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“The best honeymoon ever”
Review of Poc-na Tulum

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Poc-na Tulum
Ranked #64 of 95 Hotels in Tulum
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The best honeymoon ever”
Reviewed November 13, 2008

Originally I thought I would want an all inclusive resort but I quickly realized how if I had stayed in such a place I would have missed out on an amazing experience and culture.

From the moment we arrived at La Vita e Bella everything was perfect. I've never had an easier check in at a hotel. They knew who we were and escorted us right to our adorable cabana and handed over the key. No complicated paperwork or stress. The cabana itself was so private, romantic, and just the right size. We woke up to a beautiful view of the carribean every morning (and most mornings went for a swim). The staff was extremely informative, attentive, and by the end of our trip they felt like long time friends. Janida, Lalo, Francisco, Laura, George, and Ruben (just to name a few) are some of the warmest people I've ever met and they make you feel as though they're welcoming you into their home.

We had plenty of warm water and electricity so that even though the power was turned off at night it was never so early that it bothered us. And when we needed light the candlelight was more than sufficient. However, a flash light can come in handy for the midnight search for a water bottle (provided) or a late night stroll on the beach. On that note, the beach the hotel is located on is long enough for great walks and I noticed a lot of the other hotels only had a small area of beach around them. La Vita e Bella is also centrally located making it really easy to see so many different places during our vacation including, the little town in Tulum, Chichen-Itza, Coba, Xel-Ha, Cancun, and Playa del Carmen. The Tulum Ruins were close enough to walk to as well. We definitely recommend renting a car so you don't get stuck on crowded tour buses with a bunch of tourists. On your own you can really get to know people, see the lifestyles, and taste some of the freshest seafood.

As far as the restaurant at the hotel goes, we loved it. I think I ordered guacamole every night when we would stop in for a late night cocktail! The pizza was delicious and we both recommend the fillet al mojo de ajo. We could just hang out, drink, and snack. The margaritas were spot on. The prices were reasonable.

We can go on forever about how great our honeymoon was in Tulum and we truly believe a big factor in that was our choice in places to stay.

  • Liked — our cabana
  • Disliked — leaving
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank reidx2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Surrey, England
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2008

After driving around Tulum for an hour in the rain trying to find a reasonably priced vacant bungalow on the beach which was both weather and mosquito proof and with hot water and electricity we came across this place. We had bungalow no. 2 which was beautifully located directly on the almost deserted beach. Cabana was simply but adequately furnished with a nice shower and mosquito nets. Electricity went off at 10 or 11 but candles were on hand. The hotel bar / restaurant was nice: laid back music and candlelight on the beach. Food was OK but not fantastic. Tulum ruins can easily be reached by foot either along the beach or the road (circa 20 min walk) and it's a 5 minute (45 peso) taxi ride into town. Our only complaint was that the cabana was only available for one night - we would have liked to have stayed a bit longer.

  • Liked — Beautiful location on the beach
  • Disliked — Mosquitos
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank KateB2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2008

My boyfriend and I stayed here for a few nights in March, after staying inland in Valladolid to explore the ruins. After coming from the inland jungle, that first glimpse of the beach at La Vita e Bella almost brought tears to my eyes. We ran down the sand and right into the water with our clothes on! The beach is by far the best part of the hotel, along with the privacy that comes with staying somewhere with just a few cabanas.

Our cabana was a bit rustic, perhaps eco-chic (and definitely VERY clean!), but suited our needs just fine. The restaurant was very quiet when we were there - only a couple other tables occupied at a time. The food seemed a bit pricey (like a previous reviewer said, the price of staying off the beaten path), but delicious. Although we enjoyed the isolation at La Vita e Bella, it makes for less selection as far as neighboring restaurants. We did to go a couple other places on the strip, but it was usually easier to stay on the hotel grounds.

The weather in March was pretty good heat-wise. I understand what people have said about being nervous to leave windows/door open at night. Coming from Long Island, NY, we weren't trusting enough either, so we closed up at night. It did get a little stuffy, but not too uncomfortable at that time of year. No problems at all during the day, when we could open all the windows. Our last couple days, for some reason the wind brought sand with it (this wasn't an issue the first two days), which wasn't too fun.

Coming in, I was worried about the electricity, but it turned out not to be an issue. After being out in the sun all day, exploring the area, we were tired at night. And since it's completely pitch-black outside, I guess it encouraged our bodies to shut down too! We conked out EARLY each night, but somehow woke up for sunrise every day (that NEVER happens at home!).

I guess your stay at La Vita e Bella depends on your mindset. If you go in the mood for a rustic beach experience, where looking at a gorgeous beach all day long is your biggest priority, you'll love it. My boyfriend proposed on our last night there, so I guess my view of the trip is a little tainted by romantic mushiness, but we really had a great time!

Oh, and if come to this area, you'll obviously go to the Tulum ruins, but don't miss Hidden Worlds Cenote Park - about $80 per person, but a fun day. The snorkeling in the cenote cave was SO cool!

  • Liked — fantastic view - gorgeous beach; relaxing, peaceful atmosphere
  • Disliked — not many options for food
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bethgz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2008

I did not stay here, but had made reservations, received confirmation, and they took my deposit. 51 days latter and a month before our trip they simply cancelled our reservation. Apparently they overbooked. Just appears quite disorganized on their part and left me scrambling. Luckily, I got a reservation with another hotel that is ranked higher on Trip Advisor.

  • Stayed September 2008
    • Value
Helpful?
2 Thank N0g00dscreenname
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dallas, texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2008

My sister in law and I just returned from a girls getaway at LaVita and Bella. The beach and water is the best on the Mexican Caribean coast . That is why we stayed there. There was no disapointment with that. However, we felt like the place was a little under populated, few guests, and fewer employees. Only stayed 2 nights because we knew it would not have any A/C and did not know how we would like that. I found it very hot and uncomfortable both nights. Our cabin was directly on the beach. To get any rest from the heat, I stayed on the patio either in the hard wood chair or in a hammock that was put up the second night. The beach was awsome, only was asked once for a drink order while on the beach. OUr cabin was clean and the bath was rustic but attractive. Ocean view from shower was great with lots of hot water 24/7. Like other guests have said, we felt a little vulnerable because we had to leave all doors and windows open to get air into the room. Screen door did not lock. We never saw any security while there. If you go, take a couple of flashlights with you. They will come in real handy after midnight when you can not sleep and want to read, sit outside for the air, or find the john. We elected to eat both evening meals in the big barn restaurant. First night was fish of the day, grilled. It was delicious. Pizza and salad 2nd night. It was pretty good also. We found the service to be friendly and Mexican slow, which was ok with us, since we had no hot spot to go off to. This is the kind of place where you spend all your energy during the daylight hours and hopefully you will crash after the lights/electricty goes out so you will not feel the lack of no A/c. If you drink enough, that will work. They mix a very good and strong Pina Colada. But you have to wait until they have the electricity on so they can use the blender.
I booked a massage thru the front desk which is in the big barn. Found the staff to be most accomodating for that service. Massage was on the beach and fairly priced for one hour. I reccommend that if you go.
Staying at LaVita and Bella was a little like going to camp. It has everything you need, but somethings you have to get used to not having.
Older guests should be advised that in order to get inside our cabin, you had to step up almost 2 feet while holding onto the side supports. The step was missing. The sand was very soft and made it a challenge. Also, you must walk on sand everywhere you go at LaVita and Bella. Deep Sand. Up a nice size hill to get to most cabanas. Not difficult for the athletic younger set.

Would I stay again, maybe, but more than likely, I will just return for the day to enjoy the beach, fresh fish dinner, massage and then get in my rent car and go back to a hotel with airconditioning. It looked to me like they would allow guests to enjoy the restaurant and beach and then they leave.

For the price they charge they should offer beach towels to guests, and flashlights. However, they did provide candles for the room with matches. That could be romantic with the right partner. I also felt that everything in the restaraunt was a little overpriced. Now I know its because of the difficulty of getting anything to the beach. So know that everything costs a little more...
If quiet and alone time is what you are looking for, this is the spot. Tire yourself out in the daytime, and eat well and drinks lots in the evening and you will have a great time.

  • Liked — View of beach and water.
  • Disliked — Not cool enough and no front step to get on to the porch.
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lazybeacher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
1 review
Reviewed September 8, 2008

We stayed at La Vita e Belle for the second week of our honeymoon and loved it. The cabanas were great - very simple but clean and decent sized - and the beach was gorgeous. I've read some reviews that said the restaurant food was bad but we disagreed and ate there a number of times.

The whole experience was very chilled out and La Vita e Bella is definitely not the place to go if you want a mad week partying. There were a couple of things that could have been better:

1- Litter on the beach - there wasn't loads but the beach we had on the all-inclusive (first week of the honeymoon) was far cleaner

2-Time taken to get served/have order arrive at the restaurant. Laid back is fine but sometimes the staff could have moved a bit quicker.

The two points were not big issues for us though and we'd definitely recommend La Vita

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KateandLew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2008

Just returned from Tulum and must say that it seems La Vita e Bella is a bit past its' prime. When we arrived we were greeted by the group of huddled employees and felt that we were intruding. We had read some reviews on Trip Advisor and had earlier requested (via email) a specific room. We were told that they didn't reserve specific rooms. This proved strange to me as when we checked in we were brought to a cabana off the beach. It was a tad rundown so we asked to switch. The staff said that we could switch to one on the beach but would have to move to another on our last night as that one was booked. Hmmmmm....I thought they didn't reserve specific rooms......???????

Anyway, after moving rooms in the 90 degree heat and traveling all day I couldn't wait for a frosty cerveza. I was told quickly and curtly that they had no beer or alcohol even though the front page of their website specifically says "cocktails". Oh well, not a deal breaker.

We did understand that the power would be off from midnight till 6 AM. Well the power story was another issue. We checked in on Sunday and the power did go off at midnight but didn't go on until after 7 AM Monday. It then went off in the afternoon and when I queried I was told it would be on at 6PM. It came back on at 6 ish and then went off again at midnight as planned. As of Tuesday it seemed that in addition to us there was perhaps only one other room occupied. The power came on in the morning (late again) and then the generator miraculously "broke" and we had no power for the rest of Tuesday and Tues night. Wednesday again had its' power issues as it went off again in the afternoon. I asked at the desk at 3:30 PM and was told it would be on by 4:00P. Nothing till 6 PM. On Thursday the hotel got more guests and coincidentally the power became more regular....Hmmmmm.

To their credit the rooms were adequate and were fine with the ocean breeze and no A/C if you are on the beach. The water at the beach is great but do you think you could drag a rake across the sand to clear the seaweed and trash that was accumulating? I saw other places doing this during my morning runs but never saw it at La Vita e Bella.

As far as the restaurant goes I would agree with another reviewer who called it a "barn". Dark and not inviting with a group of staff sitting around chatting and doing NOTHING to make you feel comfortable.

If the management would care to respond and quote old reviews from Conde Naste etc..that's fine. It should be up to those publications to revisit this establishment and perhaps update their reviews. It may have once been great but now seems to me to be uneven at best.

The establishments in the other direction from the ruins seemed much more comfortable. The food at Zamas was excellent and we actually had service with a smile. Unfortunately we didn't see many of those at our humble abode.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank beachcombermxco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Poc-na Tulum

Property: Poc-na Tulum
Address: Carretera Tulum, a Boca Paila, km 1.5, Tulum 77780, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Tulum
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#32 Romantic Hotel in Tulum
#41 On the Beach Hotel in Tulum
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Poc-na Tulum 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Come and enjoy the beauty of our hotel, "Pocna" (A mayan name for a Hotel according to my neighbor), a handcrafted place in the middle of nature, located on the most beautiful beach of Tulum, Mexico, created and designed to soround you with the exotic nature that only Mexican Caribbean can deliver.Come find the natural beauty of Caribbean Sea, virgin beaches, jungle flora and fauna, all mixed in a rustic blend, but with all the comfort of an exclusive hotel, designed to let you enjoy a vacation in paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Vita e Bella Hotel Tulum
La Vita e Bella Tulum

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