Set on secluded Isla Holbox, a sandy and serene island just off Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Casa Sandra hotel promises a textbook beach vacation of hammock-swinging luxury in a setting so laid-back that sunset cocktails are de rigueur and shoes are practically verboten.
Simubi Spa offers reiki, massages and reflexology just off the beach. Keep an eye out for Bernardo, the friendly local raccoon who wanders the resort every so often to check up on things.
Holbox is the best place in the world to glimpse the planet’s biggest fish, whale sharks. Between June and September, the gentle sharks – which can weigh more than 50 tonnes – swim in the waters off Riviera Maya, and the hotel can arrange boating trips to see them. Casa Sandra will also arrange visits to local islands, including Isla Pasion, Yalahua and the bird-watching hub of Isla Pajaros, where crocodiles lurk. On the mainland, take tours of the colonial city of Valladolid or the ruins at Ek Balam.
Isla Holbox has good conditions for wind surfing; there is also deep-sea fishing, horseback riding and wildlife walks. Casa Sandra can arrange tours, and bring golf carts around for guests who explore the island on their own (there are no cars here).
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