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.
- 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