More about Villa Rolandi Gourmet Beach Club
overrated villa rolandi
After reading numerous rave reviews about the Hotel Villa Rolandi, we reserved 2 rooms for the week of February 23rd. We were told that the hotel's private yacht would meet us at the dock in Cancun to transport us to the hotel. Our trip began with the yacht (catamaran)arriving 20 minutes late. At check in we were shown to our rooms, which I had been told were on the 2nd floor, to find 1st floor rooms overlooking the pool. These rooms provide no privacy at all if you dare to open the drapes. We were told the hotel was full and no other rooms available.
Next, we find no hot water in the shower and one broken showerhead. On to dinner, looking forward to the gourmet menu/service we had read about. What a nightmare! The sevice was terrible, the waiter could not answer any questions, special entrees of the day not available(it was only 6:30) and we waited over 30 minutes to settle the bill. I find it hard to believe that this hotel is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World and question what their criteria is for membership, or how often the properties are visited. The staff is certainly not the standard one would expect at a luxury hotel....one member of the staff stood and laughed as a beach umbrella blew over and landed on one of the guests!! Our stay ended in less than 24 hours and we headed back to Cancun, spending the rest of the week at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach where the staff went out of their way to make our stay an enjoyable one. If anyone dares to go to Villa Rolandi, be sure to ask for rooms on the 2nd or 3rd floor, bring a lot of patience with you to the diningroom, and do not expect "luxury".
Terrible hotel, unhelpful staff
The hotel really looked great upon arrival. Great view, banana trees in the surroundings and every room with balcony.
We left our bags in the room and then took a cab (quite a drive, almost 10 km from the town) in to town. When we got back in the evening (after another long cab drive) we inspected our room more carefully. Well, it was nothing great - a typical early 80'ies decoration, but it seemed clean. When getting in to bed I found a ded "dried up" ant, but I thought nothing of it... bugs can get in sometimes. After we put the lights out and tried to get to sleep, we soon felt a crawling... bursting out of bed and hitting the lights, we found thousands of red ants (they bite!) in the room! On the floor, the cieling, the walls, the bed! Everywhere!
We ran up to the reception where and eldery man sat who didn't speak a word english. He did know what we meant though and came back with us to the room bringing a bugspray... but the spray did little good as there were sooo many ants! He actually used up the whole can, but the ants just keept on coming. It was like a horror movie and I started to cry. We went up to the reception with the man and wanted him to call a cab for us. He said that no cabs were operative after midnight. We stared calling ourselves and of course ther were cabs! He just lied not wanting us to leave!!! We finally took a cab back to town and found the wonderful hotell "Villa Rolandi" where there was (to our great luck) a room available.
The next day we went back to get our money back from this nightmare hotel. (because, of course we had to prepay our stay...) First they didn't want us to get our money back and offered us another room. I asked the receptionist if there were ants there and she said "well, not that many as in your first room". We declined, of course. Then we had too threaten with the tourist office to get them to agree on giving us our money back. We got almost all our money back, but not for the first night (and we didn't even spend the night and had to pay for another hotel). I asked the receptionist if she upon our ariival knew of the ant problem and after some lame excuses, she admitted that she did...
Overall, this was an experience from hell! DO NOT STAY HERE!!!
Villa Rolandi: A Taste of the Really Good and Really Bad
My wife and I recently stayed at the Villa for 7 days for our wedding and honeymoon. It's wierd, because we both read a visitor's review about the Villa noting that it was great but that the piano player at the restaurant was a pervert. Now that we've returned from our stay, we find that our review of this resort is very similar.
On the first night we were picked up in Cancun by the Catamaran, the Villa's yacht. When we got to the hotel, staff was very friendly and greeted us with cold towels and mimosas. We were escorted to our room, which was immaculately clean and nicely decorated for our wedding. We were also given a complimentary bottle of wine.
We ate at the Villa's restaurant, which was also very good. Walter, Alberto and Jesus were excellent restaurant employees who went out of thier way to make sure we were happy. Additionally, each morning we were given continental breakfast that featured a fresh selection of breads, orange juice and coffee. Additionally, the maid came to our room twice and day and did a fine job of making sure our room was spic and span.
On our wedding night, we arranged for a ceremony lead by Sabina (a local minister) at the hotel and reserved the beach for dinner in the evening. The beach was decorated with rose petals and candals and all was well. Additionally, our room was decced with roses and we were provided another complimentary bottle of wine by the hotel. All was well up to the wedding ceremony, after which point our experience drastically declined.
At our wedding dinner at the Villa the waiter, Pablo, at first seemed like just a nice guy who wanted to earn a good tip. He started by complimenting my wife, telling her how beautiful she was (calling her "mi princesa" a few times). We thought nothing of it, but instead that he was being nice. However, 15 to 20 "mi princesa's" later, and the two of us were--to say the least--very creeped out. Pablo even went as far as to call my wife "mi mamacita" and to tell her not to call him Pablo, but from now on "Pablocito". Now we know that to many this may seem funny like the piano player review also written on this site, but at our wedding night dinner--the only one we will ever have--the waiter made things very awkward. Following this, each day afterward Pablo went out of his way to "run into" me and my wife, telling her ad nauseum how gorgeous she looked.
Just when we thought that was all, two more serious problems occured. On the island, US vacationers will undoubtedly have to change US currency for Mexican currency--the peso. For days Roger, the front desk attendant, had been exchanging our US dollars to pesos. We did not go to the bank to change money because--considering that we spent over $2,000 at the hotel for our wedding and honeymoon--we thought that the hotel would at least be our one ally on the island and give us fair exchanges. For days, Roger exchanged our US money at a rate of 10 pesos per dollar when (as we later found out) the actual rate was nearly 11 pesos per dollar. Additionally, when he exchanged our money we thought it wierd that he dipped into his own pocket rather than the hotel register to change sometimes large amounts of money. While at first we were getting shorted a very small amount, over time it added up, and we ended up getting ripped us off for lots of money. We thought that maybe he just didn't know the exchange rate or was bad at math or something, but in a passing conversation, we asked him to call us a taxi to go into town and to tell us the exchange rate. He responded: "Same as always, 10.6 pesos per dollar". Following this, we went to Stephanie (Roger's superior) at the hotel and told her about the situation. To our surprise, she did little to bring us whole, but had the nerve to respond: "I know who you're talking about. It's the guy isn't it? We've heard the same complaint from others that he's shortchanged them. It's not a big deal if he does this to someone outside the hotel, but to one of our clients--I think we'll have to say something to him this time." Moral of the story here is: Travelers, GO TO THE BANK TO CHANGE YOUR MONEY.
Additionally, expect lots of hidden charges on the bill. We tried to reconcile our bill every day, yet it seemed like new items would appear on our bill. Considering how much money we spent at their establishment, there were instances in which we felt management should have looked the other way and not charged us as much. For example, we needed deoderant (Lady Speedstick, which cost about $1.50 US) and--when we asked the price several times--were repeatedly told not to worry, that they didn't know the price but would get it for us. Two days later, our good old friend Roger cut me off in the hallway and told me that we had been charged a whopping $6.50 US for the Lady Speedstick because it came from the "guess shop." More importantly, we came to the hotel with the understanding that breakfast and either lunch or dinner were included as part of our hotel package. We had to be out of the hotel by noon and at the airport by 4:00pm on the day we returned to the US, making lunch at the hotel ideal given our time constraint. We informed staff that we would eat lunch and then checkout, and confirmed with them that lunch for that day was included in our meal plan. Additionally, just to be extra certain, when we got to the restaurant, the waiter and staff also confirmed several times that the lunch we were about to eat was included in our meal package. However, at checkout, we were furious when hotel management tried to charge us nearly $100 for the lunch (openly admitting that it was their mistake) while telling us that "it wasn't a big deal deal." We wouldn't take this, and asked that a better solution to our problem be reached. Management agreed to take only 20% off our meal yet apologized for their staff telling us the meal was free. We felt like we had to accept this, because we were in a foreign country and needed the Villa's yacht to get across the island to make our flight later that day in Cancun. It was a terrible position to be in.
All in all, a very nice hotel and restaurant with great amenities, but some major flaws that need to be addressed before I'd recommend to anyone that it's worth visiting (at a hotel rate that can be as high as $350/night).
I say Italian because it has a certain Italian flare but it really has quite a variety on the menu. The chef here is excellent. The dress is nice/casual. The restaurant is open air with a deck which is almost over the water with a view of Cancun. Romantic setting. Great service. I had the shrimp brochette one night and the mushroom ravioli for lunch the next day and it was YUM-E!
We would stay here again on our next visit
My husband and I stayed at Villa Rolandi from January 15 through to January 24, 2004. It is a quiet little island 7 miles offshore of Cancun. If you want lots and lots of nightlife stay in Cancun.
Villa Rolandi is a lovely 20 room hotel. Each room has beautiful views of Cancun (7 miles away). We were on a two meal a day package which worked out very well. The food was "WONDERFUL" (try the Black Ravioli filled with shrimp).
I cannot say enough good things about the entire staff. Everyone was happy to be there, and very happy that we were there.
One night we went out and had dinner at a little place in the downtown area called Bamboo (on the corner of Hidalgo + Matamoros). We had a delicious meal and they had a live band that played sort of a salsa/caribbean music. It was a really fun place. They serve chicken, seafood, steaks, stir fry's -yummy.
We had another great meal at Playa Tiburon (near Villa Rolandi). Lunch for 4 people is $16.00 and consists of a whole Grilled Mackeral, rice, coleslaw, tortillas. This was not a fancy place. We ate under an umbrella on the beach with lots of young people and locals. The couple beside us had lobster tails and they looks really great.
We loved Isla Mujeres and are looking forward to our return visit.
The wife and I just got back from Villa Rolandi. We were there for 6 nights. It is everything we expected. The place is just like the pictures from the website. The staff were helpful and friendly. The food was delicious and we enjoyed our stay very much. If we had to find some minor detail to complain, here they are:
1. We took the private transportation offered by the hotel ($100 roundtrip). The guy was waiting for us when we exited the airport, however, we had to wait about 10 minutes before the car arrived. It was a very nice SUV however on our return trip we did share a van with 1 other couple. You can probably find cheaper method of getting from the airport to Playa Linda but we didn't feel like it. Well, actually the wife didn't...
2. The walls are a little thin.. We did request a room on the 3rd floor like some of the reviewrs suggested and it was very nice. We had a nice view from our balcony and for the most part it was very quiet. However, there were a few times where we can hear music and noises from our neighbors.
3. The ferry service offered by the hotel to Cancun is not very reliable. This free service is basically driven by cusomters coming from Cancun to dine at Villa Rolandi. So, if you can't catch one of these rides, you are on your own. We didn't really press the issue with the hotel because we didn't mind venturing out on our own. A quick taxi ride (54 pesos) take you into town and 35 pesos for the public ferry to Puerto Juarez. Buses take you from Puerto Juarez to the Hotel Zone for about 7 pesos. Around 130 pesos for a taxi ride from the hotel zone back to the port.
4. Water pressure for the shower is a little screwy. For the most part the pressure is fine and the water is hot. However, once in a while the water pressure goes... It would come back very quickly.Keep in mind none of the above would deter me recommending this place. Our last two days there, the place was full. When it was full, the pool was crowded and it kind of lost its small place charm. This place is much nicer if it's not at its full capacity. I would recommend going there not at its peak season. From Sunday to Wed we felt like we had the place to ourselfs.
5. I thought the piano in the restaurant was a little loud. The wife didn't think so...
Finally some very good things about Villa Rolandi:
1. Staff was very helpful and friendly. We rented a golf cart one day, and they found one for us in town and gave us the money for the cab to go into town to pick up. Service was prompt in the restaurant and by the pool/beach.
2. The food was delicious! We also enjoyed the free breakfast very much. Continental breakfast delivered to your room every morning. It was very nice. I would recommend any of the pasta dishes and the grilled seafood. The baked fish in banana leaf on the other hand, I didn't care as much...
3. The room was very nice. Big shower place. Comfy bed. A lounge area to view the ocean or watch Directv. A private hot tub on your balcony..
What else can you ask for.
Overall, Villa Rolandi is a very charming place. Not the best place I have been to, but it is definitely on par with any other Mexico destinations. If you are looking for a small quiet place away from the glitz of Cancun, Villa Rolandi is it!
We spent 3 nights at Villa Rolandi May 8-11 and had a wonderful time. Our third floor room was great...I wouldn't want a first floor room adjacent to the pool, though. The private beach is a little small, but still nice. The pool is wonderful, and we had several great meals at the restaurant. Service was great at the hotel and in the restaurant. The boat was late picking us up, but hey, it's Mexico. We loved the coffee chute where they slide breakfast in without disturbing you. We would definitely stay here again. If you visit Isla Mujeres, be sure to rent golf cart or scooter and visit the south end of the island. It's US$3.00 to view the Mayan Ruin, but paying gives you acess to paths that that run along the base of the cliffs along the water that offer some wonderful views.
After being married on Isla Mujeress, witnessed by our closest of family members, my new husband and I stepped into paradise on the other side of the Island. Paradise comes in many forms. Some may think that a pefect suite is identified by a jacuzzi overlooking the ocean, OR a surround-sound stereo that you can hear in your steam sauna or shower (with 2 shower heads), OR an extra large and most elegant bed with wide windows that allow the breeze to flow in all night long....ALL OF THIS CAN BE FOUND AT ROLANDI.For my husband Todd, paradise came in the form of gourmet food. Every meal-exquisite, the service-outstanding! For me, paradise is fournd by breakfast delivery in a special cubby hole every morning & all of Rolandi's attention to guests (in our case honeymooners): champagne & strawberries in the pool (compliments of the hotel management), souvenir tee-shirts that say "honeymooners rolandi", and love swans made out of towels that greeted us as we entered the room.Thank you to all of the management and staff at Villa Rolandi Gourmet & Beach Club who made our stay so wonderful! We will see you on every anniversary that we are blessed with!Sincerely,Maggie & Todd Meyer Bride & Groom 2/14/04 (Stay at Rolandi from 2/16-2/19/04)
We just returned from a wonderful stay here. Please remember this is Mexico, things may not be up to US standards but the resort was beatiful and the staff so friendly and helpful. The boat was not there waiting for us when we got to the dock either, no big deal, have cool drink and sit down and relax. It got there about 30 min. later, it would be pretty hard to time it perfectly with flight schedules taxies etc. The staff met the boat at the dock, our bags were taken care of , we were escorted to the lobby seating area, offered a drink and a warm hand towel. I thought it was great. The food was delicious, you could have fresh lobester every night if you wanted. Having lunch brought down to me on the beach was wonderful and we loved the breakfast in our room in the morning. I do agree to ask for a second or third floor room. We did not request one but our room was on the second floor and the view was great. Sitting in your private hot tub sipping a cool drink and looking out over the water--- how could it get any better.
Our room was very nice. Yes it had a little odor, the saintary systems on the island are like in the US and yes one day we ran out of hot water ... but only once. When we arrived back at our hotel on the last day 3 hours late due to a snorkeling excursion and not only had not vacated our room but also missed our scheduled boat back to Cancun the staff said " take your time to check out have a drink and will have another boat for you." We loved this place!
My fiance and I would like to honeymoon at Villa Rolandi on Isla de Mujeres, from early to mid July, 2006. Is this too risky in terms of hurricane risk?
Would appreciate feedback!
Honeymooner to be
You are in hurricane season but hurricanes develop pretty far east in the early party of the season and as the season progresses they move/develop more and more to the west towards MX. I visited MX in late June a few years ago with no problems but in July you might not be as lucky. Check out this site for historical info on temps, rain fall, etc. And congrats! www.wunderground.com