CasaSandra Boutique Hotel
What We Love
- Most rooms have a sunset-facing balcony or terrace, perfect for romance and a sundowner
- Figure-8-shaped pool with double loungers and a small waterfall at one end, with a cool pool bar
- Outstanding food in the Cuban-Mexican restaurant and generous breakfasts served until 11 a.m.
What To Know
- Pristine Isla Holbox is three hours by ferry from Cancún; you’re here for a serene vacation, not to dance ’til dawn
- Not the cheapest option on Holbox; some consider the food overpriced, too
- Small and cozy hotel, best for those seeking R&R beside azure seas
- There is a mandatory dinner charge for guests staying over Thanksgiving ($75 plus 15% service charge per person), Christmas Eve ($75 plus 15% service charge per person), or New Year's Eve ($145 plus 15% service charge per person)
- Free WiFi
CasaSandra’s charismatic owner, music producer and artist Sandra Perez, originally hails from Cuba. She has carefully curated the common areas, guestrooms and suites to showcase Mexican crafts and art. The original artwork is (mostly) for sale. Antiques come from Guadalajara or Cuba; much of the furniture is rattan. At night, common areas are lit with candles and star lights, and pathways are lined with torches. Overall there’s a sophisticated boho vibe, all effortless barefoot style.
Bed and Bath
Rooms and suites are scattered throughout the main building and in casitas on the grounds. All feel spacious, with white walls, palapa roofs and beams, and kingsize beds dressed in 500-thread-count sheets. Each has a westward-facing balcony or terrace with bright hammocks from which to view the sun sinking into the turquoise Caribbean waters. Textiles hand-embroidered by an artist in Mexico City, conch shell showerheads and painted bowl sinks lend a sense of place. Bathrooms have organic bath amenities; book a suite if you’d like a tub.
The gourmet restaurant and terrace sits at the heart of the hotel serving Mexican-Caribbean fare with a big emphasis on fish and seafood (think ceviche, shrimp and lobster tail). Drinks are on offer both here and at the Blue Lounge Pool Bar. Order a mojito and kick back to the cool tunes. Breakfasts are ample, with fruit salad, yogurt, cakes, granola and homemade breads and muffins alongside à la carte items such as huevos rancheros.
In the Area
Holbox’s fine white sands invite relaxation. Swimming, kitesurfing and fishing (both deep sea and fly) are all popular pursuits, but whale sharks are the big draw. Harmless to humans, the huge creatures frequent these waters from May to September, and the brave can swim with these gentle giants. Mangroves and shallow lagoons host a great variety of birdlife, including flamingos, herons, cormorants, pelicans and ospreys. The nearly car-free small town is great for a stroll and small shack eateries such as the seafood-centric Zarabanda and Viva Zapata, which occasionally hosts live local music.
How to Get There
Charming Casa Sandra
Very well run and excellent chef and
cuisine. Unfortunately we experienced
a mini hurricane. Staff were outstanding
Dealing with the Situation.
Highly recommend Casa Sandra
Problem on the beach is seaweeds
but this is all over Yucatan
I got home last night from 4 wonderful days at CasaSandra, it was one of the best trips I have ever taken! From the moment we arrived, the staff at the hotel made our vacation amazing. From check in to check out, every minute was delightful. The food is delicious, ceviche was a favorite for all of us. The breakfast buffet was perfect, so many options ranging from traditional Mexican bites to the bakery basket, homemade jams and spreads as well as a nice variety of made to order dishes. The owner of the property, Sandra, was so wonderful to uss, greeting us on arrival and always checking to make sure we had everything we needed or wanted. The Chef is incredible and every member of the staff was beyond professional, courteous and friendly!
The rooms are beautifully yet simply decorated and beds were very comfortable.
I was at the resort with a large group of friends, 15 total, and truly felt like I was being entertained at the home of a very good friend! It was an quick walk into town, cute shops, great restaurants and beautiful street art. The casual authenticity is dramatically different then the large resorts and tourist feeling on the mainland. There are not enough words to describe how magical this amazing resort is and I cannot wait to go back!
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and CasaSandra is the example of that. In this small hotel you can breathe art and really manage to escape from the crowds of cities. It was a very timely visit that filled us with peace. We will definitely be back, thanks to the wonderful team that makes this possible.
We'd looked forward to staying at Casa Sandra all year - it was the end of a wonderful trip through Mexico, and we wanted some beachside relaxation and a little luxury. We were so disappointed with the reality. We had booked a standard king room, and after the very gracious welcome were shocked when we were shown to a small, noisy room with no privacy. Located between the reception desk and the pool, and adjacent to a shop under construction (insert drilling and banging here), our door opened onto a heavily-used public walkway to the pool and bar area. We could hear everything being said and done at reception (including the ping of email notifications from the computer - the walls are that thin) and at the pool, and had to keep our curtains closed, because when they were open everyone at the pool could see directly into our room (there were no sheer curtains). We complained (as almost everyone who gets that room does, I learned afterwards), and after lots of tense and laboured conversations we were moved the following day to a quieter double room. We we so disappointed by the reality of Casa Sandra that we chose to leave the hotel early and go back to CDMX. The beach was covered in seagrass while we were there too, which I know the hotel can't control, however the staff hadn't made any effort to clear it away. So we asked for a shovel and cleared a path to the water ourselves - which everyone then used! I don't usually leave reviews, but a hotel charging nearly $350 USD per night should deliver better service. On a positive note, the front desk managers Umberto, Susan and Luis were very polite and understanding, and as helpful as they could be - however they weren't empowered by senior management to make decisions themselves, which made the whole process long, complicated and more stressful than it should have been. Not value for the money charged, I'm afraid.
Casa Sandra was the last stop on our honeymoon, and unfortunately we were really disappointed. Holbox is a charming island, and the hotels are definitely not as polished as you will find on the mainland in places like Tulum. However, for the price we were paying, and based on some previous reviews, we expected this hotel to be romantic and well looked after if nothing else. Sadly, that just wasn't the case. The communal dining and lounge area were really eclectic and beautifully quaint - but that's where the positives end. The room was very small, but the real issue lay in the outdoor areas, where on an island like this, you plan to spend all of your time! The pool area was in desperate need of some love - the beds were tired looking, and the area was untidy, with corners of loose rubble and pipes on display. Worse still was the beach - the pictures on the website show pristine sunloungers and day beds - the reality is that there are old, tatty, multicoloured mattresses simply lying on the sand, with even dirtier pillows scattered across. Not only was the hotel not up to scratch in appearance, but the service was poor - our room wasn't ready until a while after the stated check in time, and the food we had whilst we waited was greasy and tasteless. Part of our booking meant that we had a fruit plate and bottle of wine on arrival - strangely, after watching us eat lunch, the staff took it upon themselves to swap the fruit plate for a cheese and meat plate - not really what you want after you've just eaten! Unfortunately we were so, so underwhelmed that we checked out after 1 night and moved to a different hotel. The staff did everything they could to change our minds, but sadly this comes down to the management better looking after the hotel and tidying up the outdoor areas - not even close to being worth the money.