There's been so much discussion of Ixchel in the last few days that I thought I'd try to write this out as we go, rather than try to remember everything after we get back. I'm on my smartphone, so I'll be keeping it as concise as possible.
We arrived yesterday on a half empty flight from Raleigh Duham. The plane landed at Cancun a half an hour ahead of schedule, and since we had no checked baggage and very good luck in the immigration line (we ended up at the front of it) we were through the line very quickly. We stopped to get cash at the Santander ATM, which worked very quickly and gave me a nice selection of large and small bills (a mix of 500s, 200s, 100s and 50s). Be aware, the screen that asks if you want to donate something is one of the few that don't have English translation. If I hadn't known I look for it, I probably would have just pressed "si." So, cash in hand, we ended up outside the terminal a good ten minutes ahead of our scheduled landing time.
We'd booked a transfer with Best Day (not the shuttle) and the guy at the desk was very apologetic that they didn't have the car waiting. In five minutes, they put us in a minibus that we had to ourselves, and took us straight to Gran Puerta. The ride took about 40 minutes.
We had excellent luck at the ferry, too - we got to the port at 3:50, and I bought tickets while my husband used the bathroom (the men's room at the airport outside of customs wasn't working) and we made the 4 o'clock ferry. Sitting up top felt like the perfect start to our vacation. The weather was gorgeous.
When we arrived in Isla, we got in the very fast moving cab line and were taken straight to Ixchel for 40 pesos.
I'd booked an ocean front room, and they put us in 210 in tower 2. The room is lovely - huge, with an enormous balcony. Yes, there are palm trees between us and the ocean in a few places, but I'm not complaining about having to look at palm trees in January. :) There are TVs in both rooms: a flat screen in the living room, and a tube tv with a flat screen in the bedroom. The kitchen is reasonably well equipped for six people, except that there are only two spoons of each size, and no pots, only pans. It's still more than enough for our needs, so we're very happy. We were settled in at Ixchel within two hours of landing, but as I said, we got very lucky with all of our timing.
After unpacking a little, we headed out to take a quick stroll on the beach at sunset, and then to go wander down Hidalgo to find some dinner. We're without a map (I forgot to order a mapchick map before we left, and Barlito's is closed on Sundays and Mondays, so we're flying blind at the moment) but I had my list of "Dining on Isla" from the Top Questions, so we picked Asia Caribe for our first dinner. My husband's chicken lo mein was enormous, and everything was very good. We stopped at a market for some cheese and crackers for me, and coke and milk for the room, and picked up a (very cheap!) bottle of Kahlua for my husband, and settled in for the night. We heard nothing from Chimbo's last night.
I can't post pictures from my smartphone, but I'll gladly email someone a picture of the room service menu (it's a white sheet in a plastic holder) so someone else can post it. PM me if you'd be willing to link it to a comment in this thread. I'll try to get a picture of the menu at the beach when we get out there today.
Oh, and the Wi-Fi works great. Anyone have any questions?