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“A tired resort”
Review of Cabanas Copal

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Cabanas Copal
Ranked #90 of 98 Hotels in Tulum
Reviewed August 15, 2010

This was our second trip to Copal. We went in 2009 and had a wonderful time. We spent a week there in early August, 2010, and the experience was not quite so wonderful. Copal can/could be a magic place, perhaps it once was. But it's become a very tired, worn-out resort. The staff were very pleasant and helpful and the food service is very good. We think they may serve the best chequalies in the area. But the cabins are very worn and unfriendly. Based on our experience last year, we specifically asked for a cabin on the ocean-front so we could get good sea breezes at night. We knew it was going to be hot but thought the ocean winds would help. Unfortunately the screen windows in cabin 27 had been permanently sealed with heavy plastic, making the cabin almost air-tight. After a couple nights, I started cutting off some of the plastic to help. It is obvious that maintenance, if it occurs at all, is just a temporary thing. Is there a leak, nail a tarp or piece of plastic over it. Other than the kitchen, maintenance looked like they do just enough to get thru the day. On the other hand, the kitchen looked like it has all new tiling and paint - a nice clean look. The reception area had fairly decent wi-fi service and the staff were always willing to charge equipment for us. My wife and I each had a massage and they were excellent. I just wish that management would discover those new inventions called "windows". I'm told you can get windows that slide, or push open and they even include screens! What a novel concept! Unfortunately you won't find them at Copal. By the way, the beach is very good and the beach bar is as well. Clothing was very optional the week we were there, but it just isn't a big deal. Sometimes we wore swimsuits, sometimes not. Nobody notices. I doubt very much that we will return to this resort, even though we have fond memories of it.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ciro C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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56 - 62 of 406 reviews

Reviewed July 26, 2010

I have never felt compelled to write a review, but after this weekend I have to speak my mind. We stayed at Copal for one night, attending a friend's wedding. The Internet rate is $80.00 USD for a seaview room, I got a 60% discount because I booked 24 hours before arrival and ended up paying $32.00 USD for the cabana. $32.00 USD is $30.00 USD too much for what you get! What was supposed to be a romantic night with my boyfriend turned into a mosquito filled nightmare! First of all, the cabana (#23) is in dire need of repairs, the shower curtain fell down when I closed it, the mirror in the bathroom is broken. There is a window in the bathroom resulting in everyone passing by being able to see you when you're taking a shower... There are holes in the mosquito netting and we were massacred by the mosquitos. It started raining and the room practically flooded. There is not so much as a breeze, even though we were ocean front and there was nothing between the cabana and the sea... be prepared to sweat!
If Copal were more reasonably priced, at least you would know what to expect, but at $80.00 USD a night, please...

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Paula_en_Cancun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2010

We are experienced travellers in South and Central America, and we are very sorry that in Cabanas Copal -one of the most expensive hotels we stayed in- we were confronted for the first time with a case of fraude. DON'T GO THERE-although the rooms are nice for a romantic stay, they cannot be trusted with your VISA-card and you will end up deeply regretting you ever went there!

Initially, everything went fine; we planned on staying four nights, but we liked the rooms and our hot tub on the balcony that much, that we extended our stay with three more nights. But when we arrived home and we checked our visa overview, we noticed that, apart from the amount for the seven nights-stay, there was an extra amount withdrawn from our visa account (2992 MXN or 166 euro), which we had never accounted for and which moreover was withdrawn from our account after we had already left Cabanas Copal and Mexico. We sent three mails to the hotel owners asking explanations about this, but only received an anwer on the third mail, saying they would look into it and then of course we didn' t hear anything from them anymore.

Of course, we asked VISA for assistance. But to our horror, VISA sent us a receipt they had received from Cabanas Copal, for 2992 MXN "extras" with...our signature on it. As this hotel was already really a splurge for or budget, we never took any extras, so they must have forged our signature-which isn't too difficult since they had already two examples of it. We will be taking legal steps now against Cabanas Copal-although it is not a terrible high amount of money, we feel that any form of fraud should be punished.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jona_DL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SantiagoNH, Reservations Manager at Cabanas Copal, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2010

We would kindly ask you to contact us at reservations@ecotulum.com so as to track your reservation and clarify the issues mentioned in your review.

Cabañas Copal Reservations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2010

This was our first trip to the Riviera Maya and to Mexico in general. Cabanas Copal had unbeatable discounts, the reviews were mostly positive, the photographs were beautiful. And for the most part we had a great time. Here are pros and cons:

PRO
* Seafront cabanas are really fantastic. We had a breeze, a view, a privacy curtain, our own bathroom. They were swept out every day and the sheets were changed frequently (necessary--you wouldn't believe how much sand gets tracked in!). Fresh water is provided, as is soap, shampoo, etc. Not too many bugs (and really, what are you going to do? It's the jungle). Candlelight at night was absolutely lovely and we didn't miss AC or electricity one bit...even in June.
* The little bar down by the beach had cold beer and nice snacks at only slightly inflated prices
* Ridiculously nice and helpful staff (with one exception, noted below)
* Proximity to town (a $4 cab ride) was good, for expanding dining options and planning activities
*Close enough to the ruins to get us there in under 10 minutes by car
* Nighttime on the beach was beautiful. Lots of places to sit and enjoy the quiet.

CONS
* There is a woman who works at the front desk who is just plain unpleasant. Unfortunately, she was the one who checked us in and showed us to our cabana. After a full day of traveling, I could have done without her sour face and attitude. Hours later, she found us on the beach to claim our key so she could have a copy made for housekeeping, promising to return in fifteen minutes. Two hours later we had to track her down (she was sitting at the front desk, sourfacing) so that we could get in to use the bathroom. Interestingly enough, a copy was apparently never made--we had to let the cleaners in each day. On our last night at Copal, I very politely asked if she would place a call to our transport company to confirm pick up for very early the next morning. Her answer: "We do not have credits for the cellphone. No. Sorry." What hotel won't make a single call for you? What good employee won't figure out a way to get it done? This is a small issue but one that truly, honestly enraged me. Certainly people were able to make reservations so there must be SOME SORT of telephone system in place. Call was local. We'd eaten in their restaurant and bar, tipped everyone very very well, been gracious and non-demanding guests for six days at that point. I'm still steaming over it. We ended up having to go into town to use a payphone cabana.
* Restaurant food is really only average and pretty expensive
* Cabanas cannot be unlocked from the inside if they've been locked from the outside. I realize that sounds insane but it's true. Inconvenient and kind of dangerous.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Maude120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2010

If you enjoy camping, you will probably like this place. We stayed in Cabanas Copal hut number 5 from May 27-30, 2010. We thought we had the best hut in the place. It was out in the open and away from other huts, very private.
It had two half-screened windows— thank goodness or it would have been stifling—this allowed a cross breeze when we propped the door open. The other huts had plastic over the screens or no screens and windows that didn’t open. The sheets were changed daily, a net was around the bed to help keep the mosquitoes out, a few that made it in, hung out at the top and had a buffet dinner through-out the night. They provided a large bottle of fresh water and one glass. So bring plastic cups.
There were tiny [biting] ants all over the sandy floor--daily we were throwing out insect carcasses with ants piled on them. If you accidently step on a pile of ants eating, they'll bite the crap out of you, and it hurts! I suggest you do not place your bags on the floor or pack food in your bag(s).
My boyfriend packaged food in his backpack and something ate through the material of his back pack and got into the food packages, that’s determination. We thought it was a mouse but it was probably those ------- ants... Also, make sure to take a couple of mosquito repelling candles, the one's Cabanas Copal provide do not keep mosquito's away and mosquitoes are really bad in these rooms—worse in the huts located in the wooded area. I'd also take something like DEET too.
They hose down and clean the 4 bathroom stalls daily--two for men and two for women. The lights in the bathroom and showers only come on at dusk, and then they’re turned off around 9pm for the rest of the evening, so expect to get eaten by mosquitoes when you go in the stalls, that is their hangout, the bathrooms stay pretty dark all day. You’ll want to take a flash light in the evenings… for sure! The bathroom sink is outside the bathrooms and in the open. There are two shower stalls, the water does not get warm and it is slightly salty. Expect to have sand covered feet...always, especially on the way back from a shower, you will get sand on the sheets, can’t be helped.
The beach is very nice and secluded (some nude sunbathing going on), most of the resorts down the beach have been abandoned, so you won't see a lot of people around as you walk the beach.
Sad to say but the snorkeling was very lame, not many fish to see and the ones you did see were small. If you're going for the snorkeling or diving, you will be disappointed.
We had a breakfast and a dinner at Cabanas Copal but found that the food at the resort next to us with the hanging beds (loved the beds) was much tastier, equally as large and cheaper—they’re huts weren’t better though…
We caught the taxi (4 pesos) to downtown Tulum to pick up liquor and juice—hotel drinks are expensive—we also found a delicious pastry shop on the Tulum strip, worth checking out, it may be the only one. Walking up and down the streets of Tulum is interesting, most of the stores carry the same nick nack touristy stuff but you can find a few unique shops, but after one walk around Tulum you’ve pretty much seen and done it all.
It was an interesting experience staying at Cabanas Copal but not a place I’d like to stay again. I like private bathrooms, tile floors, fresh water showers, A/C and sleep (without having to fight the mosquitoes off all night). My boyfriend really liked this hut.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Evaaustin1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2010

Unfortunately the Copel and sister hotel websites terribly over rate their cabanas, and it's for this reason I think that it has had some bad reviews. Actually Copal is a lovely place, with a network of massage areas, cabanas, restaurant etc. The rooms are basic but pretty. The whole setup reminded me of Thailand but the cabanas were definitely a step up from what I have experienced there. Service and food aren't great, but for me the major downside of Copal was the beach - it's the worst part of the Tulum stretch, really rocky and not good for swimming. I ended up upgrading to the better part of Tulum beach which is absolutely stunning. If you can afford it, its worth the step up to another level, but if you're on a budget, Copal is a good option.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank CarreeBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2010

Ecotulum staff, in particular the off-site and on-site wedding coordinators, were fantastic at making our wedding absolutely perfect! Unfortunately, we were in Tulum the week (Jan. 2009) of the most unseasonably cold weather in over 100 years; our wedding being on the coldest of those days. However, at the last minute (in the rain), the staff improvised and instead of the Mayan shaman marrying us on the beach, he married us in the yoga studio, creating the most intimate and memorable setting we could have asked for. I highly recommend asking to be married in the studio, especially if it's on a windy or otherwise cold or cloudy day. It was magical and it exceeded even our greatest expectations. Thank you to all the staff at Ecotulum!

  • Stayed: January 2009
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1  Thank jenannh
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:
#10 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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