Reef Coco Beach Resort – Mayan Riviera, Mexico hotels – Debbie's Tavel & Caribbean Resort Reviews



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Reef Coco Beach Resort – Playa Del Carmen  ~  Reviews Posted – 14

Reef Coco Beach Resort Photos:     1

Reef Coco Beach Bonnie ~ Lexington, KY

August 2005

Eight of us spent our family vacation July 14-21, 2005 at the RCB- 3 teenagers and 5 adults- and we all had a wonderful trip, despite Hurricane Emily! The resort was beautiful and well laid out, food and drinks were delicious, the beach was fantastic, and we were all very pleased with our 4 rooms. I have never in my life seen a staff so dedicated and hard working as at the RCB. Before and after the hurricane they were great, and during the evacuation they were even better. The amazing staff stayed all night in the shelter with us (even though some of them weren’t required to) and stayed awake all night keeping the guests safe and sane. I was amazed at the effort that was made to ensure our safety and comfort in a crisis situation. They provided good food and plenty of drinks, along with pillows and towels. They gave us updated information on the progress of the storm and went way above and beyond the call of duty to care for everyone. These same employees worked all day the next day(after being awake all night!) getting the hotel back in shape- even had a hot breakfast ready when the guests arrived back at 10am from the shelter. The clean up effort was incredible and they had the guests back in their rooms by the afternoon, despite all rooms having had several inches of water. Melina of guest services is a true angel along with Jorge Martinez and Miguel Lopez- just to name a few of the best employees I’ve ever encountered anywhere. We love and appreciate their true kindness and caring for others.

We all also loved the location of the resort- it’s nice being able to walk back and forth to Playa. In closing. I would highly recommend this resort to anyone and I would return in a heartbeat (even during hurricane season!).

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Reef Coco Beach Paul ~ Ontario, Canada

July 2005

I was looking to book a place for our honeymoon, and we wanted to pick a place with a nice beach and one that wasn’t too big. We were looking for a place that we could really relax, but have options to go exploring if needed. We picked The Reef Coco Beach because it seemed to fit the bill, was rated “5-star” by Sunquest and was really attractively priced.

To preface my review, I have to say that overall we had a very good time. We really enjoyed this first trip to Mexico, and want to return, as there is so much to do. My previous resort experiences included trips to Cuba (SuperClubs Costa Verde, and SuperClubs Jibicoa) and DR (SuperClubs Puerto Plata), and I’ll try to make comparisons to those resorts.

We choose a Monday flight package and did a stopover at the Holiday Inn Select by the Toronto airport. They offer one night’s stay, and you can park your car on their lot for up to 16 days, and it only cost us $95.00 via our travel agent. As an aside, this hotel is very nice, and I would recommend this route for anyone coming out of town for an early morning flight.

Our flight was uneventful, other than SkyService seating being very cramped. The line through Mexican immigration was lengthy, but I got the impression that they want to keep a good flow as they kept track of how long people were waiting. Customs was a breeze when we got the green “PASS” light.

After about a hour wait for our bus to leave, and 45 minute drive to Playa del Carmen, we arrived at the resort. The check-in was very quick since our bus only had 6 people.

We asked if they had us down as honeymooners, and were told that we hadn’t been listed as such. I gave them a copy of our marriage documentation, and we were supposed to get some sort of bonus, but it never came.

Our room (2263) was nice upon initial inspection, however come night time the reality of thin walls and an adjoining door set in. We could hear everything including the toilet flushing, people walking, the TV (at low volume) and even a can of soda opening. I disagree with the other reviewer stating that the noise is the fault of the neighbours. For a “5-star” resort to exhibit this type of design flaw is terrible. Luckily we were able to get moved into one of the upper corner rooms (2425) which suffered from no view, but had no noise problems. We were lucky that the resort was not overbooked, but this could have really been a disaster.

Summary of problems with the hotel:
(Major)

1) Noise problems in adjoining rooms. If you like your privacy BE WARY, since many of the rooms have this issue. Otherwise, immediately ask for a non adjoining room, although you’ll probably get stuck with a very poor view. 2) In room safe is available for a cost of $3/day. Although minimal, I think this cost should be included in the cost of the stay. It is somewhat disheartening to pay extra for a feature that is standard at many other hotels. The initial code (2556) that they gave us didn’t work in EITHER of the rooms, and it took them over an hour to come by and open it (both times). 3) Lack of iron/ironing board in the rooms. You need to wear some nice clothes to the restaurant and the lack of ironing equipment makes this difficult. Twice I tried to get one from the front counter and the first time it never came (after two phone calls) and the second time I was informed that they “ran out”. 4) Never received “honeymoon” bonus

5) The towel exchange counter has bad hours (closes at 5pm??) and upon one visit at approx 4pm, I was informed that they had “run out”.

(Minor)

1) Lack of alarm clock or other time telling device in the room. I asked about this at the front desk and they said “don’t worry, we’ll wake you up”, however on one occasion, they missed the wakeup call. After talking to other visitors to Mexico however, it seems that this is a common trend at most resorts…. 2) Upon one cleaning of the room, we were left with only one large towel. (minor)

3) No hot-tub, or at the hot tub was being renovated??

To be perfectly honest, this resort was a disappointment as a “5-star”. All of the other resorts I had been to had been rated “4” or “4+”, and in general, I did not experience any of the above issues. I think this resort should be rated “4” or “4+” tops.

In the positive side, the beach is probably the best in the area, however the view is somewhat spoiled by all of the docked boats. The food was fantastic; much better than Cuba and DR, both at the buffet and in the restaurants. This is a small resort however, so the buffet selection was smaller than I had previously experienced. The staff, especially the wait staff at the restaurants and the bar staff at the pool, are incredible and very friendly, as well as the animacion gang.

Off the resort, Playa del Carmen is a nice shopping town, however I found that the prices are quite high….in many cases higher than back home. It is extremely important to shop around as the prices very wildly! It is approx 15-20 min walk via the beach, or a $3/5min cab ride.

We visited Xcaret one day and decided instead of the hotel tour ($104 USD), to take a cab and risk it ourselves. We were very glad we did. We saved a bit of money ($10 cab ride, $59 USD admission), but mainly we were much more flexible. We were able to eat at the restaurant of our choosing (we at right on the ocean beside the dolphin aquarium). After the show, we caught a cab without even waiting. We were back to the resort before the other people even left on their busses.

The next day, I did a dive trip from a small operation in town. The exact same 2-tank dive offered at the resort for $90 USD, cost me $55 in town (plus cab fare).

I booked a trip to Chichen Itza, again in town for $45/pp, and we went on Friday. Unluckily, we ended up on a van that didn’t have working A/C. This trip is not worth it unless you are a real history buff. The pyramids are truly interesting, however they are 3 hours away from Playa del Carmen, so 6 hours in a hot van is not my idea of a good time. After that day I needed a full day to recuperate from heat stroke and dehydration. Even if we had a better bus, I wouldn’t recommend that trip. Luckily, we had two days to spend at our resort hanging out at the beach and the pool.

Overall, we had an excellent time in Mexico, and I look forward to going back. We didn’t have time to visit Cozumel, Cancun, Xel-Ha, etc, etc, so there is definitely lots we want to do still.

I wouldn’t stay at Reef Coco Beach again, mainly because I like to explore other resorts, but also for the fact that I think it is falsely claiming to be a 5-star facility. The problems with the room were enough for me to seriously caution anyone considering this resort, unless they will guarantee you a private room (doubtful). The lack of basic amenities such as a clock and ironing equipment (not just in the room, but general availability!), paying for bottled water and the room safe, and never receiving our promised “honeymoon bonus” left a bit of a bad taste in our mouths. However, we did receive an excellent price on the trip, so I wasn’t too surprised that the hotel wasn’t on par with some of the more expensive resorts.

The important aspects such as the bed, food, beach, pool and staff were great however, so if you get lucky with the room you’ll enjoy it there, especially if you get a good deal on the package.

I think Sunquest and Debbies is doing people a bit of a disservice rating this place a “5-star”, however I don’t have other Mexican resorts to compare against, but by my other travels, it does not rate any higher than the 4/4+ resorts I’ve stayed at (all “Superclubs” mind you).

Hope it helps!

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Reef Coco Beach Dave ~ Cincinnati, Ohio

May 2005

We just got back from The Reef Coco Beach Resort. We were there the week of May 12 thru the 19th. It is a very nice place to stay. We usually stay at huge resorts like the Pelatium or Iberostar. The Reef Is alot smaller and alot less walking. The town of Playa Del Carmen is very close , a three dollar cab ride. We went into town every nite for dinner and drinks. It’s nice to be able to leave the resort because it gets very boring just hanging around at a resort every day. I would surely stay there again. The staff were all very freindy and the resort is well kept. We took the ferry to Cozamel one day. Cozamel is a very nice day trip. We went over on the DelMar ferry. Just be careful how they tear your round trip ticket when you go over. They tore mine the wrong way and I had to buy another return ticket to get back. I don’t know if it’s a scam or it was a accident. I would recomend The Reef Coco Beach to everyone.

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Reef Coco Beach Matt ~ Toronto

March 2005

Background
We are a couple in our early forties with no kids. We have been to the RIU Palace on two previous occasions, so I will try to make comparisons where I can.

We chose the Reef Coco Beach because of its isolation and because of its smaller size. I wanted to experience the resort while it was still new and before more development occurred in the area.

Flight
We flew with Skyservice out of Toronto. The plane was small and the seats are too cramped, but overall the service was good.

Airport arrival
Cancun airport was extremely busy. We stood in a line that snaked outside of the building and we did not move for the first 15 minutes. Thereafter things got going and we somehow managed to get fast-tracked to the immigration desk, where our passports were quickly stamped and we were waved on our way.

We got the green light, zipped passed the timeshare ghouls, and made it to our bus. I let a guy carry our bags and gave him 50 pesos for his troubles.

Hotel arrival
10 minutes from the hotel we started steeling ourselves for any attempts to send us to the Reef Playacar because of supposed “overbooking.” I had read all the appalling stories about this practice and was ready for the onslaught. Be polite. Be firm. Speak no Spanish. And above all, do not allow them to send us anywhere else.

So imagine my surprise when the front desk clerk offered us a choice of rooms. He first offered us an ocean-front room for an extra U.S. $25 per day. We took a pass, and instead went with room 2359, which is on the southern arm of the horseshoe-shaped Reef Coco Beach, and in fact has a partial ocean view anyway.

To the best of my knowledge, all rooms at the resort face into the horseshoe, except of course the ocean-facing ones.

Room
We were given the choice of a king or two queens. We went with the one with the king, and the bed had the typical Mexican hardness. But I found it to be surprisingly comfortable. We have a pillow-top at home, and previously at the RIU Palace my back ached a bit after the first few nights. At the Reef Coco Beach, all was fine from the get-go.

The rooms are nicely appointed but not quite in the class of the Palace. There is a closet with plastic hangers, shelves, and a safe. Except that our room did not have a safe. I guess someone made off with it. The front desk clerk gave us a key to a safety deposit box at the front desk, but we never used it. We just put everything into our suitcases and then locked them when we needed those items to be secure.

The bathroom is brightly lit, more so than at the Palace, especially over the tub/shower. There’s no bidet, but there is a vanity mirror attached to the wall right next to the hairdryer. Several toiletries are offered by the hotel, including soaps, shampoo, and body lotion. Being not too particular, I used them, but ladies will of course use their own stuff.

There is no seating area as there is at the Palace, but there is a TV with video and audio inputs, good for those of you who want to check out your photos or videos on the big screen. I foolishly left my cable at home.

Also, there aren’t a lot of spare electrical outlets as far as I could see – something to think about for those of you who have to recharge camera or camcorder batteries. I made do with the outlet in the bathroom.

The balcony or patio or whatever is on the small side, and doesn’t have the great chairs nor the telescoping clothes line as at the Palace, but it’s no big deal. In fact, the Reef asks you not to hang your clothes out on the balcony; there is a retractable clothes line over the bathtub for this purpose.

Our view straight ahead was on to the pool and the restaurants, while to the right was the ocean. A perfect spot.

The floor of the room is ceramic tile. There is a chest of drawers with 3 drawers on one side and the mini fridge ensconced on the other.

The fridge is stocked every other day with canned Coke, Coke Light, Fanta, water, and Modelo Especial. As many of you may know, the Reef charges U.S. $1 to fill up the water. I found it to be no bother at all to take care of the water situation myself; each morning I would go down to the Miramar restaurant and fill up the bottles myself. But make sure you buy a few 1.5L bottles; the 500 mL ones are too small.

Our door had cuckaracha-proof weather-stripping on the bottom, which kept the little buggers out – I only ever saw one anyway, and he was out on the balcony – but man did it squeal when the door was opened.

Lastly, the walls are thin, and this is exacerbated by the doors that can be used to connect two rooms together for a large family. Noise is not a problem for me, but it is for my wife who is an extremely light sleeper. So please do us a favour: the next time you’re in one of these places, think twice about pacing the floor with your high-heels on. Think twice about slamming the door as you leave and enter your room. And please think twice before you blast your television set for the purpose of having background – foreground? – noise. You’re not at home and you should try to be considerate of others.

The hotel grounds
The hotel is located on Coco Beach, and at the moment is close to some of the poorer parts of town. I found this to be actually quite fascinating. Whereas in Playacar all is well-kept and organized, in this neck of the woods you get to see how many of the Mexicans live. And it is fascinating. If you get the chance, spend some time in the area – my experience is that it is safe – and pump some dollars into the local economy by buying a drink or two at a local store or by eating at one of the roadside grills just up the road.

The Reef Coco Beach is a horseshoe-shaped building right next to the Zubul Reef Beach Club and sits I guess right on top of where the former Coco Beach Club used to be. The lobby is in the part of the horseshoe that you would grip if throwing a horseshoe, while the rooms are in the arms. OK, I’m not a horseman.

Roughly speaking, it is a three story resort with approximately 200 rooms; in some places there is a fourth floor because of certain architectural aspects.

In the middle of the resort lies the pool, which has a meandering shape. At the western end near the lobby is a shallow kiddie pool. Near there is the part of the pool where the loungers sit on a ledge in the pool. In roughly the middle sits the swim-up bar and a bridge. The most eastern part of the pool is near the beach and the restaurants – it has a ledge for sitting and keeping cool.

The grounds are modestly decorated with native flora. If you’re the type that demands all marble all the time, lots of exotic animals, and a jungle-like atmosphere, then this is not the place for you. But if you like a nice clean environment and don’t necessarily need all that other stuff, you’ll be pleased.

Amenities at the resort include a gift shop, a beauty salon, a gym, a tennis court, and a basketball court.

The biggest difference between the layouts of the Reef and the Palace is that there’s a lot less walking to be done at the Reef. I’ll let you decide if that’s important.

The beach
The beach at the Reef Coco Beach is beautiful and all that you’ve come to expect of Playa Del Carmen. In fact, I will venture to say that the beach is superior to those of Playacar and certainly so of the beach in the main part of Playa Del Carmen.

I found the sand north of Constituyentes to be finer than that farther south. It just seemed more powdery and more inviting than what I have experience before in Playacar. And the beaches in Playacar are damned good, so that’s saying something!

As for erosion, there was evidently a lot of it going on in the area at the time of our trip, the worst apparently occurring at the Royal Hideaway. Up north, there was little evidence of it. There was a 1 foot drop by Mamita’s Beach Club; I’m not sure if that qualifies as erosion or not. It was at its worst in front of the PlayaDelCarmen.com web cam; in that location, there was a good four foot drop.

And at the Reef Coco Beach, there was nothing but a beautiful gentle slope into the water.

There are palapas at the resort, both couple- and family-sized, with lots of loungers. The towel game was being played to some extent, but like at the RIU Palace, we never had any trouble finding good seats by the pool or on the beach. I sometimes wondered if the resort was full or not.

The sand is raked some mornings, and having snorkelled through most of the roped-off area, I can report that that ocean floor is mostly sand. The water is crystal clear on calm days, not so on windy days. Speaking of wind, it was unusually windy on the first two days before things calmed down.

As most people know, boats moor just outside of the roped-off area that defines the Reef Coco Beach swim area. I did not find them to be an eye-sore.

Beyond the boats is a reef; I never ventured out there as it looked like a bit of a swim. On one particularly wavy day there were actual surfers out front of Zubul, and I think they were bailing out before they reached the reef. Seems like a smart move.

The beach to the north of the resort is free of other buildings. This is the area, particularly on Sundays, when the local families come for a fun day out. And fun they have. I saw friends whooping it up in the surf, boyfriends and girlfriends getting close in the water, kids making sand castles, parents partially burying their kids in the sand, and above all, lots of food and drink. Every adult had a beer – mamas, papas, tias, tios, abuelas y abuelos, and no one got drunk nor were there bottles strewn about the place. I think every cranky neo-prohibitionist has something to learn from the locals.

If you like walking on the beach, this is the place for you. There are abandoned – at least I think they’re abandoned – huts on a point far up the beach to the north. And to the south there are the neat little cabins at Shangri-La Caribe, as well as Mamita’s Beach Club and other sites on your way south to the pier at the Porto Real. Both walks are 100% sand all the way.

The guests
I’d say the guests were mostly American or Italian, with a few of us Canucks sprinkled in, and perhaps a few Brits mixed in as well.

I saw a gamut of actions and reactions, from a guy who handed the bartender an American one dollar bill with each drink order, to the guy who thought that the bartender with a limited grasp of English would understand if he just repeated his order three times. People are people.

Animacion team
I’ll come clean up front: I don’t like animacion teams. I like to relax on holiday, and I don’t liked being bugged nor do I like being assaulted by tacky announcements and music.

So I’m quite happy to report that the Reef Coco Beach had just about the best Animacion team that I’ve ever encountered. They had the goodness to leave you alone if you indicated you didn’t want to participate. And I even ended up participating, a thing I rarely do, because they were so engaging.

But really the best thing about this group of people is that they had great personalities. I found them to be very amusing and entertaining, especially the head guy from Chile, whose name unfortunately escapes me.

These guys and gals should train all other Animacion teams, in spite of their odd predilection for wearing outrageous wigs.

Restaurants
OK, not quite up to RIU Palace standards, but that’s OK with me as we like to dine in town as much as we can.

The Miramar restaurant is the main buffet restaurant, and there’s enough food there to keep you from starving. There’s not nearly the selection as at Don Julian’s at the Palace, but I think you’ll probably find enough to keep you happy.

At breakfast, there’s the usual fare: made-to-order eggs, waffles, pancakes, fruit, meat, cheeses, cereals, juices, yogurt. The one thing I missed were the blended fresh juices that they have at the RIU Palace. The bread also wasn’t quite as knockout good as at the Palace. No champagne either.

The Italian restaurant, Rosinella, is upstairs on the second level next to the Mexican restaurant. You must make reservations that morning in the Miramar. I was up early most mornings, so this was not a problem.

I give the Italian restaurant a good rating. I had a pasta dish that seemed authentic, and not like the pasta interpretations that you’d get at the buffet. The Tiramisu however was not that good. Avoid.

The Mexican restaurant, Sabor, was also good. I started with some tamales, and then moved on to a chilli and chicken dish that was good but didn’t inspire.

We ordered dinner from room service the first night as my wife was sick. They have a limited room service dinner menu, but it was nice to have that option available.

To my mind the best restaurant by far was the snack bar by the pool, El Palmar. Wings, ribs, rotisserie chicken, burgers, fries, pizza, sandwiches, guacamole, tostadas, etc were all on the menu. It was nice to be able to take your plate back to wherever you were sitting, be it by the pool or on the beach.

Room 2366
It became apparent pretty quickly that there is a special beach-front room on the third floor of the southern arm. From the beach, the balcony looks three times the size of others, and the windows are different too.

We passed the door to the room each day going to and from the beach. My curiosity was piqued by the fact that the room has its own door buzzer outside.

Finally one day when the maid was making up the room, I poked my head inside and saw what was there: a large room that seemingly is set aside for Reef management and/or other VIP’s.

There is a large living room area that is bigger than any of the other rooms in the resort. It has a couple of couches and a biggish – 32”? – TV. There was also a desk strewn with papers.

A large kitchen is just off the entrance with a stove and a full-sized refrigerator.

And although I didn’t see it, I presume that a bedroom existed adjacent to the living room area.

Best of all, there’s a Jacuzzi on the balcony. Going to town
The farthest north I had ever made it on previous trips was the intersection of 5th Avenue and Constituyentes, and now here I was well north of there.

5th north of Constituyentes is very interesting. Near the hotel are parked the construction trucks of labourers. A little further sit a block of stores, hotels, and restaurants, all previously unknown to me. There is a definite Italian flavour to the area; in fact, I believe this is the Italian end of town.

I think it took me about 15-20 minutes to walk from the hotel to 5th Avenue and Constituyentes, which is a little bit faster than the time it used to take me to walk from the RIU Palace to Juarez.

We generally paid 30 pesos for a cab to 5th Avenue and Constituyentes. In fact, it was generally 30 pesos to go anywhere. 5th and Juarez? 30 pesos. Chedraui? 30 pesos. Once I paid 25 pesos to get to Constituyentes, and once I paid 40 pesos to get back from Juarez, but they were the exceptions.

Sadly we only ate a few times in town. We had lunch at El Oasis on Calle 10, and we had the shrimp tacos, each costing 12 pesos. We had dinner at Ajua and Limones and enjoyed them both.

My wife made some purchases at her favourite knick-knack store in town, and as well bought some silver necklaces. I was on the hunt for Mexican soccer shirts and managed to snag two.

Beer
I am an appalling beer snob. The Reef Coco Beach has Corona and – thankfully, at least by Mexican standards – Negra Modelo on tap. As I said, the mini fridge in the room is stocked with Modelo Especial.

I looked all over town for Casta, Mexico’s only micro-brewed and certainly best line-up of beer. It was readily available in 2002, but to my knowledge has disappeared from the area. Even Covi didn’t have it. I should have asked them if they had any Noche Buena left over. Hmmm.

Other drinks
I’m not one for liquor, but as far as I can tell they stock top-shelf booze at the Reef Coco Beach.

Although I have to say that once at dinner in one of the specialty restaurants I accepted the offer of a Grand Marnier. The drink was nice, but it wasn’t Grand Marnier.

Also, the bartenders at the RIU Palace make a very good Mono Sucio. The bartenders at the Reef Coco Beach could learn a thing or two from them.

Shows
We only went to one. I admire the hard work that goes into these things, but there’s a lot I want to see and do at night. But again, I tip my hat to the performers, many of them who put in a full day as part of the Animacion team before they go on stage. I don’t know how they do it.

Banking
As a Scotiabank customer, one of the beautiful things about Playa Del Carmen is that there are to my knowledge two Scotiabanks in town, both with ATMs. One is at 5th and Juarez across from the bus station, the other is at Calle 10 and Constituyentes. It’s just like banking at home, except it’s in Spanish and you receive pesos.

If I’ve done the math correctly, I was not charged any service fees, probably because I’m a Scotiabank customer and I maintain the minimum balance that keeps me free of service charges at home.

A couple of days before the trip, the exchange rates were these:

1 CAD = 8.88566 MXN
1 MXN = 0.112541 CAD

Side trips
We didn’t take any this time. Here are the prices from what Sunquest had on offer (all prices in U.S. dollars).

Chichen Itza – $75 Coba – $85 Tulum & Xel Ha – $103 Jungle Crossing – $99 Xcaret – $75 Swim with the dolphins – $125 Catamaran to Isla Mujeres – $89 Captain Hook Pirate Show – $85

Bar hopping in Cancun – $50

Gory hotel details Miramar continental breakfast hours: 6:30 – 7 am Miramar regular breakfast hours: 7 – 11 am Miramar lunch hours: 12:30 – 3 pm Miramar tea time: 5:30 – 6 pm Miramar dinner hours: 6:30 – 10 pm Miramar late snack: 10 – 2 am (I think this actually is hosted at the El Palmar snack bar) El Palmar snack bar hours: 11 – 6:30 pm Tobacco & Ron Lobby bar hours: 6 pm to 12 am Azul 48 pool bar hours: 11 am to 6:30 pm Papo’s Sports Bar hours: 5 pm to 2 am Arrecifes theatre hours: 9 to 11 pm Rosinella’s seatings: 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, and 9:30 pm. Pants and closed shoes for men. Same for the Sabor Mexican restaurant. Pool open from 6 am to 11 pm. Towels have to be returned by 5 pm. Tennis court open from 8 am to 5 pm. Night tennis can be had for U.S. $3 per person. Water sports from 9 am to 5 pm. Bicycle rentals are from 9:30 am to 12 pm, and again from 3 to 5 pm. The gym is open 7 am to 9 pm

There are two internet-ready stations largely unseen just off the lobby. The charge is 20 pesos for every ten minutes, and you need to have coins, not bills. I found it much better to make the 10 minute walk to El Point on 5th Avenue where the charge is 5 pesos for 15 minutes, 10 for 30, 14 for 45, and so on.

Flight home
The Cancun airport was a bit of a disaster going home, not surprising since we were getting into the Spring Break season. Many people had to stand for lack of seating. Our flight left 1 ½ hours late, but not to worry.

It’s always sad leaving but we’ll be back soon. And we’ll definitely be going back to the Reef Coco Beach.

Pictures Please see my pictures at

http://community.webshots.com/user/pdc_matt1
http://community.webshots.com/user/pdc_matt2
http://community.webshots.com/user/pdc_matt3
http://community.webshots.com/user/pdc_matt4
http://community.webshots.com/user/pdc_matt5

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February 2005

We stayed at the Reef Club 2 years ago (February 2003) and had a great time, such a great time we had family members who wanted to come back to get married there. So we returned to the Myan Rivieria and stayed at the Reef Coco Beach January 29 -February 5th. The facilities were great, the staff were wonderful, and the food was great. The activities staff worked hard to keep everyone entertained and did a great job. We celebrated the wedding, on a picture perfect day, We also celebrated my daughters birthday, The ladies in the entertainment staff organized a party complete with games, hot dogs, pizza, pop, cake and of course a pinata. It was a birthday my daughter will never forget. The weather was fantastic, we had beautiful, hot sunny days every day except for the last day there which I suppose was good, because it allowed us to pack and get ready to head back home. It was a great vacation. The town of Playa Del Carmen is a short 5 min ($3.00 USD) trip via taxi and there is lots to see and do there… Only suggestion, purchase bottles of water in town, they are less money and you can keep them in the fridge in the hotel room. Bring plenty of sunscreen, for kids, 45 may not be high enough, the sun is very strong, try min of 50… J

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Reef Coco Beach Tom & Carol ~ Manitoba, Canada

February 2005

My wife and went to this resort for two weeks from Jan.8 to Jan.22.Out of the fourteen days there,we had one day at 19 c. and one day with rain in the afternoon,with the rest of the time in the low 30,s..
We have traveled to many resorts,but this one is the best by far,as the food-beach-room service-and the Bar supply are second to none.We would recommend this Hotel to any one wanting a small hotel(200) rooms with instant access to the pool,beach or any restraurant on their property

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January 2005

Went to the Reef January 6 – 13. Nicest place I have ever stayed. It is quite small which I prefer, right on the Ocean, which is what I wanted and near enough to Playa Del Carmen to walk if we so choose. Went with my husband and 16 and 13 year olds. They all loved it. The food was very good, the drinks were great and the specialty restauants made you feel that you were in a very expensive place back home. Would go back here in a second.

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Reef Coco Beach Louise and Lynne ~ Canada

January 2005

Arrival
We took a charter from Toronto on Skyservice, left 2 hours late due to a computer glitch regarding an engine. It was fixed in no time and we were off. Arrival at Cancun Airport was smooth, entertaining bus tour guide with a stop for Corono beer. Because we were the closest resort to the airport, we were the first ones off the bus.

The hotel Attractive lobby – we were the first to check in. We were assigned to a first floor hotel room. Unfortunately, it did not meet our requested requirements. We went back to the front desk and spoke with Liza (wonderful and helpful lady) who quickly checked to see if there was a 2nd or 3rd floor room with double beds. Found one to our satisfaction and we crashed. It is now one o’clock am, midnight Mexican time.

The next day, we explored the hotel. It took less than an hour to find out where everything was. There is a sports bar (smells of cigarettes – but go outside and sit at the tables overlooking the ocean), a pool bar (great drinks), the buffet bar, and the lobby bar (entertaining – Luis is a great bartender). The hotel is horseshoe shaped – the noises can often be heard in the hotel room. We were fortunate to be in a quiet location (room 2247) so it wasn’t too big of a problem.

The room
The room was clean, decorated nicely, with a nice view of the pool, pool bar and ocean. Found out the beds were a little hard. When taking a shower, the water temperature often changes from hot to cold when you least expect it. There was a clothesline in the shower, which was great to hang bathing suits at the end of the day. The safe was fun to use but be aware that there is a small cost to use the safe. The fridge was stocked every other day with beer, soft drinks and water ($1.00 per bottle) which Sunquest is trying to change. Please do!

The food
Buffet restaurant – adequate for breakfast, ate there twice for supper – lots of variety and service was excellent.

There are 2 specialty restaurants – Italian and Mexican. The Italian restaurant was excellent and service was superb. Many choices of pastas and other dishes. The desserts were to die for. Ask for the 3 Chocolate Sinphony (yes, it was spelled that way).On the other hand, the Mexican restaurant is an adventure. Not your traditional Mexican food – no tacos, fajitas, or quesedillas. Just weird salads, and alot of things we didn’t recognize. The wine was good and same desserts were offered as in the Italian restaurant. In order to reserve for these 2 restaurants, you must be willing to get up before 7 am if you want a 6:30 or 7:30 sittings. The 8:30 and 9:30 sittings are way too late!

The beach
BEAUTIFUL! Lots of beach chairs and palapas. Sand is like talcum powder. Beach up to first dock towards Playa del Carmen is just as nice but after the first dock, it changes big time! Very little beach and coarse. Many boats are tied up so you have to jump over ropes while walking. If you want to meet some interesting people, you must go to the public beach. Very entertaining!

Staff
The Animation staff are hard working young people, especially Christine and Zoahaila. Kudos to Leslie for her tremendous choreography of the shows, especially the nativity scene on the beach on Christmas Eve. Very memorable!

Guests
Mostly Canadian, mostly families. A special hello to Dave, the firefighter, and family from Niagara Falls and to undercover agent Mike and his wife Sue and children Steph and Jeff from Ottawa and the Kitchener family – fun people! Hey Aaron – how’s the moose?

Activities/excursions
Didn’t do anything but walk the beach and lounge on the beach and drink! The Corona on tap and the daiquiris made it difficult to leave. However, Cozumel was just a 1/2 hour ferry ride away. Playa del Carmen was 1/2 hour walk from the resort but we opted to do NOTHING but RELAX. We did our last minute shopping in the gift shop in the lobby of the hotel – beautiful jewellery store open 10 am to 10 pm but not on Christmas Day.

If you like small resorts, beautiful beaches and being treated well by the staff – Reef Coco Beach is just the place to go.

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Reef Coco Beach Shelly & Marni — Victoria, B.C. Canada

November 2004

Went to Reef CocoBeach Oct. 16-23, 2004 with my Mom (thanks to Dad for planning this for us)!!! Had a blast!!! Our review is done in sections from beginning to end. Hope it helps travelers!

Flight to Cancun: good flight, but I hate having to be on a plane for so long (I know, anyone from Europe had twice the amount of time in the air!!) We were second in line for going into the airport, and were taken into the immigration line up … people ahead of us had left Vancouver 3 hours prior to us and had been in line for 2 ½ hours!!! We were through Immigration, got our bags, through Customs, found our Sunquest rep, had our luggage & ourselves on the bus in 45 minutes!!! Record time, eh???

Bus trip to resort: Jorge made the trip fun!! We were the closest resort, but were the last ones dropped off … had a great gang from SFU with us, Chi, you are a SAINT!!!

Tour staff: only saw her once that was at the end of day 1 …. Didn’t want any trips anyways!!

Check in: quickly done, which was good as we were tired!

Front desk staff: Alfredo is the best! Always courteous staff.

Room assignment #1: we had NO SAFE in our room, so requested another room …. taken care of the next morning.

Safe: our Rm # 1 had it’s safe out for repair in Cancun??? Rm #2 had a safe that didn’t work …. Kept our cash and Visa cards in the safety deposit boxes at the front desk!!! Mission accomplished.

Room assignment #2: exceptional location, Rm # 2316 looked out onto the quite end of the pool and we could see the resident cats lounging in the sun on the grass below us every afternoon! (only heard one cat fight)!

Bellhops: very helpful, in our room switch especially!

Cleaning staff: We always left a tip and some kind of goodie from home for our room cleaners … a huge part of a holiday for a mother is NO making food, doing clean up, or picking up after your family!!! That’s why we really appreciated the cleaning staff!!

Buffet Breakfast: Mom had fruit & toast a lot (her fav) but I had fresh eggs with a variety of accompanying yummies! EXCELLENT normal coffee!!! The best!

Servers: Jaime, Delamira were always there with coffee in hand!!

Chef: morning omelet makers were great and always remembered what you liked from day to day!!!

Pool: AWESOME!!!!!! ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!! Spent 5 hours a day in the water.

Clean up/pool maintenance staff: very hard working gentlemen, pool clean except for some white sand at the corners of the pool sides on the bottom. Folks coming from the ocean, remember to rinse yourself at the ocean/poolside showers before getting into the pool.

‘Animacion’ Staff: Damien, Christine, Zouhaila & Melina (kids club) were THE BEST kids … they are ALL hard working and their families must be VERY proud of them!!! Worked 8 am. til 5 pm. then back for evening activities (8 pm. til MN at least) and only one day off a week!!!!!! Kudos to them all!!! They were not pushy, but friendly & informative when asked questions by visitors! They even TRIED to teach me Spanish!! Brave souls!

Beach: FAB, I had never seen turquoise water/ white sand beach before so I was blown away!!! The sand is NOT HOT to step on (something about it being ground up coral!?!?!) Some ladies with bare chests, but we played ‘Rate the Boobs’!!!

Lunch counter: good service & the BEST guacamole I’ve ever had (Mom even LOVED it too); tostados with a side of guac. For lunch, then coconut ice cream with Kahlua drizzled on it for dessert!! Yum!

Pool bar staff: Great staff, they laughed at my ‘no spill’ Tupperware cups (16 oz. … take your own, you won’t regret it!!) Clean up staff phenomenal … love their towers of used glasses!

Al A Carte rest (Italian): Servers/ food (ate here twice) most variety here & servers remember you from other days in buffet as they work everywhere

(Mexican): Servers/ food (ate here once) okay, but not a lot of variety, service great though

Dinner at buffet: good selection, and hot too … liked ASIAN night, different theme every night!

Evening shows: took in two, they were great, especially the Mexican dance night!! We were usually in bed before 10 pm.

Room Service: 3 dinners from room service, small selection but tasty treats! Love the desserts especially! Very prompt.

Jewelry store staff: Jose, Juan & Manuel gave very good prices and much better selection than in town at 5th Avenue. My family loved the silver I brought home.

Hotel front door staff: always pleasant when we came & went from the hotel

Sister resort (Reef Playacar): we went one afternoon, very closed in and jungle like. Separate buildings 3 stories tall. Buffet lunch had not as many selections as Cocobeach, but service was great. Pools small, with not nearly enough sun beds. Nice gift shop.

Cabs: Very nice cabbies, one lovely leather seated cab cost us $1 more … Mom says it was worth it (leather soft as butter)!

5th Ave. shopping: noisy, we walked to town along the beach (25 min.) on the hottest day (yuck) so did not enjoy that much and found better deals at the Reef Playacar gift shop and Playa Del Carmen Mall (on far side of town)

Check out: warned to check out evening prior to departure, did so, and got late check out for $10/hour extra (well worth it, as we stayed at the pool till we had to shower & change into travel clothes)

Guests: Couples from Holland, Belgium, England, and Italy nice … one lady from Texas, and a Boston Red Sox fan from Louisiana!

Tipping: everyone deserved something, anywhere from $2 – $10!!

Cancun Airport: dirty, hot (no A/C), cramped; and the washrooms are DISGUSTING!!!

Flight Home: Okay, but sad to leave Mexico, as my Mom & I really did enjoy each others company, and we had one week of the best ‘people watching’ ever!

I will return with my husband, but want to try Cuba first. Very memorable vacation with Mom, and appreciate being so well cared for so far from home! Gracias.

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Reef Coco Beach Amanda — Ontario, Canada

September 2004

Hi Debbie,
First things first, I love your site. I am a Canadian Travel Agent and often recommend it to my clients if I don’t personally know of a property they’re interested in. (I’d love to be able to see them all!)

I visited the Reef Coco Beach in Playa del Carmen from August 8th – 22nd 2004 with my boyfriend, my brother and his girlfriend and we absolutely LOVED it.

ARRIVAL: We flew business class on Air Canada non-stop from Toronto and arrived a little bit earlier than anticipated. We got into the airport and were escorted by a pleasant airport employee to the customs area… and all I have to say is WHAT A MESS, I think 3 flights landed at or around the same time, and there was a nightmare of people trying to line up, and get through. For those of you who know the Cancun airport, there are escalators that you have to go down to get to customs, and they ended up having to stop them since people had nowhere to go once they reached the bottom; involuntarily pushed into the forming crowd by the moving escalator. WOW! We took so long getting through customs, we almost missed our transfers. They definitely need to be more organized in Cancun… But we’re in Mexico, on vacation, we quickly put that behind us.

THE HOTEL: The lobby of the hotel is very nice, it’s not grand… like say the RIU Palace but is has a beautiful bar, sculptures, comfy couches and tables to sit at and it’s open concept (aka no air conditioning). The hotel is only 200 rooms and in the shape of a horseshoe, and because of it’s small size you can see the beautiful beach right from the lobby when you first arrive. Check in was quick we arrived at 1:00 pm and rooms typically aren’t ready until 3:00 pm. so we got our AI bracelets and went straight to the pool and snack bar.

THE ROOM: Once we got to our room we were pleasantly surprised. What beautiful décor! The rooms were clean and modern with gorgeous colors on the walls and equally beautiful art. The air conditioning was working well, and our room was cold and comfortable. The washroom was beautiful; I wasn’t scared to have a bath in that tub! There was a hair drier in the washroom, and also a vanity mirror for makeup application. The mini fridge was stocked every other day and included things like coke, diet coke, beer, and water. The maid’s seem to come and clean as soon as we left. A number of times I had realized I had forgotten something back in the room and by the time I had gone back, maybe an hour later, our room was always done.

THE FOOD: The food was great, we ate at the snack bar for most lunches since the buffet was a little bit of a hassle to get dressed and go have a “sit down” lunch. The snack bar offered selections like hamburgers and French fries, pizzas, quesadillas, roasted chicken… and our favorite, nachos with cheese and guacamole. They also served a great coconut ice cream (but they had other flavors as well)

The buffet restaurant at dinner looked good, but we never ate there since we always had reservations in the a la carte restaurants. We were planning on eating there on our first night, however, we ended up sleeping through dinner since we were so tired! The Italian restaurant was our favorite. They had great pasta dishes like spaghetti carbonara, or penne amatriciana, they also had a good seafood selection, but since I’m allergic, I didn’t have any of these. The desserts were out of this world, and the presentation was phenomenal. The designs on some of the dishes we were brought were incredible, all done with edible syrups of course! We tried the Mexican restaurant, and although the service was great, the food was just simply not for us. I wasn’t particularly fond of an unidentified spice that seemed to be in EVERYTHING! We also tried the room service for a later snack a few nights, we had the “Flying Dragon” combo which consisted of a turkey breast on a fresh French baguette with all the trimmings plus fries. It was brought to us promptly and it was fresh and warm when we got it. We also tried the room service for continental breakfast. They brought us freshly squeezed orange juice and a basket of croissants, danishes, and muffins.

THE BEACH: The beach was gorgeous, beautiful turquoise water and white sand. The only complaint I have about the beach was all the boats docked in front of the resort; there were tons of them; although I didn’t smell any gas fumes. I also liked the beach here because it was so close to the pool. I feel much more comfortable leaving my belongings by the pool than out on the beach, so we always had a palapa by the pool and then went to the beach for a swim since they were right next to each other.

SERVICE: We had amazing service throughout our holiday; everyone from front desk and the waiters, to the friendly room attendants, and gardeners. We had a lovely time at the Reef Coco Beach and not only am I going to SAY I’m going back, but I’ve already booked for April 30th 2005, for 15 nights. I can’t wait, and neither should you!

If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me directly at amanda@omegatours.ca

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Reef Coco Beach Frank — USA

September 2004

TNT shows this resort as a five star location. In my opinion it doesn’t rate more than a two or three for two basic reasons, viz., management and building design.

We had to call many times to get our room made up, to get the fridge stocked, to find out why there was endless construction noise overhead ( repair of a leak requiring removal of a tile floor) , difficulty in getting the attention of the check in staff , repeated unsuccessful requests for catamarans or kayaks days after Hurricane Ivan had left the area for points north. The staff is young , energetic and friendly but it’s hard to find someone in charge.

The U-shape design of the resort has all rooms facing in where there is a pool and an incredible amount of noise, amplified music and loud games all day. There is no place to hide to get away from the noise. The beach could be a wonderful place except for the smell of garbage rotting in the sun at the north end. The rooms are not especially well decorated and the plumbing is Third World. If anyone in the hotel flushes a toilet or starts to shower you run the risk of freezing or scalding. Coco Beach has none of the tropical gardens found in other hotels with three and four stars. The food is ample and the two specialty restaurants acceptable.

We have stayed at many Riviera Maya resorts and this place does not begin to compare with Iberostar and others.

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Reef Coco Beach Jennifer in Ontario

August 2004

My boyfriend and I (age 21) visited the Reef Coco Beach Resort for one week, August 15-22, 2004. We had never been to Mexico and found this trip to be quite perfect.

Arrival:
When we got off the plane, we ran to customs and still had to wait for almost an hour. It was really hot and the line seemed to go on forever. Once we got our luggage, we were off to get our transfer to the resort. There were many companies trying to call you to take their cabs, but we had pre-arranged our transfer so we left them and went outside. Outside the airport, there were drivers holding signs with names of different travelers. The drive from the airport to the resort takes about 40min. The rooms weren’t ready until 3pm but we received our towel cards and were lucky enough to have family that had been at the resort for the previous week as well as the week we were staying, so we put our luggage in their room and headed for the pool.

Beach
Beautiful. Water was clear, and luke warm. Clean beach. Only problem were the boats that were just left for days in the ocean in front of the resort. Quite the eyesore. The reef kept the water calm and not too wavy. The pool was great too, the animation team had activities every day for all ages. Pool volleyball always got everyone up and moving!

Food We ate breakfast in the buffet restaurant and found that it was satisfying, they only had bacon or sausages a couple of times, but the had omelets and eggs made to order. Fresh fruit, yogurt, croissants and cereals were available as well as fresh juice and milk. If you don’t want to get up for breakfast, a continental would be sent to your room on request. For lunch, the buffet had a great variety of food, including a create your own pasta dish. We mostly ate at the snack bar. It was more convenient as you didn’t have to put on a shirt over your bathing suit. The snack bar had the BEST nachos with guacamole I have ever had. Fresh baked nachos and the guac was just great. The hamburgers were also fantastic, but ask for them well done! Pizzas were available as well, not thin crust either.

I can’t comment on dinner at the buffet as we ate every night at an a la carte. You have to get up early and make the reservations as they are only made daily. The Mexican a la carte left a lot to be desired, my boyfriend enjoyed the chicken and I heard that the coconut shrimp were tasty but I couldn’t even finish my meal as I thought it was awful. The Italian restaurant, on the other hand, was amazing! There is a salad bar and every meal is started with Bruschetta, we even had 2 and 3 plates of it a couple of times, it was Fantastic! There is the option of soup, which tasted great and then Pasta or Meat of some kind. Since we were often hungry, we got a small plate of pasta and the meat dish. To die for! And don’t skip desert! It was awesome as well! For those people who get hungry late at night, room service is available until 10pm and the snack bar in the buffet stays open until 2am( I think ).

Accommodations
The rooms are a nice size with the majority of them having at least a partial beach view. We had room 2246. The room was kept in immaculate condition with housekeeping even folding our clothes on occasion. The air-conditioning was wonderful and the bathroom was very clean. The minibar was refreshed almost daily. At most, every other day. The hotel provided mini shampoos and soap. There was a hairdryer in the bathroom along with a magnifying mirror for applying makeup! How convenient! The T.V. had many English speaking channels incl. HBO and TNT. The only downside was that almost 100% of the channels had captions reading in Spanish. This was nothing more than a little distracting. Telephone in room was convenient for room to room calling and room service. Also there was a very easy wakeup call button… *4 then your wakeup time (24hr clock). The only complaint about the rooms, and virtually the whole resort, was that there were no clocks. Anywhere, so it was very difficult to be on time for reservations, unless you had a watch. Or, you could use the wakeup call feature!

Bars
The resort has 4 bars (that I remember), The swim up pool bar, the bar at the buffet, the lobby bar and the sports bar. The pool bar was nice, hard to get service, just because the woman at the counter was really busy. The lounge was relaxing (there was also a bar in the auditorium for shows, no iced drinks though). The sports bar had a pool table and gitoni. All very nice atmosphere. CORONA is always available on tap.

Tours
The only tour we took was to Tulum, the bus ride was airconditioned and our tour guide was very nice, but boring. We ditched the guided tour and searched around for ourselves. We found out that the bus ride with the locals to Tulum was 50c and entrance was $4. We spent $36ea. Even though we spent far too much money, the tour was gorgeous. The scenery was amazing. Well worth the 1/2 day trip. Also, Xel-ha (Shell-ha) was gorgeous, we never went but the pictures we saw were great and the people that went had no complaints. Apparently the best snorkeling around. We also went Para-sailing….. do it… for $45/person, it was a great rush and the view of the ocean was breathtaking!

Playa Del Carmen – 5th Avenue
Ahhhh the shopping district! Only a $3US cab ride (5 min), well worth it if you want to pick up souvenirs! They have everything from tee-shirts to clay pottery, picture frames, cigars, liquor, shot glasses, sombreros etc. We went ther almost every other day. Trust me, take your first trip there, look around but don’t buy anything. Once you’ve seen the whole strip, then make your purchases! You can also talk them down…. Don’t pay too much for what you’re getting!

All in all, I believe that this resort is well worth it’s 5 star rating. It was beautiful, the staff was courteous and friendly, the food was awesome and I would definalty return to this resort. Better that the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus (Close… but better!)

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Reef Coco Beach Akam — Canada

January 2004

My husband, myself and our two children, girl aged 15.5 and son aged 14 went to the new Reef Coco Beach Hotel in Playa Del Carmen from Dec.28 – Jan 4/04. We live in Vancouver, B.C. Canada.

We had a wonderful stay. Although this was our first time at an all-inclusive and cannot compare it with others, we were extremely satisfied with our stay. We’re not totally convinced this a 5-star hotel but certainly a 4-star. The staff are to be commended for their high quality of service, help, courteousness, friendliness, etc. They were always so willing to please and so cheerful. Great with the kids too. We have nothing but good things to say about the staff and the accommodation. We stayed in rooms 2212 and 2213. Although one review suggested these were the worst rooms in the hotel, some changes had been made before we arrived. The pool bar and seating area is just below these rooms and because of previous complaints of noise, this bar now shuts down at 5p.m. and the lights turned off so there was absolutely no noise. As far as we are concerned, these turned out to be fabulous rooms, just a few steps to the pool, restaurants and other amenities. Would ask for these rooms again. Some of the rooms facing the beach have hammocks on the patios which would also be nice. The noisiest rooms were in the main section not far from the lobby which is the theatre is where the evening entertainment is held.

The food was very good at all the restaurants, the buffet was always very nice, food fresh and replenished frequently. New Years Eve dinner was especially nice, with all waiters in black tie and suits, serving champagne and very good wine with the incredible all you can eat lobster tails, and all imaginable trimmings and amazing desserts.

The pool/snack bar served really good food, pizzas, hamburgers, Mexican food, ice creams, fries, etc.

The hotel itself is not very large but very nicely built and very well appointed rooms. Large rooms, tv, phone, blow driers in bathrooms, endless clean towels. We found if we left a little note in the morning when we left our rooms, that beverages for the mini fridge would be replenished daily. A $1 US tip with the note seemed to make a difference. Our bathtub drain plugged one day but a call to the front desk brought a repair crew within minutes.

Our only complaint if you call it that was that the activities advertised for 12-16 year olds (which is what led us to book here in the first place) were non-existent. Perhaps it’s because the hotel is still so new. There was a pool table, a foosball table, an X-Box and that’s about it. The x-box games and all the other board games were locked up at 5 p.m. which left our teenagers with nothing to do all evening. This is the only area that needs to be improved as far as we were concerned. The evening shows were of a fairly poor quality but I’m sure the size of the hotel makes it difficult for them to attract expensive acts. The children enjoyed them as there was lots of audience participation. The beach offers boogie boards, snorkels, kayaks,sailing, etc. and all a lot of fun. Not quite enough surf however. It was a bit windy during our stay but not enough to impact anything we did. It was still very hot.

The beach, compared to others down the way, was the best. Very gorgeous.

Unfortunately, I suffered an injury near the end of our stay (absolutely nothing to do with the hotel, staff or anything else there) and we had to contact the 24hr. on call Doctor. We have never had to do this before in all the years we have traveled, but within 30 minutes the doctor came. He was very nice and spoke reasonably good English. We had to call him in again the next morning and again was there within 15 minutes. The only drawback, was that we had to pay in cash so luckily we had enough spare to do this. If was a great relief to be able to be treated so quickly and competently when so far from home.

All in all, we decided that we would definitely return to this hotel as it was a truly beautiful, relaxing place. Never a battle to get a beach chair, lots to go around, beautiful pool and swim up bar. The activation team was a lot of fun and had a lot of energy. Check-in took about 5 minutes. Very efficient.

Hope you will go there one day and have as nice a time as we did.

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December 2003

We visited the Reef Coco Beach in December, one month after it opened. I love the location on a gorgeous beach, just a 15 minute walk north of Playa del Carmen. Much less crowded than the beaches of Playacar (south of Playa del Carmen). It is a small, compact resort and very easy to get around. The rooms are in 3 and 4 storey buildings that are built in a horseshoe shape around the pool. The food is average for an all-inclusive, with a buffet plus 2 specialty restaurants for dinner (reservations required). One nice feature is the snack bar that offers made-to-order sandwiches, pizza, burgers etc. for lunch. The entertainment staff is great – they alternate weeks between working here and the Reef Club Playacar. Very energetic and talented group of young people. During the day they provide activities such as aerobics, volleyball, etc. and in the evening they do stage shows (great dancers!), Mexican night, Disney night (fun for the kids), casino night. You also have exchange privileges with the Reef Club Playacar if the show you want to see is at that resort the week you are there (its a 14 night rotation). The drinks are good; we enjoyed the Corona on tap and wonderful margaritas. They even had waiter service at the beach!

The kids club is small with usually only 1 staff member, but both of the girls I met who ran it were wonderful with my son and spoke good English. It is more for younger kids age 4-8; older kids would be bored there. If your child is celebrating a birthday just let them know, and they will provide a pinata party and birthday cake. All in all, I think that this is a great choice for families who prefer a smaller resort at a moderate price. In low season, kids stay free! I have posted my photos at this website: www.geocities.com/reefcocobeach.

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