Playa del Carmen or Tulum

Old Sep 26th, 2007, 07:15 AM
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Playa del Carmen or Tulum

My husband and I are planning to spend four nights somewhere on the Mayan Riveria in January. I am concerned that Playa may feel too built up and developed -- maybe a little like Cancun -- and have had difficulty finding a place to stay that looks right for us. (We liked the look of the Shangri-La, however, I have learned that it too is slated to close, likely before the start of next summer and I do not want to visit a hotel so shortly before it will close.) My concern w/ Tulum, on the other hand, is that it is too isolated as one cannot walk from the beach hotels to the town. I would appreciate any input -- we liked the look of Ana y Jose's in Tulum.

The best way I can describe what my husband and I like is simple luxury -- not a four seasons, but comfortable with electricity, etc. While we are going to "get away" we love meeting people while traveling and also eating in local restaurants. At the same time, we're not looking for a party scene.

I would appreciate any advice on nice hotels in either area -- and advice on both places in general.

Thank you!
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Old Sep 26th, 2007, 07:44 AM
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Check out Isla Mujeres, Puerto Moreles and Akumal.

Only one of those three I've spent any time at is Isla. Great little island, at least for the near future. Good beach, fun little town with loads of very good restaurants.
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Old Sep 26th, 2007, 09:11 AM
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You definately cannot walk into town from the beach, but often, there isn't much reason too. Lots and lots of great restaurants along the beach and it's easy enough to take a cab if you aren't renting a car.

Ana y Jose sounds like it is exactly what you are looking for.
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Old Sep 26th, 2007, 09:19 AM
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Playa del Carmen and Tulum are apples and oranges - totally different, but both great places to stay. Playa IS very built up, but there are no high rises permitted, and there are a lot of small, interesting dining and shopping options. The beach at Playa is quite nice, and as you get away from the beach area, the neighborhoods get very local Mexican feeling.
Tulum, on the other hand is made up of the beach area, which is basically a few miles of small hotels and cabanas along a gorgeous beach; and a small downtown a few miles inland with a handful of restaurants and funky shops.
The water at Playa is usually calmer and more protected, whereas Tulum is on the open ocean and can get some pretty good surf.
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Old Sep 26th, 2007, 04:14 PM
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The only thing I would add is that the north end of PDC is definitely not a party scene but more quiet with good restaurants and beach clubs. January can be busy especially if you're there for New Year's. If you don't need a hotel on the beach then I would look at La Tortuga, Playa Maya or Riviera Del Sol in PDC. I don't know if I would write Shangri La off my list in January but that's not my decision.
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Old Sep 27th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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I went to Playa in May and loved it. We are planning to head back this May and also planning a trip to Isla Mujeres in March. Playa is nothing like cancun. It is being built up, but still has tons of character. I loved being able to walk around town every night. It was such an added plus. We never needed a taxi for anything. Sure there is a hagan daaz (sp?) and a few familiar stores, but for the most part, it's locals, jewelry, trinkets and fun restaurants and rooftop lounges. I am expecting Isla to be similar, but not as developed. That may be a great option for you too. There are very nice condos, unique hotels, and a very nice hotel (Villa Rolandi). Look on Islamujeres.info for more info on the island. I have not been to Tulum, so I can't help you there. When I only have 3 or 4 nights, I want to get there quickly and Tulum is just a little far for my needs. I don't think you would go wrong with Playa or Isla Mujeres.
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Old Sep 27th, 2007, 11:43 AM
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Thank you to everyone for your advice. We're still struggling a little bit with where to go, but have changed our plans slightly and expect to travel in early December. I think that puts Shangri-La back on my list as I can't imagine they will let the property decline before the holiday season.

As between Ana y Jose in Tulum and the Shangri-La in Playa, does anyone have anything to add?

Thanks again!
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 07:44 PM
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If you ever see this, I'd love to hear what you decided...I could have written your post as I've been struggling between PDC and Tulum for the same reasons.

Shangri-La looked appealing but we're going in May and I fear it will be bad news by then.

Please update...you're probably back by now.

Trish
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 11:05 PM
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I too am thinking of Isla Mujeres. Any suggestions for hotels-nice but not high end?
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 06:14 AM
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Patsy - you might want to start a seperate thread with Isla Mujeres in the title.
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 12:42 PM
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go on islamujeres.info There are tons of resources for hotels. Ixchel Beach condos are nice and in the heart of town. They are a bit higher than some places, but nice and some have kitchens. There are many choices.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 08:38 AM
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Check out the Hotel Mimi del Mar in PdC. We are staying there after debating between Shangri La and Mimi. I have read many positive reviews and it looks to be a small, clean, simple hotel on the beach.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 10:31 AM
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How about Cozumel?

A lot of people consider playa to be way to mainstream and kindof dangerous. I've been living here for about a year and a half and have had a couple of bad experiences in Playa. Cozumel offers everything playa does ( minus Walmart and a microcosmic U.S) and has much more to offer in terms of culture and friendliness. if you're into diving or snorkeling, Cozumel is definitly the pace to go for that as well. If not Cozumel, i would highly suggest Tulum.
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