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“Beautiful Place: Great Food not Part of the Deal Though!”
Review of Rancho Encantado

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Rancho Encantado
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Bacalar
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 11, 2012

This place is beautiful, the surroundings are gorgeous and the view of the lagoon is priceless. This is a great place to unplug from the world and its worries. There are trees everywhere and birds singing very early in the morning (which will wake you up by 6:00 A.M.), chaise lounges by the side of the lagoon under tall trees and hammocks on the palapa on the water at the end of a nice pier.

The waters of the lagoon are clear at the edge and turquoise beyond and a great place to swim. The restaurant is right at the water's edge and the view is amazing. The rooms are well appointed and the woodwork is beautiful, but the hotel, as beautiful as it is (and it really is gorgeous) is not without its problems.

Some of the Casitas for example have thatched roofs and that presented a few issues due to the access between the roof and the walls (several inches). Our friends' room had a bird sleeping in it and it pooped on one of their pillow; Geckos get into the rooms through those spaces and the space under the doors (over one inch).

In our room, our dead bolt did not work on the door and neither did the flushing mechanism of the toilet. The drainage was a problem, the water accumulated on the floor of the shower, and a foul smell would fill the room. A day later, our friends came to us to let us know there was sewage back up from the shower in their room and when we notified the management, he indicated it would be taken care of.

Several hours after this incident, the room had yet to be cleaned as they were busy trying to fix the sewage well/pump, which another employee indicated had caused the problem as someone "forgot to empty the tank, because another room had the problem today and last week too". At that point, we realized they had forgotten about cleaning our friends' room, so we had to ask forcefully this time. When they finished while we sat at the restaurant, the young man in charge forgot to tell us it was completed. The hotel does not have telephones or televisions (you do not need them), but it would be nice to have been told by Hotels.com in advance. The rooms have lubbers with metal netting outside and if it gets cold, you will too.

The food is decent, but nothing to write home about. They cater to an American clientele it seems (burgers, quesadillas, pancakes, etc.) and the selection has no much variety. The hotel is close to the main highway running from Belize to Cancun so the trucks running at night will keep you awake unless you are close to the water. The grounds as you get away from the hotel have a lot of trash that needs to be disposed off, such as used toilets and other pieces that may have been used by the hotel, but they seem to have a hard time getting rid of.

Please do not take me wrong, the hotel is a great place, great view, Claudia (the young lady who manages the place) is a charming lady with a great attitude and very helpful with information about the area. Most of the staff is great and very attentive, but that does not mean the place is perfect.

However, I recommend it highly. I would go back as I hope the issues with the place were just flukes. It is apparent to me that this place really tries hard and the grounds are well maintained. I would eat less at the hotel and try other places, not only because of the lack of variety, but because they allow smoking in the outside of the restaurant, which the breeze from the lagoon brings back (the smoke) into the restaurant.

It is a great place to relax and to unplug from the world, just do not expect great food.

Room Tip: Ask them to give you a room as close to the water and as far away as possible from the highway. Also...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank corazonladron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 10, 2012

Positive things about this place: staff is really friendly specially at the restaurant and reception. This place has a very nice lagoon view and access - A nice central palapa with hammocks welcome you to just sit and enjoy the lagoon- which gives this place some certain "magic".  The restaurant serves really good food for reasonable prices. The owner seems like a nice guy: he personally greeted us by breakfast and asked if everything was ok.

There is Wi-Fi only at the lobby and restaurant. Best Cabaña is number 8. It has direct access and view to the lagoon.  Bed Sheets were clean.

Some "opportunity" areas this place has are in my opinion: the toilets and showers could be renewed: not only they are a bit old but sometimes the infrastructure is just outdated. The place is an Eco place so do not expect too much luxury however I do think the decoration and ambient even if "Eco" style could be really improved or have a more "Eco-Spa" decorated ambient. Sometimes small decoration welcoming details could make the difference. Another point: there is like a gallon of drinking purified water in each Cabaña and some glasses: water in ours was a bit "old" so it tasted funny. We asked for it to be changed but it took a little while for them to do so (hours). I had to ask twice.

Also an advice: try to make a taxi agreement with a local taxi driver yourself: seems like Roberto ( guy who nicely asks for taxis for hotel guests) has some kind of "agreement" with a specific taxi driver so that taxi driver always gave us about 10% higher taxi rates as other local taxi drivers - for example: we asked at the hotel how much would cost a drive to Mahahual and Roberto quoted the taxi service of 600-700 pesos while a local taxi driver charged us 450 pesos. Just be careful on that ;) 

Last but not least: cleaning at toilets was not so careful made: I am personally a bit cleaning obsessed and could fine some dirt and hairs on bathroom surfaces. 
Shower and toilet water did not work properly: they had maintenance  issues so we could not shower and go to the toilet for some hours...

  • Stayed: March 2012
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Thank claudialpl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2012

We had a great 3 days at Rancho Encantado, the staff did everything they could to make our stay perfect.
Breakfast was included in our price, and was delicious! home made bread an jams really made it special!
We did the lagoon tour, and even if we already love the lake, we fell even deeper in love.
The only drawback was the noise from the trucks on the road, my children did not mind, but I was glad to find that I had packed earplugs...it was such a shame to have to block out the lapping of the lake!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank vanessa j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2012

We had a room on the lagoon that was Huge! King bed foru husband and I and two single beds. Spacious bathroom as well. The food in the restaurant was very good. I happened to be sick and couldn't make it to the restaurant. Even though they don't offer room service they kindly brought me chicken soup, steamed veggies, and a basket of rolls. I was grateful for it. The best part was working with Nellie. She is kind and very helpful. She was assisting me in setting up trips to nearby ruins. She was always prompt in responding to emails. She is a great asset to the hotel!

  • Stayed: February 2012
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Thank Heatherbug78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2012

My husband and I were very disappointed that we only stayed at this property for one night having used it as a stopover on our way to the jungles of the interior from Cancun airport. We arrived late at night in our rental car and would have driven past the turn in if we hadn't noted a little sign with the gecko and leaves logo versus the huge sign which doesn't provide the hotel name.

We stayed in Cabana #9 fronting the lagoon. The cabana was huge and extremely homey while being exotic for us with the high thatched and wooden ribbed roof and great Mayan mural. The setting on the lagoon and the gardens were wonderful. The staff were great as was the food in the lagoon facing restaurant.

We highly recommend staying at this property and make your stay an extended one if possible.

One little piece of advise. We experienced a downpour late in the evening and keep in mind that the thatched ceilings may leak. Ours leaked in the sitting area but I laid down a couple of towels. No big deal and to be expected but wouldn't have wanted to have any of our luggage or other things under the leaks. Oh, another piece-the highway is audible but the noise was minimal.

Room Tip: Stay as long as your itinerary allows and try to get a cabana right on the water.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank GJF6322
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2012

We called in hoping to find accommodation here after a busy 3 weeks around Yucatan and Chiapas and were in luck. They had just finished a new suite named 'Flamango' (we were the second occupants) which cost around £100 including breakfast. The room was huge with the bedroom opening up through double doors into a large private patio area complete with seating and a hammock. Leading off the bedroom there is a walk in rain shower housing another set of double doors also leading onto the patio, separate toilet and basin plus wardrobes and a safe. The room housed on the first floor had garden views with the lake beyond.
Choice of very good continental Amercian or Mexican breakfast included in the price. Service reception very good, friendly and knowledgeable.
Perfect for a relaxing couple of days.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank T-SGlobetrotters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2012

We stayed only one night at this hotel but was enough to amaze us.. we arrived to the hotel in the evening, staff was helpful and friendly. First we settled in our spacy, 4-people room. Even though we were only 2, this room was the same rate as a double room and we loved the space for our big luggages. Bed was comfortable, and had a fan above. No mosquito net around the bed, but we didnt need it. We had dinner at the restaurant: A jicama salad (a cocktail of orange juice, lime and fruits..a little bit spicy but in a great combination with lime), nachos, shrimp sauteed in butter and garlic sauce and beef..very delicious food, no need to go somewhere else.. Breakfast was also good, especially the scrambled eggs with tomatoes, onions, mushroom and cheese. Yet bread was baked the day before, therefore it was not fresh..minor issue. The view from the restaurant is breathtaking! The dock is the road to the heavenly lagun, a huge turqouise heaven. We did paddelling around the hotel and swam off the shore.. We felt as if we were swimming in a gigantic swimming pool which only belonged to us..We read our books in the hammocks under the palapa on the dock..everything is so calm, silent, except the relaxing sound of the water and the birds..we found the heaven on earth and we never wanted to leave this place!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank sedacc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho Encantado

Address: Carretera Federal 307 Km. 24, Bacalar 77930, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Bacalar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Bacalar
Price Range: $120 - $235 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Rancho Encantado 2.5*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just a little more than half an hour away from the capital city of Chetumal and its airport, and about the same distance to the border with the country of Belize, Rancho Encantado is situated on the shores of the pristine waters of Laguna Bacalar. This area, in the southernmost part of the Yucatan Peninsula, is just at the point of developing as a tourist destination for the eco-minded traveler who seeks escape from the larger, often over-developed areas of the northern part of the Peninsula. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rancho Encantado Hotel Bacalar
Rancho Encantado Laguna Bacalar

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