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“Incredible Honeymoon!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Villa La Bella

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Villa La Bella
Ranked #2 of 36 Isla Mujeres B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Portland, Oregon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Incredible Honeymoon!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2007

So my new wife and I just returned from a weeklong honeymoon at Villa la Bella and all I can say is WOW!! We had the absolute best time we could have ever hoped to have. Everything from the accommodations, food, atmosphere, weather, company, etc was just perfect. It really was our dream honeymoon come true.

I will briefly describe ‘us’ because Villa La Bella is not for everyone so I think if you have an idea who we are, it may help you determine if this is the place for you:

Nicole is 29, Mike is 42 – Mike acts younger than his age and Nicole older so you could categorize us as a mid-30’s style couple. We are an urban couple who are pretty active and work out regularly but we are certainly not health fanatics. We are not partiers (clubbing days are well behind us) but we regularly go out for good food (we love food and that’s really why we work out – TO EAT!!) and good wine and host occasional dinner parties. The all inclusive oversized mega resorts are the last place we would stay for too many reasons to list here – basically they are just not our style – we are definitely Bed & Breakfast or Boutique hotel types who like to stay off the beaten path and out of the way of the over marketed touristy places. With all that said, Villa La Bella was a perfect match for us. It was quiet and cool; had clean & spacious rooms (we had the honeymoon suite), had incredible food, scenic views, and just the right atmosphere.

The owners, Curtis & Ashley could not have been more fun, welcoming, enjoyable, informative, and attentive (yet not in your face). Curtis is what I would consider a true So Cal native but with an artistic twist. Villa La Bella is wrought with his artistic creativity as it has a kind of eclectic genius to it. He is funny, thoughtful, and seemed to know exactly what we needed and when we needed it. Ashley was pretty much the same. She is about the nicest (& sincere) person you’ll ever meet and she was always making sure we were comfortable and that everything was just right. Both were around just the right amount of time – they definitely did not invade our space or time. The Bar staff, Jimmy & Louis were also great. They were attentive and we always had full drinks when we needed them. The owners & staff made VLB such a comfortable place that we referred to VLB as home during our stay. We literally spent about 80% of our time there because it was so fun and soooo relaxing.

Other reviewers have referred to the amazing breakfast and the Pina Coladas. I will echo those reviews. The breakfast was as good a breakfast as we have ever had. Curtis has combined his artistic nature with his love of food and it all comes together each morning. It’s hard to describe just how good (& unique) the breakfast was – think French toast soufflé and eggs done lasagna style. The Pina Colada’s were better than advertised. Nicole who can drink about ½ a glass of wine had close to 30 Pina’s during the week – they were that good. I promise you will be dreaming of coconut shavings. Another bonus is Curtis’s knowledge of the best food on the island. You’ve read it before but I’ll repeat it – you must go to Baseball Taco’s (you will go most nights I promise) and you must go to the Cuban Place and have the worlds best Mojitos and the best soup (fish soup) you will ever taste in your life.

VLB itself was just perfect. It was off the beaten path (but less than a 3 minute cab ride to downtown & beaches) so it was quiet yet still active. The rooms were clean & colorful, the pool was super comfortable and since no kids are allowed, the pool was very ‘clean’ if you no what I mean – plus Curtis uses some chemical/cleaner that is so good that there is no Chlorine smell at all – very nice! The hammocks & outdoor beds led to several naps a day and we both read a book or 2 each. Plus the late night lightening storms off in the distance were spectacular. Plus VLB attracts guest similar to us so we had great conversations, shared many many laughs, and ended up with some great friends during our stay (Mark & Barbara from SF – you are both awesome!!). Ask Curtis to teach you how to ‘shuck a Coconut’ – it’s an experience.

I could go on and on but the bottom-line is that we had such a great time at VLB that without a doubt we will be back (several times I suspect) and we will refer VLB to many of our friends. If you want a place that’s cool, fun, relaxing, great food, is sun-filled, non-touristy then this is the place. You will be so happy you didn’t stay at place in El Centro or the North Beach area – I guarantee it.

PS – thanks to Emily for referring VLB to us!!!

  • Liked — atmosphere, drinks, & food
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mxm1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
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  • Rooms
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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  • Italian first
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English first
Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2007

My husband & I celebrated our 3rd anniversary at Villa Las Brisas in Isla Mujeres and we couldn't have been more thrilled with our stay. This B&B was absolutely beautiful--funky and ecclectic-- and the owners, Ashley and Curtis, were so warm, lovely and welcoming. They truly did their best to make everyone feel relaxed and at home in their home. The other positive write-ups have been accurate, just want to add a couple of our thoughts/ experiences.
The Honeymoon Suite: We splurged for this room and were so pleased with it. It is so beachy and funky, yet roomy, cozy and comfortable. And the views were worth the extra money-- from each of the 2 balconies, you had a beautiful view of the gorgeous turquoise ocean. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom accomodations were just fine, plenty of space to get ready--cool shower with a conch shell shower head.
The Pool: beautiful and refreshing, great place to relax and get a tan. And conveniently located next to the bar.
The Bar: Seriously, the BEST pina coladas, made with fresh coconut & shavings. I'm drooling thinking about it. Prices are very reasonable, especially for the quality.
The Breakfasts: Easily the best breakfasts we have ever had in a B&B (and we've easily stayed in over 25 all around the world). We enjoyed 2 gourmet quality breakfasts. The first day was this amazing french toast-like dish with syrup, nuts, and bacon and garnished with fresh banana and papaya. The next day we had an egg casserole dish with veggies, cheese and beans, served with grilled potatoes and fresh fruit garnish. And the coffee was delicious--the best we had in our week in Mexico. A breakfast of this quality in the US would easily cost you $30. Yet, this is included in the price. Ashley & Curtis have definitely spoiled us for all future B&B breakfasts.
We also enjoyed meeting and talking with the other guests over our yummy meal. This B&B seemed to attract friendly, kind people who know how to have a good time, yet also can kick back, relax and enjoy life.
The location: perfect for us! Quiet, relaxing, in a more "residential" section. And you are right on the water. If you absolutely need to be on a sandy beach, you're only a 5 min. max drive in a cab, for about $2. If you need to stay in the heart of the crazy, loud nightife, this is not the place for you. But again, you're only a $2 cab ride away from the restos & bars, so you can have the best of both worlds.
The Owners & Staff: absolutely wonderful, friendly and outgoing. And great source for information about Isla Mujeres and where to go/ things to do.
Our Recommendations:
Rent a golf cart--so much fun to tool around the island at your own pace, a great experience.
Shopping at Alessandro's place--beautiful, quality stuff & great deals for VLB guests. Curtis & Ashley can give you the location (& his exact name if I got that wrong).
Mojitos at Don Chepo's: the best I've ever had & a steal at the all-day long 2x1 for $4USD. Be careful--they're potent :) Great (& cheap) appetizers, too.
Drive around the whole island--it's too beautiful to describe with words.
Watch the locals in the town square, so many happy people , esp. the children.
Snorkeling near park garrafon: a fun way to spend an hour or so, relatively inexpensive. Maybe not the greatest snorkeling, but a fun experience.
Casa O's--had a disappointing meal, wish we would've followed friend's suggestion for the resto at Hotel Rolandi--which is said to be the best. View was pretty, though.
Note: this B&B is in the process of a name change, Villa Las Bella, but it's still the same place/ same people/ same paradise.
If you are the B&B type, appreciate relaxing in a beautiful, peaceful setting, you need to stay at VLB!
Thanks again to Ashley & Curtis & we hope to see you hasta pronto!

  • Liked — the location, the amenities, the owners, the breakfast
  • Disliked — Couldn't really walk to lots of bars, restaurants, shops
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank LisaBKoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Woodlands, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2007

My husband & I have stayed at VLB on many occasions and have had
nothing but the best hospitality!! Ashley & Curtis are 2 of the best people
we have EVER met. The staff is extremely helpful and just want to make
sure we have everything we ever needed. Ashley saved me by letting me
use her aloe for my sunburn...OUCH!!! VLB is nothing but the BEST!! Their
home is the most spectacular place we have ever been. We will always
recomment VLB to all of our friends..I miss Ashley & Curtis already and
we just got home last night.

Stayed April 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank ashandtodd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bologna, Italy
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2007

We have just returned from a great stay on Isla Mujeres at Villa Las Brisas and we couldn't be more relaxed or positive about our experience. I agree that VLB isn't for everyone, but the owners Curtis and Ashley make that very clear from the beginning of the booking process. If you are looking for a place to party and hang from the rafters, VLB is not for you. Instead, if you enjoy feeling like a very welcome guest in someone's home and prefer to not stay in an eco-monster hotel, I think you would be more than happy at this beautiful and tranquil villa.
The service and food, as well as the atmosphere, were all exceptional. We found everyone from the owners to bartenders to maids to be helpful but not overly intrusive or eager. Curtis and Ashley don't advertise this B&B as luxurious, but it really is...just be clear about what you are looking for before you book.

  • Liked — view
  • Disliked — the wind
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank chgBologna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Louis MO
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2007

Just returned from Isla and Villa Las Brisas ~ Absolutely the best, most relaxing vacation ever! Wonderful beaches, food, etc. and staying at Villa Las Brisas was the best choose ever...The owners are wonderful hosts and great references for restaurants, tequilla, etc. The rooms are immaculate, the views spectacular and the morning breakfast fabulous. Highly recommend for anyone who simply wants to chill out!

  • Liked — The amazing views from the property and the owners!
  • Disliked — That I had to leave..
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kmcky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bucks County, PA
Level Contributor
106 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2007

Just HAD to respond to the couple who found VLB "expensive and intrusive," because I couldn't have felt more differently during either of my two stays (the first of which I hope to be a long line).

First of all, that reviewer continuously referred to VLB as a "hotel." It's NOT a hotel, it's a bed & breakfast. B&Bs are decidedly NOT hotels -- they're the anti-hotel, meant for people who desire a more homey atmosphere, a bit of warmth that emanates from ordinary people sharing their homes, as opposed to the cold sterility of a hotel whose rooms are like all others.

The first time I stayed at VLB was in May 2005, when my sister and I met there to share some bonding time without the kids after our mom had died. Innkeepers Ashley and Curtis, aware of why we were there, couldn't have been more kind, compassionate and solicitous of our comfort, both physically and emotionally. Our stay was a truly restful and healing interlude in a time of great pain, and it wasn't just the heaven of Isla Mujeres -- it was the magic of Villa Las Brisas.

Not only were we pleased that our hosts quietly and discreetly requested that other guests "play nice" while in the common areas around the pool (knowing that sound travels clearly and more loudly over water), we also greatly appreciated their efforts to help us navigate our first trip to Mexico. We were very grateful for their tips on which places to eat and shop, where to find the best bargains, and what to eat and not to.

At no time did we feel that the Blogins were engaged in some "tiresome sales pitches for certain local restaurants" or that they were "obvious co-players in profit sharing schemes." Instead, we realized it for the valuable advice it was from two ex-pat Americans who understand how difficult it is to get around and not get ripped off or make yourself sick in a place where you don't know the language. And we found that we WERE treated extra well when the natives learned where we were staying. It wasn't because of some cynical co-conspiracy, but because the Blogins treat their help and their neighbors well, and are consequently liked and treated well in return, which extends to their guests.

I was happy to see that on our more recent visit in March 2007 that VLB had put together a room guide. Even after staying there before, we found the information helpful both for our stay at the B&B and our excursions outside on the island. Interesting that the previous reviewer seems to take umbrage at the request that guests not bring dogs or cats onto the grounds.

Perhaps they either think such a thing is okay (would you just bring your animals to the home of someone you've never met before?), or don't understand that on Isla, stray, feral critters are a common sight and often come by the VLB fenced-in area. People are commonly tempted to invite them in, but VLB already has its own resident critters who deserve to have their territory respected. It's just for their comfort and safety, not because there's some sort of Nazi-like enforcement going on. Those policies protect everyone at VLB, including the guests!

Both times we stayed there, we had fabulous food that was well-presented and thoughtfully prepared -- way more than what we usually expect (and we are veteran B&B'ers). We met and made friends with nice, interesting people who were also guests, and I believe that kind of cherished interaction is directly encouraged by the friendly atmosphere at VLB.

I can't help but feel these reviewers simply don't understand or appreciate what's great about the whole B&B experience, and arrived at VLB with unrealistic expectations. I can't strongly enough disagree with their cynical, negative views of this wonderful place and the incredibly nice, caring and attentive people who run it.

I hope no one makes a decision based on this truly off-the-mark review. You'll be missing out on a wee piece of heaven. But then again, that's okay -- that'll leave more for those of us who truly appreciate it!

  • Liked — Quiet, safe, clean, away from crowds and noise, great food, excellent service, great shelling beach
  • Disliked — Beach isn't great for swimming.
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank PAWildheart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2007

Villa Las Brisas on Isla Mujeres

We have stayed at this beautiful gem on the island, three times now - we actually stopped by three years ago when it was being built, met the owner - Curtis, a laid back Californian and promised to return.

We did just that a few months later and met his wife Ashley, who is just a delight - together they make this little piece of heaven all that much more enjoyable.

Located a $1 cab ride from downtown ferry terminal and right on a rocky bluff with the most beautiful views of the Carribean.

We fly into Cancun from LA on non stop Alaska Air which takes about 4 hours, take a 30 minute cab ride to the ferry terminal and then the $3 ferry trip - which is about 20 minutes.

It is all very easy, and seamless - the cabs are waiting for you outside the airport and take you right to the terminal. Everyone speaks English or at least Spanglish!

One year we returned to see the turtles swim on to the small beach infront of Las Brisas and lay their eggs - Isla Mujeres is one of the few places that protects the turtles, and also has a turtle farm which you can visit.

Isla Mujeres is not like Cancun - not a party town at all - although there are fun little bars in town with music and energetic and fun waiters!

Villa Las Brisas is very cute - and has th beautiful views of the ocean from every room.

Curtis is a bit of a master at breakfast - we have never seen such beautifully crafted and delicious breakfasts as these anywhere we have stayed - even in 5 star hotels!

The Palapa rooms are wonderful and romantic - with king sized beds that hang from the beams, and palapa roofs - and have that great view of the ocean and pool!

We noticed and asked about a sign on the front door - that says 'adults only' and discovered to our delight that they do not accept guests with small children - their philosophy is that this intimate 9 room B&B is designed for people seeking peaceful relaxing vacations. Thank you!

They are always adding something new and upgrading, and the last time we were there - in Novermber of 2006 - they had just installed a hot tub - and we got to try it out for the first time!

Curtis and Ashley are the most humble and gracious hosts - and know just about everything on the island . They have introduced us to a the best eateries on the island:

They suggested a cute Cuban Place called El Varadero - that sits on the inlet to the marina and serves great food and mohito's - we would never have found this fun little place as it sits well back from the road and through a boat yard!

Casa O's is more upscale, dressy - owned by a husband and wife team from USA - Tom and Lynn - and how delightful they were - so welcoming - we felt like long lost relatives returning home! Great food and service and a wonderful view of the ocean!

Sergio's Bar is located right on the beach just a short walk from bustling downtown and is one huge palapa with the warm waters lapping up on the sand!

There is also a fantastic taco stand - near the baseball park - where you can get the best 50c fish taco's and $1 beers. This is the local place to eat - so you get to meet the local islanders here!

Zama is located on the south side of the island and you can spend all day there - on their private white sand beach, and three pools - just for ordering drinks or food from the bar - we stayed there all one day - it was so incredibly peaceful and such a beautiful day - with views of Cancun in the distance!

We rented a golf cart for a few days - Ashley called the downtown rental guy who promptly delivered our chariot - we had a blast just cruising around the island - there are so many interesting places to stop and see - shell markets, turtle farms, swim with the sharks, ride the rope slide, the marina, downtown, south point, and if you are adveturous - sailfish fishing!

Downtown is touristy - but fun - and the sunsets are gorgeous! Have a margarita at anyone of the small restuarants and bars and watch the fishermen mending their nets as the sun sets - how unbelievably romantic.

We cannot say enough about how friendly and helpful Curtis and Ashley have been to us over the years - they make us feel so welcome.

There a quite a few Americans that live on the island and a few more that have vacation homes - all seem to stop by to say high and all are very friendly.

One evening we met their American neighbours at the bar, who were down vacationing from the cold of Chicago, and we all got talking and laughing so much so that they invited us all out fishing on their 60' boat the next morning - and we caught our first sailfish - catch and release of course!

We travel world wide - for business and pleasure - and this is without question one of our fvaorite places to stay - we can highly recommend Villa Las Brisas and all that the island has to offer - you will not be dissapointed.

  • Liked — peaceful and relaxing
  • Disliked — north shore gets windy sometimes
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank soapers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa La Bella

Property: Villa La Bella
Address: Carretera Perimetral Al Garrafon | Smz. 004, Mza. 091, L. 003, SL. 2, Isla Mujeres 77400, Mexico (Formerly "Villa Las Brisas")
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Isla Mujeres
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 36 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Mujeres
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Oceanfront bed and breakfast with only 6 guest rooms for single or double adult occupancy in a peaceful environment overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Enjoy relaxing in the outdoor fresh-water pool or in the circular lounging pool, read a book or take a siesta in a hammock, fall asleep on one of the pool side beds or cushioned lounge chairs. Enjoy made-from-scratch drinks or "beer so cold it'll make your teeth hurt" at the swing bar open daily until "last call" at 9:30 PM. Free wifi in our unique open-air living room and a library with a great selection of books, games, cards and DVDs. Ocean and pool views from every room. A king sized bed with quality linens ensure a relaxing night's sleep and a private bathroom in each room with real conch shell shower head provides an amazing tropical feel. For comfort and convenience, each room has a ceiling fan, mini fridge, personal safe and daily housekeeping. Bungalows and Honeymoon Suite have AC. Each of the 2 second floor palapa suites have a hanging bed and are cooled naturally by the Caribbean breeze. Delicious complimentary breakfast served oceanside daily from 8:30- 10 AM. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Villa La Bella Hotel Isla Mujeres

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