A Stay at Casa Blanca Lodge on Ascension Bay
by Jan S. Maizler
Casa Blanca- A Yucatan Fishing and Explorer's Paradise
The managing owner/partner of these two lodges -Casa Blanca and Playa Blanca- is Mr. Bobby Settles. Ho told me that the mission of both operations is to “provide comfortable accommodations, superior food and services, and quality fishing in a sustainable habitat that produces great action year after year.” After sampling both of these wonderful destinations, it’s clear that he has created two destinations that operate with “Swiss watch” efficiency in the midst of a Mayan wonderland.
Casa Blanca is the lodge that features the most structured dedicated fishing program. The facility is set along a stunning rocky beach point that contours into a protected sand beach where its 11 flats skiffs are moored. This venerable destination quickly stabilized any outlaw netting in the Biosphere by employing the locals and integrating them into their hotel and fishing operations.
Casa Blanca lies only five minutes by boat from their private landing strip. This lodge has a long sturdy pier that has multiple functions. It serves as the boat-based staging area for arriving and departing guests. This structure is also the landing point where both lodges receive their supplies and fuel brought in by large reliable pangas on a regular basis. The pier also doubles as a nighttime fishing hotspot for certain unnamed angling fanatics that can’t get enough fishing. Well-appointed and strong trucks transport guests and supplies to Playa Blanca which is about one-half hour to the south. Tom Hamilton is the manager in charge of the fishing, the boats, and all the logistics functions. He made it clear that his purpose was to make sure that all guests were pleased and happy.
I was impressed that the configuration of buildings at Casa Blanca mirrored their purposes so well. There are eleven rooms-all of them air conditioned- that are set conveniently close to the pier, boats, dining room, and the relaxing centralized palapa and patio. Maria is the manager in charge of hotel operations that govern all the services and amenities for traveling anglers. She emphasized that “no item or desire was too small...we want our anglers satisfied.”
The staff scores 100 per cent in how you’re treated. This begins with a delicious ice-cold margarita that is served to you as you board their pier from your transport panga. It continues with delicious breakfasts of local fresh fruit and dishes of your choice through dinners of fish, chicken, steak and lobster all the way to after dinner cigars and perhaps a massage to top off a day of great fishing under the shining tropical sun.
This wonderful facility also features a dedicated fishing program with 6 flats boats situated at the nearby Laguna Santa Rosa dock. This lodge has achieved its own beauty, which is desirably and distinctively different than its sister to the north. This facility has a beautifully spacious layout that features 7 rooms and the elite stand-alone Casa Redonda, 400 meters to the north. The entire property is bounded by a sugar sand beach lapped by the Caribbean Sea to the east and the primordially stunning Choc Mool Mayan ruins to the west.
Playa Blanca has unique appeal to anglers traveling with non-angling friends or spouses. The bountiful offerings of kayaks, snorkeling, eco-trekking, exploring the ruins, or simply relaxing makes each day at this destination a pleasurable adventure. When you arrive, you’ll be pleased to meet the delightful team of Max and Clara. Like their counterparts to the north, he handles fishing, fleet, and logistics while she handles hotel operations.
WHEN YOU GO:
You fly from your American city to Cancun. Guests making their own flight reservations must plan to arrive in Cancun no later than 2:00 p.m. and schedule their return flight from Cancun no earlier than 11 a.m. The lodge provides the transfer flights, which offer spectacular views and take less than an hour.
Casa Blanca Lodge
Telephone: 1-800-533-7299, 1-956-428-5666