Hotel Eco Paraiso
Hotel Eco Paraiso, Celestun, Yucatan, Mexico
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FAQ

General

What is the meaning of Xixim?
Xixim means seashell in Maya language. The Eastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula is called Xixim and this is the exact location of the Hotel. The Western end of the Peninsula is known as Cancún.

What should I bring?
We suggest you take comfortable beach clothes, such as: shorts, t-shirts, light dresses, tennis shoes and sandals. Don't forget to bring your bathing suit. Something you shouldn’t omit in this area is a hat, cap, sunscreen and mosquito repellent. If you come during the winter months, we suggest you bring a light jacket or sweater, because the evenings can be chilly. Don't worry about towels, Hotel Xixim provides them at no cost, including beach and pool towels, as well as those needed for day trips.

Is this a place for children?
Of course! In fact, children enjoy tremendously our natural environment, shallow waters, sandy beaches where they can spend hours collecting treasures, and best of all, it is extremely safe. In our remote paradise, you don't need to worry about civilization's hazards. Fortunately, they are far away from us. Forget about your daily worries and come down to enjoy a pinch of paradise!

What about security?
The State of Yucatan is considered the safest state in all of Mexico. Xixim is even safer since we are isolated. The nearest town, Celestun, is about 12 Km away, and only nature surrounds us. Nevertheless we have installed in every bungalow, inside the closet, a safety box where you can keep your documents and valuables

Are pets allowed?
Of course! Our grounds are huge and we also have 5 km of pristine beaches that your pet can enjoy. For health reasons and respect to our guests, pets are not allowed in the pools  nor the Restaurant Xixim and Bar El Santuario. We appreciate your understanding.

Is comfort sacrificed at the expense of environmental standards?
Not at all. Part of our philosophy is to offer  ecotourism  with comfort and style. The luxuries of civilization are as remarkable at Xixim as the wonders of the surrounding nature: roomy and comfortable bungalows, two fresh water swimming pools with a magnificent view of the costal dunes, the welcoming  Restaurant Xixim that offers three delicious meals served daily, prepared with creativity, rich in local flavor made with the freshest ingredients, and the well assorted Bar El Santuario, with a variety of activities.

Payment options
You can pay for your stay and expenses at Hotel Xixim with the following major credit cards: Visa, Master Card and American Express. Of course we also accept cash in Mexican and US currency. Unfortunately, since there are no banks in Celestún, we can not take Traveler Checks nor personal checks. If you wish, you can also make a deposit to our bank account, details upon request.

The seashells I found on the beach are very beautiful, and I have orchids in front of my bungalow, can I take at least one of them?
No. Being an ecological tourist means a visitor that does not leave a trail ( doesn’t take anything,  doesn’t leave anything) on his way throughout the beach, pyramids, lagoons, reefs, natural wells, towns, cities, jungles, etc. Well, there is an exception! You can take all the pictures you want.

I like motorized activities, I have a motorcycle/ jet ski. Can I take it to the hotel?
No. We remind you that we are inside a Reserve. Motorized vehicles pollute, not only because of the gas they expel and the possible fuel and oil leaks, but also the noise disturbs the local fauna.

Can I bring my own beverages, soda, wine and alcohol?
No. We invite you to order your favorite drink at the Bar El Santuario or at the snack bars and drink it there or at the pool enjoying the magnificent view.

Since the hotel is isolated, is topless allowed around the beach and other facilities?
No. Mexican law prohibits this attitude, since all beaches are public.

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Bungalows

How many guests can sleep in a bungalow?
A maximum of 3 adults OR 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 12.

Do you offer King size beds?
Yes, all our Master Suites cabins are furnished with a king size bed, a sitting room with a couch and two armchairs, two teraces and a water mirror with a plunge pool.
All Junior Suites are spacious and comfortably furnished with 2 double beds, private porch with a hammock and a bathroom with shower

I need a crib, can I have one?
Yes, please request it when you check-in at the front desk. We also have a tall chair for babies at the restaurant. No additional cost.

Is there a TV set in the room?
No. We want you to forget your daily troubles, so that you can fully enjoy our amenities and nature. Nevertheless, we do have a TV with a DVD player in the library of the Bar El Santuario.

Why aren't the bungalows air conditioned?
Because of environmental reasons. However, our well designed bungalows offer crossed ventilation, 2 ceiling fans and the Mayan technology - the palapa - will assure a comfortable refreshing environment.

Is there a kitchenette in the bungalows?
No. We highly recommend the tasty dishes prepared with the freshest ingredients by our Chef at the  Restaurant Xixim.

Are there any restrictions for smokers?
Yes. Please dispose of ashes and butts only in the ashtrays provided, don't flush them down the toilet nor discard them in our grounds or any other part of the Natural Reserve. Cigarette butts are not biodegradable.

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Food & water

At what hour do you offer service in Restaurant Xixim and Bar El Santaurio ?
Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 10:00 a.m., lunch from 13:00 to 16:00 hrs. and dinner from19:30 to 22:00 hrs. The bar is open from 11:00 hrs till midnight.

What kind of food do you serve?
We offer international, Yucatan and Mexican cuisine, delicious seafood dishes and tasty vegetarian meals.

I am a vegetarian, can your menu be adapted to my needs?
Of course! Please, tell us your preferences and we’ll try to meet them.

Is the water drinkable?
The water we use for human consumption is potable and it is free of charge. When you check-in the bell boy will fill a jar with fresh  water for your room. If you need more, you can ask for it any time at the reception . Furthermore, you have the choice to buy bottled water at the Hotel. All our water comes from a brackish water well that goes through sand filters and activated charcoal; it is chlorined and stored in a cistern. Part of it is pumped to the purification system in which it is filtered again and chlorine is taken off. It finally goes through membranes of inverse osmosis (desalination) and goes through ultra-violet rays (killing bacteria). After that, it is distributed to the different consumption centers: kitchen, Restaurant Xixim, Bar El Santuario, snack bars, warehouse and employee restaurant. Frequent lab tests certify that our water is drinkable . The rest of the water in the cistern does not go through this complicated filter system and is not recommended for human consumption as it contains high levels of minerals. This water is distributed through a hydropneumatic tank to our main water distribution channel and is used for the services: toilet, shower and washbasin.

Is the water in the shower limited?
No, but we ask you to take care of this non-renewable resource. Also, we ask you to let your maid know if you don’t want to change sheets and towels every day, as it is advised in the Directory of Service.

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Activities

What kind of activities do you offer?

Tours: We have organized 10 interesting tours to the surrounding areas. You shouldn't miss a visit to the Ría de Celestún to observe the pink flamingo colony. For more information on the tours, please visit our tour page

Bird watching: Without leaving the hotel grounds you can watch nearly 270 different species of birds, of which 7 are endemic. We provide binoculars at no cost. At the  Bar El Santuario you will find specialized books for bird identification. More information.

Interpretative trails: We invite you to walk along our footpaths in which you will learn about the vast biodiversity that surrounds us. In your bungalow you will find brochures to identify the flora. We can also provide mosquito- suits to keep bugs away and make your tour even more enjoyable.

Bikes and kayaks: We offer 6 mountain bikes and 2 kayaks free of cost on a first come first served basis. The use of this equipment is at your own risk.

Natural History Museum : In our boutique store you will find the Natural History exhibit. All your questions will be gladly answered by our native guide, Alex Dzib. You can also read specialized books on the subject. Since these books are hard to find, we keep them under lock, but you can ask for them  at the Bar El Santuario. You can even take the book to your room, with the kind request to bring it back. Should you fail to do so, you will be charged.

Bar El Santuario library: In the Library at the  Bar El Santuario we have a varied selection of English, Spanish, French and German pocket books for you to chose from. Don't worry if you didn't finish reading one of our books during your stay at Hotel Xixim, you may take it with you. Obviously, we also accept donations of the books you finished reading.

Snorkeling and diving: We regret to inform you that in this area there are no coral reefs. If this is the purpose of your trip, we recommend you to visit the Mexican Caribbean, where the second biggest reef of the world is located.

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Beach

Beach and garden area
We own 5 km of pristine beach. 15 beach palapas, each one with 2 long chairs, provide soothing shade and total relaxation. We recommend you to take a walk along the white sand beach, enjoying the beauty of thousands of sea shells that you will encounter on your path; nothing else but seagulls, pelicans and frigates will keep you company. If your visit is during the full moon, don't miss a walk through the beach at night to admire the silver reflects on the ocean. The wide garden area has been kept with the native flora; we have not introduced exotic species, like grass. Please use the multiple walking paths so you don't step on it, since the ecological balance of the area depends from its fragile survival.

Can you swim in the Gulf of México?
Of course you can. The Gulf of México is very shallow and its waves are small, therefore it is perfect for children. As for the temperature, it is ideal during summer, but during the winter it refreshes.

Fires on the beach:
We allow bonfires only for special events.

Can you camp nearby?
We do not recommend it, given that you would not be protected against the many insects that reproduce themselves in the swamp and the sand around us. In Xixim we control them by fumigating regularly with low impact environmental products.

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Services

Did you forget something?
Don't worry! We have a small store where you will find a variety of products for personal care, postcards, hammocks, handcrafts, gifts, clothes and even jewelry for souvenirs.

Is room service provided?
We do offer room service from 11:00 a.m. to 19:00 p.m. Please dial 110.

Coffee and tea service to your room:
You will find a tray with fresh coffee and hot water for tea  in your bungalow every day at 7:30 am.

Laundry service:
We will take care of your laundry. Please put them in the bag you will find inside the closet and leave it on your bed. You will receive your clean clothes in 24 hours.

Massage service:
Service available upon reservation at the reception.

Inter-communication, telephone and Internet:
At the reception, Restaurant Xixim and Bar El Santuario we have Wi Fi internet access without cost.
You may ask at the reception (please dial 0) for long distance calls from the phone located in your room (additional cost). This phone also connects you to the hotel services and other rooms.

Day pass
Yes, we offer a day-pass. Paying a modest fee, you may use the hotel facilities during  one day. This plan is offered upon availability. Please call: (988) 916 2100 y 916 2060 to confirm your visit. The schedule of this stay is from 10:00 am to  6:00 pm.

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Ecology

What is the meaning of ecotourism or sustainable tourism?
Excellent question. Until now, there is no agreement on the definition of these terms. We suggest to read the information published in the following web sites: planeta.com and ecotourism.org.

Is Hotel Xixim a sustainable project?
Yes. To extend the information we invite you to visit our commitment to nature page.

Why doesn't the hotel have a more powerful lightning?
The Xixim area is a nesting place for sea turtles. When they hatch, they set off to the ocean following its brightness. If we had more powerful lights, the little turtles would get disoriented, provoking their death.

Recycling system and residual water disposition
All our water is biological recycled. Gray waters go through a biological filter. This filter has a stone (antracita) and bacteria. The filtered water is then used to water our garden. The black waters are pumped to our SIRDO = integrated organic recycling system. If you want to visit this system, please ask for a tour to our facilities at the front desk.

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Nature

Can you see the pink flamingoes all year round?
Yes, although the most flamingoes can be seen during the winter (November to March). In the spring adults migrate to Río Lagartos to mate. The young ones stay in Celestún guarded by some adults. Once the newborns are strong enough, the pink flamingo colony comes back to Celestún for food. Ría Celestún provides their favorite food, the saline artemia, a small red crustacean that causes its colorful feathers.

When is the turtle's hatching season?
Every spring, from April to June, we are lucky to have the big humpback sea turtles nest in our beaches. Hotel Xixim  collaborates with NGO Pronatura de Yucatán, A.C. to preserve  them.
Every year we build a corral where threatened nests are kept. It is an exiting and unforgettable experience for our guests to release the hatchlings.

Are there mosquitoes?
Yes, there are. We can’t kill them all because that would mean killing all the species that are fed by them. Therefore, it is highly recommendable to put on mosquito repellent constantly. In your room you will find a complimentary repellent, but you can also buy a very effective one at our store. Be advised that the favorite hour for these flying bugs is during sunset. We also recommend taking inoffensive measures such as: keep your door closed at all times; don't wear any strong perfume or lotion and take frequent showers.

Why do you recommend to turn off the lights at night?
Mosquitoes and other insects are attracted by the light. It's a must to turn off the porch lights while you are sleeping or when you don't need it.

Is it common to find geckos and other "visitors" in the bungalows?
Yes. Don't be scared. None of the species that live in the thatched roof of your bungalow are poisonous or aggressive. In fact, geckos are mosquito eaters and they help us to control its number.

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Celestun

The town of Celestún
Celestún is a town with around 10,000 inhabitants. Its main activity is fishing. It offers basic hotel services and is famous for its seafood restaurants. You shouldn't miss to stop by after the visit to Ría Celestún. Celestún doesn't have movie theatres, bars, malls, etc... You will find little shops and handcraft stores. Consider that there are no bank services in Celestún and very few places take credit cards. Your will have to pay in cash.

Medical service
Celestún's Medical Centre can take NON-CRITICAL patients. Merida has first quality medical services. Of course, we would take prompt care of any emergency.

Bank services
Celestún does not have bank service and only sporadic ATM service. The nearest bank is in Umán, an hour distance from town. Gladly, as long as possible, we would provide the service you need.

Shopping
In the town of Celestún you will find many handcraft stores and small shops. In the city of Mérida, the State capital, there are big shopping malls and interesting markets.

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Hotel Eco Paraíso, Celestún, Yucatán México
Phone Office in  Mexico City: (+52-55) 55 68 82 46. Phone Hotel reception (+52-988) 916 21 00
E-mail: info@ecoparaiso.com
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