|Occidental Allegro Playacar||KJ — British Columbia, Canada|
I just returned home from vacationing at the Occidental Allegro Playacar (Oct 30, 2004 – Nov 6, 2004) and have to say I had a fantastic time! I was a little leery after reading some of the reviews before arriving but now that I’ve been there I realize that there are obviously some people who just can’t be pleased.
I was traveling with 5 other people and we arrived at the hotel around 7:30 – 8:00pm on a Saturday night. Upon arrival there was a beach party happening and it seemed to be an event that was enjoyed by all. This turned out to be one of the many fun activities put on by the hotel to entertain the guests.
I shared a room with a friend and found that the beds were extremely close together (probably 3 inches of space between the two) and were made of concrete slabs with a padded mattress on the top. It actually turned out to be really comfortable and I had a great sleep each and every night I was there. I guess a firm mattress is where it’s at for some of us and for the amount of time we spent in the room the proximity of the beds was a non-issue. When we first arrived there was a bit of a musty smell in the room but I imagine with the humidity and climate that is to be expected and the air conditioning alleviated that problem very quickly (or maybe I became desensitized to it).
The shower in our room didn’t have a full door (there was a glass partition that extended half the length of the tub) but the shower head was adjustable/removable and could be positioned to keep the water contained in the tub area. There was always hot water, clean towels and bottled water on hand. We did find tiny white ants the first night we arrived. They seemed to be in the bathroom on the floor, and in the tv cabinet. However, after the first night there they were no longer noticeable. The mosquito’s were more of and irritant than the ants. All in all, the rooms and public areas (including washrooms) were very well maintained and always clean.
Do make sure to check if your telephone is working periodically (if necessary). When we first arrived the telephone worked but, we were told by our friends that they were unable to reach us by phone and when we asked for a wake-up call one morning, we never received it. Our phone was not working. By the way, there is a $3.00 extra charge to make a long distance call from your room (on top of the long distance fee) but you can use the pay phone in the travel agency (by the bicycle racks) and you don’t have to pay the extra $3.00. I bought a 12 minute phone card at the hotel gift shop (about $10 US – standard price) but was not able to use it on the hotels travel agency phone so I had to use the phone in my room or walk to the little plaza up the street (4 minutes walking distance). It takes about a minute and a half of your phone card time just to connect to the person you are calling (I wasted about 3 minutes as I had to call twice because I got an answering machine the first time) so I would probably just skip the phone card next time and call collect.
We did notice that guests reserved their lounge chairs by the pool each morning so we did the same. We were expecting this as we had read it in the reviews beforehand. There never seemed to be a problem with seating availability, though. There was always an abundance. We only reserved seats so we could get six chairs together.
The food was very good. We mostly ate at the buffet which had a wide selection to choose from but it was pretty much the same foods offered every day. The wait staff was excellent and very attentive. If we needed anything all we had to do was ask. If you like bacon with your breakfast, you won’t find any at the buffet but if you ask your server, there is plenty to be had. At dinner I found the pasta to be especially good. Alcoholic drinks are mixed somewhat weak but will easily be made stronger, if you ask. We did try the Mexican restaurant one night and found the food there to be really good there too. You need a reservation to get into the Mexican Restaurant and the Italian Restaurant so make sure to book that soon after you settle in or you may not find a suitable reservation date/time. We didn’t end up eating at the Italian Restaurant for this reason but I did hear from a fellow guest that the food was good but the service was extremely slow (It took 2 hours to get their order). Bring your own straws if you like to use them as there aren’t any at the hotel. I brought straws, but never bothered to use them. For the record, I drank the water (I think all of it was bottled, but I’m not certain), had ice in my drinks (most drinks are made with crushed ice) and ate the fruit and veggies at the buffet and lived to tell about it.
The entertainment staff at this hotel were exceptional and made a great effort to make the guests feel welcome by socializing and including everyone in the activities. Most of the entertainment staff speak 3 – 4 languages (Spanish, French, Italian and English) so don’t be shy about speaking to them. I will always remember Adan, Oscar and Estaban for making my vacation a memorable one. In fact, all of the staff I came across (and there are many) was extremely pleasant and accommodating. If you speak to them, they will speak to you. Actually, I think they appreciate it because a lot of guests don’t always seem to make the effort.
The entire hotel strip in Playacar is secured at each end so we felt completely safe walking around day and night. Shopping in Playacar was within walking distance (20 min), or a 40 peso ($4.00 US) taxi ride. There was also a little plaza up the street about 4 minutes walking distance. We attempted to find a good local club to party at on the second night there but were unsuccessful. We tried Senior Frogs and Carlos and Charlies and were very disappointed as both clubs were virtually empty. We later found out from hotel staff, the names of some more popular hang outs. A couple that we tried and liked were The Blue Pearl and Captain Tutix (the washrooms at this place were rather grungy though). Both clubs are right on the ocean, it was beautiful.
During our stay we didn’t come across any time-share agents at all (and there is a station set up right in front of the hotel lobby). I would definitely recommend staying at this resort to travelers looking for a good vacation spot.
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|Occidental Allegro Playacar||Janie — Canada|
Having just returned from the Allegro Playacar(Nov 6,04) I wanted to write my review.This was my 4th trip to this part of Mexico in as many years and I was worried about the reviews I read prior to leaving. The Allegro was everything I had hoped it would be. The rooms were a little on the small side but definately enough room for the any persons needs. Food was great and between the six in my party all were happy with the choice of food. I have stayed in more expensive resorts that had less tastfull food. Grounds are pretty and very well maintained. Beach is great and the pools even better. The pool staff makes you feel so welcome and included in all activities. There was a very nice community feeling and we left our towels and even cameras at the pool when we weren’t there. Nothing ever went missing. Not one person in my party could really find anything to complain about and only one person had never been to Mexcio before so had no basis for comparison. We felt safe all times and the walk into Playa Del Carmen is about 15 min down a very nice cobble stone road. I would recommend this resort and don’t pay to much heed to the negative reviews.
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