We loved our stay at PH709. Although we have never met the owners, Mark and Donna, they were the ultimate hosts. They patiently answered several emails I sent and they also mailed us a Mapchick Map which really is a "must have" while on the Isla, The Mapchick map lists all the restaurants, hotels, sites to see along with ratings and notes about each.
We regrettably only used the hot tub once, because it was extremely hot and humid during our stay (July 19-26). My wife said "we have to use it at least once", so on our last night there we did. We found that we could lower the temp enough that it was extremely refreshing!! Had we done this earlier, we would have used the hot tub every night.
The bed, furnishings, utensils were all wonderful. Even the way Mark and Donna decorated with little touches was extremely well done.
As others have stated, the view from the balcony has to be the best view on the entire island. The balcony offers a 300 degree view!! It's private up there too--at least it better be, because I was in my birthday suit up there quite often, hanging up wet bathings suits to dry, etc,
We will not hesitate to book this condo the next time we go to the Isla. It truly was spectacular.
We did not have one bad meal during our one week stay. I am rather critical when it comes to food, as in my past I used to sell food to restaurants and would meet with many different chefs each week. Some of the places we enjoyed were: Bally Hoo, Brisas, Olivias and Pizza Rolandi. We definitely recommend going to Da Louisa which is located at the boutique hotel Casa Ixchel (no relation to Ixchel Beach Hotel). For quite a while we were the only table there; the tables are located on a deck overlooking the Caribbean side of the island. We watched the waves crash against the rocks during dinner; this was one of the most romantic places at which we've had the privilege to dine. I had pasta with seafood and my wife had pasta with lobster pieces. The seafood was fantastic and the pasta was perfectly prepared (al dente). Another place (completely different from Da Louisa) that we highly recommend is Fenix Lounge. This was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel and was located on the beach. The music being played was from all over the worlld, the ambiance was "chic" with tiki torches, lit little pools and a view of the lit bridge near the Avalon hotel. Don't miss ordering the sweet pepper stuffed with goat cheese from the Tapas menu! The grouper with a seafood tomato sauce and olives was fantastic too!
THE WEDDING PARTY FROM HELL
This of course was no fault of the hotel, but there was a wedding party of about 40 people at the hotel during our stay. This group consisted of the crudest, rudest, most obnoxious group of people we have ever encountered. Some of their antics included: Leaving broken beer bottles on the beach ( one night on our way back to our room a guest unrelated to the wedding party was at the desk seeking a bandage for her heel that was bleeding heavily; you guessed it, she stepped on a broken bottle on the beach). One choice maneuver was when an older man (father of the bride or groom?) decided to lower his pants so his butt was completely exposed, as he stuck his butt out to take a picture. The group thought this was hilarious; but the local Mexican families enjoying the beach with their children, as well as my wife and I and all the other families within sight, did no appreciate this. One guy's very loud, graphicaly detailed description of sexual acts was not appreciated.
I am far from a prude and enjoy some bawdy humor, but at the right place and time! We learned that wherever this wedding party went, we would get up and move elsewhere. Since Isla Mujeres is a small island, we heard stories of the wedding party when we went out to eat, strolled the streets, etc They were known as the "Spring Break Wedding". Sorry to go off on a tirade, but these folks made me ashamed to be an American; their sense of entitlement was disgusting,. The piece de resistance was when one member of the group used a racial slur towards a young Mexican boy (this was a time of year when much of the beach was in use by many of the local Islenos). Also, we could hear this group from the beach even when we were all the way up in the Penthous--so you can imagine how loud they would be when you are the unfortunate sould with the umbrella next to them on the beach.We noticed that the local Mexican people were much more refined, polite and well-mannered than our representatives from the U.S.
From the beach waiters to the staff at the hotel everyone we met was fantastic, but those who really stood out were:
MARICIO: Maricio was "the nicest concierge in Mexico" and was truly a pleasure to speak to whenever our paths crossed. He is an asset to Ixchel Beach Hotel!!
MARI and GIOVANNI: At the front desk, these 2 made sure any needs we had were met. Thank you MARI for taking care of the golf cart rental for us!! I joked often with MARI that I had "Una mas paragunte por favor" (one more question please!!). Sorry that I ran out of questions for you by mid-week MARI. Thank you GIOVANNI for your kindness and also answering mas paraguntes!
MIGUEL ANGELO aka ANGEL was the best housekeeper we ever had. I always hoped that when we popped in the room now and then that ANGEL would be there. He was so upbeat and a joy to speak to--he tried to teach me more Spanish at each encounter. "Que tengas un buen día" (Have a nice day) has now been added to my repertoire of Spanish phrases. Thank you so much for the complimentary bottle of Moet Chandon Angel! Angel should be promoted to Head of Housekeeping!
USD vs PESOS
I urge everyone to use pesos during your stay. It was a huge savings for us, was kind of "fun" to use a different currency, and in my opinion was respectful to the locals ( not like "I don't have time to use your currency"). For some weird reason, we really enjoyed going to the local supermarkets for lunch meat, fruit and yogurt. Barely a soul in there spoke English and it was fun communicating with the deli lady through gestures etc on how much ham we wanted etc. Both the deli lady and we were laughing by the end of this exchange.
THE LOCAL ISLENOS
From the taxi drivers, to the super market ladies, to the local families enjoying the beach, everyone was so kind and friendly. Even the local shopper who I passed the bread tongs to when buying rolls, gave me a nice "Hola" and a smile, I am aware that the folks value us tourists and some of the niceties may have been induced by this fact, but to not run into one sour attitude during our one week stay was incredible and something I haven't experienced here in the U.S.
Thank you once again to Mark and Donna from PH709 and the folks at Ixchel. We shall definitely return to PH709 and hope that some of the staff we connected with will be there!!
Joel y Susan, Pittsburgh , PA
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Among the best hotels in Isla Mujeres, visit Ixchel Beach Hotel, a two wing, two phase condotel complex with 117 rooms in Isla Mujeres. East Wing (Phase One) with 48 rooms, 5 stories and opened in June 2006; West Wing (Phase Two) with 69 rooms, 6 stories and opened in August 2007. Both properties (see Accomodation Remark below) are designed in Mexican casual and modern stylish buildings located at the beautiful North Beach on the colorful island of Isla Mujeres (Women Island).Ixchel for the Mayans was the Goddess of love, fertility and the moon. Walking a few steps from downtown of this friendly island and facing the most beautiful white sand & powder touch beaches of Isla Mujeres, in the Yucatan Peninsula and the Mexican Caribbean, our Isla Mujeres hotel offers warm personable service in an upscale, intimate island experience perfect for families and romantics.If you want a great escape to a Isla Mujeres hotel, our hotel is ideal for the relaxing weekend getaway or a romantic honeymoon retreat. Treat yourself to all of the luxury that our Ixchel Hotel in Isla Mujeres has to offer and enjoy the surrounding areas, activities and beauty.Premier in Isla Mujeres hotels, the Ixchel Beach Hotel offers luxurious amenities, outstanding service and a tranquil atmosphere to completely relax and enjoy your Mexican vacation. You won't find a more beautiful or more convenient location to soak in the sun and experience this amazing island of Isla Mujeres.If you are looking among hotels in Isla Mujeres, look no further than the Ixchel Beach Hotel. You won't be disappointed. You, the guest, are our number one priority and your comfort and enjoyment during your vacations in Mexico and lodging experience are our primary concern. We will do everything we can to make your stay nothing short of spectacular. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Booking.com, Priceline, Splendia, Orbitz, Tingo, BookIt.com, Cheap Tickets, Agoda, Hotels.com and Otel so you can book your Ixchel Beach Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.