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“Worst hotel of our trip!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Na Balam Beach Hotel

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Na Balam Beach Hotel
Ranked #14 of 37 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Worst hotel of our trip!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2013 via mobile

Had read good reviews on this place and it was a complete letdown.

The positives - location is great and hammock with no tv in the room is a good fit for this island.

The negatives - apart from the nice Mexican lady that works mornings, the expat front desk staff are useless and didn't care for a couple of young travellers. We got in a bit early, our room want ready, that's fair enough, but they couldn't even check us in on time and we ended up waiting 3 hours!

The restaurant - terrible, staff are not friendly (I mostly got ignored), it's expensive and the food's crap

No Internet in the rooms - if you want wifi you have to go to the outside lobby which means you will get eatten alive by Mosquitos.

The room had no lighting and little natural lighting due to its positioning.

For the most part I just felt like they didn't care or like us, which was not nice. Have had some great hotels on my trip but this is not one of them. I say look somewhere else in the area.



  • Stayed January 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank djlowz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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770 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (189)
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2013 via mobile

My title sums it up, just ok. We stayed on the pool side our room was clean, the beds were a little hard but not uncomfortable. The room key was completely irritating! It worked if you jiggled it just right, a couple of times the first day we just gave up. As others have stated the beach towels for pool side are brown and thin while beachside towels are striped and thicker. Why have two different types if it is all one hotel?!?
But you don't stay here for the towels you stay for the location which you just can't beat.
The service at the restaurant was good, only once did someone point out that tips weren't included. We ate lunch beachside most days from the restaurant. Not the cheapest way to go but super easy when you are in lazy vacation mode with two kids !!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank peanutbutterPortland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

Just stayed for 4 nights here, it was alright. Great location on the island and would recommend that. No wifi except for the lobby where you get eaten by Mosquitos at night. The restaurant is overpriced and pretty poor really. I'm happy to tip people when they do a good job but when they do nothing and ask for tips I find that a bit rude, especially when you have an abundance of staff working doing nothing. Wouldn't bother with the eggs they are really oily. Other then that the food is decent. Our room was comfortable and clean. With a hammock in the room which was cool. Would stay there again if the price was right. And would recommend to others too. I'm sure that there are better places in the area though.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, BC
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2013

Nice beach, nice rooms. I am up at 12:41 am writing this review thanks to the fist pumping jersey shore ghetto club music pounding from zazil ha bar and restauarant in here. Have already asked to have it turned down once as it woke up my two and four year olds from a dead sleep an hour ago. Sucks sucks sucks. If you don't mind that, then find out the construction schedule before booking your stay. Starts REAL early, people. No naps for the toddler, thanks. Without the kids, I'd say the continental brekky was fine, the beach and services were good, and Israel at the reception is great (the ladies seem serious and/or jaded). Mind you. . . .i like a quiet place to relax and this has, for three days, not been it.

Room Tip: Don't take rooms with streetlights pouring into them. Look outside the window.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank otxena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evergreen, Colorado
Level Contributor
117 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2013

This was our second visit to Na Balam and this time we brought my wife’s bother and his family. What was supposed to be a one night visit turned into a two nights because quite frankly it is hard to drag one’s self away from this bit of paradise. Located on the picturesque Play del Norte, Na Balam is a boutique hotel catering to those that want a quiet and relaxing Mexican vacation….however if you are looking for the Ritz, party life or a Four Star resort, them may I suggest staying over in Cancun. This is after all rural Mexico on a Caribbean Island with the main transportation is a golf cart.

This is a place that you want to spend the whole day on the beach reading a book and sipping your favorite adult beverage under the palm trees. The waters in front of the hotel are probably the best you will find on the island.

As for the rooms, large, minimalist, with firm beds. The first night we were over on the beach side and the second night we had to move over to the poolside – if staying over on the poolside, make certain you get a room on the second floor as the thatched roofs give a more open feeling and during the hot summer months, will help displace the heat buildup in the rooms…even though there is air conditioning. Word of warning for those that are squeamish with large lizards, I had the opportunity to share the shower with one of the local iguanas. He hung out on the top near the thatched roof and slept / observed my showering activity. If you are squeamish, Cancun is right over there…..

We did rent a golf cart to tour the island, and the front desk arranged for it and it was dropped off right at the hotel…so if this is your first trip to Isla Mujeres, do take advantage of the gold carts and spend the day touring the island.

If you have read these reviews you will see that they are pretty much polarized between people who expect the very best….and those that realize that this is a taste of “Old Mexico” which is the charm of Na Balam. Quite frankly, take a few days and sit on the beach and in the water and just chill….who cares about showering with iguanas and warm watered showers or if the hotel is under construction.

Room Tip: Do get a room over on the beachside.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SpazCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2012

We had a great time at Na Balam when we visited in March 2012 and I wrote a very positive review. This made us want to come back and we stayed at Na Balam again in November this year. As last time, we stayed in a room on the poolside. When we arrived, we realised that the pool was being worked on and when we questioned whether it would be finished during our stay the answer was simply no. Not even a sorry from reception. Not only the pool was being worked on but also the entrance to the hotel. The wonderful quiet area near the entrance where you could sit and go online last time was gone. Again, not a sorry that this might inconvenience the guest. The rooms in the back have a straw roof. This is generally not a problem, but this time around we saw a rat climbing across it, which was not great. After a few days, we asked to move rooms because of a very strong sewage smell, maybe because of the work outside. We were moved to an inferior room without so much as an apology. I also don't think it is appropriate to have separate types of beach towels for guests in the poolside rooms than for the others, it makes one feel like a second class guest. I still feel that the location of the hotel is great and the restaurant is very good. The guys in the restaurant, Ephraim, Romeo and Gabriel were always fantastic. Having said that I would not chose the hotel again. For the price charged, they did not deliver on quality.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mimi2408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Isla Mujeres hotels

New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2012

The room smelled pretty bad and as other commenter said, an iguana crawled on the walls of the Palapa we slept. The staff is is not very friendly and the breakfast is just basic (coffee or tea, toasts and juice, anything else needs to be paid). No wi-fi at the rooms, only near the reception.
I liked the location, since the sunset from the hotel beach is spectacular.

Room Tip: Ask to stay in the rooms close to the ocean, never the ones in front of the pool.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pepsimax25
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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