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“Not my type of hotel”

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Villas HM Paraiso del Mar
Ranked #6 of 20 Hotels in Holbox Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 21, 2013

I really wanted to like this hotel. When I came to Holbox first in 2010, I celebrated the New Year at this hotel - it set up gorgeous tables on the beach for the occasion....When I was selecting a hotel for my trip this time, I believed Paraiso del Mar will be a great choice. I must admit it was a disappointment for me and spoiled my vacation significantly.

Rooms: unless you are in a Master Suite (there are only 6 of them), you are stuck in a dungeon-like room away from the beach. You cannot see any glimpse of the sea from there. In fact, all you can see are the walls of other buildings and the rich jungle foliage. In the three rooms that I have been to, you do not even get any sunlight on the sunniest day. I was told at the check-in that this was the concept of the hotel ("the midnight darkness"?) - I wish I knew before booking 4 nights there. When I just arrived, they escorted me to a room next to the reception - it smelled of dampness and I could see nothing in it until the staff turned the lights on. I respect that some people might enjoy that, but I cannot survive without the natural light. I asked for a change of rooms and was kindly given another one that seemed drier and a tad lighter. When we returned from dinner that night however, I was appalled to realize that the area around the room was filled with a loud noise from the restaurant's exhaust fan. Again, some people might not mind, but this is the last thing I want to hear at night on the beach...the sound is of a huge generator always on. I asked to be moved again and the staff obliged. However, our travails did not stop there....since these rooms (I really hesitate to call them villas) are built two to a house, if you stay on the first floor, you hear everything going on on the second flood. I am not exaggerating by saying that I could hear every time the people upstairs went to the bathroom, I could hear their conversations and could track their movements...again, not my idea of the way to spend time by the sea. On the 2nd night, the neighbors upstairs returned to the room at 3:00 AM and we could barely sleep from that time on. The next morning the hotel staff promised to not place anyone else above us, but that worked for one night only as the last night we again had neighbors and had a fitful sleep as the noise was unbelievable. Even to get to their rooms, the people from upstairs need to climb stairs that go against the wall of the first floor room...it all echoes. I really dreaded returning to these rooms every day...inside it was like being at the bottom of a well...

Staff: Most staff was very nice. They tried to accommodate our requests, but I felt they lacked authority and skill to make any improvements. The front desk staff changed every day and they usually did not pass messages from one person to the other...so I had to see them several times on the same issue. The cleaning staff was very thorough, however on the 3rd day my PJs went missing. The reception staff told me dispassionately that since no one would still pajamas, it was impossible that it would be the hotel's fault. The sad part was that they were left on the bed and went missing after the bed was made the next morning. I left without my PJs and no one thought of compensating me for the loss...they just shrugged and moved on.

Food: The best day was Thursday when the restaurant offered a juice bar for breakfast. I am not sure why this is a rare offering, but on other days the selection was pretty sad. For people like me who do not eat red meat, there was a choice of fruit, granola and eggs. Amazingly, at a sea resort, there was no fish/seafood for all 4 days we were there. We did not eat dinner at the hotel as I was not impressed with the breakfast options.

All in all, while I love Holbox and think we will come back again, I will definitely go to another hotel next time. I tried to leave this hotel as soon as I saw the pitch black rooms, but was told that the cancellation was 7 days and I did not have the energy to argue and convince anyone to let me go.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Ruchei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Estelle L, Guest Relations Manager at Villas HM Paraiso del Mar, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2013

Dear Guest,

I am sorry that your stay with us didn't fulfill your expectations. I have to say I that am surprised about the extend of your disappointment, mostly because comparing your experience with the one that most of our guests have, there seems to be a significant difference.

Still, it is opinions like yours that help us improve even more so I thank you for the feedback. In regards to the rooms, your are right, only the Master Suites have sea views (as indicated on our website). I wish you would have consulted the information before, that way you would have probably chosen a different room, more fitting to your needs. Still, I am happy to know that our staff did their best to make you comfortable and that you enjoyed this amazing island.

Best regards from Holbox!

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431 - 437 of 1,139 reviews

Reviewed September 21, 2013

As soon as we arrived and saw the hotel we were happy. The hotel is different, the style of the service is great and as soon as you get used to the ways on this Island you don't want to live any other way. Had an amazing time here, blown away by the beach, wildlife is real and the no car concept is a strange but true fact of life on Holbox. Be prepared to arrive tired and excited after the long journey and leave relaxed and overwhelmed. Paradise found.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Adam C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2013

This hotel is fantastic. The staff are just so good. From housekeeping to service everybody has a smile on their face and when you see where they work you understand.

The rooms are all air-conditioned and as long as you make an effort to keep your room tidy housekeeping does the rest for you. They have cable tv but could do with a few more English speaking channels. The rooms are large and comfortable and have plenty of wardrobe space.

The food here is fantastic but it does get a little bit 'samey' after a while, but there is plenty to suit most peoples taste. In keeping with Mexican tradition all meats and fish are fresh but thinly sliced. I would have given anything for a juicy steak or a griddled whole fish. Considering that fishing is the main industry on the island I am surprised that the hotel did not make more of this resource.The Mexican dishes though are full of flavour. They had some of the hottest salsa that I had or have ever had come to that.

The pool is quiet and warm but the area surrounding it only has room for a few loungers. There are plenty on the beach side though. The hotel allows you to change your towels as often as you wish.

The bars are fine and the bar staff very attentive whilst not being in your face. They also make regular trips onto the beach area so you do not need to go looking for a drink.

This is a fantastic chill out hotel that makes every attempt to meet all of their clients needs. Successfully too. If you need something the staff would be disappointed if you didn't see if they could help you.

If you go for a couple of days or a couple of weeks you will have a great time at this hotel

Room Tip: Take plenty of lotions and plug ins to ward off the mozzies on this Island. They are a huge problem...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank CharlyFarly1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2013

What a stunning Island. The way the accommodation has been designed is so pleasing to the whole organic feel of the area. They are keen on keeping the wildlife and beach as natural as possible and we wanted to echo this. The rooms were relaxing and had just enough comforts to still be luxurious without going over the top. We went out for long walks and saw flamingoes and lots of small bright blue birds. The sea is warm and has some interesting little fish that bask in the shallows, I sat and watched them for hours, what a luxury. It is one of those places that is like no other and the local people and small stores are a joy. Such a world away from the fast pace of our everyday life, we feel lucky to have been able to visit this unique spot.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2013

The hotel is on the beach so couldn´t be better as far as location goes. We saw wild flamingoes all over the place and lots of other birds and sea creatures right outside the hotel! We knew that Holbox was an unusual sort of resort which is what made us book it, but honestly had not anticipated quite such high quality at this hotel. The beach and town may be underdeveloped with sand and dirt roads, but inside the hotel is a haven of first class service. Amazing beds! So comfortable and such good sheets. Everywhere is clean and everyone that works here is great. The food is great too and if you like fish you´ll be in your element. We didn´t do any fishing trips or whale spotting but saw the hotel organises trips so if you want to be more adventurous than us you can. We felt totally pampered and treated like VIPS from the minute we walked in. It took a bit more organising than usual to get here but it was worth every minute of it and I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind not enjoying themselves at this hotel.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Emily E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Estelle L, Guest Relations Manager at Villas HM Paraiso del Mar, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your positive feedback on TripAdvisor following your recent stay at Villas HM Paraiso del Mar. We were blown away by your review and particularly proud of our staff, who contribute most to making our guests feel welcome.

Thank you again for the great feedback, I very much hope that we will be able to welcome you in Holbox again.

Best regards.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2013

Having just spent an unforgettable week of my life at this hotel I had to add my opinion here to let others know! Although we were on a small island with very little in terms of proper big buildings, shops and so on, this hotel is up there with the best 5 star properties we've stayed at.
ON the beach as the pics show, so location wise a 10. We were given a warm Mexican welcome and the staff were there for us until the moment we left. Nothing was too much trouble. Most activities are focused around the beach so if you are into sea based sports or bird watching you will really enjoy it. The room was perfect. Spotless, comfortable, complete with a hammock. Maids came in every day to change the towels and tidy around. The food is obviously based on Mexican type dishes but the variety and freshness of it all was very impressive. Holbox island is a place you should go if you feel you want to cut yourself off from the modern world. We decided to put our cell phones away for the week and it was really liberating! We just enjoyed each others company in very special surroundings and feel very lucky to have had the chance to do that at Villas Paraiso del Mar. Forgot to say, getting around on a golf buggy was so much fun.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank Maria G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2013 via mobile

When I travel to Mexico I usually go to Cancun. This time I wanted to try something a little different so I went to Cancun for a week and then headed over to Holbox Island. It was a very long tiresome trip to get there first of all. The drive went thru some scary looking areas with police posted check points. I kept thinking we were going to get stopped and robbed or worse by the Cartel. Your not driving thru tourist areas, it mostly looked like small low income towns. After a couple hours and rough roads, you arrive to the ferry that goes to Island. Being out if the tourist area now it's hard to find someone who speaks English. Ok I guess I should tell you about the hotel now, but since this is the only way to get there, I wanted to share this part of the experience too. When I arrived at the hotel the first thing I noticed is all the sand all over the floor of the lobby. Since there is sand everywhere instead of roads the sand follows you everywhere. The receptionist spoke very broken English and could not find my reservation. Finally she said she was only expecting one reservation and the last name was not ours. I asked her what the name was and the first names matched my husband and I. The last name wasn't even close but since I had copies of my reservation and the reservation numbers matched they changed the name and checked us in. Someone was called the get our bags and show us to our room. Since there are no sidewalks and the paths to the different bungalows was sand, our suitcases were drug through the sand and once taken to our room, we had sand all over our room too. The room was beautiful, but the spiral stairs to the top got old quick. The rooms was kept clean by staff other than all the sand. The in room refrigerator was kept stocked. We choose the all inclusive plan but did care at all for the food. I think they try to please all the different visiting countries but the food just was not good. One night I only had potatoes and ice cream for dinner. The deserts were always good. The area to sun bath is a little distance from the water and you have to go out pretty far to even be knee deep (in what looked like pond water not like the website pics show at all) so if you like to lay in the sun and just take a quick dip when you get hot then you need the pool not the beach however there are maybe ten chairs by the pool so you probably weren't going to get one. We walked into town a couple times but it seemed very dirty. Everything here is authentic Mexico and definitely not like being on a resort. Now I'm not just prissy because I've been to other parts of Mexico before like Monterrey and was ok with it. There were a lot of travelers from Canada and Great Britan at the resort and they seemed to love it. It just wasn't for me. I think I will stick with Cancun and its beautiful white sand beaches and delicious foods and shopping.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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1  Thank Karmen Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villas HM Paraiso del Mar

Address: Avenida Plutarco Elias Calles s/n, Holbox Island 77310, Mexico (Formerly Villas Paraiso del Mar)
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Holbox Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Holbox Island
Price Range: $124 - $506 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villas HM Paraiso del Mar 3.5*
Number of rooms: 84
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Also Known As:
Villas Paraiso Del Mar Hotel Holbox Island
Hotel Paraiso Del Mar
Paraiso Del Mar Hotel

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