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“Avoid room 33--and the 'wait'staff”

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Na Balam Beach Hotel
Ranked #12 of 38 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Avoid room 33--and the 'wait'staff”
Reviewed 7 April 2013

Tonight is our last night's stay at Na Balam. Oh, how I wanted to depart tomorrow with fond memories of this place. The property is situated on, without a doubt, the prettiest beach on isla mujeres. But a quiet room with working amenities is more important to ensure a night of restful sleep. I wish that was in store for me tonight. But it is not. Unlike the previous four nights, I get to look forward to hearing the compressor on the ground floor (room 33 is up a precarious flight of wooden steps ) turn on every 7 minutes and run for 3 minutes. I get to listen to the uneven purr of the A/C unit and to the tap tap tap of the overhead fan. I had requested a room change yesterday but that would have relocated us to near the restaurant that features music on Saturday night until 2 am. And the waitstaff in the restaurant and on the beach--if you want to have to ask two or three times for something, or feel like you are being ignored and/or treated rudely, Na Balam is your kind of place. It must be mentioned, however, that our room was spotless and once housekeeping figured out we like more than one bar of soap and replenishment to footer toiletries, things were fine. To end on another positive note--the beach here is stunningly superb.

Room Tip: Avoid room 33
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Julie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2013

Love the small Island of Isla and noticed Na Balam on a day visit last year. Decided to visit and stay a few days last month. Arrived on the Island and decided to walk the 1/2 mile or so from the ferry terminal to Na Balam. If it's a very hot day and you dont feel like walking, rent a golf cart for the day or have one of the numerous guys with 3 wheeled cart-bikes take your luggage for you while you walk with them. Arrived a couple of hours prior to official check in but was greeted immediately and checked in with no trouble/no additional cost. Our Room (#13) happened to be right next to the wonderful beach by the Fenix Bar so location was convenient, but could get noisy during evening/night hours due to the partying/music at the Bar. No TV in our room, which was fine for us. May be an issue for others. For younger folks who come to party, this may be a perfect room location. It was not for us. However, the sound of the in room AC unit helped create a bit of white noise that cancelled some of the bar music out. the king sized bed wass VERY firm but thats how my wife and I like it..we both slept soundly through the entire night even with the music from the bar thumping. When we arrived my wife and I both noticed a LOT (as in..10-15) mosquito-like bugs in the room. They seemed to congregate mainly near the closet/safe area. Initially I didnt think they were mosquitos due to it being March and because I didnt see the usual black and white stripes on them, but they were the same size and based on the numerous small red itchy bumps I had the following morning(and some that I still have today over a week later), appears they were indeed mosquitos. And I had even applied bug repellant to myself just prior to going to bed. Silly me for not buying insecticide and spraying the room to kill them before going to bed. On day #2 my wife and I both noticed LOUD gurgling emanating from the shower and sink drains. A few minutes later we both witnessed water bubbling up from the shower drain and sink drain, and the bubbling up included water and old hair coming up from the drain into the sink and some sort of black debris coming up into the shower. We contacted the front desk who immediately sent a maintenance guy who stated that since it was late, nothing he could really do and it had to wait until morning. My wife contacted the front desk who stated that they would offer to move us to another room, but the hotel was completely booked...so we had no choice but to remain in the room and endure the loud gurgling and backed up drain issue all night. The next day the issue subsided as the front desk mentioned that they were aware of the issue happening previously and its due to sand clogging up the sewage system/drains. Perhaps a build up from previous guests, because we surely didnt haul in a ton of sand oursleves. I also noticed that almost each morning, Island Utility workers on motorcycles seemed to be working on the sewage system under the manhole cover in the street just outside the hotel..so perhaps that had something to do with the issue. Whatever the root cause, it was not a pleasant experience to have the drain backing up like that.

All in all, our overall trip was very good. Location of the hotel itself is excellent. I'd suggest being on the lookout for the mosquitos and making sure you select your room location within the hotel wisely. While we will repeat our visit to the Island, we will opt to check airbnb for one of the many private villas available on the island. Many are like small apartments with kitchens, etc for the same price as NaBalam. Location wont be directly on this near perfect beach, but the beauty of Isla is everything is within a few minutes golf cart ride away.

Room Tip: Room #13 is within just a few feet of the beach bar (Fenix) located next door. Depending on your pre...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank RB954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2013

We've gone to NaBalam two years in a row for our wonderful yearly yoga retreat. Last year was very good plus, this year was more than excellent! The staff at NaBalam, especially Adely Vega, group sales manager, the restaurant managers, Romeo and David, Chef Jorma, and all the staff were present to our every need and whim. The yoga palapas were the perfect practice studios, and who can beat Playa Norte for warm, clear waters and lounging beds for taking a siesta mid-day? We really appreciate the ambience NaBalam offers, as well as the varied offerings of walk-to downtown Isla Mujeres for nighttime activities. We like the whole package!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank yoginiliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2013

The location is pretty hard to beat, on the edge of the island snaking across the idyllic white beaches and turquoise waters - opposite the in-escable Cancun. However, be very careful which bit of the hotel you book. Poolside rooms are like being in a cave - dark and damp without the sound and sight of the ocean. Ocean rooms gorgeous. Service poor, slow and sometimes rude. Shame because it could be great they just need to get rid of the annex and concentrate on training the staff. Isla Mujeres village is close by -- cute and kitsch with some fun bars.

Room Tip: Chose an ocean room -- not poolside.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank beccak8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 27 March 2013 via mobile

After 5 days stay, and few others hotels we checked during that time, i can surely say- it is one of the best hotel in isla if the the best of them: very calm athmosphere, very nice and clean rooms (espacially the suites which are awesome) the staff are very friendly and helpfull, it is located in perfect location - at the best part of the north beach, and the prices are fair. In short: dont miss it!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Alon-Barel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver
Level Contributor
42 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2013

Just returned from our stay here on Isla Mujeres and are absolutely in love with this hotel! We had a beachfront room for the first three nights of our stay and were blown away by the view when we strolled the twenty feet out of our back door. It is one of the few places I've stayed where the pictures on the website are dead on for the view you actually get - it was breathtaking. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful both at the front desk and at the restaurant and the night club. We had requested a golf cart and it was ready and waiting for us when we arrived. The location was outstanding to both relax on the beach or take a quick walk or golf cart drive a couple of blocks to the town and get to shop, eat, etc. It was incredibly safe and fun for my two teen age step children, who commented that they really liked the fact they didn't have access to much technology while there because they weren't tempted to hang out in the room. They were able to enjoy the beach and town attractions and keep themselves plenty busy. Our last night we moved to a pool side room, which was also pleasant and relaxing. The jacuzzi was just steps away and it was a nice a sheltered place from the wind that picked up from the north on the last day of our stay. The rooms themselves are pretty simple, but are very clean and relaxing. We certainly weren't there to hang out in the room, so it served its purpose well for us. We also had a chance to enjoy the yoga class that was offered, live music at the Phoenix, and the beach fun. Would absolutely stay here again and recommend it to anyone heading to Mexico. Definitely try to get a beach front room - the upgrade is well worth the view and convenience location to the beach. Thank you for a wonderful stay!!!!

Room Tip: Beach front room!
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Amy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Traverse City, Michigan
1 review
Reviewed 22 March 2013

What a treat we were able to experience. Every morning we attended the 9:00 class with Lorrie and our practice took on a new understanding. I have been teaching yoga for two years now and felt blessed to practice under such a remarkable teacher. It was like I was coming home again. Physically stronger, mentally clearer, and spiritually aware the best compliment to our traveling. She has a grounding and inspiring presence and no matter what your level is be sure to experience her classes while on the island. Thank you again. We will be back.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lara L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Na Balam Beach Hotel

Property: Na Balam Beach Hotel
Address: Calle Zazil Ha 118 | Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres 77400, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Isla Mujeres
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Isla Mujeres
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Mujeres
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Na Balam Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The love for nature, an admiration to the Mayan culture and a concern for holistic wellness are reflected in this haven of peace and serenity. Na Balam offers you a place to enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean sea and its sunsets with personalized services and attention. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Na Balam Beach
Na Balam Beach Isla Mujeres

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