Our expectations were not low but what a wonderful surprise to experience a very well managed, well maintained property situated on the most inviting beach on the island. Our family of five (with boys 12, 10 and 5) enjoyed 5 nights in a 2 BR condo in Tower #2 that had everything we needed. I'll list a few items worth noting and try to keep it brief:
- Mauricio, the concierge, was wonderful, professional, friendly, helpful, engaging - I cannot say enough - his recommendations and genuine hospitality absolutely made a difference on our trip - many thanks to him!
- With 3 young sons, keep track of your towel count! Sounds easy but we ended up forking over $20USD for one misplaced towel. The rules were made very clear to us but alas, we got a little lazy - what a racket! It did not, however diminish the overall great experience.
- Our restaurant choices along Hidalgo tended to disappoint - maybe we just made bad decisions and the chefs had a bad night. Our expectations aren't crazy but we do know good food... so for good food, try Zama. It's a taxi ride or golf cart ride away but our meal there was far and away the best food we ate while on the island.
- Snorkeling at Garrafon de Castilla was a kick. Cheaper than the adjacent park and quaint. Lots of fish that can be fairly aggressive if you're in the middle of a 'fish food' feeding frenzy - just ask my 10 yr old who was pretty freaked out by a minor bite on his finger.
- Golf cart rentals were easy and the way to go.
- Hit Covi and the market down by the square for spirits but found the little side stores along Hidalgo to have, in some cases, wine and liquor selections just as good as the larger stores.
- Zalak, the resident Ixchel restaurant served very nice meals. Not the best service in all instances, but god eats in general.
We had a really good time and would definitely recommend Ixchel Beach Hotel to our friends and would stay here again.