My wife and I married in October 2009 and waited until April to go our on honeymoon. Once we settled on Isla Mujeres as our destination, our travel agent recommended the Palace resort on the island. We did some pretty extensive research (reading every review on here as well as other sites) before booking the trip. A few of the previous reviews worried me a bit (undercooked food, boats filled with day trippers, loud music next door). The reviews were, for the most part, fantastic so we decided to give it a chance.
From the moment the taxi dropped us off, the service was nothing less than spectacular! We really enjoyed the extra attention they provided. I think they can offer such great service because it is a small resort (only 60+ rooms). That's actually very small considering the size of the palace resorts in Cancun. The night bartender (Timoteo), the activities coordinator (Ulises), the manager (can't recall his name), the Hostess (Leandri), the gentlemen working the front desk (Jesus and another whose name escapes me). This people are a true asset to the resort and will make you feel welcomed every day of you trip.
The gift shops offers some nice gifts and we picked up a few t-shirts and other souvenirs. Even the cashier went out of her way. We purchased two shirts one night and a third t-shirt the next night. The first night we didn't qualify for the discounted rate (3 for $25) but when we bought the third, she remembered and discounted it for us. The savings wasn't much but this attention to detail and commitment to service is extraordinary.
The resort itself is beautiful. It isn't the best hotel I've stayed but it's close. They keep the place immaculate. It's an open air resort so it's nice to feel the breeze as walking through the lobby on the way to the restaurant or bar. The restaurant is large considering the size of the resort and offers in and outdoor seating. The resort has three bars (one in the bar area, one in the restaurant, and a third swim-up bar). The bartenders were all very knowledgeable and made fantastic drinks. I noticed that most of our drinks were a little light on the alcohol, however.
We ate at the restaurant (Azul) almost every meal but did make our way into town to try some of the local spots. I didn't have anything that was undercooked. The food itself wasn't great unfortunately. I've heard this of other all inclusive's so it isn't just an issue with IMP. I say that knowing that the island specialty is seafood and I don't eat seafood. So it's very possible that the seafood dishes are very good. Of the meals that I ordered, none were bad but none were great or even very good. Mediocre is probably a good way to describe it. This includes the spinach and cheese ravioli, margarita pizza, marco polo spaghetti, and the other entrees. My wife did say the steak was good. The food is my biggest complaint but if you've read the other reviews, most of the others disagree with me. The last day our stay, they switched breakfast to a buffet style which was nice. We also had room service a couple of times, which is available 24 hours). The mini hamburgers and cheese quesadilla's weren't bad. The desserts, and the chocolate cake in particular, were fanstastic!
As other have said, the pool area is small and the beach is not great but it looks beautiful. If you want to swim at the beach at the resort, go somewhere else. If this isn't a big deal to you, you can take a taxi or rent a golf cart) and go to Playa Norte which is one of the best municipal beaches in the world. It's about 15 minutes away.
The pool was well maintained but not used much while we stayed here. Unfortunately, a tropical storm came through on days two and three and it was overcast during much of our trip. We laid next to the pool on our last full day but didn't get a chance to really swim or use the palapa style swim-up bar. It always had someone their ready to make drinks even when it wasn't being utilized.
The rooms were great. They had a large two person jacuzzi, double sinks those they were positioned kind of low, a nice shower, great furniture, and our room looked over the pool. The beds and pillows were extremely comfortable. We had absolutely no trouble sleeping here.
We stayed from Monday through Saturday and didn't notice any day trippers coming from the other resorts. We did hear some music from the club next door (particularly on Monday and Tuesday) but it didn't bother us too much.
I'm not sure I would take kids here because there isn't much for them to do at the resort or even on the island but I would definitely recommend it for everyone else. I would encourage you to leave the resort and go explore the island (Centro, Punta Sur, and Playa Norte in particular). We have no regrets and would do it again despite the not so great weather!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- What better location for this small haven than at a small island once a sanctuary to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of childbirth and medicine? Isla Mujeres (Island of Women) with its scenic views, tranquil beaches, marine parks, and sculptured cliffs, is nature at its best. Small and luxurious, this all-inclusive couples only resort is sure to guarantee a private and relaxed stay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Isla Mujeres Palace Hotel Isla Mujeres
- Hotel Isla Mujeres
- Palace Hotel Isla Mujeres