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“I will come back!”

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CasaSandra Boutique Hotel
Ranked #11 of 19 Hotels in Holbox Island
Certificate of Excellence
Kongsberg, Norway
1 review
“I will come back!”
Reviewed March 19, 2011

I had high expectations as I had heard that the hotel was among the best on this newly discovered paradise island.
I can assure you that I was not let down by what I experienced during my stay. The room I stayed in was spacious, the bathroom was delicate and the interior gave gave proof of an aesthetic mastermind behind every detail. I do not know if it was the seaside view, the Egyptian linen, the fragrance from the carribean flowers or the gentle whisper from the ocean, but I slept like a baby every single of the 12 nights I spent there.

The cuisine was, as expected, among the best on the island, and a great example of carribean and continental fusion taste.
I spent many a morning at the poolside, drinking freshly made drinks from a coconut, the walk from the pool and down to the ocean for a saltier feeling was worth every 30 yards!

The hotel is on the outskirts of the small village centre, and the distance gives an extra calm and tranquility to the hotel, but the small handicraft shops, restaurants and nostalgic carnivalistic town heart is only a few minutes away by foot. I would recommend this hotel to everyone who is considering a visit to this exotic and laidback destination.

The whole community is so different from all other places I have visited, whether being big towns og small backpacker villages. And during a stay here you will be sure to meet many interesting people, but even better, you will get a fantastiv opportinity to get to know the most important traveller you will ever meet- yourself!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank majonesfabrikken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandraHolbox, Owner at CasaSandra Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, March 28, 2011
Thank you for your comment, we look foward to welcome you again.
Sandra
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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445 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Mexico City, Mexico
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2011

Casasandra is the best place where i have been lately, it has a wonderful reception that take care of every detail, olga & maria fernanda where just great during our whole stay. Cessna was warm and smily every morning when she served our breakfast. The rooms are clean and have lots of details, you just get to disconnect from the real world. No tv, no watches, no noise, just nature.

There are lots of restaurants in holbox but one that specialy surprised me was the sushi bar at the new mall, it is great, i ate a white snail roll with a pasion fruit margarita. My husband had a fried spicy lobster roll, it was yummy too!
i would love to be back to casasandra. Thank you !!!!!!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank holboxsushi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandraHolbox, Owner at CasaSandra Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, March 28, 2011
We focus our attention in your comments, thank you so much.
Sandra
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2011

The value at Casa Sandra was disappointing. This hotel is very expensive. There was nothing signifcantly "wrong" with it, Casa Sandra simply is not a good value. The hotel is not directly on the beach; a dirt road dissects the view to the ocean and cuts between the hotel chairs and the water front. The rooms have very little if any view of the ocean unless you stay in the second floor of the main building lobby area. The food/drink service is good but not great. The servers are polite and kind but not as attentive as I would expect for the price. You may have to ask twice and you may need to look for a wait person to get service. The included breakfast is a nice benefit. Mixed drinks on the beach will cost you about $10 each. The dinner menu was nice - very expensive.

The rooms are clean and nice but we didn't go to Holbox to stay in our room. We would have liked to open our sliding glass door to hear the ocean but could not due to the large distance from the beach and the presence of mosquitos. All the reviews that we read indicated that there are mosquitos and knats. We found this to be very accurate. You will need to wear bug spray in the morning, noon and night. The knats bite and are very small. They will land on you any time during the day as you are trying to enjoy the sun. The mosquitos are really bad in the evening and bite during the day as well if you go near the mangroves (which are directly behind many of the hotels). If you are looking for a quiet, expensive vacation - Casa Sandra is the place. There are no TVs, no radios, no phones and no clocks in the rooms. You will pay NYC prices for this quiet experience. You can do a variety of activities that Casa Sandra will coordinate. The hotel did not have any boats or water activities available. Again, the hotel will coordinate and you will pay US prices (for example, $65 for an hour massage).

If you want a unique experience where you can drive around an island in golf carts and wander around a cute village, Holbox may satisfy you. The sand and beach are very beautiful and the water is magnificent. They do not clean the beach so there will be seaweed and other items scattered along the beach. If you are looking for Mexican food and authentic Mexican culture, you may be disappointed. The restaurant food is predominantly Italian and the street entertainment included African dances. You can get nice local sea food for NYC prices. Take a lot of cash - very few businesses take credit.

If you really want to visit Holbox, stay at one of the higher rated hotels for a better value for your money. Plan for a 2+ hour drive from the Cancun airport and 30 - 40 minute boat ride to the island.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank vacationtravel2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandraHolbox, Owner at CasaSandra Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, March 28, 2011
Casa Sandra is made with love and art, we care about your commet and defenily we will follow up.
Sandra
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2011

I went to Casa Sandra for a long weekend by myself to get out of the New York cold. I didn't wear shoes for five days, simply because I didn't have to. The streets on Holbox are made of sand, and you can walk into town or hop in a golf cart and go to a great taco stand for next to nothing (I lived in Mexico for a short time, so I know great Mexican food).

Sandra Perez Lozano is the owner of this tiny gem on the beach in Holbox, and she's a famous Cuban singer/songwriter. I've stayed in uber-luxe hotels too...and to me, luxury is really just doing what I want, when I want. Do I want one of the staff to drag a chaise lounge into the water so I can read comfortable? Yes, but they offered, I didn't even have to ask. Do I want a massage and yoga instruction everyday? Yes, it was done too. Everything was seamless here...but you need to know what you're going for. If you want to read books all day, lay in the water (you can walk for up to half a mile and the water is only up to your waist), lay in the sun, eat amazing food (simple Cuban and Mexican cuisine) and be surrounded by laid back artist types, then this is the place for you. If you want super posh Four Seasons service and furnishings, then pass on this. But if, like me, you're the kind of person that can do both - and if you need a break where you don't put on a stitch of make-up, enjoy your salty, beach hair, go topless if you wish, don't wear shoes, each the most amazing pico de gallo and a true Cuabn mojito while sitting in the sea, then Casa Sandra is perfection.

I flew into Cancun, then the hotel organized a Cessna to fly me directly to the airstrip on Holbox, it's not super cheap to do that, so you can take a car transfer, but I love to fly and of course, the immediate gratification of walking off the beach, onto the Cessna, then my flight home.

Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank Tri73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
Reviewed March 6, 2011

Casa sandra is a beautiful 5 star boutique hotel. As soon as we arrived at the hotel by the island golf car taxi, the feeling of the tranquility is immediately surreal. The ambience of the hotel as a whole is amazing. The rooms are very well decorated, bed is perfectly comfortable with high thread sheet count which makes for a dreamy island sleep. We left our terrace doors open to hear the ocean waves at night...amazing! During the day, I also enjoyed the hammock on the terrace of room to read my book and listen the ocean and the birds. We also loved the 'conch shell' shower head, and the great tub with the candles provided, makes for a perfect couple evening! The food and service was very attentive and the curry fish fillet and ceviche was our favorites, other than the cuban specials that they offered were delicious. The lobby is decorated with all the art from the owner, she is a great artist, what a personal touch! We have stayed at numerous boutique hotels, and I highly recommend Casa Sandra for a perfect get away!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank cdnscubadiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandraHolbox, General Manager at CasaSandra Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, March 8, 2011
First of all thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to hear about your experience at our hotel and also speak well of our installation.
Casasandra is a space designed specifically for our guests to feel at home, so we work every day to make this assumption in our company. The hotel is the perfect place to escape in couples, where the luxury is in every detail, service and friendliness of our staff.
Your recommendation about the rate change has been subject of analysis, however we use a fair exchange rate for our guests is not even a fixed rate, but variable according to fluctuations in the market to adapt to the needs of our guests as we know that many of them manage their credit cards in dollars.
For us it is impossible to give our guests an exchange rate of 10.5 pesos per dollar because the currency market now is above 12 pesos per dollar, and we are a company which our main objective is the satisfaction of our guests but that does not cause us to lose money as it would have occurred in this specific case, because it really is the first time we passed. The hotel is located on the beautiful island of Holbox, a paradise but his prinicpal drawback is that the nearest bank is located 3 hours away (one way) from the hotel, this makes it very difficult for us to access to the financial institutions, in addition to the fees charged to us by the banking we do, which no doubt prevents us from charging our guests at an exchange rate of 10.50 pesos per dollar.

As we always do, our team was aware of your family and to ensure that the experience was as successful as posible, sorry not being able to meet your expectations and we thank you for the constructive criticism that will help us very day to better.

Thank you,

Hector.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2011

My partner and baby and I splashed out on a week at Casa Sandra. For me, the marker of real luxury, real escape, isn't just a great bed, food, gardens etc. (although these are important) but beautiful service. The hallmark of a great small hotel is warm, easygoing ambience where a drink or an extra coffee isn't too much to ask, and everybody knows your name after day 2. Casa Sandra has all the raw ingredients to be a stunning little gem of an island hotel. It is formed around a former private beach house, situated just the perfect amount back from the gorgeous white sand beaches of Holbox, and the style is picture perfect from the asymmetrical, intimate pool with its jewelbox pool bar and lovely wooden tables and stools, to the canopied beds on the beach and the tropical flowers arranged on the perfectly made, soft and sumptuous white bed in our 2nd storey raftered eagle's nest of a room.
We loved the coffee table books in the little lobby, where you feel you're a guest in a private house, maybe Noel Coward's or Richard Branson's even. Very romantic, and clearly styled by an artist...I believe Sandra the owner actually is an artist and it's wonderfully evident.
But something was missing. The night we ordered cocktails at the pool bar as our daughter frolicked in the shallow end, around 8 pm, and were told they were coming...then, on following up, learning the bar was actually closed (there was someone behind it who said he'd get our drinks but he disappeared and the chef himself eventually took our drinks out, but in a way that suggested we had made a faux pas). The morning the waitress, totally embarassed, told us there was no coffee in the house. Our first morning, where we ate our meal from the cold buffet and only when we were done, were we asked if we wanted any hot food. The fact that never in our stay could we figure out exactly what hot food was available for breakfast (we asked for bacon one day and got it but there was no menu and we had no idea what else we could possibly have ordered). Milk, toast (served mixed in with untoasted bread), cutlery, salt...all these came haphazard and often we had to forage for them on other tables.
The upside of course, is this magical setting and romantic surroundings, perfect gardens, and pristine clean and well cared for environment. The maid service could not have been better and every surface, every nook and cranny, was spotlessly clean and incredibly well kept.
The last point here, and the most significant negative really, is the fact that the hotel, like most hotels I guess although I never encountered it before (probably just wasn't paying as high a bill therefore didn't notice) is the fact that Casa Sandra fixes an artificially high exchange rate for dollar to peso. So, in an effort to keep my dollars where I want them - i.e. with the small business instead of the huge multinational travel agency - I ask Casa Sandra if they will match the Expedia price. They agree even though it's lower than their publixhed rate. They actually give me their exhange too, so technically I should have then asked to pay in dollars because their rate is bad. But I didn't research the rate, just assumed it would be fair. So when it comes to paying at the end of the trip, what started as $201 per night plus tax, ends up at basically $280 per night tax included. I was in shock. The management explained that they use the 'real' rate instead of the bank rate...and they pulled up a website to prove it.
I'm sorry, but if there is no way I can possibly access a rate of almost 13 pesos to the dollar, because the bank is giving me 10.5...then is 12.something really the 'real' rate? It struck me just as a little extra way to make money. Which is not necessary as Casa Sandra is already almost double the price of the perfectly decent places on either side.
Another example of this is that the transfer from Cancun was promised to cost $80 per person. But it was actually 1000 per person, which according to to the rate one can get at the bank or ATM or on a credit card, is more than $80 dollars. To be fair to the management, I was told the peso price before I left Canada. But again, had I known that essentially I was paying a surcharge to pay in pesos, I would simply have bought the room with Expedia...or carted wads of US cash down with me. (The Canadian dollar is worth more than US right now so that would have saved us quite a lot).
A case of 'buyer beware' but disappointing given the considerable charms of this otherwise magical place.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank kleinzaches
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed February 16, 2011

We enjoyed our stay at Casa Sandra overall, but relative to the cost the hotel did not meet our expectations and we were a little disappointed. In terms of location it was great; right on the beach (which is beautiful when not stormy and full of seaweed!) and a short walk into the local town. The rooms were fairly basic, but the beds were comfortable (your feet will poke over the end of the bed if you’re 6ft or over) and the room was spacious (we were upgraded to a suite). The bathroom was definitely in need of an upgrade, it was pretty damp and dark.

The hotel staff were very friendly and helpful but we felt the main problem with the hotel is that it was not managed properly. The service was inconsistent and it felt like the presence of a manager was needed to ensure the smooth running of the hotel on a day to day basis. An example of this was when our room flooded three times (we experienced unusually stormy weather throughout our 10 day stay) – we felt we were putting them out, by asking for extra towels to mop up the water and we received no follow up to check that the flooding had subsided and whether we were ok (they finally moved us to a different room on our final night). There was little in the way of apology on this matter and no management available to assist, although we were given a complimentary night’s stay on our final night.

The food at the hotel was disappointing. Although staff made efforts to be helpful and provide a good service, we found the menu very limited and expensive. We ate far better meals out in the local town and in particular would recommend the Argentinian roof top restaurant “La Pappilla de Juan”.

These problems aside, we did enjoy our stay and the island is beautiful (just try to avoid the storms, as there is little to do when the weather is bad and the sea and beach is churned up!).

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NickyAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SandraHolbox, Manager at CasaSandra Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, March 7, 2011
Dear Sir: Nick and alex

First of all we would like to thank you for choosing us and share with us your vacation in Mexico. We regret very much your comments on Trip Advisor because our team works hard every day so that all of our experiences guests are satisfactory, as it’s happening today.

Our hotel is located in the Caribbean Sea, so we have periods of heavy rain like we had last week when you visited us, these periods of rain bring large amounts of seaweed on the beaches of Holbox that little by little self-clean themselves as a natural process. On the days you were in the hotel unfortunately rained in more than 50% of your entire stay, which causes water to penetrate in your room, ilusión, one of the best rooms we have in the hotel because it is in front of the Caribbean Sea.

Our team was always aware of the situation and we always tried to solve the problem every day, so we offered to change rooms and do not charge last night as a form of compensation for the inconvenience caused by nature.

Sorry not being able to meet their expectations and we thank you for making us such constructive comment to help us be better every day

thank you,

Hector
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about CasaSandra Boutique Hotel

Property: CasaSandra Boutique Hotel
Address: Calle de la Igualdad s/n, Holbox Island 77730, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Holbox Island
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Holbox Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — CasaSandra Boutique Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For a long time owner, Sandra, wanted to write by the sea. She went in search of a remote world, quiet, where the blue was obvious. One day, she landed in Cancun and the attraction of the Mayan land was overwhelming. She took a small plane and flew over the island of Holbox.Nothing was more attractive to her than the Feast of the colors of nature, barefoot fishermen with their gold teeth, women weaving hammocks or sheathed with their heels in the sand. "I want to do something here, " she said and began to imagine in her head this project now called "the hotel with a human touch" on this very beach.The land of more than 150 species of birds, whale shark, or Damero world's largest fish, mangroves in each corner, all were an inspiration to this artist.Then she wanted to welcome friends from around the world and to express, through a hotel on the island of Holbox, a point of view on life: "peace and art are a great treasure for humans. " Because of this she thought of a place that is romantic, sexy, creative, where the personalized, warm, rustic atmosphere in a luxurious twenty rooms that look to the sea, where one could meet the privacy and whims of its guests. All done out of love and passion. The same place where one can dream and create, and in the best case, where one can rest.The joy of giving and expressing a new way of caring for guests, has been the commitment of the hotel. Every detail has a reason: from the small art gallery with paintings by renowned artists to the beautiful furniture that inhabit the halls.Feelings, emotions, poetry, touches of color, aromas of black coffee, hammocks, fabric on the balconies, fluffy sheets, the sea at every angle, and romantic evenings create the magic of the "place of your dreams." ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Sandra Hotel Holbox Island
Casa Sandra Holbox Island

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