I'll start by saying Xinalani is a beautiful place, and I think they'll get better over time. Given that this is their 3rd season, however, I'm surprised at the issues they are still having with service and food. Our pick up at the marina was perfect and organized, with none of the issues some people noted in other reviews. We arrived at 2pm (leaving the marina at 1pm) so there wasn't time for lunch in PV and our group was hungry. However, contrary to their website which stated they could provide snacks for an extra charge, when I asked for something you'd think I'd asked for the moon. Then what I was given was tortilla chips and a bowl of white rice. What? While 2 others in my group somehow wrangled bowls of bean dip and salsa to go with their chips. The chips, by the way, were the tortilla strips from Costco, not even the organic ones. For these prices I expect handmade tortilla chips. Anyway, I ate the chips and for some reason left the white rice "dip" and made my way to my room. My room had not been cleaned from the prior guest! Neither had someone else's room in our group. I don't understand why they didn't give me a room that was already cleaned given that the rest of the group wasn't arriving for hours. For close to $300/night I expect my room to be cleaned when I check in. I don't think that's too much to ask. By the time dinner arrived we were all starving, but it was late, just like pretty much every meal we were served. Not one meal was served on time.
I arrived at Xinalani really looking forward to the food after reviewing the sample menu online and being familiar with Felix the chef from his time at Joe Jack's Fish House in PV. The same day we arrived, however, they also brought in a Vegan Consultant to work with Felix for 2 weeks to make the menu healthier. I won't go through every detail but her food was bland and the amount of calories we were served was woefully inadequate given our activities. We were served very little protein (fish 3 times in 5 days) and had to beg for guacamole to finally get it on day 4. I woke up every night in the middle of the night starving, but there was no food available. Many in the group complained about the food repeatedly until Felix was 'allowed' to serve his food for 2 meals...the only ones I enjoyed. On Wednesday of my Saturday-Saturday trip Felix got so frustrated with the situation he quit and left the property, although they apparently talked him into coming back the next day. I was so fed up myself I left on Thursday and went to Yelapa to try and salvage my vacation. I was also not happy with my yoga instructor and the people I was with, which was a big part of me leaving, but that has nothing to do with Xinalani. However, the food situation was ridiculous. I told the owner (Jean-Baptiste) that it seemed he was jacking up his profit margin at the expense of his guests and that to make these changes and "experiment" on guests without prior warning was unacceptable.
Most of the staff of Xinalani were wonderful. Isiah, Modesto & Marcos were very helpful and sweet and worked hard. Although except at peak times you had to go looking for someone to get you a drink from the bar, mainly because they were trying to make the staff do many jobs at once so that is management's fault. Bernessa (spelling?) warmed up on the 3rd day but she was curt (bordering on rude) the first 2 days and I personally found Arturo to be smarmy. Even though I had talked with Arturo on several occasions about my dissatisfaction with the food, once I told him I was leaving he acted surprised and said he would've fixed it had he known (what?) and then I had to tell Jean-Baptiste myself I was leaving as Arturo hadn't (even though they'd been in a long meeting.)
All in all, Xinalani is a beautiful place and the staff is great (but not management.) If they let Felix cook his food things will improve dramatically. I'd read other reviews here and mostly they all raved about the food. Unfortunately I didn't get that food. Management also need to realize that customer service should be their top priority, even if that means they need to hire a few extra people. And for the exorbitant prices, they need to be more flexible with the food and be prepared to actually provide the snacks outside of meal time that they advertise they can. I'd give them a couple of more years to work out the kinks before I'd spend any money here. But if you do go....do the hike with Modesto! It was the highlight of my 5+ days there.
- 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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