I stayed at Isla Grand for 4 nights, having come there for a conference which I couldn’t attend as I came down with a very bad cold. Overall, it was not too bad. I stayed at a cabana room overlooking the pool and both the room and the shower were clean, comfortable, spacious and nicely decorated. The staff were polite and some of them very helpful. There is a Macdonald’s and some cafes within a 5-minute walk from the hotel… but there are a few things to bear in mind if you are planning to stay there:
1) Zero soundproofing between cabana rooms – I could hear how the people in the adjacent room sneezed and closed there curtains (and of course, watched TV). As I said, I was having a very bad cold at that time and I feel very sorry for the guys who had to hear me coughing at night.
2) Unscrupulous employees. Be very careful about your money and your belongings. I left my Sony reader at a lobby coffee table in the evening - never got it back. Informed the reception – no reaction. Also, when I ordered breakfast to the room, I gave the server a generous tip in cash; at checking out I saw that she added another, unauthorized tip to the check I gave her for the breakfast cost. Some of their housekeeping staff behave in a strange way: one time I left an almost-full jar of honey on the table in my room. While I was out, a cleaner came, took that honey and put it on her trolley; luckily, I came back in time and saw it (this could have been an honest mistake, but who in their right senses may assume that a guest does not need a full jar of honey and wants it to be discarded?). Generally speaking, it’s a place where you have to be alert all the time and realize that some of the staff will not hesitate to steal something from you or to cheat you.
3) Dirty beach area. And rather ugly high-rise properties in the background all around. If I was planning to stay at South Padre I would choose a location somewhere more to the north as the surroundings look nicer there.
4) No microwave or coffee/tea maker in the room - this was a bummer, especially for the price they charge. The restaurant closes at 9 and after that there is no opportunity to get a hot drink. This was particularly hard for me as I constantly needed hot tea because of my cold, even more so at night.
5) Not very knowledgeable reception staff – misinformed me about the restaurant opening hours and also said that the restaurant serves complementary coffee, which was not true.