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“FABULOUS stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Holbox Hotel Mawimbi

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Holbox Hotel Mawimbi
Calle Igualdad s/n, Holbox Island 77310, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Holbox Island
New Hampshire
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014 via mobile

Isla Holbox and Posada Mawimbi are both a winner in our eyes. The staff is wonderful and Onny is a delight. The facilities are perfect for a relaxing vacation. Everyone had smiles on their faces which makes a pleasant environment for all. The beach is great for LONG walks and shelling.

Stayed January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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432 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

I had heard good things about Isla Holbox from friends in Mexico and from reading various travel articles, so I wanted to check it out while staying a month in Cancun. I made arrangements at the last minute to spend a weekend there, without having a lot of time to research what I'd be getting into. I used TripAdvisor to recommend places and came upon Posada Mawimbi and just trusted the system and called and made reservations.
Well, what a find! I'm one of those who typically hesitates to recommend things too highly for fear that everyone else will hear about the great secret, but in this case, it's just difficult enough to reach Holbox that it should remain unspoiled by mass tourism for a while to come. But if you're reading this, you've already heard about it, so COME! Run, don't walk!

It is the antithesis of the big resort haven of Cancun. I heard it called "like Isla Mujeres 40 years ago". No paved streets. No cars, just golf carts for transport. At most only around 250 hotel rooms on the whole island, not that I was counting, so not too many tourists. And I was there in November so maybe 100 other tourists in the place, and most of them European.
The weather while I was there was just fine, sunny and warm, not too hot, but just the day before I arrived they had had one of those heaven-opening heavy downpours, and so just about all the dirt streets had enormous puddles (more like little lakes) running throughout. The "taxi" drivers just waded their golf carts right through them, and I was hoping that our waves wouldn't get nearby pedestrians' feet wet! Yikes! But the not-ideal conditions seemed to make the place even more endearing and adventurous. The residents seemed to definitely take it in stride.
One other factor from being there in November is the sea grass that continually washes up. It isn't so perfect to have to either wade through or step over a strip of black and icky sea grass on the beach, and everyone assured me that it only happens that time of year when "cold" fronts come through and whip up the sea water and dislodge the grass. To me, the worst it did was to keep my beach and water photos from being completely spectacular--maybe I'll need to Photoshop that strip out of them! Otherwise, it's a challenge to come up with enough names for all the colors of blue and green that the water is, along with the interplay of the white sand. Just truly spectacular. And they say that this Gulf of Mexico side's water isn't as clear as in the Caribbean around the corner, but having grown up along the same Gulf coast in Texas, I'm just not going to complain! Port Aransas could just never compare to this!

All the main hotels and inns on the island are located right along the main long beach--some of them are right in the little town, and others are strung along down the beach for about two kilometers. Posada Mawimbi is the last one in town on the way down the beach, and has the double advantage of only having a neighboring hotel on one side, and being one of the few hotels between the road and the beach. On down the way, most of the other hotels lie a ways off the beach, with the little road (ok, dirt golf cart path) in between you and the beach. At Mawimbi, you roll out of bed, take a few steps, and there's the beach! Just a couple of palm trees in your way. So, just from a geographic perspective, Mawimbi has the greatest advantages.

There are only a couple of main buildings that make up this small resort. The building where my room was in is a remarkably cool round shape, like a wagon wheel. You enter the wheel on one side and are presented with five doors all side by side. If you imagine going to the center of the wheel, the rooms are arranged in triangles from the center to the outside as if in between imaginary spokes of the wheel. So each room is narrow at the entrance but widens as you get away from the door. This allows for a nice but cozy main room, a nice bathroom to one side, and the piece de resistance is the balcony (at least on the second floor) that wraps all the way around the building, giving each room a private hammock and small table and chairs to lounge in outside. Because it was rainy season, natural insect repellent was a must out there, at least at dusk and after dark. I lazed away quite a few hours out there!

The room itself was simple, very clean, a nice size for one or two people, and nicely decorated. There was both a ceiling fan and an air conditioner. My air conditioner actually worked a bit too well--I wasn't able to adjust the thermostat to any level above about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and so it was too much of a contrast between there and the outside, so I wound up just using the ceiling fan and was fine.
The bathroom was again simple but just fine. The water pressure, normally a bugaboo for Americans in Mexico, was perfectly fine. The doors to the hallway have little slats to help cross breezes, but I closed them to keep out noise from the neighbors. I'm a light sleeper, so the ceiling fan made just enough white noise for me.

The resort has two Internet routers that cover just about the entire property. I was able to get a weak signal in my room, but for anything heavy-use. It was actually a better signal on my balcony coming from the restaurant router nearby, so it was hardly suffering having to use my laptop outside on the balcony! I'm blaming thick concrete walls for the signal strength issue.

One note to remember, speaking of laptops, the electrical outlets in my room, and I suppose in all the rooms, only have two sockets, so if you have any apparatus with a three-pronged plug, be sure to also pack a two-to-three-prong converter. My laptop has a long battery so I wasn't too worried for just a two-night weekend, but I asked at the front desk and they let me borrow one of their converters for a few hours to fuel back up. Also remember to pack a flashlight/torch in case you are out walking on the beach or elsewhere at night.

The restaurant was lovely--outdoors on the beach. The several servers who worked throughout the weekend were unfailingly nice and helpful and on top of things. The food was imaginative but not too far out there--emphasizing seafood of course. Very tasty. I wound up eating there both my nights since I hadn't heeded the advice above and forgot to pack a flashlight. I decided that I didn't want to be wandering about in the dark with all the puddles, even though there was almost a full moon to light the way.

Speaking of la bella luna, it's been a really long time since I've run across a place that's more romantic than Mawimbi. There were numerous couples there, again lots of Europeans, many on their honeymoons. Boy do they have good taste! Really relaxing, not too much to do, so not too much temptation to do any more than just lie around and soak up the amazingly relaxing atmosphere and enjoy being with your partner. Although normally I'm perfectly happy being single, I was surely missing not having a partner to enjoy it with there! Highly recommended for romance!
Mawimbi staff, everyone I came into contact with, was wonderfully warm and welcoming and very professional, even while being really relaxed and informal. They were doing some palapa maintenance one afternoon, I suppose following up after the gully-washer, and although it made a temporary mess on the normally well-raked sand, it was remarkably unobtrusive. They were also doing their level best to keep the sand swept off the steps and upstairs hallways, but let's just face it that it's an impossible task. Little rugs at the entrance of each room pretty much do the trick, but I'd actually suggest little trays of water to rinse your feet in as you hit the top of the steps. Speaking of the steps, they even did us a favor and put a little shelf for guests to leave books behind. I have to say that I'd never seen Tom Clancy in Swedish before--very cool but hard to read!

BOTTOM LINE: Posada Mawimbi does deserve its high ranking here on TripAdvisor. It's a good value for the price, and they know what they're doing. Holbox itself is a gem truly worth exploring and discovering for yourself, and bring a special friend!

Room Tip: FABULOUS balcony on the second floor
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  • Stayed November 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

We stayed at The Mawimbi for a second time this January and again had the most wonderful time at this hotel. Our ocean front room was comfortable and cozy and the wonderful bed made going to sleep with the sound of the ocean heavenly. The beach is the very best right infront of the hotel and you can walk for miles along the shore following sandpipers and shore birds with sprinklings of seashells to discover. The owners and staff make sure your stay is a happy one. Their meals and drinks are exceptional. They are so helpful for arranging any excursions you need. We cannot say enough good things about this place and it has become a favourite place to come back to each time we visit the yucatan.

Room Tip: We loved the ocean front rooms where you could walk right outside onto the beach.
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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
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014 via mobile

Holbox Island was our first stop on our Mexican holiday and we decided to stay at Hotel Mawimbi based on TripAdvisor reviews. The transfer from Cancun Airport was very efficient and smooth and upon our late-ish arrival at the resort the staff were ready and waiting and made us feel very welcome. After a quick beer and some guacamole we hit the hay. The first couple of days were windy and rainy but we still managed to relax and make the most of doing nothing. For the last few days the weather was amazing and this is when the resort comes into its own.

We opted for an ocean view room which was right on the beach. Open the backdoor and you're on the beach. The room was comfortable, very clean (thoroughly cleaned everyday) and had A/C.

The hotel bar and restaurant, Barquito Mawimbi, is right on the beach and has a varied little food menu with a mix of local delicacies (daily catch, cerviche etc.) as well as pasta dishes and Tex-Mex standards. The drinks menu is pretty extensive including cocktails, your standard Mexican beers, non-alcoholic cocktails/smoothies and a decent selection of Tequila. I tried a few Anejos whilst we were here. The bar staff are very friendly.

The highlight, without a doubt, is where Hotel Mawimbi is located. Right, slap bang on the cleanest, best maintained stretch of Playa Holbox. Nowhere else comes close. The loungers and hammocks amongst the palm trees right on the beach give it that real tropical island feel. When the sun is out its hard to beat. For this alone we would go back.

My only negative comment is that the wi-fi is pretty poor and sporadic. Don't go thinking you'll be streaming movies. At best you can send/receive emails, check Twitter/Facebook and do some web browsing. Netflix ain't going to work here ;) Although with a beach this nice you'll soon forget the outside world.

Definitely a great start to our Mexican holiday. Great location, comfortable rooms and friendly staff. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Main Beach, Australia
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

We have just returned from 5 nights at Mawimbi! Unfortunately we had storms for 5 of the six days we were on Isla Holbox but we found the hotel a very relaxing place to be while we were trying to stay dry and out of the wind. Thanks to the team for a wonderful stay and letting us practise our Spanish. Hopefully we will be able to return to some fine weather the next time!

Room Tip: Maybe one away from the main road as it can be noisy with all the buggies passing at all hours.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Chuburna, Mexico
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

Our 3rd stay at Mawimbi, and like the other two, felt just like home. Great staff, great food, great ambiance, a beautiful beach with a beach bar/restaurant serves up yummy food along with their friendly service. No doubt Mawimbi will see us again and again....

Room Tip: Ask for a room with balcony, hammock and view....
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 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.
New Orleans, Louisiana
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

the staff was super helpful and friendly in arranging day activities for my friend and I like kayaking, and a boat ride to see other parts of this beautiful island. the food and the drinks at the bar were delicious, including the best fresh grilled squid I have ever had in my life. the beach is beautiful and peaceful, and its a short walk to town. plus you can walk to another hotel restaurant bar next door for a change of food and pace. overall, really fantastic vacation experience for a beautiful getaway from it all.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 5 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 Holbox Hotel Mawimbi

Address: Calle Igualdad s/n, Holbox Island 77310, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Holbox Island
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Holbox Island
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Holbox Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mawimbi is a small-charming and tropical Hotel located on the beach of Holbox Island, where you will find an unforgettable atmosphere and you can spend very special moments relaxing on the big beach.This palm shaded beach front oasis lies just beyond the outskirts of Holbox town. Mawimbi has been created paying particular attention to details and showing due respect to Nature’s Harmony of colors and shapes. It has been carefully built and decorated using products and techniques of the ancient Mayan culture. The curtains, bedclothes and pillows are made of antique Guatemalan ponchos, while the bathrooms are decorated with colored Mexican ceramics. Likewise, the tables and chairs have been carved and crafted from local trunks, as well as the entire hotel building, the bar and beach area.All of it surrounded by a luxuriant tropical garden. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Holbox Island
Holbox Island Hotel Mawimbi

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