We have been going to Isla Mujeres for many years but this was the first time we stayed at PA. Normally we would not think of doing all-inclusive but we figured that at 13 dollars a person per day it was more than worth it, if only for lunch and before-dinner drinks. As it turns out, we barely budged and with one breakfast exception, ate all our meals there. Overall we really enjoyed this hotel and would definitely consider staying again. I’m a bit long-winded so thank you in advance for reading this :)
We were greeted with a cold towel and a glass of sparkling wine, very nice touches after a long day of traveling. Maria and Pedro were at the front desk, and both were friendly, welcoming, and accommodating. Jaime quickly took us and our luggage to our room, which we ended up changing, as you can see below.
Originally we reserved a superior room but it was just way too small so we asked for an upgrade to a suite deluxe. There really is no comparison between the two so if you are like me and need a bit of space, definitely go with a suite deluxe. Maria and Pedro at the front desk really went out of their way to find us a suite since the hotel was so full, but they managed and we were really happy. Thank you guys, you’re the best!
We were in building 3 and first floor, which turned out to be perfect for speedy, uninterrupted wifi from anywhere in our room. People in other buildings have complained that it was either weak, or nonexistent. So if having wifi is important to you, ask for building 3.
Our room overlooked the pool and you could even see a bit of the ocean between the palm trees. The living room and kitchenette were huge, and the bedroom was a nice size also. There were 2 closets so you have plenty of space for your belongings. Bathroom was just beautiful, with lots of hot water and terrific water pressure. The A/C always worked perfectly, in fact, often we would shut it because it became a bit chilly.
Housekeeping was excellent, with lovely towel art provided by Adda, and our minibar was always refilled with plenty of water. I know others have mentioned a water issue but we did not find it to be a problem. Maintenance is excellent as we had a problem with our toilet running and not refilling and they sent a man up to fix it within 10 minutes. Products provided were very good quality shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, and bath salts for the Jacuzzi. Great hair dryer and lots of towels, face cloths, etc, so you really don’t have to bring anything from home.
POOL and BEACH
The pools are very clean and very well-maintained, surrounded with lots of loungers so there was no need for the towel game even though the hotel was pretty full. You exchange your towel cards for towels at the spa. There was a pool side grill where you could order off a menu (typical things like pizza, burgers, sandwiches) or have the hot daily special that they would set up. Each day it was something different and the best one was the chorizo and chicken tacos. What would have made it perfect is if they had guacamole and pico de gallo but alas, they didn’t. Other days they had BBQ chicken (chicken great, sauce too sweet for me), burgers and hot dogs, grilled meats, etc.
The beach also had plenty of palapas and loungers so as with the pool, there was no need for the towel game.
Breakfast buffet was fine. Nothing terribly elaborate but perfectly adequate with different fruits, juices, cereal, yogurt, cold cuts and cheeses, smoked salmon, hard boiled eggs, hot local dishes such as chilequilas, shredded meat or chicken, and of course an omelet station manned by the ever smiling Jose. Aside from regular coffee you can also get cappuccino, espresso, and latte. They did have a toaster, but what would make things perfect is if they also had a panini grill so you could make melted cheese and tomato sandwiches :)
Lunch on the beach is wonderful, either at your lounger under a palapa or at a table at the Café del Mar. Service is excellent and the staff works very hard. The best lunch I had there was the shrimp and steak brochettes, and my husband loved the fish filet. The ceviche was ok but would have been better with cilantro and more lime juice. As it was, it was pretty bland, although the fish was delicious. Skip the shrimp cocktail unless you like a pretty sweet, almost ketchup tasting sauce all over it.
We did not try Satay or Sabor for dinner and only had one buffet lunch at Sabor thanks to tropical storm Ernesto. Since it was raining we decided to try the buffet lunch and had chicken breast grilled to order with a salad and delicious freshly made French fries. Did not try other dishes and honestly, I don’t remember what else they had out.
We ended up having dinner at Café del Mar every day. Originally we intended to eat dinners out but then you’re sitting on the beach with a glass of wine, watching the sunset, seeing the musicians set up, and inertia would set in and you decide to stay. There is just something so magical about sitting there, watching the lights of Cancun twinkling across the water, listening to jazz or whatever live music happens to be playing. Service is terrific: a big thank you to Sergio, formerly of Villa Rolandi (their loss, PA’s gain), Enrique, Raul, Jesus, and the Captain, Augustin. Food was excellent or we would certainly not have eaten there every night. We know Isla and its restaurants really well so it’s not like we didn’t know what was “out there.”
Some of our favorite dishes were the steak and chorizo plate, the mahi mahi, the chicken breast with garlic sauce and pineapple-raisin chutney (OMG, the best), the seafood duet, filet mignon with Roquefort sauce, and the shrimps in white wine sauce. Even if you just venture off the street and pay for dinner, the prices are very reasonable with the shrimp being 130 pesos, the steak 150 pesos, etc. I highly recommend at least one dinner here whether you’re doing all-inclusive or not.
We’re wine drinkers so can’t comment on mixed drinks or beer, but the house white and red were from Chile and perfectly adequate.
There is a small gym with two treadmills, a bike, and a stair master, along with some free weights. It’s not air conditioned so go early in the morning if you’re going to use it. They do have fans going and it’s the perfect place to refill your water bottle with cold water while around the pool.
The spa is pretty full-service with facials, manicures and pedicures, different types of massages, etc. I kept meaning to try them but as I said, it’s all about the inertia, lol.
Security is good with people patrolling the beach area day and night as well as the street outside the hotel.
We rented a golf cart for the week from Ciro and parked it right outside the main entrance. It was 600 pesos per day, so it’s a bit pricey but worth the freedom of going where ever you want whenever you want. We took several drives each day and it’s a lot of fun. Lot more fun than taxis, but if you go with the latter, there are always cabs cruising by so you won’t have to wait longer than a minute or two.
We loved our stay and surprised ourselves by staying put but it was just too comfortable and relaxing to do otherwise. Hope you find it the same should you decide on this hotel :)