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First time in Isla (August)!

Montreal, Canada
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First time in Isla (August)!

Sooo, my boyfriend are I were supposed to go to Barcelona (but he doesn't have enough vacation days to go) and then Havana. But we changed our minds. I want a beach in front on my hotel because it's probably going to be too hot in August not to swim in the ocean!

I've been to Mexico before (Nuevo Vallarta) and the beach was OK, but not super beautiful. Are the beaches in Isla as amazing as on the pictures?! We're probably going to stay in the North end of the island.

And about the hotel, I'm looking at the Priviledge Aluxe Isla Mujeres. It's about $720 including flight + hotel from Montreal, which is good. But is the hotel any good? I've read reviews, but I'd like more info. Would you go there? There is also the Na-Balam hotel... Which one is better? We want a beachfront hotel.

I'm a bit concerned about the ferry thing. I know I have to get there via taxi/shuttle etc. But let's say my flight arrives in Cancun at about 3pm... At what time should I book my shuttle? 3:30? 4?

Last thing, is the island a bit peaceful? I'm not really a 'Cancun' type of girls, I like peace and I basically just want some time off with my boyfriend. We won't be clubbing, but we want to do a few excursions ('bird island' and turtle farms, among others).

Would Isla Mujeres be a good pick for us? I'm pretty sure it is, but I'm looking for more input. We will probably book our trip later this week/weekend.

Thanks so much! :)

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Mexico
Mexico
North America
Nuevo Vallarta
Nuevo Vallarta
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Montreal
Montreal
Quebec, Canada
Minneapolis...
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1. Re: First time in Isla (August)!

You'd love the island - I've only been there 5 times, so I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination! You'll find a lot of answers in the 'top questions' area to the right of the postings...

It's laid back, with a beautiful beach - and definitely NOT Cancun. You'll love the food, the people, and the pace. Or lack of pace, which is more precise...

The flight/hotel price sounds like quite a bargain. I've only toured that hotel, but many speak highly of it.

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Cancun
Cancun
Quintana Roo, Mexico
new york
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2. Re: First time in Isla (August)!

Isla Mujeres is very laid back and peaceful. It's not Cancun at all. So as far as that is concerned you'll be happy with it :)

You don't need to book your shuttle's pick up time; they'll pick you up, according to when your flight arrives. For instance, if you contact USA Transfers, you fill out your arrival time and they will meet your plane, allowing for luggage, immigration and customs, etc. So all you need to do is let them know your flight arrives at 3:00.

If you do a search on Privilege Aluxes you'll find that many posters from here have stayed there. The majority had a great time and were happy with the hotel.

As for Na Balam, if you look a bit down on the threads you'll see that someone asked that same question: Na Balam vs Privilege Aluxes. Two very different properties that are unfair and hard to compare, so it all depends on what you want: modern, up-to-date and new (PA) or tropical, more "authentic" Mexican, that is a bit older. Both have great beaches; some prefer Playa Norte by Na Balam, other prefer Playa Sol by PA. For true beach front it's Na Balam, because for PA you need to cross a small sand road to get to the beach. It's no biggie by any means; it's just a narrow sand road.

Here's the thread about the two hotels: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g150810-i360-k3753…

PA is a bit closer to Centro with all the shops and restaurants, but again, it's a negligable difference in distance. What it comes down to is what you prefer in hotels since the two are so very different in "personality."

Edited: 07 July 2010, 15:56
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Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Cancun
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Quintana Roo, Mexico
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USA Transfers
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Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Montreal, Canada
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3. Re: First time in Isla (August)!

Thanks so much for the answers!

I think I'll definitely book my first trip to Isla Mujeres this weekend!! :)

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Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
Quintana Roo, Mexico
new york
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4. Re: First time in Isla (August)!

I think you'll find Isla an amazing place. Beaches are very different from the Pacific side, which are also beautiful in their own way, but don't have the turqoise water and spun sugar sand like Isla beaches.

As DanCoz suggested, also check out the Top Questions on the upper right hand side. There's a lot of good info there about how to get to Isla, how to get around, activities, where to eat, etc. Have fun planning :)

Edited: 07 July 2010, 16:11
Healy, Alaska
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5. Re: First time in Isla (August)!

I think Isla would be a perfect fit for you!

I only have a few recommendations - do not do AI at the PA. Isla has fabulous food . . . so go and enjoy it!

Also, order today a map from the mapchick - it is a complete guide and will be a wonderful resource for your trip. www.cancunmap.com.

If you would like to see another great website - lots of photos and trip reports, go to www.islamujeres.info. Have fun! :)

Rio Grande, New...
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6. Re: First time in Isla (August)!

After 8 trips to Isla over 10 years, maybe I can help.

We have stayed at the Avalon, Ixchel Condos, and most recently at the Privileges Aluxes this January, and we loved the PA so much we booked it again for next year. I posted a full report on the hotel page, but for beach and pool relaxing it's wonderful. Na Balam is a whole different kind of place from what I've seen, more rustic and more "authentic" based on reviews.

As for getting to the ferry, we use Cancun Transfers (http://www.cancuntransfers.com/) and they take care of everything. We book and pay online, provide flight times and #'s, and the driver is waiting when we exit the airport. There are several such services that get good marks.

Definitely get a MapChick map! http://www.mapchick.com/

More information than you could ever use on one visit and the best $ you'll spend preparing for your trip.

If you have any other questions you think I could help with feel free to email me.

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Cancun
Cancun
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Montreal, Canada
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7. Re: First time in Isla (August)!

Thanks so much to everyone who answered! We've definitely made our choice and I believe we'll book the PA tonight, actually!

I probably won't be able to sleep because I'll be too excited, but ah well, still 48 days to go.

We won't be doing the AI because we definitely want to try a few restaurants while we're there. Plus, I've done the AI deal several times (and most likely will again), so I want something different.

I'm a vegetarian though (but eat milk/eggs/etc. not a vegan), will that be a problem? I usually find something to eat anyways (not picky). But if anyone has restaurants to suggest, it'd be great! In the meantime, I'll check the links on the right.

Whoohoo!

FLORIDA1
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8. Re: First time in Isla (August)!

Sunset Grill has been getting bad reviews lately, but I had a nice big salad there last year. Have fun!

Texas
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9. Re: First time in Isla (August)!

Keep in mind that Isla is only 1/2 mile wide so it only takes 10-15 minutes to walk across the whole island! So if the beach is windy in one spot its easy to find a calmer location without blowing sand.

You are well served above with advice to buy a Mapchick map--its more of a guide than a map.

As for food, here is a website reviewing Isla eateries:

http://www.hollyeats.com/IslaMujeres.htm

Vegetable lovers might appreciate Olivias mediterranean dishes, but for sure check out Cazuela M&J for brunch. They are moving next week to a better location up the street, with large windows for the breeze (or shut for AC) plus outside patio seating too. Not only tasty--but inexpensive too!

Be sure to check out the Orbitz site (click hotels only) to learn if their discount on PA is cheaper than you can locate. Be specific about the exact room you get--there are postings about that elsewhere on this board.

Montreal, Canada
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10. Re: First time in Isla (August)!

^^

Will check those restaurants and will also buy the Mapchick map, for sure!

Thanks for the recommendations :)

As for the PA, I looked on Orbitz but it's about 115$ more than on Expedia.ca.... I get a standard room + breakfast. Are the basic rooms OK?