This was our second visit to the island and second stay at Casa el Pio. We returned this year to celebrate the New Year Holiday as we had such a good time last year when we were here. The local people are so fabulously celebratory this time of year, it is good energy =) Many of the locals make it to 8am (the band plays from midnight - 8am), we haven't made it this far but it is our goal!
We absolutely love Casa el Pio, I want a home that feels just like this place someday! It is so peaceful. Although, it is just on the outskirts of downtown, it is very quiet and private here. The walls are very thick, so you don't get noise from neighbors but if you keep your windows open, you'll hear the crashing tides of the east beach (best in room #3!!).
If you are a musician, you will love it here. The acoustics are fantastic -- and you know you aren't bugging anyone if you play in your room because of the thickness of walls.
Casa el Pio is super clean and the minimalistic design allows you to really clear your mind while you relax. The beds are very comfortable from what I've experienced in Mexico. Pillows are good, too. The AC works really well if you travel on a hot week. Water pressure and hot water good. There is purified water available in the common area. There is a small pool, not for swimming really -- probably better to sit in to cool off if it ever got really hot...or just for looks? Not really sure, about the size of a hot tub. It used to be a cistern, I think.
Last year, there was a different couple running the place -- this year it was a woman named Jill who was extremely pleasant and very helpful. She pointed us in the direction of two of our favorite meals. It seems that the owners must take great pride in their staff as they are all wonderful and seem very happy.
I would recommend using your Spanish when travelling to Isla Mujeres -- not that you have to -- but it goes a long way with the locals. I feel this way with all Mexico, though. It is respectful. This is a good place to practice it, too because most people are very friendly and patient. In the downtown area, you can get away with mostly English but we like to venture out a bit.
Restuarants to try: El Charco (our all time favorite, located in La Gloria neighborhood -- try alambres, chicken soup, empanadas and/or tortas), Loncheria Alexia y Geovanny (close to downtown near youth hostel -- great tacos & guacamole), Bally Hoo (near the ferry port -- excellent fish tacos & ceviche), I can't remember the name of this other lunch place in the La Gloria neighborhood but it has a blue awning and the BEST quesadillas, Pita Amore (near downtown, kind of behind the basketball court and north a bit -- oh my god, best pitas, flavors are amazing!), Elements of the Island (toward north beach -- fabulous organic breakfast, homemade breads and jams, good eggs & coffee --- yum!).
If you do stay here, there are books available to read about the history of the place (neat story) and recommendations for food and activities in your room. There is also a notebook where you can write about your stay (fun to read through).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Casa El Pio, a small hotel located just off the town square in the center of Isla Mujeres' downtown district. The island's best beaches, food and shopping are all just a few steps away. Casa El Pio is clean, cute and modern. Amenities include a courtyard pool, free Wi-Fi access and beach tote with towels. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Casa El Pio Hotel Isla Mujeres