Mia Reef Isla Mujeres
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TravelPod Member ReviewsMia Reef Isla Mujeres
You are fortunate to see both beautiful sunrises and sunsets from the Avalon Reef Club. It's within walking distance of the adorable town for numerous restaurant choices.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Mia Reef Isla Mujeres
When is all-inclusive, not?
It wasn't until AFTER we checked in that we discovered the items promised in our all-inclusive were not part of the AI for which we had paid. Nowhere, in any literature that I saw before we booked, was two types of AI's mentioned. Talk about false advertising. Room service? Go for it -- but it's not part of 'that' AI plan. Eating at the steakhouse? Looked forwared to it -- but it's not part of 'that' AI plan. The 'fully-stocked mini-fridge' was replenished only once. Ditti the coffee for the coffee-maker. We had to phone or go to the desk ourselves. Maid service was good for two days then we were waiting till almost dinner time for someone to show up. I was shocked at how poorly the front-line staff spoke English: our villa balcony had only one plastic chair and it took three tries to get a second -- the first attempt gave us a formal dining room-type chair with wood and a padded seat; our second attempt was ignored; on our third attempt a staffer came to our door with a plastic BAG. We had to involve the concierge to get the damn chair. The hotel is lovely, despite the short-comings. The beach had a seawood problem that the resort has allowed to get away from it. We were pissed off at the false advertising -- no wonder Mexico has a rep for being corrupt. This didn't help.
Avalon wonderful; don't do AI
We stayed at the Avalon on Isla May 31-June 7. We bought a one-bedroom through Interval International - $534 for the week. Our one-bedroom was actually two rooms and was very nice, clean and had two balconies, one completely private and overlooking King's Pool on the Caribbean side. We had no problems with maid service; they cleaned everyday (we always left a tip) and we only saw them once. Our rooms were always done by the time we got back from the beach. We only stayed at the Avalon one day. The chairs on the beach are padded and comfortable, but they are having problems with sea grass and actually had signs posted that said, "Aqua Mal - watch out for sea lice and jellyfish" How do you watch out for sea lice??? We got in the water once, but it really wasn't as clear and pretty as the water only a few yards away on Playa Norte. Their pool is very intimate, pretty and clean so we got in the water there. It was right behind our lounge chairs. No beach service; my husband went to the bar once to get overpriced drinks, they never came back so we went up to the room and mixed our own. We did not eat at the resort. The restaurants on Isla are all very good, moderately priced and not far from the resort. We walked into town every day. We rented chairs and umbrellas at Buho's, just a ten minute walk from the Avalon. The water there was beautiful. The Avalon was a great place to stay because it was as nice a resort as we are used to staying in (4 star, though, not 5 as advertised), the price was right and the location was fantastic. I would not consider it a destination in itself, but will stay there when we return to Isla.
Clean your own room....
The service was absolutely horrid, as the hotel staff seemed far more interested in selling time-shares than actually keeping their guests happy. OUr rooms were cleaned late at night (at one point, after our children had already gone to bed). The beach in front of the hotel was very pleasant. However, the beach alone doesn't make this hotel worthwhile to visit.
My husband and I just came back from a week at the Avalon Reef Club. Arrived on a Sunday evening. Very little information given to us regarding the facility. We were hungry and it was late. Asked about the "5" restaurants as listed in its brochure. Found out that there were 3 and one was not included in the all-inclusive price, which we found out only AFTER we ate there (and $150 later). Although, I must say the food at the Porterhouse was superior. The food at the buffets and the "a la carte" restaurant was mediocre, at best. Some of the "a al carte" was good except the chef was heavy-handed with the soy sauce. The location is absolutely gorgeous. Basically it is on an island off Isla Mujeres, connected by a bridge. I would suggest to upgrade to a Villa, which we did. Second floor is best. The view of the waves and the "Kings' Bath" from our balcony was fantastic. Most of the staff was friendly and extremely polite. Most of the staff are limited in their understanding and use of the English language, which caused a few miscommunications. We did have some strange happenings. First morning we got a wake up call at 6:30 which we never requested. Second morning at 5:30 we heard a knock at the door and it was room service delivering breakfast...they had the wrong room. We really found this strange as the front desk said that room service will only begin on April 15. Also, one late afternoon, we were in our room watching television and one of the staff members opened our door with a master key (I assume), and a guest walked in with shirts and a suitcase ready to move in! We were shocked. Evidently they had the wrong room, but we didn't feel very secure after that. We made sure that we double locked the room when we were in there and also kept our valubles in the room safe. The brochure that they sent us prior to our trip lists the ammenities and facilities included. We found that a lot wasn't included or they didn't do as they advertised. TstedNo CD player as listedNewspaper not delivered to room as listedFamily Photo - this was listed but never saw a photographer or anything at the hotel that states it.Healthy choice menu items - didn't find anything on the a la carte menu that staes it was a healthy choiceBicyle rental - said they didn't have any.Breakfast in bed and 24-hour room service - they said that only starts April 15.Premium Drinks - no, just domesticAnother small problem was getting washcloths. We got them only a few times and that was only because we asked. I noticed that was a complaint in other reviews too. The housekeeping itself could have been better, but was not bad. One thing I did notice that is a pet-peeve of mine is dirty mirrors and windows. The mirrors in the bathroom and bedroom hadn't seen any Windex in a long time. I noticed that the glass doors in the hotel, etc., should be cleaned better and more often also.Also, they say the hotel will exchange money for you. We approached the desk 3 times and all 3 times they didn't have any money to exchange for us.All in all, the place is beautiful. The beach is lovely and the water is shallow and calm so it's very safe for kids. There seemed to be plenty of chairs and umbrellas for the amount of people that were there (which weren't that many, surprisingly).The most activity was with the people who were brought in for the "vacation ownership" deals that the hotel was trying to sell them. We were approached once by the concierge, but decided to bow out after we heard it was much longer than the 90 minutes they said it would take. I guess if you don't mind sitting through a 4-hour sales pitch, you can get some freebies. I know we went through something similar at Playacar several years ago and never got what they promised because we didn't sign. Be leary of these deals. They don't call it a time-share anymore, but it's very similar. Luckily they did not press us to reschedule after we canceled. We did notice, though, that the possible "vacation-ownershipaying guests. There is some entertainment at the Avalon Reef, but not much. The nightclub had 2 to 4 people in it several nights and a couple of other nights they might have had 5 or 6 couples. Would have been nice to have more entertainment and varied types of entertainment.The Island itself is lovely and safe. We rented a golf cart twice and toured the Island. Downtown shopping area is just a short walk from the Avalon. So is the ferry. We did take the ferry one day and spent that day in Cancun. You can actually go to one of the other Avalons in Cancun and get your meals and drinks there also with the all inclusive. You just have to tell them you are from the Avalon Reef, show your bracelet and give them your room number.Basically, the Avalon Reef Club it's a lovely place. The grounds are kept very nicely. The location is ideal. It has potential but they need to work on several things. Being only a year old or so, it's probably going through some growing pains. I think the food could be much better and maybe add one other restaurant (that isn't a buffet) that would be included in the AI price would be great.If they correct the problems that they have, it will be a great place. Right now I would not consider it a 5 star as they advertise, maybe a 3. Although, location, grounds, beach and villa view make it a 5.
We stayed 5 days in one of the Villas at the Avalon Reef Club, Isla Mujeres. The Avalon van picked us up from the cancun airport and dropped us off at the Porte Vuarez(about a 1/2 hr. ride, free/included if A/I, but $20 USD if not). We took a 20 minute ferry to isla mujeres's port($3.50USD). We then took a 5 minute taxi ($2-2.50USD) to the hotel. This bit of basic travel instruction from cancun to isla mujeres was not provided to us, and it was a bit unnerving, but once we found out the steps, it was easy, and the ferry is about the only thing that's on time at isla mujeres. The rooms were clean, nice and had a spectacular view from the balcony. We opted for the AI plan, and took most of our meals at the resort. We found breakfast to be the best. One or two of the dinners were delicious as well. The resort does offer a limited mexican menu, all you have to do is sit down at a table, and one of the waiters will come over to you and ask if you want the buffet or the menu. We often ordered lunch off of this mexican menu and found it delicious. The wait staff were friendly and hospitable, but slower paced to what we were used to in the NE, US. Which is to be expected in the hot tropics of the Yucatan and Isla Mujeres. The first three days of our trip, it appeared to us the wait staff outnumbered the guests, but interestingly enough, service was still at the same slow relaxed pace. Once we got used to the slow rhythm of the island life, it was fine. Service was always friendly with a smile, and even though the AI included tips, we made sure to leave an extra tip to reward the friendly service.Its not a five star resort as the timeshare sales crew will inform you, its really a 3.5 - 4 star(i.e., 4 star for isla mujeres) resort. I think some of the issues we encountered was the limitations in choices in entertainment, restaruant, only two beer choices(although both were good brands- -dos XX and Sol) and only domestic liquors; and not enough of a mexican menu. We opted for the AI plan, so. And also, we had some cultural miscommunications- -our wake up call never happened(again, mindful of the the relaxed atmosphere), we were told by the evening front desk person that we don't have to reserve a taxi at 5:30AM to take us to the port in the morning because taxis arrive every five minutes, and the next morning the day front desk manager informed us that we required a reservation because there are no taxis around at 5:30 AM--it wasn't a problem b/c we walked to the port. We opted for the 90 minute presentation(actually 3 hrs) in exchange for a trip to Chitzen Itsa, a cultural trip which was worth every minute of the 7 hrs round trip travel time. If you feel adventurous to tour the island on moped, snorkel at Garrafon Park which is at the end of the island and take the long trip to the Mayan Ruins, you will enjoy your trip and appreciate the comforts of Avalon. But I think if you are planning to spend your entire trip at Avalon, you will be very bored and find small discrepancies/problems (no face clothes, etc.). Finally, the people of Isla Mujeres so relaxed and easy that its easy to forget basic precautions, make sure you put all your valuables in the safe deposit box. We also liked the fact that Isla Mujeres is where the natives went to swim and have fun, unlike Cancun which feels just like an extension of the US. You won't find many natives sunning and swimming in the unnaturally faced paced Cancun. Once we adjusted to the relaxed way of life in Isla Mujeres, we had a wonderful time.
Our stay was not as good as we expected. We were told at the Boston Travel Show that included in our All-Inclusive vacation (if we signed up that day) we would be entitled to the following: Three restaurants to chose from-there was only one we could use and only two on the property that we saw. We were told we would get "Premium Liquer" but could only get domestic or well brands. We were told there were plenty of activities on the beach-NONE. Rooms were supposed to have stocked refrigerators and be replenished daily-we had to call almost everyday. Same with the maid service-no face cloths and no soap. There were numerous other problems but some people did not seem to care or were to busy. Our stuio room in the villa was spacious and the view from the balcony outstanding. The grounds were well kept (for the time share prospects I presume) and the food great at times and not so great at times. Bar and restaurant ran out of things quite often. Met some real nice people that helped make our week enjoyable. Would take some persuading for us to go back.
Beautiful & Relaxing!!!
Just came back from Isla. Stayed in town but agreed to 2 nights free at the Avalon plus a free golf cart. In exchange we had to listen to their 90 minute presentation. It was longer than 90 minutes, but they tell a very good story. We ended up actually buying. The beaches are so beautiful and the people on Isla are the friendliest I've ever met. Felt very comfortable and safe at all times! Highly recommend Isla no matter where you stay, but the Avalon is a wonderful world all it's own.
Great view! Good prices on food & drinks
The Avalon Reef Club is a nice, clean, convenient place to stay while on Isla Mujeres. The view from our studio unit was incredible. It's not luxurious by my standards but compared to other places on the island from what we heard from other people, it was on the high end, i.e., has hot water, water pressure and cable TV. The private beach is nice because there's nobody trying to sell you trinkets and such. Too few lounge chairs but we just grabbed some Adirondack chairs by the gazebo and that was fine. We heard that the time share presentation went closer to 4 hours as opposed to the hour 1/2 they said it would take. We bowed out because we already own. They did not pressure us thereafter. The staff was very pleasant and helpful. Housekeeping could have been a little better but not because they didn't clean well but they didn't always replace the toilet paper.Isla Mujeres is a GREAT vacation destination if you want to just chill out. Beers are still cheap. $1.50 per beer was on the high end. In Cancun, the exact same beer was $3.00. Don't pass up the Roasted Chicken guy downtown 'cause it was the best deal on the island and delicious. $6.00 for a whole roasted chicken with rice and all the fixins. Another great deal was the deep fried whole fish w/garlic at Mandriella's (not sure of the spelling but it's the yellow building on the same block as the post office) for only $4!! Came w/rice, salsa, tortillas if you want. Delicious too. The shop owners are not rude or aggressive. They'll invite you to come into their store but that's about it. In Cancun, the flea market vendors were relentless. If it sounds like I preferred Isla over Cancun, I did. Isla won't have Chili's or Domino's Pizza but you can get authentic Mexican food and not feel like you're always getting ripped off. Feel free to email if you have any questions.We'd stay at the Avalon Reef Club again and IM.
Decent get away
We stayed at Avalon Reef Club prior to the high season. That may have been why the place was not very heavily populated. Our general opinion is that it is a nice get away, but probably not a place we'd return to.
We stayed in the most basic of rooms. It was a nice, clean room, with a fantastic all water view. Maid service was not very thorough during our 6 night stay - we didn't get new washcloths for the last three of our nights, nor did we get new bottles of water (readily avialable though at the bar/restaurant), or another shower soap until we asked for it. Perhaps this is to be expected in Mexico? Niether of these issues was a big deal, just little things that were notable. The villas looked very nice, and I would suggest trying to get in to one of those. Otherwise a suite on the end of the hotel would be a good option too. The regular rooms are somewhat small, and they do not have balconies.
Becuase the best room rate we could find was connected to the AI meal plan, we ate most meals on site. The food at the resort is mediocre at best. The breakfast buffet offers made to order eggs, and various breads, fruits and cereals. Lunch on the property was served buffet style as well. Nothing at all spectacular. It was pretty much American food (burgers, hot dogs, pasta with cream sauces), which isn't what we went to Mexico to eat. Some folks really seemed to like it though.
Dinner is available a la carte. Again, all American selections. We did learn that the best dinner item was, in fact, not on the menu. Fajitas, chicken or beef, were avialable just not advertised.
The town on the island is interesting, and a nice easy walk (unless you have small children or have have medical reasons for not walking, a golf cart is just not necessary) from the Avalon. Evening strolls in town are not to be missed. (While you're there you might want to eat dinner too.)
The beach at the Avalon was very nice and cleaned daily by one guy. It seemed to be an excellent beach for small children to play at waters edge. No snorkeling right from the resort, although you can get on a boat at the resort to take you to some decent snorkeling off the island. Unless things change in the high season, there was no evidence of any non-motorized water sports or activities (which were supposedly included in the package). Not a problem for us, but something we noticed.
Finally, the time share issue...To our surprise we did not get approached one time by a TS sales person. They were prevalent however!! (Land sharks!!) As far as we can tell there are deals presented either at the Embarcadero in Cancun and/or in the town of IM that offer something free or for $1.00 if you take a tour of the property. Many of the people that came to visit IM via the Fast Cat everyday seemed to be attacked by the sales force as they arrived.
OK enough already! The Avalon was a decent place in general. There are nuances of service that could be improved, and the food service has a long way to go. If you choose to visit you'll likely have a nice vacation, but won't feel like you're in paradise.
The best place in Mexico
It is a beautiful resort - doesn't get much better. Isla Mujeres is a cute town. Almost everything is within walking distance. We have traveled to many places and Avalon Isla Mujeres is right up there with Bora Bora.
TripAdvisor Reviews Mia Reef Isla Mujeres
Travel Blogs from Isla Mujeres
How can so many things go wrong? The batteries (or one of them) are dead, the fridge is flooding, the sail is torn, the holding tank (holding not good things) is overflowing, the fuel tank is plogged up with sludge, the floors are de-laminating the anchor thingie is busted and Nancy is dying of old age - just to name a few.
This means that Ken is covered in grease and sewage, and I am not adequately entertained!
We did find time to go ...
... kidnapping attempt! Yet through all of this she is still serving in Central America. They cover eight countries from Mexico down to Colombia. It made me think that most people would have packed up and gone home ages ago. But she spoke of the examples we have - Timothy who was frequently ill and Paul who spoke of dangers from highwaymen. It was so obvious from thief smiles and general demeanour that they genuinely love what they do and Jehovah and nothing ...
... the end we've been going to but it was ok for a swim and to sit on the sun beds provided. That night we headed out for dinner at a place we got a great margarita from a few days before called Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville, we had coupons for 2 free drinks so we thought we'd use them and have dinner. It was a pretty good restaurant, the staff were friendly, the other patrons where not being loud and obnoxious like last time, the drinks were good ...
... and had some cocktails by the pool, in the sun. It was happy hour too, always a bonus. The drinks continued up in the room and were going down well. We later got ready and headed out for our dinner. Kar's choice, Casa Tequila - a Mexican restaurant which wasn't too far away. Everyone seemed to enjoy their meal apart from Sam who was served Enchiladas covered in chocolate??? The Piña Coladas were good too. We then ...
... to party.
The trip to Cancun started early. Got up at 5:30, packed and left Rafi's place at 6:00. Took the underground to Union station and from there the shuttle to Lax. Arrived at 8:20. Left for Dallas at 10:10 for a 3-hour flight. Arrived in Dallas Texas and had a bit over an hour of overlay which is perfect (always need some with connection flights in case there is a delay). Then it was an hour and 40 minutes to Cancun. Good surprise was that for ...