Isla Mujeres was never really on my radar until I met the former innkeeper of Casa El Pio while visiting a mutual friend in Portland, Maine. Her sister and brother-in-law had fallen in love with the island years prior, purchased a dilapidated building, and gutted it for renovation. What they did was create a boutique hotel that could reside just about anywhere.
A lovely view of the Caribbean Sea from the doorway of our room.
Collection of shells outside our room.
It’s conveniently located just off the town square and within walking distance to the island’s best beaches, shopping, and a plethora of restaurants. Staying here puts you just steps away from all of the action, but keeps you isolated enough to enjoy peaceful slumber.
The furniture was made by a local artisan and our room was the perfect escape from the blazing midday sun. We spent many afternoons in this sitting area after a siesta, planning our evenings. I love the table and wanted to bring this set home with me!
Casa El Pio offers four beautifully designed rooms, each with a sitting area. Since we were staying for six nights, we really settled in. There was plenty of closet space (including hangers) for me to unpack and store my belongings. I set up a tiny pair of speakers (that I purchased during my last trip to Mexico in 1997) on my nightstand so we could plug in our phones and listen to music. When we opened the small fridge in our room (which came in very handy, especially for storing my daily dose of octopus ceviche) we discovered two beers and two tiny bottles of tequila, both complementary.
In the small courtyard area of the hotel there is a soaking pool and an endless supply of filtered water for guests to use as needed. It had been a while since I’d been in a country where I couldn’t even brush my teeth with the water. Having been ill once after a visit to Russia, I used the filtered water religiously at Casa El Pio and didn’t get sick. Plus, the risk of dehydration is so high, it’s a thoughtful move to offer filtered water to guests 24/7.
The sunset reflected in our window.
The rooms also come with a safe to lock your valuables in, as well as a beach bag containing beach towels, which we found very useful. With two fans and an air conditioning unit, we were always able to cool off if we got overheated while exploring the island. On several evenings we would sit just outside our door, where there are two chairs and a table, to enjoy a glass of wine, the amazing breeze, and stunning Caribbean sunset. I just adore this place and feel like it was the perfect fit for us.
Blissed-out at Playa Norte on the island of Isla Mujeres. Shot with Tungsten film.
May your journey be your muse,