are very helpful should you want to organise an excursion. You can also hire bikes for free.

We will definitely be back to Xpu Ha, we loved the wild feel of this place, the gorgeous night skies, the odd wild racoon and coati sighting, parrots flying around...We felt at peace and totally rejuvenated on the way home.

ps: this vacation was also an absolute bargain

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caledonia, Ohio
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

Great Staff very helpful in every way! Rose & Rickardo are truly a great asset to the Bel Air Collections. Food was very good and service was very good every where we went on the complex. Enjoyed the Jungle environment, Will return again QUIDOS for a job well done Bel Air.

Room Tip: Not a bad room in the entire complex!
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

Pros:
The jacuzzi

Cons:
I had no idea they had a small zoo when I booked. They keep their animals in tiny concrete cages, sometimes directly under the sun! There so many other ways to see wild animals in their own habitat, no need to make them suffer in captivity!

Even if you don't care about animals you should still look for another place and here's why: the power generator was really loud and needed earplugs to sleep!
The food was really bad, why can't they offer real Mexican food is beyond me! Also the restaurant was always smelly and filled with smoke!
There's no beach, so you will need to take a painfully long bus ride or drive around all the time (remember you don't want to eat here).

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

Our family decided to take our first vacation together and chose to spend the New Year in Mexico. There were 11 persons in our group with ages ranging from 5 to 70 years old. This resort seemed to offer alittle something for everyone. A zoo, gourmet dining, and luxurious rooms. We booked our stay in March and traveled from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and California. We reviewed tripadvisor and found mixed reports but most dated back to early 2013. The price was a good value for us. We booked 5 rooms and all arrived from various states to find:
Pros
A tropical paradise location as described
An on site zoo with many animals and beautiful plants and flowers
A private beach access point (only a short ride to a real sand covered beach)
Wonderful all you can eat daily buffet
Friendly staffpersons
Beautifully designed accommodations
Close access to attractions
Cons
Wrong or missing bedding for our entire stay (queen duvet on a king bed and no top sheet)
No telephones in some of our rooms for the entire 7 day stay
No wash cloths for the first 4 days of our stay
Some guests were required to pay food costs for double occupancy of $120.00 per day while being told it would cost $80 per day
Room charges for services where we paid the staff in cash
Televisions with no remote controls for our entire stay
No hot water for the luxurious oversized jacuzzis
Rooms where the flooring requires deep professional scrubbing
Our room was missing a lock upon arrival and required an hour of our stay for maintenance to locate one on another room.
No shuttle service (cab cost from airport is $120.00 usd each way)
A broken ATM that was never serviced during our 7 day stay ($42.00 usd to nearest city with a bank or ATM)
No generator (we experienced a power outrage on New Years Eve and were locked out of our rooms in a jungle without lights with no telephone to call for help)
No wifi in our room, restaurant, nor anywhere else but the lobby
A Management staff who was unable or unwilling to address any of the above problems either with a complimentary or compensatory adjustment
Animals that appeared underfed and neglected
Odors of mildew in our room and sewage
No access to call anyone for room service, or any service or even room to room for help (no telephone)
Finally, it is important to note that since the travel club who this resort participates with acts merely as a referral source, we had no options to move to another location. We paid our money in advance and possibly would have to seek other accommodations in Cancun at 2 to 3 x the cost due to the holiday. The area has absolutely no services in the immediate area because developers have taken over every single bit of land for all inclusive resorts. The closest towns of Playa Del Carmen or Talum are a hefty cab fare of $40 usd to access banks, stores, etc. I've vacationed to Cancun and Puerto Vallarta but never experienced such disregard for customer satisfaction by Management. We knew we were going to experience conditions that are typical to jungle like conditions like mosquitoes but when the hotel describes accommodations as gourmet and luxurious, it should include the basics. Belair needs to crank up it's quality control and give people what is represented on the website. While to weekly rate was too good to be true, Belair made it up in food rates, double tipping, (I forgot to mention that the propina (tip) on your food receipt says not included when it really is part of the all inclusive rate according to the Manager), and duplicate charges. Once there, they've got your money and your stuck without enough money or time to adjust and find other accomodatations. Overall this trip comes in around the same price as any other all inclusive trip to Cancun. The food was delicious but not exactly gourmet. We had lots of stews and fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu of steam table items felt more like a Mexican style Golden Corral. This place has such potential but the competition is strong in this region and substandard management places Belair Collection Xpu Ha in jeopardy of becoming the next Mayan Ruin!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya

Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km. 265, Xpu-Ha 77710, Mexico (Formerly Xpu-Ha Palace)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Xpu-Ha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya 3.5*
Number of rooms: 144
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bel Air Xpu-Ha is the newly open Resort of Bel Air Collection at Riviera Maya. Feel with your family the natural environment, the perfect place to rest and delight yourself. A unique place for a romance experience. Enjoy our facilities surrounded by natural beauty in an eco-paradise. A gourmet experience in each of our restaurants, from Mexican-Italian fusion cuisine to sushi & martini delightful Japanese style, all in a la carte menu selection. Premium brand drinks and appetizing snacks in our Bars at Lobby and pool area. A unique layout of a cozy and peaceful guestrooms in liberate getaway with all the luxury and comfort of a five stars resort, refurbished indoors with jacuzzi and branding amenities; a relaxed exterior and a spacious terrace with hammock. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya Hotel Xpuha
Xpu Ha Palace Xpuha
Bel Air Collection Xpu Ha Riviera Maya Mexico - Xpu-Ha

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