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Reviewed February 21, 2011

I arranged a 4 night stay at Villa Xuxu at the Villas Amarte, part of the Hotel Amarte/Spa Hideaway Amarte property/complex. I was joined by my husband and my best friend and his wife. We just returned home last night from our stay. Though the Villa, itself, offers nice accommodation, I can declare without hesitation that we will not return.

If you are looking strictly for a villa/condo experience and are more than satisfied dealing only with the Amarte property, then Villas Amarte might be perfect for you. The villa, itself, is nice--pleasantly sized living and dining areas, 1 large master bedroom suite and 1 smaller bedroom suite (in contradiction to the website description of 2 comparable bedrooms), and an extra bathoom in the main living areas. Villa Xuxu was the 1st floor, with another replica villa on the 2nd floor. Our friends in the smaller bedroom often complained that they could hear the occupants stomping around on the 2nd floor villa, but we had no such problems in the larger master bedroom. The master bedroom bathroom was nice and spacious, as well. All had nice views of the beach and sea beyond. Air conditioning worked pretty well in the main living area, but the air conditioning unit in the large master bedroom suite didn't quite get the job done to my satisfaction.

The biggest downside to Villas Amarte from our perspective was the lack of true beach service. The Hotel Amarte had no true beach service, and the Villas therefore suffered from that same lack of beach service. Considering our location right on the beach, this was very annoying to us.

The other main drawback to the Villa was the complete lack of phone service to the main hotel lobby (located quite a distance away, 10 minutes by car, closer to the main highway entrance). At first the manager left us a mobile phone. It worked sometimes, but it didn't work other times. Sometimes, the person who answered would speak no English. Sometimes, they didn't answer at all. Then the mobile phone stopped working because they hadn't charged it with more money. Really? You can't use a regularly funded mobile phone if that's the only contact we have? Then they supposedly re-charged it with money so it would work, but then it wouldn't work. Getting in touch with anyone from Amarte was a real pain the butt.

There is a restaurant, Pavo Real, but it is quite a haul by car to get back to that facility, a good 10 minute van/car drive (provided free to hotel guests), closer to the main highway entry to the overall Amarte/Maroma Hotel compound. We had a complimentary lunch there, and it was quite nice, actually, but it was a pain to get there for us.

We were also informed, before booking, that we could open an account with the next door Maroma Hotel and Spa (an Orient-Express property of the highest service level). We were comforted by that fact because the Maroma Hotel is akin to the types of places we normally stay (Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Aman, Ritz Carleton, etc.). We believed that proximity and ability to use the Maroma Hotel would allow us the full villa experience while enjoying the resources of a world-class hotel.

We were wrong! Despite assurances before we booked, before we arrived, and upon arrival, the Amarte staff were never able to confirm an account for us at the Maroma Hotel. After 3 days, we FINALLY had it and spoke quite harshly with Julie, the Amarte PR person, who came to speak with us about the problem. (We also had serious communications issues with our breakfast orders, and Amarte did eventually get that corrected. They never quite resolved the telephone issues described above, however, after repeated complaints and substitutions of at least 3 telephones!) Julie seemed to not get that they had confirmed we could do this before we booked, nor that their marketing materials indicated we could do this with the Maroma Hotel. (In fact, I still have the letter left in our villa for our arrival, indicating "...we suggest you open an account from Maroma..." if we want to use their facilities.)

When we finally spoke to a Maroma Hotel manager, it was quite clear that the Maroma Hotel does not typically offer accounts to Amarte guests. Apparently, there have been some issues in the past (which we could now understand!). But, because Maroma is affiliated with Andrew Harper, as we were, they graciously allowed us to open an account. (We had previously had lunch and dinner at the Maroma even without an account, but this would allow us to use their spa and also get beachside service.)

Once we had the account, our experience at Villa Xuxu improved dramatically. We finally had beachside service, and the Maroma Hotel beachside service, though pricey, is amazing. My husband and my friend's wife used their spa, and said it was lovely. They both had great massages and said they would have done more had they had time.

Overall, Villa Xuxu is a nice property. However, the service level is not what you would expect for the price of the villa. We were paying $985 a night for the villa. To get 2 rooms at the Maroma would have cost more than $500 per night. For the difference, however, there was no debate--for us, it would have been far better to stay at the Maroma Hotel where we could get world-class service, food, and experience. Villas Amarte has the bones to offer a very nice experience, but their set-up, lack of communication, inability to follow-through, lack of beachside service, and false advertising about its relationship with the Maroma Hotel all conspire to show it isn't worth that price in our opinions.

We would never return to Villas Amarte. But we have already considered a return to the Maroma Hotel!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank BillR2390
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
maromero, Owner at Amarte Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2011

The client's principle comment is the villas' "lack of true beach service". The fact is, Villas Amarte are private, luxury rental villas on the beautiful beach of Maroma Bay, not a hotel operation. The villas have many advantages which the hotel rooms they are being compared to don't offer: multiple bedrooms, fully equipped kitchenettes, living and dining rooms, private oceanfront pools, full breakfast served in the villas, satelllite television, and above all - a much lower price for the same sand, sun and spectacular view.

The second comment: the client wasn't able to open an account with Maroma Resort & Spa to use their facilities until he actually contacted them directly. We are very clear in all of our information and in the welcome letter which our villa clients receive on arrival that we are neighbors to, but not part of, Maroma and that if our villa guests want to use the facilities of that hotel they should make direct contact to do so, the acceptance of which is solely at the discretion of Maroma. We strongly object to the client's assertion that Villas Amarte uses false advertising about our relationship with Maroma. Our villas stand on their own as luxury, self-contaiined accommodations on a gorgeous beach, attended by our very committed small staff.

We believe, and most of our guests agree, that for true privacy a phone line is not necessary. However, we do provide mobile phones to our villa guests. There was no lack of communication with these clients who were attended during their stay by our reservationist, our public relations manager, our concierge, our villa caretaker, one of our cooks and our restaurant's executive chef, all of whom did their professional best to please the group. One of the owners personaly offered our hospitality to the clients at the beginning of their stay. Sadly, on the second day they asked for free massage services in exchange for not writing a "bad review on Trip Advisor". Even with this, we gave them the same level of personal service we extend to all of our clients, the service for which we were known when we created and operated Maroma Resort & Spa.

The Amarte complex is a destination made up of several parts and covering a large area of beach and jungle. Nestled in a former coconut plantation, Amarte's 300 acres extend 3 miles across and 1 mile from the main entrance to the beach and include: a 25-room jungle hotel called Spa Hideaway Amarte, a complex of three beachfront rental villas called Villas Amarte, a jungle villa called Villa Castelli, a fine-dining restaurant called Pavo Real, an art gallery/concert space called Galeria Amarte, and a private beach with a wedding chapel and restaurant/bar facilities for group events called Lolita on the Beach. These are each stand-alone entities with their own services and facilities which can be contracted individually or in combination according to the needs of our clients.

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Reviewed July 28, 2010

I was a little nervous when my husband and I got to the airport and nobody had heard of Amarte (tell a taxi driver it's next to Iberostar or near Maroma), but once we got there my fears went away. We're not big resort people so this was the perfect place for us. The bungalows are spotless and the staff was extremely helpful. To get to the beach you have to ask someone at the front to drive you (they don't mind at all) and in a few minutes you arrive at the most spectacular beach...mostly to yourself! The staff was accommodating, the rooms are clean, the food was great and the beach was breathtaking.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kmhawk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 3, 2010

What a wonderful discovery are the Amarte Villas located on Maroma Beach, noted as one of the top 10 best beaches in the world by Conde Nast Traveler, and only 20 miles south from Cancun International airport!
The beautiful architecturally designed villas provide all the modern comforts while capturing the Mayan spirit through the stone and wood work and blending naturally with the tropical flora and fauna of Maroma.
This is all possible thanks to Jose Luis Moreno, the architect, and his wife Sally, originally from Chicago, who run the Maroma Foundation, which is dedicated to sustainable development and bringing art to the Yucatan Peninsula. The Amarte Galleria is part of the premises and exhibits fine arts of Mexican artists.
The pursuit of art also extends to its Pavo Real Restaurant where the theme is ‘cuisine as art’. Music and shows complement the enjoyment of exceptionally prepared gourmet meals.
The staff of the villas is very friendly and accommodates every request. Breakfast, which can be a feast in itself, is served in the villas. During high season lunches can be served at Lolitas where fresh seafood is grilled on the beach. Dinners were an unforgettable family experience. The chef even showed us how to prepare the Mango Ceviche and Ginger Grouper, which were the best we have ever tasted.
After walking on the mile long white powder beach, we were pleasantly surprised that the staff was able to arrange on a short notice a reflexology massage at our villa.
The Amarte experience is unique in its blend of nature and art creating the most unforgetable get-away.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank quiteplace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 19, 2010

This beautiful hotel is one of the best kept secrets of the Riviera Maya, if you visit the Riviera Maya you have to visit this awesome place, they also have a delicious restaurant call Pavo Real. You won’t regret your stay in this hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled on business
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Thank JohnLandon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago
Google Translation

Room Tip: Hay una palapa para hacer yoga, si te gusta este tipo de ejercicios pide un bungalow cerca de aqui.
  • Stayed: November 2018, travelled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel A, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Amarte Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago
Google Translation

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