If you're looking to experience a Mexican town without all the trappings of tourism, this is a perfect destination. The casa is more spaceous than it appears in the pictures - clean and comfortable with a well-stocked kitchen. The many windows let in plenty of light and fresh air with lovely views. It sits on a large grassy lot which is nicely landscaped. We loved the state-of-the-art chicken house and were sorry to have missed the new baby checks beginning to hatch just as we left. Our favorite spot was the little cobblestone patio with a flower garden in front and overlooking the lake. It's an easy walk down to the dock for swimming and basking. Our host, Yvon, was charming and very helpful - we would have been at a loss without him!
The town has numerous tiny stores that carry some household and canned goods, snacks and limited but very nice fresh produce. For any actual cooking, though, it's necessary to stock up in Chetumal. The only restaurant of note, Charales, is within easy walking distance from the casa and, fortunately, the food is excellent! The menu consists of light Mexican fare, a fish soup (that we didn't try but is said to be renowned), and a ceviche which is possibly the best I've had. The owner, Jose, speaks English fairly well and was very friendly and helpful to us as well.
There are lots of things to see and do within driving distance of Xul Ha. We opted not to rent a car but would recommend doing so. Depending on taxis or other transportation involved a fair bit of walking and they're not always available where you need them. The language barrier was also somewhat detrimental. I speak enough Spanish to get by in resort areas, but it was of little help here.
many thanks to Leonard for the great communication before our trip and to Yvon for providing us with a unique and very pleasant stay!