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Na Balam Beach Hotel
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Reviews (907)
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All reviewsbeach sideplunge poolplaya norteyoga retreatbeach bedsbeautiful beachbeachfront roompalm treesbest beach on the islandlaid backbeach locationhot waterhotel restaurantwhite sandlobby areaan umbrellaocean front
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615 - 620 of 907 reviews
Reviewed 29 December 2008

There's just something wonderful about waking up and having fresh fruit, fresh baked bread and hot coffee under the shade of a palapa, toes digging into the sand as you gaze across the beautiful blue green water. As soon as we stepped into the open registration area the stresses of the wedding preparations and the long flights and layovers just dissolved away. As we entered our spacious, uncluttered suite and fell onto the big comfy bed we knew we had picked a winner. I could go on for days about the virtues of this hotel. The staff, the room, the grounds, the food, the service - all were above-board and excellent. I would recommend this place for anyone wishing to abandon hustle and bustle and give themselves over to the most relaxation imaginable. The perfect place to escape to whatever the reason.

  • Stayed: October 2005, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JRed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2008

On 9/19/2008 I sent my credit card authorization form, with the stipulation to charge my depost and the rest would be due on completion of my stay. Luis Sanchez Rodriguez (Reservations Manager) then charged my card the entire amount. I then proceeded to attempt to rectify the situation to no avail. Luis would no longer return a call or an email...now that he had my money!

On 9/23/2008 I attempted to cancel my reservation Nabalam Hotel in Mexico. 14 days later I heard from Luis Sanchez Rodriguez (Sales and Reservations Manager) that the reservation would be canceled on the following Wednesday.

It has been close to 45 days since I last heard from anyone at Nabalam. They will no longer answer my emails or phone calls.

I have contacted Chase Bank to allow them to fix the situation and return my deposit from Nabalam!

AVOID NA BALAM AT ALL COSTS! THERE ARE TOO MANY GREAT HOTELS IN THE CARIBBEAN TO WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THAT!

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jdc00c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2008

I call to this hotel and telephone rings and rings several times and nobody answer after several times and then the call get through, I ask for reservations then I spoke with a gentleman Sanchez, and I asked some questions he was very rude, I gave him my email address and he never reply me so I think he is not the right person for the right position.For sure never gonna make any reservation in this hotel.
bye bye

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled with friends
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1  Thank albertoazcanio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2008

BOOKING AND CHECK-IN
We booked via email about 3 months in advance. Although we arrived before check-in time and did not expect our room to be ready, we were not able to check-in until 1 1/2 hours AFTER posted check-in time. The price we paid was pegged to the US$ so even though the dollar gained strength during our short stay versus the peso, the peso price was adjusted upward to match the US$ rate. We've visited many other countries and never experienced this.

BEACH & POOL
Although not the hotel's fault, the beach has suffered a lot of erosion. It does not help that the hotel charges a $3 fee per day to sit in one of their (uncomfortable) lounge chairs. At $161/night + tax, they should not nickel and dime. The pool did not seem to be cleaned regularly.

ROOM AMENITIES
Others mentioned low to non-existant water pressure in the showers. We had adequate to good water pressure so this was not an issue. Although we had the AC on high and the ceiling fan on, the room temperature was berable but never reached cool.

BED
The bed was extremely uncomfortable. It felt like we were sleeping on a mattress made of concrete. While I certainly do not expect to sleep on a Sheraton Sweet Sleeper or Hilton Suite Dreams bed at every place I stay, a basic, comfortable bed should not be too much to expect when on vacation.

STAFF
On the positive side, most of the staff (except the check-in clerk who acted indifferent) were nice and friendly. Chu-cho (Jesus) was very friendly. The food at the bar was good.

Overall, the hotel is not terrible or the worst I've stayed at but for the price they charge, they leave a lot to be desired. We would only consider coming back if the rate were to drop by at least 40% and they replaced the beds with something more comfortable.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ISPpilot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2008

We just returned 2 weeks ago from our wedding and stay at Na Balam. We're still missing the island AND the hotel. 22 of our guests stayed at the hotel too and all of them have told us that will be returning to Isla and specifically to NA BALAM. I've read the other reviews, the good and the bad. I don't think some of the negative reviews are fair. I'll just give you my opinion.

Sometimes Americans' expectations are set too high and are not very realistic. You are not in New York, get over it. It's like going to Mexico and complaining when the food doesn't taste like Taco Bell. Americans don't always know how to handle pure authenticity. So used to our caricatures of a country or custom.

I can tell you that the check out time is 12 noon and the check in time is 3pm so if the hotel is close to full occupancy then you may have to wait for your room to be cleaned/ available. If another room becomes available they will offer another room if possible. During our stay, our guests had reserved all the suites and almost all of the beachside rooms available, so "upgrades" and room changes weren't as much of an option. If your room is not available they'll offer you a beverage and offer to keep your bags while you go into town or hang out at the bar or the beach. For our guests, it wasn't a big deal.

Regarding any comments about the beach, chalk it up to life on an island. My, then, fiancé and I visited Isla another time during Hurricane Ike. Ike was passing by Cuba and because there is no land mass to break up the wind and high surf, the island and North Beach took a hit. There was a noticeable difference in just 3 weeks time between our "Ike visit" and our wedding. By November-December the beach will be back. That's just the way it is on an island.

If you're looking for a Westin or a Sheraton type of experience, then you're better off staying at a more "western" style hotel. (Better yet, just stay in Cancun. Maybe the beauty if Isla is not for you.) If you want something completely different, then Na Balam will be perfect. We looked into other hotels on the island including an all-inclusive hotel further down the island, but we wanted our guests to "get out" and explore the island and try the different types of cuisine. Staying in an eating the same type of food all weekend didn't appeal to us. The other great thing about Na Balam is the location. It's a short (and safe) walk into town for restaurants and shopping. This was very appealing to us. Our guest were able to take advantage of both North Beach (the best beach on the island) and downtown Isla, with all of its charm.

The food at the Zazil-Ha, the Na Balam hotel restaurant, was excellent. I highly recommend the Chicken Tacos. They're AWESOME. Breakfast was excellent too. The pancakes and omelets were a big hit with our crowd. So was the service. From the staff at the front desk to the bar, everyone was friendly and warm. They made us and all of our guests feel very welcome.

I didn't think the room prices were out of control. We'd looked at having our wedding on the island of St John, and several other Caribbean islands, where the same accommodations would cost 300 plus. We splurged for the master suite, but we would have been just as happy in one of the junior suites. For the experience that we all had, every penny was worth it. (BTW, Do yourself a favor and rent a golf cart. It's also worth it and SO much fun to drive). You can set it up for you at the front desk and have the golf cart brought to you on demand.

Just to touch on some other reviews I've read...
The beds.... are firm but I didn't think they were too hard and everybody I talked to slept very well. 3 guests remarked on how much they liked the beds and linen. Our linen was crisp and clean and I did not hear about any problems regarding the cleanliness of the rooms.
The hot water.. Some days the water was hot right way, other days it took a little bit longer. For us, living in Queens, New York, it didn't take any longer than it takes to heat up at home. Again, we heard no complaints from our guests.
The bugs... We stayed in the Master Suite. It has 2 decks/patios - one in the front off the living room area, with the jacuzzi, and a private sundeck off of the bathroom. We liked having both doors open during most of our stay so we could hear the ocean and feel the breeze. I saw a few ants on the deck during our week but nothing inside the room. We had the room "wide open" to the outdoors so I was surprised we didn't find an iguana inside. One of my friends left half-full café mocha on her desk and she came back to ants on the coffee lid several hours later. They seemed to be coming through a little hole between some stonework in the wall. The front desk gave her some bug spray to spray into the hole. She didn't see another bug all weekend. No one else had any problem with bugs. Every single room is different. I've stayed or visited rooms 2, 4, 10, 16, 17, 14, and 26 and 29 and I didn't see any bugs. And back to the more "western" hotels, if your hotel is on a beach or in a lush garden type setting, you're going to see SOME bugs even if you were at an American chain hotel. You have to just get over it.

Our families and friends are NOT accustomed to "roughing it". They all loved Na Balam. I admit I was worried about requiring people to "unplug" from the outside world for several days and staying a more natural environment. My sister, particularly, is used to 5 star accommodations and even she loved Na Balam. She is also a very involved in the presidential campaign so I was worried about her not being to be "in touch", but there is a TV lounge off of the front desk area, so we were able to watch the debate and watch CNN, Fox News, even the Today show. We felt like we could get news if we needed it.

If your guests want to bring their laptops the hotel does also have a Wireless Network.

I have been to Na Balam on several different occasions. I went with a friend for Girl's Weekend, I went by myself for Time Away, I've gone with my fiancé for Romantic Getaway, and we went for our wedding and honeymoon. Na Balam ALWAYS fit the bill and did not disappoint on any occasion. From the staff, to the food, to the rooms, to the wonderful in-house event planner, Patricia, our stays have always been something special.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled on business
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3  Thank klo68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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