A blend of contemporary and shabby chic decor with elegant furniture and colourful fabrics and artwork
Romantic hideway on the unspoilt beaches of Holbox Island
15 simple yet elegant rooms with hammocks to while away an afternoon
Nature lovers can kayak through the mangroves and rivers and explore the vast array of bird species
Visit when the whale sharks are in town to have a truly unforgettable experience
Holbox retains a traditional fishing village atmosphere - it has a more laid back vibe than the developed Riviera Maya
The best time to visit is typically during the drier, slightly milder months between November and April. The ‘rainy’ season begins in the south around June and runs until November. Although it can be hotter and more humid at this time of year, usually it only rains for a couple of hours before the weather clears. The wettest months tend to be September and October. The Caribbean coast can be affected by the hurricane season, which officially is from June to November. May to September is best for seeing flamingos and whale sharks.
Casa Sandra is an intimate rustic hideaway on Mexico's beautiful wild island of Holbox, north of Cancun, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Gulf of Mexico. A barefoot laid back retreat with swinging hammocks and fabulous sunsets.
Located to the northwest of Cancun, Holbox Island is just 42 km long. It is separated from the mainland coast by a shallow lagoon, which gives sanctuary to thousands of flamingos, pelicans and other exotic birds and animals. Most of the people on the island make their living from fishing. The streets of Holbox Island are made of white sand, common of Caribbean islands, and there are very few cars. Holbox is considered a virgin tourist destination as very few outsiders visit the island. In spite of the island’s natural beauty, inaccessibility has left it unspoiled by mass tourism, making it the perfect destination for those wanting to get away from it all and be at one with nature.
Casa Sandra is an owner-run rustic boutique hotel set directly on a lovely stretch of beach surrounded by lush plant life, home to colourful birds and exotic fauna. The guest rooms are beautifully designed with many local touches and have wonderful ocean views. The service is highly personalized and there is a fantastic restaurant serving exquisite Cuban and Mexican cuisine.
Enjoy a fabulous sunset, relaxing by the pool, fishing, snorkelling or an unforgettable visit to nearby Passion and Bird islands. Holbox has a very relaxed atmosphere and is well known for being one of the few places in the world where you can snorkel with whale sharks (between May and September).
Casa Sandra has a total of 19 rooms. There are Superior Rooms set primarily in the main building whilst other superior rooms and suites are housed in separate palapas plus there is also a two-bedroom villa. The rooms are decorated in a fresh style, with white walls and linens interspersed with choice colourful Mexican fabrics, Cuban antiques and bespoke furniture. Nearly all the rooms overlook the sea and have a balcony area with hammocks, great for watching the amazing sunsets.
Children are welcome at Casa Sandra and although there are no specific children's facilities cots, extra beds and babysitting can be arranged on request. The two-bedroom villa and the Master Suite connected with a Superior Room make good family accommodation. The island is small and very tranquil so there is not lots going on specifically for children but there are plenty of natural wonders and activities that children can enjoy including kayaking, cycling, boat trips and playing around the pool.
Casa Sandra has a pool with loungers, daybeds and a pool bar, surrounded by tropical gardens. They also have an excellent restaurant serving delicious Mexican and Cuban cuisine, featuring plenty of local seafood. Inside there is a small lounge area with books.
Holbox is a paradise for lovers of the outdoors, nature and the sea. Guests at Casa Sandra can enjoy cycle rides into the village, birdwatching, scuba diving, strolls by the ocean, deep sea and fly fishing, fantastic kite surfing, snorkelling, kayaking through the mangrove and riding along the beach. During May-September whale sharks frequent the waters around Holbox and boat, snorkel and dive trips can be taken to see these magnificent creatures.
The island of Holbox (pronounced “Ole-bosh”) is a tiny spit off the Yucatán Peninsula with sand roads. At the chic 16-room CasaSandra Hotel, Cuban-born owner and artist Sandra Perez wanted the property to feel more like a residence. So she spread CasaSandra out over five compact buildings and filled each of the spaces with one-of-a-kind regional pieces: rough-cut antique wooden tables from Guadalajara; rattan furniture; hand-woven linens; and bath products created by local artisans. Outside, a collection of palapas and breezy bales dots the sand, and the azure water's edge is 50 uninterrupted steps away. The hotel arranges fishing excursions with CasaSandra's chef, Félix Diaz, who will prepare your catch for dinner.
From June through August, Holbox is one of the few places in the world where you can swim alongside harmless whale sharks—the largest known fish in the world.
Rise early to explore the impressive site of Chichen Itza as the sun comes up and before the gates open to the public on this exclusive private experience, allowing you to escape the crowds and make the most of your time at this must-see landmark.
Snorkelling with whale sharks is incredible, best experienced between July and August when droves of these remarkable creatures can be found. Gasp as these gentle leviathans of the deep cruise past you, an utterly unforgettable experience.
Experience the mystery and the magic of Tulum, considered some of the most beautiful Mayan ruins in Mexico mostly because of its dramatic location on a cliff overlooking the turquoise Caribbean.
Soak in spectacular views as you swoop over the Yucatan peninsula by private plane, passing over cenotes and lush jungle to reach the impressive ancient ruins of Chichen Itza, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
from £3900 pp
inc flights & transfers for 9 nights
CasaSandra is set on Playa Norte on Holbox Island, a sandspit island located off the northeastern tip of Quintana Roo on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, where the Caribbean Sea converges with the Gulf of Mexico.
11-hour international flight to Cancun International Airport. From the airport, is a 2-hour drive to the small coastal village of Chiquila, followed by a 30-minute boat ride to Holbox Island.
Condé Nast Traveller, February 2015
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