First time to Mexico - Playa del Carmen

Aug 10th, 2000, 11:15 AM
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First time to Mexico - Playa del Carmen husband and I are planning a trip to Mexico Feb. 2001. At this point, we are leaning more towards Playa de Carmen and staying at Shangri-La Caribe in the beachfront cabanas? Does anyone know if they are clean, well maintained? Any other beachfront resorts that anyone can recommend in Playa del Carmen. Also...any restaurants that can be recommended too?

Aug 10th, 2000, 02:51 PM
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I'm sure you'll be happy if you decide to go to Playa del Carmen. We've gone there a few times over the years and it's still a great destination, despite the development. (Last winter, we couldn't believe how many more hotels and restaurants had cropped up since our previous visit.) In terms of restaurants, there are lots! There are many Italian restaurants and coffee bars. I'm terrible with names - usually I remember part of the name or some variation of it, so here goes. We liked a place on a side street (off Avenida 5) for breakfast. It's owned by Americans and they had wonderful cinnamon rolls - the best I've ever had - plus free refills of coffee. It had 'hot' in the name. It's open very early in the morning. There's a good pizza place more or less on the main square - it's been there for years - and it's called something like Mascaras (something to do with masks). Great wood oven pizza. We ate a very nice Italian meal at a place called Da Gabi - very pretty restaurant at the hotel of the same name. Oddly enough, the best meal I had was at the Thai restaurant on Avenida 5 - fabulous shrimp - slow service, but it was worth it. We were only in Playa for 3 nights last year, so that more or less covers where we ate. In previous visits, I remember a good restaurant called Media Luna, also on Avenida 5.

One point - a lot of places don't take Visa so make sure you have cash. There are several ATM machines so it's easy to get pesos.

If you get a chance, go over to Cozumel for a day trip. I'm not sure when carnival will be in 2001, but it could be in February. (Last year was March.) Cozumel has one of the better carnivals in Mexico and it's a lot of fun.
Aug 10th, 2000, 06:26 PM
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Shangri-La Caribe is quiet and private, with a very nice beachfront. I haven't stayed there, but the cabanas look well-maintained. Susan is right about the town growing up. Shangri-La used to be well north of the town, but the town seems to be moving closer. I assume that you won't be doing all-inclusive, so you can enjoy many good restaurants, mostly along the 5th avenue corridor. And try some places a block or two off 5th. I also had the cinnamon rolls, excellent. Also, you might try a new restaurant serving Mayan dishes that's quite good. I don't remember the name, but I believe its located on Calle 8 between 5th and 10th. And, one more note: the Shangri-La is located at Calle 38. You'll have quite a hike to the center of town, so you might want to do breakfast at your place, if it's available.

We've had some great times in Playa, so enjoy it. Actually, we'll be there again about the same time as you.
Aug 10th, 2000, 08:07 PM
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The cinnamon roll place is called the Bakiing Company, I think. If you want to stay closer to town, chek out Mimi del Mar, on beach between calle 2 and 4. Le Bistro on calle four is my favorite restaurant.
Aug 12th, 2000, 12:17 PM
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Playa is a good choice. Many good restaurants and good location to explore from! If you go to, you will find the best maps with great info on them for the area. Order one! It is a great investment! We ate a several good restaurants, Le Biestro was one and there was another, whose name I cannot remember (now isn't that helpful? - sorry, I can't rememeber)towards the north end of Calle 5 that was fabulous ... she also has the best pastries and breads for purchase that were absolutely lush! We also did the plane excursion to Chichen-Itza and it was fabulous!
Aug 14th, 2000, 04:45 AM
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Slightly off-topic but how much was the plane ride to Chichen-Itza. Was it from Playa del Carmen or Cancun. How long did it take, how regular were thr flights? what time did you get to Chichen-Itza, what time did you leave.
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