Fodor's Expert Review Casa Paraiso Xcalak
Carretera Majahual–Xcalak, Km 48, Xcalak, Quintana Roo 77940, Mexico See on Map
In the road to Xcalak, in the south-eastern edge of Mexico, just a few kilometers from the border with Belize, you will find this little piece of paradise on Earth. Casa Paraiso is just a little yellow building in the middle of nowhere, but it’s well-appointed, it doesn’t feel ‘basic’ like other small hotels off the beaten track and it’s perfect to disconnect and just relax.
The guest rooms have a fresh ambience with white walls and linen, and traditional hand-painted Mexican tiles. They all feature a well-equipped kitchenette with full-sized fridge, purified water, and a full collection of pots, pans, plates, bowls, cutlery and all you may need for your meals. Each room enjoy a balcony or terrace with loungers, hammock and extraordinary ocean views. 24-hour electricity and hot water are provided, which is not that common in the area.
A charming Mexican design in the bathrooms makes all the difference with similar options in this category. Colorful-tiled walls and hand-painted vanity sinks may not be what you understand as luxury, but that’s enough to provide a warm atmosphere.
Casa Paraiso is exactly that, a two-story house with a set of different rooms available to rent. So, when someone arrive, the owners of the property welcome guests to their house at their doorsteps and show them their room for their next couple of days. Who need a lobby in a place like this?
A massage by the beach may be the cherry on the cake for an extraordinary trip to the Mexico’s end.
A small palapa by the beach equipped with a full kitchen and several tables is the spot where every morning is served a complimentary continental breakfast for guests. Later in the day you can cook in your own kitchenette or use the BBQ grill available for guests.
Try cooking your own catch of the day in the shared grill or get some fresh seafood from the nearby co-op.
Although the restaurant also serves drinks, this is the kind of place where bringing your own makes more sense. That way you can enjoy your favorite spirit from the comfort of your balcony’s hammock.
There is no pool at Casa Paraiso, but you don’t need one, right in front of the hotel there is the second largest barrier reef in the world and what amounts to a huge natural pool. In a place like this, snorkeling, kayaking and scuba diving are all great options to have a peek into an amazing diversity of wildlife.
YOU SHOULD KNOW For some snorkeling or scuba diving excursions you may need to bring your passport, as some of them get into Belize’s waters.
Let’s just say it like it is: you have to rent a car at either Chetumal International Airport (3-hour drive) or Cancun International Airport (5-hour drive). It’s not only that a taxi would be too expensive, is that many taxis won’t even take you this far.
Nohoch Kay (1.5-hour drive) serves delicious seafood dishes of Mayan inspiration in a casual atmosphere by Mahahual’s Malecon. For the best lobster in the region and the catch of the day, try The Krazy Lobster (1.5-hour drive) by the beach.
Pitaya Beach Club (1.5-hour drive) is a trendy bar with chic lounge beds and exotic cocktails. For a good shot of outstanding artisanal tequila, visit Fernando’s 100% Agave (1.5-hour drive).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Because it’s far and away from any hint at civilization. The rooms include kitchenette and balconies. Great snorkeling and scuba diving options.
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