Of all our travels around the world, this was the most interactive hotel in which we have stayed. I think interactive is the best word to describe it. Between the hosts, Steve & Robert, and the staff, Jose and others, this place quickly feels like your home with friends near the beach. Each day we would start out with a wonderful breakfast, and speak with the other guests or the innkeepers. This was not too much different from a normal B&B experience, with wonderfully varied menus and a lovely courtyard setting. But the real fun of the place comes in the evenings. We would head out to the beach after breakfast each morning, and spend several hours lounging at a beach club. We would return to the hotel around 3-4pm and then spend a couple hours at one of the small pools at the inn or swinging in the rooftop hammock. Then happy hour would take over, 6-8pm, or later. People would mingle freely, and we met several very enjoyable people, some of whom we even hung out with after happy hour concluded some nights. It made us enjoy being at the hotel. At breakfast, we would commiserate about hangovers from the nights before. And we would enjoy walking back to the place, which, again, did feel like home.
I don't know how Robert and Steve have managed to consistently put together groups of people who get along. I spoke with Steve at length one night about it, and he basically said only very rarely have people not gotten along and enjoyed themselves. All the reviews already on this site are good proof of this, I guess. All of this said, the point here is, if you re at all interested in meeting interesting people and having a great time every night, this is your place for sure. If you're looking for isolation or total privacy, not o much.
A few other notes I need to make. One, this place was beautifully designed, a true architectural gem. The multiple levels and nooks make it a delight to spend time within. That all being said, it's a bit of a hike to the beach. Nothing too bad - about 6 city blocks to the better beaches on the far north end - and nothing warranting the need to have a cart rental the whole time you're there (although one day is recommended to see the rest of the island). But it's a bit a schlep if you want to go back and forth a couple times a day. Also, avoid the beach clubs on the NW side of the island where all the day trip boats dock. It's worth the $150 pesos (credited back to the bar tab) to rent from a quiet place, more to the North and NE of North Beach. Another note, there is no service in the hotel on Sunday. If this meant no breakfast and no happy hour, that would be totally fine to me. But it also means no housekeeping. On vacation - especially beach vacation, with sand and salt and icky - coming home to a dirty room is unpleasant. Especially considering the shower causes a small flood in the bathroom. Finally, anyone who thinks the town on Isla is scary needs to avoid traveling anywhere outside a ClubMed. We were all around the Yucatan on this trip, and I found little of what I saw scary. But I could see where some people would disagree, especially in some of the lesser-traveled parts of Merida. But Isla felt like the safest place in the world, and the pedestrian mall Hidalgo Ave is a wonderful place to spend a day or night.
These are nitpicks though, really. Nothing's perfect. This place gets 5 stars because it's unique. And unique is something pretty special.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- For travelers who believe that the best part of a journey is the people you meet along the way. Located in a quiet residential neighborhood the heart of a quaint island village, Casa Sirena guests are a short walk from wonderful restaurants, colorful shops, and the finest white sand beaches. Breakfast and happy hour are the heart and soul of our hospitality. Start your day with a hearty vegan-based locally-sourced organic breakfast (egg, diary and meat options available). Enjoy the company of fellow travelers at our complimentary "Sunset for the Fun Set" evening cocktail party. Our 80-year old Spanish colonial-style residence has been carefully restored, preserving its unique historic ambiance while adding the comforts of a contemporary boutique hotel. Guest rooms are elegantly-appointed with Tiffany-style reading lamps, espresso maker with capsules, 450-count cotton sheets, bathrobes, imported Turkish beach towels and Land's End canvas beach bags. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Casa Sirena Hotel Isla Mujeres