Marea at Selina/Poc Na -Isla Mujeres 2023 Restaurant Features


We were on the island for Superbowl Sunday in 2023 and with exception of Jax and Snappers, you wouldn’t have known it on the island. I hadn’t planned ahead and both the spots above were sold out. We tried getting a channel on the little TV in our room. Oh no! We didn’t have a place to watch the Superbowl.

The pre-game had commenced and so we decided to console ourselves with a walk to visit our Mexican family at Hortencia’s. On the way home, we decided to poke around at the renovated Poc Na at the end of that street. We made note of many things. One was that Poc Na seems to have partnered with the Selina brand. Our son who went to Costa Rica the previous year, stayed in a Selina surfing hostel. He loved the vibe and had many great things to say. It appeared to us that the Isla Mujure’s Selina property catered to snorkelers and scuba divers.

We were impressed that there was a fabulous work share centre where you could work remotely in a bright and relaxing space. We also noticed A-framed huts that we understand are for travelers who want a bit more privacy than “hostel” living typically provides. I did check out Selina’s website to see that they DID have private bedrooms with en suites. They also had a communal kitchen, which we would also make full use off. We were so excited about the facility and hope to learn more before our 2024 trip to the island!

What I was most impressed with was that they maintained much of the natural beauty of their picturesque location. The sand and palm trees and glimpses of the turquoise sea are as I remember them. The beautiful pool is surrounded with luxurious hammocks, day beds and lounge chairs. I could imagine D and I curled up for a day of reading, relaxing and visiting the other fascinating hostellers. See their website for more pics of their glorious location. Mine here, do not do the property justice.

But here’s the best part-in their restaurant called Marea Isla Beach Club (see their Facebook Page), they had a big screen TV showing the pre-game of the Superbowl! We didn’t have to jostle for clear sight lines to the screen. In fact, even though the place would be hopping by the end of the game, we had our pick of tables to nestle in, and that we did.

As it was still early, we started with a refreshing mojito and a couple of appetizers.

This exquisite creation was their Baba Ganoush. Hey wait….aren’t we dining at a hostel? We could not believe the presentation and the savoury taste! I was especially enamoured with the sundried tomatoes which had been rehydrated with sesame oil!

The seared tuna tostadas were equally eye-catching and delicious. They were served with a sauce of reduced soya, lime juice, sugar and sesame oil, topped with fried onions and sprouts. I was impressed with the chef’s understanding of sesame oil as a flavour enhancer. Spot on!

By this time, my brother in law had read our text about our viewing spot and joined us for Marea’s Superbowl food/beer specials. Apparently Marea have a number of special nights similar to this one. They were all posted at the front door of the hostel when we entered. My bro in law, needed help consuming the beer that accompanied the food items. We had a mere block to walk home after the game, so we were happy to help him out.

This was one of the features-one side of the hand-made, wood fired pie was a delectable white sauce and sauteed spinach. The second was red sauce and a mildly spiced peperoni.

This stack of wings was another and equally impressive. They were piping hot and succulent. After I shook off some of the generous lemon pepper, we enjoyed them immensely.

By now Marea was packed and we really enjoyed meeting people from around the world including the guy seated closest to us who was from one of our favourite spots in Minnesota; we have visited Duluth many times. He and a large group had been on the island for a wedding and continued in the celebration.

The game sure was a close one, but when we decided who the ultimate winner would be, we decided to beat the traffic (ha ha) and wander home. I crawled into the hammock to watch the exciting conclusion on my own as D had fallen fast asleep!

Kath’s quote: “Hostels present the perfect combination of people, privacy and affordability. It is a unique mix of relaxation, sociability and adventure!”-Authour Unknown

Love never fails.

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