Riviera Maya Reopening: Hotel Akumal Caribe / Lol-Ha Restaurant

(Photo credit: Jane Rodriguez-Hasty)

Since the Riviera Maya started reopening following the COVID-19 shutdown, Linda and I have been trying to do what we can to help local businesses get the word out that they’re open and to show people outside of Mexico what to expect if they choose to visit in the near future.

For you folks who only follow us to read articles related to the legalities and logistics of moving to Mexico, hang in there — we’ll be back to writing those shortly.

Today’s post is about a family-owned, boutique hotel called Hotel Akumal Caribe and their restaurant, Lol-Ha. This place has a rich history dating back to the 80’s.

Lol Ha is like our Cheers. It has been our regular hangout since we moved to the area five years ago and we were even visiting it as tourists each time we traveled to the area for 10 years before that. In fact, if you go there enough, there’s a strong chance that you’re going to run into us at some point.

After all this time, the folks who work there are more like family to us and that’s why we chose this specific location to write about.


Hotel Akumal Caribe and Lol-Ha Restaurant are located right on Akumal Bay.

As I customarily do, I have taken the liberty of including an interactive map for those folks who are unfamiliar with the area. You can keep zooming out until something looks familiar.

Lol-Ha Restaurant

Lol-Ha is one of our favorite restaurants in the Riviera Maya. They’re open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner and they have a good variety of dishes to choose from.

Here are some pics we snapped of a few our favorite dishes — which makes sense because it would be kind of strange if we were taking pictures of other people’s food.

Shrimp Diablo: shrimp stuffed with goat cheese and serrano chili, wrapped with bacon, on a bed of fetuccini alfredo.

Chili Relleno with Cheese: cheese stuffed poblano pepper, wrapped in egg batter and topped with a ranchera sauce.

Grilled Pork Chop: This is normally served with mashed potatoes and apple chutney, but I requested fries.

Eggs Benedict with Salmon: Two poached eggs and smoked salmon placed on a toasted English muffin and bathed in hollandaise sauce. You can get Canadian bacon instead of salmon. This is my favorite breakfast.

Philly Steak Sandwich: Rib eye steak and onions with your choice of cheese.

Coconut Shrimp: Not much description needed on this one. They’re so tasty!

You’ll need something to wash all the food down. Margaritas are a popular choice here!

The main dining area is an open air palapa with easy access to the beach.

(Photo credit: Jane Rodriguez-Hasty)

You’ll also find a bar under the palapa with some very attentive and friendly bartenders.

(Photo credit: Jane Rodriguez-Hasty)

Hotel Akumal Caribe

The owner was gracious enough to invite us to stay at the hotel so we could tell you folks more about that part of the property.

(Photo credit: Jane Rodriguez-Hasty)

There are a couple of options when you book here. You can stay in the three story hotel shown below, like we did. or in one of the bungalow style rooms scattered around the property (second photo below). The bungalows are pet-friendly.

Here are a couple of pics of our room. It was nice and was equipped with a stove, refrigerator and microwave.

There were two porch areas where we spent a lot of our time relaxing and enjoying the gentle breeze blowing off of the Caribbean.

The property is beautiful and very well-maintained. There are numerous palapas around if you need a break from the sun.

There’s also a nice pool on the property that has a great view of the beach.

The Akumal Dive Center

There’s a dive shop on the property that offers different tours and excursions. Linda and our friend booked a tour to snorkel out by the reef. They said there was plenty to see, including a few sea turtles, and that they had a great time.

Preventative Measures

Whether you’re going to the hotel or restaurant, expect to have your temperature taken and given hand gel before you’ll be allowed on the property. This is just one of many health protocols that the owner has adopted to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. You’ll probably notice some others as you look through the photos.

(Photo credit: Jane Rodriguez-Hasty)

Let’s Wrap This Up

We really enjoyed our stay at the hotel. At night, we would just sit out on our patio drinking wine, watching the moonlight reflect on the water of the bay and listening to the gentle sound of the breeze through the palm trees. It was so quiet and peaceful that it reminded us of how the whole area was when we first fell in love with it 15 years ago.

For more information about either the hotel or the restaurant, check out their official website: https://hotelakumalcaribe.com/

Well, that’s it for today. After looking at all of these food pictures from Lol-Ha, I’ve already told Linda that that’s where I want to go for dinner.

Stay safe and healthy. Hasta Luego. 

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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.

46 Comments on "Riviera Maya Reopening: Hotel Akumal Caribe / Lol-Ha Restaurant"

  1. Cindy Waters | July 8, 2020 at 1:47 pm |

    Thank you for the update. We have a trip planned for August. I read on one of the resort websites that are requesting the use of ONLY the Peso, is this correct?

    • Most businesses accept dollars but they’ll give you a bad exchange rate. They’re still fine to use for tips or at large chain grocery stores like Chedraui or Soriana. They actually give a good exchange rate, so you’ll see locals paying with dollars there quite often.

  2. Paris Waddill | July 8, 2020 at 1:58 pm |

    Thanks for the update, Paul! We haven’t been down to our place at Tao since December-January. I proposed to Jeanette at the palm tree on the beach at Friday happy hour during our last trip. So, it’s great to see Lol-ha still plugging along!

    Also, during one of our early trips down, we stayed at the Akumal-Caribe bungalows. We definitely echo your sentiments. It’s an ideal location, well-maintained, and an excellent spot to either hunker down and enjoy Akumal or as a home base for exploring the whole area.

    Hope to see you all soon!

    • Oh how nice, congratulations! That has got to be the most photographed palm tree in Akumal! They were closed for a couple of months, so we are so glad they are open again. Such a great place 🙂

  3. Wendy S Savaske | July 8, 2020 at 2:00 pm |

    Thank you! I look forward to coming back and staying.

  4. I just returned from the Iberostar Maya in Puerto Morales after being there a week. Everything was wonderful! Everybody that works there wears a mask and also a shield that covers their whole face. They are constantly giving you hand sanitizer and Continually wiping down chairs and tables even the pool chairs. I think Tennessee should take lessons from Mexico. They’ve got it down pat regarding what they are doing to prevent the virus! Service was excellent.

    • Yes, we have been impressed with the measures that are being taken in the area! Good to know about the Iberostar, we have not been there. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Sara Grynspan | July 8, 2020 at 2:09 pm |

    Thank you for the update. We’ve been longing to go back and rekindle our love of this part of Mexico. As Canadians, we enjoy your frequent emails about Riviera Maya and it’s surroundings.

  6. Rita Linde | July 8, 2020 at 2:26 pm |

    You are amazing! I love reading your posts and the food in this one made me so hungry for Mexico.

    • So glad you enjoyed it! It was hard to work on this and keep looking at those photos, it made me so hungry 😉

  7. I wanted to say you are making me homesick, but I don’t live there (yet!). Brings back fond memories!

  8. Thanks for the awesome review! This place has been on our bucket list for quite some time. Is the snorkling still good?

    • Thomas Hunt | July 9, 2020 at 7:34 am |

      Currently at Caribe. Been here many times. Water is flat this morning. After breakfast a long snorkel.

  9. Camille Madryga | July 8, 2020 at 3:02 pm |

    I can appreciate you wanting to enjoy life at your permanent home location..and hopefully you are taking all necessary precautions to stay safe from Covid 19. Where I have an issue with your recent posts…during this time of pandemic, is how you use these posts to encourage tourism at this time when no one should be risking their health to travel to areas where Covid 19 is rampant. Right now the Yucatan is still at phase 2 in its recovery. And a shaky phase 2 it is.
    Recommending places to stay….restaurants to eat at and local attractions to see is not conducive to the flattening of the curve.

    • Camille, I agree.!!!

      Thought based on the post title there would be more info on staying safe and what precautions are taking place, in Mexico, rather than an unsolicited add for a resort.
      USA and Mexico are both in big trouble and being nieve about this virus doesn’t help.

      As a senior who stays in Mexico for 2-3 months. I disagree with his current posting.

      Be kind, be calm, be safe.

    • Hi Camille,

      I know that the topic of reopening certain areas of Mexico — or any country for that matter — is a controversial one these days.

      In the case of Quintana Roo, that decision has been made by the government, which includes our state health officials, in coordination with businesses in the state. That reopening has been occurring very slowly and involves the implementation of numerous health protocols as well as frequent inspections to ensure compliance. Tourists have been arriving to the area since June 8th. In other words, that ship has sailed.

      I have been a member of this community for about five years now and I care about the people who live and work here. The popularity and reach of this blog and our Facebook page, gives us a unique and powerful way to help them by merely sharing information about what’s been going on the area. At the same time, we’re adding our recommendations for people who choose to visit — whether that’s in the near future, or many months down the line when they feel safer.

      The alternative to this is for to do nothing at all — in spite of having the means to help. I would simply cross my arms and become a silent observer. To me, that would be the morale equivalent of someone refusing to extend their arm to help a drowning friend, simply because they didn’t approve of their friend’s choice to swim there in the first place.

      That’s not who I am. That alternative would be contrary to my core values, and frankly, I would feel that I was betraying both my community and myself. I realize that not everyone shares my opinions on the matter, and I can respect that.

      Thanks for following the blog and for taking the time to comment. Stay safe and healthy.


  10. Lewis Williams | July 8, 2020 at 3:13 pm |

    Great review. Can’t wait to get back to the Yucatan once things level out a bit.. Food looks awesome!

  11. Lane Norman Harris | July 8, 2020 at 4:12 pm |

    My favorite hotel and cannot wait to get back again It is like going home.

  12. Donna Seifter | July 8, 2020 at 5:07 pm |

    I read something about the residents of Playa Del Carmen not being allowed on the beach due to Covid
    but tourists are. Is this going on?

    • To keep the spread of COVID-19 down, the beaches are only open to tourists at this time; however, locals can go if they go as a guest of a hotel. It’s a sacrifice people are making to restart the economy while keeping people safe at the same time.

  13. Meg Telligmsn | July 8, 2020 at 5:16 pm |

    My son and daughter-in-law, Jeff and Cristina Davidson, enjoy this place and yours and Linda’s company so much. I enjoy all of your posts!

    • They are just the best!!! We miss them so much when they are not here. Thank you for following us and I’m glad we were able to at least meet virtually. Maybe one day we will meet in person 🙂

  14. Thanks Paul for another great review. I have always enjoyed going to Akumal but never stayed in this hotel. I will definitely try it in the future. I wrote you a couple of years ago. I am retired LASD and have lived in Cancun for almost 8 years now, and am loving it. Stay safe and stay healthy! Hopefully we can meet sometime, especially on your next trip to Cancun! Take care my friend.

  15. Fran Clark-Fiorentino | July 8, 2020 at 7:25 pm |

    WOW!! The Hotel Akumal looks absolutely awesome! The entire place is very inviting from the restaurant to the pool to the rooms. I would definitely give them a 5-Star Rating! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Linda Spak | July 8, 2020 at 7:44 pm |

    We love Hotel Akumal Caribe and LolHa and have stayed there many times. Loved meeting you and Linda in November 2019 at LolHa.

  17. I did have a question. Parking and security. Is it safe and is parking nearby?

    • They have their own parking on the property. Just go to the gate shown in the picture where the employee is taking the customer’s temperature, and tell them you are going to the restaurant. It’s free and very safe.

  18. Kelly Roscoe | July 8, 2020 at 8:56 pm |

    The octopus tostada are over the top amazing and I can’t wait to get back there to have some!

    Salud to you and Linda.

    Kelly and Ed

  19. Allan Levene | July 9, 2020 at 7:29 am |

    I really like your articles, but I spent two weeks in Yucatan getting back about three weeks ago. I have no plans to return in the near future as it’s too risky As much as I’d like to return and see friends… now is not the time.

    Mexico is nowhere near close to normal so if you visit your experience will not be as you remember and I strongly suggest buying medical insurance if you insist on going. Make sure it covers coronavirus.

  20. We have been making day trips to Akumal from Playa del Carmen for 20 years and always eat at this restaurant and enjoy the beach and turtle watching. Always clean, quiet beach with snorkeling available. Love Mexico but undecided about returning with guests in September. Any advice? Thanks!

  21. Oh for heaven’s sake — Camille and Ed: unclutch your pearls.

    Paul specifically states in his intro, “to show people outside of Mexico what to expect **if they choose to visit** in the near future (emphasis mine).

    Some people in the area are still leaving their houses, right? Mentioning local businesses he and his wife care about and want to succeed is hardly irresponsible: we are all individually responsible for our own behavior and choices.

    Moreover, I think a great majority of his reading audience is still geographically far away and is taking great daydreaming / droolicious pleasure in the pics and narrative (count me among that party).

    To Paul: Fabulous post, thank you for sharing! The food pics especially were sweet, sweet torture to peruse. All the best to you and your missus.

  22. Thank you Paul. We live up in Cancun, in town, and really appreciated seeing the beach pictures and that cute restaurant where we have eaten before. Never tried that hotel but I will remember it-looks good. Our beaches up here are closed to locals during the phase 2 reopening so it was fun to read your article

  23. Renee Campion | July 10, 2020 at 8:53 am |

    We are staying here in November for the first time. We go to Lol Ha every time we travel to the Riviera Maya. It is the best! It was great reading this article since i just picked the hotel based on reviews and location. Can’t wait to go!

  24. I noticed you had a arm band on. So do they charge you to come in to Akumal? Is it for the beach?

    • Good eye. That was the band for the hotel because we stayed there a couple of nights. The beaches are closed to the general public at the moment unless you go to a hotel. At this particular location, you can visit the restaurant and as long as you consume something, you won’t have any issues. They also rent lounge chairs etc.

  25. Thank you for your posts and showing places in your area of Mexico. When people ask questions about moving to Mexico or living in Mexico, I usually send them a link to one of your articles. My friend and I had planned a month long trip in your area, but decided to stay where we live in San Felipe, Baja California when the pandemic hit. Now, when we do decide to visit, we will know where to stay. I love all the photos.

    I also send people who tell me they want to learn Spanish to your Spanish videos. They are very easy to comprehend. I took six years of Spanish in school and didn’t really speak it until I did five weeks of immersion in Ensenada with Baja Teachers Yoli and Edith (you can find them on Facebook – or as people say it here “El Face”). My 69 year old mother even came to learn and did very well for someone who never spoke Spanish. We lived with Claudia’s lovely Mexican family and even though my mom didn’t speak Spanish and Claudia didn’t speak English, they got along very well and would spend hours “talking”. I still have learned even more with your Spanish videos.

    All the bars, restaurants, and hotels here that have survived the economic impact to their businesses have the safety precautions in place and are ready to open. However, they are waiting on government approval. Many retirees here believe that they already had COVID-19 when they returned from the USA after visiting family at Christmas time (we are only 2 hours from the border). They had all the same symptoms and it spread all over this town back then. There is a doctor here doing antibody tests so we can verify if we have already had it. I think the ones with the antibodies are the people who will be more likely to go back to supporting the economy.

    I was going to write about the horrible impacts to all the people here who are out of work and/or losing their businesses, but it is just too depressing. I am just very fortunate to be able to help some families survive these tough times. I’m saving a lot of money by not going out like I used to.

  26. wow
    TNX for share it
    delicious food and amazing place

  27. I’m surprised how many are commenting about recently traveling to, or still planning to travel to Mexico. We have a dead uncle, one on a ventilator and my mother in law sick with what is assumed to be Covid in this region. The situation pre-covid was grim. I don’t know if it’s the American inability to gauge the climate in terms of the crime/corruption and general dysfunction, or just the arrogance in assuming it will never happen to them. We don’t come to visit family anymore and refuse to bring our children at all. Everything is fine in Mexico, until it isn’t. All people are allowed to make those decisions where they want to live and travel to. I just know too much that I will never feel comfortable enough to return until much change takes place. Many relatives shot point blank, kidnapped…now I know too much to enjoy. I pray for the healing of the country because it’s a beautiful country and my heart is always there. We will continue to donate to organizations in the area and send our money back home to add to the local economy. But I’ll keep my feet firmly planted in the U.S for now.

  28. Thank you! I appreciate learning about Akumal Bay. I am interested in real estate to purchase in the near future.

  29. Erin Crawford | July 21, 2020 at 5:58 am |

    Love your blog and dreaming about the possibility of my husband and I retiring to Mexico in 7 1/2 years or so.

    When visiting MX, we always stay at an all-inclusive but seeing this adorable, beautiful hotel, thinking about a smaller venue next time. Rates for hotel are great but just wanted to get an idea on the food and drink as that is where we would spend the most money and believe we get our value from the all-inclusive. No prices on menu so hoping you can give an average cost for breakfast/ lunch/dinner and typical price for say a beer and a margarita. I’ll extrapolate from there 🙂

    You guys are living my dream. Thanks for all the insight!

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