Isla Mujeres Palace

Isla Mujeres Palace
4.004.004.004.004.00
4.00 based on 5 reviews
#34 of 64 hotels The Monarc.ca popularity scale (#1/15) classifies all the hotels of a single destination according to the number of grades received on 5 and the total number of reviews. in Cancun
Rated 4 stars
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Holiday at, Isla Mujeres Palace, Cancun

, Oshawa, ON
2020-01-18
Ex-let service and very friendly staff, Very Clean rooms, dining area and outside surroundings, no noise.
It was a pleasure to spent 7 days in this hotel.. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
This hotel, has a very friendly and welcome atmosphere to spent your holiday. I highly recommend it.
The weak points
I have no weak points.
Certified

Not what you pay for...

, Edmonton, AB
2016-03-31
I would like to start this review with an apology, to Mawe at the front desk, the twins Alejandro and Christian and Dario the bartender, sorry about the review, it has nothing to do with you, in the middle of all the surrealism you guys always seemed to be the only ones willing to go out of your way to deliver the best service.
Justice made, let's review the IMP.
We rented from an Elite member for 2 weeks, we could have chosen any other of the Palace properties but because this was our first holiday in 3 years and we needed to relax above it all we opted for a smaller property looking for the isolation and quietness the place offers.
Of course we were counting (logically) with the same quality the other resorts of the chain offer, we knew we were compromising on the beach and restaurant variety, but that was about it, (and it should be).
Decisive factor for the choice was the fact of the resort having it's own private yacht to pick you up in Cancun and take you to Isla Mujeres and the other way around when you leave.
I would like to to be as organized in my writing as other fellow reviewers and divide it in pros and cons, but it's not possible, this resort it's like two face's coin, for something good seems to be always a consequence, other side of the deal.
We stayed 2 weeks, from April 27th to May 11th, we also got married religiously here (if the review was only for the wedding we would give it 5, because it's not, they got a 2 instead of a 1).
We arrived in Cancun and found our transfer representative outside easily, he checked my name in the list and all was well, told us to wait as he was going to get the car, and here we go, it starts here... We waited more than 20 mn in this tropical rain, with our 6 pieces of luggage , finally he comes back to us and informed that there was a problem as we arrived too late (5pm) and the yacht was already gone without us. This, I confess, conditioned the whole vacation and the perception of this resort for me, I will explain why ahead.
I told him that the only reason why we decided to go to IMP was the private yacht due to our heavy luggage (wedding suit and dress plus other props and the rest of things for 2 weeks) and this was unacceptable, he responded that he couldn't do anything as they are just contracted by Palace Resorts and have no responsibilities when it comes to the property boat. So he gave us tickets to the regular ferry at Ultramar, plus another taxi voucher and told us once at Isla Mujeres, there would be a red taxi from his company waiting for us, and all we had to do was showing that voucher and the driver would take care of us.
Absolutely impotent to do anything about this, and after 7 hours of leaving home, we hopped on the van and were taken to the ultramar ferry station.
The driver took our suitcases out and was about to leave, without even care anymore when I asked him who was going to help us with all the luggage, he made a gesture like he didn't understand me and I started speaking in Spanish, he seemed very frustrated and after looking around signaled this boy (sort of a free lancer bellboy) with a trolley for luggage, the kid came and before we could even put the last carry on on the trolley the driver was gone.
This kid took our bags down the ramp to the boat, passed through this area that seemed to be reserved for them, and told me to go to the line as he was going ahead and put everything on board. There should have been around 70 to 100 ppl in the line to the 6pm ferry, I was in a strange place, dependent on strangers, my holiday was starting under one of the most stressful situations I ever found myself in... I told my wife to go to the line and kept watching this kid (lovely person btw, ended up tipping him 10 dollars, so relieved I was) just to make sure everything was really going on board.
We chose to stay on the top of the ferry, outside, the ride is 30mn and I must say it is beautiful, the other passengers were in their majority locals, commuting after work or going to work.
As we are coming out of the boat, it was them, the locals who helped us carry everything (I can't say enough about the wonderful people from Isla Mujeres, they are just amazing) , another man came with a bike adapted to carry luggage and asked if we wanted help, I accepted, he carried everything and asked where we were going, when I told him there should be a red taxi waiting for us outside he laughed and told me all the taxis were red in Isla Mujeres, regardless we went down the peer, reached outside and looked for a traffic tours representative, of course there wasn't anyone there, I looked at my voucher again and it was nothing more than a normal taxi voucher, so the taxi driver could collect his money later.
Again, here we were at the hands of strangers, lucky enough, kind ones, but at that time it didn't make it any easier, maybe because I was speaking Spanish to everybody (thank you grand mother) the man understood I was really stressed out and told me not to worry, to go to the taxi line and wait, he also made sure he was always under my sight so I could see my things.
The confusion for a taxi at that place is absolutely surreal, they fill taxis with the locals until 4 are inside, even if they don't know each other and are not going to the same places, we waited 30 to 45 mn for our turn, when it finally came, the guy with the bike started putting the suitcases in the back, and of course the taxi was too small for it. The driver decided to ride with an open trunk, and when I asked him if this was safe, and the luggage could fall, he told me that if it felt, we would stop and pick it up (looking now back I am kinda smiling, but that moment I almost snapped and my wife was on the verge of tears).
We finally arrived at Isla Mujeres Palace, almost 8pm, we are exhausted, fuming, sweaty, smelly and absolutely revolted.
There is no bellboy in sight for a start, so here we are again carrying everything to the front desk.
Cinthya (spelling might be wrong, but this is the name) was our host, I asked her immediately why couldn't the boat wait for us, first she acted like surprised, but when I insisted she told me we arrived way to late and the yacht only waits until a certain time in the afternoon. I asked her if that shouldn't be informed in advance, so one could either chose other resort or try a different flight. Not even a smile I got from this woman, much less an apology, I also read everyone in here saying as they were greeted with a towel and a drink, well, not for us, I guess we arrived way too late.
Also, no trip planner, no resort credit explanation, no honeymoon package arrangements, zero, nada, niente... We were lucky the bell boy showed up and put everything on his trolley to take us to our room (later I found out he was no bell boy, his name is Mawe and he belongs to the front desk).
The room is really good, actually, the pictures don't make it justice, we got a concierge room ocean view (in this resort the ocean front is reserved for diamond members) and it is much larger than it seems on the pictures.
The double Jacuzzi is great and the balcony is big with a lovely view.
Top shelf liquor in the room, a well stocked mini fridge, some snacks, coffee maker, etc
Double Vanity in the bathroom, indoor mayan shower, everything's perfect.
That night we ordered room service, way too tired, food was good, but here is an advice, always order the double or triple because the portions are small, fajitas for instance, instead of 2, order 8 and you'll be ok.
Next day I went down, booked our mani and pedi (included when renting from a member) for later that day, told Pilar from the concierge desk I didn't want to go to Beach Palace for the timeshare presentation (she is really nice and won't push you more, plus she has good advice and suggestions about the Island) and when I inquired about my 2 free tours (also included when renting from Elite members) I was told only the Nautibus and the snorkel one were in the package, this was really non sense as we should have at least 7 or 8 to chose from, but the other girl told me that at IMP the member tours included are just those 2.
Received a phone call from our wedding coordinator that stays at Beach Palace (amazing person, Mr. Mario Yham, thank you for everything), he asked me if I was already given our honeymoon package, I said nobody even approached us and they didn't even seem to know we had a wedding in 24 hrs. He told me to go to the front desk and talk to them.
And so I did, and booked our dinner in the beach and requested our mini cake and champagne and our 2 t-shirts, I ended up never getting anything, the romantic dinner for reasons I will explain ahead, the rest because they simply never delivered and I was already tired of fighting tooth and nail for everything, the lack of communication between departments is absolutely appalling, nobody seems to know about anything, even inside the same departments, people will give you different information about the same things if you ask them more than once about it to two different members of the staff.
Buffet breakfast is alright, you have an omelet station with a chef, just ask him whatever you want and he will make it for you, I just don't understand why is the same chef the guardian of the bacon, I mean, if you want bacon you have to go to him, and if you stick to the portion he gives you and don't ask more, you'll be walking away with no more than 2 stripes, I know it sounds stupid but it's true, there is no bacon at the buffet, you have to ask for it at the omelet station. Also, no waffles at the buffet but you can order them through room service which makes no sense. The bread is the worst in this resort, I counted at maximum 3 varieties in the 14 days I was there, and not all at the same time, but that wasn't the worst, the worst was that regardless of the type it was either frozen and not well defrosted or several days old, it was like a rock, or soggy or half / half, never good, and not only at breakfast, any other meal was the same, the only good bread was coming in the hamburgers from room service.
There was only 2 juices, orange or pineapple, any other flavor you might want, would be juice box and from a very low quality.
We started having breakfast in the room everyday after that, it wasn't worthy to waste time going there as you could order the omelets or any kind of eggs to your room and waffles and french toast (very good) as well.
Lunch is buffet, again, another surreal experience, you enter the restaurant, they ask you for your room number, the hostess takes you to the table of your choice, a waiter comes and introduces himself, asks what you want to drink, you order, then he tells you the lunch is buffet and for you to go and serve yourself, you go and do it, when you're on your way back he comes, takes the plate out of your hands and carries it to your table, I mean, I understand the concept and the idea of good service, but they are understaffed and while doing this, they are short of staff at the pool bar or at the other bar next to the restaurant.
The buffet for lunch is very poor, the variety is inadequate specially because they only have one restaurant and should have more different things, but above it all, the food is bad, I am not saying inedible, it's just bad, tasteless, bland, everything tastes the same, in 14 days there, only one variety of fish we saw, hake and hake and more hake, no sea bass, no cod, nothing, hake with garlic cream, grilled hake, hake tacos, you name it... and always bland.
No shrimp, mussels or other sea food at the lunch buffet, I was able to eat mussels by taking them all out of a sea food stew thing they had, and every other day I would see that dish there, I would do it, because the dish itself was really bad.
Sidings were sparse and repetitive, rice, some sort of sweet potatoes cooked differently and of course, everything was really sub par, they could present the rice the way they wanted it was always soggy, one day it said it was "Portuguese Rice" I was intrigued as I am Portuguese and never heard of it, so I tried it and it was rice with some sort of fish or seafood sauce, giving it a red tone, it was so gross I felt like vomiting, consistency was like your oatmeal in the morning, but large chunks of rice would stick to your teeth like some sort of tooth paste.
So, we stopped caring about lunch after a couple of days, there was also little salads, 2 or 3 varieties, in little cups, this resort has the little cup obsession, even the guacamole comes in little 2oz cups, it's insane, same for the ceviche...
They also have a little corner of the buffet, where everyday you can find the same Asian items, tempura onion rings and tempura broccoli, my wife tried the tempura broccoli once and the doe was raw, oozing from the inside, disgusting.
There are some desserts, they all look good, but they all taste the same, bland, uninteresting, dull.
And the dinner, the dinner is a la carte, they say, but once every week, they decide to have a show by night and they slide a note under your room's door informing the a la carte is now changed to buffet due to the Broadway show or Caribbean show (we'll never know why, because then they force you to eat inside, under the big palapa and it's really hot).
A la carte you chose Mexican (Caribbean) or Italian, regardless, it's all bad, I had shrimp (only way you get shrimp at this resort is a la carte) flambe in zambuca once, and it was so bad I sent it back, and the craziness is that it comes in the utmost gourmet presentation and it seems delicious, but it's so dull and bland you'll find yourself running to your room to order room service, also, the service, well, understand this, one passes the day either at the beach or at the pool, goes to the room, decides to go down for dinner, takes a shower, chooses some clothing, in the ladies case, some shoes, probably some makeup, and hair do, you arrive down there, the waiter comes, makes you order appetizers, entree and wine all at the same time. Then you are eating, and here he/she comes, asking if you're done and they can remove the plate, one of the times my wife was talking to me she didn't listen to him, and he ended up taking her plate of appetizer without her even eating half of it, and when they take your first plate, they already have your entree with them to serve you, this is not good service, this is rushing people, when it comes to it you lost around one hour getting ready for dinner (or more) and the whole thing is over in like 20 or 30 mn.
One night, trying to prevent this, I told the waitress we were going to chose one thing at a time, that gave us the worst service we ever got in our lives, as she got really upset about it (her name was Andrea or Adriana, I can't recall now) and she gave us the attitude for more than one hour, add to that the bad food as usual and it was just horrible the whole experience, I ended up telling her that not only she needed to tell the chef everything was awful, but she was also giving us a very bad and stressful service, things got even more awkward when she appears into our room to deliver the room service dinner we had to order after, later that night.
With resort credits we booked the chef's dinner (yes, I am stupid) 5 or 6 course dinner where the soup was the highlight, no joke, no wine pairing as they do at the other Palace resorts, they do it in the 1st floor lounge, no A/C so it's like a mini sauna, and to end in a high note, they hold the dessert hostage to give you a sort of illusionist show that we of course didn't endure, as we just left and went for some room service, the only reliable source of food in the resort.
Beware, in this resort, the food that isn't bland and tasteless will be so spicy and hot that will turn inedible, no lie, be careful with seafood dishes, the majority will give you a good instant sauna and a hard time.
After this, and even with the free dinner on the beach booked, we never showed up, there was no point, we spent our day in the beach and ordered room service.
The room service, this is the best place to have meals, I mean, it has it's problems, like bringing you coffee without cups and spoons, always missing one to three of the things you ordered, bringing you the drinks and bread but forgetting the main dish (honest). But the food, is good, I think because the menu is much simpler and it's not gourmet wannabe they end up doing a good job, of course the choices are limited and some of them can't be ordered after 10 pm, but if it wasn't for room service we would have starved, no word of a lie.
The pool has a bar with a grill and a pizza oven, they also make some hamburgers there, the pizza has the thinnest crust I've ever seen, if that is your thing you'll love it, also, you can ask the chef to cook it anyway you want it, he made one without cheese for my wife and she chose whatever toppings she wanted, it's ok. I just don't understand why they don't grill fish there, if you ask for grilled fish, they go inside and ask at the restaurant chef.
The Bars- The drinks are watered down, which in a place of this caliber I find outrageous, so always ask for your cocktail of choice requesting the alcohol from top shelf, ie Cuba Libre with Bacardi rum, Jack Daniels instead of bourbon, etc, if you don't know what kind of booze your favorite cocktail has into it, ask for the cocktail list and check it out.
The service, well I started by thanking the ones that stand out, the rest it's hit and miss, some days you'll get service by the pool all day, some days you'll have someone coming when they can, like every 2 hrs or something.
At the beach, depends on your bracelet, if you are not VIP or Diamond, forget about it, we had VIP bracelets, if we would stay in the VIP chairs we would have someone every now and then, the staff is all over the place, one day we were at the VIP area at the beach all day and nobody would come, all of a sudden it starts raining and seconds later there were 3 staff members covering the beach beds reserved for diamond members so it wouldn't get wet.
Everybody has to work in every section, there's no distinctions, you have the guy who just bar tended you at the pool delivering you room service a couple hours later, the only steady positions seem to be the housekeeping ladies. The general standard is a team of very motivated people, but lacking etiquette, and above it all really in need of more train.
Of the 14 days we only got turn down service twice and the little petit fours are given to you if you are in the room, they knock and if nobody answers, too bad, no petit fours for you, the mini bar is restocked daily, but they will be knocking at your door around 9.30 am to do it, so forget about sleeping in, and if you don't answer, forget about the restocking as well.
They chase the tip which is normal, but sometimes it can go a little too far, one night we were at the lounge bar, we were 3 or 4 couples and it was around 11 pm, the bar is supposed to close at midnight, but the bartender was obviously annoyed because he is allowed to close before if nobody's there, he was serving everybody with a certain attitude and at a certain point he just vanished, we wanted more drinks and he was nowhere to be found, we approached one his colleagues and asked for him, he came back absolutely fuming a few minutes later, as I gave him 2 dollars his mood changed immediately, the other people there saw it and started tipping as well, he ended up staying almost until 1 am.
Also, it is normal to find groups of them gathering at certain spots talking loud and laughing, I speak Spanish and they are not saying anything bad, it's just unprofessional and sometimes as they are doing that, there is someone somewhere waiting. The only one who likes to try a few jokes in Spanish is Hector, he didn't do it to us as he knew I could understand, but I heard him bad mouthing a couple of people, you'll notice is goofy way and demeanor.
The front desk is a nightmare, Cinthya has to be the worst front desk agent I ever came in contact with, she is on the verge of evil and seems to have a sort of wicked pleasure in denying you things and using the word no.
After a couple of contacts with her I avoided front desk on her shifts, anything you need, go to Mawe, a truly professional with a sense of customer service. For logistic reasons, the member we rented from asked us to make 2 reservations, one for each week, on the 3rd day of being there I went to Cinthya and inquired if we needed a new check in for the 2nd week, as we had 2 reservations, she told me, that not only we needed a new check in, as we were going to change rooms, as the 2nd reservation was not concierge level and if we wanted to keep that room we would have to pay $50 a night. I told her no problem, we would change (here we go packing again) and really didn't understand what was her problem as we payed the same amount for each week, but I was already at the point that I couldn't fight anymore, I needed to relax, this was my holiday. Next day I go there and Mawe is working, I tell him I want to close my weekly bill as Cinthya told me we have to change rooms and make a new check in, he asks me to wait a couple of minutes, pulls our reservation on the system, merges it, and tells us everything is settled, we don't need to change rooms, no new check in and no surcharges... I rest my case.
Checking out on the last day, with the boat waiting for us and the other couple and our things already inside waiting for us, we had to wait almost 20 minutes because she was selling tours for the following day to another couple, instead of asking them to wait 3 mn to close our bill and collect...
This is a very long review, and you might think we're picky or have a chip in our shoulder but it's not the case, it's just a lot of bad things and you pay a small fortune to be here, so you need to put things in perspective, it was the 1 st time in Mexico for me, but this was my wife's 7th visit to the Cancun area and she stills swears to me that the food at Riu was way better and much more variety, the price difference from Palace to Riu in this case was almost $1700.
And let's not even talk about the shows, it's not really important to us, but the Broadway show was embarrassing, imagine the Mexican Glee's rejects, they were so bad and amateur that we felt so bad for them it made us uncomfortable and we ended up eating and left without dessert, the aquatic show we watched from our balcony, was actually pretty cool, until one of the rejects shows up again out of nowhere and out of context starts assassinating Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N' Roses in a way that we went inside and raised the tv sound at maximum volume.
On other occasion my wife is having her hair done for the wedding at the spa, the girl was very nervous and told her she had no experience in wedding hair do's which is crazy as your paying $170 for hair & makeup, while she is doing it, some other girl enters the room, she is doing inventory and at a certain point she starts reprimanding the other because there are products missing, all this while she is doing my wife's hair, of course she became so nervous, almost crying and my wife left and went to the room finishing the thing herself.
And the lack of logistic is insane, on the wedding day, they decide to replace the marble floor near the lobby elevator, they started at 9 am, and at 5 pm the bride had to go down the stairs and walk through all the pool area because the elevator was ruled out due to the repairs, they didn't even had the sensibility of booking it for another day and it was really awkward...
And on top of it all, we were told the yacht didn't wait for us because we arrived too late at the airport... During the 2 weeks I saw several times, people arriving through the boat service as late as 7.30PM, not once or twice, it was regular, I still wonder if they forgot about us and didn't care, that is absolutely revolting, and even if they provided the service for us to leave, while I was going back in the yacht I felt even more revolted because I was able to realize what we were denied, so please stop advertising the yacht service to lure people there when you don't even know what you're doing, because on top of everything, our flight was at 4 pm and we were forced to leave the resort at 11 am if we wanted the boat service, otherwise we would have to go the same way we had arrived, we ended up waiting in the airport more than 4 hrs, in an overcrowded place without air conditioning and sweating like pigs...
In resume, what you pay to stay here does not match at all what you get, everything is a hit and miss, the food is just way too bad (meanwhile we discovered the chef is new, you can notice him hanging around the resort with a red scarf around his neck to differentiate him from the other cooks) and I need to tell you Manager Daniel Manzanares, you are a very nice man, you know how to host, but you really need to dedicate more time supervising staff and training them, then interacting with people, and above it all, your new chef is one of the worst casting errors ever seen, I don't know if he was imposed to you by corporate or he was your choice, regardless, get rid of him.
I am not being harsh on the food, it's real, it's a huge problem, after reading this, just compare the food pictures here on TA from IMP with the other Palace resorts, you'll understand, let me tell you, the best meal we had in Mexico was at the airport, we had a couple of burgers at Johnny Rockets and it was like heaven.
Don't think though we are bitter or we had an horrible time, we didn't, we were together, and at a certain point we just decided not to worry anymore and made the best out of it, the beach is not perfect but was very nice under the palapas, if you want to go into the water, make sure to take water shoes, you'll be alright and won't feel the rocks and the sea grass (it's everywhere but one small clear spot. The pool is big and there's never fighting for a bed, by 4 pm it gets total shade and we really enjoyed it.
The place is relaxing and the atmosphere is great, but... It's not worth the money, go somewhere else cheaper or chose another Palace property, because except the LeBlanc, the prices are all the same, and here, maybe because they are isolated, they get away with a lot of stuff that I'm sure they wouldn't at any of the other resorts of the chain. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The pool and the pool bar.
The weak points
Food,beach with coral, urchins and seaweed.
Pro

Isla Mujeres Palace

, Niagara Falls, ON
2015-07-20
Good for rest and relaxation, only one problem is the two party beaches on each side of the resort. Boats coming in playing loud music kind of takes away the atmosphere of the resort. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Great for rest and relaxation
The weak points
2 party beaches on each side of the resort loud music
Certified

Excellent Choice

, Calgary, AB
2011-12-30
We enjoyed our time at this hotel. Keep in mind its small and not alot of entertainment nor planned activities but that's what we were looking for. We got a $1500 credit from the resort so didn't have to pay extra for any activities or tours. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The staff are excellent. You get personal one on one service. Resort is usually at 40 to 50% capacity and there was lots of pool/beach chairs all the time. Never crowded
The weak points
On each side of the resort are 2 party areas for day trippers. We only heard the noise 2x (we had pool view) but those with oceanview were bothered by the thumping music. The beach is nice but not the best I've been at.
Certified

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