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“Great Beach! Great Staff! Great price! So So Cabanas”
Review of Cabanas Copal

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Cabanas Copal
Ranked #94 of 100 Hotels in Tulum
Reviewed April 23, 2009

We stayed here with friends in Late February. This is truly a Eco Resort. No electricity in the Cabanas, with salt water showers. Its a nice place to stay if you are not high maintenance. Our cabana (#8) was not the best on the resort. . .a little shabby and stained. Our friend's cabana (13), however, was clean. Food was ok. . .not the best in Tulum. Overall this place was nice and inexpensive. The free yoga classes were a plus!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank hpreyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 18, 2009

My wife and I decided we needed a change from the "All Inclusive" rut we were in. We decided we wanted a bit of an adventure so with some very small concerns over sleeping in a bamboo huts and actually not having any rooms booked....we packed our back packs and headed for the beach south of Tulum....and letting things "just happen". We spent our 1st night in Papaya Playa....and walked about 6 km south along the beach checking all the accomidations available. We selected a few options and via our laptop got a room and a discount at Cabanas Copal for 2 nights....and the rest is history.....we stayed 6 nights in total.....and had the best holiday in many many years. Sure the rustic rooms are a bit of a challange for some.....but we absolutely loved it...gekos and nightly friends did not bother us.....it was part of the adventure.

The staff...the food....the beach....all were great in our opinion.....there were many places to eat within walking distance and we took advantage of eating at some of them....all were good.....we are not spring chickens anymore and found it very safe and never felt threatened by anyone or any creature we came in contact with.

The interesting "option" on the beach attire was new to us....and we decided "when in Rome.....do as the Romans do".....and it was refreshing and found all the people on the beach to be respectfull of everyone else.....truly an enjoyable and comfortable experience.

Guess where we are going next year.....a no brainer.....this place is great.....pack light (ha...ha) and join the wonderfull staff and the nice warm comfortable surroundings this place has to offer.

Cheers

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank strassomatic2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2009

My fiance and I spent several months agonizing over where and how to get married. We were engaged in August, 2008 and had every intention of going the traditional wedding route blazed by most of our friends and family out here on the west coast of Canada - a golf course, winery, or my mother's backyard. Several trips around our area yielded promising possibilities for our wedding, but the feeling always lingered somewhere in the back of our minds that our wedding just wasn't going to be special enough.
Then a friend of ours spent a month in Tulum and wrote to say that if he were getting married he would do it at Copal/Azulik. We quickly turned our attention to this concept and before long I was on the phone to the Wedding Planner for Ecotulum (the umbrella company that owns Azulik and Copal - both resorts are part of the same operation/area). Her name is Maria Lidia and I can say without a doubt that she was the number one reason our destination wedding was a success on so many levels. Maria Lidia was very friendly, reliable, caring and most of all honest. She took a great deal of the pressure off our hands as far as coordinating all our friends and families needs. We had over 50 friends and family stay at Copal/Azulik; some of our guests stayed for 3 days some for the entire 2 weeks we were there and all of them were absolutely thrilled with the location, the accommodation and the vibe.

Simply put - we kind of took over most of Copal and Azulik for the weekend that we were married and it worked fantastically well. The staff were very friendly and helpful in so many ways and the food exceeded our expectations; breakfast, lunch and dinner menus at Copal offered great variety and quality. The ceremony was subtle and romantic - how could it not be on a white sand beach by a turquoise sea in the sun. The reception was held at the "tun tun bar"; the small open air restaurant that hovers just over the gorgeous beach at Copal and it was picturesque to say the least.

My bride and I stayed at one of the Cabanas at Azulik for a full two weeks and we loved every day we had there. The cabanas are rustic - just like we had hoped - and yet very elegant and private too. The staff at Azulik go above and beyond to meet the needs of their guests - all our family and friends that stayed in the Azulik Cabanas were impressed. Copal accommodations offer much the same, just slightly less elegant - but gorgeous nonetheless, and our friends and family who stayed in those cabanas were totally satisfied with the experience.

My wife and I plan on returning to Copal/Azulik as often as possible. It's a winner!

A word to the wise: Copal and Azulik are Rustic - not for those looking for an all inclusive American amenities style experience. Also, don't expect service to be on par with NA standards in restaurants and bars in Mexico - come with an open mind and a relaxed disposition - service is slow and often slightly confused in Mexico, but the quality of the food and drink is almost always worth the wait.

NOTES:
- bring a headlamp or flashlight for night time navigation on the paths around Copal and Azulik - toes get stubbed routinely without one.
- There were also plenty of amazing places to eat in the town of Tulum and up and down that area of the coast.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Tarducci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2009

We selected Cabanas Copal almost by default for our 25th anniversary trip after many other places we considered sold out. We had been looking at CC for at least five years, but were not sure we could handle the rustic facilities. As it turned out, this was an amazing experience! We were in Seaview King #16, which, contrary to an earlier report, had no bed bugs. The cabana had plenty of room, and the bathroom was much larger than expected. We never had a need for the mosquito net, maybe because of the wind for the first couple of days. We really enjoyed relaxing on the beach with our books with no cell phones, or clothes. The CC website says the entire facility, except for the front desk and restaurant, which are open to a public road, is clothing optional. I now have the best tan of my life. I would go back today if I could! Once you realize you are in Mexico and that the people there are not in a great hurry, you can choose to not be annoyed by service that is slower than you would tolerate at home. Our sheets and towels were changed daily and the bathroom and floors were cleaned daily as well. One suggestion would be to add a chest or dresser, maybe in the bathroom, to have a place for clothing. This was a great and relaxing place to stay.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Worktomuch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2009

My boyfriend (now fiance...we got engaged at Copal) and I are more back to nature kind of people. Because of the economy we decided to 'downgrade' our Hawaiian vacation to something a little less expensive. After an offer by jetblue offering discounts to Cancun we found Copal as something more our style.

It was a fantastic decision.

We originally only booked 4 days but decided to add another and I'm glad we did as I didn't want to leave. The beach is beautiful but was acceptably windy to bleach your teeth white windy. We were told by others that it wasn't like that all the time. Although the resort advertises itself as clothing optional it is only appears to be so on the beach itself. Everyone who was nude on the beach covered up before leaving. There were plenty of nude and partially nude males and females as well as people who were in swim suits. There was no pressure from anyone to cover or uncover. The waiters on the beach came right up to serve you either way. My only complaint with the beach is that there wasn't quite enough furniture. When the wind was at its worst you really couldn't lay on the beach itself.

*note about nudity. You _can_ walk up and down the beach nude (I went for many walks just because I get restless just sitting there all day) but don't go too far down the beach towards Papaya Playa as they don't allow nudity. You can get close but just turn around go back. I did many laps and never had a problem.

The cabana itself was the $35 el cheapo model with the sand floor and see through /gapped walls. We were perfectly happy with this but it does take a little getting used to. Some recommendations: bring a few old bed sheets, some tacks (push pins) and ear plugs. You may want to/like to spread out a sheet on the floor to put your luggage or spread out your clothes as there isn't a dresser. We put down one on each side of the bed to make going to bed a little less gritty. The wind/waves were noisy (you _are_ right on the ocean). The could tack up a sheet to eliminate any directional breeze and to make it darker. We woke up at the crack of dawn with the sunrise. We went down for early morning swims and watched the sunrise while bobbing in the ocean.

We also brought some twine (I think it was slightly thicker than kite string) to make a clothes line in the cabana to dry suits and towels. You can raise it high enough to walk under when not in use.

The public bathrooms and showers were ok. The shower was _hot_ and was brackish like they warn you. It's not that salty and you do come away clean. I can't speak for the cleanliness of hair as I shave my head.

The toilets were not so good. They have four, two for men, two for women. One of the mens was nailed shut and not available, the other mens toilet didn't flush very well and let...presents....behind. I took to using it only for urinating and helped myself to the womens for everything else. I'm a clean male. :-)


The restaurant has pretty amazing food. We're both vegetarians and found plenty to eat and enjoy for the entire time we were there. Try the Mexicano for breakfast without the pollo for a treat (note: I do eat eggs) The servers are friendly but my only complaint is that you wait _forever_ for the check. I was a breakfast waiter for a few years in a hotel and the few adamant rules are: keep the coffee hot and flowing and when you drop the meal, you drop the check. I literally sat there for an hour waiting to get it one day. Granted I was only rushing to the beach a hundred yards away but day after day after day got very annoying. It was like this for breakfast lunch and dinner. They would also ask you cash/credit/room charge. I would tell them room charge and cabana # and they would forget, ask you again, forget ask you again, forget ask you again. It wasn't just one person.

We took the Cenote snorkel tour that was provided through the hotel. We had a decent enough time but felt that it wasn't worth the $40usd/pp that we spent. It left very late and we had to drop off scuba divers that were doing a different tour in town before we even got to the first of 3 cenotes. The first two were ok but the grand cenote was truly grand. We were divided between taking this tour or doing Hidden Worlds. We think we would do Hidden Worlds as a day trip next time.

There was a pretty diverse mix of people who were there. Couples, some singles, groups of couples, very few children.

We partly based our decision to try Copal because they have a rainbow emblem on their website which usually signifies gay friendly. Although we appeared to be the only gay couple there we never felt ostracized or singled out in anyway. We aren't big into PDA's so perhaps we didn't push the envelope so to speak. We got along well with everyone and were quite social but it did feel a tad....lonely.

The yoga offered was so so. There were two instructors, male and female. We had the female the first day and she was ok. Lots of sun salutations, got a sweat up, but, as my boyf...err...fiance...put it...she had no passion. It was just a lot of movement, little flow, no yoga energy. We went back two days later and had the male and we absolutely hated it. He had no flow, seemed hostile, English was not his primary language and we couldn't understand what he was describing and everyone in the class was looking at each other trying to figure out what to do. My fiance works for a yoga center here in Western Massachusetts so we have taken lots of yoga from many instructors with many levels of experience and D* said it was the worst class he's ever taken. I never went back but he tried two days after that and had the woman again.

There is wireless internet available. Ask the front desk for the wireless code. You can get the signal everywhere in reception and even in the restaurant if you want to have breakfast and check the news/email. There's a table in reception for you to sit at and plug into to power/charge your device. You can leave your gadget at reception behind the counter to charge.

Overall we were both very pleased with our stay and are planning on returning next year. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes roughing it in luxury.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jim T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2009

We stayed at Cabanas Copal via their winter special (60% off when booked the day before!). In my opinion, it was nothing short of amazing...consider the following.

* The location can't be beat. The cabanas and beach are breathtaking. The sea view cabanas are especially lovely -- as the breeze cools things down immensely and who doesn't want to wake up to the sight of the sun rising over the ocean? We also stayed in the gardenview cabanas which had it's own enchanting view.

* There is a free yoga class every morning. Both teachers were fantastic.

* It is quiet at night. I loved this. My friend was looking for more of a night life...there is plenty around...but to be considered when booking.

* The cabanas are clean and well maintained. However, you are staying at an eco-resort. If you are not at peace with nature, this isn't the place for you. Little critters will come and go. We were pleasantly surprised that our mosquito nets weren't needed as there were no mosquitos.

* They provide fresh water dispensers in your room which I didn't expect and was very happy to have had...

* The beach is clothing optional. Refreshing in my opinion but perhaps not for everyone...

* The spa was amazing. I had a Mayan facial and massage...one of the best of my life. The setting is perfect. The therapist incredibly talented.

* The restaurant was OK. Breakfast was good. Dinner OK. There are definitely better places to eat all around. Just wander down the road a bit.

I would recommend Copal without hesitation and plan to return very soon.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank HappyinCostaRica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2009

I hesitate to write a good review of this place because I really want it to stay the hidden gem that it is and not get all crowded and impossible for me to get a reservation in the future!

We stayed only two nights here because I was a bit concerned about my boyfriend being comfortable with no electricity for any longer than that. I need not have worried because all of the positive aspects of this beautiful place were strong enough to cancel out any of the inconveniences of a lack of electricity.

We were in cabana #41 which was listed as a partial sea view King and our view was perfect. There was a little table and chairs just oustide our door for us to sit and enjoy the view. The only negative thing I can say about the room was that the bed was a little lumpy and uncomfortable - we both woke up a bit stiff and sore in the morning. The free (for guests) yoga class that was offered in the mornings worked out all of the kinks though!

The size of the room was perfect and I loved the level of natural light and fresh sea air - unfortunately we were a little cold the first night and they ran out of blankets, but we did get a couple of extra sheets which did the trick. Nothing they could do about the weather - and I felt a lot better about it when I found out that it was only 12F in NYC while we were in Mexico!

The food in both the restaurant and the snack bar was really good - we had some of the best meals we have ever tasted and certainly the best we had during our stay in Mexico. The staff was really friendly and helpful without exception and I wish I could mention each of them by name, but we were only there for two days and I'm horrible with names!

If you want to splurge while you are here, I would strongly recommend the spa - they have a couples massage called "moon and stars" and it is exactly what you would expect. They have built a platform over the beach and they have tied up sheets around the perimeter for privacy. It was at night and you could see the moon and stars as you lay on the massage table. The most relaxing massage I have ever received (in spite of the cold - but again, they had no control over the weather!) was followed by a soak in a wooden tub for two with rose petals floating on the top and accompanied by a cheese plate and a nice bottle of wine. While the hot tub was conceptually really appealing, the water was not nearly hot enough and there seemed to be a leak in the tub so it never really filled up. We finally gave up on the soak and got dressed and just sat there and enjoyed the wine and cheese.

The beach is clothing optional, so traveler beware if you are uncomfortable with the possibility of seeing naked people. Keep in mind that 'optional' means that some people are wearing suits and some are not - and some of the women choose to keep their bottoms on and take off their tops. What makes it all work is that the place is for adults only and everyone is respectful of everyone else's space and comfort level. Everyone puts on some sort of wrap or covering to come up to the snack bar or walk back to their cabana, so the 'optional' is limited to the beach.

Aaah, the beach... perfectly white sand and perfectly aqua blue clear water. The only complaint was that we went too early in the year and it was windy and chilly during our stay - have I mentioned that already? I like it best when the sand is hot enough to burn my feet and I need to dive into the ocean to cool off. It just means we'll have to return later in the year and stay longer!!

Other tips:
*Make sure you talk to the front desk about signing all of your meal and bar checks to the room - they have to take your credit card at the desk or your won't be allowed to charge to the room.
*Bring a flashlight - candlelight is wonderful and romantic, but not very practical if you need to use the restroom in the middle of the night! Also, they have lined the pathways throughout with candles, but it can be a bit dark, so it's good to have a flashlight to navigate your way to your room after dinner at the restaurant. Just be respectful of your fellow guests and try not to talk too loud or shine your light into other cabanas as you make your way to yours.
*Rent a car if you want to explore at all. Cabs are not expensive, but renting a car for a week is really cheap. We spent as much on a cab from the airport to the hotel as we could have spent on a car for three days.
*You must visit Cenote Dos Ojos - pay for the guide, snorkeling gear and even the photographer. You will not regret it! The water is crystal clear and you feel like you are in some kind of a Discovery Channel show - truly amazing experience and I'm so glad we hired the photographer for an additional $30 US - it gave us the freedom to concentrate on what we were seeing while someone else took our pictures for us. Grace was our photographer and she put all of the photos plus some additional shots and videos on a CD for us to take home.
*Make a reservation and go to see the monkeys at The Jungle Place. It is an experience not to be missed as you get to sit in the pen with the monkeys. They eat from your hand and climb all over you and even curl up on your lap for a little siesta. Such a lovely time - just beware of Luna who is a little more wild than the rest.

I can't wait to return to Cabanas Copal and spend more than just a couple of days in this little slice of paradise!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Onecheekygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cabanas Copal

Address: Tulum-Ruinas Km.5, Tulum 77780, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Tulum
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Tulum
Price Range: $95 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Cabanas Copal 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Get ready for an exotic vacation at Cabañas Copal Hotel, away from telephones and electricity. Come to Cabañas Copal to relax at our seaside Caribbean cabañas and holistic spa. Our central location puts our eco-hotel just 3 km. from the Mayan ruins of Tulum. Cabañas Copal Hotel in Tulum gets you off the beaten path for an alternative vacation experience in our rustic eco-hotel. Our cabanas are nestled in the tropical jungle by the sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cabanas Copal Tulum
Cabanas Copal Hotel Tulum

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