I am planning on visiting Isla Mujeres in July 08 with my BF. I am interested in an all-inclusive to a) make the trip easier on a less experienced traveler (my BF) and b) for value-added/cost savings.
Based on pricing for air + hotel packages, it seems Ixchel Beach Hotel and Avalon Reef Club are always coming out ahead for cost (especially Avalon Reef). I've looked at photos of both and can clearly see that Ixchel is the newer and more upscale one, but Avalon Reef seems to have some distinct charms.
For those experienced Isla visitors out there, which do you think is better ALL AROUND based on following criteria:
-quality of beach (both for sunning/relaxing AND swimming; I've seen the pics of Media Luna and can see the beach there looks too rocky/seaweedy for swimming)
-proximity/availability of snorkeling
-quality of pools and outdoor areas
-quality of rooms and amenities
-quality of restaurants/bars and other "all-inclusive" features
-type of scene (we are mid-30s professionals from NYC and would "prefer" an atmosphere that's a little more mature, not party vibe and also on the quieter side).
Naturally we also plan trips around the island, and yes, I have already orderd Map Chick's maps :)
Thanks in advance for the suggestions. I've been reading the forums and pouring over the Isla info here and can't wait!!!
Finally, if you have any specific rooms you would suggest at either place (or somewhere else; the in-town hotels look lovely but for my less-travelled BF who doesn't like things to be too up in the air, it might be too much for him on this first trip to Isla), please let me know. Thanks!