Isla Holbox, The Yucatan
Welcoming chic bolthole, with an excellent Mexican-Cuban restaurant, artistic flair and stylish suites
When Cuban music producer, poet and artist Sandra Pérez
first came to the Yucatán, she felt an instant affinity with
its people, colours, sounds and scents. Friends advised her to
visit unspoiled Isla Holbox, the last vestige of uncommercial
living on the Maya Riviera; she fell in love with its raw beauty.
When she bought a plum spot of land on the Playa Norte, then
covered only with fine white sand and coconut palms, the local
fishermen threw a 3-day party to celebrate.
CasaSandra is her passion project and it shows. Sandra's influence is evident in the carefully sourced Cuban antiques, the bespoke colonial-style furniture from Guadalajara, and the 18 romantic guest rooms, all with ocean views. Little details - lights made from conch shells, Mexican fabrics given a contemporary twist - contribute to the stylish and welcoming ambiance. Add the best restaurant on the island, vast double loungers, palapa daybeds and a pool, and you have the perfect formula for lusciously lazy days.
Reviewed by Nadine Mellor
- The seriously sexy rooms all have a balcony or terrace, with hammocks perfectly positioned for gazing at the white beach, jade ocean, lavender skies and flaming sunsets
- The delicious Cuban-Mexican seafood was some of the best we had in Mexico
- The charming staff provide warm service which makes you feel part of the family
- There's a stylish mix of rustic Mexican features (palapa thatched roofs, hand-embroidered cushions) and original artwork, some by Sandra herself
- Isla Holbox is a serene destination for fishing, birdwatching, blissful beach strolls, shells and sunsets
- It’s quite expensive, and the food isn’t cheap, but you’re paying for style and top-quality meals
- We found the rooms got pretty hot by the afternoon and we needed to use the air-conditioning a lot
- There may be some noise and building work nearby
- If you're a vegetarian or not that keen on seafood, you'll find the menu limited
- Holbox is 3 hours from Cancún and you need to take a ferry; there's little nightlife or shopping, and limited activities - bliss for some!
The entire hotel faces crystal clear waters that lap onto powdery white sand...Conde Nast Traveller (UK)