Need Mayan Riviera Advice

Aug 16th, 2000, 05:06 PM
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Need Mayan Riviera Advice

Okay all you seasoned Mayan Riviera travellers out there - here goes. For our winter vacation this year we have narrowed it down to either Cuba or the Mayan Riviera (will leave the Cuba questions for the Caribbean forum). Not interested in Cancun as we want to get away from the BIG resorts cheek by jowl. We are considering the Tulum/Akumal area and have narrowed things down to one of Cabanas Ana y Jose, Casa Cenote, Cabanas La Conchita, Zamas Bungalowsor Las Ranitas, but are also open to other suggestions such as private casas. We are looking for peace and tranquility (but with at least one lively bar near-by for a little spice). We are not looking for the tennis court/spa etc. luxuries, but we want to be in a room that pleases the senses when you awake with a certain level of comfort (no shared baths, concrete walls etc.) A pool would be nice, but not essential provided that the hotel or resort had:
- a really nice beach with minimum seaweed and rocks that should make you feel you were in paradise to look at and should be great to swim at
- snorkeling from the beach with coral formations and lots of fish
- boating snorkel expeditions close by
- really reaally good dining on site or within walking distance (food quality not luxurious surroundings is the key here - we'd rather be barefoot in the sand eating well than dining in the lap of luxury on mediocre food)

All the above-mentioned places look great in the on-web glossy presentations, but then, so do a few places that I've seen in person and would never pay to set foot inside.

Help me out please if you've been to any of the above (or someplace I havn't thought of).

Aug 17th, 2000, 07:51 AM
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linda, have not stayed at any of the places you mention but was in that area last month. In tulum we stayed at piedras escondido _ owned by couple italians, pretty little bungalows, restaurant was italian and quite good, close enough to several other places. Beach was only OK, compared to other nearby spots. Zamas looked very nice. We ate at Casa Cenote which i would recommend _ open air, not gourmet by any means but good food and friendly service. We peeked into their bungalows and thought them very overpriced for what was offered; also seemed a bit sterile. We ended up staying at the Tankah Inn, a little five-bedroom b&b owned by a couple of texans, and we loved that place. charming hosts, comfortable rooms, and the common areas upstairs, where the restaurant was, had a gorgeous view of the beach. the beach there was great _ you could take a sea kayak out to a little dock, and snorkel right there. they also had a dive shop there and ran trips every day.
the big thing lacking on your list in that area was a lively bar, although i'm told casa cenote sometimes goes late. also, the food, while fresh and good, may not be at the level you are looking for... if you had a car, you could easily get to akumal though....
Aug 17th, 2000, 03:08 PM
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In reading your requirments we are surprised that you have not considered Isla Mujeres--a small Island 10 miles off Cancun. Laid back, least expensive , and the best
beach. We have a 16 page brouchure on the Island and surrounds which we can e-mail you if you request. If you don't do IM we would recommend Akumal. Much more expensive but would be the best match for your requirements other than IM. Dan and Ginny

Aug 18th, 2000, 03:12 AM
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Hi Texas and Dan and Ginny,


Thanks for the very informative post. The Tankah Inn sound delightful and I'm going to give it a closer look for sure. I should probably clarify what I mean by a 'lively bar'. we aren't looking for a large disco or floor show kind of place that goes non-stop all night, but rather a smaller place with a mix of interesting people to meet, good conversation and local music to dance to.

Dan and Ginny:

To tell you the truth, Isla Mujeres was what first got me looking at Mexico. Meandered from there on the web to Tulum where I was captivated by the very small resorts and cabanas seemingly still almost isolated.

Till I heard of Isla Mujeres, I had no real desire to go to Mexico as the huge hotels side-by-side have little appeal.

Isla Mujeres is still looking good as well and I would love to receive the brochure you mentionned. Do you have any recommendations re: location, hotels and dining given my original post? (Looking very closely at NaBalam right now). Can you drink the tap water on Isla Mujeres?

Thanks again for both of these posts. Unfortunately, rather than narrowing down the acceptable options you've expanded them. Guess thats why I start planning 7 months ahead (LOL).

Aug 18th, 2000, 03:47 AM
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Hi Again Texas,

I need help. I can't find anything on the web about the B&B the 'Tankah Inn'. The only reference I can find is to a restaurant and dive shop by the same name. can you tell me where to get more info?

Aug 18th, 2000, 05:36 AM
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linda: i think the tankah inn is listed in fodor's (or maybe it's frommers). they do have a dive shop and restaurant and that's probably what you ran across. they also have an email address, [email protected]; ask for shaleh. don't think they have a website per se. a couple of websites i have found helpful are and, more about akumal but think there's tankah info as well. now that i understand more what you're looking for, i think either isla or tankah will suit you, but my own experience with isla mujeres is that it can get crowded during the day, with daytrippers on those party boats from cancun. Oh, and also, i consider myself fairly adventurous, will eat almost anywhere and almost anything, including the most local of places, but i never drink the tap water in mexico, even if they say it's ok. why tempt fate? have fun planning..
Aug 18th, 2000, 11:08 AM
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Linda, I have been to Zamas and will be returning in January 2001. This is a very relaxing place with a good restaurant, cozy bar and friendly people. The beach setting is beautiful, but there are a few rocks. You can view pictures and make reservations thru Turquoise Reef Group ( Also, there are other good restaurants, such as Maya Tulum, within walking distance. Both Zamas and Maya have simple beachfront cabanas that are comfortable and quiet.
Aug 19th, 2000, 05:24 AM
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Hi Bill,

Thanks for the word on Zama's - sounds good. There is probably no higher accolade that someone who is returning to a place at which they have previously stayed.

Oh Man - the choices just get harder and harder. (But all of life's difficult decisions should be so difficult - LOL)

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