Balconies with panoramic views of the ocean... comfortable King beds... a great location off the town square... Pool overlooking the crashing surf... Rocamar offers good value for $100/night. I liked it in 2009 and 2010 when we stayed and they've made lots of positive changes since then. This review focuses on the changes since 2010.
Rocamar was newly renovated in 2009. While some of the new bits are already showing signs of age (clogged shower heads - poor water pressure, stucco coming off) they are continuing to make improvements.
The biggest was that the pool area has had a lovely makeover. There's a large sun canopy and many loungers and beach mattresses. There's a nice view of the ocean and the water in the pool was much warmer than in previous years. We hung out there for an hour or two almost every afternoon and so did many other guests - a real difference from the days when you never saw anyone near the pool.
Rocamar no longer has a restaurant, but Q'Bravo down Calle Bravo (on the way to the ferry) will deliver to the pool, and the food there is great. We had three pool lunches. The chicken tacos pastor with grilled pineapple were the best tacos I've ever had (15 pesos each). The prices and food are fantastic and it was lovely to be able to eat lunch by the pool.
The rooms have also been upgraded. There is a flat TV in each room (only five channels, mostly Spanish) and satellite TV in the lobby. New wooden shelving surrounds the TV and there's a wooden shelf below and wooden headboard on the bed. The rooms have two plastic chairs and two wire ones, plus a table for the balcony. I can't recall if the hammocks were always so easy - now it's just a matter of dropping an S-ring into a hole in the wall. The triple-wide patio doors used to slide all the way open; ours in Room 15 only slid 1/3 of the way across, which was fine with us as we couldn't leave the door open anyway with a small child. We were delighted to see that the street lights adjacent to Rocamar on the Malecon have been turned off - a couple of years ago we had a room with a street light right outside our window, which made it hard to sleep even with the curtains drawn and unpleasant to sit on the balcony after dark.
We'd heard through Tripadvisor that Rocamar had installed wifi in all the rooms and even though there was a wireless router in our room and a strong network (Rocamar2), we couldn't seem to get on the Internet with it and ended up going to the lobby for Internet anyway. The rooms closest to the lobby would probably have enough signal for wifi in-room, so if you want to be sure of in-room wifi, ask for room 11, 12, 17 or 18. Folks had cleverly placed chairs along each hall at the wifi's furthest reach so you could sit for a few minutes without going all the way downstairs.
There were notices at the front desk and in each room about keeping the doors locked at night and while away from the room, and new security cameras in several areas, including the malecon. I spoke to a restauranteur who told me that break-ins have been a problem on Isla of late, with electronics the primary target. We did sleep with the patio door cracked about 3" and the metal bar in place to prevent it from opening further. We also used the safe for our valuables at night and hid the key.
Rocamar always made an urn of coffee in the mornings but it was always too late for us, 8:00 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. This year it was ready by 6:00 a.m. We kept a carton of milk in the mini-fridge because we prefer it to Coffeemate.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.