Isla Holbox, Mexico

Casa las Tortugas

Rates per night from$233.05

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD233.05), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Barefoot boho

Setting

Turtle paradise

Casa Las Tortugas is a bohemian bolthole on Holbox, Mexico's island home of easy-going barefoot luxury. The powder-soft seashell sand is quite literally on your doorstep, while inside, the rooms have the local flavor and low-key charm of upcycled driftwood artwork, color-pop painted tiles and pom-pom cushions handmade by native artisans. There’s a hammock on every balcony, and a palm-fringed pool if you want a change from swimming with turtles in the ocean. The trio of restaurants are chilled AF (As Frozenmargaritas), serving Mexican tapas, sushi, and zingy fresh-fruit cocktails on the rooftop.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Two free 60-minute massages at Agua Spa

Facilities

Photos Casa las Tortugas facilities

Need to know

Rooms

24, including nine suites.

Check–Out

Noon, check-in from 3pm, but both are flexible, subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $233.05, excluding tax at 18 per cent.

More details

Rates include a breakfast of homemade bread, juice and coffee, plus your choice of either the egg dish of the day or a heap of granola, yogurt and fruit.

Also

Say ‘Hol-bosh’, not Holbox, or else you’ll be outed as a gringo.

At the hotel

Swimming pool, free yoga classes, free Wi-Fi. In rooms: air-conditioning, free bottled water, local organic bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Depending on exactly how lazy you’re feeling, go for a beachfront room or a garden-facing one (which is only about 10 seconds from the sand, but still). The upper floor rooms are more secluded, and their balconies have elevated views.

Poolside

The adults-only courtyard pool is sheltered from the sea breeze and shaded (partly) by palm trees. It’s got a built-in hot tub too.

Spa

The in-house Agua Spa has a focus on – you guessed it – water, but the treatment list extends far beyond hydrotherapy, to mud wraps, coconut milk facials and ancient Mayan rituals (not the sacrificial kind, you’ll be pleased to know).

Packing tips

Leave space for vintage treasures from the Casa’s carefully curated Bazaar Boutique.

Also

The hotel isn’t set up for wheelchair users.

Children

It’s a grown-up sort of place, but over-12s are welcome.

Eco‐friendly

All the cleaning products are eco-friendly, while linens and fabrics are sourced from local artisans.

Food and Drink

Photos Casa las Tortugas food and drink

Top Table

Take up a perch on the roofdeck of Mandarina in time for sunset, or dine with your toes in the sand on the beach itself (it’s illuminated by fairy-lights at night).

Dress Code

Float freely is loose linen beachwear. Going shoeless is encouraged, nigh on obligatory.

Hotel restaurant

There are three: boho-styled Mandarina, its rooftop sister, and on-trend Luuma, in a palm-lined courtyard across the road. At either Mandarina, expect Mex-Mediterranean flavours and a whole lot of seafood – for an A* appetizer, try the wafer-thin slices of raw fish drizzled with mango jus. Luuma is all about the Mexican tapas, which come in platters themed around the sea, earth, cheese, and veggies. To sample a bit of everything, buddy up and prepare to share – yes, even the fried baby squid.

Hotel bar

Cocktails flow at the bars of both restaurants, thanks to the team of expert (and generous) mixologists. Go for an Aperol Roof with sunset on the terrace (silver tequila, watermelon juice, ginger, lime and Aperol), or head to Luuma for one of four house specialities (our favourite is the Luuma Colada: dark rum mixed with maracuya pulp, coconut cream and homemade cinnamon syrup).

Last orders

Mandarina serves breakfast (7am to 11am), lunch (noon until 5pm) and dinner (6pm until 10pm); Mandarina Rooftop only serves dinner, from 5pm until 10pm. Luuma is open for food and cocktails from 5pm until 11pm.

Room service

No room service, but the restaurants are only a few fork-lengths away.

Location

Photos Casa las Tortugas location
Address
Casa las Tortugas
Avenida Damero Mz 24 Lt 3
Isla Holbox
77310
Mexico

Planes

Fly into Cancun with your choice of major airline, then drive to the port of Chiquila (two hours away) to catch the ferry to Holbox. When you arrive on the island, take a short ride in a golf cart to Casa Las Tortugas. Transfers arranged by the hotel cost $90 per person each way, or $105 per person each way in a private car from Cancun.

Automobiles

Cars are practically redundant on Holbox – if you have a rental, your best option is to park it up in Chiquila before hopping on the ferry. Explore the island by bike or, if you need a lift, just call for a golf cart.

Other

Private flights from Cancun to Holbox take around 20 minutes in a five-person Cessna plane or helicopter. Call the Smith24 team to sort it.

Worth getting out of bed for

If there’s one thing to coax you out from under your own cotton conch shell, it’s a warm Caribbean breeze and the sound of waves lapping at the shore just a few metres away. Snap up a sunlounger on the beach or by the pool – either way, you’re all set for a day of smoothies and snoozies. When darkness finally falls, spot bioluminescent plankton in the water, or – if it’s a new moon – join the Mayan cacao ceremony on the beach.

Warm, shallow waters and a reliable easterly breeze make Holbox something of a kitesurfer’s paradise – hire the gear and take lessons with Holbox Kiteboarding School. Join a kayak trip (the hotel knows a guy) through the maze-like coastal mangrove forest – you’ll paddle past wild flamingos and, ahem, maybe a crocodile or two basking in the sun.

Holidays are always better if you make friends with the locals, and in Holbox, that means getting up-close-and-personal with the resident whale sharks. There are dozens of small-time boatmen who can take you out on a tour – ask the hotel staff for their tips on the most ethical and informative. And if the words “swimming with sharks” are enough to bring on a cold sweat, don’t worry, you’re not on the menu – these guys only eat plankton, and swim at a pedestrian 3mph.

Local restaurants

Spanish omelettes are the speciality at La Tortilleria De Holbox (Calle Tiburón Ballena, 77310) – get yours straight up with onion and potato, or max out with added sundried tomatoes, chorizo, goats cheese; a fresh fruit smoothie is the perfect partner. Lobster pizza is a Holbox rite-of-passage – the best in town is at the shack-styled Pizzeria Edelyn (Calle Palomino, Town Square). The island doesn’t do fine dining, but the roof terrace restaurant at Casa Nostra (Av. Pedro Joaquin Coldwell) is the closest thing to date-night sophistication – and by that we mean that some people may even be wearing shoes.

Local bars

Handily, Casa Las Tortugas’ Luuma is the home of the hip crowd, but for a change of scenery, grab a cold beer or zingy margarita at sunset-facing Bar El Holboxeño (at the headland, off Calle Mantarraya).

Reviews

Photos Casa las Tortugas reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this beachside hotel on Holbox and unpacked their hand-painted skull jewellery and sandy-pocketed swimsuits, a full account of their island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Casa Las Tortugas in Mexico…

On any good trip, there’s a precise moment when you realize that you’re truly on holiday: the first lick of an ice-cream, perhaps, or a guilt-free lie-in. Staying at Casa Las Tortugas is basically one long, joyful succession of these moments, from the instant you arrive, kick off your shoes and dig your toes into the powder-soft sand. There’s plenty to keep you busy – yoga each morning, kayaking through the mangroves, and swimming with turtles, whale sharks et al – but the best thing to do is nothing at all. At most, form a rigorous napping schedule, dividing your way-more-than-forty winks between the pool, beach and the hammock on your balcony. Chances are that until sunset reminds you it’s time for a rooftop cocktail, you’ll lose track of time completely. Still, on Holbox, nobody will notice, still less care.

The Guestbook

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