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Maya Bell

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Hostelz.com's Review
Maya Bell is set in the jungle, which makes for a really wonderful romantic setting. However, because it is more or less just a campground, lighting is poor, bathrooms dirty, and nature is abundant. To get there take a collective before six and ask to be dropped off at Maya Bell. After six, a cab is your only option.

If you are unfamiliar with the campground, arrive before dark as staff just kind of hands you your hammock and sends you on your way. Bring a flashlight and bug repellent. If you don’t have them, stay somewhere else. A mosquito net would be a great idea, but if you bathe in bug repellent before sleeping you wouldn’t have to have one. In addition, if you are not familiar with hammock-hanging/sleeping, you may find it better to pay the big bucks for a room (but even renting/hanging a hammock is relatively expensive).

There are no cooking facilities, minus places for campfires. There is a sink for washing dishes, but it may or may not be working, leaving people to wash dishes in the bathroom sinks. There is a restaurant that serves reasonably priced food, but you get what you pay for -- the meals aren’t fabulous, but they are edible.

Bathrooms are defiantly campground style -- bring your own toilet paper, soap, and don’t enter without shoes. Most of the showers work, but there is no hot water. Private rooms have bathrooms, which would be nicer than having to trek through the campground. You can rent lockers, but they are far from where you will sleep, other than that there is no secure place to leave belongings.

The atmosphere is cool, but if you are looking for a goodnight sleep you may find it difficult. There will inevitably be cool people playing drums and singing for most of the night. Plan on getting up early too. Since you are in the open air the sun rises bright and early, as do the animals and maybe the people around you. Large groups tend to stay here -- a mix of locals and tourists. If there are large groups, single travelers may find it hard to meet people.

by Amy
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
August 2005

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
2   Nice location but facilities and staff need to be sorted out!!! Great place to stay location-wise but just lacking in any real character as the staff were unhelpful, tired, confused -- refused to speak any English unless you were fluent Spanish. Same goes for most of the town which was, to be brutally honest, the least friendly place I have been to in Mexico. Such a shame. The Maya Bell is expensive however in comparison to the el Pancho place nr to the entrance of the National Park. The pool is great however and probably worth paying double for the accommodation as it is clean and brings welcome respite from the brutal heat and humidity.  , Ireland ()
2   Ok facilities but expensive. Rude & unhelpful staff was the real issue Stayed for 3 days last week. Location is great, 1KM inside the national park on the left hand-side ($27 entrance each day, which can add up if on a budget. To aovid the charge, return after 5 or 6PM as there are no guards). The site is in a nice setting and has a pool that was mostly clean but lots of jungle matter (leaves, insects) as expected, is freshwater and large enough for a refreshing dip. The rooms are however overpriced but very clean which is the main thing. The shared bathrooms for the Cabanos and main toilet block are in poor states and would definitely need a refurb to justify any of the the accommodation prices! You can stay here and camp or with a hammock for less than $80 night but you do get what you pay for. STAFF: The staff here are the real problem and for me, would certainally make me avoid staying here every again. I can speak Spanish fairly well, having had a Spanish GF for 4 years, however they pretend not to understand me -- first time this has happened in over 4 months in Mexico and I've been into some very non-touristy areas. Ordering room/food/trips is such a battle! It would seem that almost everyone who arrives and stays here has the same opinion which is SUCH A SHAME! I came to the conclusion that having been 'THE' place to stay in Palenque for such a long time has evidently lulled the staff into a false sense of security that tourists will continue to stay despite how poorly they treat them. Having had a look at places close by, near to the National Park entrance you can find better quality accommodation for 1/2 the price and infinitely better staff.  , Australia ()
3   Lovely location, nice facilites but TERRIBLE STAFF! Stayed here for 4 nights -- 2 nights in a baÑos with fan ($200 a night) and 2 nights in a hammock with fire ($60). If you are less than good at Spanish the staff will not help you, are nonchalant when you are really trying and simply dont really want to be working there. It is inconceivable that they cannot speak a little English to at least assist you after a long and tiring journey, particularly as the venue it is so well established! Location is great, inside the national park but beware that YOU HAVE TO PAY AN EXTRA $27 PER DAY to enter the part and gain access to the Mayabell. The pool is absolutely FINE and is cleaned every day -- the brown is simply as the bottom of the pool needs a re-paint but that is it! Sleeping to the sounds of the jungle is simply sublime. MISOL-HA: $20 each way from the collectivo station by the ADO station. COLLECTIVOS (minibuses) stop running from 5PM and NOT 6PM as in the guidebooks. In the centre you can find chicken dinners with tortillas and trimmings for $25 each so don't eat here as it is very expensive -- captive audience!  , UK ()
5   Whats not to like?? Maya bell has always been comfortable and casual. I was there the first time 28 years ago. Thought I had died and gone to heaven. Who knew?? It was that nice. And still is. Real jungle right there. Walk/hike/swim.Nap/trip/chant. Great for birding and more. Wild monkees in the treetops. Toucans. Always hot water in the well scrubbed shower building. Fresh mountain spring water for all to enjoy. I drink it. and Im a gringo. Cool thatched roof huts to hang a hammock or hang out and do hippie stuff. Always EZ going crowd. Security handles the drunks well. Just chill out. But 99% of time WOW MAN! The staff has always treated me with respect and been helpful. Not everybody can be your New Best Friend. The staff have a job to do. Taxis run All the time to town. Combis (collectivos) start early and stay late. Priced right. Nice walk on good path, 7km. scenic. I have stayed in the rooms over the years. ALWAYS CLEAN. Cool and shady. Wicked romantic. Tropical sensuality. Good basic meals and cold drinks in the Rest. Cold drinks and a small camp store fill it out. Yes, stoner, they have munchies. Good local organic coffee. Hummingbirds fly through the open air restaurant all day. Lush ginger and hibiscus never stop blooming. Bananas and coconuts in the trees. Music at night. Sorry, no death metal. Nothing closer to the pyramids or museum. Or mushroom field. I have taken my daughter here twice. Once as a child, 10. And again as a 14 yo. Kids gotta see it. I keep running into old friends from different trips. Nice. Cant wait to get back. A place of escape and refuge. Green World.  , Eastport,Maine,USA ()
1   Try to avoid it!!! the hotel staff KNEW english but they were pretending they didin't. They were rude, arrogant and unwilling to help us. There was only one guy pretending to be friendly because he was trying to f*** girls as the "handsome singer". The pool was more dirty than public toilets in Mexico city! They didn't cleaned it although it was August! The rooms were a tragedy! Not only they were not clean but we also found cockrοaches and we are sure that they were not from the jungle!!!! Overvaluated, just because it is close to the ruins, but there are many other hotels close to it. Avoid this hell!!!!!  , greece ()
4   I named my daughter after this campground! Me and me wife stayed here 10 years ago and witnessed a lunar eclipse during our stay we were no moved by the event that later we named both our children after the experience. great place to hang out and meet really cool people. 2 thumbs up!  , Canada ()
4   Loved It I loved maya bell! My boyfriend and i were traveling in Mexico with some friends and we stayed in the palapas and in the rooms. We met so many neat people while staying here. You just feel so free! I would recommend it to wandering travelers! We loved listing to the locals play music at night up in the jungle. You follow the noise and you will find it! We made friends for life, and we will never forget it!  , USA ()
3   Good alternative place I stayed one night in Maya Bell. The room was very clean. The place is great. The live act was very good. Maya Bell is rather a strange view in this beautiful resort. This is not what Europeans have in mind when they visit an alternative place. I think that the fake alternative (with his jewelry) who hardly consumes a thing and harasses people should keep his mouth.  , Belgium ()

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