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Beach Vacation Riviera Maya - best beach without HUGE AI?

Beach Vacation Riviera Maya - best beach without HUGE AI?

Dec 30th, 2014, 07:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 3
Beach Vacation Riviera Maya - best beach without HUGE AI?

Planning a trip for February, 2 adults and a very active 9 year old boy. Was looking at some AI's but so many reviews on TA, even for the highest rated ones, say the food is sub-par, you can't get a chair at the pool or beach a lot of the time, and that so many beaches have tons of seaweed and/or are too rocky for swimming.

So here's what I'd love to find - a great beach where we can swim right out of our hotel and not be plagued by tons of seaweed, although we'd also travel for some good snorkeling; would go AI or non-AI, we're okay either way, but we would like some activities/amenities on site like tennis courts, boating, etc. We often travel in the US renting houses through VRBO, but I feel like down there we might want a little more taken care of for us, plus be somewhere where there would be other kids around, but we are definitely wary of 1000 room hotels. Suggestions? Thanks.
diamond99 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2014, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 523
I am not sure where you got your info on the Riviera Maya but take it from me... it is way off. The Riviera corridor is full of beautiful beaches and cristal clear waters ! There might be a bit of seaweed in Puerto Morelos but that is about the extent of it. From what you wrote, I would concentrate on Playacar, for all the reasons you mentioned... Beautiful AI, white sandy beaches and turquoise waters !
Rohelio is offline  
Dec 31st, 2014, 01:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,991
I like Akumal, nice snorkeling from shore, enough restaurants to keep you busy. There are pangas you can rent to go fishing, $180 for 3-4 hours plus tip to the captain, there is also the Kantaris catamaran which will take you on a snorkeling trip to a deserted beach and serve you lunch. I did see a tennis court near Las Casitas when driving to and from Half Moon Bay in May, not sure who it belongs to.
Otherwise the main marina is in Puerto Aventuras which has some hotels, condos, etc. It is a gated community.
jamie99 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 10:51 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 809
Playa del Carmen checks some of your boxes. Nice beach, great restaurants. Not good for snorkeling, but easy access to great snorkeling spots. It's an easy ferry ride to Cozumel, which might be a good option for you (I've never vacationed there; I just did a day trip from Playa).
andrews98682 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 05:30 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I also think the Playacar area of the Riviera Maya would fit your needs.
Look into the Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal. It is smaller than some of the other resorts in Playacar. It is on a beautiful beach and has a jungle type atmosphere with monkeys, birds, etc. It is on a beautiful beach and had plenty of activities for your children. It is a short ride or 20 minutes walk to Playa del Carmen.
schmerl is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 09:47 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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Thanks all for your suggestions! Schmerl, I've seen many of your comments on this forum and you seem to have a great knowledge of the area. I'm homing in on one of the Iberostars probably - wanted to try to be down in Akumal but it looks like both the Hotel Akumal Caribe and Akumal Beach Resort are booked for when we wanted to go. Does anyone have good alternative suggestions for Akumal Beach area, not Half Moon Bay?

However, the jungle type surroundings of the Tucan and Quetzal might be a good alternative. Our only worry there is still noise as they are still pretty big resorts. We're not big nightlife people so quieter is better - guess we'll just try to find out which part is quieter (I imagine not around the pool) and try to get a room there.
diamond99 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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diamond, there is not a lot of lodging right on the main Akumal Bay. Besides Hotel Akumal Caribe (my longtime favorite) did you also look at the Villas Maya bungalows, same owner but not beachfront although you get to use the pool and palapas at HAC. There is also Las Casitas, two bedroom condos, great beach but no pool. Cannon House I believe has pool privilege at HAC and last there is Taj Kumal. It changed to a B&B in October 2014 but not sure if it's Adults Only or not, supposed to be very nice and has a good pool. That is pretty much it, after that you need to look at Half Moon Bay. I stayed last May at Playa Caribe on Half Moon bay, AC, nice pool, great caretaker and they have a reverse osmosis water system so you can drink the tap water. If you are worried about getting to Akumal you can rent bikes from Hotel Vista del Mar, or golf carts from Mexicarte just inside the arches for $40 a day (frankly a small rental car would be just about the same amount of money including all insurance). Hope you find what you are looking for.
You can also check out lodging at locogringo.com, used them many times and they live there.
jamie99 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2015, 03:46 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 3
I'm not sure if you meant Las Villas Akumal when you said Villas Maya - I couldn't find something by that name but I just made a reservation for Las Villas. We decided the AI choices just weren't for us. Las Villas Akumal are on the beach, seems like a great location. Only thing lacking is a tennis court but maybe we can find someplace to play. Just have to figure out where we do food shopping (seems choices quite limited - where have others gone near Akumal?) and book the flights! Thanks all for your help.
diamond99 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2015, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,991
Hi diamond, No, this is the property I was referring to:
Las Villas Akumal is supposed to be nice, we met a woman last year who was staying there and my travel buddy and I have it on our short list of about 5 places to stay this year. It is not in Akumal proper, and it is best to have a rental car to stay there, think it is in South Akumal, a bay or two away.
jamie99 is offline  
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