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“I had a great stay at Zina's, in the heart of a local Mexican Neighbourhood”
Review of Zina's Guest House

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Zina's Guest House
Ranked #24 of 39 Isla Mujeres B&B and Inns
Reviewed 12 June 2012

I have been to Isla before, always staying on the North Beach. This time I was looking for a bit of a change and decided to head South Colonial de la Gloria; a quaint and very authentic Mexican community on the Island. I rented one of Zina's Bikes and was a 20 minute bike ride from the North Beach and 10 minutes from the South tip of the Island. The apartment was huge, very clean with a kitchenette and the best part... it comes with rooftop deck, which I had to myself as the downstairs suite was not rented. Zina knows the Island and the goings on by the back of her hand. Zina is very sociable and connected with life on the Island; she is a great resource to anyone wanting to get familiar with all parts of the Island. There is great food in the area, with many smaller Mexican "eateries". I had an excellent skewer of Prawns at one of the eateries on my first night on the Island. There is a Supermarket 3 blocks away, and another huge Super 5 minutes bike ride away. In the Mercado Municipal, you will find an artisan that will sell you handmade leather sandals (Chanclas) for about $13. Great quality, tiny price! As far as the apartment deal goes, it is a fantastic value to have the deck and a kitchen for $50. Zina's dog, Punta, is adorable. You will love her!!! I would highly recommend Zina's as a great value and a great place to stay. I would recommend renting one of the bikes and getting to know the Island by bike. Thanks for everything Zina!

Room Tip: Take the upstairs suite off the Deck if available.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled solo
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3  Thank Copado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 June 2012

This is our third time to stay at Zinas Guest House in the past twelve months and we would not even think about staying anywhere else.

Zina and her sidekick Punta (the house dog) are knowlegable and welcoming hosts and her guest houses are perfectly located right in the middle of the bustling neighborhood of La Gloria. Everything you need is within walking distance -fresh squeezed juice, fresh fruit from the Mayan vendors, the best chicken tacos from the neighborhood "greasy spoon" and less traveled beaches. If any essentials are forgotten, there's a supermarket two blocks away that will most likely have what's in need.

My advice to anyone staying at Zinas is to not sleep late because when you hear the faint chant of "tamales tamales" in the morning sounds, that's the cue to grab your pesos. This local guy has some of the best tamales that have ever been made.

If the daily schedule involves going into downtown, taxis swing by the front corner every few minutes and for a easy fee it's the best way to get around the rock.

We can't wait until the next trip to isla not only to immerse ourselves in the culture of the island but to also stay at Zinas, where we are treated like family.

  • Stayed: May 2012
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1  Thank texusrhed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2012

Zina’s Guest house is the place to go to if you want to experience a real Mexican neighborhood on Isla Mujeres. I stayed in the upstairs apartment, and frequently made use of the rooftop sitting areas to enjoy a full view of the street life below. While there, I experienced all the regular sights and sounds of the neighborhood , from the annoying rooster to the late night music, and the various food vendors calling and ringing their bells as they passed by.

The apartments have all the basic necessities including a kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, and hot plates. You can cook your own meals with fresh food bought locally, or go to the many neighborhood restaurants which Zina will introduce you to. And Zina welcomes guests with some initial food and supplies including fresh juice and coffee.

The apartments are nice and clean, and come with all the necessities for a great vacation. However, the best part of Zina’s is Zina herself. She sizes up each guest and figures out what will make their visit special for them. And then she does everything she can to see that their needs are met. While I was there, Zina not only showed me around and introduced me to lots of folks, but she made sure I had the full cultural experience. This included everything from stops at the juice stand, to an early Sunday morning (7 AM) trip to a pig palace and then to a tortilla factory to get pulled pork and fresh tortillas for our lunch tacos; an island tour, and a visit to the local women’s beading coop. Zina knows the island, the people, and the best places to get fresh juices, fresh pastry, and whatever else you might want.

Although it is away from the hustle and bustle of downtown and North Beach, the local bus passes right in front of Zina’s and all you have to do is wave it down and you can be at the beach for 4 pesos.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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3  Thank ptwanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2012

Zina's Guesthouse is a great choice for budget conscious travelers who preffer to stay out of the hotel areas and the regular crowd of American tourists. It is clean and affordable. Zina is a lovely intelligent lady and a great source of advice on how to get around and who is who on the Isla. Stay at her guesthouse is more like a visit to your auntie Zina, than a stay at some place anonymous.
I have to agree with other reviewers, that the best part of the house is its rooftop. You can sit there and enjoy the weather and the sounds of neighborhood, and savor the simple pleasure of the life of the street. We took full advantage of it and spent most of our time up there.
La Gloria neighborhood is where local people live. So you get good authentic food and nice friendly, and laid back, unpretentious atmosphere there.
The downstairs apartment is clean and has basic things you expect in such place - a double bed, a little fridge (with some food and cold beer for your arrival!!!), a microwave, a tabletop stove and a sink. The only thing what took us by surprise upon arriving was that the third person had to sleep on the inflatable bed by the shower/bathroom (no door, curtains only).
So, if you are unassuming, openminded and/or have a backpackers mentality you will be perfectly happy at Zinas.

Room Tip: The upstairs apartment should be your choice.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank 0A_K_90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2012

This was our second visit to Isla Mujeres and first stay in the La Gloria neighborhood. We returned this year to again celebrate the New Year holiday on the island. The party is the best...the locals are so fabulously celebratory and many go until 8am (!) but we have yet to make it that far, we'll get there!

We loved Zina's -- it was a great find and we'll definitely be back. Zina is very hospitable and has many provisions for her guests in the apartments (snacks & a few beers upon arrival, toiletries, purified water, towels, extra blankets, dishes/silverware, AC, free WIFI, cable t.v., access to skype, the list goes on and on...).

As another reviewer has stated, Zina strikes fine balance between being available to her guests to give advice & recommendations/share her story and giving her guests their privacy. Zina pointed us in the direction of GREAT food and shopping. We sat on her roof with her one night and listened to the the history of Zina's Guest House while we enjoyed Bimbo Dogs (hot dogs wrapped in bacon with various hot sauces and other toppings -- yum!). The name of the lunch place Zina recommended is escaping me but she'll know if you ask her! It is just a few blocks away with a blue awning and has the greatest quesadillas (seriously, the best).

Our favorite restaurant on the island -- El Charco's -- is just a few blocks away. It has the best authentic mexican food I have EVER had and it is super cheap! It is run by the most kind-hearted and adorable couple -- Daisey (sp?) and Raul. Try the alambres, the chicken soup, the empanandas and/or the cuban sandwiches.


I'd recommend trying to use your spanish as much as possible in this neighborhood, I think it goes a long way with the locals. You don't NEED to but I think it is respectful to at least try... I feel that way about all of Mexico though.

It was really fun to sit on Zina's roof and watch the local life. There was a clothing store just across the street that was swarming with local girls buying dresses for the New Year's Eve party. They were practically pulling them off the mannequins! Cute how excited these young girls were for the party.

We loved having having Zina's dog Punta pop around from time to time as we really miss our dog when we travel. She is very well behaved and so sweet!

On New Year's Day, the island and especially this neighborhood really quiet down and many restaurants are closed, so we got a pizza and watched a movie back at Zina's -- that was really relaxing. There is a movie rental place right across the street from Zina's too (most films in Spanish) but Zina has a few in the rooms, too. Oh, and if you find it important, there is cable television here.

If you want a place that is a little separate from the downtown noise, is a little more adventerous and unique, this is a very good choice!

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TandM_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2012

I enjoyed a two week stay in the upstairs apartment at Zina's Guest House in Colonia La Gloria, Isla Mujeres Q Roo MX. This is my annual holiday retreat. I actually have lost count, I think this was the fifth consecutive year I have stayed in the apartment for Christmas and New Year's.

The apartment is very comfortable and clean. I actually cooked several meals in the apartment, mostly breakfasts, but on New Year's Day we didn't feel like going out so I made spaghetti and sauce and a salad and opened a bottle of wine purchased in the neighborhood. On another day, we got a rotisserie chicken from a chicken joint across the street, always a great meal at a good value.

In the apartment there is cable TV and there is a local DVD/CD player (and a video store across the street) There is Wi-Fi (we brought two laptops) and decent connectivity. There is a San Francisco Super Express nearby but it is dingy dreary and dirty, better to take a 13 peso taxi ride to the new Chedauri Supermercado for a nicer experience and much better selection for snacks and drinks etc.

I really like staying in La Gloria: for me it seems less hectic and fussy than El Centro during the busy holiday season. We took advantage of the close proximity to visit Zama's Beach Club three or four times, the taxi fare was very reasonable from the apartment (as opposed to taxi fares from El Centro)

We had a great time once again, it is always a pleasure to visit with Zina, and she continues to be a good resource for local info. It is highly likely we will be staying at Zina's Guest House again (and again)

Room Tip: let Zina know in advance what you want from your island experience; you will find she has great info...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank scottozoid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2011

Having been to Isla Mujeres before, we wanted a different, more integrated experience with the people who live there rather than the regular hotel/North Beach stay. My husband Bentley found Zina's on the internet and it was exactly what we wanted. It was simple, clean and charming with little arty touches like the tiny white lights illuminating the roof and the shell mobile against sheer turquoise curtains with bottom beads adorning a bedroom window. The full bed and single twin accommodated us and our 12 year-old daughter well. She often played on the terrace with Zina's well behaved and sweet dog dog Punta, a delight. We often had breakfast overlooking the coming and goings from our rooftop. We explored the neighborhood, the local hangouts and bakeries and volunteered at La Gloria English School with kids and Cydnee volunteered independently at the local animal shelter run by Alison Sawyer and her husband Jeff Currant, lovely, giving people. We had so many rich experiences from the La Gloria neighborhood where Zina's is located to the markets, nearby El Meco ruines, snorkeling, body surfing good waves, watching sunsets while eating great local fish, and meeting many good people. The key to all of it was Zina and her connections. Zina is an amazing and very interesting, warm person- striking a great balance between being available and respecting your privacy. If we had stayed in a regular hotel we'd never heard the corn vendor, the roosters, eaten at the scrumptious corner taco restaurant, or learn about the intracacies of the island and the good work that folks are doing with the people there. I think it will be a home away from home. Much better than the noise and bustle of moneyed Cancun and the swim up bars of Cozumel. We've already put our deposit down for our week next December. The weather is perfect this time of year and the exuberance displayed by the island residents with their religious alters to the Virgin of Guadeloupe and creative and colorful Christmas decorations make it an especially festive time of year to go. Isla had heart and soul and Zina is the interpreter par excellence. Ten stars, hands down.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Debra K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zina's Guest House

Address: Quintana Roo, Isla Mujeres 77400, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Isla Mujeres
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 39 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Mujeres
Number of rooms: 2

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