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-   -   Isla Mujeres vs Playa del Carmen (https://www.fodors.com/community/mexico-and-central-america/isla-mujeres-vs-playa-del-carmen-710590/)

beachbum2 Jun 4th, 2007 06:05 PM

Isla Mujeres vs Playa del Carmen
 
I visited Playa last month with a girlfriend and loved it. I've heard great things about Isla as well. I am looking in a trip to Isla with the hubby. Can anyone give comparisons? It looks like Secreto and Rolandi are the only 2 luxury resorts on the island but I have also seen nice villas listed. Where do you want to stay on the island to be in close proximity to the evening restaurants, etc. That was part of what I loved about Playa (not being trapped in the resort). Thanks for any insight.

JeanH Jun 5th, 2007 04:49 AM

Isla Mujeres is way more laid back than Playa. Much smaller.

Personally, on Isla I like to stay close to Playa Norte, which is steps from the downtown. My personal favorite, and moderately priced, hotel is Hotel Playa la Media Luna. It's right next to Secreto, on the Caribbean side. The water isn't swimmable there, but it's wonderful to fall asleep to the sound of the crashing waves. There is a large condo development going up right next to Secreto. When I was there in January, the construction wasn't yet an issue. I suspect as things get going, Secreto might be loud.

There has been beach erosion on part of Playa Norte. The beach gets wider as you head to the western side of the island. You might look at Ixchel Beach Hotel. There was construction there in January (are you seeing a theme here?), but it was much further along, and probably won't be terribly noisy now.

There are great restaurants on Isla. Most are pretty darn cheap too.

If you stay at Villa Rolandi, you'll have to rent a golf cart or take a cab to town.

Isla's growing quickly, larger resorts being built all over the island. I'd say go soon to capture the feel of the place.

jamie99 Jun 5th, 2007 01:04 PM

Agree with JeanH.

We just got back from 4 nights on Isla two weeks ago at the end of a two week trip. Have stayed at Hotel Playa Media Luna and loved it, last few times we have stayed at Hotel Cabana Maria del Mar right on North Beach, has pool, swing bars, A/C and 3 different types of rooms, also has fridge. But it is not as fancy as Media Luna. There is some beach erosion here as Jean mentioned. Down toward the west end near Sergio's Playa Sol the beach is much wider.

Definitely rent a golf cart for one day to tour the island (don't even think about mopeds, too many speed bumps and traffic) and definitely eat dinner one night at Villa Rolandi, best food on the island.

Have a great time.

Little_Man Jun 5th, 2007 02:21 PM

For me, it'd be Playa. I spent an afternoon in Isla Mujeres and enjoyed it, but an afternoon was enough for me...
I love Playa!

LunaBlue Jun 14th, 2007 09:58 AM

For us there is no comparison, it is Playa all the way. However we have to disclose that we live in Playa and own a small hotel there so we are prejudiced. We do love Isla for a weekend getaway. However it does not have the restaraunt selection or the nightlife that Playa does. And truthfully you can find better beaches anywhere on the Mayan Riviera (Cancun, Puerto Morles, Tulum and of course, Playa del Carmen.) What it does better than Playa is being laid back. Smaller here means fewer people, less hustle and bustle and more down time which is why we like to go there to take a break from our own slice of Paradise. Why not do both? Spend a couple of days in Isla and then head for Playa. For our own trip report about a few recent days in Playa go to our personal blog PlayaZone : http://playazone.wordpress.com/2007/...-isla-mujeres/. It should give you some more info. Have fun where ever you decide to go.

Tony and Cheri
Playa del Carmen

beachbum2 Jun 15th, 2007 01:07 PM

Thanks,
I LOVE Playa, but thought maybe we'd try Isla for something a little different. We will only have 3 or 4 nights, so both is not worth the hassle. Toni and Cheri, I will bookmark your place as we are planning a girlfriends trip in a year or so and some people need budget accomodations. Your place is in a great location and looks great.

tropictripper Jun 16th, 2007 10:39 AM

My husband surprised me in May with our second trip to Isla. On our first trip we stayed in Secreto which was lovely. This time around we stayed at Ixchel Beach Hotel with is more like a condo with kitchen etc. Brand new so very nice. Yes there is construction at this property but the beach was so great that we didnt care. I think people who daytrip over from Cancun dont really get to see everything that is wonderful about this place. Such as when the daytrippers leave and it becomes really idyllic!!! I think there are many great romantic places to eat and explore. It's definitely our favorite for relaxation and romance.


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