We visit the Merida area every year and drop into the Reef club. It is quiet, beautiful setting, lovely beach, great margueritas. The winds like all along the shores rise around 2p.m. It is usually sunny and we just love the people. Curtious, good sense of humour. A very safe place to be.
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After reading the reviews I felt obligated to write my own and show potential travellers other aspects of vacationing and how to turn Merida into an advantage. We are a couple (31 & 36, no kids). We travelled all over the Caribbean and this was our first time travelling to Mexico.
Yes, the ocean is useless, the pool is cold and it’s in the middle of nowhere. But we knew that from previous reviews. If we just wanted to have a beach vacation doing nothing we could have chosen something in Cuba or DR. But instead, we took advantage of the price of this vacation package and the close proximity to the Mayan ruins. We had one of our greatest vacations.
The excursions were half price compared to Cancun prices, using the Internet was almost free ($3 US an hour), and there was a free shuttle every day to Progresso. Once a week there was a trip to Merida which is, by the way, a beautiful city.
The ruins are magnificent. We had 3 excursions to different sites and then 1 day we went to Merida. We were passing through typical Yucatan villages, stopped in larger cities on the way and our tour guide was one of the best we’ve ever had anywhere. Honestly, we had no time being upset regarding the ocean. On windy afternoons me and my husband just went for a long walk, we collected sea shells and just enjoyed the quietness of the beach. Only the waves made a rhythmic and calming noise. We smiled at other couples and families on our stroll whom we befriended later.
The resort is small, almost like family run. I liked that. The food was excellent, very very delicious. It’s true that we had to arrive right on time otherwise it was cold. The rooms were typical of a 3 star, nothing fancy but it was definitely clean and functional.
Would we go back? No, but only because we went there to visit the ruins. If that’s what you are after, I recommend this resort 100 times more than any one of them in Cancun.
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|Reef Yucatan||Beata ~ Canada|
Windy Reef…Will never go back.
My family and I booked an all inclusive vacation to the Reef Yucatan in Merida. It was our first trip to Mexico. We arrived with great expectations but unfortunately we were greatly disappointed.
Although the hotel is very nice and everyone works very hard to keep it clean it is basically in the middle of nowhere, away from towns and other resorts. It is surrounded by spooky, abandoned hotels, which made us feel very isolated. There is nothing within walking distance. Transportation back and forth to sightseeing requires too much time and cost a lot of money.
The beach is very dirty and not very dirty and not nice for walks. It is full of garbage, dead fish and seaweeds. The ocean is very murky and smelly. There is absolutely no entertainment available whatsoever, rather the odd afternoon bingo and ping pong. There is no watersports available, and due to the fact that the wind is blowing all day long, the beach is deserted.
The pool is very nice but the water is freezing cold. I do not understand why they don’t heat it up knowing that swim in the ocean is out of the question. During our stay all quests were just sitting around the pool wishing for that the water was a bit warmer or the ocean a bit cleaner.
The nightlife at the resort does suck. They have one show every night which is quite entertaining but that’s all. Then there is the disco, which is not really happening.
The food was ok but very repetitive, and you have to get there before it’s all gone.
The staff is very good and service is great. You want it they will get it, and they always have a smile ready for you.
Overall, we’ve made the best of our vacation but I would not go back to this hotel or this part of Mexico.
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|Reef Yucatan||Gloria and Dan ~ London, Ontario|
We were a party of 8. We truly enjoyed ourselves, through we wanted a beach vacation, that was impossible, the water was very rough and dirty(muddy).The beach itself was beautiful to walk on, except for the trash that was out of the hotels’ zone.The food was good and plenty of it, but not always hot. The rooms were nice, nothing fancy, but clean, the bed were hard, but this was a plus for us.Any trip you took off the resort was very well priced, except that the resort only gave you 6.5 pesos for a Canadian dollar, in Oct 2005 in Cancun,they gave us 10 pesos for a Canadian dollar. The service was the best we had ever encounted at a resort. I wanted a drink, so the bartender climbed a tree to get me an coconut, now thats service!! The only problem I would like corrected before I would return is the POOL,IT WAS COLDER THAN GEORGIAN BAY IN DECEMBER, we spoken with the front desk and Martha but it was never made warmer. Martha, the guest service manager, was fanastic, she would do her best to get things done for you.
Would we go back? Yes, keeping in mind that it is not the beautiful Caribbean.
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|Reef Yucatan||Audrey ~ Canada|
Our party of five arrived home on Feb. 8th from the Reef Yucatan. We probably wouldn’t go back there again because we couldn’t go into the ocean. That likely isn’t the resorts fault, but Mother Nature’s. We were told that in March the beach and water are beautiful, I guess that our timing was wrong. The white sand beach was very long, which was great, as we like to walk, so that was good. If you like to collect shells, it was fun for that. Not many people sat on the beach because of the cool wind. Maybe the end of January is not the best time for that location. It is also very isolated. . The pool was very cold our first week, but warmed up the second week. The pool is fairly large and nice to sit around.
The rooms we had were very basic and not up to a 4 or 5 star resort in cleanliness. (dust bunnies, sinks and tub not as clean as they could be. ) Bring your own kleenex, shower caps and face clothes.We felt sorry for the maids, they are likely overworked and we heard that all the help are poorly paid. If you take down gifts (panti-hose, cosmetics) for the maids or t-shirts for the waiters, you need to give them something in writing to show that you gave them it, or they won’t be able to get it off the premises. We were told that there is a deep financial depression, so any money in tips is greatly appreciated.
A lot of returning guests filled out the comment sheets and it was mainly about the food and coffee not being hot. Possibly the next lot of tourists down won’t have that problem.
The staff and waiters were very friendly and helpful. They really made our holiday!
The one a la carte restaurant (beach restaurant) was magically transformed four nights a week and the food was very good, also the service.
Twice a week they had a themed dinner in a large room (the disco and entertainment room). One night was Mexican and the other Caribean. They did an excellent job of decorating (white chair covers and coloured napkins). The food was hot those nights, the entertainment was quite good, but only about half an hour.
Due to the ocean condition, you couldn’t scuba or snorkle and we only saw kayaks out once.
If you haven’t done very much travelling, or aren’t too picky, you might just love it. Because of the little niceties that are lacking, I would have to rate it as a 3 star resort. BUT if you got it at a super cheap price, and just wanted to get out of the winter for a week or two– GO FOR IT!! Just don’t expect frills.
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|Reef Yucatan||Rick ~ London, ON, Canada|
We just spent 2 weeks at the Reef Yucatan
It is a pleasant resort. Our first impression was not great. The first room they gave us had no safe and looked quite old. The second room was greatly improved and I believe looking back that was because the furnishings were older and fewer in the first room. The room was quite clean and the maids were very good. The food at the buffet was not bad for an all inclusive. The snack bar food was usually cold but if you asked they would heat it up for you (French Fries etc.) The nightly entertainment left a little to be desired it was almost entirely the rec staff. They did have one local dance troop come in once a week and one local singer, there was no live local bands. The worst part of the resort was the ocean. It was never clear and when it was rough it looked like mud rolling in. The beach was quite nice with white sand but very few went in the water at all. We were very disappointed that there was no snorkeling anywhere nearby. Pools were nice but few people used them except to quickly cool off because by mid afternoon it was usually quite windy. We had a relaxing time and made some good friends but would not return because of how dirty the ocean was.
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|Reef Yucatan||Steve ~ Canada|
First off, we would like to thank Debbie for this excellent web site.
We recently visited the Yucatan Reef in Merida Mexico from January 18-25th, 2006. Reviews of this resort were very scarce on the internet and to be honest, we had never even heard of Merida so we were obviously taking a bit of a chance. The chance was well worth it!!
We flew out of Toronto with SkyService and arrived at Merida about 4 hours later. A one hour trek on a bus followed as the resort was located on the beach, north of the airport. We have travelled to all the major Mexican resort destinations, but this one was the most secluded of them all. It was a little scary as we arrived to the hotel zone when we seen a couple of resorts that looked as though they had lost the battle with some hurricanes recently. We were glad to see that the Yucatan Reef somehow escaped the path of the hurricane, which, depending who you talked to, happened a few months or 6 years ago. Obviously, for the good of their tourism industry, hush-hush is best when it comes hurricane damage.
A little slow checking in but the service was friendly as we were greeted with drinks and warm smiles. We optioned to upgrade to an oceanview room at checkout. It was well worth the $60 US. The resort is small, I think around 150 rooms or so, in a villa type setting but unlike massive villa type resorts of the Dominican, you do not require a tram service to get around the resort. The resort was very clean and neat. Rooms were simple, bed a little hard, with a small TV. (Guys, you know we love our sports and need those highlights when we are away but don’t count on ESPN or anything like that as you only get a couple of english channels, including CNN where you might get a small glimpse.)
There was only one a la carte restaurant but because we enjoyed the buffet restaurant so much, we didn’t use it. We also don’t eat fish or any seafood, mainly what they offered in the a la carte. The Reef Yucatan may have had the best "resort food" we have ever had, breakfast, lunch and dinner, including the snack bar. A wide variety of tasty foods, that even us picky eaters thoroughly enjoyed.
Perhaps the beach itself was the only really disappointment at this resort. We arrive the day after a wind storm that really stirred up the water making it a brown, sandy colour- not very appealing to swim in. The sand is white, tons of shells, but again, the rough waters brought in a lot of plants and debris. The pool was clean and nice but a touch on the chilly side. There is a constant breeze blowing through the resort so you never really get too hot.
In summary, the Yucatan Reef is a very nice isolated hotel in the Merida area.
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