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“A decent hotel, shame about the caged animals” 3 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, Xpuha 77710, Mexico (Formerly Xpu-Ha Palace)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Xpuha
Reading
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“A decent hotel, shame about the caged animals”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

The hotel rooms were nice, nothing special but did have lovely balcony's overlooking the jungle. There were two big disappointments with the resort, there was no beach at the resort you have to get a shuttle bus to the beach and rely on it turning up on time to take you back. Also there are a a large number of caged animals in far too small spaces. The Lions and Tigers were pacing back and forwards in a very small area and there were a lot of monkeys in very small cages.

The food was of an ok standard and the bar service was good, the table wine wasn't very good however the beer and spirits were all ok. We did have a few issues with our room not being cleaned or towels not being replaced but it was rectified quickly once we called reception.

It was quite a tranquil place and it felt quite relaxing.

Room Tip: make sure you get a room that overlooks the jungle rather than the access roads
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
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St. Louis
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

We visited March 12-19, 2014. This was an experience unlike other vacation spots. Xpu Ha has very pretty natural surroundings, lighted paths for walking, wildlife running free and in captivity - great for kids and adults. The palapas we stayed in were unique and rustic, although a little small inside - if you're looking for a luxurious accommodations, keep looking. The food on the buffet was very good - we never ordered off the menu - we were never offered a menu.

Since the 2006 hurricane, which destroyed 2/3 of the resort, it looks like they retro-fitted a long skinny pool into the remaining land. It is nice and scenic. There is a chain link fence with privacy strips woven in along the entire length of the restaurant and pool which hides the old pool and palapas. No doubt Xpu Ha has had a lot to overcome with this loss.

The beach that remains is very narrow and rocky, but interesting for the kids to climb on and explore, and there are lots of cool shells - we even came very close to a slithering eel - twice!

My issues with Xpu Ha are these:
They do a below-average job of cleaning the rooms and replenishing towels and mini bar items.
You cannot get a meal at all times of day...the dining room opens for lunch at 1pm.
The pool bar closes at 5pm, so if you want a drink or want to turn in your wet towel in exchange for a towel card, you have to walk or take a shuttle to the front desk, or just keep it until the next day.
You cannot check out a bike until 9:30am - by then my kids are up so that quiet window of time is gone - and, they only have adult bikes.
The pool crowd was small - in fact - it seemed a little boring. There was a karaoke machine to play music and a guy who tried to get the small crowd going, but basically the pool experience was disappointing. The pool staff were all swimming one afternoon - I even saw a guest retrieve their ball for them!
The head waiter had one large table set up in the dining room, and unless it was available, he insisted on seating our party of 8 at two separate tables for dinner, although they were adjacent and could easily be pushed together. This was an upsetting struggle.
Staff always expected a tip...this includes onsite shuttle drivers, waiters, pool bar staff, and housekeeping. The front desk stated that tipping is expected, however,our travel agent said otherwise when we booked this all-inclusive trip. It is upsetting to feel as though you are disappointing the staff. Xpu Ha management needs to be clear with staff and guests, just like their neighboring resorts have, that there is NO TIPPING.

There is no night life, so if you like a party atmosphere, find another vacation spot. This is attractive if your kids are small or you appreciate the quiet.

Room Tip: We liked the 2nd floor palapa rooms for the view and straw roof. I believe they cost more.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Moncton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

After reading many reviews regarding Bel Air we were very skeptical, however we were out for a quiet adventure NOT the boisterous people and loud music and we got it. You must remember this is an ecopark not a exclusive spa resort. Many complained about the thatched roof (authenticity), leaves and branches (windy), your in a jungle atmosphere, I loved the birds in the morning, some don't, don't stay here. We had a monsoon rain for 10mins at one point, it was an adventure not an inconvenience......the stay was fun.
Our arrival, after leaving in a snow storm, delayed at airport, delayed at entry, long bus drive our check in was a snap. A bell boy transported us to our palapa room (upper room), showed us how everything worked and directed us to the restaurant. It was dark so it was weird following on a lighted pathway through basically a jungle theme, it worked....
Restaurant... Breakfast omelet's were awesome, potatoes, scrambled eggs, beans, pancakes...etc. Fruits always available. Mexican & Italian food was the main event with some American flair included. Each night was different, however every night you could order fish, shrimp, steak and/or pork chop cooked in front of you. We really enjoyed that feature... bread, rolls abundant. 4/5 choices of desserts or take one of each, they were scrumptious. We enjoyed the food and lots of wine. Open from 7 to 12, Lunch 1-5, Dinner 6 - 10.
Rooms... Our room was clean, large, grand jacuzzi, king size bed, great mattress, body pillows along with down pillows, large deck with hammock, 2 beach chairs, 2 cane chairs and a table. Only once did we ever ask for anything....the room was always done to perfection. We always had hot water, not bathroom mishaps, towels etc....great, mini bar refreshed each day too.
Pool... Open 9-5, Hector was the activity coordinator, great guy. Very informative. Snack bar open 10 - 5, serve hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, french fries and pizza. 3 days out of our 7 the chef served poolside mexican dishes....great feature. Thick, plush beach towels were provided each day, music always in the background. Sushi /martini bar was located far end of pool. You could sign out a bike for free and return by 5pm. During your trail walks a small snack bar and gift shop are located in lobby bar area also another shop by front desk.
Lobby Bar... very spacious. Some nightly activity from 8:30 to 11 each night, not a music group, it was fun entertainment for you to join in....salsa dancing, music trivia, casino night....Great service from waiters, we basically had 2 - Saulo and Tomas. Tomas was there the most, he was awesome, very informative and great personality. Very attentive to his job and patrons. Loved the chandelier, astronomy planets, the way of the mayans. Beautiful. Coffee, tea & muffins served for 2 hours in the morning.
Features... ANIMALS....puma, bengal tigers, lion, monkeys ( many types ) gorillas, crocodiles, etc...and this beautiful aviary....the birds were stunning. Igunanas scatter everywhere. Monkey's in the trees and McCaws all around the sanctuary. Kayaking was wonderful, the water is crystal clear and we were lucky, we saw the manatees, ( massive 2-3 meters in length and weighed about 200 to 300kg ) her two babies were there but we could not see them....around the lagoon was part of the devastation from Hurricane Emily in 2005. So being a curious onlooker, we walked around the beach front area towards the other side and the loss was massive. The large hotel itself debilitated, the rooms destroyed.....it's too bad. Not sure why they did not renew the entire area however the animal sanctuary that exists now is smaller area but wonderful. Lots to see! Even a show at 3pm....small but very entertaining.
For beach lovers there is only a rocky water area, you would really need shoes if you chose to go in. There is a shuttle to take you to another beach just minutes away. We did not use this so no info. Beachfront chairs, beautiful waters, 30 degrees, and all the cervaza you can drink and tequilla....and intoxicating cocktails.... we thoroughly enjoyed our time, met some amazing people from all over the world which surprised me.
The hotel is in the process now of doing some upgrading which looks really good. We plan to go back to Mexico, maybe not this resort ( just trying something different ) we would recommend this for a quiet, adventurous vacation. Would love to see it when renos are completed.
Check out - again. a snap....completed a comment card, bracelets cut and we were picked up by bus to return to the airport. Ivan was our bell boy, he was a newby, spoke fluent English and had a great personality.
All this being said, we enjoy the outdoors, nature. I do enjoy being pampered to a degree and the staff were always gracious, prompt and always smiling. That we really liked. When we checked in we received a photo copy of the layout, a little blurry, hard to read.....my recommendation is to hard copy the layout with the hours of operation of each area and also activities that take place. We learned only by word of mouth about some things that were happening & some we missed due to that reason. Maybe a Friday or Saturday night music band. The restaurant....we enjoyed it however it could use more variety, became tiresome. There is a menu and we only found that out the day we left. Transportation on the golf carts, more often....10 -15 sometimes turned into 30 - 45......Consistency...best recommendation for any business.

Room Tip: We were in 900, I would opt for 400 next time...closer to amenities. Opt for Palapa (upper room) if...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

So we got there 8:30 pm and check in. We were suppose to get a champagne welcome which did not happen, or no towels card given to us, Not a very warm greeting from front desk staff . Got whisked away in a golf cart to villas 800. The room was on the second floor, looked amazing like no other I have been in, Beds were comfortable and room was very clean.
For breakfast we were confused by having to sign receipts for meals and drinks for our all inclusive package which was a on going thing there.
We spent to next day in town of playa del carmen took local transit was easy to access. Next day we decided to go to the beach so we headed to the lobby and was advised a van will be there in 10 minutes, well 45 minutes it came. Beach was nice and service good, When we decided to leave we noticed others were waiting for the van to get back to hotel and for quite a while, We knew too many were waiting and would not be able to get on van as it would be full, So we walked back and we beat the people that were still waiting.
The resort is very big and they tell you to use golf carts transport well every time we wanted one it was going wrong way or full, So by day 3 we were both suffering from shin splints. There seemed to be only one bar opened at a time, which was unlike any other place I stayed.
So time to check out which was noon, they showed us our charges which showed all our meals and drinks were charged they cleared these all after I advised them our trip was all inclusive, They also advised us our all inclusive was cut off as it was 12 pm check out. We had a 4 hour wait till our bus arrived to take us back to airport, This made no sense to me as this was my 8th time staying in a all inclusive. I never had this issue and considering check in is at 3pm and we got there at 8:30pm.
This was a very nice resort but I would not go back.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camrose, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2014

After seeing the reviews on here, I was a little worried. This resort surpassed our expections in every way possible! We received flawless service the whole week long stay. We had absolutely NO problem with hidden fees that have been complained about so much on this site. Our room was always spotlessly clean, the food at both the main dining room and sushi bar was delicious, fresh and plentiful, and the pool was easily one of the nicest we've ever been in. The wildlife was VERY well cared for, and the enclosures were plenty spacious and clean. The kayaking and snorkeliing offered was wonderful and we were very lucky to spot the father manatee while snorkelling. The front desk staff were extremely helpful, and never left us feeling anything but appreciated. The shuttle to the beach was only a 5 minute drive, and once we were there, we enjoyed the same great bar service and yummy food. The high point was definitely the incredible 2 hour massage I received on the beach for only $35 American. We would recommend this resort to anyone. The only down side to the resort was that we didn't always have coffee every morning in our room, but a call to the desk had it at our door within 5 minutes.

Room Tip: a little tip goes a long way, the staff did occasionally speak limited English, but were wonderful a...
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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
    • 4 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.
Snow Hill, North Carolina
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

March 8-15, 2014 went there for an affordable vacation and to celebrate our one year anniversary. Overall for what we paid it met our expectations!!! We stayed in 707 which was the top floor and VERY noisy from all the wildlife. The room was different and unlike what we had seen before. I think the bottom ones would have been cooler but nonetheless it was a great time. The shuttle to the nicer beach was a pain but worth it in the end. The food and drinks were average sometimes better than others but the breakfast of let's were outstanding just a long wait!!! We are glad we went and had the experience, but would probably stay some where different in the future.

Room Tip: 707 very noisy and a little on the warm side
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, MI
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

Visited Feb 5 - Feb 15


We have stayed at the Catalonia Royal Tulum several times in the last few years, and have been very curious about the former Xpuha Palace. All we had seen was the damaged portion from the beach, but the cabana like rooms, and what we could imagine this property looked like pre-hurricane, prompted us to try the Bel Air this year.

Check in was quick, and we were driven to our room in one of the carts. We had a 2nd story room, in the 600 villa, located near the gift shop and lobby bar. High, thatched roof was very nice, although didn't do much to block outside noise from birds early in the morning, and the one strong rain shower we had. It sounded like you were sleeping in a tent. Ground floor rooms may be quieter, but not near as spacious du to lower cieling. Room layout was nice, deck was large and comfortable to sit in the afternoon. The thatched roof seemed to drop thatch throughout our stay, and one night I think we shared the room with a mouse that was rummaging around the garbage can. Housekeeping seemed to be ok, until I had to look under the bed to retrieve something that rolled underneath, I don't think a broom had been there for several weeks. Dust bunnies and dead flies were numerous.

Went to dinner, food was good, ordered off the menu every night. Breakfast buffet was very good. Snack bar wasn't bad.

We are walkers, so we loved the grounds to walk around. Seeing the animals was fun, yes, any animals in captivity is kinda sad, but they looked well cared for. We walked the Barceló beach next door every day, which is a beautiful beach to walk.

Took the kayaks out on the cenote, beautiful clear water, but we didn't see the manatees. Bummer.

Speaking of beaches, we took the shuttle to Xpuha one day but found it to be too much of a hassle to do every day. We camped out at the rocky beach at the Bel Air, and found it very relaxing. We walked every day around to the south by the fenced off damaged section. I think there are squatters living in some of the buildings there.

I think the Bel Air acquired this property, is trying to fix it up, and offering cheap rates to fill it up, but its a big property to support with 2/3 of the rooms the Palace had no longer being used. I believe they're trying hard. While its no Catalonia, we didn't pay Catalonia rates. Having researched this place, we were not surprised, at what we found.

So, we stayed, and made the best of it and really enjoyed ourselves. We aren't high maintenance folks, if you are looking for luxury, this isn't your place. That said, being here sure beat shoveling! It was a great adventure, but we won't be returning. Next year, we are going to the Barceló!

Room Tip: 2nd floor rooms very bright, but noisy in the morning. Villas 6,7,8 and 9 are in quieter sections...
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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, Xpuha 77710, Mexico (Formerly Xpu-Ha Palace)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Xpuha
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 #3 of 3 Hotels in Xpuha
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 - Xpuha

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