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“Great place to stay at Xcalak”
Review of Sin Duda Villas

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Sin Duda Villas
Ranked #1 of 4 Xcalak B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Mexico
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great place to stay at Xcalak”
Reviewed March 7, 2013

The place is so nice, that we chose it as our top vacation destination last year, we stayed at Sin Duda for first time on April and decided to go back two more times in the same year!
The house is super confortable and Bob and Margo the hosts thought of every single thing you could need in a house that is practically in the the middle of the jungle, with in the wonderful mexican caribbean.
The house is about 8km north from town so be sure to bring supplies, there is a very well equipped kitchen.
This is the perfect place to spend some days if you plan to relax. There are also plenty of activities as kayaking or high class scuba diving. Also the reef is great if you just want to go snorkeling.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jimena F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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334 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hermosa Beach, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2013

My trip to Sin Duda! Where to start? Arriving at the SDV sign, two beautiful young women (Sabrina & Kate) ask to help with our bags. Margo and Robert come out all smiles, welcoming hugs; Robert gives the well-informed orientation with humor & a world of fascinating information. Their artistic and decorative flair around Mayan culture abounds. Robert is a former Seattle skyline architect and the design of Sin Duda is a work of art. The room was beautifully done, comfortable beds, fans, great views, with a shared kitchen, lavishly furnished, dishes & flatware, pots/pans, stove with oven/ large refrigerator -- spices, tea, olive oil. My wife was in her glory!

Twelve to fifteen steps from our room to the palapa & chaise lounge of our choice (biggest decision of the day)! At waters edge a vast expanse to the north--mostly deserted beach as far as you can see; to south, there are a couple of houses in the distance. Great walking in the morning in either direction. After one long walk, guests returned to show they had found ancient Mayan pottery chards some with paint still visable—from the villages along this coast hundreds of years ago.

The barrier reef breaks about 200 yards out which makes the inside like a goldfish bowl for snorkeling. For beginning snorkelers there is a world class coral head in front of Sin Duda about 20yds out in 5 feet of water. Coral colors and fish of so many varieties I always saw something new. Eventually I went for more advanced snorkeling closer to the reef and saw a turtle, and I had an out-of-this-world experience: As I floated motionless, 7 squid surrounded me-- all equidistant from each other, in a half circle around me. Each with one big eyeball examining me curiously. They were each about 8 to 10 inches long and were stationary in the water. Very eerie, but decidedly cool. Their bodies were transparent so I could see their organs functioning like giant paramecium. When something spooked them they disappeared so rapidly I couldn’t tell where they went.

Robert took my son & me to the roofdeck and pointed out the several lagoons to the rear of Sin Duda about a half mile away. He said there might be some adventure lurking out there: Hidden rivers, crocodile and if quiet, you can see just beneath the surface, fish the size of behemoths. We carried the kayaks to the lagoon and spent hours exploring. Our second evening guests had purchased a huge fish in the village which fed 15 of us, grilled on a fireplace designed by a First Nation man who visited years ago—amazing ventilation, and a fire which roared.

For guests’ use there are kayaks, two beach bicycles, all snorkel and swimming gear – some toys, booties and necessities. The barrier reef calms the Caribbean so that kayaking for miles is great sport. In the evening Margo-ritas are served while you play a rousing game of horseshoes (sometimes we can almost beat Robert); the camaraderie is infectious and stimulating. On clear evenings, Robert’s knowledge of the sky is mesmerizing from the roof deck! Like a course in astronomy with all the pieces—LIVE!

By design and great fortune, Steve Katz was also a guest (founder & guitarist of the Blues Project and Blood Sweat & Tears) . In addition to great music on the beach for several days, we were invited to a private concert down the road – a larger venue, to be privy to Steve’s stories of his days driving Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs & Dave Van Ronk around Greenwich Village. A brilliant singer/guitarist, a personal presentation. Coming back along the road we were surrounded by fireflies in the jungle, an owl flying overhead and awakened to another dawn with songs of jungle birds singing in the morning.

One day, while floating on my back in the shallow 80 degree water in front of my chaise lounge, there was a 3ft white egret walking by me (within a couple of feet) hunting little fish -- as if I wasn’t even there. I didn’t move. I could have touched him.

There are a variety of grocery trucks which arrive at least every other day… limes, pineapples, mangoes, eggs, cheese, tortillas, chicken, lots of options for healthy food, though do bring staples. Margo’s lists sent at reservation confirmation leave out nothing, so you are well-prepared.

Xcalak has a world class restaurant-- The Leaky Palapa (yes seriously). So many times have we dined with them, these exceptional women (the owners) are now friends. There is (surprisingly) other fare in the tiny village: Toby’s for coconut shrimp; Silvia’s ceviche, and we definitely recommend you stop for a lobster-mango pizza at Costa de Cocos—(oh, and according to Margo’s notes, they deliver!)

The panga boat ride to San Pedro, Belize (a day-trip with XTC Dive Shop officiating) was a blast. We saw dolphin in Chetumal Bay and stopped the boat to gently slide over the side to see them closer.

During our visit the group of guests were fascinating – history professor, nurse, anthropologists, peace corps – a diverse mix of people. The environs of Sin Duda enables making friends with whom we’ll stay in touch, to see next year. Three couples had visited previously to return each year—12 yrs, 5 yrs and 4 years. Sin Duda rocks and I give you my highest rating.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Barry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2013

At the risk of sounding like a spokesman for Sin Duda Villas, we had another great vacation. Guests here (half of whom seem to be repeat visitors) are more like a casual extended family than ‘clients’. Margo & Robert are knowledgeable, fun and helpful.
Honestly, SDV is not for everyone. This is not a place to ‘party’, to have extreme adventures, or to ‘stay globally connected’..... Sin Duda is ‘off the grid’ so there is no TV, no radio, no wifi, no papers, no mail, no pool, no climate control.
Sin Duda is a beautiful, quiet and relaxing place to rest - snooze - siesta and generally recharge.
To walk the beach holding hands with your wife, to read a book on a beach chair, to listen to the rustle of the breeze through the coconut palm fronds and the lap of the sea on the beach, to see the morning sun rise out of the Caribbean, to watch the sea change colors through the day, to stand on the roof at night and stare at ten thousand stars that seem just out of reach, to float on the gentle current looking at hundreds of colorful fish who’ve come from the coral to look at you.........
Once again - the question is not IF we’ll be back, it’s WHEN.......and the answer is "Not soon enough!"

Room Tip: We've stayed in the Querencia that last two trips, and like it better than the Ballando, as we f...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Phil1ip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 14, 2013

What can I say, if you are looking for a mature and fun conversation, you'll find it here at Sin Duda, if your are looking for alone time, you'll find it here at Sin Duda, if you are looking for service that matches no other, Sin Duda will offer that to you, if you need a little entertainment, Sin Duda has it or knows where to find it....and it you enjoy nightly soirée, you will have it with their complimentary amazing margaritas. If you love the water, snorkeling, kayaking-Sin Duda has it as they are situated off the sea and a 3 minute walk to the lagoon on the opposite side. If you have well behaved dogs-Sin Duda welcomes them. Come join the fun and a vacation you will not forget ... I will be back, that is for certain!

Room Tip: all rooms are unique and made with a Mayan touch for best ventilation and privacy.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank DrShaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mill Valley, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed February 14, 2013

During our most recent visit this January I was reminded of one of my favorite movies, The Wizard of Oz. More specifically the part where Dorothy's house lands in Oz. As she opens the door the world is suddenly technicolor. This is what it feels like to arrive at Sin Duda Villas. First time visitors could have never imagined a place like this exists. "Margoritas" flow at days end, meals come together often spontaneously and communally, new best friends are made and never forgotten, welcoming hosts teach you the miracles of vast night sky and the even more vast reading library! Margo and Robert, who are the owners at Sin Duda, tend to bring in the most lovely "guest hosts" to help them out. This time Sabrina and Kate, organic farmers from Washington State, were the most amazing and attentive hostesses. The conversation is always lively and often intellectually elevating. It was a full house including people from Belize, Canada, Washington, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Margo arranged a group reservation for us at the Leaky Palapa Restaurant in the village and the food is something I think about still, most specifically the Cesar Salad! In short, we always leave Sin Duda Villas with a renewed appreciation for unexpected experiences and vivid new worlds

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Amy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, California
1 review
Reviewed February 4, 2013

We were to meet our friends from the opposite coast (the frozen one) in a warmer, relaxing location. I hadn't heard of Margo and Robert's Sin Duda Villas in Xcalak, but it only took the first night in the warm welcoming presence of our hosts to convince me that this was the right place. This is certainly not your stuffy Bed and Breakfast, that's for sure. Robert, Margo and all the guests we met were genuinely interesting folks and fun to hang out with too. We've traveled around the Mayan Coast in the past and while we enjoyed the fascinating location, none of the hotels or resorts have ever compared to the Sin Duda experience. They really have a good thing going there. Honest, treat yourself to at least a week. Better make that a month.

Room Tip: We had one of the rooms facing the beach and the sound of the sea, the palms rustling and the birds...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Mike M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

We fell onto Sin Duda by luck...or perhaps divine providence. We met a couple headed to Sin Duda on our flight over. As luck would have it, there was an opening and we followed along for three glorious nights at Sin Duda! We were in Mexico 22 nights and those 3 Sin Duda nights were BY FAR the best in our trip.
I really can't say enough about how much we loved Sin Duda. I will try by breaking it down in to catagories:
Our Hosts.
We were warmly greeted by the owners of Sin Duda, Margo and Robert. They are terrific and helped us feel comfortable right away! Robert is an architect who designed the buildings perfectly for views, esthetics, air and light flow. He is very welcoming and offers a wealth of information on many topics. Margo is the heart of the operation. She keeps scrupulous track of emails and can help with any detail. Her evening "Margo-rita's " are a real treat and it is great fun to hear stories about Sin Duda and their time in Mexico. Due to the warmth of Margo and Robert, staying at Sin Duda feels more like being a house guest than a hotel guest.
Location: Absolutely stunning! Sin Duda is perfectly settled on a calm beach front with a mangrove lagoon as a distant back yard. The water is clear blue and the sand is smooth. Truly world class snorkeling is only a few yards from Sin Duda. I am a dive master and have been all over the world seeking underwater adventure. With no tanks needed, Sin Duda offers a great introduction to miraculous sea life. There are gorgeous active coral reefs just less than a 2 minute swim from Sin Duda beach. The water is barely 5 ft deep, crystal clear, mostly sandy bottom, and loaded with sea life. Here is a short list of what I saw in my first 45 mins swim: 2 kinds of damsel fish (beau gregory and bi-color), 3 kinds of parrot fish (stoplight, midnight and rainbow), moray eel, juvenile rock beauty, queen angel fish, two kinds of tang, and the list goes on! We also had a dreamy day kayaking in the "backyard" lagoon where we saw tons of birds.
Food and Transport: Sin Duda is paradise which you have to take a few extra steps to find. We took a bus to Xcalak and then caught a ride to Sin Duda. If we had stayed longer than three days, it maybe would have been nice to have a rental car so we could go into town for dinner and SCUBA diving, but there is plenty to do just at Sin Duda. Sin duda offers kayaks, snorkel gear, sun suits, pots, pans, and all you need to cook and explore. However, you will need to plan ahead and bring food. The grocery stores in Xcalak do not have much fresh produce. There is a produce truck that stops by Sin Duda but it is hard to know what they will offer AND you might miss it because you are snorkeling!
Truly one of the most fantastic places I have ever been! Gorgeous, relaxing, fun.

Room Tip: We got to look at a few. They all looked excellent. Beautifully decorated, comfortable...if you get...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lucyandpaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sin Duda Villas

Property: Sin Duda Villas
Address: Km 8 Xcalak Beach Road, Xcalak, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Costa Maya > Xcalak
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Xcalak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Come stay with us at the end of the road on our secluded beach - a respite from the noise and bright lights. Using ecologically responsible technologies and a cheerful perspective to conserve our unique environment, we live through seasons leaving only footprints in the white Caribbean sand. Presenting 8 remarkable spaces designed by the past architect-owner. Sin Duda Villas reflects an appreciation of Mayan simplicity, form and tropical colors. With a bit of whimsy tossed here and there. Peaceful, unique and decidedly rewarding. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sin Duda Villas Hotel Xcalak
Sin Duda Villas Xcalak, Mexico - Costa Maya

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