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My Isla Trip Report

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Wisconsin
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My Isla Trip Report

We just returned from a great week spent on the island and at the Nautibeach condos. I am working on an "official" Nautibeach review which I will post in the review section, but I wanted to give a little trip report as well.

We had arranged for Fidel from Nautibeach to meet us at the ferry and help us with our luggage. We really didn't find anyone holding a sign with our name, and someone else approached us with a bike carrier. He said he worked with Fidel and would take us (free + tips) to the hotel. We were hot and anxious to get there, so that was fine with us! He put our luggage in his cart and we walked and followed him. It was about a 5 min walk to the hotel/condo from the ferry. Straight to Playa Norte!

Check in was quick (2 min tops) and we put on our suits and headed to the Sunset Grill on the beach for lunch with friends who came over from Cancun to meet us. Food at the Sunset is very good, service is very good - I would recommend it for dinner. A little pricey for lunch items, but they did have some salads and sandwiches.

Basically our week was filled with relaxation and food! Yeah! I'll do a mini review on the restuarants we ate at:

Bamboo-we rec'd very slow/poor service. Food was Ok for most of us, but found it to be well overpriced. One of the entrees (steak) was sent back because it really just looked awful! So, overall, not the best experience for us, although I understand it gets pretty good reviews overall

Amigos on Hidalgo - went for breakfast and had the pancakes with bacon ($5US). Good food and service.

Bucanneers on Hidalgo - had some late night tacos with beer. YUMMO. But again, very slow, slow, slow service. And when I say slow, I'm already taking in the "island time" factor. But, we were visiting and on vacation so we tried not to let it get to us too much.

Rolandi Pizza on Hidalgo - I'm not an Italian food person, but it was one of our best meals. Good portions and really cheap! All three of us ate (to our fill and then some) for under $40!!

Brisas Mexican on Hidalgo - we were persuaded to come and try their food. I will say, again, one of the better meals. Fish fillet Devil Style for me and it was great at $8.50US. Hubby had the steak and shrimp ($25US) and it was a HUGE serving! And very good. I was told the tequila fillet was also good. Even enjoyed a bit of desert, cheesecake was good. I will have to note that they did sneak the tip on the bill. Didn't clarify what it was, so when we asked if it was the tip or a tax, the waiter didn't want to say. We asked three times and declared it a tip. 10%. Just didnt' like the sneakiness of it, just tell us, we can handle it! :)

El Pueblito - rented a golf cart and this was on the south end of the island. Not bad for basic Mexican, but really, it was expensive as our Rolandi dinner!

Jax - had to stop for a burger for lunch. It was fine.

Buhos on Playa Norte-walked down from Nauti for lunch. Fajitas - standard issue and good. Moderate prices for a beach bar. Good service.

A cute Cuban restuarant on Hidalgo. Can't remember the name, but it was good. It was a different take experience for me and hubby, so I can't say we LOVED it, but it was just different. Service was very good. In fact, hubby didn't care for his soup and they never charged us for it, nor did they charge us for our seconds sodas! Bonus!

I know I'm missing a restuarant or two, but honestly, almost all of them had the same basic menu - some Mexican, fish fillets, shrimp.....and all at the same basic prices, which were, by the way, a nice welcome after the Cancun prices we are used to!

We did take the ferry over to Cancun one afternoon to check it out, and meet up with some friends later in downtown. Had a great time, and the ferry ride back was fuzzy at best!

We rented a golf cart for 24 hours at $55.00. Our hotel called around and couldnt' find one (?) but Javier at the front gate new a guy (!) right next to the hotel and he set us up for one for the day. We had a lot of fun driving around the island twice and stopping at some picturesque areas. I wish maybe we had rented it for a few days, but really, we could walk to most places from our condo, so it wasn't needed. Although, I will say that I was getting pretty lazy as the week went on, and even a 5 min walk sounded like a lot of work!

Didn't care for the shopping on the island. Everything is the same, as usual, but even more so from shop to shop on the island. A little more variety can be found in Cancun and that area. Oh well.....

Playa Norte was amazing. I know the sand has receeded quite a bit, but in front of the Nautibeach is was picture perfect as far as I was concerned. The water was crystal clear and you could walk out 200ft and still be only waste deep. Amazing.

We had the best weather. Sunny and fairly hot all week. I've never been so tan. It's been a while since we've had such nice weather on our trip. Coming home to (-40) windchill was not pleasant.

Again, we really just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves that week. We really didn't try to over exert ourselves too much - that's what vacation is all about!

If anyone has any specific questions, shoot away. And if I think of anything I missed and wanted to tell, I'll post it.

new york
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for Isla Mujeres
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1. Re: My Isla Trip Report

Great trip report and puts me in the mood to go, which I'm doing in about a month :) So glad you had a good time. I agree with your restaurant reviews; they are spot on!

Connecticut
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2. Re: My Isla Trip Report

Good trip report, getting ready now be there day after tomorrow.

Connecticut
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3. Re: My Isla Trip Report

Where on Playa Norte would you recommend hanging out for a day trip from Cancun? Just looking for beach, food and relaxation. Also, did you try Zazil Ha restaurant at Na Balam? Please reply.

Texas
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4. Re: My Isla Trip Report

Zsa Zsa, have a question returning to airport. We plan on using roundtrip service like van express to get to and from the ferry, if my flight is at 4:00p to return home, what time should I plan on leaving on the ferry from isla to cancun? And I guess I will have prior arrangements for the service to meet us at the ferry at a time given.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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5. Re: My Isla Trip Report

ZsaZsa - great trip report - glad you had a good time! I love reading the details. How I would love to have my toes in the sand looking out on that water - just incredible. :)

schoonerbob: Usually when you get the roundtrip service, THEY tell you when they want you there at the ferry terminal so that they can pick you up. We have used Best Day and they tell us when we have to be there, and they haven't been late - as well as they always get us to the airport in plenty of time. :)

Wisconsin
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137 reviews
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6. Re: My Isla Trip Report

Sunandsaid - did not try the restaurant at Na Balam. Unfortunately, just too many restaurants and not enough time! I used the Mapchick Map as a guide on place that were recommended - it's a great tool to have!

We had a great stretch of beach in front of the Nautibeach - then by the Avalon and bit further it was kind of gone. Past that, we went as far as Buho's for lunch and thougth the beach there was fine. I'd suggest right by Nautibeach as you have Sunset Grill and the bar, Sergios off on the corner, and Chi Chi's. But Buho's looked like more of a happening area the day we stopped in. It's a small area to cover, so I'd suggest you check them all out!

As far as transfers and time - we had Cancun Valet. Our fligth was 8:40pm. They scheduled to pick us up at the ferry in Cancun at 6pm. I was a little nervous that this was too late as they always say 3 hours ahead, but since this is their job, I trust them. We took the 5pm ferry from Isla, to be on the safe side. Cancun Valet was there at 5:45 and we made it to the airport in plenty of time. I'd trust the tranfer company as far as times go.

Wisconsin
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7. Re: My Isla Trip Report

Sorry sunandsail! I didn't mean to mistype your name. Yikes.

Yorktown, VA
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8. Re: My Isla Trip Report

What did you think of the rooms at Nautibeach? We will be travelling in early summer with a toddler and would love some feedback. Thanks for the great trip report too!

Wisconsin
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9. Re: My Isla Trip Report

We've never done the condo thing, and honestly, I wasn't too hip on having a kitchen in our room! We don't cook at home, why would I cook on vacation! :) However, it was nice. I'd say the rooms are a bit worn, but not without a little character to them. Small bathroom that had the toilet and shower, however the shower itself was good sized. Outside of that was a small (small) sink/vanity area. I was a little worried about that, but with two women in the room it was never a problem. We did utilize the counter space very well. The beds were a bit hard and I know I was OK with it, but hubby was getting a sore back. And oddly, no blanket. You just got a sheet. Just a sheet. So I had to use the bedspread - I just need a little weight on me to sleep, you know? Not huge bedrooms, but enough. Plenty of closet space, although I had wised for maybe a little more shelf or drawers (no drawers). Still, we made due and no real complaints. OH! There is a TV, but you can only use it to watch VHS or DVD tapes. No TV channels, so I did miss that a bit as I like to stay connected and have background noise sometimes.

I can't say how these compare to other condo/hotels on the island, but from the outside I'd say we felt we were at one of the nicest places.

Little Rock...
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10. Re: My Isla Trip Report

Thank you for all of the wonderful information :-) I leave for Isla in 45 days! Reading trip reports make me happy!