The place we keep returning to year after year on Isla Mujeres is Casa Luna Turquesa! It's a lovely home located towards the south end of the airport strip in an area populated by pricey Caribbean front residential homes.
I first noticed the house on one of my round the island bike rides back in November 2004. It was under construction at the time, but I wondered if it would come available on the rental market? We'd stayed at Casa del Sol the spring of 2004, so Craig and I both were hooked on staying oceanfront away from the hotels in El Centro on a quiet beach. I'd also discovered seaglass in 2004 and knew the airport strip beaches were chockful of it.
Sure enough, I eagerly watched the local booking sites and Casa Luna Turquesa popped up as a vacation rental on Isla Beckons in 2005. I quickly decided to book one of the studios for a month in October/November 2005. Unfortunately, Wilma struck two days before my trip, wiping out my plans for a month of bliss. I'd rented through Isla Beckons and the house was not damaged by the hurricane, so the owners graciously rescheduled my rental to April 2006 with no extra charge for high season rates.
That month at the Luna Turquesa upper studio in April 2006 was sheer heaven. We broadened our horizons from El Centro to the colonias, shopping at the little tiendas, eating tacos at the balllpark, and taking our morning walks out the Caribe side and cutting back through the colonias. We spent our early mornings on the upstairs porch eating breakfast while we watched the island pass by on the street. Later, we walked into town for beach time on Playa Norte, then returned to sit by the pool in the afternoons. The water in front of the house was flat enough for Craig to snorkel most days. Having stayed there for a full month, I can tell you the pool was always clean, the maids were there twice weekly to insure clean linens, supplies, and spotless rooms, and the property manager dropped by frequently to make sure everything was good and ask if we needed anything. We were very sad to leave at the end of our month.
One of the little secrets that keeps us returning to Luna Turquesa year after year are the narrow sliding windows high above the sliders in the upstairs studios. The narrow windows can safely be left open (there are also rods in all the tracks of every slider to ensure safety) to hear the crashing waves! I feel perfectly safe staying at Luna Turquesa even if I'm by myself and have never had any security issue.
Luna Turquesa's even gotten better over the years. What amazes me is that it's so well maintained. Everything still looks new! We've stayed in a few oceanfront properties that easily look 10 years old after a couple of years from the corrosion and wear and tear, so I realize the amount of work it must take to maintain that high level of consistency! Wireless internet and DVD players have also been added to the upstairs studios for extra entertainment options.
We recently stayed in the downstairs in June and it's equally wonderful! All the living areas in the downstairs have beautiful views of the blue Caribe, and both bedrooms are ensuite with their own private bathrooms and huge closets. In addition, the downstairs has satellite television, which was a nice surprise since it carried the Seattle stations I'd been missing since we moved away five years ago.
The area around the location has also blossomed with some good restaurants in the colonias within walking distance. Da Luisa is just two doors to the south up top Casa Ixchel. John Cain was playing Saturday Happy Hour there in June. I also noticed morning yoga classes at Casa Ixchel under their palapa while we were eating breakfast at Da Luisa. The Mango, which serves excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner, is only about a 15 minute walk to the south. Monchi's, located just south of the Mango, has good Mexican food. The cut street to the bayside of the island is just south of Luna Turquesa in the colonias, so Seso Loco, Chuk Kay, and The Soggy Peso are also within walking distance. El Centro's only about a 20 minute walk, and it's also easy to hail a cab in front of the house. At the time of our last trip, we paid about 20 pesos to El Centro and also the supermercado and Basto's in La Gloria. Taxi rates have risen since our trip, and I think the going rate is now 25 pesos.
Here's a link to Casa Luna Turquesa on VRBO. The pictures below are mostly of the exterior because the interior photos on all the booking websites for the house are totally accurate. What's pictured there is exactly what the house looks like to date! And last time I looked on the booking sites, there's a 15% low season discount in place!
The upstairs porch -- our favorite spot to watch the island pass by in the mornings and evenings!
The sunset view from the rooftop out over the bay.
Another gorgeous summer sunset from the rooftop!
In addition to listening to the crashing waves, waking to the sunrise every morning is another special perk!
The infinity view from the upstairs studios. It's fun to watch fishing boats and the occasional cruise ship pass by.
View from the balcony to the beach in front.
The upstairs south studio. Notice those narrow little sliders that can be opened for ventilation and the sound of the waves! I apologize because the bed's a little rumpled and my interior photos are not as good as those on their websites.