I have visited Isla Mujeres many times and stayed at places all over the island: Posada del Mar, Francis Arlene, Mar y Sol, Casa Luna Turquesa, Sabina's Apartments, to name a few. I like to stay somewhere different most of the time, and I have found I generally like all the places I have stayed at while on the island.
For a little perspective, I have been traveling in Mexico for about 30 years, most of my adult life. I have stayed in surfer shacks on the Pacific Coast (love it) and all inclusive resorts (hate it) I even stayed at "El Mirador" in Acapulco once-that's the "Cliff Diver" hotel (or the "Elvis Hotel" as I like to call it, it was in "Fun In Acapulco" with The King)
For New Year's 2006-2007, I stayed at Zina's apartment in Colonia La Gloria. I thought it was a great experience and a good place to stay for me.
I ran into Zina in November during a previous visit to Isla Mujeres. I had just booked airfare for New Year's but was a little apprehensive about finding a place to stay on such relatively short notice. Zina said she had an opening for New Years and I paid her a deposit on the spot. I wrote up a "contract" on one of Miguel's cocktail napkins, we shook hands and that was that.
Getting to the apartment in Colonia La Gloria was easy. All the taxistas know the neighborhood as "frente Federico" and it is an inexpensive ride to and from El Centro, taxis are plentiful most of the time. I love riding in taxis on the island, it is always an adventure and I get to see different aspects of the island and usually love trying to converse with the taxistas and the other passengers. You can usually catch a taxi in front of the apartment to go into town or anywhere else on the island; to return I find it is usually best to catch a taxi at the Sitio next to the ferry docks, you can always find a taxi there.
The neighborhood itself is fascinating, this is a place where real families and real working Islenos live. Across the street from Zina's is a taqueria, a couple of doors down from there is a mini super. Next door to the apartment is a pizza place, I haven't tried it but another friend of mine who lives on the island likes their pizza and gets pizza there occasionally (sounds like a recommendation to me)
The apartment I stayed in, the upstairs unit, is accessed from a private gate on the side street. The apartment itself is roomy enough for 1 and probably pretty comfortable for 2 (2 people who are accostomed to sharing the same bed)The apartment was clean and comfy and very suitable to my needs and I thought it was a good value, especially for the New Years high season.
The apartment consists of two main rooms: a kitchen/dining area and a bedroom. The kitchen is nothing fancy, a half size fridge (larger than a dorm fridge but smaller than a full size fridge) there is a microwave, a coffee maker, a toaster, a blender. There is no cook top per se, but Zina will provide an electric skillet if needed. There is also an outdoor grill if you are super adventurous and wanna grill the fish you caught that day, or buy something from the mercado. I used the coffee maker (Mr Coffee) and I stashed some cokes etc in the fridge. It was just what I needed.
The bedroom was large enough, what I call a "Mexican Queen Size" bed: smaller than an American queen size, but larger than a twin. There is a ceiling fan and a window unit AC. There is also cable TV and a DVD player and a jambox for music. The views are not spectacular but not unpleasant either, you can see the neighborhood out one side.
Outside the apartment is a deck with a table and chairs, looks like a nice place to spend an evening (or an afternoon) The neighborhood is quiet and peaceful, except for New Years Eve, there was a lot of activity that night! Good thing I spent New Years Eve partying downtown! Otherwise, it is much quieter than downtown.
The apartment is not luxurious by any means, but it is not advertised as such, either. It is clean and comfortable and certainly suits my needs while visiting Isla Mujeres.
Overall, I would say that I was satisfied with my stay at Zina's place. I thought it was a really good value for the money and I was comfortable there. I would certainly consider staying there again.