Owner Valerie Pickles has carved out a lovely little paradise with six bungalows and a wonderful restaurant on the outskirts of Santa Elena. Mayan-style rooms are simply furnished and decorated with Valerie's paintings. Remarkably comfortable, they feature hammocks, palapa roofs, and cozy beds. There's no air-conditioning here, but the powerful fans, tile floors, and domed ceilings help keep rooms 20 degrees cooler than outside. The gardens, complete with an inviting pool,
are beautifully maintained and well lit with solar-powered lights. A delicious breakfast of fruit, bread, mango yogurt, and coffee is included in the rate, which is hard to imagine considering how little she charges. As a former English teacher, Valerie has a warm heart and inviting spirit, and claims the secret ingredient to her savory cuisine is "love." For those on their way to the nearby ruins, this is the best place to stop for authentic Yucatan food.