I was only planning to stay in Cancun for a couple of days. Luxury resorts and all-inclusive hotels in Cancun where you stay by the pool all day didn’t appeal to me, if I am going to be in Mexico, I like to feel like I’m in Mexico, not just a hotel. So, when I was looking for where to stay in Cancun I wanted to find somewhere with a friendly, local vibe, near to the beach – and found the Mermaid Hostel Beach Cancun; in my opinion one of the best hostels in Cancun. I enjoyed a complimentary stay here, but all opinions in this review are my own.
How Long to Stay in Cancun?
As I mentioned, my plan was to stay in Cancun for just a couple of days before heading home. I’d spent the last weeks lounging around Tulum, so just wanted to see the highlights and chill out. However, if you have more time to spend here, there are plenty of things to do in Cancun to keep you busy!
Where to Stay in Cancun
How many girls (and boys) have wanted to be a mermaid at some time in their lives? After watching The Little Mermaid as I child I always wanted to dive into the ocean with my pet Flounder and Caribbean crab friend. I never got to live that dream, but was excited to stay at the Mermaid Hostel Cancun!
The hostel is owned by two young women from Mexico City, who decided to set up business together after backpacking together, and realising there was a space in the market for a chilled hostel in Cancun. Gents, don’t be put off by the name, if you are looking for a comfortable, clean hostel in a great location, then look no further!
When I arrived, the volunteer (I think she was called Vanessa?) checked me in and was friendly and helpful when I asked for information about the area and getting to Isla Mujeres. My room was just next to reception, so I didn’t need to lug my backpack upstairs. The dorm rooms are on the next two floors up, and the terrace is on the third level. There is no lift, so if you have mobility issues then sadly this hostel isn’t for you, as there a couple of steps up to reception.
The Rooms at the Mermaid Beach Hostel
As it was my last week in Mexico, I decided to treat myself to a private room. The room was huge, and to my delight had an enormous king-sized bed! There was also a TV, a large ensuite bathroom, and air conditioning too. There was also a safe in the room, although it wasn’t large enough for my laptop it was fine for my passport and camera while I hit the beach.
The bed was super comfortable, and I loved snuggling down to watch TV. During the night, the local area is very quiet so I slept well, although in the morning when other guests came down for breakfast I woke up as they were chatting outside my door.
Each room has a sea-related name; I was in the Shark room, and had a cool graffiti style painting to match. The dorm rooms looked clean and comfortable, and although I didn’t stay in the dorms, they get excellent reviews on Tripadvisor and Hostelworld.
Breakfast at the Mermaid Beach Hostel
Breakfast at the hostel is included in the room rate, and includes tea and coffee, cereal, bread, fruit and eggs to make yourself. I rustled up some fried eggs on toast with some cereal and a banana which set me up for the day!
Facilities & Staff
My favourite part of the Mermaid Hostel Beach was the roof terrace. There were a couple of hammocks, and plenty of chairs to sit and watch the sunset, or just enjoy the sunshine. The hostel is a tall building, so you have great views on both sides, of the ocean and Isla Mujeres on one side, and the sunset over the jungle on the other.
There is wifi in all areas, one based in the reception and kitchen area, and the other on the terrace so you should get coverage in all rooms. I was in a room right next to the kitchen so the signal there was excellent.
The location of the Mermaid Hostel Beach was perfect. The hostel is on a quiet residential street, part of a gated community complex with a guard at the gate 24 hours a day. As the name suggests, the hostel was across the street from the local beach. The beach wasn’t the stretch of white sand I had hoped for, but this was a locals’ beach, which was free access, unlike most of the beaches along the Zona Hotelera hotel zone in Cancun.
There were plenty of seafood restaurants along the beach too, including the spectacular Fish Market Mar-Bella, where I treated myself to a luxurious seafood dinner at a fraction of the usual price. There is also an Oxo mini supermarket where you can buy food to cook yourself in the hostel kitchen.
The Mermaid Hostel Beach is also about 15 minutes-walk from the Puerto Juarez ferry terminal which goes to Isla Mujeres. For those wanting to explore the island for the day it is a perfect location to take a day trip to Isla Mujeres from Cancun. This Ultramar ferry terminal at Puerto Juarez is cheaper than the other terminal in the hotel zone, and the ferry to Isla Mujeres runs every 30 minutes throughout the day. The hostel is also not far away from the MUSA Underwater Museum, which is on my list for my next trip to Cancun!
How to get to the Mermaid Hostel Beach
If you are flying to Cancun Airport, I highly recommend taking the ADO buses from the airport terminal to the ADO bus station in Cancun downtown. The bus will cost $72 pesos for the 20-30 minute journey, and run frequently throughout the day. Check the ADO website for up to date times and prices. If you travel to Cancun by bus, from the ADO bus station in Cancun there are collectivo minibuses that run from outside to right next to the hostel, which cost just $6 pesos.
A taxi to the hostel should cost no more than $50 pesos, but the taxis outside the bus station will try to charge you as much as $100 pesos, so flag one down and haggle hard. To get back to the ADO bus station from the hostel, just wait on the road outside for the passing collectivo to the ADO station.
On my last night in Cancun I had an early flight, so stayed at the Mermaid Hostel Downtown, which is just 15 minutes’ walk from the bus station. The hostel was clean and had a cool chill out area out the back, and although it didn’t have the same vibe as the Beach Hostel, it was perfect for a night.
What I loved about the Mermaid Hostel Beach in Cancun
The terrace was fabulous to spend the evening, relaxing in a hammock and chatting to other guests.
My huge bed was a delight to sleep in, after so long in hostel dorms it was pure luxury!
The location was perfect for an Isla Mujeres day trip from Cancun, and in a quiet residential area. I got a great night’s sleep, and it also is relatively expensive for a budget backpacker hostel, so helps to cut down on the hardcore partiers who tend to book one of the super cheap hostels in Cancun.
Anything I didn’t like?
If you are looking to party in Cancun I don’t think this is the hostel for you, as the immediate area was pretty quiet, except for a few restaurants which had music on the weekends.
The bathroom was large, but looked a little tired and could do with a facelift – even though the hostel is quite new. The shower was also just a stream of water, there wasn’t a ‘proper’ shower head – which is very common in hostels though. With the huge bed & TV it was easy to forget I was in a hostel & not a posh hotel!
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at the Mermaid Hostel Beach in Cancun, and highly recommend it! You can book directly through the hostel website or on Hostelworld. Looking for more opinions about the Mermaid Hostel Beach? You can check their Tripadvisor Reviews here.
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Thank you to Tania & Ana of the Mermaid Hostel Beach & Downtown who hosted my stay. My three-night stay was complimentary, but as always, all views are my own.
Have you stayed in Cancun, or would you like to? I’d love to hear your experiences of accommodation in Cancun, let me know in the comments below!
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