The place that will better enhance your visit will probably be the Hotel/Holistic center Akalki. The Holistic side of things if you are not interested in spiritual things (I’m not), just means that you will be able to get good massages.
The hotel is also great for families with kids, there’s a lot of land around the property to explore and the placid lagoon is definitely less threatening than the sea shore. You have access to free kayaks, paddles, snorkeling gear etc… around the clock. I have witness over the years kids having a blast.
The restaurant is pretty good, considering where you are. The personnel very nice and sweet and a little slow, but not in a bad way, again, you’re not in downtown New York and that’s a good thing! Enjoy the slow pace.
The rooms are very nice, we stayed in a suite, built like a palafitte and featuring a double bed and two single ones. Every room is powered with solar energy, so you will have to charge your gadgets in the restaurant area. The room had a nice deck with a small ladder leading into the lagoon.
On our second day we rented the hotel boat for a tour of the lagoon. I highly recommend it. The water changes color in different areas and only with a power boat you can fully understand how beautiful the place really is. Make sure you visit the area around the ‘rapids’ and ask the boat pilot to get off the way and let you swim in peace and float in the current. We did that and at the end of November the water lilies were in full bloom in the water. You will swim surrounded by red mangroves, rare sweet water corals and orchids.
Bacalar is located about 300km south of Tulum and about 30km north east of Chetumal. The highway from Tulum is pretty new and usually low on traffic. I drove from Tulum and got there in less than 3 hours.
The Hotel Akalki is located 12.5km south of the town of Bacalar. If you’re driving from Tulum, you will see the first sign welcoming you to Bacalar, keep on driving on the Cancun Chetumal highway, you will see the other sign at the end of the town, at that point you will see the Akalki sign on the left of the highway, 5 minutes after leaving town. You will have to drive to the next ‘retorno’ (3rd one after leaving town). The ‘retorno’ is the passage that allows you a U-Turn on a Mexican highway