Fodor's Expert Review Balamku
Carretera Majahual-Xcalak, Km 5.7, Mahahual, Quintana Roo, 77940, Mexico, Mahahual, Quintana Roo 77940, Mexico See on Map
Just 5 kilometers south of Mahahual there is a gorgeous eco-friendly inn on the beach called like some famous Mayan ruins: Balamku. The place on the road to Belize and it’s as secluded and remote as they come. Hence its charm, the beach is immaculate and nature is at its best. What a better place for an eco-conscious hotel?
There are 10 rooms total, distributed in 2 single palapas, and 4 two-story buildings with one room in each floor. All rooms are rounded, include a queen and a single bed, and enjoyed 24-hour electricity thanks to their own solar and wind systems. Décor is simple and typically Mexican, with bright walls and colorful linen.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Although there is electricity 24 hours a day, rooms don’t come with air conditioning, only ceiling fans.
The bathrooms offer ample space and have a distinctive Mexican style with colored-tiles and hand-painted sinks. But the coolest thing about them is that they part of the water they use come from a large rainwater collection system.
Balamku Inn has what it correctly calls a lounge, which plays the flexible roles of lobby, restaurant, bar, library and cyber café at the same time. It takes almost all of the ground floor of the main building and it’s like a large, comfortable blend of living and dining areas, with a few sofas and several wooden tables overlooking the beach.
The lounge has a nice collection of books and DVDs available for guests to borrow.
The lounge described above is also the functioning restaurant where the complimentary breakfasts are served every morning. Light snacks are available for lunch, while for dinner guests have to look for options to dine out in Mahahual.
A variety of beers and the most commercial spirits are available at the bar of the lounge during the afternoon hours. A small collection of wines is also there to be enjoyed with great music and gorgeous views.
Although the Balamku Inn has no pool, the beach is pristine and practically wave-free, as it’s located in front of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world. Guests can use the kayaks of the hotel with no charge, while there is a small fee for the use of the snorkel equipment.
Cancun International Airport is over 4 hours away by car, but if you don’t have one, you can easily bus to the hotel. The ADO first class service takes you to Mahuahual, from where you can take a taxi to the hotel. Another best option is to rent a car from day 1 if you plan on visiting the area, as distances are significant.
There are interesting options in Mahahual. Divino Delicia Italiana (20-minute drive) serves much better Italian food that you would expect to find so far from Italy, and Fernando’s 100% Agave (25-minute drive) will pamper your senses with Mexican delicacies and liquors.
Yaya Beach (20-minute drive) is a hip beach bar with swings at the bar and loungers on the sand. Maha Sand Bar & Cigar Lounge (25-minute drive) is less posh but you will get the same: cold beer, loungers, sand and ocean views.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Because it generates its own energy from the sun and the wind, and because it uses rainwater as well. It’s remote and secluded, with direct access to an unspoiled beach.
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