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“Wonderful Respite - First, but not last, visit.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Casitas del Mar

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Casitas del Mar
Certificate of Excellence
Liberty, Missouri
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Wonderful Respite - First, but not last, visit.”
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Our daughter was married on the island on September 22, 2012. She, her fiance and several other, younger members of the party stayed at one of the all-inclusives on the western shore. My husband and I decided, years ago, our travels would never again be to see man-made "wonders" and we don't travel for luxury, fine dining, gambling, shows, etc.. We simply love studying the cultures and lifestyles of other people. We like to immerse ourselves in the local people and natural environments.

We could not have made a better choice than Casitas del Mar. From the very beginning, Joyce went way above and beyond to help me with preparations for our 10-day stay as well as suggestions for some of the wedding arrangements. She is so very thorough and leaves nothing to cause you stress or discomfort. Ask a question and it's answered ASAP. I felt like she was holding my hand throughout the planning process.

I planned to prepare many of our meals in the casita and that's certainly possible because the kitchen is stocked with about anything you could want for meal preparation; however, there are so many places to eat, very close to the casitas, that we tried many of Joyce's recommendations and found them all wonderful. I knew we found a conscientious host/hostess when I found a luxury in most kitchenette settings.....a SHARP knife (for cutting limes for drinks.) The bed and pillows were awesome. Due to that and our adventures, I slept better there than I've slept in a long time. I would really like to package the shower in Casita #1 and ship it to my home.

The views from the casita and the patio are like something from a travel brochure. We spent many quality hours on the patio watching the Caribbean and the steady stream of local people, using every mode of transportation you can imagine. We saw young men snorkeling/diving for fish for the family dinner as well as families sitting on the rocks for hours at a time with a string and a hook, fishing for whatever they could catch. We talked with many local people and one young man offered us the meat from a conch shell that he got after three hours of diving. We were humbled. We were blessed to have seen dolphins three different times...each time with larger pods. We saw two unbelievable lightning storms over the Caribbean. We watched school children going to and returning from school...probably 90% of the time with a parent. We just NEVER got tired of looking, watching, talking, etc. There are areas, homes and situations that look very impoverished by American standards but the people appear healthy and happy and content. My husband and I brought home lessons learned from the local people.............

We rented a golf cart for the time we were there and traveled to El Centro several times to visit other members of the party and to get some pottery; however, we were much more comfortable and content in the middle to south part of the island. During ten days of travel, through all parts of the island, days and late into the night, I never once felt discomfort, fear or intimidation. Everyone was extremely nice and helpful....especially important to those of us who know very litle Spanish.

We have two big regrets about our trip. The first being.... it didn't last long enough and secondly, Joyce and Bob hadn't arrived on the island yet. I so badly wanted to meet them and spend personal time with them after emailing for months before the trip. In their absences, several of their "full-time" neighbors stopped by to welcome us to the island and to offer any assistance we might need during our time there.

Isla Mujeres and Casitas del Mar made for a memorable trip and we can't wait to go back.

Vicky

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Vicky0076067
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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190 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 25, 2012

My wife and I wanted a reasonably priced, authentically Mexican getaway, and Casitas del Mar was just what we were looking for. The casitas are on the quiet side of the island, which is nice, and cabs are only about $2USD anywhere on the island. Joyce and Bob were extremely kind, helpful and had great advice - getting some shrimp to cook up, traveling tips, great authentic restaurants, etc. The rooms were nice and clean. We'll be back! - Greg&Erin

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank wwwenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2012

This was our fourth visit to the island and we previously had stayed within walking distance of North Beach. We enjoyed each of these places, but wanted to experience more of Isla than North Beach. We had read about La Gloria, and biked through it on a previous visits. We wanted a different type of island experience this time around so we chose Casitas del Mar.

Our first taxi ride on the island took us to the door in less than 10 minutes, and we knew immediately that we had made the right choice.

The casitas are situated mid-island, just across the street from a rocky beach. The sound of the waves normally drown out the occasional traffic sounds. Sitting outside on the patio facing the water, you’ll find your view occasionally interrupted by passing traffic. But the local color and variety are more interesting than distracting. Where else can you watch a man balancing a full size propane tank on a scooter, a 4 member family, complete with dog, scooting down the road towards town, or a colorful parade passing by your front door which includes showers of candy being tossed from and to the participants?

The location is within easy walking distance to a grocery store, outdoor market, numerous loncherias, lavendaria, and Playa Lancheros. We were pleasantly surprised to spend far less time on the north end of the island than expected. There was just too much to explore in this new area of Isla. The pace is even slower and much quieter than El Centro, and the people are just as friendly.

Our casita was spacious, with a comfortable bed adjacent to large windows facing the ocean. A large wardrobe and drawers were more than adequate for our 2 week stay. The air conditioning worked flawlessly when needed, and the shower had good pressure with plenty of hot water. Bob and Joyce were insistent that they be notified if there were any issues with the room, and we had none. The neighboring casitas were usually occupied, and always quiet.

The room was equipped with a TV, but I didn’t know if it worked since we never turned it on. Having WI-Fi available in the room was a nice benefit for the few times we chose to check email or research something on the web. A small collection of books and radio in the room rounded out some of the other appreciated extras.

It was a pleasant surprise to find a kitchen fully stocked with pots, pans, utensils, plates, cups, coffee maker, microwave, blender and more. The stove worked well, as did the full sized fridge. Having the market nearby allowed us options if we chose not to venture to one of the nearby restaurants. El Charco, one block away, became one of our favorites with their simple and delicious fare. There is no shortage of other alternatives within walking distance.

Bob and Joyce were the ideal hosts. They were available the few times we had questions, and very gracious in sharing their island experience. Always present if needed, but never intrusive, we left knowing we now had new friends on Isla. Casitas del Mar is the ideal combination of a convenient location, comfortable accommodations and friendly, considerate hosts.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank SmileyDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Strathroy, Canada
Level Contributor
45 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2012

This year we stayed March 24 to 31st, later than our February 2011 visit. Weather was incredible!! Casitas Del Mar is everything we want in our holiday getaway. Everything you could possibly want in your casita is at your disposable and if for some reason it is not there, just ask and Joyce and Bob they will get it for you. The casitas are clean, comfortable, quiet and in a fabulous location. Joyce and Bob again emailed us the many pages of information because Joyce had updates since we were there last. We brought friends with us this time and they loved the casitas and Isla as much as we do. I know they will be going back and bringing more friends. I highly recommend the island and in particular Casitas Del Mar. I like to think of ourselves as seasoned travellers and we are so impressed by Joyce and Bob, their knowledge of the island, the information they readily share to make your holiday more enjoyable, their attentiveness and friendly ways. There are books in each casita for vacationers to write about their experiences and their recommendations. I was also impressed to note that Bob and Joyce have followed every single recommendation that past fellow travellers had written about. That to me is incredible. When I mentioned this to Bob, his comment was that he and Joyce are not the ones that rent the casitas so they do want to know what could be changed for the better.
We teased Joyce that our housekeeper was actually Ninja Leti as we never saw her but knew she had been there because the place was spotless. I made the bed in the morning (because I am wierd that way) but Ninja Leti came in and made it her way - perfect. I would have liked to have taken her home with me, but we never saw her!!
We ate at Bastos and Deisy and Rauls again. Did not make it to La Bruja sadly. Next year....
Went to Capitan Dulces beach club, Playa Lancheros, Marina Paraiso, Bahia Tortuga, Villa La Bella, Jax, Freddys, Cazeula M&J, Mango Cafe, Roosters, Bally Hoos (twice), Cocina Mexicano, Rotisserie chicken in La Gloria, Playa Norte, Sunset Grill, Soggy Peso. Rented a golf cart from Ciros and went to Chedraui (spent a couple of hours) checking out the wine selection, international food section, fruits and vegetables. All great meals. We were not disappointed and looked forward to each and every meal and snack. I would recommend Casitas Del Mar and love Isla Mujeres!! Already planning our 2013 trip.

Room Tip: All of the casitas would be similar - we have stayed in 3 and 4. Very quiet location and very clean...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank islandgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portage la Prairie, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2012

Just returned from 7 days at the Casitas. Just what we were looking for. Tired of the "All Inclusives" and just wanted to try something different where we could cook if we chose or try different restaurants. There were no surprises, everything was as we expected when looking on the internet. Rooms were clean, bed was comfortable and our hosts were excellent!! The best part of Isla is that each side of the island gives a different feel for the traveller. We would definately come back as this was our first time, and you can't say enough about Joyce & Bob. The view was beautiful and we enjoyed the authenticity of the locals who were very friendly and we always felt very safe. Overall good central location, close to restaurants and groceries.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Kevin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bothell, wa
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2012

This was our fourth trip to Isla Mujeres and our first time at Casitas del Mar. We will never stay anywhere else on the island! Joyce and Bob are simply wonderful hosts and full of helpful information and advice. We stayed for two weeks in Casita #4 and loved how clean and comfortable the casita was. Facing the ocean, we could wake up to the sight and sound of ocean waves was romantic and relaxing. The furnishings were all in great condition and the kitchen was very well stocked even including a salad spinner! We regularly had breakfast and some dinners at the casitas and it was so convenient to have the Super Xpress just two blocks away. It was also wonderful to walk and bicycle around the neighborhood and visit local shops and sightsee. There are SO many places you are missing if you spend all your time in Playa Norte!
We did lose power for 48 hours while staying there - a transformer blew out which was not Bob or Joyce's problem but they offered to let us use their shower and anything else needed during that time. And as soon as they found out about the power issue they did everything they could to help speed up a transformer replacement (which had to come over on the ferry!).
I can't say anything about the tv in the room since we not once turned it on in 2 weeks on Isla - that's the sign of a great vacation! I still miss my morning tea and breakfast on the outdoor patio facing the ocean and watching the iguanas wake up and crawl into the sunshine. I hope you find as much joy there as we did! If you have any other specific questions please feel free to contact me at: barbara@glassgardensnw.com

Room Tip: We loved our casita but all seemed similarly good.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank barb3073
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 9, 2012

Four one-bedroom villas by the sea. Clean, equipped with small kitchenettes and fridge allow for easy preparation of some or all meals depending on your preference. The places are designed for one or two adults. The beds are very comfortable, which is unusual in Mexico. We found the units to be clean, bathrooms modern, and plenty of hot water for showers. The patios have small palapas with tables and chairs. They face out to the ocean, which is easily accessible. The shoreline is a bit rocky and not great for swimming, dependent on the surf. The small road runs between the casitas and the ocean, and the traffic is local, providing lots of interesting viewing of bikes and golf carts which are the main mode of transit. Cabs are inexpensive. The casitas are mid island, away from the busy tourist hotels at playa Norte. Nearby stores and restaurants mean that you can get inexpensive and wholesome food easily. The units are daily cleaned by the maid who lives across the street. One of the best things about this place is the fact that Joyce and Bob, owners, live nearby and are hosts to invaluable information about restaurants and the Island in general. The only downside is that there is occasional traffic noise from the nearby road. The units area air-conditioned and the whole island feels safe and friendly. This is a great spot to enjoy this wonderful island. We could have stayed for a much longer time than we had planned.

Room Tip: Probably should request room away from side street if noise sensitive
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank 404Jonathan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casitas del Mar

Property: Casitas del Mar
Address: Avenida Perimetral Oriente | Corner of Calle Lizeta, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Isla Mujeres
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 40 Specialty Lodging in Isla Mujeres
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wake up to the sound of waves and a clear view of the sun rising over the Caribbean. Nestled in a local neighborhood of Isla Mujeres known as La Gloria, you will find yourself in a friendly residential area surrounded by locals, both Mexicans and foreigners. Collect beautiful shells and sea glass as you stroll along the rocky and sandy shore or relax on the patio as you watch the world, and perhaps a few dolphins, go by. Newly-constructed and tastefully decorated, Casitas del Mar has everything you need to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. Your hosts, Joyce and Bob, will provide local knowledge and recommendations to help make your Isla vacation unforgettable. ... more   less 

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