The Best Hotels in Isla Holbox, Mexico
Kick back and relax with a stress-free stay on Isla Holbox | Courtesy of Hotel Villas Flamingos / Expedia.com
In the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Isla Holbox is becoming the go-to getaway for bohemian backpackers and boutique-hotel lovers. Less crowded than the nearby resorts of the Yucatán Peninsula, off which it lingers, car-free, back-to-nature Holbox offers its own magic in the form of bioluminescent bays and the chance to swim with whale sharks from May to September. Whether you want to dip in bath-warm waters, sip on a cocktail at a barefoot beach club or head out on a boat trip, Holbox has a storybook stay to suit you.
Casa Las Tortugas
Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel, Luxury
Courtesy of Casa Las Tortugas Petit Beach Hotel and Spa / Expedia.com
Casa Las Tortugas sits right on the beach and is named after the 13 turtles who waddled up to its shores, shortly before the hotel opened in 2003. Its fresh, luxurious rooms combine the feel of both treehouse and beach house with exposed stone showers and faded wooden headboards. If you’re into beautiful trinkets and garments, you’ll love Le Bazaar boutique, a curated collection of vintage and handmade finds from all over the world. At the end of the day, work your way through Mandarina restaurant’s menu of signature cocktails including the Peanut Colada, a nutty twist on the original drink. In keeping with the island’s earthy vibe, sound baths and ancient Mayan medicine underpin treatments at the Aqua Spa.
Courtesy of Hotel Punta Caliza / Expedia.com
You wouldn’t mind being a castaway for a while at Punta Caliza. Most of the hotel was constructed from western red cedar – directly from the family’s own plantation – and the thatched roofs, or palapas, are in the style typical of traditional Mexican coastal properties. The elegant, minimalist rooms each have their own pool which connect to form the hotel’s bigger shared pool in a beautiful moat-like style. The restaurant showcases Mexican flavors and dishes, all freshly and locally sourced, like the juicy lobster and zesty octopus ceviche. The hotel has its own beach club and offers yoga, mezcal tours and more, if you can peel yourself away from the sand.
Courtesy of La Palapa / Expedia.com
Adults-only La Palapa has 24 glamorous rooms, all decorated in traditional Caribbean style with pops of vibrant color, wood-beamed ceilings and cooling tiled floors. The traditional-style, thatched-roofed hotel sits right on the beach, beside sugary sands where you can grab a fresh margarita while glimpsing Gulf of Mexico views. Hammocks are also on hand, plus a spa with an outdoor terrace and a jacuzzi overlooking the island’s jungly interior. Tours ticking off cenotes and bird life are offered, as well as whale-shark expeditions.
Hotel Villas Flamingos
Courtesy of Hotel Villas Flamingos / Expedia.com
In the flamingo-beloved Yum Balam Nature Reserve, this hotel combines sand, sea and cool ocean breeze in a lavish beachfront setting. Opulent bungalows and suites look out over the neighboring sand bank and shallow, always-warm waters. There are also sizable circular plunge pools, separating the rooms from the beach, for an alternate bathing option with a difference. Head out for paddle boarding or pedal around the car-free island on one of the hotel’s bikes to immerse yourself in local life. The sea-facing, sunset-ready Mangle restaurant, run by chef Santiago Cutz Pool, is couples’ catnip.
Mystique Holbox by Royalton
Courtesy of Mystique Holbox by Royalton / Expedia.com
If you’re after a more burnished, less boho stay, Mystique Holbox is a reliable, run-by-Royalton retreat that ticks the resort boxes. Rooms are contemporary and minimalist, with blue and turquoise hues throughout. If you can pry yourself away from your beach lounger, immaculate ocean views continue in the two restaurants: more-relaxed Fresco Bar and Grill, serving fresh seafood tacos and burgers, and upscale Fresco Artful Cuisine for lobster-and-steak surf and turf.
Hotel Casa Palapas del Sol
Courtesy of Hotel Casa Palapas del Sol / Booking.com
Hotel Casa Palapas del Sol lies on a pristine strip of beach, a short stroll from the island’s central pueblo. The palatial rooms have neutral palettes, save for hints of Mexican color in the vibrant throw cushions. There’s a wooden three-story lookout tower right on the beachfront for surveying the Caribbean waters and a lagoon-shaped pool, tucked in between the hotel’s rainbow-colored buildings, for a non-salty seafront dip .
Boutique Hotel, Luxury
Courtesy of Villas Caracol / Booking.com
Villas Caracol is another beachfront spot – this time with only 15 rooms, so you’re guaranteed intimacy and no more than a handful of other guests. The understated yet glamorous suites include local Tzalam wood and luxurious marble bathrooms. Tuck into the moreish waffles and fresh fruits for breakfast, and plan your activity for the day – kayaking perhaps, then lounging at the beach club or swimming in bioluminescent waters after dark. Golf cart and bike rentals are also available if you want to explore at your own pace.
Courtesy of Aldea Kuká / Expedia.com
Aldea means village in Spanish and this boutique hotel sets itself up as such, with private beach bungalows and everything you need to live your best island life. Each room is adorned with macramé wall hangings, Nespresso coffee machines and carved stone bathtubs. Wellbeing is high on the agenda, with a kids’ club to carve the way for alone time, a kitted-out gym and spa for holistic massages. No need for grocery shopping in this village: beachside Kukatch does modern Mexican dishes by day and smart La Malix is your spot come evening.
Soho Boutique Holbox
Resort, Spa Hotel
Courtesy of Soho Boutique Holbox / Expedia.com
Soho Boutique Holbox is bursting with tropical color, from its azure pool to the rainbow-painted bungalows and patterned throw cushions. It sits on the beach, a short stroll from the town center, but far enough away to guarantee tranquility from the pueblo’s hustle and bustle. Enjoy a croissant, fresh OJ and revitalizing cup of coffee before heading out paddle boarding or simply sitting in the shallow, bath-like ocean waters right outside.
Ser Casasandra Holbox
Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel, Luxury
Courtesy of Casa Sandra Boutique Hotel
Ser Casasandra is a peaceful sanctuary full of art and artisan crafts. There are no TVs, alarm clocks or radios in sight so this is really a place to switch off and tune out to nothing but the sea. Acclaimed Mexican chef, Roberto Solís – of Mérida’s Nectar and the “New Yucatecan Cuisine” movement – designed the exquisite menu at the Restaurant Ser Esencia, which includes Yucatan-inspired recipes of local seafood, fruits and vegetables. Only Mexican wines are stocked in the cellar to further lure locavores.
These recommendations were updated on July 27, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.