A Mexican Resort Where Bespoke Comfort Is a Family Affair

Tucked away on an island near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Punta Caliza offers a uniquely sanguine experience.



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TO SAY THAT Punta Caliza is family-owned would be an understatement — family is at the center of everything at the resort. Upon arrival at the boutique hotel located on Holbox, an island off Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula only accessible by ferry or infrequent charter plane, I’m greeted by Sienna, the family’s whippet, and Elvira and Cuauhtémoc Muñoz, a couple who live on the island and manage the hotel. The exquisitely designed property has 12 guest rooms — each with its own plunge pool — constructed from cedar trees that Cuauhtémoc planted almost 30 years ago on the family farm in Tabasco, Mexico.

The couple’s daughter, Claudia, an architecture student, collaborated on the hotel’s design with her professors, Magui Peredo Arenas and Salvador Macías Corona. The couple’s son, also named Cuauhtémoc, opened the hotel’s sister restaurant, Temoc, on the island. Next door is Apollo, Claudia’s latest project, a concept shop filled with artisan goods from different communities around Mexico.

Elvira and Cuauhtémoc describe the island’s laid-back spirit as I enjoy some of the best shrimp tacos I’ve ever tasted — I eat them at least once a day during my seven-day stay. For the next week, I join the family, happily taking the place of Claudia and the younger Cuauhtémoc, who have gone to Europe. I go fishing with the family and the boat’s captain whips up delicious ceviche from our catch. We visit Punta Mosquito, a sandbank off the island where, depending on the tide, you can walk far out into the crystal-clear water. As we stroll, we spot pelicans, and Elvira and Cuauhtémoc tell me that if you’re lucky, you’ll see flamingos.



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Noting my attempts to befriend Sienna, who prefers sleeping to walking, Elvira and Cuauhtémoc encourage me to visit the local animal rescue, Refugio Animal Holbox. I volunteer to take a spunky mutt on a much-needed beach walk. About 15 minutes into our hour-long journey, the pup befriends a coconut and carries it the entire way home.

We spend our evenings enjoying one another’s company over long candlelit dinners with innovative cocktail pairings by Aneth Nuñez, Punta Caliza’s bartender who brilliantly profiles the flavors of the island. The entire experience is an escape from reality, but also a dip into something truly authentic — an opportunity to experience Mexico guided by one of the kindest families around.

Lead images: Sandy Noto

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Elissa Polls Writer

Elissa Polls is the head of production for Departures. A producer who typically stays behind the scenes, she has worked with creatives from around the world, helping bring their ideas to life. Polls has over 15 years of production experience and lives in Berkeley, California.

Morgan McMullen Illustrator

Morgan is a designer and art director with a cross-platform background in visual strategy developed at publications ranging from Brooklyn Magazine to Marie Claire.


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