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Margo B

Absolutely Fantastic

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 8 Mar 2024
We had a fantastic stay at Na Balam! It is a lush little oasis in a great location. One block to the beautiful north beach and walking distance to tons of restaurants. The staff was super friendly and helpful. We loved the breakfast and enjoyed fresh fruit, huevos rancheros, juice and coffee. We also booked a package and had amazing massages and a special dinner on the beach. This place is a gem.
Date of stay: March 2024
Trip type: Travelled with friends
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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Reviewed 27 February 2024

The location for Na Balam can't be beat. I was literally 140 steps from my room to the soft sands of the best part of Isla. We did a package for about $270 a night that gave us a daily breakfast, a welcome drink, one 3 course dinner per stay and one massage per room. That was a bit weird - let's rock paper scissors for who get it honey! I ended up buying a second so that we could both use it. Guess that's the trick! As we are perusing the menu, the waiter says if you are with Na Balam you get to choose from egg dishes or omelets - that's it. Okay that's fine - as it appeared most of the guests in the Ocean Club restaurant were all there. It also came with what tasted like fresh squeezed OJ, fruit and bread and coffee. The first day at breakfast - it took an entire hour waiting on our food. There were maybe 8 tables filled. How can it take that long? The rest of the week went well. We went over for the dinner one night and we were the only ones in the restaurant. We sat there awhile with not one staff member paying attention. One finally came over and didn't know what we were to get being with Na Balam. Another came over and said order one salad, one entre and one dessert. We don't eat salads in Mexico so we asked if we could do an appetizer instead (which was less money actually) and we got Guacamole and fries - both excellent. I think that couldn't have been right to order off the menu freely as they had everything on there - even lobster (especially when we were limited at breakfast). We all ordered, and the food took a while to come out. My fish was okay (I ended up giving it to Balam the hotel cat - bring cat treats for him!) and my sister's shrimp was so mushy it was gross. My husband ordered steak and it was fine. The waiter never came back to offer us the dessert portion of the meal. All that to be said, the food was just okay there...much better elsewhere on the street.

The hotel itself - The room were VERY basic but that's okay as long as clean- and it was. The Lighting is TERRIBLE. It's dim yellow lights. Because the property is so shaded with the trees there is little to no natural light coming in there. The beds are very hard with large stuffed pillows which I didn't care for. Shower was great when it ran and when it got hot so plan your showers off hours lol. First thing in the morning it's a dribble and warm at best. I shower at night usually and it's great. Unfortunately, it took like 5-8 minutes to warm up and that kills me wasting water like that. The room does come with a mini fridge which I didn't see that on their list of amenities, so I hauled an ice chest down to use in the room (doesn't have a freezer compartment though to keep ice so my ice chest came in handy as the hotel does not have ice). The pool is always shaded and in the hot of summer is probably nice but I'm more of a beach girl so spent the time there. The hot tub was a luke warm tub so didn't get into it. Cleaning came every day and did a good job. The crew was outside every morning cleaning the pool area and picking up dropped leaves and debris. You do get beach beds on the side between Oceans and Guru. All shaded and very nice location. First come first serve. Think there were 8 beds. No bar service there but that's okay. There's a place at the end of the block to rent a golf cart if you want to do that. This street is very busy during the day with everyone coming to that area. Even though the beach clubs are closed at night there was still a lot of noise and loud music - we never did figure out where it was coming from.

We usually do Cancun/Playa and all inclusive so this was the first time doing everything a la cart. I think for the price we paid along with the package we got it was very doable. The location can't be beat being close to everything. It's simple, easy and clean. Can't ask for much more in Mexico!

Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Tracy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 20 February 2024

We stayed at Na Balam last week and I have to say I was disappointed. At ~$270 all in per night I was expecting a lot more.

The hotel has a fantastic location within a few yards of Playa Norte and a good snorkeling area for kids but that is where the value ends.

The hotel is not a boutique hotel or spa. I would call it an inn or similar. There were a lot of small issues that made it feel mediocre. It has very basic (but clean) rooms. The decor is spartan and leaves a lot to be desired. The mirrors were showing signs of a lot of wear, with unfinished paint on the edges, for example. There were hardly any towel hooks - and one of ours was loose. Several lights did not work. The door room key was hard to operate and also felt very cheap.

The staff members were nice but not abundant or overly helpful. I had to ask the staff three times for extra towels and a pillow before someone gave it to me.

The pool is nice and shaded but the hot tub was not regularly hot and the lounge chairs had bird poop on them.

The breakfast was frustrating as well. You walk across the street to Jaguar Hotel for breakfast but only certain menu items are included if you are in Na Balam which felt so awkward and cheap. If you want anything other than a standard coffee you have to pay extra. It only comes to a dollar or two more which feels so cheap for the $270/night price tag. You are also charged extra for water at the hotel to refill your water bottle!

If the hotel was less expensive, this would be a 5 star review. But for the price, I would look elsewhere.

Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Sophie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 22 September 2023

Beautiful, tropical setting, peaceful and unassuming. Clean rooms, pool, beach beds and breakfast included with table service.
Located on the non crowded end of playa Norte, but easy walk to everywhere.

Room tip: Housekeeping was excellent
Date of stay: June 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Sue F
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 15 June 2022 via mobile

Our downstairs room was very nice. Clean. All bathroom facilities worked nicely. However there was no coffee pot. There was no hot water for tea in the morning. No iron. The lobby did not offer any of that either. While the staff was certainly professional and helpful, they had no resources to offer their guests anything other than just the room key and to answer questions.

The drapes for the glass door into our room did not allow entry into the room easily. We were constantly fighting with the curtains just to get in and out of our door. On the other hand, the pool and gardens were very nice. Easy walk to the beach. Access to the restaurant and other facilities across the street was nice.

Room tip: Bring a coffee pot!
Date of stay: May 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank WayneToTheMax
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 11 June 2022

The only good thing about this hotel is the genuinely kind and helpful people who work at the reception desk, Maria, Luis, and Jorge. They were all so helpful and always had a smileto share! NaBalam is fortunate to have such dedicated and sincere employees. On the other hand, the hotel itself is not as it is portrayed on the website! it is NOT on the beach, It is not a "Boutique" Hotel and the "Spa" is a man and woman who offer massages in a hut. Those in our group who did get a massage while there did say it was fantastic though!
The building is old, run down and not well taken care of. It definitely could use some TLC to repair the leaky palapa style roofs, the broken old locks on the doors, the peeling paint, the wobbly walkways etc...
The woman who cleaned the rooms each day did do a nice job and the sheets and bedding were actually very nice and the men who took care of the pool and the gardens did an excellent job as well.
The employees were all doing their absolute best with what they had to work with with but the management of this hotel should definitely invest some money in refurbishing the place.
Oh, and the part about having a nice sun bed at the Oceanvs Beach Club on the website is also not true - the ones you will be allowed to use are not the beautiful ones pictured but broken old ones around the bend on the public end of the beach.I brought a group of 11 people to this hotel for a yoga retreat, specifically because the hotel has a yoga studio, but there were issues about actually using it, unfortunately.

Room tip: Don't choose an upstairs room!The palapa roofs leak and bugs get through! And the stairs are treacherous!
Date of stay: June 2022
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Karen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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