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“Nothing special, overpriced”

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Cabanas Maria Del Mar
Ranked #20 of 38 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Brussels, Région De Bruxelles-Capitale, Belgium
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Nothing special, overpriced”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2013

The room on the ground floor was big but the decoration was really old-fashioned and ugly and the room smelled of very strong chemical cleaning products. At check-in we were made to sign separately for each item we received (remote control for the TV, key for safety box, beach towels) which is rather inefficient and not customer-friendly. The patio was nice but the swimming pool was rather dirty. Continental breakfast was included in the price but it was a big disappointment! it was only a cup of coffee, 2 slices of toast and a diluted tetrapak orange juice! When I asked to have some milk they told me that I had to pay it separately!! Wifi is only available at the bar across the street. The location was nice though, right in front of the beach.
So for the price we paid I was expecting a bit more.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Despina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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686 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 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (157)
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English first
Denton, TX
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2013

I enjoyed my stay at the Maria Del Mar and Isla Mujeres. I stayed in the bottom floor Cabanas rooms. I think all of the reviews are pretty accurate, regardless of where the site the review is posted. I looked at all of them and there were no surprises when I checked in and saw my room. The hotel was like staying at grandma’s house. It was clean, but it was older. The decorations were not up to date. The bathroom was not new. And the beds and electronics were a couple of decades old. But you have a great beach right out the door and that is where you spend most of your time. The staff was nice, but not in a hurry, or overly anxious to go the extra mile. If you went to the bar area, you were not waited on until you asked for something. The bar is the only place for Wi-Fi at the hotel, but you are on vacation right? The beach was wonderful, but it is not as private as it is advertised. It is not really crowed, but the street ends at the beach/hotel and that is where a lot of people from other interior hotels meet. Everything for the most part was within walking distance and easily accessible.
As for Isla Mujeres…. It is not a party island. It is a place to relax. So don’t expect dancing in the streets or much dancing in business’ or on the beach. It is not modernized like Cancun in anyway. You hang out at the beach and go eat at night. There are some tours you can do to fill the day. And a word of caution… if you go on anything that requires a boat, take something for motion sickness. Like the majority of the people I ran across, I have never gotten motion sickness in my life, but the small boats and consolidation of them in some areas had people hanging their heads overboard everywhere. After that, your day is shot. So be safe and take the pill before you go. Don’t take the chance.
As for the money exchange…. TAKE PESO’S and get them before you go. Let me say again… GET PESO’S BEFORE YOU GO!!!! Their exchange rate at the hotels, restaurants, shops, and bars is horrible. You will lose up to 2.5 pesos per usd. And they have mastered tacking on additional fees. If you want to put anything on a credit card, they will convert to the lowest exchange rate and then tack on 5-6% usage fee for the card. As for shopping and food… It’s pretty much the same as you get anywhere else in Mexico. However, I found the prices to be higher than expected. It was very hard to find any meal, including breakfast, that was not highly priced. You could find three tacos and two beers for 85-90 pesos. But you do get tired of tacos after a while. The mixed drinks were high also. Most full meals were close to $10usd or more. Some ran close to $15-$20usd. The shops want your business, but you will not get quite the bargain you are expecting. Everyone wants to sell you Cuban cigars, but be careful because a lot are fake and overpriced. There is a place on the corner close to Hidalgo Street that is a Havana cigar club. Go there. Good prices and you know they are real.
So, would I go back to the Maria Del Mar and Isla Mujeres? Yes…. If I want to relax and hang out at the beach. The whole island felt safe and was at a slow pace. And everyone was nice. I met people from all over the world and had a great time talking to them. If you are looking for dancing and parties at night, or if you are looking for great diving and tours, you might want to go someplace else. And if you want to be pampered and waited on, don’t go to Isla Mujeres or the Maria Del Mar.
So after reading the reviews of the island and most of the hotels, I would say that they are pretty much spot on. You will find those who had a bad experience and you will find those that saw the island with rose colored glasses. I think that is true of most place people go. I would say the majority rules in this case. Have fun.

Room Tip: I stayed at the Cabanas bottom floor. Right next to pool and it was clean and quiet.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Scott Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
82 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

The hotel has 24 hour manned service and were incredibly efficient when I checked out at 5.00am. You do have to give your credit card details as a deposit - they do not take any money from your account and return your details when you check out.

The rooms have air conditioning, a tv, a fridge and large beds. The view was amazing - looking over the sea and the rooms were clean and tidy.

There is a bar and restaurant - you receive a token for your continental breakfast each morning and the bar/ restaurant is on the beach with a perfect view of the sunset.

This part of the beach is the best, however, slightly spoilt by the day trips that come every day - the boats sit in the sea from 11-3ish and slightly block the view, this is a tiny point though and the beach is fantastic- white sand and clear turquoise sea.

Room Tip: This is a great place to travel alone or in a group.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank l1l1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lafayette, Louisiana
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2013

Fellow Travelers,
The reviews you read about CMDM are fairly accurate. It is a basically clean, no frills, quiet place to sleep in Isla Mujeres. How much time do you really spend in your room anyway? One thing to consider though.....yes, it is technically beachfront, but it does not include the use of any chairs/beds/umbrellas on the beach!! So, work that 100-300 pesos per beach day for those amenities into your budget. Here's a propina for you though.....walk down towards the Avalon on Zazil Ha until you come to the beachfront restaurant/bar/club called Fenix on the left hand side of the bridge. You can use the beds/umbrellas there as long as you spend 200 pesos eating and/or drinking at the club. This is also a great place to hang out as there is always a breeze coming off the Caribbean and there is fun snorkeling on the right side of the bridge out close to the rocks. Lots of fish (take stuff to feed them), clear shallow water, and in the afternoon you can watch all of the people wade in from boat tours who paid to snorkel there!!! This is a great place to meet locals and visitors from all over the world.....very laid back with live music in the afternoons.....there's even a chiropractor/masseuse right there next to the club on the beach for those of you who need more than mere alcohol to relax......uno mas Dos XX con limon por favor....aaaahhhhhhhhhh................ask for Jorge.......

Room Tip: Try the cabanas rooms near the pool, nice porch with clothesline to hang wet stuff.....
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rmsmith20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

We arrived at night to spend a planned 4 nights stay at Maria del Mar. After one hour my wife & I were attacked, by bugs & flees in the bed. Front desk was closed then. We waited outside the room till morning and checked out immediately. Stayed at near by motel with no bugs for one night, unfortunately we had to cut our vacation trip since my wife is allergic to Mosquitoes bite so rushed back to Los Angelus to get medical treatment. My wife spent 4 days in the hospital,
it was disastrous night & trip for me & my wife

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mike c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Isla Mujeres hotels

Goodfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

4 years ago I stayed at Ixchel with my family. September 2012, my wife and I took our honeymoon and stayed at Privilege Aluxes. July 2013, we took a "Baby-Moon" as we are expecting this fall. I can say honestly that we truly enjoy Isla Mujeres as it is quaint, safe, and beautiful. Playa Norte is an amazing beach. The cafes and restaurants on the island are superb; our favorite part is trying different places to eat and people watching. We love going farther into the island and being a part of the rich Mexican culture. We feel like the island is very safe and unlike mainland Cancun, you can walk outside your hotel/resort and feel safe. The snorkeling is good, the water is turquoise blue, and the sunsets are gorgeous. All and all, Isla Mujeres is a great place to vacation! Now to the hotel...

We enjoyed a wonderful 7 night stay at Cabanas Maria Del Mar. I have stayed at Privilege Aluxes and Ixchel in the past, and although Cabanas was not as luxerious, the stay was still superb. I even believe that the location of Cabanas is the best on the entire Island; surely better than Privilege because Cabanas's beach is located directly on Playa Norte. We would have liked a little more options with the continental breakfast but the toast, orange juice, and coffee/green tea was sufficient to get the day going. The service at Buho's was good. Again, I cannot stress the location of this hotel as being one of the best on the island. We were right on Playa Norte, a short distance to some great snorkeling (we brought our own snorkeling gear), and a nice walk from Hidalgo where the restaurants are. We liked being somewhat removed from Hidalgo as it can be festive and noisy fairly late into the night. The lobby of Cabanas was serene, the staff were pleasant albeit somewhat shy, the grounds were well kept. My wife and I appreciated the quaint feeling of the hotel. The sun is intense so when we wanted to get in some shade we found the pool area to be perfect for lounging around and reading. There are four hammocks around the pool and about 4 sets of poolside cots with plenty of shade. There was an open room area close to the pool that had magazines and books available to read. Each afternoon our room was cleaned and she did an excellent job. The room was somewhat bare but there was everything we needed- king bed, table with two chairs, two night stands, and patio. The small fridge was cold and kept our drinks cold. The safe was handy. We were in room 15, on the main floor, and 100 feet from the beach. We didn't have to climb any stairs and were literally footsteps from Buho's (where breakfast is) and Playa Norte. There were large dispensers of purified water (one right outside of our room) which was cold and very nice to have. The bathroom was tiled well. The shower head could probably stand to be replaced but it spewed a sufficient amount of water with adequate pressure for all of our showers. We did not have a problem with hot water; in fact, it was too hot and hard to get cooler. Nonetheless, at the price we paid, we felt like it was very nice!

Overall, it was a great stay. Again, I don't think we were robbed of any less of an experience by staying at Cabanas instead of Privilege or Ixchel. In fact, those beach areas were packed. Cabanas has a large beach area and because it is a smaller hotel, there was a whole lot more space. And, again, arguably the best location on Isla Mujeres/Playa Norte.

We did miss Privilege's breakfast buffet and would recommend that Cabanas updates its breakfast situation. Not the location but the foot.

We would definitely stay there again and in the same room which was so handy. Great value for the money!

Room Tip: Room 15 was great!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Layne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Majorca, Spain
Level Contributor
49 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2013

Cabanas Maria

Landed at Cancun Airport. When you pass immigration and the luggage control and get out of the first sliding door there is a money exchange to your left. Change some money there if you are travelling with Euros or other common currencies in order to obtain Pesos , the Mexican currency. If you have already USD with you , there is no need to change as at all the touristic places nearby such as Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel USD is accepted and change is given back in Pesos. Prices throughout Mecixo are always quoted in Pesos , even if the writing with a sort of USD symbol lets you first think of a USD price list. Echange rate in July 2013 was 15 pesos/1 Euro.

We chose USA Transfer to get us in a private shuttle from Cancun Arport to Isla Mujeres and later from there to Cozumel and back to the airport. We organized the transfer through per website by email in advance and had their voucher with us.They have greeters outside the airport, so we quickly found the right person and within a few minutes we were in our Minivan and on our way to the ferry . Check out their very competitive prices. It is heaven if you are travelling with a lot of luggage and want to get quickly to your final destination.

The port of Juarez is a little port and you are dropped right in front of the alley which leads to the embarking site. You purchase the tickets right there (12 USD round trip to Isla Mujeres with ferries leaving every 30 minutes) and bell boys help you with the luggage and accept whatever you pay them ( make it 1 USD per luggage piece). At the pier there is another money exchange booth which had a better exchange rate than the one at the airport so do not hesitate to exchange even at small sites as usually they do not take any additional commission so you can compare the exchange rate very easily.

The ferry takes 20 minutes to Isla Mujers and you can either sit inside with air-condition for enjoy the turquoise sea from the open roof-top.
When you arrive, just step out and walk to the street where taxis are waiting to drive you to the hotel (40 pesos).

The Cabanas de Maria Mar are in Calle Carlos with Lazo at Playa Norte. Some 80 steps to the left is the beach. This is the quiter side of the island with a nicer beach to chill whereas the “ferry” side offers more restaurants, shopping and small supermarkets.

The hotel itself is a compound built like a horseshoe with small terraced houses and a small pool and small garden in their centre. Each house has two storeys and two rooms are sharing the common terrace on each floor.
Rooms are clean, equipped with ventilation, air-condition , fridge and safe. Furniture is basic and shows its age but beds had good, firm matrasses . Bathroom had a big shower and was sufficiently equipped. All in all no luxery but a functional accommodation for your beach holiday or whale shark encounter (which was our purpose).

Breakfast is served at Buro´s open-air restaurant at the nearby beach and includes two slices of French toast with butter and jam free of charge. Additional plates such as pancakes, yogurt or scrambled eggs are extra and have to be paid in cash (either USD or Pesos). At Buro´s you also get WLAN for free as guest of Cabanas Maria but the signal can be very weak. There is no internet at the room or the reception available.

The beach at Buro´s is a beautiful sandy white beach with picturesque palm trees where you can rent either the classical plastic sunbeds with umbrella (150 pesos for 2 sunbeds and one umbrella per day – and for each of the three receipts you get a coke or sprite for free) or teak beds with curtains to spend the day.

Another relaxing activity is driving around with a golf cart which can be hired at the reception for 40 USD for a day (9:00 – 5:00pm). Just follow the main road at the ferry pier and without need of a map you get on a round circuit with nice stops such as a turtle protection center, dolphin place (don´t go) , scenic points and many beaches. You can do the tour in an hour if you don´t stop anywhere for long but more relaxing to get the cart for a day, Bring your driving licence!!!

We enjoyed great snorcheling with whale sharks and mantas and had dinner at various restaurants. We can recommend Ronaldi´s (Italian food), Compadres (opposite Ronaldi´s) which offers simple but delicious Mexican food and Oliva , a great open-air place in a garden setting offering Mediterreanian food.

We really enjoyed our stay and moved than to Cozumel which we did not like at all and wished we would have prolonged our stay in Isla la Mujeres instead. We would again stay at the Cabanas as it is the nicest place on the island, on the best beach and conveniently within walking distance to the restaurants, ferry pier and shops.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank kokukan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cabanas Maria Del Mar

Property: Cabanas Maria Del Mar
Address: Avenida Carlos Lazo 1, Isla Mujeres 77400, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Isla Mujeres
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 38 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Cabanas Maria Del Mar 3*
Number of rooms: 72
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