Casa Sandra Holbox

If the above scene looks enticing to you, this warm and sunny place where you can lounge around by the sea, first know that it’s not your ordinary resort. It’s Casa Sandra on Holbox Island, a place where you get around by bike or golf cart because there aren’t any cars. Not so long ago everyone gathered on the pier if they had to make a phone call or send a credit card authorization because that was the only place you could get a signal.

Casa Sandra EscenciaNow there’s a Telcel tower (still no Telefonica/Movistar signal) and you can log onto the internet, but Holbox is one of those blissful islands you make the trek to because you really want to get away from it all. Here you can unwind and de-stress for real. If you stay at Casa Sandra, however, you’ll still eat very good meals and drink well-made rum cocktails in at atmosphere that takes the best elements from Mexico and Cuba.

The Cuban-born proprietor displays her heritage with pride and has a Cuban night each Saturday with food, music, and mojitas from the island. The cuisine served in the excellent restaurant is like nothing else in the Yucatan and the place pulls in traveling chefs and foodies drawn by Escencia’s charms more than the whale sharks swimming a couple miles offshore.

You can book an excursion here to go swimming with those giant creatures, or a fishing or sailing trip. Most guests seem happy though spending the bulk of their time enjoying the village—a five-minute walk away—or lounging by the sea and pool.

The main hotel, both elegant and rough–hewn, is flanked by suites and guesthouses with hunky beds swathed in luxury linens. Orange and pink cloth flutters in doorways and hammocks unfurl on balconies, inviting one to do very little. There are also beds for lounging right in front of the hotel and on the beach, where lounge chairs also beckon and a waiter will fetch your drink of choice.

If the wind kicks up or the sun gets too hot next to the waist–depth sea, the pool here offers some protection and shade. It is enclosed in the interior courtyard of the hotel, the water surrounded by places to lounge and read a book.

See our detailed and updated review of Casa Sandra Hotel on Holbox Island, about two hours driving and a ferry ride from Cancun.