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“Had potential but missed the mark” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Na Balam Beach Hotel

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Na Balam Beach Hotel
Ranked #12 of 38 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
66 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Had potential but missed the mark”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2013

We called the hotel to book for a week. A rate of $198 USD was agreed upon and the first of seven nights prepaid on CC. Upon arrival the room was not ready and we were instructed to go to the restaurant for a snack, at which point we noticed the rates were sitting on the counter. The room we had booked was actually $172 per night. After asking why we were paying $198, were advised that that was a walk in rate. We had just walked in ! After some discussion and the threat of not staying for the week , a nightly rate of $172 was agreed upon.
The view from the restaurant was very nice as were the drinks and snacks. Service which we had read being terrible was good. When our room was finally ready , we walked up the stairs and tried one of the three keys. We got in. Large basic room with patio and king bed. The patio had the lowest chairs which at a height of 6 inches would not allow you to enjoy the view over the concrete barrier. Small sitting area in room(2 chairs and a table) offered little comfort. The bed all be it a king was not comfortable and had stains on the comforter. The bathroom was tiny as the door hit the toilet bowl and was in desperate need of renovations. The room had no fridge , TV, WIFI, phone, ice bucket or machine, or drapes that fit the windows.
We did realize prior to booking that this was a simple "Yoga" retreat ( which is not included) but a few simple amenities would have been nice.
In our hurry to unpack we must have missed the jurassic size red ants all over the bathroom and walls but they introduced themselves before we turned in. Sleeping was entertaining.
At dinner we over heard a local speaking to his daughter and asked what his opinion was of Na Balam. He said over priced for what was offered and that he knew many places at less than half the rate with much more offered.
We slept (or attempted to) the night and checked out in the morning to stay at our locals recommendation. Which was fantastic.
The included continental breakfast was a joke . Bruised apple with mused mango and coffee with floaties was less than acceptable.
Upon checkout Jessica the front desk clerk who was friendly listened to all our reasons for leaving early and even asked us to write this review to help make some needed changes at the hotel.
We were not expecting fancy, or high end , and have spent much more for accommodations, but the value was just not there!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CherylandDarryl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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816 reviews from our community

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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 (198)
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English first
San Francisco, California
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2013

The location is perfect! We booked an ocean view room, which I recommend for sure. The room was simple but nice and clean. BE PREPARED TO HAVE NO TV, INTERNET, OR PHONE in the room. I wasn't aware of that prior to our stay, and it didn't bother me at all! It turned out to be really PEACEFUL! I was a little disappointed that the AIR CONDITIONING wasn't on in our room when got there. It was so HOT that day too---we turned it on but the room cooled down quickly. Good thing there was bottle water in the room to cool us down (will provide you with 2 bottles a day)!

There was a comfortable hammock on the balcony, along with beautiful lemon and coconut trees surrounding it. The beach was literally right outside our room-that is what I loved the most. There are cozy beds spread out on the beach along with wooden chairs ready for your comfort. If you want an umbrella put up all you have to do is ask free of charge. You can order food and drinks from the restaurant next door while you are relaxing on the beach. Did I mention how BEAUTIFUL the BEACH is?!?! SOOO GORGEOUS!!!!

The Hotel staff were okay.I would have rated the Na Balam higher if I hadn't had conflict with the staff. Israel (works at the front desk is the manager) seemed friendly at first, until we ran into a conflict situation. We booked snorkeling with Amilia (works at front desk) and she shared with us that the cost included transportation to and from the hotel along with food. Well the transportation wasn't there to pick us up to take us back. This was upsetting because we were tired from snorkeling all day (8am-4pm) and it was super HOT! We ended up taking a taxi back. When we shared this with Israel he quickly became upset and told us that transportation back was not part of the snorkeling deal. Meanwhile, Amilia didn't speak up about it and Israel became really snooty
and unprofessional. We asked him to pay for the taxi and he did but with an attitude and Israel or Amilia didn't apologize for the mix up/communication. DISAPPOINTING!!! This is why I am not sure I would book with them again--I LOVED EVERYTHING ELSE :D.

Also, we bought a pack of bottled waters and left them in our room (never opened) and they somehow mysteriously became missing. We asked our maid and front desk about it--and nothing!!!

Yoga was great! It is $15 to attend a class. They offered a 9:30am or 11:30am class each day. The teacher was a sweetheart and very good. They will provide you with mats/blankets/blocks :D.

Overall, I had a GREAT time!

Room Tip: Beach View room for sure!!!!!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Vbonita813
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh
Level Contributor
61 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

My husband and headed to Isla Mujeres to snorkel with whale sharks. After landing uneventfully in Cancun, it took about 30 minutes by taxi to get to the ferry depot for the 20 minute ferry ride over to Isla Mujeres. After a five minute taxi ride, we arrived at Na Balm hotel. Two-thirds of the hotel is on the beach side of the road; we were in the third on the other side of the road, with the small pool. The room was large, with plenty of storage. At first I thought the hot water was lacking, but it just took a really long time to reach us. The room was air-conditioned, but the maids usually turned it off during the day and it took until late evening to cool down sufficiently—it was August, after all. Our only real complaint was the extremely loud music that carried on until 2am on Saturday and Sunday nights—the bar (not part of the hotel) was right across the street from our room. We would be willing to stay at that hotel again, mainly for its convenient location, but only if we were guaranteed a room far far away from the loud music. When we asked about switching rooms, the front desk staff continually told us there were no rooms available.

Na Balm was only a couple blocks away from the main part of town; we had dinner at a different restaurant each evening, usually enjoying outdoor dining. A continental breakfast was offered at the hotel, consisting of juice or a nice fruit plate, coffee or tea, and toast. After breakfast each morning we waded out to the boat for the hour long ride to the area the whale sharks hung out.

Na Balam was handy to town and perfectly adequate, except for the noisy bar.

Room Tip: Don't pick room #31 or any rooms near the bar.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank UnderwaterDiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmond, Oklahoma, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2013

This is a great hotel. We were treated with respect and genuine kindness by front desk and cleaning staff. I must say that my boyfriend and I are minimalist when it comes to service needs as well as material needs. This is a great location if you just want to go and relax and enjoy the culture without feeling as though the people (locals/hotel workers) owe you something. Isla Mujeres is a beautiful place full of beautiful people and Na Balam was no different. You're walking distance from all the worthy attractions and Fenix is a fun spot just next door if you feel you're in more of a party mood one day. The hotel is in a premier location hidden and away from the busier streets. The gardens are gorgeous. The food is good. I would not recommended getting an all-inclusive package at all. There are too many amazing restaurants on the island to waste all your meals eating at Na Balam. We had a deal that included the continental breakfast which was a waste. You get a sad plate of tasteless fruit and toast. Stay at the hotel for the beach but venture out for food. The beach was the BEST on the island. All in all we enjoyed our stay and would definitely go back.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Faye S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McKinney, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
87 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2013

Hotel Na Balam is in an amazingly lovely spot and we enjoyed our 5-day stay immensely. The rooms are simple, but this is what we wanted. No TV, no phone, no radio, no room service. There IS air conditioning (and you will need it).

The restaurant at the hotel was wonderful. The ceviche Balam was the best we had on the island. The coffee delicious and plentiful.

The yoga was divine and traditional - heavy on breathing and relaxation, with a dose of postures that most people would never dream of attempting. Communicate your boundaries and you will be fine. The palapa where we did the yoga was fantastic - cool and breezy and heavenly. The yogi - Lal - was inspiring.

We upgraded to a (junior?) suite with a private plunge pool. In retrospect, this was an unnecessary expense since we couldn't quite bring ourselves to get in the pool, not being sure how the water was maintained, etc. It looked a bit, well, not pristine. (I did see someone from the hotel once while we were there sprinkling something into it.)

The room was fairly clean, though due to the humidity, it was never 'crisp.' The deadbolt on our hotel door was broken and the handle rather loose. The doors to the outdoor (plunge pool) were somewhat rickety and the screen and curtains hard to open. It felt 'tired' in these ways.

The biggest problem, hands down, with the room was that the air conditioning didn't reach around to the vanity or bathroom. There was no ventilation in the bath, save one window with no screen (and the tiny mosquitos were voracious). We are tidy people. I'm fairly sure we didn't desecrate the bathroom in any way while we were there. But it smelled like a truck stop by the time we left. Sadly, I would not go back for that reason alone (or perhaps I would, at least, insist on a bath with a screen?)

Some basic maintenance would go a long way here. With that and a solution to the bathroom issue, it would easily be a 4-star property.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sara S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
83 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2013

Our second visit to Na Balam and we will return again and again! If you're looking for tranquility, peace and quiet, this is the place for you. Clean simple rooms with plenty of space, nice amenities, wonderful office and desk staff to greet and help you (Israel and Adely), and the one of the prettiest beaches on the planet, Na Balam is a must stay! The yoga center on the property will provide you with caring instructors with daily classes to choose from 7 days a week. Na Balam's resident cats wil make you smile as they attack the property lizards for a daily snack. The food next door is good, drinks are fabulous. Did I mention the view of the ocean? WOW! Be sure and book a trip with a local boat operator for swimming with the whalesharks, put that on your bucketlist! We did and we're glad we did it! Jorge is one of the best whaleshark tour operators on the island. See you next time, Na Balam!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cozumel, Mexico
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2013

I booked a room directly with the Hotel and Front Desk at Hotel via phone, was told my room would be #9, a basic room on the second floor in front of the sea, terrace with a hammock. I was excited to go. When we were at the front desk for Check in, I noticed the room number was not what I booked. The Receptionist ask the Manager and he came to help in the situation. Seemed he needed to shuffle some things around and then told us we were "up-graded" to a Master Suite! WOW! It was and is a real nice room, but if I had known that the bar next door was going to be louder than loud I would have requested something else.....could not even take a nice siesta in the afternoon on Saturday because of the noise, needed that siesta because I didn't sleep well Friday night because of the noise.......We received a Welcome Letter during our stay offering us 25% off food and beverage from the Hotel to visit the Bar and Restaurant next door (NOT the Hotels' Bar and Restaurant, but the Noisy one!) ..... No, we did not use it, but we had gone there for lunch on the first afternoon and it was good. On Saturday night the loud music went on until 2 am. The Hotel is good, the service is good, the room was great, it's just the bar next door that really sucked bad, unless of course you are into the party scene and like it......I was looking forward to a relaxing tranquil stay. It was far from that, NOT the fault of the Hotel at all.....just telling future guests to stay FAR FAR away from the bar next door. I would return to this hotel, maybe not on a weekend........

Room Tip: Strongly request a room AWAY from the Restaurant and Bar that is NEXT DOOR. It is SUPER loud. Too...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank COZUMEL_ROCKS_24_7
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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