The Ixchel is located at the Playa Norte end of Av. Hidalgo, with the street separating the Phase 1 tower from the other tower. Phase 1 is between Av. Hidalgo and Ave Guerrero, just past a vacant lot and next to a closed beach hotel and disco. The area just behind and beside the hotel was run down, but we felt very safe where we were. We stayed at the Ixchel in Phase 1, room 508 (penthouse) from 12/11 to 12/17. From what we understand, all the rooms are owned individually and the hotel staff just manages the property. (We would advise checking out the available rooms before check in since they are all furnished differently.) We upgraded to the penthouse since it was a special vacation for us, and we were in the phase 1 tower which is on the northeast side of the property and has the rooftop jacuzzi area. The rooftop is reached from a spiral staircase on the balcony. This room is one room removed from #510, the room closest to the beach. We attempted to move to room 510 but were told that the owners don't rent that room out. This is unfortunate since 510 has a wrap around balcony and the only rooftop area with a clear view of the ocean while you are sitting down.
--The hotel is clean and located on a very nice beach (Playa Norte). We had no problems with beach chair availability, but of course we were in the low season. The staff were reasonably friendly and helpful and the maid service was very good. There were a couple issues we found with our room (glass plate in microwave missing, burnt out light bulb in the second floor bathroom) that were never addressed, but we only asked the one time and we said there was no hurry (mistake?). We did have a circuit breaker blow for the cooktop, but this was taken care of immediately. Overall, decent service for Mexico.
--The room was comfortable and there was a lot of space (maybe due to a lack of furniture?), and the rooftop area provided even more room. The balcony was large with a clear view of the water. The jacuzzi appeared well maintained. There was an entirely separate bathroom on the rooftop area, and we thought this area would have been a great place for our kids to sleep outside! (If the disco next door burns down before we visit again, anyway)
--The hotel is located just a couple blocks from multiple restaurants and bars, the shopping area, and several tiendas, and there is a decent size grocery store about five blocks away (we found they had the cheapest beer and a nice bakery). Ciros, a great place to rent a golf cart, is just three blocks away on Av Guerrero.
--The kitchen was big with a large refrigerator. The stovetop was a nice addition to have, and we saved some cash by hitting the grocery store and cooking our own breakfasts & several lunches.
--The bathrooms were large with good water pressure for Mexico.
--THE DISCO NEXT DOOR!!! They are very loud, start the music at 11pm and run until 4am. They were open Fri to Sun nights with the bass pounding, but mercifully stayed closed the Mon-Wed we were also there. We got them back, however, by not buying any beer or food from them when their 'beach club' was open, so who had the last laugh?!
--We were disappointed with the response from the hotel on the disco issue. We knew in advance from Tripadvisor posts about the problem, but we were never notified before arrival. On arrival we were told that the hotel's solution to the problem was to provide earplugs to the guests. It would have gone a long way with us if the hotel had tossed us a free dinner or some drinks, some kind of gesture anyway. Oh well, we didn't let it ruin our trip.
--We were disappointed with the sparseness of the room. As you can see from our photos, there were no dressers in the room, only wire "milkcrate" things which would put you right at home if you were a college student, but otherwise came across as pretty cheesy. One big hassle for us--there were no lamps!! This is a drag if one of you wants to read in bed while the other sleeps and you only have overhead lighting. The futon/couch is pretty thin. It would be good for kids up, but would get to be uncomfortable for adults. We were able to see into several other rooms and found they were furnished much better than ours (some even had lamps!), so we believe the cheapness and lack of furnishings was a reflection on the condo owner, not the hotel itself. This was somewhat disappointing when we had spent extra for an upgrade.
--A down side with the penthouse is that you have to ask to have the jacuzzi turned on, and expect a warm-up time of a couple hours before it is hot. We would usually ask about 2pm for it to be turned on, and it was hot by sunset. The staff only forgot to do this once, but by then I had found the breaker so I could turn it on myself (as well as the temperature control so we could get it warmer). The staff would usually turn it off about 4am, so if you want a warm jacuzzi to wake up to make sure to arrange this.
--The rooftop could have been arranged a little better to make ocean viewing nicer while you were sitting down. It would have been nice if the owner would have provided some kind of radio or something for the rooftop area, but we get that the recession has been hard on everyone, condo owners included.
Overall, we would say that this was a nice, clean hotel with large rooms and we received our money's worth. We would certainly stay again (and bring kids) if the price were right. It is certainly not a luxury hotel, but it is comfortable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Among the best hotels in Isla Mujeres, visit Ixchel Beach Hotel, a two wing, two phase condotel complex with 117 rooms in Isla Mujeres. East Wing (Phase One) with 48 rooms, 5 stories and opened in June 2006; West Wing (Phase Two) with 69 rooms, 6 stories and opened in August 2007. Both properties (see Accomodation Remark below) are designed in Mexican casual and modern stylish buildings located at the beautiful North Beach on the colorful island of Isla Mujeres (Women Island).Ixchel for the Mayans was the Goddess of love, fertility and the moon. Walking a few steps from downtown of this friendly island and facing the most beautiful white sand & powder touch beaches of Isla Mujeres, in the Yucatan Peninsula and the Mexican Caribbean, our Isla Mujeres hotel offers warm personable service in an upscale, intimate island experience perfect for families and romantics.If you want a great escape to a Isla Mujeres hotel, our hotel is ideal for the relaxing weekend getaway or a romantic honeymoon retreat. Treat yourself to all of the luxury that our Ixchel Hotel in Isla Mujeres has to offer and enjoy the surrounding areas, activities and beauty.Premier in Isla Mujeres hotels, the Ixchel Beach Hotel offers luxurious amenities, outstanding service and a tranquil atmosphere to completely relax and enjoy your Mexican vacation. You won't find a more beautiful or more convenient location to soak in the sun and experience this amazing island of Isla Mujeres.If you are looking among hotels in Isla Mujeres, look no further than the Ixchel Beach Hotel. You won't be disappointed. You, the guest, are our number one priority and your comfort and enjoyment during your vacations in Mexico and lodging experience are our primary concern. We will do everything we can to make your stay nothing short of spectacular. ... more less
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