We are an avid AI people and this time we decided to try Ixchel hotel as it looked beautiful and different when we visited Isla last year (staying at the Excellence Isla Mujeres at that time).
We visited Ixchel in June 2013 for two weeks and had a wonderful time. Thanks to all Tripadvisor reviewers as we planned our vacation according to all your suggestions and tips. We rented PH 705 and really enjoyed it, very spacious with a wonderful terrace and amazing views (please see photos). The only negative for us is that this PH was a bit outdated and terrace did not have any cover from the sun or rain.
HOTEL – great location, right on the best beach on the Isla and walking distance to a great number of cafes and restaurants (catered for various tastes and budgets). We experienced a very good service from the Ixchel staff in the hotel and on the beach. Big “thank you” to all Ixchel Staff!
FOOD – if you are on the budget the nearby loncherias (there are 4 of them) are just down the street from Ixchel and serve really cheap and very good breakfasts and lunches (around $15 for two). They have everything from various omelets, sandwiches, Mexican, French toast, fish tacos etc. Many places have 2 for the price of one drink for Happy Hours.
The main street Hidalgo with all the wonderful restaurants and cafes is just at the back to the hotel. The Hidalgo Street is on one side of the hotel and Guerrero Street is on the other side.
There is a Super Express near there that has about everything you might need. We spend about $100/day on food and drinks for two eating only in restaurants. That is for a LOT of food and drinks.
Our absolute favorite breakfast on the Isla was at the Mango Café, amazing food and superb service! Our favorite dinner was at the Soggy Peso on Sunday (ribs special) – great atmosphere and food.
Our least favorite - Playa Lancheros beach, place where they cook fish called Tix n Chix. Unfortunately we were swamped with flies when we were there and had a very bad service. We also did not like this beach, too crowded with the tourists from the Cancun party boats and very dirty (both beach and water).
MONEY - Usually you get a better deal if you pay for everything with pesos and some places only accept pesos, which you can withdraw from numerous ATMs. The fees are usually very low, about under $2.00 US per transaction. Suggestion is to exchange your money in the bank, much better rates and no fees. We always used a bank located in the electronics store next to Cuerros golf cart rental and near the Municipal Market.
GENERAL: Get a “mapchick” map before you go, there is a wealth of information on them. We found a number of great places/restaurants to visit from this map, carried it with us everywhere – thank you Mapchick! For drinks and groceries try Chedraui, a big super-store mid-island. You'll need a cab or golf cart to get to it but they have a large selection. We also loved the fresh juice from the Municipal Market just a few minutes from the Ixchel. They have a very healthy variety.
Do rent a golf card and explore – it is a great way to see the island and stop where you like!
We will definitely return to the Ixchel Beach Hotel and are already missing picturesque Isla Mujeres.
Happy Travels to you all!