Hola. First a thank you to everyone who contributes to these message boards, they are worth their weight in gold when you are a Type A planner like I am ;)
After a great week in Cancun celebrating my sisters 50th birthday with 11 other friends, I headed to my favorite beach getaway! Cancun has its place on my vacation list, usually reserved when traveling with someone who is a picky eater, heavy drinker, and doesnt care about the culture learning aspect of travel, or with large groups. But, Isla is my favorite destination, with St. John USVI a close second. Why Isla is #1? Overall much cheaper on the wallet, easier to get to, and the meal choices are great!
My BF (Ed) flew into CUN early Sunday morning, April Fools Day and I went to meet him. Used Best Day for the first time and they were good. I have always used CancunValet but for one or two persons BD is cheaper. They were fine until the very end when we arrived at the airport and each needed to go to a different terminal, Ed to 2 and myself to 3 and the driver tried to stick us for another $150 when we agreed to $300! Sorry, I only had a total of $400MP on me, which I thought was going to be a good tip, take it or leave it. Turns out the terminals are so close to each other and he had to pass right by terminal 3 that he was just trying to rip us off, glad I stuck to my guns. We stopped into GR Solaris where we intended to spend the day as I was paid through April 7th and he was going to buy a day pass to visit with the group of friends I was leaving behind there to steal away to Isla...too much hassle, they had security on him while I was at the front desk paying for his pass, and turns out that although I had made inquiries re the pass various times and had copies of my email correspondence, the rules were changed once he arrived so off to Isla early! Took me all of 10 minutes to throw everything in a suitcase and be on our way via taxi.
We took the Ultramar ferry from Gran Puerto and then dragged our suitcases to Picus for a late lunch of BBQ filet and garlic whole fish and a couple of XX to get us in Isla mood. Ed has never been to Isla but he has heard me talk about it endlessly :)
Next to Hotel Las Palmas where Kate was able to check us in a day early, yay! I had specifically requested the second floor room with "private" balcony and it took just 20 minutes to get it ready for us. Ive posted a review of the hotel on Tripadvisor so I wont go into it here but it was a good choice and we are glad we stayed there but think well go elsewhere on our return.
Of course, we ate constantly and I think Ill just name the restaurant and rate it 1-5 stars with comments as necessary.
****Faynes (ordered the $160 dinner special which came with soup and salad, vs. the $120 but never received them, lol)
***DaLuise for breakfast and Bloody Marys
***Kach Kechen for chicken and rib take-out
***Limon for dinner
*****Rooster for breakfast (loved it here)
**Fredys for pork chops (fantastic food, very unnerving service ~ not sure if it was Fredy himself but Ed downed his first marguerita too quickly I guess and when he ordered another one was told to slow it down and from that point on the server was distant at best, enough so that although we loved the food we didnt feel comfortable going back. Mind you, this was our first stop for drinks, I wonder if someone similar had been in another night and acted irresponsibly?)
*****Olivia ~ always my favorite
**French Bistro for breakfast
**Chicago Deli for breakfast
**** A&G for breakfast twice and lunch once
*****LoLo Valentino (oh so good!)
*****Mango Cafe, another favorite
****Bally Hoo for lunch
****Mama Rosa for pizza and pasta, surprisingly good
We also had drinks and/or apps at El Pueblito, Soggy Peso, LArgentia, Le Patio, Sunset Grill, Jax and Iguanas...probably a few other places, its been a week since we got home and its all fuzzy now. Love El Pueblito every time, not impressed again by Soggy Peso, Iguanas we felt like outsiders...
For activities we did a golf cart crawl and I showed Ed the highlights of mid and south island area, we stopped at Chedraui but felt it was waaaay out of place on the island. Always a fun day. Spent some time looking for Limon but couldnt find it, when we went for dinner we relied on the cab driver, lol. Its so beautiful at the south end but I definately prefer to stay downtown for the action. We went to check out Villa Rolandis for a future stay but its too far removed and I didnt love the beach area.
We also chartered a fishing boat for 1/2 day with IslaMujeresBoats.com which was alot of fun. Ed caught about 6-8 barracuda, they stocked baby Coronas, water and soda and we supplied the chicken and rib brunch.
Our day pretty much was early rise, coffee, head out for breakfast, beach, lunch, beach, drinks and dinner, early to bed. I had two days (tues and fri) that my stomach was sour so I was not drinking and eating pretty lightly. I picked up beach chairs at Wallyworld in Cancun and brought them with us so we were able to beach-hop. We did spent the $22 one day to sit in loungers at Sunset Grill...it was actually our intention to sit at ChiChi Charlies but while they were renting chairs, they would not credit food/beverages so we moved down the beach 20 yards.
All in all, great vacation. More importantly, Ed loved it too and is already saving to take us again. Good thing too, because loving Isla (or not) might have been a deal breaker, haha