|Hacienda Tres Rios Riviera Maya||Jim ~ New York|
I arranged private transportation from the Cancun airport, about a 45 minute ride. We were greeted by an exceptionally friendly staff and were presented two flutes of champagne, in a magnificent lobby. A perfect start.
Christian brought our bags to our very spacious room, #1317, which had two queen beds, a balcont that looked out over the grounds, pools and ocean, toward the sunrise. The bathroom was big enough to comfortably allow us to address our preparations.
Restaurants and Bars
We began each day at the buffet for breakfast, which included omelets and continuous mimosas and/or bloody marys. The "Hacienda Grille" at poolside provided delicious fare all day long. Dinner choices included an exquisite Mexican restaurant, which presented artistic dishes that were delicious. A quiter option was an alternating(changing every day) Asian/Italian restaurant. Being from New York, I find that Italians run the best Italian restaurants, and so forth. However, the meals we ate at this location were excellent. The most enjoyable meal of our stay came from the Hacienda Grille, which opens for dinner on Sundays and Wednesdays. Our dinner there on Wednesday was a fantastic grilled seafood extravaganza. During dinner a saxaphonist strolled thru the dining area, serenading us with "Kenny G" style instrumentals that were very enjoyable.
The pools were immaculate, the grounds continuously manicured, but in a rather unobtrusive manner.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
There are tours on the property designed to educate guests on the resorts commitment to being green. We visited the gardens and a cenote with "Osiris" who led us on a kayak tour of one of the three rivers back to the ocean.
Other Comments The most outstanding feature of TresRios was their staff. From the omnipresent head chef Oscar, his assistant Samuel, the captain of their Mexican restaurant, Amador, Veronica, Laura, Anayira, these folks could not have been more friendly or accomodating. We were actually saddened to not be able say farewell to those that were not working when we left Thursday. Another very enjoyable feature of our stay was the absence of 15 thru 25 year olds. We have three of them home, and did not miss the drama of this age group one bit. Except for two days when it seemed that the music system was hijacked for periods of time by water aerobic enthusiasts, we were soothed by classical/instrumental music that significantly added to the relaxation we sought. If you are looking for an unharried escape, TresRios is an excellent choice.
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|Hacienda Tres Rios Riviera Maya||Marv & Sue|
Ph: (800) 224.4231 FAX: +52 (998) 891.5264
Arrival: January 28 – 31
Our travel agency staff arrived at the Hacienda Tres Rios (HTR) within 30 minutes after arranging for our Alamo rental car at CUN International Airport. The ride on Highway 307 South was both pleasant and smooth.
NOTE: Keep a sharp lookout on your left side for the big white “Tres Rios” letters marking the entrance to the park because the entrance was not well marked as we headed towards Playa del Carmen. If you reach Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda, make a U-turn and head back – you’ve gone ½ mile too far.
The resort, opened in November, 2008, sits at the beachside of Tres Rios Nature Park. After a three minute drive through the mangrove jungle, we arrived at the entrance to the resort where our luggage was unloaded quickly and the car whisked away. As we entered the simple but elegant air-conditioned lobby, we were greeted by several staffers who offered cold towels and a glass of bubbly. We soon found that all of the staff greet everyone warmly throughout the property all of the time, even the construction workers throughout the property because it is still undergoing its “soft opening.”
The standard size here was a spectacular junior suite – 645 sq ft – two double beds or one king, dresser, pull-out couch, table, and two side chairs. It was very well lit with accent lights at all the right places. The safe was laptop-sized and state-of-the-art. There was an in-room minibar re-stocked daily with bottled water, soft drinks, and beer. Wi-Fi Internet access is available throughout the resort at no extra charge.
Each room has an alarm clock with iPod adapter, coffee maker, flat screen satellite TV and DVD player (movies – no charge). Rooms come with: hair dryer (a strange and less-than-effective new design), slippers and plush robes, pillows menu, three layers of deluxe 300-count Egyptian cotton linens. Turn-down service is automatic and the housekeepers are marvelous. Electrical current is 110 AC and there are outlets everywhere. Tap water is purified but we, as travel agents, always recommend using bottled water in foreign countries.
Some rooms have a double Jacuzzi but every room is oceanview and has a terrace or balcony. There are one- and two-bedroom suites, handicap-accessible facilities, connecting and non-smoking rooms. When construction is completed (we were told by August, 2009), a “Spa Junior Suite” category will also be available.
Beach, Pool, and Grounds
The resort has a small footprint in this otherwise enormous nature park. It sits in front of a small section of its one mile long virgin beach. The water was cool and not clear – a bit “silty” from storms at sea and the beach at the swimming area had to be groomed by a crew of workers constantly. The white coral sand is smooth and easy to walk on. Mexican culture frowns on topless bathing and there were no vendors along the beach.
There are no trees so the only shade on the beach comes from umbrellas – four comfortable lounge chairs per umbrella and there were more than enough during our stay. Occupancy was very low. However, judging from the way they are developing relationships, we think that they will be proactive and anticipate needs before they become problems when the resort is close to, or at, capacity. There are two large swimming pools, umbrellas, ample lounge chairs and unlimited access to plush beach towels. There were no designated adults-only or kids-only areas.
Weather and Bugs
There was a delightful breeze while we there which probably accounted for the fact that there were no mosquitoes or bugs to speak of. When the sun was out it was in the very comfortable low- to mid-80’s. We had occasional showers, to be expected this time of year (end of January).
Restaurants and Bars
Here we had a small disappointment. Because there weren’t enough guests, not all of the dining facilities were being staffed. Casa Las Islas, the main buffet restaurant for BLD, is terrific. Offerings are presented artistically, not just shoveled into serving trays. Each item is identified by clear signage so that you know what is in front of you. There are two show cooking areas. Jimmy, the maitre d’, has his staff constantly replenishing popular choices and they take pride in their work.
La Joya, the Mexican venue, was the only one of the five planned specialty restaurants open during our three-night stay and we dined there twice. Jose Luis, Jimmy’s older brother and La Joya’s excellent maitre d’, was very active. We felt that the gourmet nature and ambiance of this restaurant was outstanding. We usually choose ala carte service rather than a buffet wherever we go on a cruise or to a Caribbean resort, especially when fine dining is the all-inclusive option.
Hacienda Tres Rios’ brochure promises four more specialty restaurants when the place is complete: Italian, Asian fusion, Grill, and seafood. There is 24-hour room service, a sports bar and a pool-side grill which also provides drink and meal service on the beach. We can’t wait to return in a year or two to see this place when it’s going full blast!
There are two bars serving sandwiches, a large sports bar, a lobby bar, a patisserie, and tea-time with martinis. Alcohol is top shelf, premium brands. There are some choices of wine at dinner but we weren’t offered a wine list.
Staff and Service
One of the most endearing qualities of HTR is the genuine friendly spirit of the staff. Considering that the place opened only three months ago, it is remarkable how well they work together and communicate with clients and staff from all over the world. All those who work there seem to value their responsibilities and want to help you in any way possible. There is a concierge assigned to each building from 8am to 11pm. We thought Virginia, our concierge, was fantastic – there wasn’t anything that was too petty or too complicated for her to fix, solve or answer.
There is a day camp program for children ages 5-12. It was not very active or well-developed when we were there. Given time it might be an adequate “drop-off” center for younger children. Because of the low-key, mature ambiance of the resort, this program might never be anything more than an activity center for an hour or so.
Tours and Shopping
Unique to HTR is the ecological system in which it resides. Guests have daily ability differentiated snorkel, kayak and swimming experiences in the Nature Park usually a $70-90 per person charge for non-guests and similar tours elsewhere. Only six miles from Playa del Carmen, HTR is an inexpensive taxi ride to the best shopping and nightlife in the Riviera Maya.
Golf, motorized water sports, fishing, horseback riding, wave runners, ATVs (Rancho Loma Bonita is best for the last three excursions), and many other day trips can be booked through your travel agent.
This resort is a winner for adults or for a family expecting to spend quality time together. As travel consultants who have been all over the Caribbean and Mexico, we would rate Hacienda Tres Rios in the top 20 of the over 150 all-inclusive resorts we have seen.
Sue & Marv Weber, owner/mgrs
Marvelous Travel, Inc.
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