Na Balam Beach Hotel
Travel Blogs from Isla Mujeres
... Just as Kathy handed over the money and put in licence for security there was a change in the weather....cue dark black clouds!!
Innocent as were we drove back to the hostel to pick up rain jackets and then headed off driving down the other end of the island. Fifteen minutes later the monsoon had hit and there wasn't an inch if us that was dry and that was with the wind at our backs....we couldn't wait for the road to end and we would be heading the other direction...who would ...
... taxi service pick us up in Mexico and help us get through customs and the border and take us directly to our apartment. We are so excited to finally be on our way. One of the flight attendants on the first leg of our trip today is looking to buy property near Placencia, Belize, which is in the middle to south part of the country. Stay tuned as we continue with our wanderings. You never know where they will take us. Until ...
... jumped in the water (wearing wetsuits, flippers, snorkels and masks) our excitement grew even more and adrenaline kicked in as the huge whale sharks swam next to us, past us, under us, over us and sometimes almost into us! We can not explain how awesome it was to swim with these whale sharks in the wild. Some were massive (they can grow up to 15 feet long), even making Matt look and feel small next to them. They were ...
... next door is the all-you-can-eat buffet.
I find these places on the whole positive. Though there is an obvious erosion of authentic culture, the Mayans have only survived this long through adaptation. If flogging wall paintings, hand-carved pieces of art, and skull replicas to a willing public (including yours truly) is a means of income and allows them to preserve their customs, then I am all for it.
During lunch, the waiters conducted ...
... before. Adios pal. I go around the corner, jackpot, big fat Western Union sign over an Banamex, it's open. I go in, air conditioning. It's 9.45am and life is good. There is a ticket system, I see 4 people seated clutching their little paper stubs. I find the machine, not really sure which category I am. I go for servicio de clientes. I just want to get in the queue for something, I figure I can get away with an innocuous category error. The machine whirs, but nothing comes out. ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Swimming pool
- Free High-Speed Internet
TravelPod Member ReviewsNa Balam Beach Hotel Isla Mujeres
The staff is great! The grounds are superb but the actually room smells musty. Cool that your roof is made of palm trees but be weary of the mosquitos. ok for familys but not the best
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Na Balam Beach Hotel Isla Mujeres
Truly a delight, but not for the typical Cancun tourist
NaBalam is a wonderful place with friendly staff, beautiful landscaping, and a relaxed feel on a gorgeous beach. I've stayed there 10 times and would go back tomorrow. It is a true piece of the Yucatan, however, and so is not for those American tourists who need their all-inclusive chain hotel surroundings. Those people should stay in Cancun and not venture into unfamiliar territtory. The decor is Mayan/Mexican and is certainly different than the bland, mass-produced stuff you will see at the Disneyesque monster hotels in the Cancun hotel zone. The location is excellent, and is within easy walking distance of the charming restaurants and shops in town. If you want to experience something diffferent than your own backyard, this is a place you will remember forever.
Skip this DIRTY dungeon
All the promises and seclusion that are promised on the na balam website are falsehoods and lies. we got there and the rooms were disheveled and dirty...art was cheap and crooked and coming out of the frames....bathrooms/UGH! skip it, take your chances with someother place, there are plenty.
A completely gorgeous, relaxing oasis. People have complained about small rooms. Ours was huge. View of the beach. Terrace with hammock and lounge chairs. You can **LIVE** at this place. My husband and I went with our 4 year old and made friends in no time with other children of guests, and also children of the help. The service was impeccable. The ocean, the pool, the playground, the restaurant, the outdoor bar. It's all quite magical. You can sit in your lounge chairs on the beach and have them bring you lunch and drinks. Or walk to the village for dinner. Or bike around the island. We had been warned about eating fruits and vegetables in Mexico that might be washed with contaminated water, but at the Na balam, we ate EVERYTHING. Delicious and no problems ever. Particularly loved barefoot breakfasts in sandy outdoor courtyard. You could always spot the "new arrivals" since they still had their shoes on. Our only regret is that we can't go back every single year.
Nice Place, If They Honor Your Reservation
I had read the warnings of Na Balam but I did not listen. Don't get me wrong, the place is beautiful and the food was decent but my warning to you, if you stay at Na Balam get there early or you will not have a room, reservation or not.
My wife and I visited Mexico for our honeymoon and Isla Mujeres was our second destination. We first stayed four nights in Tulum at Ana Y Jose Cabanas and our stay was just about perfect. Wonderful staff, excellent food and beautiful rooms. Tulum was heaven.
Then we took a taxi and ferry to Isla Mujeres, not an easy trip but we were willing to deal with it. After our hour-long taxi ride and short ferry trip we were greeted at the boat dock by a friendly guy with a bike to carry our luggage. It was August so it was very hot. We walked to Na Balam, tired and ready to relax to only be told, we don't have a room for you. "WHAT? I have my confirmation number right here!" Didn't matter, but they were happy to show us to there "business associate's" place down the street. The place was horrible and way over-priced. The beach was crowded and full of college-aged kids and felt like we were in Miami for Spring Break, not Mexico.
Anyway, listen to me so your wife or husband won't have a story to tell friends for the rest your lives together. Take my advice and go to Tulum, stay at Ana Y Jose in the beach front cabanas and sink your toes in the sand, have a Corona and relax by the calm blue waters. I didn't listen, you might want to.
Stay here, nowhere else!
what a nice service and nice people! We were updgraded to the rooms with Jacuzzi for $100 all included, I would have paid $300 for them!
Unbelivably nicer than the regular rooms so if you go there with your sweetheart dont hesitate, the rooms are very very very cute and nicely decorated, the jacuzzi right on the beach is huge not to mention the superb restaurant and the beautiufl settings. When you stay here you think at all the folks in Cancun and you feel bad for them...
thankfully they dont know what they miss!
Stayed here 5 years ago for my daughters wedding. Nothing has changed.
Staff is wonderful, the beach is the best. Food and service is very good. Best beach on Isla, maybe Isla North Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The air-conditioning was iffy, and the hot water was on request. Mexico, I love it. We will be back next year for our honeymoon. If you want a real low key vacation in a wonderful place, go to the Na Balam Hotel. Easy walking to the many shops and resturants on Isla. We recommend it highly. It isn't Cancun. slick and upscale. Its a world of its own off the coast of Cancun. I hope it never changes. Isla remains an oasis in a stressed world. Go for the beauty and experience Mexico as it was -----
Absolutely terrible - don't go there!
I had plained to spent 7 days in Na Balam Beach Hotel, but when I arrived there I could not accept to spend my vacation in that orrible place! The rooms are small and poor, there is no ocean view from "ocean view rooms", the beach is crowded and dirty, the breakfast is terrible, and the staff is the worst I found in 3 weeks holiday in Mexico. The web site is very nice, but completely different from what you'll find there...
Great hotel !
Great location. Walking distance to everything. Best beach location on the island. Take the kids or someone special. Rooms were a little small but who spends any time in the room. Great beach bar! Restaurant on site with breakfast lunch and dinner. We enjoyed our stay and the staff and we will be back.
Funky fun on Isla
We stayed at Na Balam for only 3 nights at the end of April, and kicked ourselves for not staying longer. We were in Mexico for three weeks and had never been to IM and wanted to give it a try. Now that we are back, we are already planning to return to Isla Mujeres in two more months! I think we're hooked. We found Na Balam to be a bit over-priced for what you get. The rooms are simple but clean, and the room we had overlooked the roof of the beach bar/restaurant in addition to the water. BUT, what you do get is undoubtedly the prime position on one of the best beaches I've ever seen. (And I've been to a LOT of the Caribbean's best beaches.) Friendly helpful staff and lovely winding shaded paths to the rooms and an overall laid back vibe made Na Balam a perfect place for relaxation. My main complaint is that there were not enough beach chairs/loungers, and people from other properties seemed to feel free to take them over. It would be nice if someone from the hotel could keep an eye out for the guest's abilities to get chairs. I liked the dogs hanging around, though that bothered some guests who wrote in the comment book that they didn't care for that. Vendors can be a little insistent and plentiful at times, but a polite "No Gracias" is usually enough to dissuade them. (Plus, some of them have some pretty pareos and macrame belts/purses/bracelets.) I'd suggest those bothered by topless sunbathing not visit the island as it is very common and widespread. Na Balam is quite charming, and is on our short list of properties for our return, but those who are very fussy about manicured lawns or quiet elegance should probably look at Villa Rolandi or Hotel Secreto.
Na Balam is still the nicest spot on the North Beach. The rooms are simple but large and comfortable. Rooms on the beach get great breezes. The staff are very nice and the bar near the dining room is the most romantic anywhere. The dining room used to serve fantastic dinners, but we were a little disappointed this time. Not bad, but not worth the price. Breakfast (ask for this to be included in your room rate) and lunch at the beach bar are excellent. Try the seafood nachos. All in all, a very pleasant place for a few days of rest and relaxation.