Playa del Carmen resorts

Old Apr 13th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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Playa del Carmen resorts

We are just beginning to research our PDC vacation in June. We are in our early 40s with a 14 year old daughter. Would love some place on the beach, but within walking distance to 5th ave. Nothing too boisterous or really crowded! So far, The Gran Porto Real, and the Reef Playcar or the Reef Coco Beach look really nice.

Has anyone had any experience (good or bad) with any of these resorts? How's the food? Service? I think there will be more than enough for us to do in the area, but since we have never been to PDC before or stayed at an all-inclusive, would love some advice on what to expect. Thanks!
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 10:03 AM
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If you don't mind all-inclusive the Iberostar Tucan is a very nice resort. We stayed there this past January and loved it. You can walk to PDC, but if it's really hot, you may not want to. It's about a 5 minute taxi ride from the resort to PDC. The resort is gorgeous. The staff are friendly and the beach and pool are beautiful. The wasn't too bad either. We had a great time.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 10:04 AM
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Sorry - meant to say the Food wasn't too bad either.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 01:04 PM
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Thanks for the info. Did you feel the atmosphere was relaxed or were there tons of little kids running about? We are looking forward to some relaxation as well as excursions.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 01:37 PM
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You may find that visiting 5th Avenue is not high on your list of priorities. Last year we stayed in town, thinking it would be nice to have a choice of restaurants etc.

Well, there are some OK restaurants, but the street is lined with lots of mediocre ones too, along with cheesy souvenir stalls, sleazy bars and iffy-looking tour outfits. Each of these enterprises floods the streets with shills -- really, it's more like 42nd St. than 5th Avenue. ;^)

We wished we'd simply booked an all-inclusive to use as our base for snorkeling and visiting the ruins at Tulum and Coba. You may think differently, but I know if we return, which I hope we do, we'll steer clear of town.



 
Old Apr 13th, 2005, 05:30 PM
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Wow! Talk about a different perspective.

I've been going to Playa del Carmen for years and watched it grow from a sleepy little fishing village to one of Caribbean Mexico's fastest-growing and dynamic towns.

Along 5th (and on side streets close by), there are some of the finest and priciest restaurants in the region - including Yaxche - which is consistently featured in gourmet magazines, La Casa del Agua - a fine dining experience with an extensive wine list, Babe's - some of the best Thai food I've had, and a multitude of other places.

Shopping there includes some of the finest clothing and jewelry boutiques; and bars include the trendy Glass and Deseo and Moon Bar - not to mention Alux, which is in a CAVE! All of these places are hangouts for the beautiful young international crowd dressed in their designer fashions and looking like they just stepped off a jet from Milan, Paris or South Beach.

That's not to say the entire town is a mecca for the rich and famous - of course there are little shops that offer silver jewelry and T-shirts.

Sounds like some people NEED to stay at their AI's if they are so cosmopolitan that they find PDC too "cheesy and sleazy"...
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 05:39 PM
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Two months ago we stayed in Akumal (20 miles S of PdC) but visited PdC and walked from the ferry dock north to the Reef Coco Beach Resort, passing Gran Porto Real en route.

We thought Coco Beach had a fantastic location. Also liked Shangri-la Caribe, just S of Coco. Gran Porto was esthetically jarring (huge hotel in a small town).

We have read tales of overbooking at Coco, but otherwise it appeals.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 06:18 PM
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"Sounds like some people NEED to stay at their AI's if they are so cosmopolitan that they find PDC too "cheesy and sleazy"..."

Whoops, guess I should have explained . . . we're the sort who probably would have liked the old fishing village. If you're looking for a scene -- well, I expect you'll find it in Playa. Not my cup of tea. I did enjoy dinner at Yaxche (make a reservation for the garden).

"I must soon quit the Scene . . ." -- Benjamin Franklin
 
Old Apr 13th, 2005, 07:25 PM
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Great article in Budget Travel April 2005 "5 all-inclusive resorts on mexico's gorgeous Riviera Maya"... it's informative & seems pretty spot-on review of these five places.
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Old Apr 14th, 2005, 06:47 AM
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For what it's worth, I might have reacted to Pausanias' comments re Playa somehwat like Diana did, except that I'd already read Pausanias' comments on another thread to the effect that Playa seemed to touristy and Akumal might be preferred. If Akumal is your style then Playa probably wouldn't be! However it is evident that Playa is consistent with a lot of people's styles, as it were, and is definitely not touristy in the sense that Cancun is, for example.

Steve
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Old Apr 14th, 2005, 07:29 AM
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we stay at las palapas which is just north of town. a lot of people mention the shangra-la, but las palapas is a bit smaller.

it's a lovely quiet resort with a BEAUTIFUL beach, and fabulous breakfast. a short walk or shorter taxi ride into town if you want more action. we usually stay on the grounds through lunch, then wander in to town for dinner.

check it out at http://www.laspalapas.com.mx/

have fun!
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Old Apr 14th, 2005, 08:39 AM
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I really enjoyed 5th Ave. in PDC, but it did seem to me that the area of the street closer to the ferry was more touristy, and sellers were more aggressive than the north end toward Mamitas beach, where things seemed much mellower and strolling was more enjoyable.
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