Spa treatments available in-room or at the hotel's spa affiliate
Decor in guest rooms and lobby looks tired
Some cramped bathrooms
No Wi-Fi in rooms
Free breakfast is meager (charge required for hot items)
Hotel Cabanas Maria Del Mar is a 73-room hotel located less than a one-minute walk away from beautiful Playa Norte (North Beach). Rooms at this three-pearl hotel are simple and convenient, though decor is noticeably in need of an update. The location feels pleasantly out-of-the-way and the shops and restaurants of the island’s downtown area can be reached in less than five minutes on foot. There's a small outdoor pool and free breakfast at Buho's Restaurant, but access to Playa Norte is the hotel’s only stand-out feature. It’s worth comparing rates with nearby Playa La Media Luna, which offers more modern guest rooms.
Red pleather cushions, hanging ivy, and pastel floor tiles in the small lobby look straight out of the '80s. Although the hotel’s outdoor pool and garden are appealing enough, they were virtually deserted during our visit. Many guests were spotted taking advantage of their room terraces and balconies, drying swimwear or lingering with a drink in the evening.
The hotel’s affiliated restaurant, Buho’s, also attracts a number of hotel guests and non-guests for drinks at night; however, like the other areas of Cabanas Maria Del Mar, the restaurant is relatively generic: The real reason to be there is to watch the sunset with your toes in the soft sands of Playa Norte.
Quiet location, less
than a one-minute walk away from Playa Norte
Hotel Cabanas Maria Del Mar stretches along both sides of a secluded street, with a small dive center as its only neighbor. The street terminates at Playa Norte, the island’s most popular beach, which is located less than 200 feet from the hotel.
Isla Mujeres compact downtown area, including the extensive shopping and dining options found along Avenida Hidalgo, can be reached in less than a five-minute walk. Ferries to and from Cancun are accessed at the Ultramar Ferry Terminal, which is located just over half-a-mile, or a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
The hotel’s Cabanas and Tower Rooms have a grandmotherly-feel, with ugly floral bedspreads and brass-handled wooden furniture. Bland white walls match equally stark tiled white floors. Closet units without doors hold some hangers and a small safe. All rooms include flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning units, ceiling fans, and mini-fridges. There’s also a plastic pitcher and some cups, which guests fill up at the drinking water dispensers dotted around the hotel grounds. Lower level rooms include large terraces and upper level rooms have balconies, both of which offer views of the outdoor pool, beach, or street.
Bathrooms are as uninspiring as the bedrooms, varying in size from large to quite cramped. A plastic shower curtain and slight depression in the floor is all that separates the shower from the rest of the bathroom. Showers include worn-looking fixtures and liquid soap dispensers. An off-brand bar of soap is set on the sink.
The Castle Rooms are slightly more modern with their crisp white bed linens and bright interiors lit naturally by long, glass balcony doors. Bathrooms feature sleek square-shaped sinks, and the addition of off-brand bottles of shampoo. Note that rooms don't pick up a Wi-Fi signal.
Free breakfast at
neighboring beachfront restaurant and pleasant outdoor pool
The hotel’s outdoor pool is surrounded by a concrete deck with a few hammocks and wooden lounge chairs. The pool is the focal point of the hotel’s pretty grounds, where narrow pathways wind through manicured green gardens. There’s also a slightly neglected pavilion within the gardens, which includes a wrought-iron patio table, as well as stacks of worn paperback books available for reading.
Less than a minute walk down the street will bring you to Buho’s, an open-air restaurant and beach bar set on the sands of Playa Norte. A free breakfast of juice, coffee, and toast is included in the room rate. The restaurant also offers a larger breakfast menu (for a fee), as well as lunch, dinner, and drinks. Buho’s decor is low-key, with plain white tables and cheerful wooden swings set directly in the sand under a large palapa.
Wi-Fi is free and available only in the hotel’s small lobby, as well as at Buho’s. Spa treatments by the hotel’s spa affiliate, Casa de Luz, can be arranged in-room or at the spa’s nearby facilities.
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