Just back from Aventura Spa Palace

May 22nd, 2003, 05:37 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 9
Just back from Aventura Spa Palace

We just returned from a fabulous honeymoon at ASP and Xpu Ha Palace. The weather was perfect, the resorts were gorgeous and accomodating, and the area is so rich with things to see and places to go. Couple that with the reasonable price, and I can see why the Mayan Riveria is becoming THE place to go!

I've been getting a ton of ?s, and wanted to write a post with the answers to most of them so people can have....Here's some answers to alot of questions I have been getting and some tips.....

The resort is gorgeous, the grounds are constantly being maintained. When you arrive, you will be served champagne and a cool towel and hear the sounds of a flutist! They will take you on a golf cart to your room and give you a short orientation to the resort. My best suggestion is put on your bathing suit and head out for some lunch to either Mundaca or El Greco.

The resort is very casual, and I packed WAY too much! During the day you will not want to wear more than a bathing suit and shorts or a sarong, it is very hot. At night, I wore a casual skirt, sandals and a top almost every night. Some girls wore sundresses, shorts are ok too. A few of the restaurants require men to wear long pants, but they can be casual khakis, we even saw some wearing jeans. My Husband wore closed toe sandals and was fine. Men will be ok with shorts and a shirt (not even collared) in almost all of the restaurants. And definitely NO TIE needed!

All of the rooms, except for the presidential suites, are the same, the only difference is location. The first number indicates the floor (3 is best for best views) the second indicates the building (0-3 is aventura, 4-8 is spa) and the last 2 are the location (02-50 with the lower number being closer to the ocean). If you are unhappy with the room, they will do their best to accomodate you.

We stayed on the Spa side and ended up much preferring that side, it is quieter and I thought the pool was prettier. The lagoon is nicer however on the aventura side. The lagoon is gorgeous, the water is perfect color and temperature and is calm. We enjoyed it and had no issues with it. The pools are gorgeous, huge and perfect temperature. They put the chairs IN the pool,which we thought was so neat and a great way to keep cool! Also, Xpu Ha palace is a 5 minute taxi ride away and has one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico. Since it is a Palace resort, you can go there and use all of their facilities free just like at ASP, food, towels, snorkel. I would not let the lagoon steer me away from ASP!

I though the food was very good, especially for an all inclusive resort. There were plenty of choices at the buffets and they can also make you something special. In the a la carte restaraunts, the portions were small, so be sure to order appetizer, soup and then an entree, Ray would order 2 entrees. We enjoyed El Greco for breakfast and lunch,and Mundaca, El Greco, La Huerta and Ventanas the most for dinner!

As far as tours, Chaza Travel has desks set up in both lobbies and are very easy to work with. We did Chichen Itza (uncomfortably hot but defintely worth it for the pyramid), Tulum (gorgeous ruins, don't miss), Xel Ha (awesome snorkeling). We also took the public transportation into Playa Del Carmen - 1$ vs. 14$ for a cab, and it was very nice, a small shuttle bus. Playa was neat, touristy but lots of flavor. We spent a day at Xpu Ha and liked it so much that we spent the last 2 nights there!

Honeymooners wear pink wristbands and there were several little gestures that set us apart, including a private candlelight dinner.

We brought about $50 in US 1$ bills which was very helpful in tipping the bell hops, paying for cabs, and ocassional tips for housekeeping and waiters. When taking a taxi, they will never have change so this came in handy.

We took about $300 with us and spent most of it on souvenirs and at the spa! YOu really don't need much, everything really IS included at ASP!

As you can tell, I am pretty detail oriented and thorough...I did a TON of research before booking into the resort AND how to get the best price!

I found a travel agent who got married and honeymooned at the ASP (and she could have gone ANYWHERE) who had so much helpful information AND the BEST prices around...For us, with air from Philadelphia, a manicure, pedicure and massage for each of us and a special honeymooners package, we paid about $3400 for 10 days/9 nights!!!! She is a member of the Palace Resorts so she has the lowest retail prices available....Her name is Normanne Gibson of www.palacetravelprofessionals.com, (803) 419-3453.

If anyone is interested in seeing exactly what everything looks like, let me know I can send you a link to hundreds of my pics on shutterfly!

Hope I have answered many ?s, feel FREE to ask if you have more! I love talking about our honeymoon!

kaelin is offline  
May 28th, 2003, 08:43 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3
My fiance and I are departing for the ASP in early June for our honeymoon. I would love to check out any pictures you could share.

Michaell is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2003, 10:52 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 307
Could you describe the free shuttle to the other Palace resorts?

We are thinking of staying at Xpu Ha with a big extended family group - lots of teenagers - and figured they might use the service to get up to Cancun and Playa del Carmen. How often does it run? What's the last trip back?
BaltoTraveler is offline  
Jun 7th, 2003, 04:18 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 9
Congrats on your marriage and a wonderful honeymoon. Please send me a link with your pics. [email protected]
Jaie is offline  
Sep 9th, 2003, 06:41 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4
Hi. I know it's been a while since your vacation at the ASP, but I have a couple of questions. I would also love to see some of your pictures if they are still available. Not sure whether to trust the brochures. Also, I've read the ASP is a bit further from town. How far is it really? The free tours, do they get booked up? or was it pretty easy to get what you wanted? I really wanted to go to the Royal Hideaway, but found the ASP to be more affordable. Still hesitating a little on whether should just fork up the extra money. So anything else that you would say about the ASP would be great. Thanks!
JulissaCB is offline  
Sep 9th, 2003, 08:17 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 9
Hi! So sorry, I did not see the subsequent posts...

Here is a link to tons of pics from ASP and XPU HA. http://community.webshots.com/user/jkaelin

Overall, the resort was wonderful, exceeded all of our expectations. The shuttle runs on a daily schedule with a run in the am and pm if i remember correctly. The free tours were, in fact, free and easy to plan, you just sign up at the Chaza travel desk. THe resort is gorgeous and DOES look just like the pictures in the brochure and others I've seen!

Hope this is helpful!
kaelin is offline  
Sep 9th, 2003, 12:17 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4
Thank you Kaelin. Those were gorgeous pictures. I was having second thougths about staying at the ASP because of the lack of a "beach". But from your pictures the lagoon actually looks pretty nice and looks like they still offer some water sports.
JulissaCB is offline  
Sep 19th, 2003, 10:24 AM
  #8  
LS
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 35
Congratulations, Kaelin! My husband and I are planning a trip to PDC in December, and I had pretty much decided on the ASP - your posting pretty much confirms that it's a great choice!
2 questions: First, did you play any golf? I see on the internet that you can book an AI pkg w/golf. Second - can you request a room location when booking? We like it QUIET, so your description of the spa side sounds like just our speed.
Thanks for any input!
LS is offline  
Oct 30th, 2003, 06:04 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2
I just returned from the Aventura Spa this last week and had a wonderful time. Kaelin's comments and pictures she posted on her website were helpful and very accurate. Late October was a great time to go, less crowds and fairly good weather. It only rained once while we were there.

I am in my late twenties and took my mother with me. We had a great time there-no kids. But the majority of the guests are honeymooners and couples. The Resort is quiet and clean. The service was excellent. We were greeted with champange and taken to our room in a golf cart. The room comes standard with an included minibar including alcohol, soft drinks and water. They also include cozy robes and a big whirlpool which is great for relaxing after hiking the ruins. They also have a comfy hammock on every balcony. The maid service was excellent, prompt and very through. They even did nightly turn down service with a chocolate on your pillow. I think almost all of the rooms have at least some view of the ocean, none face away from the ocean.

The pools are large and a good temperature. They even put lounge chairs in the water. there are two swim up bars. They also have a lap pool and a cross current pool to exercise in. They had plenty of chairs and palapas for those of us that are too fair to be in the sun. They also have a man made lagoon with a jetty to break the rough surf. there is no beach. You can snorkel or kayak in the lagoon. The water is warm and clean. If you want a resort with a beach, then this is not the resort. However, you can take a quick 5 minute shuttle to Xpu Ha Palace if you are really into the beach. I was more into lounging by the pool with the fruity drinks

The restaurants are overall great. Dinner was great. They do not require reservations at any of their restaurants. The longest we had to wait for a table was about 10 minutes in the smaller restaurants. The best restaurants are La Hacienda and La Huerta which only serve dinner. The waiter to table ration was about 3-4 tables to one waiter. They were very friendly and the food was excellent. There is also an Asian a la carte restaurant that was very good, only serves dinner. During the day, you have the choice of two buffet restaurants, one on the Aventura side, Mundaca and the other (el Greco) on the Spa side. The breakfast and lunch buffet selections were good. Lots of fresh fruit and cooked food. The omlettes were wonderful. The only bad experience we had was going to the Buffet restaurant Mundaca at night which turns into an ala carte steak house. I don't know if it was the wedding party that spread the staff thin or if the service is less attentive there, but we had a long wait in between our courses and less then attentive service, food was marginal. My recommendation would be to stick with the restaurants that only serve dinner, every dinner with them was excellent.

The Spa services were excellent. Since we went at the end of offseason, we were able to book spa services the same day or for the following day for whatever time we wished. The hydrotherapy facilities were very pretty and clean and they had staff to put a pillow behind your head when you were lounging in a chair or bring you a fresh towel or drink. We went there 3 times in the 6 days we were there and loved it. The massage and other treatments were reasonablly priced-packages were the best deal and aventura spa guests get a 15% discount while we were there.
The Aventura is also near many of the tourist sites-Xcaret, the ecopark was about a 5-10 minute drive away and Tulum and Xel Ha were about 40 minutes away. Playa Del Carmen about 10 minutes.
We had a great time. Let me know if you have any questions. I will check back on this link. Happy Planning
maggiestef is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 06:14 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,749
Kaelin & Maggiestef: your info. is very helpful. Hubby and I are looking for someplace warm and reasonably priced for Feb. and friends recommended the ASP. Several questions: 1) is there any snorkeling there and is it worthwhile to try? 2) does the ASP offer shuttle service to and from the airport? 3) how small is this "small" beach on the lagoon? We've been to Maui several times and love Kaanapali beach, so would we be disappointed? Thanks much!
iowagirl is offline  
Nov 21st, 2003, 06:13 AM
  #11  
Doh
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 425
iowagirl, i'll try to answer your questions (we were at ASP jsut about a year ago)--
1. I don't think there is snorkeling at ASP, but there is some at Xpu Ha, or you can take daytrips (to Isla Mujeres, Xel Ha, etc.). I didn't think the snorkeling was very good at either Xpu Ha or Isla Mujeres, but if you just want to get in the water for a while and look around, it was fine.

2. We had a voucher for transportation to ASP, but I am not sure if that was arranged by the travel agent or is standard for all stays at ASP.

3. I wouldn't go to ASP for the beach. It really is makeshift, although it's fine for an afternoon. OTOH, I consider myself a "beach person" and I was perfectly happy hanging out by the pools-- and taking a day trip to the beautiful beach at Xpu Ha.
Doh is offline  

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