We had a fabulous time at PA June 2012. After traveling to the Riveria Maya over a dozen times, this was our first trip to Isla Mujeres. This will definitely not be our last!
The ride from the airport to the ferry landing was quick…..maybe 20/25 min and didn’t even feel that long! We arrived with a little time to spare which I was grateful to have! Gave us time to use the restroom, buy a beer at the little store and get pesos at the ATM inside the store. I was really hoping to have the time to do this when we arrived there, so that worked out perfectly. The ride over the ocean was GORGEOUS….crystal clear and beautiful blue….couldn’t stop taking pictures! Who needs to go to the Bahamas, Caymans, or St. whatever….Mexico has it all with kinder people and better prices!!! Since we fly from Dallas….it’s also a quicker and a cheaper flight! And while I’m on the subject of how wonderful Mexico is…..we also felt MUCH safer on Isla than in Dallas! Just so tired of hearing about that safety thing, so had to mention it!
We got a fabulous deal on a platinum roof top pool suite. Never have I gotten such a great deal for such a wonderful room in the whole area! We went with the all-inclusive especially since we are pool/beach loungers all day and like the drinks while we are lounging! We were at PA for four nights and ate off property twice. I know the AI or not is a big subject about PA. For the CHEAP price it just doesn’t make since not to get it….for the drinks, breakfast, lunch, snacks and room service. To each his own, but there is no way I’m going to walk to town (even though it’s close) to get breakfast and then lunch too! I’m on vacation to relax around the pool and at the ocean! We did go out for dinner and enjoy the town. We also went out to shop and take a golf cart tour of the island! Which I might add…..we packed FREE beers from the resort to take with us!! Totally recommend the AI pkg, for the cost it’s totally worth it for lunch/drinks!
HOTEL CHECK IN:
As other have stated….no excitement at the lobby/check in. Really wish they could improve this aspect….you know what they say about first impressions!! We have been to the area many times, and this was the first ‘non-exciting’ check in! We did get champagne, so it’s not really about that for us. The guy just didn’t seem too happy to be greeting people and told us nothing about hotel, amenities or where the restaurants were or hours open. The lobby area also could use a little ‘jazzing up’…..it’s very simple, dark, no color and uneventful. However, with that being said…..we still will be back…..not a deal breaking at all, but we are not picky. I could see how some picky people would really complain about it!
We had a gorgeous roof top platinum suite and would only come back to that room! Loved it! We got a really great deal……never had so much for such a great price at any resort…..then top that off with AI included! We were in room 353 and enjoyed it. Our bedroom was facing the school but never heard any noise when in the room. Only once did I hear a guy on a loud speaker one morning. I was glad to be up so as not to miss one minute of the beautiful day!! Our room had 3 patios: one off our bedroom, one off the living room and of course the HUGE upstairs patio with roof top pool! Since we were at the end of the building we had great views from many directions and could see several sides of the island! I was really glad we had the end room so it was more private than the others I saw. We also had amazing views of the pool/ocean below, school/town and island beyond town and then the view opposite our beach area which would be where Avalon Reef is located. Wonderful, gorgeous views everywhere. I’m wondering if it was because of our room location and the 3 patios?? If we came back we would definitely ask for this room again! Frig always stocked and room always cleaned timely!
I’m including pics of the room toiletries since this was a question of mine as we were doing carry on only! They have great toiletries and can help if you want to do carry on only!
Also, I know people mention the hard beds! We loved the beds and didn't even notice....and I don't normally sleep well in hard beds! We go to Mexico frequently so we know what to expect....it's not deal breaker for us since we are in paradise! I just hate the complainers about this....they are hard, beware....there you have been warned....so don't come back and complain!!!!
Loved the pool area! Gorgeous pool with different areas to enjoy. We are used to resorts with huge pools so I thought PA’s might be a little small. It definitely was not and we really enjoyed it. Plenty of chairs and we never had to be up early to save one…..always one available! And the chairs were really nice compared to allot of the plastic styles most resorts use! The pool cabana beds were also easy to find one available. Also, it was great to be able to get shade from the umbrellas around chairs when you needed it! Miguel at the pool bar was the best! Very accommodating and always had your next drink ready! I think he knew our requests by the second drink we had!!! He was also very helpful with questions about the island.
What can I say…..definitely the best beach on the island!! Always plenty of chairs/palapala’s available. The drink service was also awesome and never had to wait for service. Really enjoyed swimming in the crystal clear ocean! We went for a walk around the Playa Norte beach corner towards the Ixchel Condo’s and beyond. We just wanted to see that beach area and hotel/condo’s for comparison. We will only come back to PA! Beach is less crowded and PA’s beach is much nicer with no sand bags. There was too many people on the beach for us! We really enjoyed the small resort area of PA.
One thing I didn’t realize or maybe missed in my research of reviews and on the forums was that there is this small “road” in between the resort and the beach/Café del Mar area. You cross this road to get to the beach….no big deal, but just kind of different! Well worth the gorgeous beach area!! I’ve included a pic showing this road.
We only ate at Café Del Mar on the beach and Sabor. The breakfast was ok, but they could stand to jazz it up. The pancakes were too thin and it seemed like they made them all at 6am and then just kept warming them up. They really should make them and possibly waffles fresh in front of you. The omelet/egg station was great but the bacon was not god at all…..it was thick and had a “different” taste to it. The buffet dish selections they had out did not seem fresh and they were the same daily……no variety. Don’t get me wrong here, we always found something we liked. Just after being to so many resorts this breakfast buffet was really small. Café del Mar was great and we really liked the food we always had there. We ate at Sabor once for lunch…nothing to write home about. We ate out at Jax and Mirmar. We LOVED Jax….we had shrimp and steak and the BEST margarita’s I’ve ever had anywhere! Also ate fresh fish at Mirmar and it was great.
We ordered room service once and it was great. It was breakfast and we pre-ordered it the night before which before we came to the resort I didn’t know this was an option. I would definitely recommend doing it this way because you can pick your time and they delivered it promptly!
Our golf cart tour was the highlight of our trip and had such a blast touring the island. We rented from the hotel for convenience of it being right there and not having to go find a rental company. Yes we paid more but were happy with it being at the hotel! We went around the whole island stopping at various places to check out. We found the turtle farm and had a good time seeing the turtles and various other sea life…..I would recommend stopping here, it was only 3 pesos to see it all! Also, stopped to take pics at the floating island. It was cute and we really didn’t stay other than to take a pic! After leaving there we found a wonderful, beautiful beach bar….Zama! It was beautiful with a restaurant area, wonderful bar area, gorgeous beach with beach beds, loungers, umbrellas and a beautiful pool area that also has tables/chairs nearby to eat/drink by the pools. There is also a wonderful and very clean bathroom area. I discovered that this is a beach bar for party boats from Cancun to come from but we were really glad we found it! We stayed for lunch and drinks and hung out a little at the pool. Next we drove around a little then stopped at the top of Garrafon park to take pictures of the gorgeous ocean views. We didn’t stay since we have done plenty of snorkeling and zip lining in the past! However I will say that it looked allot of fun! Continuing up the other side of the island we found another great beach bar…”Villa La Bella”…..with the sign, “beer so cold it will make your teeth hurt”!!! Sure wish they had t-shirts with that phrase!! Cute little beach bar that is also a bed and breakfast. Along the way we stopped at the little shanty area with ladies on the road selling conch shells. We bought a couple and gave them more than what they were asking since I’m sure they could use the money. Our ride around Isla was very enjoyable and would love to do it again!
We had great massages at the hotel. It was a special “couples” price but we asked for them to be separate….mine by the beach and hubby in the spa…and they were happy to accommodate! They were $60pp and that’s a great price for a resort! Again…I know they are cheaper other places but we like the convenience!
We ate at Jax and Mirmar and loved them both. At Jax we had shrimp and steak and our entire meal was one of the best we had on the island. The margaritas were the best I’ve ever had anywhere….I’m still dreaming about them!!! We also had the privilege of meeting the owner, Jackie, and she was so sweet and we enjoyed visiting with her. The views from Jax are also amazing! Everyone needs to visit here at least once! We had fresh fish at Mirmar and it was fabulous! It was the freshest we’ve had in a long time and the whole meal was amazing!
All in all it was a great trip and we look forward to a return visit soon. We really enjoyed PA and would only return to this resort. We did tour around to look at other options but on vacation we like to be pampered and not cook or look for restaurant options. (to each his own!!) We like to lay around the pool/beach and have drinks and lunch brought to us. Then we can go out to enjoy a restaurant at night! It did rain allot the last day and a half we were there, but we just made the best of it and didn’t let it bother us! We went shopping and then came back to the pool to lay on the pool beds to read. Of course we went into the pool and enjoyed time at the swim up bar! Rain is wet so you might as well get in the pool!!
I’d be happy to answer any questions!
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