I typically travel about 5 months a year for work. In the past 20 years I have been fortunate to travel to over 80 countries and have stayed in 1,000s of different accommodations ranging from shared rooms in hostels to the Four Seasons and everything in between. There have been good and bad experiences and sometimes things happen, we understand that. One time my girlfriend and I, having arrived late due to a flight delay, found that our hotel had been overbooked during a popular festival in Ecuador and we had to sleep on a cot in the broom closet with the cleaning supplies! However, the experience we had at the Villa Duendes property was by far the worst of the worst and made our broom closet experience seem like a suite at the Marriott. I have never had to walk out of an establishment due to such negligence on the part of the Managment and staff. The level of filth that we experienced here was untenable, especially during the Coronavirus Pandemic. This property advertises enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures....they did not even have regular cleaning procedures. No masks, no sanitizer, and our room was a nightmare. There were many things wrong but these were the most prevalent: 1. Excessive amounts of animal hair was all over our bed, pillows and sheets 2. Someone else’s Poopy toilet paper was in the bathroom 3. Suspicious brown stains on the comforter 4. A kitchen with no utensils, pots, pans, plates, etc (none were available upon request) (they advertise, with pictures, a fully stocked kitchen) 5. Refrigerator had human hair and food scraps inside on all shelves 6. Floors covered in dirt and sand 7. Chairs in personal area covered in bird and bat poop that had been piling up for days or weeks even (it may be in the jungle but that doesn’t mean you do not need to maintain your property) 8. No one wearing masks, checking temperatures, or providing sanitizer (standard procedure in Mexico including supermarkets stores, and even taco stands) 9. The entire property appeared to be unkept and sloppy The feeling we had was utter disgust. My girlfriend had planned to surprise me with their “LUXURY” dome for a special occasion and when i entered the room with our bags she was on the verge of tears. I calmly went on found the manger, Judith, and showed her the problems. She claimed she was shocked 😳 and blamed her staff. She tried to offer us a different room but at that point all the trust was gone and we were not comfortable staying there for another second. We asked for a full refund (we were there for less than 30mins) and the manger Judith assured us that we would be refunded within the hour. She said that normally it takes longer but that they would refund us due to the horrible experience we had, as soon as her boss returned, if we didn’t call our booking agent or leave a bad review. She followed us to our car and told us for a third time that they would refunded immediately. So we left....BIG MISTAKE! We drove 30 mins back to Tulum, in the rain, (who pays for that gas and time????) and had to find different accommodations. After finally getting a place we noticed that we had still not received the refund even though 6 hours had elapsed. Still we waited patiently not wanting to make it worse than it had to be and were eager to put the whole incident behind us. The next day, having still not received our refund, we had to contact them again...the response was almost unbelievable, almost! They were offering us 62% of what we had paid and told us we had to wait at least a month to receive the payment. They wanted us to pay their fees to booking.com!!!! This insulting offer was of course contingent on us not filing a complaint or notifying our booking agent...they mention it 3 times in the text. This all sounded very suspicious, so at this point we politely asked them to stop contacting us and called booking.com customer service expecting to be helped....could not have been more wrong. After two 60 minute phone calls were informed that the property did not need to refund us any money, even though we could not stay there because the conditions were so bad and Villa Duendes was falsely advertising their property’s amenities and more importantly their cleaning and saftey procedures. Also, the because the property chose to contact us via WhatsApp instead of through booking.com, it negated our right to ask for money back!!! To recap, we didn’t have place to stay, still had to pay 100$, received no compensation despite their promises, had to drive an hour round trip and had a portion of our vacation ruined as a direct result of the lies, false advertising, and unsafe conditions that we were unfortunate enough to experience here. Do yourself a favor and dont risk ruining your vacation, wasting your precious time, and even more importantly endangering your health by depending on this shoddy organization in anyway. Their photos and advertised amenities and safety precautions are simply false and we sincerely hope that you do not to have experience even a small part of what we did. They make it look like it’s beautiful and special and maybe at one point it was...but those days are long gone. The dishonest staff and rundown property are just not even worth your disappointment. This review is about helping others and trying to prevent anyone else from feeling like we were forced too. It’s really quite an embarrassment and our only hope that you never have to feel the way these people made us feel. Travel safe and keep on exploring. On a side note....Their general manger Diego will no doubt write a response about being in “nature” or the “jungle” as an excuse.....but unless a wild animal broke into our “luxury room” and was sleeping in our bed, wiping its butt and leaving poopy toilet in the bathroom and managed to steal all the utensils, plates and pots and pans...than that is ridiculous. Being “eco” or in the “jungle” does not mean that you do not have to maintain the standards that you advertise. And as far as being in the “Jungle” you are a 5 minute drive from the highway....its “junglish” at best and not an excuse for you not being able to replace missing items or maintain even the most basic cleaning standards. SHAME ON YOU!!!…
Villa Duendes offers everything you need for a relaxing stay in the middle of the jungle. With the eco-friendly and stylish domes, great swimming pool and delicious food, you couldn't ask for more. The domes are fully equipped with a kitchenette, en-suite bathroom and a large and comfortable bed. The restaurant offers great food, including vegan options, freshly made juices and great Wi-Fi. The swimming pool is all you need to refresh and relax! We definitely recommend Villa Duendes and hope to return soon!
We enjoyed two nights sleeping the Hipster dome at Villa Duendes. We really appreciated the quietness in the wild- it is a beautiful spot:) However we must note the very long and bumpy road. We knew about it beforehand but don't tell your rentalcompagny that you're driving that road... We had what we needed at the dome and got plenty of delicious food and drinks.
It was a really nice time for us in villa duendes. Peacefull place and really beautiful, especcialy at night :) The women at the villa was really friendly and helped as anytime! The only thing that we were missing was the food or snacks in the afternoon. They only have breakfast en dinner. So you have to bring some food with you. Very nice staying. Thank you so much.
We spent two nights in the Organic Dome (a free upgrade because the room we booked was “otherwise occupied”).Villa Duende is a real oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the Riviera. Lovely pool,comfortable clean room and good basic food for breakfast and dinner.Thoroughly recommended. If the thought of the access road or presence of mosquitoes is a problem you should question whether independent travel in Mexico is for you!!