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“Honeymoon in na balam”

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Na Balam Beach Hotel
Ranked #12 of 38 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
ingolstadt
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Honeymoon in na balam”
Reviewed 28 January 2011

We had a great time here. The hotel is quiet and has a really nice location at the reputedly best beach on the island. Our room was very stylish and perfectly suited our needs, even. The pillows were not very good, though. Helpful staff and good restaurant with great on-beach service. Be carefoul with moscuitos!!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sshebest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Navesink, New Jersey
Level Contributor
51 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2011

We stayed at Na Balam from January 6 - 10. We made arrangements (confirmed with the management TWICE) to have a driver waiting for us at the Cancun airport to take us to the ferry at Puerto Morales. There was no driver, we spent several hours calling the hotel, waiting for a driver who never arrived, getting stopped by the police when we boarded a 'pirate' cab, until finally getting a city authorized driver and eventually reaching our destination in the late afternoon, rather than several hours earlier than planned. When I asked the manager "How could this happen"? She replied "I don't know". No explanation, no apology, almost an entire day wasted. This was the beginning of a bad vacation. Housekeeping was friendly, as was the chef, who had been made aware that I was following a special diet after surgery. He went out of his way to accommodate this. The servers were surly, the woman at the bar pouted whenever a guest approached--and there were few guests during our stay, and the front desk staff was quite uncaring and not at all helpful. The highlight of our stay was a massage by the wonderful Marina. I had a 'stress reduction massage' and she worked magic. Unfortunately, the stress from the hotel staff continued. The area was badly lit at night, many tripping hazards until guests memorized the holes and bumps on the paths, the wi-fi palapa was quite buggy. One expects insects in Mexico, but a bug zapper in that small area would have been quite helpful. We were covered with bug bites after a short evening spent checking our email. Our airline contacted us and cautioned that another snowstorm was expected during the day we were scheduled to leave, they suggested that we make alternate plans. We changed our reservations and planned to leave one day early. We immediately contacted the front desk about our change of plans and were told that no refund would be forthcoming from our prepaid holiday. Upon our return home, I called the general manager who promised that she would contact Expedia to arrange for a refund. She never did. I had to follow up with Expedia, and THEY had trouble contacting anyone in management. We are now home for almost three weeks and the refund was only finalized today, thanks entirely to the customer service staff at Expedia.

All in all, this is an overpriced hotel that has seen better days; it is in need of repair and an entirely new management staff. We love Isla Mujeres, have been there before and will return again. There are many hotels on this small island. We will try another one next time, but we will never return to Na Balam.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Florie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Isla Mujeres hotels

Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2011

If you would like to read more recent reviews, please go to Na Balam Beach Hotel on Trip Advisor.

For some reason, Trip Advisor has not responded to a suggestion to consolidate both Na Balam and Na Balam Beach Hotel reviews.

I would recommend this hotel with some reservation. It really has to do with your own level of comfort and what it is that you like to do on your vacation. We actually stayed there several years ago (but the TA "date of stay" doesn't go that far back. I've been by in more recent years and it does appear to need some sprucing up. The location on Playa Norte is prime. Convenient to town. Their current prices for rooms reflect what Na Balam once represented when it first opened. They need to recognize that some of the money has to be put back into their facility. Without doing so, I would say that Na Balam Beach Hotel is overpriced.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank spikelutman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Irvington, New York
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2011

This was our second stay at Na Balam, and after reading the negative reviews I was somewhat apprehensive. After staying in one of the ocean-view, second-floor rooms for six nights, here are the facts: The room was spacious, immaculately clean, and very pleasant, with whitewashed walls, white cotton curtains, tile floor, ample storage in dark wood dressers and closet. The king-size bed was comfortable and the bathroom was fine. No bedbugs or noise. Also no telephone, TV, or Internet in room. That's the reason to stay there! And for the yoga. The yoga classes (not free, but you can can buy a 5- or 10-class pack) were excellent with top-notch teachers... as good as the classes at Kripalu, and that's saying a lot. All the beachside upstairs rooms have balconies with lounge chairs and the downstairs rooms have little beach areas with chaises. Na Balam is on one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, with calm, shallow water, and it's an easy walk to town....perfect location. The people at the reception desk were friendly, helpful and low-key. We did hear Americans demanding, complaining, threatening, being loud and rude. That is our problem, not theirs. And after observing a lot of Americans around town for a week, I can understand why Mexicans may have difficulties with us. This was my third trip to Isla Mujeres in 30 years, and yes, it's changed a lot. We got a good deal on the hotel at $128 a night, but in general the region is not cheap any more. It's full of all kinds of foreigners as well as locals trying to make a buck. It was hard to find Mexican food among all the steak and seafood houses and places serving everything from Thai to Turkish, and we ended up mostly eating at the loncherias in front of the mercado. The hotel restaurant was nice, but overpriced, for one special meal. Both my husband and I wished that Na Balam would offer more opportunities for social interaction with other guests. We would welcome a breakfast buffet under a palapa and a cocktail hour in the new beach bar they were just finishing as we left. We will be back.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ellens25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2011

We stayed at the Na Balam for a week in the second week of January. Upon arrival we immediately regretted having paid in advance for our week as the hotel is nothing like the website describes.

First of all the positives - the location is perfect - the beach is beautiful, perfect white sand, the clearest water. Ideal for kids if you have any as it is only waist deep for nearly 100 metres offshore. It is a much better location than the Secreto or the Playa which are both around the corner next door to one another and have rocks in front of them and no direct access to swimming.
The hotel is low-rise and low impact, unlike the rest of Isla Mujeres which is a long way from the chilled out place it was 10 years ago and which is slowly being ruined by rampant unchecked and very ugly and downmarket development. The hotel is only 5 minutes walk to the main street so very convenient.
The staff were friendly when spoken to, although they never went the extra mile and despite there being plenty of staff hanging around chatting to each other you always had to go to the bar to get a drink when on the beach etc so for this alone I have rated them poor.
The hotel itself has really seen better days and is in dire need of a refurb, everywhere you look there is either paint peeling or if made of metal then weeping rust or generally shabby and run down. We had a junior suite with a plunge pool which was a waste of money as the pool, although between the room and the beach, has no access direct to the beach and the wooden chairs have no cushions so you can't sit on them for long in any comfort so its just not a place to hang out.
On the beach there are just half a dozen doublesize sunbeds, and a few plastic sunloungers although again these don't even have cushions. This is the kind of thing I mean when I say it is more like a backpacker place than a hotel. Noone is happy to spend $300 a night to sit on plastic sunloungers without cushions, especially when if you want a drink when you have to go and serve yourself at the bar!!
Overall this is the main thing I have to say, this hotel is a $80-100 hotel/motel at best but markets itself as an upmarket boutique hotel - if like us you buy into this then you will be very disappointed.
I would also add that Isla Mujeres has got really tacky and is full of singlet wearing loud americans getting drunk, so if you have any class then I would skip it and go down to stay in Tulum. If you do find yourself there then I can thoroughly recommend an Italia restaurant called Portofino which was fantastic and just as good as the real Portofino.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Helisimon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newark, Delaware
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2011

My husband and I and our two children, ages 8 and 11, spent four nights at Na Balam after five nights at Los Bucaneros (an Isla Mujeres hotel in the middle of town). We loved the relative quiet (though friends staying in another part of the hotel did complain of barking dogs in the night), the cleanliness, the lush setting. We had a poolside room (simply furnished, but spacious and comfortable), and since the poolside rooms were cheaper, we weren't expecting too much, but I actually would now recommend the sheltered poolside site (across the street from the beachfront part of the hotel). We didn't miss the TV and internet one bit (there's a palapa near the reception desk with free wireless access and a nice TV area), but free purified water would truly have been a welcome touch (our first hotel provided this). I enjoyed the yoga classes but was irritated to learn that they were not free ($12 US a class), despite what I'd read on the website. We were not inspired by the restaurant menu, so we took our meals elsewhere. I agree with other reviewers that the hotel is overpriced, especially if one does not book online in advance, but we don't regret staying at Na Balam, and will look back fondly on our brief time there.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Deborah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
44 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2010

While this is a fairly decent (I would say 3 star hotel), which I got a deal on via Expedia.com, I do not recommend it to anyone who is planning to just show up and/or book directly with the hotel. I paid about $100 a night with my deal, but when I arrived at the hotel, I noticed that their posted rates were between $230-630 USD a night. That is RIDICULOUS for this place, which I found to be overpriced even for the $100 I paid. I had room #18, which is a corner room on the beach, and probably has the best view. But there are no amenities. No tv, internet (in-room), fridge, not even a hair dryer. It is just a bare bones room with a bed. There was a decent balcony, but it looked out onto the rooftop of the next place, rather than the beach. I will say the shower was nice- great water pressure and very hot. That's about it though. The only reason to stay at this hotel at all is the location on the best beach on Isla Mujeres. But you can easily walk to this beach from anywhere else on this small island too. The staff was incredibly surly (except for those at the bar). The restaurant was nothing special. The grounds were nice but again, not so special that they warrant paying $630/night for!!! This place is just kind of full of itself.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Nicole F
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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