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.