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.
- 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