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“It's like 'Lost' with ammenities”
Review of Casa de las Olas

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Casa de las Olas
Ranked #2 of 146 Specialty Lodging in Tulum
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed April 5, 2011

I really enjoyed my stay at Olas, but before I start my review on Olas. I would like to explain to all future Tulum visitors that prior to your visit to Tulum, you have to understand that Tulum is located a remote beach area with no access to fresh water (The water provided in all of Tulum is de-salinated sea water. The water will always be "hard water"). There is no city plumbing (you can't flush toilet paper down any toilet in Tulum) and electricity is scarce (No Hair Dryer, but you have the Ocean Breeze to dry your hair). So DO NOT expect Cancun resort amenities. Visit Olas and Tulum, because you want to enjoy the untouched beauty of the area. Expect it to be more of a glorified camping trip in a very beautiful tropical island.

Casa De Las Olas is located right before the entrance to Sian Kaan. It's pretty remote and it would be a good idea to have a car. Most of the room is has a small kitchen equipped with everything you need. There's a great supermarket in town. I would suggest to stock up, at least for breakfast and lunch since the restaurants nearby are very expensive. We got Room #3 which is the Ocean Front Studio. Unfortunately we didn't have a balcony and the room was located behind some coconut trees, that the breeze didn't come into the room as well. The Master Suite which is located in the opposite side of the house got the best breeze. We actually had to wear earplugs to sleep, since the ocean waves were a little to loud, not proud to share this ;). The breeze were also so strong that there were no mosquitoes at night. We actually slept without the mosquito netting, since it blocked some of the breeze. As for the bathroom, its a shower, toilet and sink. That's all you need - I would suggest to bring an extra pair of flipflops to wear in the shower. The biodegradable shampoos are awesome. They provide you with a pot of fresh water in the kitchen for drinking, cooking and brushing your teeth. I always filled a water bottle with this water and would do a final rinse after my shower before going to bed.
Jimmy the owner and his crew were the best hosts. I want Jimmy's life...lol. On our first night there, Jimmy took us to Cesiak in the Sian Kaan jungle reserve to watch the sunset and had one of the best margaritas ever. Afterward he took us to a Tapas restaurant for a Flamenco show. The next night, we went back to Cesiak for more sunset margaritas. We met other guests who were very nice, we even went out to dinner with a couple of them.

Casa de las Olas brings out the free-spirit in you. You just need to go back to basics and enjoy what mother earth has to offer.

Room Tip: You have $$, try to book the Master Suite
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank croapino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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314 - 320 of 362 reviews

Reviewed April 5, 2011

This place is life-affirming. I'm not sure I need to say anything else, but my boyfriend and I were looking for a last minute vacation after a hectic winter in NYC. We decided on Tulum because I heard the beaches were beautiful, and it's a short flight to Cancun. After a few hours research, I found Casa De Las Olas and their manager, Heather, was so helpful in giving us excellent recommendations - car rentals (i highly recommend renting a car vs a taxi or bus), directions, grocery stores, helpful hints about the area. I never got to meet James but he gave us great meal and snorkeling recommendations.

As for the house and grounds...it's the last house before the nature preserve, and the house next door is a private rental home, so the beach is virtually desserted. The water was a little murky as it was windy, but still warm and swimmable. We stayed in the master ocean suite, which is absolutely stunning. There is a huge balcony and 2 king size beds (although it's such a romantic room I can't imagine it would be good for 2 different couples to stay or even a family). There's a full size kitchen with a refrigerator, and fresh water, as well as 2 icy cold Coronas waiting for us.

The best part about Casa de las Olas is that you get a retreat without a lot of fanfare. This is not the place for you if you are expecting pampering and room service. This is the place for you if you want to be left alone, if you are more low-key and looking for a true oasis. it's quiet, no one bothers you - we used the same towels and sheets the 3 nights we were there (they offer you fresh ones, but doesn't feel good given the over-arching eco-friendly theme of the entire area). Maybe not the best place if you have kids.

Side-note, they have a grill!

As for restaurants - we went to El Taborino (or something like that) and Hartwood. Hartwood is good, but if you are a New Yorker, it's basically Vinegar Hill transplanted into Tulum. I would have preferred a more authentic Mexican cuisine, which I found at El Taborino. (and ask James about the snorkeling place where a small family makes lunch - that was the best meal i had in Tulum by a LONG shot).

All in, I give this place 5 stars and I'm already regretting posting this review since I want to keep this place for myself...

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank andrachan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2011

My boyfriend (now fiancee) and I just returned from a week long stay at Casa de las Olas. We could not have envisioned a more perfect, relaxing and charming vacation. The place is located at the end of a winding road just before reaching the Sian Ka'an biosphere. This means that we enjoyed a beautiful, crystal clear sea on what felt like our own private beach.

The rooms were spacious, clean and the bed was very comfortable with a canopy that blew gently with the evening ocean winds. There is a great chair hammock on the balcony where you can gaze at the waves or the starry night skies. In addition, there's a intimate table and chairs to have a lovely balcony breakfast with groceries you can purchase in town. Each room has a kitchen so if you feel like dining in or using the grill rather than eating out everyday it makes for a nice change. Upon our arrival, our room was stocked with beautiful fresh cut flowers, a bottle of wine, couple beers and milk to add to your morning coffee. David and Antonio, the young men on site helped every day with all our needs from prepping the grill to climbing palm trees for coconuts, they always made our rooms nicely and are extremely polite, a true pleasure. David's mother has a small local eatery called Dona Lurdes with tasty tacos, empanadas and delicious guacamole, Jimmy the owner can point you in the right direction. He has wonderful food recommendations from the recently New York Times reviewed, Hartwood to local favorites like El Camello Jr.

There is something very special when the white noise you fall asleep to is the natural sounds of the ocean waves softly crashing on the beach and the leafy rustling of the palm trees in the wind. Our alarm clocks were the palm trees and an awe-inspiring sunrise coming up the distant horizon of a turquoise sea (we didn't mind waking up early, there's always time for a nice afternoon siesta).

Jimmy was nothing short of a spectacular host! He was always ready with helpful advise as to where to go and what to do, which helped us immensely in making practical decisions during our trip. We felt like he treated us as if we had known each other forever. He helped my boyfriend with the logistics of our engagement on the beach under the breathtaking night skies. We are truly looking forward to exchanging our vows on the same romantic beach where we got engaged soon.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank merebradley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2011

As with previous reviewers we echo absolutely everything that has been said. Casa de las Olas is a gem. If you are looking for a quiet, private and relaxing place to enjoy a beautiful beach and ocean then this is for you. Jimmy and his staff are very generous and helpful and have created an absolutely beautiful property and environment for a relaxing holiday. Boutique hotel it is not, however, for the knowing traveler it is everything we hope for. Wouldn't stay anywhere else in Tulum - Casa de las Olas is it!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank AdrianeJW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2011

My two grown children and I spent a week in early March at La Casa de las Olas. We'd go back in a heart beat only we'd plan to stay for several weeks. The Casa is right on a glorious, almost deserted beach adjacent to the Sian Ka'an (Mayan for 'Where the Sky Begins') UNESCO Biosphere. We wanted to be away from the crowds in Cancun. We rented a car, drove 1 1/2 to Tulum picking up groceries along the way.

When we got there we met Jimmy, the owner, who along with David and Antonio take care of the Villa and its beautiful landscaping. Jimmy is delightful and funny and has lots of tips about restaurants, what to see and do. David's mother makes and sells incredible food. Ask him what she has available.

We had rented the Master Ocean Front Suite which has a large shaded patio overlooking the ocean. We had breakfast there every day and used it for sitting and reading or just sitting. There is a living room area with chairs and a table for playing cards, a dining room table and a kitchen. There are two large beds hung with white cloth which billows with the ocean breezes. The door opens directly onto a path running down to the beach so you can swim before breakfast or after being out all day.

We spent an afternoon exploring the ruins in Tulum and a day snorkeling and scuba diving in nearby Akumal where there's been a concerted effort to protect the Hawksbill Turtles and their eggs. I was interested in spending as much time as possible at the Sian Ka'an Nature Preserve. We signed up for all three tours which were led by very knowledgeable guides who pointed out things we might not have noticed like a 12 foot mud-covered crocodile hiding in the mangroves as well as telling us not only the names of the birds we saw but also about their behavior. We kayaked with a guide so we were able to get very close to nesting pelicans and magnificent frigate birds. The most wonderful tour was the sunset tour. We arrived at one of the largest mangrove islands in the lagoon an hour before sunset and watched thousands of birds--ibises, brown pelicans,great blue herons,green herons, tiger barred herons, egrets and many more species flying silhoutted against the setting sun as they came in to roost for the night. It was unforgettable. I also went on a 5:30 a.m. birdwalk with a guide through the jungle to hear and see birds. Spend the extra money to go with a guide--you'll get so much more out of it.

We had fun trying different restaurants each night. Hart Wood was terrific and was just written up in the NYT Travel Magazine. I loved the restaurants right on the ocean especially when there were terrific local bands playing.

Casa de Las Olas was perfect for us--beautiful,quiet,clean,right on a secluded stretch of beach--It's small and personal. Getting to know the owner Jimmy was a delight. At night you hear the waves and evening insects not hoardes of drunk tourists.

Room Tip: Go for the Master Ocean Front Suite
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank calisenecabear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2011

My husband and I went to Casa De Las Olas on our honeymoon this March and after reading the reviews, we were so excited to stay in a private, beautiful home. We expected it to be a little rustic, and that is what we were looking forward to but it would have been nice to know more specifics. You cannot flush toilet paper down the toilet, so you have to throw it away. The water in the shower and sinks is salt water so you have to use bottled water to brush your teeth and after showering, you don't feel clean. The water pressure in our room was a joke and the hot/warm water only lasted for 3 minutes. When we arrived, we chased two wild cats out of the room, found empty beer cans that had been left in the kitchen and there was used tissue paper under the bed. The bathroom was a small tiled room with a shower head that was a foot away from the toilet, with a drain in the middle of the room (see attached picture).This hotel is beautiful and on a secluded part of the beach, furthest away from al the other hotels and right at the gate of the Si'an Kaan Biosphere. But, in my opinion, it is incredibly overpriced for a hotel that does not have clean water (yes, the are in Tulum gets its water from cenotes, but the two other hotels that we stayed in there had running water that was mostly fresh water), and is unclean. The room had a beautiful view of the beach and the temporary manager was understanding in our reasons for leaving.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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16  Thank l0vet0travel007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
casadelasolas, Owner at Casa de las Olas, responded to this reviewResponded October 14, 2011

Hello Mr. ****,

We are writing to follow up in your brief stay at Casa de las Olas. Now that a couple of months have passed since your honeymoon/vacation, we would like to ask you to reconsider the experience you had with us and give us a fair shake.

We constantly strive to give our guests impeccable service and a relaxing, peaceful experience. We understand from what you told our partner, Steve Krisztin, that our villa simply wasn’t what your wife expected for her honeymoon. We do understand that Casa de las Olas’ remote location and ‘Tulum/eco-friendly’ vibe isn’t for everyone, and as an act of good faith, went against our normal policies and refunded your stay in full—we are in this business to give great vacations, not penalize those who find we are not for them.

In that nature, we are hoping you will consider removing your very negative review about us from Trip Advisor. We have carefully read your review and while we found it valuable feedback to ensure no other guest will ever have cause to say such things about Casa de las Olas, we do feel that some of what was written unfairly paints us in a negative light (for example, the beer that was left in the fridge was complimentary, not ‘leftovers’ from another guest). While we don’t discount your dissatisfaction with Casa de las Olas, yours is the only poor review we have ever gotten and we take such reviews very seriously. We feel we showed our willingness to give you a good experience by refunding your stay and hope you will show us the same courtesy. We are a small villa, with only five suites, and our entire staff works very hard to please each guest--their livelihood depends upon fair, measured review.

Thank you for taking time to listen; we would greatly appreciate any help you can give us with this request.

Best regards,
James Greenfield
Casa de las Olas

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2011

First I would like to say I am a business owner living in Playa Del Carmen. So when a friend and I were looking for a get away from our busy lives (Believe it...we actually work in the Caribbean!) we wanted a quiet get away with out the craziness of the tourism industry of Playa Del Carmen. There are a few options in Tulum and I have stayed at most and I am very selective. We found Casa De Las Olas nestled on the edge of the National Reserve Sian Ka'an. Right on the beach, our room was gorgeous and clean with fresh cut flowers and little things through out to welcome us to our stay! We headed straight to the beach where there were only a few people! It was so peaceful! The service was great and was surprised by a delicious plate of fresh grilled shrimp right from the owner! The bed was so comfy and waking up to the sunrise on the sea was amazing! I could not have asked for a better get away!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank katykatinplaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa de las Olas

Address: Tulum beach road | Solidaridad, Tulum 77780, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Tulum
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 146 Specialty Lodging in Tulum
Price Range: $150 - $600 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa de las Olas is a boutique, 7-suite bed and breakfast tucked away along a private stretch of pristine beach in Tulum, Mexico. Casa de las Olas only accepts reservations in advance (they do not encourage walk-ins), thus ensuring that their guests privacy is absolutely paramount. Priding themselves on their personalized approach to hosting their guests - whom are considered and treated as friends rather than clients, they attract a set of like-minded travelers who continue returning to their slice of paradise year after year. Due to their environmental consciousness and location, they cater to a group of forward-thinking, eco aware travelers that are ahead of the curve. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa De Las Olas Hotel Tulum

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