It was ok...
Let me start by saying we had a wonderful time at Isla Mujeres. I had read all the reviews regarding the Avalon Reef Club Isla Mujeres, so my expectations were not that high to start with. It definitely was not a 5 star hotel that they claim to be but it was probably the best place to stay on the island.
My suggestion is to stay in Cancun for a few days then stay on Isla Mujeres for a few days. If you do not have 7 or more days to vacation you should stay in Cancun (I recommend Fiesta Americana Coral Beach....
excellent excellent hotel)
Back to Avalon... I would rate it as a high 3 to low 4 star hotel. We did not do the all-inclusive and I suggest you do not either. There are so many nice little restaurant in downtown Isla Mujeres to try and explore and downtown is literally a 10 to 15 minute casual walk. And it is SAFE to walk at night as well. The restaurants at Avalon were pretty good but also a bit pricey compared to what you can get in downtown.
However Avalon's restaurants are close and convenient especially if you are just coming back from a full days excursion. However don't be surprised if you spot a few extremely large cockroaches in their outside dining area. However, the outside dining area is very peaceful and romantic alongside the beach.
One of my concerns prior to arriving was the ferry schedule. I was worried that I would not be able to plan a trip to Xcaret or Xel-ha and be back in time to catch the ferry. Not to worry... Avalon provides a free ferry service for its guest that runs pretty regulary... I think the first ferry left Isla around 7:30am and the last ferry returning to Isla leaves Cancun at 11:45pm. So plan away....
Avalon is situated on the North end of the island and it was indeed beautiful. The pool was a little small. The beach was nice but closer to the dock you have to wade in carefully so as not to step on rocks.
The waves were a lil rough in October but as I understand... most of the year it is pretty calm. Not to worry though... you can take a nice stroll along Isla's beach and find areas where the waves are not rough at all.
Service was slow at the hotel, but they do clean. I think our room got cleaned around 10:30am. If you have an option... stay in the villa rooms that are to the side of the hotel. I think the rooms are bigger and right outside your patio (the hotel rooms don't have a patio) is the ocean. It is so awesome to wake up to the sound of waves. The staff is friendly but the sometimes there were communication problems.
Luckily the wife and I knew enough spanish to get by.
What makes Avalon a great hotel is not its amenities and service... it is its location. Isla Mujeres was such a great laid back place to be.
You can rent golf carts and tour around the island. You can visit the turtle farm, go snorkeling at Garrafon, swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Discovery, bargain at shops downtown, and get fat on all the great seafood restaurants. If you want a lot of action all the time then Isla Mujeres / Avalon is not for you. If you like clubbing... you have to take the ferry Cancun (the club at the hotel was dead).
Anyway... like I said.... Avalon was ok...
email me if you have any questions about the place or about our stay...
Bano del Rey (King's Bath)
I know, I know, you thought bano was bath "room", well yeah I think so too. This place is actually a bath though, fit for a king! We saw this marked on the map which they gave us with our golf cart rental. We drove to the point of the island where it was supposed to be and ended up at the Avalon Reef Hotel. The staff thought about it for a minute when I asked "Donde esta el Bano del Rey?" and then they pointed. You actually have to go through the Hotel because there's no other way to access it. It is a natural cove in the water protected from the surf. When we were there the surf would occasionally break over the sea wall and shower you if you were standing in the right spot. Otherwise, you could snorkel a little and see the little fish swimming around inside. I saw a cool sea slug. Be careful though if the surf is big, we almost got washed ashore when one took us by surprise! Water shoes and a mask and snorkel would be helpful to enjoy this.
Found the Reef Club beyone our expectation. Woould go again
We (My daughter and I)found Isla Mujeres delightful and a relief from cities like Can Cun. We were there on a "all inclusive rate" at the Avalon Reef Club which was very satisfactory. The food was plentiful and of great variety. The drinks were very light which did not bother us too much since we are not big drinkers. If you like to drink do not go "all inclusive" There was no pressure to become a member. We were not urged to discuss it when we told them frankly that it was not part of our agenda. The tours around the island were very interesting, especially the Sculpture Garden and Walks by the waters edge below the ruins. We spent the day at isla Catoy the nature preserve. It should not be missed if you have the slightest interest in nature. Shows at the club were entertaining, Shopping was available in town and at the Reef Club twice during the week. Room service left something to be desired, as it was usually late, however the rooms were clean and well supplied with quality products. The dining room and desk staffs were most helpful. All transfers worked like a clock. To our amazement there was always someone to meet us and deliver us from plane to boat to the club and back We recomment it as a vacation place for families and for retired folk who like to do active things. It is all there to do.
An Enjoyable and Relaxing Week
My wife and I chose the Avalon Reef Club at Isla Mujeres for our belated 25th anniversary. Excellent choice. We spent 6 nights/5 days there from Oct. 25-31, and had a very enjoyable experience at a beautiful resort located in one of the most scenic beachfront areas imaginable. We stayed in a villa studio suite which overlooked the beach, Isla Mujeres, and Cancun in the distance. The room was nice, very clean, and comfortable. The setting of the villas is also nice, situated on the tip of the small islet which the resort is located on.
This area is slightly detached from the main island-and joined to it by a footbridge. From our suite we could literally walk a few feet to the gulf side (to the east), complete with coral reef and incoming surf, or to the other (west) side, where the beach and calm waters prevailed.
The pictures provided on the Avalon Reef Club website show this, and are an accurate portrayal of the setting for the villas, as well as for the rest of the resort.
The restaurant/bar is a comfortable, "beachy", thached roof setup with both indoor (a/c) and outdoor seating. A comfortable atmosphere with excellent servers-both at the bar and with the restaurant. All were very attentive and saw to our every want. Special kudos go to Victor, a fine fellow who served us several times and was exceptional, and Jose, a very personable gent. Full and complete buffet breakfasts, lunch, and dinners were offered. Every night the dinner buffet was a different cuisine, which was varied and tasty, and resembled buffets one would see on a cruise-to scale of course! Also offered was the standard dinner menu, which contained several appetizers, 4-5 entrees, and dessert. On selected evenings the restaurant served dinner off a select menu. This was served on the outdoor deck, which almost literally overhung the water, and provided magnificent sunset views. We had the all-inclusive plan, which included the full menu's with the exception of one or two lobster style plates.
We found all the various employees at the resort to be efficient and helpful. English is spoken by most all, with the exception being the cleaning staff. I have read comments from (a few) others on this site inferring that communication with the staff is difficult-that is, if one speaks English. I must say that: 1) We did knowingly choose a non-English speaking country to vacation in, true?, and; 2) That I found this not to be correct, as all staff in all areas excluding cleaning personnal spoke anywhere from good broken English to very good English. The front desk was excellent, very bi-lingual, and were responsive. AND, worthy of special note; We dealt several times with a wonderful concierge who was excellent in every way, Laura Gomez. Just a super person, very pleasant and very helpful!
In closing I would like to address a couple of things, and make a comment or two. Prior to our trip we read the same positive and not so positive reviews on this resort, which have been posted over the past several months. At the time we first read them, which was a couple of months prior to our trip, it gave us serious reservations. However after making a couple of phone calls, and exchanging e-mails with a very responsive person (I believe at the home office) named Staci Benton, we decided to go ahead with our plans. Good choice!!! Either some folks cannot be pleased, or the resort has made some positive and dramatic changes. When I make these comments, it is not as if we are new travelers impressed with the first place we go to. In the past 3-4 years we have travelled to the beach in the Bahamas and Florida, cruised the Caribbean and Alaska, done 'Frisco a couple of times, New York, etc., all with top notch resorts, hotels and cruise lines. I say this to assure those of you looking for a nice getaway, that we have "been around". This is a beautiful resort in a relaxing, interesting setting, with employees worthy of a cruise line. It however is not a party atmosphere. More of a couples/family type resort. If partying is what you are after, you are probably better off in Cancun. A preceding commentary to this complains of the "Fast Cat" ferry (really a hydrofoil) being out of service, and the front desk not speaking English. This person must have stayed at the Avalon either when we were there, or very close to it. During our stay the "Fast Cat" was in service every day, docked exactly where it was supposed to be in both Cancun and at the resort, and the front desk employees, who were the same every day, were efficient, and spoke good English. Not to refute someone else's comments, but we found none of this to be true for us.
Some other comments, such as when the room was cleaned, were the pillows comfy, etc., in retrospect seem to be very nitpicky. I'm sure it is difficult to clean all rooms before 10:00 a.m., and ours was always done, usually in the morning, never later than mid-afternoon.
And is any bed as comfortable as our own (it was fine by the way)?
The island was beautiful, with interesting if not typical Mexican shopping. Rent a golf cart and cruise the island, it is worth it.
Cancun is modern, Chichen Itza is a must see, and the water is great.
We would recommend it!
Mike & Robyn
The Avalon Reef. in Isla Mujeres is truly "paradise found"...romantic setting for our middle aged retreat where you can lay back and enjoy life, love,and the gorgeous surroundings away from commercialised hussle of the bigger islands. Can't wait to go back!
Avalon Feef Club
Avalon Reef is beautiful spot on the island. The food was okay and service was not always great but a good time was had by all. Claudia behind the front desk was great and most of the staff was as helpful as their english and my spanish would allow them. The island itself was very enjoyable. We really had a sense of the mexican way of life on the island and met some really nice people. We took a snorkeling trip, drove a gulf cart around the island one day and went ot see the dolphins as well as exploring the northern part of the island by foot. Beware of getting on and off of the island. We ended up taking the public ferry because our plane was late and we would have to wait 3 hours to take Fastcat. This was never reimbursed. The day of departure they weren't sure if the fast cat was running until it was time to leave and then we insisted they pay for taxis to the pier in town to catch the fastcat . By the time we got to the airport we had just enough time to get boarding passes and get to the plane. The airport was packed on Sunday. Long wait times. We should have been off the island by 8am to catch a 12N flight.
There are not enough words to describe the spectacular time spent at the Avalon, the Staff are extremely cooperative. They coordinated a most rememorable wedding for my daughter, her family and firends, this is a tremendous find. Thank God!.
Know Before You Go...
Where do we start??? We purchased the Vacation Package with Avalon Resorts last year in June. What we were sold and what we got were essentially two different things. Isn't that everyone's biggest fear when making a major purchase like that. Well to make a long story somewhat shorter, I had to go to the the owner of Avalon to get this reconciled. Even though I never did get the opportunity to speak with Mr. Kelly, I did get his right hand assistant who smoothed things over pretty well. Ashame it had to get that far. When we bought our package as with many other things we were told that we could use the Fast Cat to go back and forth between Isla and Cancun. So when we arrived in Cancun and got a transfer to the place where we last knew the Fast Cat to be, it wasn't there. Not only wasn't it there but know one knew what the heck we were talking about. Here we are treating our two kids to their first trip in Mexico and we couldn't get to our island. Well obviously they moved the boat, but no one knew where or why. And being owners you would think that they would let us know in advance. It took us hours to get to the right dock and find a ferry to get us over, what a waste! Turns out the Fat Cat is being renovated in case you were wondering. Yes the hotel does provide two other boats to get you back and forth, just would have helped to know that BEFORE we got there.
After trying for three months to get a Villa, I got the Villa. Amazing!
Very nice, we had two connecting one bedrooms, views can't be beat! I do recommed that you request one closer to the hotel. We were the furthest out on the jetti and it was quite a long walk to get to the hotel. As far as maid service, almost every review I read before we went hit it right on the head, lousy! We tipped, but still if we got service and got it before dinner we were lucky. I don't know about your bed, but ours was like sleeping a a slab of concrete. It makes no sense how you can have such a beautiful resort spend all this money and then skimp on beds? My son's rollaway was more comfortable. It only took us six hours to get it and six phone calls. It was promised on check in.
We also did the All Inclusive because we were required to??? Three days of metiocure food. Drinks that were not too great. Dine off property, period. Victor the waiter is wonderful, he goes above and beyond and worked his you know what off. All the rest with the exception of Enrique behind the bar, were rushing us to always sign, sign, sign.
Little English and customer service orientation. An American owner and customer service standards that leave little to be desired. I would love the opportunity to talk with him about his resort. To me this island is a very special place, and The Avalon is in the ideal location. It's absolutely beautiful. The spectacular views cannot be matched. The place needs some serious fine tuning. As you may have noticed I have some strong opinions on this resort, because I believe that it could be so much better. Go and try it out see what you think, but keep in mind all the reviews that you read about. They seem to be very consistent when it comes to this resort. I will tell you that the Mundaca dive trip was Great, buy the CD of your dive, it's fantastic!!
If you want to go to Mexico and have a steak dinner and spend over $100.00 then go to their steak restaurant inside the hotel. I can't quite imagine why any one would want to, and I might have seen two couples in there the entire seven days we were there. Don't you think it might be better used as a food court, OR another how about a Mexican restuarant, wow in Mexico what and idea! Also keep in mind that the pool bar closes around 4:00 or so. Nearly impossible to get a drink then. By your own and make it in your room then go to the pool. Also review your hotel bill the night before you check out, at the minimum, it took us almost two hours to check out at the front desk, ridiculous.
Huge communication barrier at the front desk, huge. Lovely hotel, great location, lousy service (except for Victor), Mabie Mr. Kelly will read our reviews and consider them to make his resort a better place. What do you think? Responses desired.
We enjoyed our accommodations very uch. Our maid service was excellent and <marissa was a delight. We enjoyed the <porterhouse restaurant, and Ceasar treated us like royalty. <never rushed, always very courteous.
We did not take advantage of many of the services offered because our agenda was very simple,,,beach time and explore the town. <<<What we did use was very well done. We did have difficulty getting service in the <north beach restaurant many times. We did have one waiter who eventually knew us and took care of us. <up until then, we felt a bit invisible.
All else was wonderful. I will recommend to friends and clients. This was a relaxing, wonderful stay. Thank you very much.
Avalon Reef transfers
My wife and I will be staying with you from Oct 28th to Nov 3. I want to know what are the best and most cost effective ways to transfer from the Cancun airport to the ferry, and from the ferry to your club.
Re: Avalon Reef transfers
Airport - Taxi - Ferry - Hotel Transportation Dock - Hotel is what people usually do to visit the Avalon Reef in Isla Mujeres..
I think this question was originally directly to your hotel or similar, but somehow ended here on virtualtourist.
Their contact info is:
Tel.: 52 (998) 881 9100
A website says they offer free round transportation airport-hotel when you buy all-included stay, the client should call the hotel at least 72 hrs before arrival and should provide flight number and arrival time.
You might want to contact them to confirm this.
FYI, you can easily walk from the Isla Mujeres ferry dock (embarcadero) to your hotel, however, if you are carrying a bunch of things, you might want to have somebody to help you. There are carts that can help you on that, they would cost an extra $.
The ferry is $35 Pesos one way.
Enjoy your vacations!!
Re: Avalon Reef transfers
I would think that more people take the ADO bus from the airport. It's 35 pesos compared to thirty bucks or so for cabs.
From there, a cab to the ferry should run under $5.
Re: Avalon Reef transfers
Well, that's certainly another way to do it!