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“Lake Bacalar Beauty”
Review of Villas Ecotucan

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Villas Ecotucan
Ranked #19 of 45 Specialty Lodging in Bacalar
Sarasota, FL
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Lake Bacalar Beauty”
Reviewed March 22, 2013

Villas Ecotucan has a wonderful dock looking out over gorgeous Lake Bacalar. They allow camping (for $6/night!) but also have neat little casitas (detached cabins with thatched roofs). The birding here was quite good and the amenities would be perfect for someone wishing to have a nature-based experience on the Yucatan. The staff and owner were wonderful and prepared a wonderful chicken curry for us when we were there. My wife said that the curry was the best meal we had on the trip! The entire property is picture perfect and lush with foliage. It is within 1 hour drive of Chacchobben to the north and Kohunlich to the south- great launching point for seeing those southern Yucatan Mayan ruins. FYI- you will need a car to get there and to get around.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank bob_ontheroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecotucan, Manager at Villas Ecotucan, responded to this review, March 24, 2013
Hey Bob, it was lovely having you and your family here, please come back soon with a bit more time to enjoy and explore!
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173 reviews from our community

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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2013

Stayed here for one night on Exodus's La Ruta Maya tour. First impressions were good with a lovely welcome from the German girl who works there and the dogs. Thatched cabins looked okay, ours had two double beds under mosquito nets in the main room and a T-shaped divider in the back room to provide shower and toilet cubbies. Wouldn't be suitable for a twin share as both toilet and shower were open to the main room. Dinner of mango chicken was good and we sat around chatting before and after dinner.

Unfortunately soon after bedtime a rainstorm hit and it poured all night. The noise was deafening on the thatched roof which then began to leak onto both the bed and the floor. As the rooms have no windows, only mesh screens, all the bedlinens and the clothes in our suitcases were damp/wet in the morning - not to mention the creepy crawlies that had come in out of the rain (scorpions, spiders etc).

All in all a pretty awful experience.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank ErkiBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecotucan, Manager at Villas Ecotucan, responded to this review, March 24, 2013
Erkibear,
we are very sorry about your experience here at Ecotucan.

Unfortunately we were not aware of what happened to you, until reading your review. When your group left in the morning we got the impression of everyone leaving very happy, some even saying that they didn't even heard the rain.
I think every hotel would have appreciated a comment in the morning, 'Hey, the roof of our cabana was leaking last night", so we can actually do something about it. All the roofs got repaired after Hurricane Ernesto by the end of last year, if yours was leaking, it would have been kind of you to tell us in the morning. Greetings from the whole team.
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Travelers are raving about these Bacalar hotels

Brooklyn, New York
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Villas Ecotocan in mid November 2012 for one night.
We arrived early in the afternoon and were greeted by a member of the staff that gave us a tour of the property and let us pick between two sizes of cabins (we had a reservation but decided to opt for the newer cabin when we saw that it was available). The property is beautiful and very well kept with trees, plants and flowers everywhere you go. We had time to walk the nature trail and climb up a wooden tower in the woods that offers a great view of the lagoon. We then walked down to the dock that leads to the lagoon and spent some time in the water. The staff provided us with a map of the nearby town of Bacalar and gave us some recommendations for dinner. Our cabin was simple but very comfortable, quiet and serene. In the morning, we woke up early and the owner greeted us for breakfast and made us eggs and toast. He was very friendly and answered our many inquiries about the property and the area. Staying at the Villas Ecotucan was great experience and it served as great stop on our drive from Tulum down into Belize. If you are a nature lover, this place is a true little paradise.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Tell_The_Bees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We stayed here, as part of an ‘Exodus’ group, for just one night in February and really loved the place. We found the welcome very friendly and thought the wheelbarrow (to get your luggage to your room) was an inspired idea. Clearly, this is an ‘Eco’ hotel and as such the rooms and public areas are traditional, regional and fairly basic, but this is one of the real charms of the place, not a problem. If you want a typical 4/5 Star hotel then maybe this isn't the one for you, but we like something more interesting than that, and found it here.

As vegetarians we were slightly apprehensive about the evening meal, but our concerns turned out to be completely unfounded and we had a great meal the first evening and lovely breakfast the next day. They also confirmed they would be happy to cater for Vegans, with some notice.

We thought the rooms and site were wonderful, the lookout tower and waterfront area great attractions, and the owner and staff were friendly, helpful and attentive, without hovering around you all the time.

We would have loved to stay longer, or go back again

Room Tip: We had the furthest room from the main building & restaurant and did not hear anybody, so maybe...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank GoforiTCambridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecotucan, Manager at Villas Ecotucan, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay here at Ecotucan, hopefully we¨ll see you again with a bit more time to really explore the area.
Thank you from the entire team
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Keewatin
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for two nights in mid January and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We had a beautiful cabana with private bath. The bed had a mosquito net which wasn't really needed while we were there. We were werved big breakfasts which are included and we had two fantastic dinners which are not included. The chef made vegetarian dinners for my wife and I had two great meat dishes. The water in Laguna Bacalar is warm and clean all year and my wife had two great swims while we were staying there. Our dog was made to feel welcome by the owner, all the staff and all their dogs.

Room Tip: All the rooms are very nice. Only difference is in the size and number of beds.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ThunderBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California, United States
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

We were lucky to find this hotel, which has a perfect path down to Lake Bacalar, with clear calm waters, perfect for swimming. Arturo (owner) is very personable, speaks good English. We were so tired of traveling across Mexico that this was a necessary respite. The management was very accommodating and put us up for 2 nights even though we came unannounced. The cabanas were spacious. Typical for Mexico resorts, interior is spartan, but clean. No aircon or fans in the rooms. We had both dinners on-site which allowed us to talk to other travelers, play cards and games with kids, pet dogs and have a good time. I would stay there again. You can take canoes and paddle south to see cenotes.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Kate M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2012

I stayed at Villas Ecotucan for 2 nights a few weeks ago. I wasn't expecting any fancy accommodation - the trip was part of a 10 days trek with Trek America so 2/3 star accommodation was in place - all I wanted was a clean room and bed and a working shower.

We arrived at the Villas and were greeted by Jacqueline, one of the home takers. I completely understand that this is an eco hotel and certain 'rules' apply, however, as soon as we stepped in we were bombarded with all 'the don'ts' we needed to be aware of so most of us felt it was somewhat of an awkward start to this vacation (where you do expect a friendly experience and a smile).

The location of the hotel is just beautiful. The garders are very well taken care of. And the cabanas look very pretty - from the outside. Inside, our sheets were smelly, the blankets had 'bee wax/or some other kind of bee nesting' stuck on them, the shower wasn't working properly (water was splashing out in all directions). There is net across the ceiling (as the roof is kind of open) to block any instects flying in, however, this was really dirty and it didn't exactly block anything from coming in. During the night we had a few gekko visitors, coackroaches. Fortunately I didn't see any scorpions or tarantullas (which also frequent the area and the gap under the door would welcome them in). The mosquito 'nets' above the beds were full of holes. I had my own net so I opened up during the night so luckily didn't get any bites but my friends woke up with their feet swollen because of the bites.

Food: For two nights, we had dinner that was prepared onsite. First night we had fajitas and second a coconut based chicken. This was delicious. Fresh ingredients, very well cooked. The breakfast was ok, cereals and eggs that prepared on the spot. The first day - we were told that breakfast is served from 6.30 am - so I arrived but apart from cereals nothing else was there. That's ok, obviously there was a process behind I had to find out about. So, I spent a few minutes looking around the place to see if I can find anyone and then I saw Gunnar - another of the takers. When I asked how breakfast works, he looked at me in a weird way telling me 'you go back and sit and I will make the eggs for you'. Ok so the second morning this is what I did. I sat there. For 30 minutes. He saw me, however, he did not bother to come and serve anything. Instead, another couple that came after me got served! Luckily, I saw Arturo (the owner) who was a pleasure to meet, really really lovely, and he prepared breakfast for me. On another occasion, I kindly asked if I could prepare some coffee and again I received a frosty look from Gunnar and Jacqueline who eventually helped me out. Maybe it is a cultural thing, I don't know, but as we were discussing this with a few of my group mates - we felt we owned a favour to the couple (Gunnar/Jacqueline) every time we asked even for an empty glass!

The location of the place is just beautiful. A trek down and you find yourself at the gorgeous lake, you can chill and enjoy sunrise and sunset or swim. Waters are so clean. This was the highlight. There is nothing to do at night at the hotel, electricity is on until a certain point so expect relaxed, calm nights.

So summing up. The location is beautiful. You can chill at the late, organise snorkelling trip. The hotel, I would not return but then again if you are bothered about those above can be the perfect relaxing place for you. I think for me personally what put me off more was the lack of hospitality - which is really a subjective point some people 'feel the love' some don't. I felt I was a guest at someone's house and I had to watch every single of my moves. And if I feel tensed on my holiday, it is never a good sign.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank UKbliss79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecotucan, Manager at Villas Ecotucan, responded to this review, December 15, 2012
Hi UKbliss79,
thanks for taking the time to write your review. We are sorry that you did not feel comfortable here at Ecotucan.
The don'ts' is something that the guide of your group is explaining upon arrival, not us. The only thing that we always mention extra is the solar energy, since this is indeed very important to us.
Breakfast is served from 7:30 until 10:30 in the morning, not 6:30. The times are even written in the Restaurant.
If you go into a restaurant/bar and bring your own drinks, especially when traveling in a bigger group, you should not expect the restaurant to provide glasses, unless they are charging you corking fees.
I remember making a coffee for you and did not feel any frostiness, if this is what you felt, then I apologize, maybe because we were busy preparing the dinner for your group and the other guests of the hotel.
The netting across the ceiling is for blocking the natural dirt from a palm thatched roof falling into the cabana.
Here in the tropics, we won't comment the animals, especially not the geckos which are welcome visitors in each room.
If you would have given us a chance to do something about the poor running shower just by mentioning it, we would have appreciated that.
The relaxed calm nights you are mentioning are exactly what we want for all our guests. This is why I had to remind your group (and believe me, I don't like doing this) at night to be respectful towards the other guests, which were already sleeping.
Saludos from Bacalar
Jacqueline & Gunnar & Arturo
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Additional Information about Villas Ecotucan

Property: Villas Ecotucan
Address: Carretera 307 Chetumal-Cancun km 27.3 | 5 Km Al Norte de Bacalar, Bacalar 77930, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Bacalar
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 45 Specialty Lodging in Bacalar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spend your days surrounded by nature at the shores of the beautiful Laguna Bacalar, Mexico’s second largest freshwater lake. Stay in one of ten comfortable and spacious stone cabins with thatch roofs, surrounded by tropical gardens and reminiscent of a Mayan settlement offering guests a tranquil base for relaxing with nature. Swim, kayak or sail the magnificent lagoon, explore the many nearby ruins, hike jungle trails, or just enjoy our scenic beauty, birds, and wildlife. At the end of the day, fall asleep to the comforting hum of the surrounding jungle. ... more   less 
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