Hotel Xpu ha palace Hotel 0 star
KM 265 CARRETERA Xpu Ha, Mexico
Amy Adejokun Section editor

A stay at Xpu-Ha is like staying in a small zoo for your holidays! It is a real pleasure to walk around this "eco-park" all-inclusive hotel and explore the diversity of the vegetation and the animals which are there. There is an extensive mangrove swamp. There is a connection between showing respect for nature, and luxury; the Xpu-Ha Palace aims to make the richness of our surrounding nature more accessible within a chic and stylish setting. It is a shame that the hotel does not have a beach, but it is possible to access the beach of the Barcelo Maya; the hotel just next to the Xpu-Ha Palace.

This hotel review is a translation of the French version published on our French site

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    Location 7.59 /10

    Located 68 mi from the international airport of Cancun, allow a half an hour journey. Playa del Carmen is 20 minutes by car, Puerto Aventuras is 10 minutes by car. Unsurprisingly, the Xpu-Ha Palace is in Xpu-Ha.

    Accommodation 8.70 /10

    The hotel is made up of 9 buildings, each with 16 rooms which are designed for couples, but it is possible to have a child in the room as well. The bed is in the centre of all the 144 rooms, it is usually a king size bed, or twin beds, which are very comfortable (and quite soft). Opposite the bed, there are large patio doors which give on to the balcony in the foreground and the jungle in the background. Wherever you are, the mangrove swamp is omnipresent. Half of the 144 rooms have hard ceilings, the other half on the first floor are lucky to be beneath an impressive palapa roof, the height of which is around 5 metres. All the rooms are equipped with a safe (free), a direct telephone line, individual air-conditioning with a ventilator, a television with 46 channels, a mini-bar with tea and coffee facilities, a very large balcony with garden furniture (deckchairs and hammocks), mosquito nets on the windows, an ironing board and an iron and a radio-alarm clock. Behind the bed head there is a jacuzzi for two on the elevated platform attached to the bathroom (which has a hair-dryer, bathrobes, slippers and numerous hospitality products with the Palace Resorts label). The vanity unit has two sinks with mirrors above them which take up a lot of the rounded wall space, and there is window in the middle of the wall. The shower and the toilet are in the closed off areas on the side. Room service is available 24 hours a day.

    Overview 8.70 /10

    Originally, in 1996, the Xpu-Ha was an "eco-park". Two years later, it became a hotel and in May 2006 it was renovated for the first time. On arrival, you will be struck by the enormous lobby with its huge pillars in the midst of a mangrove swamp. The reception and adjacent bar area are topped with a palapa roof in the shape of a snake. The height of the ceiling is impressive. It supports an enormous chandelier with three wrought iron circles, which hold drawings on to which several spherical balls are attached symbolising the different planets of the universe. It represents the Maya solar system. Nearby, there is an open-air gym beneath a palapa roof. In the mangrove swamp, via some of the long paths or the little wooden walkways, you will discover a variety of animal sanctuaries (crocodiles, flamingos) before arriving at your room. All the rooms are spread over different little one-storey buildings which are grouped together in different blocks. The hotel is comprised of two swimming pools, including the main pool which is crossed by a series of little bridges and looks like a river. It stretches from the beach to the round-shaped building which serves as a spa. Inside, you are met by the pleasant scent of essential oils. The decor is 'zen' and very stylish with neutral colours of white, cream and brown (there are 3 massage rooms including one for couples). Between the spa and the catering rooms, the scale of the children's swimming pool is very impressive, together with the huge towers from which water trickles. The children can even take a tropical shower beneath an enormous mushroom-shaped shower head. There is also a kids' club, which is quite big with a little swimming pool.

    Food and drink 7.70 /10

    The choice of restaurants at Xpu-Ha Palace includes: two a la carte restaurants, a snack grill (11:00 am to 6:00 pm) and a varied buffet which can take up to 300 people. The opening hours are from 7:00 am to 11:30 am for the continental breakfast, from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm for the lunch buffet and from 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm for dinner which is buffet or a la carte. Advance booking and dress code are not required when you eat in the restaurant area of the hotel which is a big, long and narrow building block topped with a huge palapa roof. You will find Mexican cuisine at one end of the building and Italian cuisine at the other, with a buffet in the middle. The atmosphere here is not unpleasant, but it's not the place to come to if you want to relax and have some privacy.

    Beach 7.20 /10

    In front of the beach, a sign indicates to the guests of Xpu-Ha that the property terminates there! Be aware that you go to the beach at your own risk, since it is not supervised. The beach is very small and not very sandy as the sand has been engulfed by the sea. Sandbags (sacks filled with sand) border off all the areas where there is still sand. A short distance beyond this, there are lots of little rocks in shallow water covering several metres. Fortunately, for lovers of 'picture postcard' beaches, there is a little path leading to the beaches of the Barcelo Maya. The latter accepts guests from the Xpu-Ha Palace on its beaches without any problem, and allows them to sit on the deckchairs without paying (even if this is not common place). A path runs along the beach on the other side, but the rocky relief in the water prevents you from taking it. Danger, watch out! Although it is not possible to swim at this end of the beach, because it is so shallow and there is a lot of seaweed and rocks, open up your eyes because the bay is simply stunning.

    To know

    At least 30 people work exclusively to look after the gardens and vegetation, including a biologist. There are different areas for different animals. There is an enormous bird aviary for example. In front of each area there is a sign which explains what the animal is and what it is fed on. A shark from the ocean has made himself at home in the cenote where you can do kayaking and snorkelling to explore this part of the mangrove swamp (for free). Every hour, there is a tour of the hotel by an eco-tour guide (1hr duration). In the evening, a smoke-producing device is used to deter mosquitoes.
    A small train crosses the eco-park every 15 minutes. There is another one which runs if it starts to rain. Bicycles are also available to get around the hotel. Two entertainment shows, including a 'welcome' show, take place at the main swimming pool, but other areas of the resort also have evening entertainment (karaoke, etc.).
    Although couples and grand-parents with their grand-children etc., can learn to love the nature here without being afraid of it, teenagers are likely to get bored here. It is fortunate that the entire hotel is wireless.


    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, stretching, keep fit, Turkish bath, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, aqua gym, aerobics, volleyball, basketball, kayak, (free), dance, water-polo, fitness, sports

    • Animals allowed
    • Hairdresser
    • Safe
    • Solarium
    • Meeting room


    • The aesthetically pleasing rooms and bathrooms
    • The reception bar and its superb chandelier
    • The attention given to nature and the presence of a biologist
    • An eco-park
    • The animals that you can see in the hotel resort
    • A concept which is very different from the other hotels


    • The distances to be covered around the hotel
    • The swimming pool which is very far from the lobby
    • An artificial beach since the hurricanes.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10