This was, by a long shot, our favorite beach house vacation. The house itself is amazing. The caretakers, Francisco and Gladis, lived up to the raves in other reviews -- both for their friendly yet unobtrusive manner, and their skills in the kitchen when making meals for us. They were quick to make beds and clean in the mornings when we were out and about; more efficient than many luxury hotel staff in fact. & every meal they made for us was delicious.
The pool, with its infinity edge view of the lagoon and caribbean beyond, was fabulous. The snorkeling right out back (a brief walk to the left for access steps to enter the water) was the best snorkeling of the trip, and a way better value than paying and entering at Yal Ku entrance (a short walk from the house). The iguanas that walked up to us near the pool every day were adorable in a strange way, and they add to the natural charm of the location.
There are 3 restaurants within walking distance, one (Que Onda) literally right across the street. I would recommend a golf cart rental if you choose not to rent a car, as the main town of akumal is 1.5 miles south, which is of course walkable, but in the blazing hot sun and humidity can quickly seem onerous. They are electric, so don't make my mistake in assuming the battery pack can charge them; they do need to be plugged into an outdoor AC outlet every other night to charge (there is one on the right side of the driveway).
As with anything there are small areas that might be improved upon (some more shade near the pool area would be nice, be it a large umbrella or a canopy of some kind; there were often ants and other bugs in places you would rather they not be; and the master shower hot water was lukewarm at best) BUT BUT BUT those are small issues that pale in comparison to the magnificent location, staff, architecture and pool design of this gem of a house.
We have not returned to any prior beach houses (OBX) but Gauguin might be the exception one day. We were genuinely sad to leave, and I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I sat in the pool for the last time.
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