Ikal del Mar

Old Nov 6th, 2002, 06:46 AM
  #1  
JohnH
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Ikal del Mar

I have a reservation for Thanksgiving. Has anyone actually been there? Any suggestions on which "hut" to request? Thoughts on meals and day trips? What is the crowd like? Thank you.
 
Old Nov 9th, 2002, 08:07 PM
  #2  
gina
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How much of a concern is "turista" at a place like this?
 
Old Nov 16th, 2002, 10:56 AM
  #3  
chris
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I am extremely sensitive to "tourista" and usually pre-medicate myself before going to Mexico. I did not take or need anything at Ikal del Mar. They provide plenty of bottled water, and the water from the faucets is purified on the property. They go out of their way to mention that fruits and vegetables are washed in purified water. No Problem at all!
 
Old Nov 18th, 2002, 06:44 PM
  #4  
Sheila
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Just returned from 6 glorious days at Ikal del Mar. Far and away, it is the most romantic place on earth -- secluded in lush jungle gardens, extremely private, gracious staff that caters to every whim, villas that feature plush feather beds with Egyptian cotton sheets draped in mosquito netting, private outdoor shower in a little flower garden, a sanctuary-like spa lit only by candles where they bring you bowls of fragrant lemon tea while you soak. . . We spent the week swinging in the hammock on the terrace of our villa, sipping wine; walking the rocky shoreline; lounging around the quiet of the pool while staff brought cool towels for our heads, drinks in hollowed-out coconuts and set table linens and china by your chaise for the slightest snack. If you want tennis, golf, gambling, big groups of people, constant activities -- this isn't the place for you. It is for restoring the soul and the romance in your life -- after dinner by the starlit pool, walking through the jungle path, lit only by lanterns, to find a poem laid on your pillow and the bed prepared like a wedding night -- this is heaven. Only downsides: although the food got better as the week went on (don't order salads), it was a disappointment as per five-star gourmet standards and sometimes there was a bit of a language obstacle with the wait staff. We ate two nights in Playa del Carmen (Yax-che and Ajua, both good). There was some evidence that the kitchen might've been changing hands. If it does finally meet the standards the rest of the resort has set, Ikal del Mar will be incomparable. P.S. Don't be offput by the rutty, winding dirt road that leads to the resort. Heaven is, indeed, at the end of that mile-and-a-half stretch.
 
Old Nov 19th, 2002, 06:32 PM
  #5  
chris
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Sheila we must have been at Ikal del Mar the same days you were there. If you liked Ikal del Mar I suggest you also try Maroma. I agree with you on several of your points ie the beauty of the spa, the wonderful rooms, the non "5 star" quality food... But I also disagree about a few points. Did you know that in order to eat by the pool there was a $50 additional service charge. Romance has a price. We also thought the beach area at Ikal del Mar was one of the worst we had ever seen. It was unswimmable and the color was not a Yucatan turqoise. While we were there they were planting palm trees which someday may provide necessary shade to sunbathers. Without umbrellas on the beach, there was no break from the intense sun. I thought the service at the beach and the restaurant was sloppy. Sometimes it took forever to order a drink and othertimes 3 different people would ask if we wanted something to drink in a 5 minute time frame. When the drinks would finally come they were very watered down. We saw people sending drinks back. Another disappointment about the property was the air conditioners. Instead of listening to birds, we only heard the drone of air conditioners, which you are forced to use only because the rooms are not equipped with ceiling fans. Our analogy for Ikal del Mar was that it was like a dumb blond, beautiful, but nothing upstairs. Maroma is more like a brunette, maybe not as striking but stronger in substance.
 
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 06:43 AM
  #6  
thereuare
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After reading these reviews, the positives sounded very similar to my stay at ceiba del mar (also in the Maya Riviera), which i HIGHLY recommend.

You can do a search for my recent review, but my newlywed bride and I had a GREAT time here. Once again, if you're looking for crowds, nightlife, turquoise water, then this isn't the place... but if you're looking for relaxation and romance, this place is awesome (check out the Romance Package which will save you a considerable amount of money).
 
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 07:38 AM
  #7  
Peggy
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I asked this on another thread but didn't get an answer. What are the beach conditions? Too rocky or rough? Is there kayaking or sailing available at Ikal del Mar. Seems with what I am reading we can cross this resort off our list....too bad!
 
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 09:10 AM
  #8  
Chris
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Peggy, This hotel did not have sailboats that you could use. They did offer scuba trips however. People were having a difficult time walking out to the boat because of the rocks and strong waves. Definitely a very rocky beach. Unfortunately because of the garbage that washes upshore walking down to a less rocky area is not even appealing.
 
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 09:43 AM
  #9  
x
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WOw. I've gone from thinking this is where I want to have my honeymoon, to completely marking it off the list. Thanks for the heads up on the beach Chris. The resort sounds beautiful but I'm not go somewhere that doesn't have a nice beach.
 
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 03:05 PM
  #10  
kk
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Chris--you mentioned Maroma--could you tell me about this resort--we ae booked for Feb. and was considering Ikal Del Mar--but that idea is out now because beach is important to us--Thanks!!
 
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 10:56 AM
  #11  
chris
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If a nice beach is important to you, I highly recommend Maroma. We were there in July. The beach had no rocks, the color was amazing and the hotel daily raked any seaweed and/or garbage. There was maybe one day when there was a change in the direction of the wind that the water became kinda murky, but otherwise it was perfect. Maroma has about one dozen pallapas on the beach, which was a nice break from the July sun. On the beach if you want a drink you just put up a flag, otherwise you were left alone. Ikal del Mar had no means of signaling when you wanted something. Ikal del Mar's rooms were amazing, but who spends time in their rooms and why would I fly to Mexico to sit by a pool? Hope that helps.
 
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 03:54 PM
  #12  
kk
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Thanks for the reply Chris--another question for you--what is your favorite hotel or resort in Mexico and why??? Thanks again!!
 
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 04:29 PM
  #13  
chris
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I'll begin with my credentials. We've been to: Anguilla, St. Lucia, St. John (2x), Lanai, Maui, Grand Cayman, Provinciales, Nassau, Cozumel (10x), and the Mayan Riviera(2x). We've also bicycled Vermont, California, Italy and France. Of all the places I've been Maroma wins for #1 Best Beach, #1 Best Couples Only Resort and #1 Most Romantic in my opinion. We are not big resort kind of people (We hated Atlantis). This hotel has something like 29 rooms and alot of property. I think if these are your preferences than you will love this hotel. If cool rooms are your prefernece and American amenities than you won't like it (we ran out of water twice). The rooms are not luxurious, but had a wonderful Mexican ambiance. BTW I bought my package from Luxury Link and got a great price.
 
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 06:10 PM
  #14  
Peggy
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Can you tell me if the resort had any watersports available like kayaks or sailboats or if snorkeling is an option. Last I heard a big all-inclusive was being built next door & was wondering if the beach seemed "crowded". We have also been to many small resorts, all through the South Pacific, pacific coast of Mexico, Belize & Caribbean but always looking for something new. Your previous posts have turned us off Ikal del Mar so perhaps Maroma is worth further investigating. Thanks for any info!
 
Old Nov 22nd, 2002, 11:06 AM
  #15  
x
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Anything like THESE places (NOT Atlantis)where kids are allowed?
 
Old Nov 22nd, 2002, 12:04 PM
  #16  
chris
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Maroma has Kayaks and windsurfing. I think they had a Hobie but you may have had to go out with someone. You could also book snorkeling and scuba trips through the Hotel. I think the new AL you are referring to is the new .. Palace. It is far enough away and beyond a peninsula that not a single person came from that direction. That said, there is an older hotel called the Vente (sp?) club approximately 2/10ths of a mile away. While the guests of this Hotel (99% Italians) didn't "use" the beach in front of Maroma, there was a small amount of beach walkers.

We have 2 children (6 and 8) also. This summer we stayed at the CuisinArt in Anguilla. The beaches in Anguilla are wonderful. This board is full of people who love Anguilla. The Hotel has about 90 rooms and very kid friendly. Very hard to get to! We love to take the kids to Cozumel, but we stay in a condominium. If you're interested I can give you some information about it.
 
Old Nov 23rd, 2002, 05:31 AM
  #17  
kk
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Chris--would love the names of condos. that you like in Mexico for families--would love to know if we could trade one of our weeks on South Seas Plantation-Captiva for a timeshare in Mexico but have no idea what is available or good?? Thanks again!!1
 
Old Nov 23rd, 2002, 06:28 AM
  #18  
chris
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We have always stayed at Puesta del Sol in Cozumel. We prefer phase II over phase I just because its newer. This is one of the Management companies www.comcoz.com/condos. Phase II has 13 units, but not everyone rents theres. Cozumel has some brand new resorts that many people like. But for us when we bring the kids its nice to have a 4 bedroom condo we can spread out in. In addition the new resorts are too large for us. They are also so far from the Central part of town (aka Centro) that cab fair is so high you most likely won't experience this great town. This is definitely a quiet family place. There are wonderful restaurants in Centro that we appreciate not being stuck at an AL. If you are still interested in pursuing this further, I will e-mail you the owners e-mail address.
 
Old Nov 25th, 2002, 12:32 PM
  #19  
kk
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Chis--would like the names--please e-mail me--thanks
 
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