The location is the best thing about this hotel, it was fantastic, literally on the beach. the fact that beds and parasols were supplied was a plus.
The reception staff were very nice and the odd time we did make a query were very helpful. They are extremely nice and they go out of their way to help to the extent they can. the cleaning staff also are very sweet. although it did take 4 days to get across that we need 3 towels for 3 people. and we were only supplied with 1 pillow each on arrival. i had asked prior to our stay for a large double and a single but it seems this was pretty much ignored.
However, in the room no hairdryer or fridge supplied. For the price of the room, whilst not extortionate it was not cheap, I would expect these as standard. the quality of the room and furnishings was quite good although the side until did have a broken draw and only 1 chair and bedside table was supplied for 3 people. The fridge is essential in such a hot climate and meant we couldnt have cold drinks in our room. no tea/coffee kettle supplied either. Basically just beds and shower/toilet.
The complimentary breakfast at the supposed top class Zazil-Ha hotel restaurant was a joke - continental breakfast is the only option from their menu and this consists of;
*either a fruit plate or fruit juice - not both.
*1 cup of coffee or tea
*1 slice of toast with a sml butter/jam packet
this was 80 ps on menu and when we asked if we could change our sons for pancakes one morning which was on the menu at a cheaper 75ps were told 'No, we cannot change anything!! I think this is part of their customer service training.
Service in the restaurant was slow and surly, sometimes waiting 20 mins for breakfast after the order was taken, then half would not arrive and when we asked the waiter no apologies, just 'its coming sir'. i don't think i saw them smile once, their was no chat or interaction - not even a good morning how are you! we were made to feel as if we were a nuisance and inconveniencing the staff just by being there.
we met with a group of friends one evening and wanted to put two tables together as their were ten of us but were told we were not allowed, they have adifferent area for this. despite the place being empty apart from us.
after the first 3 mornings we decided that we'd rather pay for a better breakfast and better service at the Rooster in town.
The poor service score below is down to this mainly.
this was a shame as the actual food they serve is good but its just not worth the hassle, the wait and the attitude to eat there. Next door at the separate Fenix its a totally different story. Even though one of the waiters works in both - he smiled and was really helpful and chatty in the fenix but opposite in Zazil ha - strange?Could be their training as opposed to the actual individuals, in which case does the management not bother to read trip advisor or their reviews as this seems to be the key complaint about Na Balam.
they have a lovely pool and jacuzzi and yoga most days in their wonderful grounds which even though we did not use either was non intrusive and the chanting each evening and morning was quite relaxing.
If they changed the breakfast to an allowance or at least treated guests like adults with a sensible choice and trained the staff to smile and be observant and punctual it would make a big difference to their rating. They are a 5 star hotel with a 3 star rating and its such a shame as with just a few tweaks they could be scoring 9 or 10. The potential is there. However as it stands we will definitely return to the island again but having seen the choices of other hotels and rental apartments and the prices these are available for we will more likely choose these.
If you could get cheaper rooms here without breakfast then it is definitely worth a visit if your first time to the island and I would say one of best locations in the world.
- 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