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“Loved it and Hated It”
Review of Ixchel Beach Hotel

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Ixchel Beach Hotel
Ranked #5 of 38 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence
San Diego
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Loved it and Hated It”
Reviewed 26 July 2008

My wife and 2 daughters, 4 and 6, were staying in Cancun at a hotel in the hotel zone, but a storm brought a ton of seaweed onto the beach, so we decided to go to the island for a night (we had never been, although had been to Cancun a number of times). We found the Ixchel Beach Hotel by reading tripadvisor's reviews, made a booking and headed for the island. Notwithstanding that we were going to be paying for 2 hotels, we wanted a great beach, beautiful ocean and peace and quiet in a tropical paradise. Well, we ALMOST found it, but it saddens me to say that we probably wont go back to Ixchel, notwithstanding its great attributes.

First let me give you the positive's: We stayed in a one bedroom suite in Ixchel II, room 310, which is labeled as "ocean front" and, let me tell you, it really is nearly "ocean front" due to the massive beach erosion. At any hotel that we go to, I always tip extra to get the closet rooms to the ocean, and this is by far the closest that we have ever been! The suite was fantastic, clean, tastefully furnished, a well stocked little kitchen, a great bathroom and walk in shower with good water pressure (with a window overlooking the ocean), a great sized bedroom and generally all of the creature comforts of home. There were so many thoughtful touches--triple pane sliding doors that slide into one another and open almost all the way, the lions, swans, and other creatures into which towels were folded each day, the fully inflated pool float and cooler in the entrance hall closet, 25 gallon bottled water dispenser--right down to the coasters on just about every surface in the rooms. But the best part was the enormous wrap around balcony with amazing views of the most beautiful turquoise, azure water that I have ever seen, which changes colors depending on the time of day and wind direction. The hotel staff was fantastic in just about every respect, and any request that we made was implemented almost immediately--from extra towels, extra coffee, 3pm checkout, to an extra float for the kids. The water is calm and shallow, exactly what we were looking for because of the 4 and 6 year old, and you could walk out into the ocean for at least 150 yards. We would just lay out and float/swim for ages in the clearest of clear, stunning water. The hotel is so close and accessible to the downtown area, which was also a pleasure and although we had left our stroller at our hotel in Cancun, our girls had no problem with the walk from the hotel to the end of town and back each night.

Now let me give you the negatives: The beds are rock hard--I am sure that you could bounce a quarter off of them--as are the foam pillows, especially as we are used to down pillows. That we could have overlooked, and if we ever came back, would ship one of those foam toppers and a couple of pillows ahead of time to the hotel. But the one thing that just killed it for us was the overcrowding--not from the hotel guests, but from the other tourists/locals on the beach. As mentioned, we were just looking for a vacation where we could relax, enjoy a great beach vacation and some peace and quiet, and were quite prepared to go back to Cancun, pack up and move to Ixchel. Because of the significant beach erosion, there is only a strip of beach perhaps 30-40 foot wide by 20 feet deep in front of the hotel. The beaches immediately adjacent to the hotel are public, and were "standing room only." We were told that the "blue chairs and beige umbrellas directly in front of the hotel were for the hotel guests," so when we checked in, I thought no problem, we would still have our slice of nirvana, notwithstanding the overcrowding to our left. However, what they failed to mention, was that the bar directly in front of the hotel also rents out the hotels chairs and umbrellas and splits the money with the hotel. The result is that they pack the beach chairs 2" from each other, and we had people on top of us all the time, which just killed it for my wife and I as well as the other gusts at the hotel with whom we spoke. As a result, we were the only hotel gusts on the beach (identified by the blue towels)--the others opted to sit at the pool, which we all agreed was such a waste with the most beautiful ocean right in front of you. On the second day, I woke up early to go and put our towels out to ensure we had chairs, but when we went up to our room for lunch, the bar folks had rented out our chairs, even though we had left our towels, beach bag etc on them, and spent 30 minutes trying to track down the renters and convince them to move. I wish I would have taken photos of the overcrowded condition s to upload for all to see, but just didn't want to remember the island experience that way. What boggles the mind, is that the owner(s) of the hotel would take such a short sighted view of the world by allowing the bar to rent out the hotel's chairs and umbrellas. The Ixchel condos to the right have Raphael "guarding" the privacy of the condo owner's section, which is reserved only for those folks (identified by green towels). For a few dollars a day that they must have received from the hotel chairs they rented, they didn't get the $2,000 or so that I would have HAPPILY spent staying the extra week, which we initially thought to do (after 2 nights we just went back to our hotel in Cancun), lost me and some of the other gusts we spoke to as repeat customers, and, most importantly, the word of mouth experience, which in today's digital age, is so powerful. We loved the hotel, location, island etc to such an extent, that we in initially thought about doing a 2 week stay at the end of the year, but the overcrowding killed that idea when we actually experienced the beach. When I spoke to the manager about it, all she could tell me that she didn't make the rules. Oh well. The other negative is that it seems that the bar aims it huge speaker directly at the hotel's section of the beach, and then cranks it up all the way--so if you want any quiet, without blaring music, this is not the place to be (absent your noise canceling headphones)!

We may have just mistimed this vacation, as we found out that Mexican school vacations are 6 weeks--July until mid August-- and definitely wont do that again. Overall, loved the hotel suite and staff, loved the ocean, fell in love with the island and the people, but just don't think that I could bring myself to spend $4-$5,000 on a vacation and not be able to enjoy hanging out on the beach. I did tell the manager to keep my details, and if they ever changed their policy, I would definitely be back again, and again, and again. Perhaps, if enough people out there raise the issue, the policy will change, and this truly will be a little slice of paradise.

  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Rappos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2008

I have stayed at two other hotels at Isla - and Ixchel is just what I was looking for and will return. Ixchel has all of the luxuries you would need, without attitude. We stayed in one of the one bedroom suites, and the it was gorgeous - please take this from someone who has seen MANY of the rooms on this Island through exploring and friends, this is the nicest and NOT the most expensive. The bathroom is beautiful marble with a separate area for the sink / toilet shower. The towels are nice, thick, and plentiful and the bed is actually a little softer than most in Isla (not sure why but all of the beds on this island are HARD - I know so many people who joke about it even but none of us know why). Anyway, this bed is great and we slept well. There was a safe in the room, which was nice.

The kitchen was small, and while I don't think I'd do a lot of cooking in it, we did bring left overs back once and ate them later. The balcony was wonderful and huge!

Outside the room the hotel was minimal but all you need. No gift shops or activities, but the beach was wonderful, they had plenty of umbrella's and there was staff there to set them up, there were waiters who would take your order and the food from the pool cafe was really awesome!!!! I recommend the Ixchel Salad and Mango Margarita.

  • Liked — The overall quality of the room can't be beat on this island
  • Disliked — They didn't have a bar for an evening cocktail
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lolaherman25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
97 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2008

Terrific location right on Playa Norte, the best beach on the island in my opinion. Sunset Grill, a great restaurant, is right next door. Easy walk to town area or ferry. Staff friendly, modern building. Some rooms include a fridge. Great shower and water pressure. A/C. Paid about $165 per night.

Note the main original building only has double beds. For king size request bldg 2 which is right next door, but I didn't visit.

They take credit cards.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Double beds
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank whereisdave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2008

We had a wonderful time in Isla!! We stayed in Ixchel condo #409 and 410, Phase I, and it was just perfect. I stayed in the king suite and felt like I was VERY important. I loved the lights on the palm tree, all the decorations, the huge bathroom, all the drawers and the pretty bed. And the view from that room is unbelievable! The balcony is fabulous – I am so glad we stayed in the oceanfront unit. I cannot wait to go back. We were feeling totally spoiled with each of us having our own bedroom and bathroom. And everyone at Ixchel was very friendly and helpful.

We rented a golf cart on two days and explored the island. I had this great map of Isla with all the places to see, and so we saw a lot! We went to Garrafon de Castilla for snorkeling, Punta Sur, Playas Indios and Lancheros, Conch Shell Beach, the Conch Shell House, the cemetery, and the Super Express grocery store – and they were all an adventure! I had fresh squeezed oj from the market, we ate at Pizza Rolandi’s, Villa Rolandi, Casa O’s, Zamas Beach Club, Sunset Grill, and Buho’s. We also got up early every morning and took walks around town and saw something new there every day. I think I have fallen in love with Isla.

  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank travelbug1259
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Wa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 July 2008

We stayed a week at Ixchel II, Oceanfront Penthouse 709 for our honeymoon. We could not have had a better stay. After weeks of research I am extremely glad to have chosen this condo. The grounds are well maintained, clean rooms, amazing view, great proximity to downtown, and super friendly staff. We chose Isla for its anti-resort, laid-back, relaxed setting and couldn't be happier. The people are friendly, the city is beautiful, the food is amazing, and the atmosphere reminds me of Mexico 20 years ago. We spend 2 days exploring the island, 2 days laying on the beach, 1 day fishing, and 1 day snorkeling. I would highly recommend the island to anyone looking to find culture and get away from the "all-inclusive" resorts. We looked at many hotels, houses, and condo's online, and check a lot of them out while we were on the island to start planning our next trip. Let me tell you, don't look any further than Ixchel for the best place on the island. The condo unit had a kitchen where we made breakfast, snacks (salsa, guacamole, and/or quesadillas) and margaritas fresh daily. It was fun to shop in the local grocery store with all the locals. We spend a lot of time lounging on the deck or hanging out in the hot tub to watch the sunset. The beach is great and the restaurant next door will deliver meals and drinks right to your lounge chair. Again, I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for the best condo on the island
PS~ This is the oceanfront unit at the top of the tallest building on the island. Amazing!!!

  • Liked — Clean and friendly
  • Disliked — Computer/Internet access
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Tfarina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2008

Ixchel Beach Hotel was the 3rd leg of our Mayan Riviera wedding/honeymoon trip. It is a nice hotel that is made up of 2 buildings...the east building is mainly vacation rental/condos and the west building, where we stayed, is the hotel portion but has the feel of a vacation rental. Our check in was quick, and all the staff we came in contact with were nice and helpful. We booked a standard ocean view room without a balcony and were pleased...it was very large and had a nice view of the pools and the beach. I would have loved to have had a balcony, but since we wanted to save a little money toward the end of our honeymoon trip the window view was fine. The beach immediately in front of the hotel is rocky and not very nice...you can ask staff to set up lounge chairs and umbrellas for you free of charge, but we opted for lounging immediately in front of the Sunset Grill, which is only a few feet away from the Ixchel beachfront. You can charge meals to your room at Sunset Grill which is nice, but they charge for using the chairs and umbrellas. However, it is worth it b/c the beach there is AMAZING!!! I felt as if I were in a lake, the water is so calm and clear! The food at Sunset Grill was good, and the drinks were yummy!

The location of the hotel is great, only a block away from the action on Hidalgo and a short taxi ride from the ferry dock. We hadn't been to Isla for 5 years, and I must say we were amazed at how developed the island has become since then. In a way, we were a little saddened because it seems to have taken away a bit of the small island charm. There is a ton of construction going on, and I would recommend going soon before it changes too much. Still, it is a GREAT place to visit - we had a marvelous time and will definitely be back. I think we would return to Ixchel also in the future, but we may try another hotel next time around. Not that Ixchel isn't nice, but there are many others to choose from. Ixchel is a nice place, but nothing spectacular. However, it's a good bargain, the location is great, and it was a comfortable stay without problems. I would recommend it to those who want simple but nice accomodations in a central location!!

  • Liked — Great location on Isla Mujeres - near the action on Hidalgo and a few steps away from a great beach!
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank iluv2traveli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2008

Looking for a romantic getaway, my boyfriend and I chose Isla Mujeres for its seclusion and laid back reputation. After spending days reading reviews online I picked the Ixchel Beach Hotel (on the North Beach), keeping in mind some of the negative things other people had said in their reviews. When we got off the ferry we made the mistake of walking to the hotel instead of hiring one of the guys on bikes (definitely will take them up on their offer next time) but it was only a few blocks (just seemed longer with the luggage). Once we got there we were greeted by a friendly staff who quickly checked us in and showed us to our rooms. The elevators were out of order (because the hotel is very open-air, during heavy rain they shut the elevators down to prevent electrical problems) but we really didn't mind (it was actually nice, and made us feel better about indulging on all the daiquiris and fantastic food). After the long trip, the first thing I decided to do was take a shower, but there was a problem with the water pressure in our room. No problem, the guy at the front desk (I wish I could remember his name now) was fantastic and got us moved to a new (upgraded!) room in minutes. They even brought us a water dispenser with a huge jug of drinking water when we mentioned thirst. And yes, the hotel pool is shaded...but the gorgeous beach is only a few more steps away! (Honestly, who goes to Mexico for their swimming pools??) The restaurant affiliated with the hotel, Sunset Grill, is not directly on site, it is a few steps away so that it is situated right on the beach (and not like beach front, I mean really ON the beach) and the staff is the most friendly, helpful and easy going that I have ever encountered. And did I mention the bar has swings instead of stools? My boyfriend and I lounged at the water's edge in comfy chairs as the staff brought frosty beverages right to us...definitely fulfilling the fantasy we had of our vacation. Luis at the bar even helped us pick up a little Spanish. The dinner menu wasn't the best we had (don't even bother for breakfast), but the cocktails and atmosphere couldn't be beat. They even have live music most nights. Definitely a great place to relax during the day. And I highly recommend getting a massage by one of the women with tents set up on the sand. For the duration of our stay both the hotel and restaurant staff were more than helpful advising us on activities and the best way to do and see things. On our next trip there (we loved it so much we vowed to return) we will definitely be returning to the Ixchel Beach Hotel.

As for the rest of the island, the atmosphere and activities create the perfect getaway. We discovered a little breakfast place short walk from the hotel called Amigo's, and loved it so much that we ate there every morning. BEST BREAKFAST EVER! The staff was great and it's really a tiny place that's half outside where you can watch the shops set up for the day. We rented a golf cart for one day (the cheapest, most efficient way to get around) and went down to the other end of the island to Garafon Park. I had my heart set on the zip line so we splurged the $50, but I felt the park was a little overpriced. I'm sure if you were going to really make the day of it, the hammock garden, swimming with dolphins and other things they have there would be well worth it. We really enjoyed the sculpture park (which was only about $6) and walked the coastal path a bit...bring your camera the scenery is flawless.

Most of our time was spent meandering the streets and checking out the little shops where merchants were welcoming and fun. On the Saturday night that we were there I got up around 2am to use the bathroom, and since it had the only open window, when I opened the door I heard loud music and saw lights. Looking out the window I saw what looked like one hell of a wedding, partying late into the night. They didn't keep us up (with the A/C on and the windows closed the room was pretty much soundproof) but it looked like such a good time we considered crashing the party (but didn't).

On our second to last day there we got caught in the only really heavy rain, but in the Mexico heat, running through the downpour was more fun than inconvenience. We ran soaking wet into Jax Bar and Grill for dinner and by the end we were wondering why we hadn't eaten there all week. Being an Irish "meat and potatoes" kind of girl, I was surprised at how unbelievably perfect my enormous steak was. That alone was worth the trip.

Despite all the places around the world I have been, it took me a long time to get to Mexico, and after doing the research I am SO GLAD we picked Isla Mujeres as our destination. Most tourists will visit the island for a day excursion from Cancun, but we spend the entire trip there and loved every minute. If you're looking for a true getaway, a warm place to relax and actually have someone bring you blended cocktails while you tan by the water, this is the place. With the US's economy like it is, prices were pretty much the same (with some exceptions...READ: bring sunscreen for home...$12 a bottle!). It was the trip we were hoping for...slow-paced, romantic, tropical and completely rejuvenating. We are already planning our next trip to Isla Mujeres and can't wait!

  • Liked — Perfect location, outstanding staff
  • Disliked — LOVED EVERYTHING! Maybe wouldn've liked more English late night tv, but couldn't have asked for better accomodations.
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank heynicole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ixchel Beach Hotel

Property: Ixchel Beach Hotel
Address: Playa Norte S/N | Centro, Isla Mujeres 77400, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Isla Mujeres
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 38 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ixchel Beach Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Among the best hotels in Isla Mujeres, visit Ixchel Beach Hotel, a two wing, two phase condotel complex with 117 rooms in Isla Mujeres. East Wing (Phase One) with 48 rooms, 5 stories and opened in June 2006; West Wing (Phase Two) with 69 rooms, 6 stories and opened in August 2007. Both properties (see Accomodation Remark below) are designed in Mexican casual and modern stylish buildings located at the beautiful North Beach on the colorful island of Isla Mujeres (Women Island).Ixchel for the Mayans was the Goddess of love, fertility and the moon. Walking a few steps from downtown of this friendly island and facing the most beautiful white sand & powder touch beaches of Isla Mujeres, in the Yucatan Peninsula and the Mexican Caribbean, our Isla Mujeres hotel offers warm personable service in an upscale, intimate island experience perfect for families and romantics.If you want a great escape to a Isla Mujeres hotel, our hotel is ideal for the relaxing weekend getaway or a romantic honeymoon retreat. Treat yourself to all of the luxury that our Ixchel Hotel in Isla Mujeres has to offer and enjoy the surrounding areas, activities and beauty.Premier in Isla Mujeres hotels, the Ixchel Beach Hotel offers luxurious amenities, outstanding service and a tranquil atmosphere to completely relax and enjoy your Mexican vacation. You won't find a more beautiful or more convenient location to soak in the sun and experience this amazing island of Isla Mujeres.If you are looking among hotels in Isla Mujeres, look no further than the Ixchel Beach Hotel. You won't be disappointed. You, the guest, are our number one priority and your comfort and enjoyment during your vacations in Mexico and lodging experience are our primary concern. We will do everything we can to make your stay nothing short of spectacular. ... more   less 
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