CasaSandra Boutique Hotel - Holbox Island, Quintana Roo, 77730, Mexico

By general consensus, the best restaurant on the island is at Casa Sandra hotel, where diners sip mojitos by candlelight and the Cuban chef visits each table to describe the specials. (Be sure to try Grandma's meatballs for 125 pesos.) Sandra Pérez Lozano, Casa Sandra's owner and a writer, came to Holbox looking for solitude close to nature and in 1999 built her two-story thatched-roof hotel with a full-length front porch and a second-story terrace to take in the ocean.

But the future of the island, she later wrote in an e-mail message, is difficult to predict. "Although we want it to remain in silence," she wrote, in Spanish, "the money and the hotel industry in this region are very powerful and could end this secret wonder of the Caribbean."

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