Q-Roo Paul’s Pick: Nacional Beach Club and Bungalows in Mahahual

This does not happen very often — but we discovered another little hidden gem worthy of being one of Qroo Paul’s picks: the Nacional Beach Club and Bungalows hotel and restaurant located in the small coastal fishing village of Mahahual.


Mahahual is about three hours south of our home in Akumal. People who know me well, know that I hate long drives. Sometimes I debate whether or not it is even worth it to drive 25 minutes to Playa del Carmen. In spite of my aversion to driving, we have driven to Mahahual twice this year and we are planning on returning in about a month. The reason why is quite simple — we go there for lobster.

The lobster season begins on July 1st and runs until the end of February. We don’t like to catch them ourselves, but we sure like to eat them.

Where to Stay

The first time that we went to Mahahual, we went with a couple of friends. They stayed at the Nacional Beach Club and Bungalows and we stayed at another hotel located further down the Malecón. Our hotel was very nice, but it lacked the charm and laid back feel of the Nacional Beach Club. We found ourselves spending all of our time there with our friends and at the end of the night, we would take the long walk back to our boring hotel.

The National Beach Club has a rustic, hip, and comfortable vibe to it. The owners and staff are amazingly friendly and they go out of their way to make sure you have the best experience possible.

When we returned to Mahahual last week, we decided to learn from our previous mistake and we booked a bungalow (Akua) located right on the malecón for two nights. The cost was $1,650 pesos a night, or about $89.18 USD.

Our bungalow (shown below) was awesome and we were the envy of every tourist that walked by. At night, we sat on the front porch and watched the full moon rise above the Caribbean.

These accommodations are rústico meaning that they do not have televisions and not all of the rooms have air conditioning. Our bungalow did have air conditioning.

You can get more information about their rooms and rates by going to their website: Nacionalbeachclub.com

Our bungalow (Akua)

Our bungalow (Akua)

Even the sink in the bathroom was cool

Even the sink in the bathroom was cool


The best part was the view from the front porch

Where to Eat

The Nacional Beach Club has great restaurant and bar. Breakfast is included with the room and there are a variety of dishes to choose from. The portions are large, so be sure sure and bring your appetite.

Breakfast is included

Breakfast is included

Once you have digested breakfast, I would highly recommend having lunch here as well. Everything we have tried was excellent, so I don’t think you can go wrong.

If you are visiting during lobster season, the chef cooks an amazing grilled lobster. We had the lobster with the chef’s fresh cut, crispy fries. Don’t judge us for eating lobster with french fries — it was phenomenal.


Grilled lobster with butter and garlic accompanied by fresh cut fries

You can eat your meal in their well decorated dining room, out on the deck by the private pool, or down on the beach. We opted for the deck.


Our chosen spot to eat lunch, cool off, and enjoy some beverages

Beach Chairs and Bikes

When we arrived, the hotel set up some lounge chairs and an umbrella on the beach for us. They also supplied the beach towels.

For those of you who would like to explore the malecón on a bike, they are available at no extra charge.

Quick Tip

Before leaving town, you may want to buy some raw lobster tails to take with you. The best place to go is the Pescadería Sauri located right across the street from the hotel. This is where the restaurants buy their lobster. The price per gram varies, but it runs around 550 pesos per kilo (2.2 lbs).

You can buy a styrofoam cooler at the convenience store on the malecón for $120 pesos and a bag of ice for $20 pesos.


Let’s Wrap This Up

You wont find this hotel on Expedia. If you would like to stay here, you should contact the hotel directly through their web page.

Even if you don’t like lobster, Mahahual is a great place to go for snorkeling, fishing, and relaxation. If it is lobster season, you may even run into us hanging out the Nacional Beach Club.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

9 Comments on "Q-Roo Paul’s Pick: Nacional Beach Club and Bungalows in Mahahual"

  1. Robert & Judy Reese | July 24, 2016 at 11:16 am |

    We love Mahahual. We haven’t stayed in the bungalow, but will try next trip.

  2. Just spent 2 weeks in Mahahual in Dec 2016 and I’m missing it already. My family members have moved down there and they have an extra house I could buy. It is so so hard not to move down but the primary issue is my age. I still have to work. I have skills that are marketable as a remote employee managing projects, overseeing operations of online based businesses etc. (telecommuter) and not afraid to travel if necessary 1 or 2 times per month, which brings me to my question. Does anyone know of any companies hiring telecommuters down there?

  3. Your blogs make me miss the area back in the day. We used to go down in the mid 80’s before development struck. Playa del Carmen was dirt roads, one phone in the whole town, a few palapa bars, and 2 hotels. My cousin, who was notoriously prone to riding through town with his old ambulance siren blaring, had a small house there 3 blocks off the beach. Could walk up the beach a few 100 yrds. and have the beach/snorkeling to yourself, except for a few backpackers. Tulum was ruins, and that was it! Still love going back, but not the same as years past. Hell, I would still live there though! Maybe one day.

  4. Jose Gallo Gutierrez | March 5, 2017 at 8:11 pm |

    We recomend to visit in your next trip to Mahaual , Xkalac small fisherman town driving like 40 minuts the road begins at the gas station at the entrance of Mahaual , you will be able to see the must amazing reef in the world called banco Chinchorro

  5. You convinced me! I booked 2 bungalows at Nacional Beach Club for January. Its a surprise trip for our twin boys 16th Birthday. I wanted it to be more of an authentic Mexican experience for them. They are somewhat “citified” so this should be interesting and memorable for them. We are going to spend 1 night in Puerto Morelos, then to Playa Del Carmen for 2 nights (one being New Years Eve). We have stayed in Akumal and Puerto Morelos before and we really love the area! Anyway, thanks for the recommendation. I’m really looking forward to this trip!

  6. Melissa Flinn | January 17, 2018 at 1:06 pm |

    Paul, I just wanted to thank you and tell you how much we enjoyed the Nacional Beach Club & Bungalows! That place is Heaven on Earth and we had a perfect vacation there. Everything you said is true! The food, staff and accommodations are all wonderful. I cant wait to go back! I told the owner how I learned about the place and he spoke highly of you. Thanks a million!

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