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Master The Art Of Feeling Good At This Mexican Beach Hotel

Ser Casasandra captures the artsy, laid-back vibe of bohemian Isla Holbox with finesse while offering a pampering experience that is the veritable definition of “barefoot luxury”.

Off the beaten path and instead on a pleasant car-free, white-sand track overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, Ser Casasandra is the final destination following a two-hour drive from Cancun airport and a 20-minute ferry ride to Isla Holbox. Although this wildly laid-back island — just off the Yucatán peninsula, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea — is free of cars, a golf cart will whisk you the five-minute-or-so “drive” from Holbox’s ferry terminal to the beachfront resort.

It’s a little outside of the island’s so-called downtown, in the more northern part of the island, shortly before the paradisiacal Yum Balam Nature Reserve, heavily populated by birds, sting rays and sea turtles. On arrival, friendly staff will usher you into the breezy yet sophisticated main house, where a swift check-in with a chilled face cloth and refreshing lemon and mint drink help you feel revived and relaxed from the moment you step foot inside.

The Vibe

Actual barefoot luxury — you can genuinely leave your shoes in your room much of the time — that works in harmony with an ever-present air of worldly culture and creativity nicely suited to the well-travelled sybarite.

Hotel owner, visual artist and spiritual leader Sandra Pérez has created a sanctuary where an atmosphere of spiritual well-being mixes with vibrant art, which includes both her own work and pieces from her personal art collection, as well as regional artisans. The curation of it all is expert, with plenty to look at and stimulate the senses — including enormous decanters of deliciously scented Coqui Coqui diffusers throughout — while retaining the calming feeling of being ensconced in a true home.

The Rooms

The 17 rooms, located on the top floor of the beachfront main house and a series of smaller houses placed around the hotel ground’s serene tropical gardens, were freshly renovated in 2022. The rooms in the main house (Master Luxury Beachfront and the Luxury Residence), however, were new additions at that time and offer guests full ocean views (as do the two Suite Ocean rooms in the adjacent residence).

Most rooms feature a private balcony with an ornate handmade hammock that’s perfect for catching up with a book or a nap. Every whitewashed room, however, includes a mix of Mayan and Cuban aesthetics, with natural touches such as exposed wooden beams or walls textured with carefully placed stones, and artful décor and photo books. You’ll find no televisions here, in line with the property’s philosophy of personal reconnection and holistic well-being.

The Food + Drink

More reminiscent of a country manor than a hotel, there is no discrete restaurant space; rather, tables are peppered around the main house — inside, on the veranda, and under palms strung with rattan lamps on the soft sand “lawn” — adding to the cosy sophistication of the locally-inspired Ser Esencia dining experience.

Start with an inventive cocktail (like El Morro with tequila, spicy syrup with honey agave, orange and dark chocolate) before embarking on one of the finest culinary destinations on the island (on an island already brimming with delicious food). There’s a tasting menu, but you can also order à la carte. Pork belly melts in the mouth with a wonderfully crisp layer of chicharrones, paired with refreshing pineapple, avocado and tomato salad. If the local lobster is in season, it’s a must, served with pasta and a chilli and truffle-oil sauce for an incredible melange of flavours.

During an afternoon session at the sea, the hotel’s Mojito beach club is perfect for lunch, with lighter Cuban fare and a deep menu of tasty — you guessed it — mojitos. If you’re poolside, there’s also Maiz Pool Bar to help keep you refreshed.

The Little Extras

With spiritual and overall well-being such an important part of the Ser CasaSandra experience, AHAL Holistic Centre is an essential part of your stay. While you can book the more usual spa treatments like aromatherapy or hot stone massages (the back and shoulders massage is sure to release months of built-up stress), that’s just the start.


The centre also includes lymphatic drainage massages, osteopathy, cryotherapy and meditation, as well as more in-depth and bespoke retreats and wellness programmes. On the retail-therapy side, add to your beachy, boho wardrobe with something from the resort’s collection of artisan-created kaftans and dresses, and dainty jewellery pieces — there’s no specific boutique, but items will be brought out onto the veranda in the afternoon and evening for browsing.

The To-Do List

Ser Casasandra is not a sprawling resort, nor is Holbox a vast island, but there is still more than enough to keep you going. Begin your morning with a pool-side yoga session, then grab a bicycle to explore the car-free sandy roads or go “downtown”, just a several-minute cycle away (and both of these activities are complimentary).

A wide menu of excursions is also available to be coordinated, such as a wondrous night-time kayaking session to see bioluminescence sparkling in the water and a sky filled with stars away from light pollution (note: your best chance of seeing this natural wonder is alongside whale shark-season, as they’re attracted to the region to feed on this special plankton).

For longer trips, head out for a half-day journey to Cabo Catoche for colourful snorkelling (and a serving of freshly-caught fish made into a ceviche), and even longer day excursions to the legendary Chichen Itza.

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