Old Reviews – Aventura Palace

  Aventura Palace   Kelly ~ Indiana, United States

July 2009

Arrival: July 2007 Our arrival was extremely easy. No-problems transfer from the Cancun Airport to the resort and we were given flutes of champagne and a cool, damp washcloth/handtowel at check in.

Our room was very nice–exactly as pictured on the website for the resort. Double jaccuzi was wonderful. Room was kept clean and mini-bar (4 bottle alcohol dispenser) and mini-fridge was stocked daily and at our request. We did notice that if we left some piece of food out we would find ants on it pretty quickly, but we’re assuming that is pretty normal for the area/temperature/etc. Not leaving food out solved the problem right away.

Restaurants and Bars:
We were overall very impressed. I don’t have enough to say about each restaurant, but we loved the mexican restaurant and the greek (i think) restaurant as well (this is a lunch buffet during the day). Loved the poolside restaurants/snack bars. The swim-up bars were wonderful as well as the bars located in the lobby. No problems whatsoever. Being an all-inclusive and because we were on our honeymoon we were quite indulgent and loved everything. Only two restaurants (ventanas and the italian) were sub par..and it wasn’t that it was bad, I just didnt love what i had there. Overall we were extremely pleased.

Pools and grouds were great. We spent the majority of our time in the pool and had a wonderful week. The pools are their claim to fame-the beach is not great, but we were warned of that ahead of time by our travel agent. It was pretty to look at from our room or from the grounds, but there is no ‘sandy beach’ to walk on. There are just a few lagoons, which are cool, but I cannot review them as we did not spend time there. I am a pool person anyway, so I was happy as a clam being in a pool but getting ot see the beach. My husband would like a better beach next time though.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We only took one tour–a half-day excursion to Tulum. It was ok. Glad we did something, but it was VERY hot outside (Mexico in July) and I was made even more miserable when my flip-flop broke. Probably wouldn’t do again–it was ok but really didnt teach us anything amazing and we spent the whole time wishing we were back at the pool.

Other Comments:
We absolutely LOVED our trip. We would go back in a heartbeat (and hope to soon). The resort catered to us and we loved the all-inclusive package. Newlywed dinner was very nice and the whole week was a perfect legs-up relaxing time. Food and drink were wonderful and the resort is absolutely beautiful. Had an AMAZING stay and would highly recommend to anyone!

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I would like to write about my experience in Puerto Aventuras.. Let me just say.. This is a one of the nicest places I have stayed on the Mayan Riviera..I stayed at the Spa Aventuras palace for 1 week then we moved over to the Barcelo Resort for a week..Now both of these places say they are in Puerto Aventuras but actually these resorts are located a 1/2 mile north(Spa) and a 1/2 south(Barcelo)..Not to fret though..There is a shuttle provided by Gringo Daves( restaurant/Patio bar/Adventure and shuttle service)..Before I get ahead of myself..Lets start with The Spa Aventuras Palace..I check in on March 10..I was looking for a relaxing time before the spring breakers showed up..Well I got what I was looking for..The resort is set on a beautiful beach so white and the water so clear..You would swear you were in a post card..The room it self was nicely decorated with the nice comfy beds..The bars and restaurants are pretty good for a all-inclusive resort..There are several to choose from..Of course a mexican, then there is a Japanese, Brazilian, and a few bars with bar food..The buffet they offer is descent but of course you would want to eat it everyday..As I mentioned before the best food I found was at this place called Gringo Daves(located in the marina)..There is a free shuttle that will pick you up and transport you to the Marina..Also Gringo will give the whole party a free Maragarita..The Mahi Mahi I had was fixed in a tequila..With steamed veges and rice..The fish came out with a uniquely delicious texture and flavor that I have never tasted before..They also have the Swim with Dolphin experience and lots of little shops in the marina..Anyway back to my final opinion..The quiet I was looking for was there..Then the one day I didn’t feel like relaxing I went to Gringo daves and was very impressed with the entertainment and service they gave us..The swimming with the dolphins was also one of the most magnificent thing you can experience..I will do a separate blog for the Barcelo Resort

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Aventura Palace T.N ~ Toronto, Canada

January 2007

Our second week, (after everyone else left) we had our honeymoon at Aventura Spa Palace **Adults only. (about 10 min. away) We had to arrange for our own transportation and got a taxi that cost $14 US. Our room was excellent. Every room has a HUGE 2 person jacuzzi tub and I would highly recommend using it. The bathroom again was great, clean & they supplied you with everything. From shampoo/conditioner to toothbrushes and toothpaste. You don’t have to bring much in the bathroom department. The best part was being able to brush you teeth with the tap water as they use reverse osmosis so you don’t have any contamination. They had a 4 bottle bar (tequila, rum, brandy & whisky) no charge and would refill the bottles if needed. You have your own fridge, (stocked daily) with water, pop & beer. All inclusive is no joke*** They have 24 hour room service (no charge) and get it to you in 20-30 min. All of the restaurants and food were amazing. The a la carte restaurants were first come first serve, no reservations. Which meant that you got to go to all of them without being told "sorry, it’s booked for the rest of the week". We never had a problem getting in. The only one that had a waiting list was the Steakhouse. The resort is HUGE, it’s 2 sides. The south and north side. It’s like it is 2 resorts in one. They had a shuttle going from one side to the other constantly and this was very convenient. We stayed on the North side (spa side) It was great. Quiet and relaxing. The pool was very nice, a little cool, but was refreshing with how hot it got. The lagoon style beaches were not what I expected (again no long beach to walk along) but they were very nice anyway. Lots of umbrellas to sit by and quiet for the most part. The water had plenty of fish to see. The gym is unbelievable, indoor pool & hot tubs… very very nice. The spa was amazing. We had a romantic couples massage and it was extremely relaxing. They are pricey, but the resort gave us "spa dollars" and we only had to pay $80 US. We went to Moon Palace (closer to Cancun, 50 min. away) to go golfing and the course was fabulous. The carts were included and you could get free clubs too. If you wanted to upgrade to Nike or something it was a $30 US charge. You have to pay for the driving range, but it’s very reasonable. Bring your own balls, or they have some for sale in the pro-shop (new and used) The shop was well equipped with anything that you needed, all brand name stuff. The resort also offers many tours that are free. I would recommend checking a few of these out.

They also have a shuttle bus going into town or Cancun free, so you can go shopping or to the Water park. Palace resorts owns Wet n’ Wild in Cancun and you can go free.

We had an amazing time at this resort and I would highly recommend staying there!!!!

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Aventura Palace Megan & James ~ Ontario, Canada

August 2006

The hotel is split into two “sides” – the north side and the south side (we stayed on the south side). Each side has its own pool, restaurants, and lobbies (though you are free to visit any of them); the north side has the spa and fitness centre, and the south side has the disco. The pools were similar for the north and south side – large and winding. However, you couldn’t actually swim from one end of the pool to another as they put a wall between the two sides – you have to get up and walk around to continue through the pool. The water was warm and clear. In no area was the pool deeper than 4 feet and in some areas is was quite shallow (a few inches), to lie in or put your chair in. The south pool (and the south side in general) was much rowdier than the north. Both pools had swim up bars, however there was often a crowd around them during peak times and it could be difficult to get access to the bar. However, there was lots of staff walking around getting people drinks so you didn’t have to wait long. There were so many people getting drunk (at least at the south side) that the two days we sat there until 5pm we saw people getting cut off/thrown out, people overly intoxicated and getting belligerent, falling out of their swimsuits, etc. Although during the day there seemed to be lots of people cleaning the pool, by 5pm it was still pretty gross (I think in part because of the all the drunk people).

There was lots of staff walking around but they weren’t always that helpful – we would run into people who didn’t understand English and it seemed that for the buffet & pool restaurants, waiters weren’t assigned to a table, they just wandered around helping who they saw. Therefore we often had a difficult time getting refills to our drinks, etc. – once they had seated us they often didn’t come back. At breakfast the waiters would carry your plate back from the buffet to your table, if they saw you (happened to me once during the week). I personally don’t like that but I know some people thought it was great.

Although a lot of the grounds looks quite nice, our room overlooked a construction site which was not very nice and was a bit loud (couldn’t leave the window open). The rooms have WiFi access ports if you happen to bring your computer. Really good climate control, very quiet and reliable. We found the mini-bar fridge to be loud and had to unplug it every night before bed. There is no place to put your suitcases and limited space for clothes in the closets/drawers. I found a cockroach in my suitcase (which I had left on the floor) one day, I think it was perhaps attracted to the toiletries I had in my bag. We moved all our suitcases to whatever surface we could find and didn’t have any trouble after that. The rooms feel very cookie-cutter, like a large chain would.

None of the restaurants required a reservation, which was nice for our schedule but it meant the restaurants were all a bit big. There was an “international buffet” that we found to be pretty mediocre – we only ate there once. Our favourite restaurants were the Italian and the Californian. As we were on our honeymoon, we went to the honeymoon dinner which was a lot of fun – though that likely depends on the group of people at your table! We sat with four other couples and got along great.

There was no sloping access from the sand to the water – you had to walk down some stone steps to get to the water which I found to be a negative.

There is a stone break wall so there is no access to the ocean itself.
Clear, warm water – lots of fish and crabs to look at.

This is the first resort I’ve been to where the disco is full every night! They played mostly top 40, dance, etc. When we went with a group of other people we had a lot of fun.

Overall we met lots of people who loved this resort but it just wasn’t for us – too noisy and too many drunk people drinking tequila from the bottle to make this a place we would ever go back to.

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Aventura Palace Patrick and Libby ~ Ohio, USA

March 2006

My husband and I recently spent the week of February 18th-25th at the Aventura Spa Palace. The trip was to celebrate my husband’s 30th birthday, and this was the first vacation we’ve had at an all-inclusive resort. We decided on the ASP after reading reviews here and at Tripadvisor, so I wanted to add our two cents. We had a fantastic time, and would highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for a relaxing time. The lowest rates we could find for the trip were through honeymoonsinc.com, and their communication was fantastic–Steve did a great job getting us everything we requested, including a king room with a very nice partial ocean view.

We arrived at about 2:00 in the afternoon, after a long flight from Columbus to Houston and Houston to Cancun. We had to leave for the airport at 4:00 AM, so we had the bright idea to stay up all night so we could sleep on the plane. This never works out as well as you hope, of course. The end result was that I slept through breakfast on the first plane, we had to run to make our connector in Houston, and then they only served pretzels on the flight to Cancun. Since I hadn’t eaten since dinner the night before, waiting in line through the swamped immigration, baggage claim, and customs was pretty awful, especially on only an hour’s sleep. We found our transfer van relatively easily, and they told us who to meet up with at the resort to schedule our return trip. The trip down to the resort took about an hour, but we stopped at two other places before we got to ASP. I can’t remember which ones…I think an Iberostar, and one at Xcaret. Anyway, when we got to the gates and lobby of ASP, everyone who was still in the van said, "ooooh, this is the nicest one yet!" And it was…the other two were crowded and still had hurricane damage. ASP was pretty much flawless. We got off the van, the bellhops took our bags and gave us a claim ticket, and another staff member led us inside. Instead of checking in at a desk, they took us into the North Lobby, sat us at a table, and a waitress came and took our drink order. We were exhausted and hungry, but who’s gonna pass up a margarita? A representative came over and gave us our wristbands and a packet of information. We were told that our room wasn’t ready yet, and they pointed us in the direction of the nearest restaurant for lunch, which turned out to be El Greco. He told us that the room would be ready as soon as we were finished with lunch, and it was. We were very glad to be able to sit and relax, rather than waiting in line at a front desk somewhere.

The Resort
The rooms are somewhat small, with just enough storage space for clothes. Ours had a king-sized bed with two nightstands, a large contraption containing the mini-fridge, a chest of drawers, the television, and some table space. The TV was on top of that. The bathroom is in a small alcove. There is one sink, and then inside a room with a door there’s the toilet and shower, which was huge and tiled and had a bench in it. The double jacuzzi, thankfully, is a REAL double jacuzzi. My husband and I are both much taller than average, and we could sit side-by-side in it. The beds are hard, but the pillows are very nice. The mini-fridge was stocked with Tecate, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7-Up, and bottled water, and it was always restocked daily. The balcony had two plastic lawn chairs, a small table, and a large hammock. The television had only a few channels that had all-English programming. At night we’d end up watching lots of movies on HBO Plus.

The grounds are gorgeous and immaculate. I have pictures of the ashtrays on the grounds, and the public restrooms’ sinks–they’re all decorated with fresh flowers. I didn’t notice much hurricane damage at all, except maybe some of the trees were a bit sparse. We spent most of our time at the South lagoon. The resort was at capacity, according to employees, but you couldn’t tell. We would sleep in, get breakfast at about 9:00, and could always find two loungers in the shade under a palapa at the lagoon. There were very few shady spots around the pool to begin with, sadly, so we never really got into the pools–we burn too easily. I didn’t really miss it–the water in the lagoon was warm and wonderful and very clear. Someone came around probably every 25 minutes or so to take a drink order, so we were pretty much constantly drinking something.

The Food
We were somewhat worried about this, because we are both foodies and love to eat. I have to say, I was probably the most impressed by the food. Breakfasts and lunches were buffets. I loved all the Mexican food they had at breakfast, especially the sausage. They had a grill with waffles, french toast, and pancakes; a bunch of cut fresh fruit, yogurt, cereals, and granolas; and traditional breakfast foods like scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, ham, bacon, and oatmeal with huge bowls of raisins, nuts, brown sugar and coconut to mix in. For lunch, they would have a grill with various seafoods, then buffet foods including Mexican stuff, pizza, and various meats and seafoods with sauces. They’d always have some cold salads, cut fruit (El Greco’s lunch buffet had a chocolate fountain with the fruit), breads, and hot veggie sides as well. All the buffets had HUGE dessert bars. There would be about five or six different types of dessert and four flavors of very good ice cream with a ton of toppings. The dessert bar at Ventanas also had a selection of liqueurs with snifters and shot glasses.

Dinners were all a la carte, with no reservations. This meant waiting in line at many of the restaurants. Our first night, we were still a little tired, so we went to Mo Mo No Hana and just had sushi, appetizers, and soup. It was okay, but nothing stellar. We wanted to go Italian the next night, but were surprised by the two-hour wait when we got there, so we walked back to Mundaca. The appetizers there were good, the steaks excellent (get the filet, otherwise you may be disappointed–I heard a lot of people complaining that the ribeye and strip were tough and fatty), and the desserts were so-so. The next night we had Italian. I just had mushroom pasta and the caprese salad and both were great, but my husband’s seafood was the only really bad meal of the trip–tough, overcooked, and way too heavy on the octopus even though what he ordered only mentioned mussels and clams. He sent it back and got prawns, which were also overcooked. That place just doesn’t do seafood, I guess. It consistently had the longest lines, so get there early and don’t order seafood. The desserts there were incredible. I had the chocolate gondola, which was good, but my husband had this layered cake thing with chocolate, orange, vanilla custard, and rum that was just fantastic. I wish I could remember what it was called. The next night we went to El Greco and had a great time–his pork was good and my risotto was delicious. By the fourth night, we were stuffed, so we just went to Ventanas and got some stuff from the buffet to go. The next night was La Hacienda, our favorite meal of the trip. My husband had a lamb braised in an agave leaf that was just falling-apart tender, and I had crawfish the size of shrimp with some delicious dried smoked chiles. The tres leches cake and banana custard were also fabulous, as was the Mayan Coffee–a flambeed work of art! The coolest part was a huge table full of tequila bottles out in the lobby of the restaurant. Each one had various things in it, from coffee beans to almonds to apples to gooseberries. There were probably 12 different flavors of tequila and a ton of shot glasses, and we sampled our share. And probably some other people’s share as well. Our last night we went to La Huerta. This is advertised as the vegetarian restaurant, and it had lots of vegetarian options (although don’t get the Caesar salad if you’re a vegetarian, because they do a traditional dressing including anchovies and egg), but I was surprised to get an even better steak than the one at Mundaca! It also had some (supposedly) healthy options on the menu. Each restaurant had a good variety of food, with the possible exception of Mo Mo No Hana–we were always able to find something we were in the mood for, and it pretty much ranged from average to really good.

The Tours
We only took the included tour to Isla Mujeres– we were going to go to Tulum but instead decided to stay at the resort and take the 90-minute sales pitch tour so I could get a discount for the spa. We took this vacation to relax, and didn’t feel like being herded around. The trip to Isla was okay. We took a tour bus down to Cancun, which is really devastated from Hurricane Wilma–most of the hotels were still closed, and the ones that are open are still under construction. From Cancun, you get on a party boat to Isla that takes about 40 minutes. They have beer, water, and soft drinks on the boat, and a very enthusaistic and entertaining crew, although they were a little over the top on the jokes about homosexuality, especially with so many kids on the boat. I was a bit offended, but not enough to complain about it to anyone other than here. Once at Isla, the herding began–we were told that we’d have to register for snorkeling right away, so my husband and I ran over to the little booth to wait a poorly-organized line. All of the various mini-tours and activity registrations were out of that booth, so it was hard to tell which of the 7 lines we should be in. Eventually we got checked in and told where to go, but we didn’t really have time to stop for towels. The snorkeling was fun–it was the first time I’d ever been. I’d like to try it again with my own gear, in a place a little less crowded. When we got back, we stuffed ourselves with taquitos. They had a buffet with some other foods on it, but none looked as good. There was no really good beach there for swimming, sadly–the water was very seaweedy and dirty looking close to shore. We just sat around and drank beer and ate until it was time to board the boat to go to the shopping area. We ended up getting 3 t-shirts for $10. Don’t bother–out of the 3, one of them got ruined the first time we washed it. They’re not very good quality. The shopping was boring–I’m just not a big fan of tourist traps. Luckily we only spent an hour or so there. On the boat ride back, the tour guides put on a crazy show. Part of it involved some sort of crazy mix of tequila and fruit punch that they ran around squirting into people’s mouths. It was fun watching other people do, let’s just put it that way. I was getting tired and wanted to get back to our resort. Back in Cancun, we had to wait for the buses, and then I found out that the bus we were on didn’t have a bathroom. I ran back to the bar we were at and used the public restroom there, but other people didn’t, and it had to stop halfway back. About 10 minutes after we got back on the road, the bus almost got into a wreck and something went thump when we swerved. Next thing I know we get pulled over. The driver has a 3-minute conversation with the police officer and then restarts the bus, and the transmission is obviously ailing. The low gears just weren’t working…and the trip had a lot of stop and go traffic. By the time we got to Playacar Palace to drop off a few people, we were wondering if we were going to make it back. We ended up getting back about two hours later than scheduled. After that, I figured I’d go to the spa instead of Tulum.

The Spa
If you can, do it. First off, the hydrotherapy area is so relaxing! They give you a nice soft robe and the comfiest slippers. First you start out in the dry sauna for 10 minutes, lying down with a cool cloth over your eyes. Then you go to a cold massage jet shower for a minute. Next is a vapor steam sauna with eucalyptus that really opens your breathing passages. After another minute in the cold shower, you go to the three whirlpools–first warm, then a cold plunge, then hot. An attendant offers you juice, chlorophyll, or water. If your stomach is even remotely upset from all the food you’ve been eating, try the chlorophyll. It tastes like mint tea, and I didn’t have even the remotest bit of an upset stomach after I had a few cups of it. Once you’re done with the whirlpools, you can move to a chair with a foot pool that has little pinpoint jets for your feet. The whole thing takes about an hour–it’s worth it to get to the spa early and try it. After you’re done, you get your robe back and go back to check-in, where they give you a warm, aromatic beanbag pillow to go around your neck, and you sit in the waiting lounge until your therapist gets you. I did a silk bath and a mud wrap–both were fantastic, but if I could only pick one I’d get the silk bath–it was the nicest spa treatment I think I’ve ever had. My skin felt so good when I was done!

The Staff
Everyone there was so friendly, and even though the resort was at capacity, I rarely felt like I was waiting for anything. Waitstaff at restaurants were prompt but didn’t rush you through a meal, room service arrived quickly (although we only tried appetizers and soups), and the grounds were kept very clean. We brought $100 in singles for tips, but didn’t end up going through it all. I don’t think the service got any better because of the tipping, except maybe the maids keeping the mini-bar as restocked as it was. I felt like the resort was very safe. When we left the resort area for lunch, we would leave our stuff out by the chairs and never had a problem. I left my digital camera out charging in the room while we were out instead of putting it in the mini-safe, and there were no problems. The resort was relatively accessible for anyone with impaired movement–lots of ramps, and in the places where there weren’t, a staff member would always be around to help. I saw many people from the waitstaff carrying buffet plates for people in wheelchairs or on crutches, and even for pregnant women!

To sum up, everything about this resort was first-class, and both my husband and I felt we were treated very well and got a great value for the money we spent on the vacation. We’re looking at going to an all-inclusive in a different area for my 30th birthday, two years from now, and I hope it lives up to the service at Palace.

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Aventura Palace – Playa Del Carmen Bill and Sonja ~ Toronto, Ontario Canada

December 2005

OH MY GOD!!! What a fantastic vacation. You will not find a negative comment in this review other then it wasn’t long enough! November 27th to December 4th. Our group of 10 returned last week from the best resort we’ve been to so far. The staff at the Aventura were the most helpful, kind and happy people who genuinely seemed pleased to do what ever they could to make you happy. From running bubblebaths with rose petals, to carrying your plate at the buffet, to getting you whatever your heart desired. The resort is beautiful, even without a beach. The lagoons were great and the pools went on forever and ever. We stayed in the Trumpet building which was on the North side of the resort and it was a short walk to everything, which was good because you had to get some exercise after all the appetizing food we ate. We were very well looked after at each meal and at every restaurant we ate in and our best waiter was Juan who kept us entertained during our meals. Esmerelda in the south lobby bar kept the Tequila shots coming and afterwards we danced the nights away at the disco.

The employees were still busy repairing and rebuilding in the South section of the resort after the hurricane damage but this in no way disrupted our vacation due to the enormous size of this resort! The pools in the south part were opened on the Thursday and we spent part of our last 3 days there with hardly any other people but with LOTS of service. We did two day trips while we were there – Tulum and Coba. They were both very hot days but with the extra water that we brought from our rooms we survived the climb to the top of the Coba pyramid. The view was spectacular. The surf at Tulum was refreshing so make sure you wear a bathing suit.

We brought two couples with us that were first timers to Mexico. They loved in and I’m sure we have spoilt them by going to the best resort in the Mayan. Its going to be tough to beat that one. This was our 5th trip south and we look forward to next year. Just for general information we were a group of people aged 46 – 53 who are young at heart. This resort gave you everything you could ask for whatever your age. Its all up to you personally how a vacation goes but you just can’t go wrong with the Aventura!

If you have any questions that I could maybe help with feel free to email me at osonja@hotmail.com

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Aventura Palace – Playa Del Carmen C. Welsh

July 2005

I just returned from Aventura Palace on saturday night – just missing the storm. It was amazing, the staff are everywhere and are always ready to help, they can’t seem to do enough for you. The rooms we’re great, when we checked in it was late and they told us that we had a room with 2 singles pushed together, we instantly said that this was not good enough so they put us on a list for "a nice room with king bed" which was fine, it was late and we wanted to get some food. The first room was actually quite nice so we had to weigh up if we wanted to change – but once we saw that the new room had an ocean view we could not refuse.

There is so much to do’ we didn’t get to try everything on the resort as you may have read the resort is huge.The pools are great and so are the lagoons, not much in the way of a beach but we knew that. You can still play beach volleyball and soccer near to the pools. or try you luck on the putting green, run the obsticle course, float in the current pool, do some rock climbing,boxing classes in the boxing ring, walk the maze, shoot some pool ect. ect. ect. I could just keep going. Remember that you get 5 FREE trips included with your all inclusive and free transfer to any of the Palace resorts, I think there are 6 – stay away from the timeshare guys they’ll just wait good vacation time. We went to Xpu-Ha and Tulum – it was a ful day trip from 8:30 – 5:30 and it was very cool – take comfortable shoes, I cannot stress this enough. XpuHa is an Ecopark/resort – it has a zoo and is in the jungle, has a nice beach though and the snorkling was pretty good, I saw a baracuda. The food at this resort was good and included and you want to make sure you eat before going of to Tulum. Don’t forget you camera, this has to be one of the most beatiful places on earth. I did the tour and that only left me with an hour or so to explore or go to the beach that has just been open to public for 3 months (ranked in the top 10 in the world), So I took pictures of the beach and eplored the ruins – they have quite an intresting history, besides I can do the beach when I return. I slept in and missed the other free tours – Note: to get this info go and see guest services – they are more than willing to explain and set you up. There is also a shuttle to Playa del Carmen this is a must see town, great shops and resturants, just a wonderful vibe. Take a cab back or wait for the pickup. I think we payed $14.

The food was great and the service was also wonderful, my favorites ware Mundaca and El Greco, I didn’t try the veggie resturant, I need meat, but I can under stand why they have it.

You MUST go to the free spa, downstairs from the indoor pool that is overlooked by the highend gym, as you sign in you will recieve a key to a locker that contains slippers, a towel and a robe. – take a shower, go to the sauna, then a cold shot, and then into the stream room. This is very nice, they supply a shaving kit, comb, deoderant, gel, hairspray, body lotion – to get youself ready for dinner and drinks after a hot day in the sun. Anyway you get my point-

What a Wonderful Place! – I will return soon.

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Aventura Palace – Playa Del Carmen Scott ~ Texas

July 2005

Our vaction at Aventura Spa Palace was great. A couple of thinks, 1.) If you want the nice quite side you want to be on the Spa (North) side. If you like some action, then you want to be on the Aventura (South) side. They have a live band, pool vollyball / basketball all during the day. The south or Aventura lobby also has A/C where the North or Spa lobby does not.

With this being said, it was the best vaction we have ever taken. The food was good, everyone was great.

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Aventura Palace – Playa Del Carmen Trish ~ Canada

March 2005

Just got back from a one week stay at the Aventura Spa Palace. We have been to the Mayan Riveria before and stayed at the Royal Hideaway. It was beautiful (5+ stars) but has unfortunately doubled in price since. So after much research decided on the ASP. We had read that there were 2 sides to the resort. Spa and Aventura. Spa side was more relaxed & the Aventura more upbeat. We also knew that there is no beach and were ok with that.

First the NEGATIVES –
1) THE ROOM ISSUE – Our first night there was TERRIBLE. We arrived around 10pm , only to be told that they did not have the room we had requested through our travel agent. (I had even emailed the hotel prior to confirm our request since I had read on Trip Advisor that this happens alot) We had request ocean view, king bed,Spa side . All they had was either a king bed (no jacuzzi or view)at the back of the property or a room with 2 double beds and jacuzzi on the Aventura side . We went with the double beds. We needed a jacuzzi after a long day travelling. They said they would gladly fulfill our original room request the next day. Exhausted, we got to the room and rushed to grab something to eat. The restaurants all close at 11pm so at 10:45 we ordered a steak at Mundaca -the closest restaurant to our room. The steak was lukewarm and very,very fatty. They did not give us steak knives so we could barely cut it. The staff were cleaning up for the evening and were banging dishes all around us. Not very relaxing. We retired to our room BUT did not sleep at all! There were drunken people in the hallways, slamming doors laughing etc… until 5am. We tried to sleep with pillows over our heads. The hallways , rooms , stairs are all tile and sounds really are amplified and carry. Especially the opening and closing of doors.

We had a meet & greet with the local airline rep the next morning. We addressed our concerns. He said that there is nothing he could do. That the hotel can never guarantee room assignments. He also said that the hotel does not like to have guests change rooms on the weekend days (?) We went back to the front desk and they still did not have any rooms available that matched our request. We were at the desk for a long time. The manager, David, left us standing there in front of him while speaking to his staff in Spanish. I think he was just waiting for us to walk away. But he was not answering my questions, and he was not helping at all. He said the partiers were from a convention and it was their last night there. I overheard another guest say that there is a room request list that you can fill out and then they will contact you if one comes available. So I asked David to put us on the list. The funny thing is , David, never offered that option to us. I used to work in the travel industry and made a point to be very polite with him. I am not sure why we received such treatment. There was a long line of people unhappy with their rooms. Perhaps the staff were just tired of it all?

The next day we received a note to go back to the desk , that they had found a room. We went back only to discover that they still did not have what we had requested. So we gave up and decided to stay where we were. We had spent at least 2 hrs of good vacation time on this.

1) Just be prepared to not have the room you requested. 2) the resort is HUGE with tons of uneven surfaces. bring comfortable shoes. I saw a couple people with casts on their legs. Some of the areas around the pools are slippery & sidewalks are uneven and dimly lit at night. 3) There was a sewage smell near our room. It was very powerful at times. Just hold your breath and walk fast! It was around the back of the restaurant Mundaca. I would have hated to have our room face the sewer. You would not have been able to enjoy your balcony. 4) Though the loud convention goers did leave early in our stay, construction started on our building.. Sounds carry & it was loud up until 8 or 9 at night. As well one night we did not have any water in our room and could not wash up for bed or flush the toilet. The hotel provided no communication to us concerning these issues. We did not complain, though I did call to tell them nicely that we had no water. We had water the next morning. 5) The pools were FREEZING. There was NOBODY swimming. Being Canadians we dove right in! It is a shame because the pools were beautiful. 6) Restaurants ran out of features and other items quite frequently (like steak & desserts) 7) Lots of conventions going on at the resort. They often took over the main areas. Maybe ask before you book your trip to see how many are there. We saw at least 4. 8 ) Blood Raw hamburgers from room service 9 ) Housekeeping was inconsistent. Did not always have turn down and did not always restock water and towels.

10) the stories of the time share salespeople are true. Just say "no" when offered the VIP tour. The reps were not pushy at all.

The POSITIVES- We really made a point to explore the resort and its services. 1) the resort offers 5 free tours . We went to Tulum & it was great. I dont think that alot of people realized that with most packages, these are included and ended up paying for them. 2) the gym on the Spa side is GREAT, new equipment and lots of different classes offered. We were there everyday. I tried Spinning Classes & Yoga. The area also includes a free spa with steam room, sauna, robes etc… It was kind of hidden and so I don’t think alot of people used it. But we loved it. The Spa side gym also has a beautiful indoor pool & 2 Jacuzzis. Great for after dinner swims. There was also a fresh fruit smoothies bar open 7am-7pm. (the north gym was closed for renos while we were there) 3) there are tons of activities at the resort. We went kayaking in the lagoons. There is no beach but the lagoons were GREAT. They are fed from the sea. You can watch the waves come in through the rocks. Tons of colorful fish. So many that I was afraid to snorkel. But I could see them clearly from the kayak. The water was calm & clear. The lagoon on the Spa side is much larger. You can kayak along the entire resort. We also took bicycles out around the resort, went through the obstacle course, played pool, watched the evening shows, walked on the Zen pathway and through the labyrinth . We also ran in the cross current pool. There are also nice tennis courts, a putting green and a full service spa. Compared with the other AI we stayed at, there was much more nightlife. 2 of the restaurants Mundaca & El Greco had bars that you could sit in and listen to music as well each lobby had 3 bars. 4) THE ICE CREAM IS THE BEST I HAVE EVER HAD!!! I lived on it. They had self serve containers by each pool 5) SERVICE WAS EXCELLENT. Except for the front desk. The wait staff & activity staff were so gracious and friendly. 6) Check out Peurto Aventura – it is close by , we walked along the rocky shore to get there(not recommended!) . Got close up to dolphins. 7) the nice thing about this resort is that you can lay by the Spa side pool all day and relax or go over to the Aventura side pool for a more "festive" atmosphere. There were lots of pool activities on the Aventura side. It is great to have that option.

8) it is nice that there are so many dining options and you are not confined to a reservation. we had no problem finding food. We were never "wowed" by the food but had some enjoyable food & lots of it!

We would go back, just not at such a busy time.

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Aventura Palace – Playa Del Carmen Linda ~ New York

March 2005

we have been to aventura spa palace two times. In between we had gone to Couples in Ocho Rios, which was very nice, but i kept saying to my husband, it’s not the Aventura, henceforth our return. there are many rooms that overlook the ocean and pool, you just need to request them. i prefer to stay on the spa side, because i like to be close to the spa.it’s wonderful that the spa is included in the price and i love it use it everyday. before dinner, i would use the spa, and shower there. the aromas are wonderful. if you want to meet people, i suggest hanging at the swim up bar. if you want to be alone, it’s possible to do that too.

for the beach, my best recommendation is to take the shuttle or cab or Xpu-Ha. It is definitely worth the money and trip. it’s only 5 min away and the beach is the best!!! the snorkeling there is also fabulous.

we also spent a day at moon palace on our last stay there and split the cab back with another couple. it’s $40. we took the shuttle there in the am and wanted to have dinner there. it is quite big and you can’t use the beach there either. we had a nice day tho.

definitely, a recommended vacation.

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Aventura Palace – Playa Del Carmen Peter ~ Welland, Ontario, Canada

February 2005

Stayed from Feb 2-9 2005. We stayed at Moon Palace same time last year and this place is a step above. From minute we got off the bus we felt pampered and spoiled with the attention and service. The porter taking our bags to our room was a fountain of information about the resort and restaurant service for dinner was excellent, We had Filet Mignon first nite and it was tender and tasty. We ate in 5 of the 6 reataurants for dinner and found food good to very good in all and service great all times. Bar service either inside or around the pool was good too. Wait staff circulating every 10 to 15 minutes. Our room was near the ocean and on third floor and we had all that was listed in broucher, (mini bar, bathrobes, hammock,) and we could see the ocean very well. Just good luck as the Hotel was full. We took one of the 5 included tours, to Xpu-Ha Palace and Tulum ruins (all in one day) The other resort was interesting and had nicer water sources for beach and snorkeling and kyacking, but the grounds were pure jungle. Tulum was interesting and the two hours there was enough, and we had an informative guide. Aventura is a very beautiful resort, with nice gardens and spas and rooms etc. Just be aware if you want to walk out from a sandy beach to swim in the ocean this is not the place. We knew in advance from reviews etc, but it was funny how many people did not know this in advance and were dissapointed. Xpu-Ha Palace was 10 minutes $8 by taxi and has a great (but crowded) beach and you are free to eat in the restaurants as a Aventura all inclusive guest.There is a bus to from Xpu-Ha but you may only get it once per stay (not sure) Pools are big but good chairs get "towell reserved" early but ther are more available in the "beach" area and bar service is covered there too. There are two lobbys (north and south) and 3 restaurants in each and appropriate bars and small stores etc.. The resort is a 15 minute walk from side to side and nice walkways, well lighted at nite and there is a lobby to lobby bus every 10 minutes if you don’t like walking. Staff everywhere are very friendly and English is quite good ( I don’t know too much spanish) All in all a great place and If the Beach is not a concern you will have a great time.

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Aventura Palace – Playa Del Carmen Laura & Jeff from Toronto, Canada

January 2005

Hola! My new husband and I just returned from our 2 week “Weddingmoon” at the Aventura Spa Palace which we booked through Air Canada Vacations. I feel compelled to write this review because we used Debbie’s website to pick a resort and we were not disappointed at the results.

First, I will tell you a bit about ourselves and what we were expecting from the resort. We are both 28 years old and were looking for a quiet and romantic resort for our wedding/honeymoon. I also wanted a very simple ceremony without many guests. We traveled with another couple of the same age, our matron of honour and best man. We have been to two resorts, the Oasis Playa in Cancun and the Grand Lido Negril in Jamaica. The Grand Lido is also a 5* or 5+* resort so it serves as a good basis for comparison. The other couple that we were with had stayed at the RIU Bambu in Punta Cana. We all preferred the Aventura to the other resorts.

The Resort
The resort is even more beautiful than the pictures in the palace website’s virtual tour. Previous reviewers were not exaggerating at the size of the resort because it gigantic but you can often get a ride from one lobby to another on a golf cart. Since it is relatively cool in January we enjoyed the walk but the golf carts will come in handy if you travel from April to September. The plants are perfectly manicured and they seem to have maintenance going on all of the time but it is never intrusive to the guests. Both lobbies are incredibly beautiful with stained glass ceilings (see palace website if you are interested since I could never do it justice).

The lagoon style outdoor pools are very nice and there is also a nice indoor pool with Jacuzzis. You don’t even have to leave the lounger to get drinks since they have wait staff who will come by to take your drink order about every ½ hour or so. The only drawback to the resort is the beach. It is listed as 4 out of 5 in the Air Canada brochure but I would probably rank it at a 2 or 3 if I was being generous. It really is some sand spread over concrete. Personally I am a pool person myself and didn’t care about the lack of beach but some people may find it very disappointing. Just as a side note, XPU-HA Palace has a nice beach and they have a shuttle that goes there every day. You will have to book a ticket to go on the bus but it is a free transfer so take advantage. XPU-HA also has excellent snorkeling by the way.

The Room
We stayed at room 2847 on the Spa side of the resort which is where they seemed to put all of the honeymooners. It didn’t have ocean view but I think the only ocean view rooms are for the timeshares or presidential suites. The room was in a good location because it is close to the lobby and is quieter than the Aventura side. We did get woken up in the night a few times because of people who were returning from the bar and passing by our rooms but I think our section was where they put the honeymooners so our neighbors were pretty quiet. I heard that the Aventura side it was much livelier at night and some guests couldn’t sleep because of their rambunctious neighbors but this would be a great environment for the party animals.

The room was exactly as described. There was a fully stocked mini-bar and liquor dispenser. My husband and I loved the double Jacuzzi. He is 6’2’’ but was able to fit comfortably. The bed was very firm but I found it quite comfortable. There is cable TV with many stations. It also has resort preview channels to give you an idea of what each of the Palace Resorts have to offer including some of the spa services. Another channel previewed the free trips which was quite useful. There was a hammock on the balcony which was nice but truthfully we didn’t use it much since we weren’t in the room much during the day. The room was very clean and I think that the mini-bar was re-stocked daily although we mainly used it for the water since the drinks at the bar were much better than those we could make ourselves. The only thing that the room was missing was a CD player which we liked having at the Grand Lido but otherwise it was very comfortable and had everything you could ask for.

The Restaurants
There are 6 restaurants in total excluding the snack bars. MoMo Nahana, El Greco and Mundaca are open for breakfast and serve a wide range of buffet breakfast fare which includes a smoothie station and an omelet station. You can also order cappuccinos which were amazing. El Greco, Mundaca and the snack bars are open for lunch. The lunch buffets have a great selection which includes many varieties of Mexican food. OK, realistically dinner is the important meal so I will tell you what I can.

We went to all 6 restaurants at least twice. All of the restaurants were great but Mo Mo Nahana was probably our favorite. The appetizers were fabulous although the sushi isn’t quite as good as at home. The main courses were also really good, try the teriyaki. The best thing was the dessert. The tempura ice cream is truly unbelievable. My second favorite surprisingly was El Huerta, the vegetarian restaurant (although there is meat on the menu). The fettuccine with pesto was my favorite entree. If you are there for a week I would recommend trying all of them since they are all really good. One of the big bonuses was that the brochure said we had to make reservations but when we arrived we were told that reservations weren’t required although that may change in high season. I would suggest going to dinner early because it gets busy around 7:30 and you may have to wait for a table at some of the busier restaurants.

We did have one bad dinner which happened to be our honeymoon dinner at Mundaca. I think that the waiter was new and he messed up the order several times so we ended up leaving after I got a completely raw steak and my husband got a well-done steak when we both requested medium. We ordered room service that night which was OK. We told the honeymooners desk so hopefully they will put more experienced staff in the honeymooners section next time. Incidentally we ended up going back to Mundaca to try it again and we got the same waiter. He was much better although you could definitely tell he was new but I’m sure he will improve over time.

The Service
For us this is the most important aspect of a resort and in this the Aventura Spa Palace exceeded all of our expectations. The staff to guest ratio was really high and the service was spectacular (excluding the one waiter). Compared to the Grand Lido it was like night and day. The staff were friendly, courteous and were willing to help you at any time without expectation of a tip and although any tipping was received gratefully but the quality of service didn’t depend on it. Most of the staff also spoke English very well. We ordered room service twice and when we ordered we were told how long of a wait to expect. I was told that the meal would arrive in 40 minutes and guess what, it arrived in 40 minutes. At the Grand Lido when we ordered room service on 2 occasions it took 2 hours and they lost the order one of those times.

The Spa
The spa services are excellent and exceeded all of my expectations. We had the holistic package which was included because of the wedding. The facial was my favorite part although my husband loved the massage. The other couple also had massages which they said were worth every penny.

The hydrotherapy was pretty interesting although it is separate for men and women and I didn’t really want to be separated from my husband for too long so I only went on the day of my Spa treatment.

Side Trips
We went on a total of 5 side trips, 3 of which were free with the package. Our favorite was Xel Ha which was our own private side trip. We took a taxi which cost $19 US plus tip for one way. The entrance fee for the all-inclusive package was $58 US which includes snorkel gear rental, lockers, towels, food and drinks (yes including alcohol). I would recommend taking the all-inclusive unless you have snorkel gear already and want to pack a lunch because food is pretty expensive. Chaza travel wanted $98 US to go for the day so it is cheaper to go on your own. I also liked going alone because you were on your own schedule and didn’t have to worry about missing your bus back and waiting while the bus dropped off people to other resorts.

The other non-free trip was the Aquatic Adventure which we booked through the Air Canada rep. This was a good trip and worth the money but I did prefer Xel-Ha.

The free trips were Chichen-Itza, Isla Mujeres and the XPU-HA and Tulum trip. They were all great and the shopping at Isla Mujeres was the best. The only thing I didn’t like with all of the trips except Xel-Ha is that they did a mandatory shopping trip each time and I would have preferred to spend more time exploring instead of shopping, especially at Chichen-Itza.

The Wedding
OK brides, this is for you. I booked the wedding package separately through the travel agent that the resort uses in Miami. I was told that the free wedding offer is available only to US residents which is what I would have chosen but in retrospect the superior package was well worth the money. Just one warning, make sure you send the charge authorization forms by the time stated in the wedding contract. I sent the original one for the first installment right away but assumed wrongly that they would charge me for the send installment at the appointed time since they had my credit card number. The second installment was due a month before the wedding. Two days before I was supposed to leave on vacation the travel agent called me and told me that my wedding was pending cancellation because I hadn’t sent in the second form. Truthfully it was my fault because it did state in the contract that they needed a second form but it would have been nice if they called me as a reminder two weeks before we left, not two days! Anyway, it wasn’t really the resort’s fault it was the travel agent who was to blame (and me of course) but it caused some serious anxiety so make sure you send the form on time and double check to ensure that they received it.

I had some serious doubts about the wedding since they do so many at Palace and I was afraid that we would get lost in the shuffle. When I met with the wedding co-coordinator I was still concerned since it was a ½ hour meeting and I didn’t think they could pull it off.

On the wedding day Claudia, the wedding coordinator was at my door exactly when she said she would be there with my flowers and my husband’s boutonniere which were absolutely beautiful. We had the carriage ride included which was really nice and we chose to walk down the aisle together. They had the processional song playing when we arrived and it was incredibly moving. The ceremony was really beautiful although I’m sure I didn’t hear even half of what was said at the time. We chose to upgrade to the 5×7 pictures so we could get the negatives and the pictures were lovely. I really didn’t want the wedding video which was part of the package and threatened to burn it when I got home but when we watched it I thought that the videographer Oscar did an excellent job and I am glad to have the video to show to my family since they weren’t there. We chose the cheesecake for the wedding cake and it was the most amazing cake I have ever had. By the way, the woman who did my hair and make-up did a fantastic job.

I could go on writing forever but anyway this was by far the best vacation I have ever had and hopefully I will get a chance to go to the Aventura again for an anniversary in the future.

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Aventura Palace – Playa Del Carmen Aimee ~ Atlanta, GA

January 2005

My husband and I just got back from a seven night trip to the Aventura Spa Palace in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We loved it! The resort was beautifully manicured, clean, and well-appointed. The staff were EXCEPTIONALLY friendly! They go above and beyond to make sure your stay offers you everything you need. The entire place was kept very clean, including our rooms, and I am quite picky about that. It is an enormous resort, with over 1,200 rooms, and somehow they managed to take care of everything seamlessly and without us seeing any of the process. The resort offers a bus to take guests to and from the North and South Lobby. My husband and I never used this service and found the stroll to be quiet enjoyable, we frequently went back and forth between either ends of the resort each day. If you want an open beach, this is not the resort for you. This resort has man-made lagoons, that go no deeper than about 5.5 feet in any one spot. The benefit to the lagoons is that the surf is always calm and they are still filled with a variety of beautiful fish, great for snorkeling. The South side seems to be more of the "party" side since that is where the disco is located and the South Lobby was often bustling at night. Additionally, the South pool seemed to be more active during the day with music and activities. My husband and I wanted more solitude, so we found quiet spots at the furthest points of both the South and North lagoons. If you enjoy yoga, they have a beautiful octagonal yoga and meditation hut the looks out to the ocean. We enjoyed three of the classes offered. The gym is appointed with top of the line fitness equipment and even during the busy hours, the wait was not too long. Even though it is an all-inclusive, we tipped the staff and they were extremely appreciative. The work so hard to please the guests the tips were well-worth it. Overall, it was a relaxing and rejuvenating time. Enjoy!

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Aventura Palace – Playa Del Carmen Gabriele

December 2004

My expensive watch was stolen at the spa of this hotel. I put my watch down before a massage, had the treatment and forgot it on the table (foolish, I know). I went on to the next treatment and remembered my watch fifty minutes later. The watch was gone and that particular room had not been used for another treatment. Management totally denield any of their staff had taken the watch, at different times insisting it was another guest or that I had misplaced it. The general manager told me "we are not thieves", which I am sure most of them are not. But if they are all so honest, why does the staff have to pass through a metal detector at the end of the day? When I discovered my watch was missing, I was in the middle of spa services. Needless to say, I did not enjoy the rest of them. Hotel management would not give me a discount stating that I had the service, even if I was totally stressed out after my visit ! at their spa.

There is no beach at this hotel, and the lagoons shown in their ads often have a terrible smell. The pool is great, and so is the staff at the pool and the waiters in the restaurants.

Lots of problems checking in- it took us over an hour. We had requested adjoining rooms and when we went to see them, they were not. The front desk said that what the computer says they have and what actually exists are not the same???? We never did get adjoining rooms.

We were a group of six, and even after my watch "took a walk", would have returned but been much more careful. But the hotel’s public relations and general manager handled this event so poorly, I will never return.

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Aventura Palace – Playa Del Carmen Garry — UK

November 2004

My wife and I went here as part of our tenth anniversary trip to Mexico. The rooms are wonderful with a double shower and Jacuzzi in the room. You also get a well stocked mini bar and four spirits on the wall which are included in the cost of your holiday. Some reviews have said the beds were hard but we found them fine. The problem came with the room we were given which was 3073 which is at the back of the resort with the hot water building behind it. This building has what can only be described as two jet engines coming out the top of it which emit a huge roar from the early hours of the morning. The First Choice brochure also stated that every room supplied through them would have a hammock and this room didn’t. After the first night of not getting hardly any sleep we went to the front desk (as our First Choice rep hadn’t bothered to contact us and indeed we had to hunt him down- though why we bothered I don’t know) only to be told they were full up and we wouldn’t be able to move until Friday (this was Wednesday). We spoke to various people who had been there a number of times who disputed this and indeed a lot of them had moved rooms. On the Friday we went to the front desk really early (though we had been up for hours) and were offered a room on the Spa side. It then became clear that the resort were going to offer us another room with no hammock despite what I had told them about my tour company being in a lot of trouble already with the first room not being as described in the brochure. As you can imagine I was very tired and tense and went mad. I told them they had a choice to supply another room or my wife and I would camp in the lobby on the basis that we would get more sleep there than in the room supplied. It was miraculous because we went from being offered one room as they were full up to three rooms which we could view and we finally chose room 3016 which looked out of the resort onto the ocean. A beautiful view.

If you are going to visit I would suggest that any room in the .0 building with a number below 45 be rejected because of the noise. The service (with the exception of the front desk) is fantastic. It is quite possible to lay around the pool and only move to the pool and loo the whole day as the wait staff will even bring you food at lunchtime. I have never stayed at such a clean resort with such beautiful grounds(when tipping please don’t forget the general and ground staff).

The choice of activities during the day is awesome. There is a huge air conditioned gym, saunas, steam rooms, a spa pool (though be warned there is marble on the floor around this pool which is lethal when wet and there are no warning notices), yoga, tai bo, tai chi, cycling and much more which are all included in the price of your holiday.

There are two wonderful free form pools with swim up bars. However the holiday is sold as romantic and I believe this is false. There is constant muzak playing throughout the resort which drove us mad after two days and the general noise level is appalling. Shouting at your wife is never romantic. On one memorable occasion we went to the "quiet" spa side pool and we found some chairs partly in the pool. There was muzak behind us and then a jazz band started up in the restaurant nearby. As if that wasn’t enough water aerobics started up in another nearby pool. I turned round to my wife and shouted to her "romantic here isn,t it?". I think if we hadn’t kept our sense of humour we would have had a breakdown. There are two lovely courtyard areas which I was looking forward to relax in but this is not possible due to the general din and clatter. We did try a couple of times but gave up after a short time. If you feel the need to totally escape the music and noise there are only three places and these are the far end of the Spa Lagoon, the sauna and steam room.

The drink selection is good and the cocktails are great.My wife and I know and love good wine and sadly the resort wine is poor. The pool bars tend to serve weak drinks for obvious reasons and we found the strongest drinks at the Spa pool bar and the Spa lobby bar. If you tip the drinks will keep coming even without asking (turn around and another drink has appeared by magic). Now for the nasty side of this. We tended to avoid the swim up part of the pool bar as it was full of loud, drunk,obnoxious people shouting racist filth at the poor hard working staff. If you are one of these people please remember that when your ancestors were scrabbling around in so*** in mud huts the Mayan people were building one of the greatest civilizations in the world.

I loved swimming in the man made lagoons. There are lots of fish to see and you can get a snorkel and mask if you want one (included in the price of your holiday). There were lots of upset people there who were expecting a real beach and this is because the travel companies are not honest when describing it in their brochures. It should be sold as a positive as you could spend a week in Cancun and be unable to go in the sea. Here you are protected from the crashing waves by a coral wall and can always swim. We found the food wonderful (but not room service). The breakfast buffets are huge with an enormous choice of around 35 things to choose from. There is also an omelette station, French toast station and a wide choice of bread and cereal. In the evening we mainly ate at La Huerta as we are both vegetarians. The food here was true a la carte with wonderful tasting, beautifully prepared food that would cost a fortune if eaten at home. The service again was outstanding. It is supposed to have a dress code though a lot of people didn’t make any effort though the jeans and baseball cap brigade were made to look silly by those of us who had made the effort. I was rather annoyed as there are only two places with a dress code and these people could have eaten elsewhere.

The maid service is fantastic with towel animals, a spotless room and a turn down service at night. Please give large tips to the maids. One last word on our travel. We flew Premium class with First Choice airways and the service going out was very good. Coming back it was appalling with an unhelpful and grumpy cabin crew. I don’t think its worth £500 extra per couple for this service. On an 11 hour flight for that extra money you should be treated better.

First Choice have now dealt with our complaints about the rep and room to our satisfaction. Our complaint was dealt with quickly and efficiently by them and we would use them again because of this. My wife and I wouldn’t go to the resort again for the reasons given but we would go back to Mexico. 6/10.

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