Every year my high school girlfriends and I take a trip together. We all lead hectic and busy lives, and these trips are essential for us to spend time together, relax, and reconnect. This year we decided to head to Mexico. Mexico is my favorite destination for great food, service, great resorts and let’s not forget the beaches. Mexico is a destination that has it all. Honestly, no other destination in the Caribbean has what Cancun and the Mayan have to offer.
Upon arrival at the airport, we were met by the fantastic transportation team from Delta Vacations. As a travel agent, I deal with tons of tour operators, but Delta is by far my favorite, especially for Mexico. A quick 25-minute ride to the pier we were met by the hotel and transported via private yacht/catamaran to the hotel. The boat ride to the hotel is about 30 minutes. The scenery is incredible. The water is an aqua blue that pictures do not do justice. The boat staff provided us with a few (maybe more) glasses of champagne. It was a great way to start out our trip, and we all enjoyed it, but we were so excited to get to the hotel and begin our journey.
Once we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by Kevin, the front desk manager. He was so welcoming and informed us that our rooms were not ready and suggested us to have lunch while our rooms were prepared. He recommended the main restaurant Casa Rolandi. The food was incredible. There are two menus: The main menu has several pages with an assortment of appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches, entrées, and desserts, and the lunch pool menu that has pizza, burgers, and other quick bites. I had the grilled seafood platter. It was delicious. I have visited the island many times on my travels to Cancun and had I known that this restaurant was here, I would have made a special trip to this side of the island just to eat here. I loved it! In addition to such a fantastic lunch menu, their breakfast and dinner are not to be missed.
The grounds are well maintained and beautiful. The resort is small, very tiny. It has only 35 rooms in total. They have two restaurants and two pools. They also have a small boutique spa. There are no crazy games in the pool, loud music or any entertainment to be found. Which is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you want to relax, it’s perfect!
Now, onto a bit of negative. I want this to be an honest review. I want first to state that I loved this resort. I would go back in a heartbeat. Villa Rolandi might be one of my favorite hotels in Mexico. The staff, the food, the beach and just the all around vibe was perfection. Now… having said all that we had a bumpy start to this trip.
Here is what happened: Once we were finished eating, we walked back over to the front desk to see if our rooms were available. At this time, Kevin informed us that our rooms were still not ready, AND none of them were correct. We had booked three / oceanfront rooms with double beds. Only one room was available at this time. One of the rooms they had open and offered to us didn’t even have a balcony. Since I am a travel agent and the agent who booked the trip, I was extremely unhappy. We have been friends for (I’m going to date myself a bit here) for over 25-30 years, so us sharing a king bed is no big deal. My issue was the fact that if this had been a client who bedding type was a necessity, I would have been their first call. I’m going to spare you the details and the hours/days of trying to get this situation fixed. There was one employee in particular who was not very helpful, and I would go as far to say this person was downright rude and condescending. This experience was not my usual with Mexican hospitality. The back and forth with this employee was the real problem. I could have dealt with all king beds and a broken jacuzzi but, this particular employee had such a bad attitude it started our trip off in a negative fashion and mood. The point is, we were disappointed, upset, frustrated, and angry. Not a great way to start a trip.
Never the less, we decided to get our bathing suits on and hit the beach. Nothing cures frustration better than a few mimosas and some sunshine. The rooms eventually got sorted (even though they still were not correct) by around 6p. We decided to have dinner and go to sleep. Maybe a good night sleep and (a few glasses or, maybe bottles of wine) would help.
The rooms: The rooms are very spacious. You have a sitting area and a large bathroom. Your shower can even be turned into a steam shower! Which is kinda awesome.
We decide to meet for breakfast the next morning at Casa Rolandi. The food was fantastic… again with the food! I had huevos rancheros, and I have to say they might be the best I have ever had. SO GOOD.
We were informed that the head manager Marco was going to be on property later that day. I insisted that we meet with him and give him a rundown of our experience the day before. At breakfast, we had decided to move forward and enjoy our trip. We headed to the beach.
The beach is small but, not lacking in charm and beauty.
We spent most of the day here. At lunch, we were all pretty excited to head back to Casa Rolandi. This time I had the flat iron steak grill. SO GOOD. I can’t even express how fantastic the food here is. After lunch, it was time to chat with Marco.
I was going to let him know how disappointed we had all been, and the fact that I recommended this resort and our first impressions were just terrible. Once Marco started talking I felt instantly better. I told my girls that I think he could be a cult leader because he immediately helped me feel at ease. Marco was instantly disarming and reassuring that we would be taken care of. He was lovely. Not only did he apologize for what we had gone through, but he also gave us all massages and a free private snorkeling tour. To be honest, none of those things mattered to me personally. As an agent and having dealt with a ton of resort managers for years I have to say… without a doubt, Marco was a notch above all the rest. He was simply the best. He assigned us a concierge almost butler level attendee named Juan. More on Juan later. He turned our grey skies instantly blue. I can not sing his praises enough. What a gem Marco is. AM Resorts should give this guy a mega-raise!
After we dusted ourselves off, we just sat back and enjoyed the rest of the day. We had dinner reservations at LE MÉTISSAGE that evening. Now, you don’t need reservations but, with 6 of us, we wanted them to be aware. The resort only has two restaurants, and we knew we would have to revisit both. The great thing with Le Metissage is the menu is always different. You could stay for a whole week and never eat the same meal. Le Metissage is a seven-course adventure. My suggestion is this… DON’T look! Just go. They will explain every course as it’s brought out. They will also make sure you have no food allergies, just in case. It’s so much fun.
Once we arrived at the restaurant, we were met by Juan. I’m not sure how to even describe Juan. I’ll just say this… Our trip would not have been the same without him. He was there it seemed every time we needed something. Like Batman with the bat light. He would become, our new BFF. We all loved him. Once we were seated Juan and Marco were both there with two incredible bottles of the owners favorite Prosecco. Juan made sure that our dinner was perfect and it was Perfect! What a fabulous day! The resort had thoroughly redeemed its self for all of us.
The following day we took our snorkeling tour. The girls were super excited to go snorkeling. I…, was not. I don’t do ocean. Yes, I know that sounds crazy but, beaches… fine. Deep water with fish? No thanks! I decided to put on my big girl panties for the sake of the group. The first stop was the underwater museum.
Once we got to the location with our fins on and snorkeled in hand, we jumped in. It didn’t take long for me to regret my decision. I couldn’t see, I couldn’t breathe, and I was not enjoying myself. I wanted back on the boat. Everyone else was loving it! They were all having a blast. The second stop they referred to as the lighthouse.
They LOVED this area! They raved about all the fish they saw. I didn’t see any as I was sitting in the boat, drinking cervezas. I’m sure it was lovely though. Once the tour was over, we were dropped off in town. I have visited the island many times. I just knew that we had to get some golf carts and cruise around. It’s my favorite thing to do.
** Side note. You can rent carts direct from the hotel lobby. Make sure you have cash though. They do not take credit cards **
I decided to take the girls to my favorite spot on the whole island. Playa Norte. Here is why –
Playa Norte might be one of my favorite beaches in the world. The water is perfection. We decided to grab a drink and chill. I could have stayed here forever but, I knew that we only had a short time with the carts, so we hit the road. After a few drinks that is. .
We drove all around the island. It’s such a fun experience. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Isla Mujeres.
** Side note – At Playa Notre have a drink (or some tacos) at Oceans Beach Club. Right on Playa Norte. Great food and excellent service.**
Once we got back to the hotel, we just wanted to relax. So we posted up at the pool, and within 10 minutes Juan appeared. I mean he must have had a tracker on us. Juan was always a welcome sight. Not only was Juan our be all to end all, but he also made a mean drink. He made us some Juan specials. They were amazing.
The second day was a success. No, it was perfect.
After breakfast the following day we all decided that we would just spend it at the resort relaxing. It was raining a bit but, not to bad. Another day filled with amazing food, drinks, and fun. Oh, and of course Juan.
During the day we all had a chance to visit the spa and receive our massages. The spa is small but, the service is incredible and top notch. It is a Thalasso Spa so, you can expect only the best.
That evening we decided to have Le Metissage again. That night was to be our last. 🙁 We walked in the door, and they had our table all set up. Of course, Juan was there waiting with another fabulous bottle of that Prosecco. There was also some nightly entertainment. He wasn’t bad on the eyes either. What a setting. Great drinks, my best friends (including now Juan) and now a Flamenco, guitar player.
I realized at this moment that this was what life is indeed, truly about. These perfect moments spent with the people you love. What an experience, and a great way to spend our last evening.
After dinner, we headed to the lobby bar. We had been frequent guests at the lobby bar the whole trip. We were sad to leave our favorite bartender Hilario. So we decide to shut the bar down with him and Juan.
It was the perfect ending to a fantastic trip. Yes, we had some initial hiccups but, the people and the experiences that we had here will be with us forever. The laughs and the occasional tear are memories we will cherish forever. I love these ladies. I love our friendship, and this resort enhanced it.
The hotel has some growing pains it needs to work through but, all and all this will go down as one of my more enjoyable experiences ever. Villa Rolandi is a gem. I fell in love with it. Completely.
Resort layout/style / Decor: 3.5 / 5
This is only because it needs some updating. Once it has some updated decor, I think it will be a 5.
Rooms: 4.5 / 5:
My only real complaint here is that they need some better pillows.
Food: 5 / 5:
They excel here.
Entertainment: 2 / 5:
Not much going on at night. Chances are if you are here you already know that and are looking for that.
Would I stay at Villa Rolandi again? The answer is 10000% yes.
Zoetry Villa Rolandi has turned into one of my favorite resorts in Mexico and more certainly the best on Isla Mujeres. I would go tomorrow if it were possible. I anticipate many visits in my future. My love affair is just starting with Zoetry Villa Rolandi.