Villa Paloma is a very luxurious structure in a great location, with gorgeous views of the Caribbean through the very large windows fronting the common areas and two of the bedrooms. Unfortunately the long list of amenities on the TripAdvisor site is quite inaccurate, apparently deliberate misrepresentations, some basic supplies are not provided, and there are areas of deferred maintenance that are irritating and not in keeping with a high rating.
If it were not for the misrepresentations on TripAdvisor, I would currently rate this property a 3. Given the misrepresentations, I would give it a 0 if it were possible.
I realize that this review is in direct conflict with the eleven other reviews currently posted on Trip Advisor. I also realize this presents a credibility issue to the reader, but I can do no more than accurately describe the facility we encountered during a week at Villa Paloma. Further, most of this review consists of statements of fact, not opinions.
One very positive aspect of the property is Marion, the concierge and on-site coordinator. She is wonderful. She made restaurant reservations, arranged for taxis, instructed me regarding a couple of functional issues that resulted from “operator error” on my part, and was very pleasant to work with.
Now to the issues. A hot tub is listed as a featured amenity on TripAdvisor. However the villa has no hot tub. The outdoor pool is beautiful but not heated. The pool overlooks the ocean and includes the large, attached two-foot deep wading pool that is neither heated nor has any jets.
Perhaps the hot tub reference is to the huge octagonal tub that took up most of the space in the master bathroom. But because of low water pressure and tepid hot water, it takes far too long to fill and there is no built-in recirculating heater. The water would be uncomfortably cool before the tub was full, plus of course, there are no jets. The large tub is simply not usable. The TripAdvisor amenities should be revised to delete the hot tub reference, perhaps with the addition of “large wading pool with infinity edge attached to the swimming pool.”
The TripAdvisor listing states that US satellite TV is provided. It is not. Yes, a Dish TV receiver is connected to the TV, but it receives Mexican programming primarily in Spanish. We planned to watch some American bowl games during the week between Christmas and New Year's. We found some of these games on the Mexican channels, but the commentary with but a couple of exceptions was in Spanish. This would not have been an issue for comment other than the note in the TripAdvisor overview of “U.S. satellite TV.”
A less important but still an odd shortcoming was the large master bathroom has not a single towel bar, towel ring, or hook. This is a very curious omission considering all of the beach towels, bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths that are used every day. Upon our arrival, our towels and washcloths were folded at the foot of the bed. After use, we hung them on the shower enclosure, cabinet knobs, and laid them across the countertops. After the maid replenished them daily, she also hung them on the shower enclosure, cabinet knobs, and folded them on the countertops.
Some very simple basic supply items were not furnished. For example, bath amenities are mentioned on the website but were not provided except for hand soap at the sinks. I walked to the nearby store and spent ten bucks buying soap and shampoo for the showers. Not a big problem, but certainly an easily corrected omission. But this suggests that the owner might not be providing the staff with a budget sufficient to properly stock the villa as a luxury rental.
The wi-fi network operates at the snail speeds of telephone modem days long gone, so surfing the internet is tedious, and streaming video is impossible. An Apple TV is connected to the television, but the slow-speed internet makes using it difficult to impossible because of buffering. Satellite internet is available in Mexico so the owner could rectify this if he so chooses and spends the money. The TripAdvisor listing states a printer, a fax machine, a DVD player, and a VCR are furnished but these were to be found.
The kitchen has premium appliances and is well equipped, with lots of pots and pans, implements, dishware, and glasses. There were two pair of salt and pepper shakers in the kitchen but they were empty. We grabbed salt and pepper shakers from the dining room table. The control panel for the large deluxe Sub Zero refrigerator was flashing a “Service” warning message, with a digital readout of “0 00F,” whatever that means. The refrigerator is currently operating and kept our beer and wine cold, so after mentioning the service warning once to the staff upon arrival, we did not say anything further about it. Perhaps the theory is not to spend money to maintain it but to run it until it stops. The Service warning sometimes simply means that the condenser needs to be cleaned to operate efficiently, prevent overheating and possibly premature failure. However the 0 00F readout suggests a further problem.
The thermostat for the central air conditioning system has a mind of its own. It does not turn the cooling on or off based on the temperature setting. If the cooling is set to “on,” it cools most or all of the time (it is difficult to tell exactly), even when the temperature dropped to under 70 degrees. Occasionally we opened the patio doors when the house got too cold during the day and the a/c continued to cool. No matter what the settings, the system’s fans run all the time and are very noisy.
Finally, the impressive entry includes two large fountains, one outside the front door and one in the entrance hall. Neither is currently operational and both are drained. The inside fountain has unattractive plastic and copper plumbing components sitting in the bottom of the large lower bowl. If the fountains are going to be non-functional, perhaps they should be used for plantings or be removed. But these fountains rather than being an enhancement are unattractive concrete masses that suggest deferred maintenance.
The maid arrived daily at about 10 a.m. and was present until about 3 p.m. She would strip the beds early, apparently to put the linens in the washing machine. She would not make the beds until the middle of the afternoon. Perhaps there is only one set of sheets for each bed? But in the meantime, having the maid present and going from room to room dusting, mopping floors, making beds, etc., was an intrusion on our privacy as well as conflicted with our the use and enjoyment of the house throughout most of the day.
We reserved the home for our family trip after visiting the property from a nearby hotel last February. We were shown through the house and the freestanding casita just outside the front door. The casita was explicitly represented to us to be part of the package we were renting. We expected to be a party of seven, and in that situation the casita would be the fourth bedroom, occupied by one of our daughters and a grandson. The staff who showed us the property including taking us into the casita was aware we rented the house expecting to use the casita.
The TripAdvisor listing says there is extra charge for the casita. The quote I received and paid for the week was not broken down to show a charge for the casita, but the staff knew we planned to have use of the casita. Sixty days before we arrived, one of our daughters and grandson had to cancel, and I notified the management that we would be a party of five. However we still expected to have availability of the casita. However upon arrival and during our stay, the casita was occupied daily by maid and her young children. The door and windows were open every day and the TV was playing cartoons. The kids were running in and out of the main house while the mother was cleaning. This was not an enhancement of the atmosphere to say the least. Further no credit was offered for the casita being unavailable to us.
My conclusion is that the TripAdvisor listing most certainly needs to be corrected to remove the features that are listed but not in fact available. Currently the property is seriously misrepresented. The deferred maintenance items need to be addressed. They appear not to be major and a little bit of attention would go a long way. A stock of basic supplies (bath soap, shampoo, salt and pepper) needs to be maintained so the staff can replenish as necessary. At least two sets of linens for the beds should be available and housecleaning needs to be otherwise organized so it takes less time and provides the guests with privacy during most of the day.
The property has the potential to be a 5, but currently that is the potential rather than the reality.
Absolutely loved our stay here. This is truly a 5-star property. Master bedroom is spectacular. 2 more upstairs bedrooms in the main house. These two bedrooms share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom. One bedroom faces the ocean and has a large covered balcony, the other faces the jungle. There is another full bathroom on the main level. Wonderfully well equipped kitchen and a full bar setup. The star of the show is the pool and outside living areas. These have wonderful views and are kept immaculately. The 4th bedroom at this property is the casita, which sits in the driveway. It has more basic finishes than the main house, and no views.
The house manager helped us arrange airport transfer, massages and a private yoga class, and made many great restaurant recommendations. Cleaner and caretaker do a wonderful and totally unobtrusive job.
I recommend this house for anyone that wants a luxury vacation rental. Be aware that the bedrooms are not very "equal". The master is huge and clearly the best bedroom. The oceanfront bedroom with the shared bedroom is second, the jungle facing bedroom is the third best, and the casita is more of a spare bedroom. May be an issue for a group of friends renting together.
I just got back from our vacation at Villa Paloma and I would recommend to anyone looking for a quiet stay on the beach. My husband and I, our three adult children, their significant others and two grandchildren ages 18 months and 4 years stayed. The house is spacious and the family of four stayed in the smaller house out front. We had chef services breakfast, lunch and dinner for six of the seven days we were there and that was amazing! Antonio helped us plan the meals and Manuel cooked amazing meals! Much better and more economical than eating out! We actually stopped by Costco on our way from Cancun and picked up snacks and drinks but the chef shopped for everything else! The housekeeper and groundskeeper were very friendly and quietly worked around us daily. Marion, the property manager was extremely helpful in the whole booking and planning process as well as checking on us several times to see if we needed anything. Shel helped us plan a day excursion and made sure we had transportation that we needed. A few minor issues such as the a/c wasn't cooling when we first got there but the a/c in the bedrooms worked great and it was working in the whole house by the second day. The hot water is luke warm at best after you leave it running for a good 5-10 minutes but the second half of our trip the weather was very warm so we didn't really mind. I felt a little bad for the family that stayed in the smaller house because it's really no comparison to the beautiful house we were in, but it was a good place for them to have some privacy. The hot tub isn't a hot tub but more a wading pool, which for us, with the little ones was perfect. They played all day long in the shallow pool! The restaurant next door had a great inexpensive breakfast and a few doors down is a great bar on the beach that serves amazing margaritas! :) The town of Tulum is a little farther than I thought it would be but a ten minute taxi ride was pretty easy to get us there. There are two kayaks that come with the property and the ocean,even though we had rough waters at times, was surprisingly easy to navigate- they were a blast! The beach is rocky so we didn't swim much but I was amazed at all of the beautiful sea shells that was up! My granddaughters loved collecting the shells!
I would recommend this place 100% to anyone looking for a quiet get away!
We spent a week at Villa Paloma with myself, my wife, and 3 daughters (14,11,7). The house is close enough to Tulum to go to town if you want to, but far enough away to avoid crowds. The house and grounds are absolutely incredible, and the staff is wonderful as everyone else has said. We hired the chef service for the week, and I highly recommend this. Sitting by the pool with the sounds of the waves on the beach while enjoying fresh chips and guacamole....it doesn't get any better. The cenote nearby is worth visiting and snorkeling. We really enjoyed the privacy of the house that you can't find at a resort.
My husband and I stayed here for an incredible week with my 3 daughters(14, 11, 8), my parents and my brother and his fiance. Everyone was so incredibly nice and helpful: Marion, Elder, Ernesto and Yarina were wonderful. Marion gave us wonderful guidance for our stay and you feel like you have always known her! Elder greeted us when we arrived and was very helpful; Ernesto took great care of the grounds and Yarina kept the house very tidy! We loved every minute of our stay. The view just takes your breath away! We were especially grateful to be able to walk about 20 steps to Cielo Maya, a nearby hotel, to take advantage of the bar and restaurant there. Amazing food and service there! This home does not disappoint!