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“Type A, stay away. Type B, feel free. . .but. . .”

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Mia Reef Isla Mujeres
Ranked #7 of 37 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Brooklyn, NY
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Type A, stay away. Type B, feel free. . .but. . .”
Reviewed 24 March 2010

. . .make sure you get a deal, it is not worth what they want to charge you.

Things we liked:
- the water really is that blue!
- the resort is conveniently located, and you have a birds eye view of isla mujeres.
- the breakfast is good (by far the best meal, lunch is limited, dinner bland.)
- if you swim or crawl under the wooden bridge that connects the resort to the rest of the island, you will basically be swimming in an aquarium-- really fun to snorkel here.
- lovely views
- isla mujeres itself is charming and beautiful
- the staff is mostly pleasant

Things we didn't like:
- they short-sheeted the bed every night, gross
- horrible lighting in the rooms (we didn't stay in a villa though)
- the cable was out while we were there (not a problem for us, but people traveling with kids were freaking)
- crappy shower, crappy free shower products
- our safe key never worked & they told us there was nothing they could do to fix that, then left us passive-aggressive notes about leaving our valuables in the room. ummm.
- way, way, way overpriced sun screen in the gift shop (price isn't marked so it is a surprise, and a BAD surprise)
- they shine the hall floors with some kind of chemical that was eye-wateringly strong, I nearly had an asthma attack and my fiance became nauseous (luckily this only happened once during our stay)

It's hard to be cranky in Mexico, though! The problems weren't major imo, and were balanced out by the pretty location. For sunbathing we headed to the pagodas on the non-beach side of the island, more private. The beach is small and a tad weedy, but just wade out. It's shallow for ages and gets less weedy away from the edge.
I would recommend this hotel for relaxed people who aren't expecting to be pampered and who can find a bargain.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank st3phie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Grand Marais, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2010

I have stayed here once before and stayed in the Villas iwth my wife and two kids and that was a great stay. This time is was just the two of us and we did not need the larger room so we stayed in the hotel portion of the resort. The room was simple, which was not a big deal to us as we would be spending most of our time outside anyways. The shower had little pressure and difficult to get it to a worm temp. It was either freezing or hot, hot, hot.
There were 2 elevators, one was broken down the entire time and the other was about 1/2 the time. A group was in the elevator one time coming fro mthe 4th floor, it went down to the 1st, then back up to the 7th, then back down to the 1st. It finally opened to cheers from the people in the elevator. We decided to use the stairs for the rest of our stay.
We did not have any of the food as we like the local restaurants on Isla. We also did not use the pool as the water on the beach was nice enough. We did notice that the beach that was there last time has dissapeared.
All of the staff was very helpful except for the front desk, we were checking in and another guest came up to ask a question. They spent the next 5 minutes talking to the other guest instead of finishing with us first. Housekeeping did a wonderful job with the room.

I did hear a rumor that the hotel was recently purchased by a new owner and he is working to fix the issues. We did notice there were plenty of people working on the resort so we may give it one more try to see if things have changed.

We went thorugh Orbitz and the room was about $60 per day with our flights reserved together.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank scrhky2108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oliver BC
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2010

We stayed at the Avalon for 5 nights at the beginning of March. We opted out of the all inclusive because we heard the food and drinks were inconsistent. We originally booked a standard room and upgraded to a villa for the first three nights. Both rooms were fine--clean, good water pressure and temp in the shower. The beds were hard and I had trouble sleeping the first couple of nights but got used to this. Our toilet in the standard room flushed more efficiently than the one in the villa. No bedside lamps in either room which would have been nice as the overhead lighting was quite bright. The beach attached to the hotel was small and guests put towels on the loungers very early to reserve them. We ended up by the pool on loungers built into the shallow edge. They were quite comfortable though the pads on top were ready for replacement--deteriorating from the sun. Pool side service for drinks was prompt--the mai tais were great and not overly expensive. Higher end, branded liquor was expensive--eg Johnny Walker Black. On our last day, we really wanted to hang out at the beach so we crossed the bridge to Na Balam and rented a cabana for the day for 9 US dollars. It was a nicer beach and less traffic. When we moved up to our standard room our door wouldn't lock. Someone came from maintenance right away to fix it. There was a lot of construction and floor polishing going on in the hotel getting ready for a wedding. It was a bit loud at times but it was nice to see the hotel getting a bit of a face lift. We plan to visit Isla next year but we'll stay in town. Avalon was great for a fist visit--fabulous views, nice pool (though definitely on the cold side). I highly recommend the spa--I had a great massage out by the ocean!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank blueiris36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
missouri
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2010

Warning: This is not a three star resort. Avalon Reef Club is nothing--nothing like the pictures that are advertised on their website!
Rooms: Our family stayed in tower for the firtst five days. For the first four days in the tower, the bathroom was flooded due to a leaky shower. Maintainance tried to fix the shower on the third day and came in with a chisel and started pounding out tile, leaving dust all over the already wet floors. It was a mucky mess. The problem was still not fixed until the fourth day.
As if the flooding of the bathroom for the first four days of our trip was not enough, my husband and small child got stuck on the elevator for a few minutes because it jammed. The only way my husband got out was to pry the elevator door open with his hands...not my idea of fun being stuck in a size 4x4 foot elevator in tropical heat-- not to mention scary for the child.
My husband went to the front desk to report the issues we had and he had to take a seat because the line was so long with customer complaints.
The tower needs a total...I mean total overhaul. It looks as if it may have been a nice place to stay in the 1960s but now, with no renovations, not so much. When we arrived our first evening, the hallway on our floor was dark, no lights on except the one by the elevator...it looked like the twilight zone (should have been our first clue to run). The rooms are very small. Hotel is not safe for small children as there were electrical wires exposed at a childs's eye level in the narrow hallway on sixth floor.
Some of the smaller issues: only one overhead lamp (no reading), dirty windows, needed to call at least two times for service each time we needed towels (for personal use and to mop up the wet floors). Had to call for room to be cleaned. Room was cleaned after call at 7pm. Only one bottle of water provided for three people our entire stay (complimentary bottled water is advertised, it was just misleading because they did not mention 1 bottle per room--even if your stay is 10 days!
Service: Only after the the fifth day of these hassles were we upgraded to the villas. We had already checked out the rooms and rates at Na Balam and Maria del Mar and were ready to just cut our losses and pack up and leave when they upgraded us to the villas for the last three nights stay. Villas were nice, not four or even three star, but comfortable...lots of ants around the sinks though.
Food: Opted for breakfast only. Omelets and fresh pastries were especially good. There are so many wonderful places to eat for really inexpensive on the island.
Beaches: Not much of a beach...we would walk over the bridge to Na Balam or Villa Kim to spend the days...You can rent lounges at both places there.
......Stay at your own risk, literally! My husband and I both came to the conclusion that this could be a nice place if they would bulldoze the towers and rebuild.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank mayantraveler10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Isla Mujeres hotels

alaska
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2010

private getaway on a getaway island. Clean rooms, incredible view, easy walking to anywhere in town (or cross the bridge and walk the beach all the way to town), easy gear rental, snorkel trips, great restaurants in town on pedestrian only streets, excaellent snorkeling right outside your door. eat at Olivias (mediterranean). Skip Cancun and go straight here!!! Nice, local, friendly people. Sand and cobblestone roads--be careful on a scooter. Private bungalows?/more expensive rooms are worth the extra money to be right on the water with waves crashing on your deck at night.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank srvAlaska
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2010

Driving into the place, we we had grand expectations, but upon entering the hotel, our hopes were crushed. The place was empty! The walls bare. The food was ok. Drinks were costly. $3.50 for a tap beer!? I know its not their fault, but there is very little beach due to the last hurricane. I wouldn't stay there again. Too expensive for what you got.
The swimming pool sucked. It looked cool, but you can't really walk around it, you have to walk through it, wierd! There is a fee for everything there.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank lmiddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2010

Wow! What a beautiful location — best on the island for sure. A trip to Isla Mujeres is definitely recommended by us. We found it charming, a less hard-core degree of "touristy" than Cancun or Cozumel with much more local charm available. Absolutely amazing water and views, but be careful regarding your accommodations. Avalon is a grab-bag of good and bad. If only the room accommodations and food had been even a half star better, I'd be writing a different review. Background on us: We are not luxury travelers. My husband has four criteria — clean, comfortable bed, AC that works and functional TV.We visited the Avalon from 2/22-2/26/2010. I'll just cut to the chase.

If you go here (and the views and beach are worth it), you MUST stay in the villas. I would not go back without villa accommodations. They are on the tip of the island with amazing crashing waves. And DO NOT do the all-inclusive. The town is a five-minute walk over the plank, and there are fantastic, reasonably priced (and we're a little cheap) restaurants with much more local flavor and, well, just plain flavor. Snorkeling is fantastic, and honestly the views were just so worth the trip themselves.

I'll just hit the high points in my review. There were other piddly inconveniences, but this was the stuff that made my radar:

The rooms could be so much better. We purchased through Expedia, and I'm pretty sure this guarantees you the worst room anywhere. However, we looked into many rooms and they are all the same at the high rise hotel part of the property where we stayed. Small room. Very hard queen-size bed. My husband likes a hard bed, and it was too hard for him. I requested the egg-crate padding others referenced in their reviews, but was told there was none. There were no bedside lamps. You might think this is not a big deal, but there was only one bulb in the room, and it was a super-bright wattage in the ceiling fan (which rattled like it was going to fall from the ceiling). It was either high-noon bright or completely dark. No in between. Our TV did not even get one station — and it rained for a whole day, keep in mind. We had a stand-up, super-loud A/C column in the corner. Could barely talk while it was on. At one point, it became full of water and stopped working. Fortunately, my husband knew what the problem was but could not fix it due to how the unit was set up. Our key would only open our door 1:3 times. The toilet was sluggish, although we did have hot water. Others did not, apparently. I requested another room, but was told there were none and I would have to check back the next day at noon. After keeping after it in a polite way for the next 24 hours at two-hour intervals, we got another room. Bad view, but TV was functional on a few channels, the ceiling fan bulb was a few notches more ambient, the toilet flushed smoothly and the key card worked. We were right over the front door, so we were awakened every morning at 5 a.m. by delivery trucks and their loud drivers. We were also right by the elevator, so were privy to the conversation of everyone waiting for the 'vator (small and only one functional while we were there). I wore my earplugs, but couldn't keep it out. When we moved rooms, we somehow lost clock radio and coffee maker privileges — but oh well. Lots of construction and pounding in both rooms. That said, once the sun came out and we had the new room, we were able to enjoy our stay more.

Food was a lost opportunity. I let myself get suckered into the all-inclusive package by my sweet, efficient hubby. I really like food, and I had heard it wasn't so great here. The reviews were right. I am a decent home cook, and they could use someone like me in the kitchen. The hotel write-up said there were four restaurants, but there are really only two. There is an inside cafe and an outside bar that shares the same menu/buffet and staff. Then there is a reservations-only restaurant that is inside right next door to the other one. We ate at both and preferred the more basic outside bar area because the view was absolutely gorgeous. The food was bland, bland, bland and far too American. Had to special order salsa, because it was not on the menu. Even the guac was bland. The "nice" restaurant was actually worse than the bar in my mind b/c there is no excuse for taking a decent filet and overcooking "medium" beyond belief. Also, the "nice" restaurant had eight entrees, but four of them were $9 more and not included in the all-inclusive. Frankly, I didn't bother b/c I didn't have any confidence that they would be prepared correctly. Drinks were not good at all — this includes the pina colada, strawberry daiquiri, bloody Mary. Strange "canned" flavor. Stick with the Corona. Wine tasted vinegar-like at the "nice" restaurant. My husband, although he can be adventurous, cares much less about food than I do and was less affected. It was all edible, just very, very limited and unimaginative.

Sidebar: This is a third-party comment, so I cannot validate it myself. However, it did color my impression of this place. In chatting later with a gentleman who checked at the same time that we did with his two sons, it seems that he had bugs in his bed. Under the pillows and "in the dark places." (At this point, I could FEEL my husband willing the dude to stop talking to me.) I asked what type, and he said, "Well, that's the tough part. I am an entomologist, and I can't place them. The look like large lice." He said they changed his room immediately, and that his boys' room was fine. I tore our room apart, and we did not have any bugs. Dusty, but no bugs. Ugh.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank Kansas_Adgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mia Reef Isla Mujeres

Property: Mia Reef Isla Mujeres
Address: Calle Zazil Ha s/n Int 7 | Islote Yunque, Isla Mujeres 77400, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Isla Mujeres
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Isla Mujeres
#4 Spa Hotel in Isla Mujeres
#5 Luxury Hotel in Isla Mujeres
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Mujeres
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Mia Reef Isla Mujeres 4*
Number of rooms: 156
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Also Known As:
Avalon Reef Club Isla Mujeres Hotel Isla Mujeres
Avalon Reef Isla Mujeres
Avalon Club Reef
Isla Mujeres Avalon Reef

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