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“Na Balam - almost on the beach” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Na Balam Beach Hotel

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Na Balam Beach Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle Zazil Ha 118 | Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres 77400, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #18 of 35 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Denmark
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Na Balam - almost on the beach”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

Na Balam has rooms both almost on the beach and rooms half a minute from the beach. We were two couples and had booked close to the beach. One room was upgraded to almost on the beach, so we choose an upgrade for the other room as well. Cost $82 pr night but then with own outdoor pool and a large bath in the floor inside. The bath did not work, the outdoor did and it was overlooking the beach. Quite nice. The restaurant of the hotel was very good. Quick and friendly waiters, excellent food, try the variants of giant shrimp, delicious. Breakfast was with a lot of fresh fruit, good coffee and and (important to me) quick refills. The beach had service as well, also quick and efficient, and the beach was wonderfull. There was yoga at the hotel, only to be recommended. We hired a golf car for four persons and went all down to the south end of the island. Do it if you visit Isla Mujeres. It is easily done in a day. Then visit the turtle farm halfway down south. Very interesting and you see very small baby turtles, you hear about the programme for rescuing the sea turtles.
For us this was a perfect start for 2 weeks in Yucutan. After Isla Mujeres we went to Playa del Carmen, Rio Lagartos nature reservation, Valladolid, Chichen Itza and Tulum. Two wonderfull weeks.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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501 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (117)
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English first
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

This is my third visit to Na Balam Beach hotel and it was very relaxing! I found the people at the front desk to be very helpful, especially Brianna and Israel. The room was very clean & comfortable. This is not your 4 star hotel! It is low key and intimate-the amenities are basic, but that is all you need here if you want to relax. If you want bells and whistles, go to Cancun!!!


I would add a lock to the screen door so you can leave the glass door open at night!
This is just a minor crit - top sheet under the blanket!!!!!!!!!!

I love the restaurant, but it could be more up beat in the evening-different music each nite-love Laura Nero, but not the same tape each night?
A bit more variation on the restaurant menu - maybe a special each night, a barbecue on the beach?????( pork, fish, chicken- something special each night to bring more people to the restaurant)
The staff is lovely, but need to be a bit more aware of the customers.

Room Tip: Second floor-You get a breeze and do not have to use the air conditioner.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Had read good reviews on this place and it was a complete letdown.

The positives - location is great and hammock with no tv in the room is a good fit for this island.

The negatives - apart from the nice Mexican lady that works mornings, the expat front desk staff are useless and didn't care for a couple of young travellers. We got in a bit early, our room want ready, that's fair enough, but they couldn't even check us in on time and we ended up waiting 3 hours!

The restaurant - terrible, staff are not friendly (I mostly got ignored), it's expensive and the food's crap

No Internet in the rooms - if you want wifi you have to go to the outside lobby which means you will get eatten alive by Mosquitos.

The room had no lighting and little natural lighting due to its positioning.

For the most part I just felt like they didn't care or like us, which was not nice. Have had some great hotels on my trip but this is not one of them. I say look somewhere else in the area.



  • Stayed January 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

My title sums it up, just ok. We stayed on the pool side our room was clean, the beds were a little hard but not uncomfortable. The room key was completely irritating! It worked if you jiggled it just right, a couple of times the first day we just gave up. As others have stated the beach towels for pool side are brown and thin while beachside towels are striped and thicker. Why have two different types if it is all one hotel?!?
But you don't stay here for the towels you stay for the location which you just can't beat.
The service at the restaurant was good, only once did someone point out that tips weren't included. We ate lunch beachside most days from the restaurant. Not the cheapest way to go but super easy when you are in lazy vacation mode with two kids !!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

Just stayed for 4 nights here, it was alright. Great location on the island and would recommend that. No wifi except for the lobby where you get eaten by Mosquitos at night. The restaurant is overpriced and pretty poor really. I'm happy to tip people when they do a good job but when they do nothing and ask for tips I find that a bit rude, especially when you have an abundance of staff working doing nothing. Wouldn't bother with the eggs they are really oily. Other then that the food is decent. Our room was comfortable and clean. With a hammock in the room which was cool. Would stay there again if the price was right. And would recommend to others too. I'm sure that there are better places in the area though.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Victoria, BC
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Nice beach, nice rooms. I am up at 12:41 am writing this review thanks to the fist pumping jersey shore ghetto club music pounding from zazil ha bar and restauarant in here. Have already asked to have it turned down once as it woke up my two and four year olds from a dead sleep an hour ago. Sucks sucks sucks. If you don't mind that, then find out the construction schedule before booking your stay. Starts REAL early, people. No naps for the toddler, thanks. Without the kids, I'd say the continental brekky was fine, the beach and services were good, and Israel at the reception is great (the ladies seem serious and/or jaded). Mind you. . . .i like a quiet place to relax and this has, for three days, not been it.

Room Tip: Don't take rooms with streetlights pouring into them. Look outside the window.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evergreen, Colorado
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
139 helpful votes 139 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

This was our second visit to Na Balam and this time we brought my wife’s bother and his family. What was supposed to be a one night visit turned into a two nights because quite frankly it is hard to drag one’s self away from this bit of paradise. Located on the picturesque Play del Norte, Na Balam is a boutique hotel catering to those that want a quiet and relaxing Mexican vacation….however if you are looking for the Ritz, party life or a Four Star resort, them may I suggest staying over in Cancun. This is after all rural Mexico on a Caribbean Island with the main transportation is a golf cart.

This is a place that you want to spend the whole day on the beach reading a book and sipping your favorite adult beverage under the palm trees. The waters in front of the hotel are probably the best you will find on the island.

As for the rooms, large, minimalist, with firm beds. The first night we were over on the beach side and the second night we had to move over to the poolside – if staying over on the poolside, make certain you get a room on the second floor as the thatched roofs give a more open feeling and during the hot summer months, will help displace the heat buildup in the rooms…even though there is air conditioning. Word of warning for those that are squeamish with large lizards, I had the opportunity to share the shower with one of the local iguanas. He hung out on the top near the thatched roof and slept / observed my showering activity. If you are squeamish, Cancun is right over there…..

We did rent a golf cart to tour the island, and the front desk arranged for it and it was dropped off right at the hotel…so if this is your first trip to Isla Mujeres, do take advantage of the gold carts and spend the day touring the island.

If you have read these reviews you will see that they are pretty much polarized between people who expect the very best….and those that realize that this is a taste of “Old Mexico” which is the charm of Na Balam. Quite frankly, take a few days and sit on the beach and in the water and just chill….who cares about showering with iguanas and warm watered showers or if the hotel is under construction.

Room Tip: Do get a room over on the beachside.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Na Balam Beach Hotel

Address: Calle Zazil Ha 118 | Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres 77400, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Isla Mujeres
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Mujeres
#6 Spa Hotel in Isla Mujeres
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Na Balam Beach Hotel 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The love for nature, an admiration to the Mayan culture and a concern for holistic wellness are reflected in this haven of peace and serenity. Na Balam offers you a place to enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean sea and its sunsets with personalized services and attention. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Na Balam Beach
Na Balam Beach Isla Mujeres

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