For most travelers, Isla Holbox ’s most appealing accommodations are its beachfront bungalows; they vary in style, amenities, and price, but all offer simple rest and relaxation in a peaceful seaside setting. Alternatively, hotels in town offer comfortable rooms at more accessible rates, and you’re still just a short distance from the beach. Be aware that rates may rise during whale shark season (mid-May to mid-September).
Holbox’s best budget choice by far is Tribu (Av. Pedro Joaquín Coldwell s/n, tel. 984/875-2507, www.tribuhostel.com , US$9.75–12.50 pp dorm, US$23–30 s/d), a hostel set in two-story palapa-roofed buildings with polished wood floors. Each room is named after one of the world’s tribes—Maori, Huli, Woodabe, etc.—and is decorated accordingly. Dorms have 3–5 bunks apiece, fans, en suite bathrooms, and private balconies. Sheets and big lockers (BYO lock) are included in the rate. Private rooms are similarly outfitted but smaller. Common areas are first-rate, too: a fully equipped kitchen, an outdoor dining room, a rooftop lounge with lots of hammocks and stellar views, a bar with swings for seats and a flat-screen TV, and even a screening room with a small library of movies. Wi-Fi, laundry, and kayak rentals also available. All in all, this is a screaming deal.
Located on a quiet residential street, Posada Laury (Calle Cardenas near Av. Palomino, tel. 984/875-2133, US$42 s/d with a/c) offers stark rooms with unexpected creature comforts: air-con, cable TV, and minifridge. Hot water and decent beds are a given. A great deal, especially considering it’s just two blocks from the central plaza.
If you’re willing to slather yourself with bug repellent, Ida y Vuelta Camping (Calle Plutarco Elias Calles btwn Róbalo and Chacchi, tel. 984/875-2358, www.holboxhostel.com , US$7 pp camping, US$8.50 pp dorm, US$21 s/d bungalow with shared bathroom, US$25 s/d cabaña, US$50–70 house) has a good range of options—from tent sites to fully equipped houses. The most popular choices are the garden bungalows, which have sand floors, mosquito screens, fans, and shared bathrooms (these are used for dorms as well as private rooms), and the cabañas—wood plank cabins on stilts, each with two basic rooms with private bathrooms. All guests have access to a fully equipped kitchen, colorfully tiled bathrooms with 24/7 hot water, and free Wi-Fi. The main drawback to this place—other than the mosquitoes—is the location several blocks from central plaza and the beach.
Hotel Casa Iguana Holbox (Av. Igualdad s/n, tel. 984/875-2469, www.casaiguanaholboxhotel.com , US$54–62.50 s/d, US$71–100 deluxe) offers simple rooms with colorful bedspreads, painted cement floors, and Talavera-tiled bathrooms. Deluxe rooms are bigger and feature handcrafted wood furnishings and private terraces facing the beach; most have air-con, but there’s a US$8 discount if you don’t use it. Outdoors, there are plenty of lounge chairs and palapa shades on the beach, and town is just a few minutes’ walk away. The hotel is lacking some of the amenities of its neighbors, but then again, the rate reflects that. All in all, this is a comfortable—and affordable—place to stay.
Totally remodeled in 2010, Hotel Villas Flamingos (Av. Igualdad s/n, tel. 984/875-2167, www.villasflamingos.com , US$118–138 s/d with a/c, US$147 suite with a/c) is one of the nicest places to stay on the beach. Units are modern with boho flair: conch shell showerheads, coconut lamps, bamboo accents, and gorgeous mosaic tile bathrooms. All rooms have air-con and ocean views (some partial, some dramatically expansive), and most have palapa roofs. There is a well-tended pool just feet from the ocean, and a high-end restaurant/bar where complimentary American-style breakfast is served daily.
Hotel Posada Mawimbi (Av. Igualdad s/n, tel. 984/875-2003, www.mawimbi.net , US$75–110 s/d with a/c, US$100–130 s/d with a/c and kitchenette, US$150 suite with a/c) is a classic palapa-roofed posada with comfortable modern rooms and bungalows, and a touch of boho flair. Guatemalan bedspreads, colorful tile work, shell and coconut accents, and exposed wood beams lend an artistic touch, while quiet air-con and free Wi-Fi keep you cool and connected. The posada’s shady garden has plenty of lounge chairs and hammocks, and is just steps from one of the best-kept stretches of beach. The low-key Italian owners maintain a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and offer recommended excursions, including whale shark tours, deep-sea fishing, and kayaking tours. There also is a good little restaurant on-site, El Barquito, where complimentary continental breakfast is served.
The French-owned Holbox Dream Hotel (Av. Pedro Joaquín Coldwell s/n, tel. 984/875-2433, www.holboxdream.com , US$95 s/d with a/c, US$125 deluxe s/d with a/c) is a refreshingly normal alternative to the deserted-isle getaways that make up most of Isla Holbox ’s accommodations. Standard rooms are comfortable and modern, with air-conditioning, good mattresses, stone basin sinks, and balconies with partial ocean views; deluxe rooms are bigger, with minifridges, security boxes, and better views. There’s free Wi-Fi in all the rooms. The hotel also has a well-maintained stretch of beach, a rooftop terrace with a Jacuzzi, and a small pool that’s inviting although squeezed between the reception and the guest rooms—a minor drawback to an otherwise excellent choice.
Villa Los Mapaches (Av. Pedro Joaquín Coldwell s/n, tel. 984/875-2090, www.losmapaches.com , US$75–175 s/d) has six freestanding units, some with kitchenettes or lofts, and each featuring unique homey decor. All rooms have one or two queen-size beds, a fan (but no air-con), and a small patio or veranda looking onto the large palm-shaded garden or the beachfront. Los Mapaches is about five blocks west of the central plaza and a bit farther to the best swimming and beach areas, but bicycles are available free of charge, and the hotel can help arrange tours and golf-cart rentals. In case you don’t want to go anywhere, there’s a small restaurant on-site, which serves simple, tasty meals. There’s Wi-Fi in the reception area, too.
A celebrity home turned high-end hotel, CasaSandra (Calle Igualdad s/n, tel. 984/875-2171, www.casasandra.com , US$250–390 s/d with a/c, US$625 villa) is one of Holbox’s most exclusive resorts, though it still maintains the welcoming feel of a home. The property itself is comprised of a main building that looks like a Swiss ski lodge (it houses ocean-view rooms, the library, and a gourmet restaurant), along with a handful of smaller palapa-roofed buildings, more in style with their island neighbors. Rooms vary from shabby chic to tropical safari in decor and have deluxe features like claw-foot tubs, fine linens, organic products, and original art. Outside, guests can relax under palapa-covered beach beds on the manicured beachfront or on lounge chairs by the large pool. Full breakfast also is included in the rate.
Exuding a somewhat elitist air, Hotel Las Nubes (Paseo Kuka s/n, tel. 984/875-2300, www.lasnubesdeholbox.com , US$300–450 s/d with a/c) is an upscale resort with palapa-roofed bungalows and modern hotel suites that don’t quite feel like they’re on Isla Holbox . The units are lovely, with high-end furnishings and amenities like thick mattresses, high-thread-count linens, air-con, and Wi-Fi but are missing the boho spirit of its surroundings. Nevertheless, it is a comfortable place, with a waterfront restaurant that has spectacular views, an inviting pool, and a well-tended beachfront. Continental breakfast is included in the rate, as is the use of bicycles and kayaks. Service is impeccable.