To give an idea of context for this review, we were a group of 3 girls (aged 20, 31 & 32)spending 5 weeks travelling through Central America. We didn't fancy roughing it in hostels, but at the same time we were on a budget and couldnt afford to splurge.
We stayed at this place for 2 nights from 3rd August 2010.
Location: Punta Allen is such a small town/village (about 6 tiny blocks by 6) that you could stay anywhere and be central. This place is just by the beach and a short walk to anywhere in town.
Room: As explained when we enquired, the heat in the summer means that the tent cabanas are not up, but there is hostel style lodging in the 1st floor Palapa above the reception and it is this that we booked. The bedding was clean but the reality of the palapa is that you are in effect outdoors because there are no proper walls (see pic). This means that mosquitos are free to roam in and around the living area and there were plenty! Its obviously not the hotels fault that there are a lot of mozzies, but it is something to consider if you react badly to bites. Even with 50% DEET spray on, we still got bitten loads (the mozzies here were worse than any others we encountered on our trip).
The beds have mozzie nets and are all small double beds, so youre fine while sleeping, but the net in addition to the August heat, meant that we were sweltering hot! There are no fans, so we were waking up with sweat literally trickling from our bodies and so you just didnt get a good nights sleep at all.
Other than a small fridge and a hammock, the accommodation was very, very basic. The shower is cold water only.
There is a kitchen that you can use, but its an outdoor one and very basic, so we didnt use it. Besides the food is so cheap at the 2 restaurants that theres no need to.
Breakfast: Mayra offered to cook breakfast for us one morning but there are a couple of places on the beach nearby that do cheap breakfasts so we went there both days instead. Each morning at Serenidad though, there was complimentary coffee & tea at the front desk.
Staff: The staff here are what really make the place. Even before arriving, Niki the owner was prompt, friendly and helpful in all her emails to me, providing information about local prices, transport etc...
When we arrived, a woman called Mayra was at the desk. She was absolutely brilliant and deserves a medal for her genuine friendliness and enthusiasm. She gave us loads of information about punta Allen (including little gems like where we could buy fresh lobster, where the fishermen came in and where there was a dock that we could watch the sun set from). When we said that we didnt know how to cook lobster she offered to cook with us and teach us how to! When we needed to do some clothes washing, she took us into the back outdoor, laundry area and showed us where we could hand-wash and hang our clothes. She even lent us some of her own DEET spray. I have never been so impressed with a hotel staff before, she was more like a friend- even giving us big hugs as we left. Serenidad should hang onto her as she is a huge asset.
During our time there, I needed to use a computer to sort out some banking and paperwork online and Niki let me into her actual house (behind the reception) to use her own computer without charge, which I was extremely grateful for.
Price: We paid 200 pesos per person per night (including tax etc...). We booked via the hotel website and paid cash on arrival
Tips: It is a VERY long and windy dirt track that you take to Punta Allen from Tulum, its about 33miles (I think!), but it can take up to 3hours depending on the state of the road. If you dont have your own transport, you can get a collectivo, but these only go once a day and not at great times (5am to return to Tulum). So we grabbed a taxi and that cost 700 pesos total (£35) which is expensive, but the collectivo costs 200 pesos per person, so we would have paid 600 pesos total anyway.
Secondly, if you get the slightest bit travel sick, take some tablets for the journey! Even with travel sickness tablets, my friend had to stop the taxi and sit on the floor outside while she got her breath as she felt so ill.
Oh and whatever you do, make sure you take tonnes of DEET!
I would recommend this place to a friend, but only on account of the brilliant staff. In hindsight, had we found somewhere for a comparable price that was enclosed with a/c (or even strong fans) we would have had a better time there.
Please bear in mind though that my comments refer to the Palapa accommodation. There are other accommodations at Serenidad that would be worth considering, but these are more expensive and so did not suit our backpackers budget!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC