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Na Balam Beach Hotel
Ranked #13 of 37 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Reviewed February 11, 2008

I am so glad to see the review just before mine. We had a completely different experience and we were there at the same time Feb. 2 - Feb 7. We ate at Zazil Ha everyday we were there. We had 7 people in our group and had breakfast and lunch every day for 6 days, we went into town for dinner, and had no problems at all. The staff was exceptionally nice and helped us with anything we needed.
Most Americans, who write bad reviews, always say the same thing they took too long, they did nothing. Every time I go to Mexico from Puerto, Penasco (rocky point) to Cancun, Isla Mujeres, everything takes longer just expect it. I am tired of people giving bad reviews to nice places. Out of the 7 of us 3 had never been to Na balam or Cancun, they feel in love with the place and can't wait to get back.
I think that the staff at Na balam do a great job and made our vacation one to remember. I want everyone to know, you can have a bad experience at a great place, but you will never have a great experience at a bad place. You are on vacation in Mexico slow down take your time and enjoy. They will always get you your next beer you just need to know how soon before you finish your first, you need to order your next, and remember they work just as hard as we do so tip them well, they deserve it.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank dairydh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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626 - 632 of 898 reviews

Reviewed February 7, 2008

Our first night at Na Balam we ate at Zazil Ha, the on-site restaurant. Several hours later I was horribly sick with food poisoning (up all night etc.) To make matters worse the bed was absolutely miserable. Reports that the beds are hard and that the rooms are overpriced are absolutely correct.

The next morning we complained to the front desk staff and informed them we would like to check out early. Not only did they charge us an extra night's penalty (which was their right) but they would not compensate us for the meal that made me sick.They did nothing whatsoever to rectify the situation.

We repeatedly tried to speak with the manager but were told that she was late. The front desk staff phoned her to explain the situation but she was unsympathetic. After waiting for an hour and a half to speak to her directly, we gave up and left. When all was said and done we spent a whopping $630 USD for one of the most miserable nights of my life.

What bothers me the most is how little they seemed to care about our situation. I was sick the next two days and our vacation was basically ruined. Please don't take a chance at Na Balam!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cferguson08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2007

My wife and I have had two absolutely wonderful experiences staying at Na Balam. In April of 2006, we traveled to Isla Mujeres for the first time in order to scout our potential wedding location. As soon as we arrived at Na Balam, we knew it was the right place for us to be married. The grounds are rustic and peaceful - this is (thankfully!) not a glitzy, spring break, teeny-bopper resort. The beach is calm and well-catered by an incredibly warm and friendly staff. I'm not sure how anyone can say that these folks aren't among the friendliest and most hard working staff ever. That truly boggles the mind.

The resort is what you make of it. It is quiet. It is laid back. It is awesome. When we first arrived we admittedly were a bit turned off by the fact that it lacked many amenities (TV, radio, etc.) but we soon came to truly love that aspect of our stay. Our most enjoyable moments came when we would take the time to "practice speaking Spanish" with Jujo (the evening bartender), Jose, Julio, and all of the others who catered to us on the beach and at the beach bar each day. We made many friends among the staff and were even once invited to come to dinner at our bartender's home.

We returned to Na Balam in December 2006 for our wedding. It was incredible and went off without a glitch. We were married on the resort's beautiful point beach. The staff, the atmosphere, and the weather were all perfect. We've had absolutely no regrets or complaints during both stays at this resort.

Some recommendations:

1) Na Balam is rustic and chilled out. Don't go in expecting it to be what it's not. If you want night life, it's available in town which is a short walk or golf cart ride away. If you want a quiet place to rest under the stars at the end of the evening - look no further.

2) Be friendly. Be conversational. Joke around with the staff. If you want white glove treatment by a staff who only speaks English, go to another resort. Actually, just stay in the States. Why are you even traveling? WHEN YOU ARE TRAVELING, TAKE TIME TO LEARN A FEW PHRASES IN YOUR HOST'S LANGUAGE. It'll go a long way toward making your stay more enjoyable.

3) We had a safe in our room, but we left our valuables in the front office safe. Not that we even felt security was ever an issue. I guess a bad seed can sneak into any place from time to time. Be smart - don't leave tempting valuables out in the open.

4) I'll admit, it is a bit pricey for what you get. But for us, it's worth the extra cost each year to travel to Isla and visit our friends at the ultra-relaxing Na Balam resort.

5) The food at Na Balam is excellent - a perfect balance of traditional dishes, seafood delicacies, healthy dishes, and classic blends.

6) Have the staff hang a hammock inside your room. It's awesome. Want to relive the Corona commercials? This is the place for it.

7) If you're getting married here, these are the folks we used and we couldn't recommend them any higher:

Wedding planner: Juliette Franze (Papillon Weddings)
Photographer(s): Sol Tamargo and Matt Adcock (Del Sol Photography)
Band: Javier and the Band With No Name (appearing nightly in town at Fayne's Restaurant - awesome rock covers)

We were married at Na Balam and then left for our honeymoon in St. Lucia. We wished we had stayed in Isla Mujeres almost the entire time. Live and learn.

-Lisa and John G.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LisaJohn2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2007

I chose Na Balam for my wedding venue because it was intimate, zen like and on the beach. The hotel is small with 30 rooms and was the perfect spot to accommodate our group for a wedding. Unfortunately mother nature has been shifting the beaches at Na Balam and they no longer have the beach front that they had when I visited in May. However the staff did a great job relocating our wedding ceremony. Our wedding was incredible, the weather was sent by angels and the sunset was breathtaking. The food at Na Balam is pretty good as is most of the food on Isla Mujeres. The rooms are stark, white, crisp and clean and that is a trend in many of the nicer hotels on Isla. The staff was pretty good. My wedding contact at the hotel was lovely, she had just started at the hotel when I met her in May and she did a great job fulfilling my wedding ideas and helping on the locations for the ceremony, cocktails and reception. She set up a food tasting for my husband and I that was incredible.It truly was a dream wedding, mostly because of the man I married and the amazing friends and family that came. My only complaints with the hotel were that they could have communicated with myself and my guests more promptly prior to our arrival in Isla. It would take weeks sometimes to get an e-mail response from them. In fact some of my guests never heard back at all and stayed elsewhere. I was a bit shocked when I arrived the first day and saw how much of the beach was gone. Again, I would urge the hotel to communicate this with their clients especially if they are planning a beach wedding. They also ran out of wine and had some communication breakdown between the bartenders and wine. I paid for a full international bar for 6 hours and was upset to learn that some of my guests were turned away for wine (at the cocktail hour) when I had expected and paid for it. Other than that they did a great job and we had a memorable wedding that people can't stop talking about.

  • Stayed: November 2007
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1  Thank brideinmex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2007

Coming from Europe, we went there for the first 3 days
of our exploration of Yucantan.
We had rooms on the beach side.
Main interest of the hotel is to offer some authentic mexican way of life : rooms are not really luxury but clean and wide with some mexican decoration, there is a small balcony facing the ocean with fantastic cristalline waters.
For people expecting very clean conditions with very modern environment like a Hilton or something like that, do not go there.
But if you want to feel like in a small inn, it is really nice: the breakfast is gorgeous, at a few meters of water, foot in the sand
(see photo). You can join the town center by walk in ten minutes... But you are far from bars and night clubs and you can have very quiet nights.

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2  Thank frekemma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2007

This was not our first Rodeo especially in Isla Mujeres....We have been there for months at a time with our boat....We are also buying property there as well, and have stayed in the low in "$50" a night Posada del Mar and the high end "$450" a night at Villa Rolandi. Both of these hotels offer great value for the money. However, we can honestly say that after 2 nights at Na Balam for a $300 a night room, this hotel doesn't not even measure up to the Posada del Mar. In comparision to the Posada del Mar, Na Balam offers smaller rooms, absolutely claustrophobic bathrooms, no TV, no telephone even to the front desk, and believe it or not, no hot water and or water pressure to shower. After complaining upon arriving about the lack of water there was no remedy other than verbal pormisses to fix the problem for 48 hours.
Upon arriving back to the States, we talked to a friend who stayed there last month, they told us of the SAME problem during their stay of no hot water or water pressure...bottom line; if you want to pay premium prices and not be able to bath during your stay then Na Balam is your place.
THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WE HAVE EVER BOTHERED TO COMMENT ON A HOTEL...despite traveling for a living and staying at countless hotel across the full range. Until Na Balam has made a complete metamorphis, we would tell everyone to run away from this place.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank cms_652002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2007

We took over most of the hotel with a big wedding party, 100+ folks...evidently the Hotel had recently (like jus a few weeks prior to our arrival) gone through a management and key staff change...but from the service we got, you never would have known that they key managers were new...good restaurant, great beach, great bar, but most of all, great staff. Thank you Na Balam!

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank mcdoak
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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Isla Mujeres
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Mujeres
Price Range: $158 - $347 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Na Balam Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 32
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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