I have wanted to go to Isla Mujeres for years. Back when I first discovered it as a Travel Agent. My husband however was sceptical due to an unpleasant experience in Cabo San Lucas and seemingly thousands of time share salespeople. After discovering that there are only two timeshares on the island and promising we would not be staying anywhere near either of them he finally agreed to give it a try.
I currently work for an airline so our airfare was set. We decided on Casa Ixchel. We booked the Contemplation Suite for 89.00 a night and I was a little nervous because it was not pictured on the website and the cost of the room was so much less then their other rooms.
We arrived in Cancun and literally breezed through customs and immigration. We exited the baggage claim area into a room with booths set up on either end and people yelling and frantically waving us over. Memories of Cabo came flooding back. Thank God and this message board we had booked Cancun Valet. They were waiting for us with a sign and after a 20 minute ride to the ferry we were on our way to Isla.
Once on the Island the taxi stand is directly to the left of the ferry dock. We passed the famous Bimbo Dogs stand but neither of us felt courageous enough to try one. The taxi ride was only 5-10 minutes to the hotel and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Casa Ixchel was beautiful and the contemplation suite was just as nice as the other rooms pictured on the website. The only drawback was it was one of the two rooms in the hotel without an oceanview which explains the drastic difference in price.
We changed into our suits and took a dip in the pool which was freezing but amazingly we aclimated to the water quickly. After a quick inspection of the spa we found that to be almost as freezing as the pool. The view and sounds of the ocean were incredible.
After a quick shower and change we made our way into town. While a few shops stood out I found for the most part seen one seen em all philosophy seemed to apply. We decided to try Miramar for dinner. I had the grouper and my husband had fish tacos. Not to mention a couple of Sol. Dinner was good but not great. The bill was around 20.00us for the both of us.
We decided to try breakfast at the hotel. The rooftop restaurant was opening that day. We each ordered orange juice, eggs with vegetables and potatoes, and a huge plate of fruit to share. The orange juice was freshly squeezed and the largest glass of orange juice I have ever been given at a restaurant. The total came to about 20.00us again for both and we felt the fruit and juice were worth the price alone.
After breakfast we decided to rent a golf cart. It cost aproximately 40.00us to rent from 0900-1700. We took a drive up the caribbean side of the coast to Punta Sur and around to Garrafon. Too bad it was closed, it was absolutely beautiful. On our trip back we stopped at the Villa Las Brisas. This was actually our first choice of a hotel but due to time constraints and their not accepting credit cards we were unable to stay there.
The hotel actually looked better in person then it did on the website. We have traveled extensively and I have to say that in my experience that is a rarity. We took a tour of one of the palapa suites which the pictures did not do justice and had probably the best pina colada I have ever had. Ashley and Curtis were both extremely helpful and friendly. Curtis even gave us a map and pointed out for us his personal recommendations.
We spent the afternoon at North Beach and had lunch at Velasquez (one of Curtis' recommendations) it was located along the piers a couple of doors down from Miramar. The food was exceptional. I had the grouper again and my husband had the shrimp. The cost was around 14.00us total.
After returning the golf cart we went back to the hotel for yet another swim in the pool. We decided to try Casa O's for dinner. The view was beautiful and my husband commented it was the most romantic restaurant he had ever eaten in. A tip to the ladies with long hair though, put it up. The restaurant is open to the elements and was partcularly breezy that night and I was constantly fighting with my hair. Dinner was good but I actually thought the food at Velasquez was better. It came to around 60.00 total for appetizers, entree, wine, and desert. Which was still a bargain for a restaurant of that caliber. The ambiance can not be beat.
Breakfast at the hotel again and then a trip to the Turtle Farm. The entrance fee was only 1.00 and well worth it. After that we decided to give Buho's a try. We each had a Sol and then tried the pina coladas. Not as good as Villa Las Brisas so what the heck we caught a cab back out there for pina coladas.
For dinner we wanted to try the famous "baseball tacos". We set out walking from our hotel and made it to the field quickly. Unfortunately it was still another hour and half before he would open and my husband was hungry so decided to stop at a small restaurant we had passed on the way over. The name was El Charco. I had beef tacos and he had chichen, the chicken were exceptional. Dinner with sodas came to around 7.00us for the both of us.
Today was the day to leave so we decided to spend our morning at North Beach. We elected to try Buho's for breakfast since it was right on the beach. The food was great and reasonable but be prepared to wait a long time. There is definately a trick to it. First of all you have to be proactive and get your own menus, then you have to stop the waiter to take your order. If you take a seat and wait then that is exactly what you will do like the couple seated next to us who were still waiting for menus when we left.
After a wonderful morning in the water we headed back to the hotel where we took one last dip in the freezing pool and then packed to leave. The return trip back to the airport was easy and uneventful. The only snag was getting back to Las Vegas. For anyone who has ever "nonreved" before I will admit that returning home to Las Vegas stand by over Superbowl weekend was probably not my most inspired choice but we made it. All in all the trip was a fabulous success and we will definately be back