• Samantha LeBold

Review: Mia-Reef All-Inclusive Resort Isla Mujeres, Cancun

There isn't anything more annoying than having people in your face every time you turn around while trying to enjoy a vacation. Unfortunately, just about every resort in existence has implemented this practice so it's difficult to get away from.

My recent trip to Isla Mujeres was marred by this behavior...that is until I revealed that I was a travel advisor. Make a mental note people, if you ever want the time-share pushers to leave you alone, advising them of this will result in being pretty much left alone. This isn't something I tell them unless they've gotten to the point where they are really annoying me...and at Mia Reef they were at that point.


I had decided I wanted to stay in an all-inclusive resort on IM, and upon researching what was available on the island, there were very few choices. Once I settled on the Mia Reef, mostly because I liked the location and that it was "separate" from the mainland, I began researching only to discover it was more focused on "vacation members" i.e. offering time-shares.


I'm not a time-share fan for numerous reasons. I have friends who have them and I've compared their prices with what I can book on my own with my own vendors...I can just about always match or beat their prices. Long-story short, most of them are a rip-off. I'm sure there are some out there who will argue this, and that's fine...there may be some out there that operate better than others, but between prices, black-out dates and additional fees I haven't found them to be any more of a "deal" than anything I can find on my own.


On that note, here's my own take on Mia Reef:

Pros:

  • Private beach--HUGE plus.

  • Cevicheria de Amador (on property and part of all-inclusive pkg) wonderful Ceviche, tacos, tostadas

  • Location in proximity to town

  • Snorkeling/water activities right from the resort

  • The rooms were nice


Cons:

  • Aggressive time-share pushing

  • No wi-fi OR cell service in villas facing the North

  • Buffet food was okay, but not much variation-we ate off of the resort several times.

  • The North wind blew the majority of the time-things got chilly once the sun went down.

Overall Impression: If you're needing wi-fi and cell service, this may not be the best place for you. I was told the reception was good in the "towers", but around the resort, in most of the public places I had a terrible time with it. There was only one location on the property that I was able to actually get any work done. If your number one priority is lying on the beach, location and water activities i.e. snorkeling, kayaking, playing in the water, this is a great place. If you love ceviche, like I do, you can't go wrong with the Mia Reef's Cevicheria de Amador for lunches and dinners! Would I return to Mia Reef? Probably not-mainly because of the time-share pushers and the limited food options. However, I would absolutely consider staying on the island of Isla Mujeres again. There are a few other all-inclusive options; however, it's a great place to get more of a "local" experience. There are lots of excursions over to the island from the mainland, and excursions bring lots of tourists.


However, the majority of them come over on the ferry and only stay for a few hours so it's not as bad as you may envision. Restaurants on the island were great-no complaints at all in that department. I would highly recommend the "private boat" transfer to the island as opposed to riding the ferry--it made things much more relaxing upon arrival.

There are a few places I think are worth mentioning on the island:


The North Garden: The Cinnamon Roll Pancakes were to die for.

The Grill Garden: Owned by the same person and the Coconut Shrimp was quite possibly the best we've ever had.

The Joint: We stopped here and had an adult-beverage. The atmosphere seemed like a lot of fun. The live music was great. Some friends participated in the "sunset cruise" operated by this outfit, and they claimed to have had a lot of fun, and again, the live music was a hit.

Isla Fun Tours: This is the tour company I set up our private boat transfer with. From the time they picked us up from the airport, transferred us to our private boat, transferred us to the Mia Reef, picked us up from Mia Reef and boated and transferred us to our next resort everything went smoothly.

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