Darn Good Digs Review - Editors' Choice
Villa La Bella, Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Nominated By: Jen Schenkel, Brooklyn, New York, March '10
Hotel Website: www.villalabella.com
Vibe: The Villa is quiet and relaxing with funky decor. Unlike many B&Bís, you don't have to talk to the hosts or other guests unless you feel like it - there's enough space to do your own thing or to make friends, depending on your mood.
Price Range: US$110-$200 (breakfast included) # of Rooms: 6 Kid-Friendly: no
What makes Villa La Bella so Darn Good? Villa La Bella is a colorful six room bed and breakfast on the small island of Isla Mujeres, a short ferry ride and a world away from Cancun. The Villa offers a peaceful adults-only getaway with a low-key vibe away from the tourist crowds. Ashley and Curtis, the on-site owners, are gracious hosts, not too intrusive, but available for any questions about the island or your stay.
Location: Villa La Bella is on a quiet coastal street, just an hour and a half from the Cancun airport and a five minute taxi ride to the main town and Playa Norte, a popular white-sand beach. While the Villa is not on the beach itself, it is right on the coast, and you can walk along the rocks and find great sea glass. You can also walk to a few restaurants, including a phenomenal taco joint, but you are definitely not in the center of the action.
Rooms: Once through the Villaís front door, youíll find yourself in a carefully thought out gorgeous space. The bed and breakfast has an outdoor living room (with free wireless if you can't unplug), a pool and hot tub surrounded by hammocks and lounge furniture, a swing bar, a covered area with tables and chairs where breakfast is served, a lending library with books and DVDís, and a path to the sea. The rooms are fairly simple, with the more economical accommodations off the pool, and a few larger suites upstairs (complete with swing beds hanging from ropes - not for everyone). The Villa has no televisions or phones, but plenty of breezes, space, light, and cool touches like carved lanterns and shell sculptures. Some rooms have air conditioning.
Food: Villa La Bella serves a yummy breakfast every morning except Monday. The coffee is strong and the portions are generous. For other meals, you can head into town, walk to one of several local, very casual and delicious taco places, or have Mayan chicken delivered when you feel too lazy to leave. A little bodega is also very close where you can buy happy hour snacks to go with the mixed drinks and Mexican beers available at the Villa's bar.
Keep in Mind: While Isla Mujeres has been developed more than some other parts of the Yucatan coast and the beach can be crowded at times, the Villa is a darn good getaway that's not far from a major airport.