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“Perfect in all ways”
Review of Xinalani Retreat

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Xinalani Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Perfect in all ways”
Reviewed December 30, 2012

Everyone I was there with kept saying, "Can you believe how great this place is?"
A beautiful jungle setting, spacious, clean rooms, consistently impressive food, charming, well-trained service, and the yoga studio commands a stunning view of the bay and the jungle.

We all had different levels of experience in Yoga but everyone's needs were met. definitely going back.

Room Tip: Everyone I was there with loved their room
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Barry D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ParisTravelfreak, Owner at Xinalani Retreat, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Dear Barry D,
Thank you very much for your positive review of Xinalani. I'm glad you enjoyed your experience with us, and it would be a great pleasure to host you again soon.
Happy New Year.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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194 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
San Francisco
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2012

So Ive been to 4 different yoga retreats in central America, two of which in Mexico and here are some things I feel that everyone should know before they book this resort:

- its not really a resort, the element of luxury doesnt exist, its an eco retreat
-the rooms arent enclosed, they are open air, there are curtains but really minimal privacy....we even had animals come into our room twice, once in the middle of the night while we were sleeping (and no we didnt have food in our room)
-the yoga is the most basic, beginners yoga there is, if you do yoga regularly you will be bored and disappointed. also classes are only once a day and there is only one instructor
-everything is over priced. and most things are a la carte, should you want to do any activity etc, its all not included and costs more than it would in the USA, all in all for what they charge you (and it being in MEXICO) its probably double what its worth
-the beach doesnt really get any sun, because of where its located (north/south) you get little to no sun all day
-also the beach is good for surfing, not for swimming, the current is too rough and large waves crash on the shore
- the staff is very attentive, really care about the guests, in my opinion too much so, imagine going into a store just to browse and a sales person wont leave you alone, its similar to that. I am here to relax on holiday, I dont want to talk to every staff member anytime i go anywhere or at every meal. whats funny is though there was never anyone at the bar in the middle of the day or evening, maybe i drink too much but on holiday in mexico isnt it normal to have cocktails at 4?
-its a young vibe, most people are here alone, some in couples
-there are 50-100 vertical steps into the hillside to get anywhere
-the food is excellent and they accommodate food illnesses, but dont come on christmas because even though its "all inclusive" they charge you $70 for a "special" dinner without forewarning you, I guess the spirit of Christmas has been lost on Xinalanai
-getting to and from here (from PVR airport) takes 1-2 hours. I dont recommend taking their transfer, its not reliable and outrageously overpriced, in fact the boat that should have picked us up missed us and then we had to take a taxi to get to another port for a boat, somehow the services dont communicate with each other.
-the place is incredibly remote, they do have wifi, but dont plan on leaving
- the bar area smells like sewer because any time anyone flushes the toilet the septic system omits the worst odor EVER
-they did construction on one of the bungalows all day, even on christmas, loud hammering ...all day
-its cold in the mornings, there are no serious bugs that bite (and EVERYTHING bites me), its really humid, and really informal, you dont need to pack much at all

all of the above can be taken as a positive or a negative, just depends really what you are looking for, but all of that information wasnt quite detailed on their webiste. their website is beautiful and they must have spent a lot of money on it. It served its purpose as a relaxing few days away, but its target market is VERY specific and people shouldnt be fooled. Did I have a good time: yes it was fine, not amazing just fine. Would I go back, No.

Furthermore I would appreciate it if the resort didnt write a response to this because I am being open minded and objective offering a point to of view to travelers that you dont advertise, which is why tripadvisor was created. I read the responses someone at Xinalani wrote to anyone that didnt give them 5 stars and they are all retaliatory and elitist, which is wrong, this is a medium to give our opinion and experience and unless you offer an apology you cant change the negative things I felt, so making excuses is really sad.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank ucantfakeawesome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ParisTravelfreak, Owner at Xinalani Retreat, responded to this review, December 31, 2012
Dear ucantfakeawesome,

Thank you very much for your honest review, which we think will be helpful for future guests. We are grateful for the list of areas of needed improvement you've pointed out. Some are humanly manageable and will be accomplished within the next few days as we are truly committed to excellence in our field, some are more related to God's will.

I'll take your suggestions to improve the amount of details on the website in my New Year's resolutions list. This I trust will fine-tune the expectations of future guests.

I want to offer a sincere apology for the few kinks in the quality of the service you received. My concern is that your narration and the tone you're using connote to me as disappointing, with a slightly sweet-bitter taste in the mouth. That makes me truly sorry, for the purpose of this place, that we've put so much love and energy in, is to help our guests build a sustainable, pure and nurturing sense of wellness that they can bring back home and rely on.

Just for truth's sake regarding our readers, your comments about the sunshine, the roughness of the ocean, and the humidity need to be related to the specific days on which we enjoyed your company (last week of december 2012):
- the weather changes all the time, and as stated on the website on the section about surf and on the FAQ page, our beach is exposed to north swells, which means from november to march, we get nice waves. But that's ONLY FROM NOVEMBER TO MARCH
- the beach does get TONS of sunshine all year long, but when approaching the winter solstice (dec 21st), for a reason related to our specific spot on the planet, and the inclination of the Earth vs the Sun, the path of the sun is aligned with the mountain behind us, which leaves us in the shade until 11 am, and after 5 pm, but that sunny window gets larger and larger as we get closer to the equinoxes (March 21st and Sept 21), so it's not as simple as the orientation you described, which DOES allow us LOTS of SUNSHINE
- The humidity is indeed above 75% on average all year long, but that's standard in sub-tropical areas.

On behalf of all the staff at Xinalani, I wish you dear ucantfakeawesome a very fulfilling new year, many blessings to you and your loved ones, and wish to see you again soon.

Kindest regards,
JBB
co-founder
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2012

Overall, this was a great experience. What made this retreat most extraordinary is the fantastic group of people I got to meet and connect with. Each morning, you have breakfast at a communal table. Yoga class follows and then free time before lunch with the group again. I enjoyed my experience and am happy I was able to disconnect from city life and remember that the simplest things in life bring the most joy.

The resort is quite new - only three seasons in, and it was clear that there are definitely areas they can improve on. There wasn't a lot of attention to detail - our scheduled activities had issues (wrong date recorded by the staff, overbooked, etc). When addressing this with the front desk, they were not helpful until I made it clear I wasn't happy with the situation and was not going to accept the mistake with just an apology. Hopefully in time (and more training) they will improve the service in that regard.

The food was good - Chef Felix is talented and puts a lot of love in the meals. But if you have special dietary needs (eg: a vegetarian or someone who needs meat), you'll probably get frustrated.

Make sure you bring ear plugs if you are sensitive to noise (because you are sleeping in front of the ocean and the waves can get loud at night). I found it soothing but some others found it hard to sleep through. Bring bug spray - we made a natural one made of tea tree oil, witch hazel and lavender. Bring a book light to read at night as the rooms are quite dark. They do not have decaf tea at night (which is something we all wanted since you don't want to be caffeinated before bed), so bring that.

It can get chilly at night so bring a light sweater.

Go to Xinalani with an open heart and you'll be amazed by the people you meet and the experience you will have.

Room Tip: There are a LOT of stairs. If you can't handle the walk, you may want to ask for a room closer t...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MsAmyChan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed November 20, 2012

It is a fantastic, little retreat in the middle of the jungle with a great ocean view with all services. Eco-friendly and family friendly. The food was a dream, incredibly fantastic, Perfect in every way. The service is amazing, everyone is willing to help you and serve you all the time. I traveled with my 4 year old and my mom, and it was perfect for all of us even though I was kind of worried as I went for a yoga retreat. At the end it worked out perfectly!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Carlaga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

OMG - best place ever! Go to their website and look at the pictures - they are all unbelievable and all real! It was way more than I ever expected. Food was delicious and staff wonderful. Very clean! Do know though that there are a lot of stairs involved so you get your exercise - which was great for me:) Water is very warm to swim in too.

Room Tip: I was in an Eco Chic Suite and I loved it!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AnnHankinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2012

This is a spectacularly beautiful place. I went to a yoga retreat for spirited women there in October. I can't really think of any negatives. The facility to unique and beautiful, the yoga was superb. The food and the staff were so friendly and accommodating. The beach is swimmable warm and amazing. Chef Felix fed and treated us like queens. We did lots of extras. It was a very memorable week. Thank you Xinalani for being there and doing what you do so well!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CheriCarl123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
187 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2012

I just returned from a 7 day yoga retreat at Xinalani and would happily return tomorrow. From the moment we arrived, Arturo and staff made us feel very welcome. The property has a lovely beach, fantastic to swim or lounge. The cottages are clean and comfortable, with some electricity for charging cell phones or powering fans. The beds were comfortable and I slept like a baby. The yoga space was at the top of a long, meandering flight of stairs, but I actually enjoyed the twice daily walk to yoga. If inclines are difficult, this may not be the space for you. Chef Felix and staff delighted us each day with a variety of fresh juices and soups, salads and hot dishes. We ate very well. There is a full bar available. Izaias makes a fine drink. Berenice went above and beyond to ensure we enjoyed ourselves. She set up a snorkeling excursion for our group, close to the hotel and some of the best snorkeling I've seen. On our day of departure, our group was lucky enough to see whales right in front of the hotel. Fantastic trip!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mary L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Xinalani Retreat

Property: Xinalani Retreat
Address: Maria Montessori 650 Int 2 | Col Aramara, Puerto Vallarta 48290, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 94 Specialty Lodging in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Xinalani Retreat 3*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Xinalani is one of Mexico's premier retreat centers. We offer a wide range of activities related to health, fitness and fun, in an environmental friendly setting. We have 23 guest rooms in the jungle, a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (fixed menu, 3 meals included in fare), a beachfront lounge bar, a beach club, 3 fully equiped yoga spaces, a spa with a complete array of massages and treatments, and a little souvenir store. Our 4 acre pristine beach front property is solely accessible by boat. ... more   less 
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