Playa Del Carmen Trip Report

Old May 7th, 2008, 05:18 PM
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Playa Del Carmen Trip Report

My husband and I stayed at the Royal Playa Del Carmen – the hotel was great! The service was absolutely fantastic and you can’t beat the location of being a 2 minute walk from 5th avenue. We loved the cabanas on the beach – oddly enough most of the guests hung out by the pool so the beach was never crowded – which was great for us!

Our room was really nice and big. The bed was so comfortable, the ocean view was only okay – we actually wished we got a room with a hammock. Otherwise there was nothing to complain about.

The food at the hotel was okay. Pelicano’s and Spice had the best food. We met the greatest waiter – Carlos Chan – he was the best – really helpful and friendly. The drinks tended to be watered down unless you asked them to make it how you wanted the drink to be made. Asiana’s and Il Pescatore (the restaurant at the Gran Porto Real) were pretty terrible. The 24 hour room service was pretty cool and they were always there within the food in less than 30 minutes. Although the all inclusive aspect was convenient, if we were to return to Playa, we would not opt for it. But the hotel was fantastic in every other way.

We went to the following restaurants in town:
Il Parilla – located right on 5th. We got tacos and fish ceviche – and the food was really good – although pricey.
Pizza Pazza – on Calle 12 Norte – really good pizza – especially with the habanero sauce.
Super Tacombi – on Calle 12 Norte (right across from Pizza Pazza) – try the pork tacos – they are delicious and so inexpensive! Plus they cook out of an old VW van – very cool.
El Fagon – located on Ave. Constituyentes, across from the Mega – this is a local favorite and the food was delicious and super reasonably priced – it’s worth checking out.
La Cueva Del Chango – Calle 38 – right off 5th Ave. – this restaurant is so great! We went there twice it was so good. The ambience is funky with a jungly feel and the food was just so delicious and fresh.

Excursions:
Hidden Worlds – we decided to try Hidden Worlds out and really enjoyed ourselves there. They picked us up from the hotel with the understanding that we would need to find a way back ourselves. We paid about $80 each for the Adventure package – which was a great deal for what we did. We took a “jungle buggy” for a 2 minute ride into the jungle – which was very bumpy but fun. We then skycycled. Skycycles are bike like contraptions suspended on wires above the trees – it was very cool. From there, we snorkeled in a cenote in a cave – very different experience. We then zip-lined, rappelled, zip-lined into a cenote, and snorkled in another cenote. All in all – it was tons of fun!
We took a collective back – which is a mini bus that drives back and forth on the major highway and will pick you up if they have the room. You just need to stand on the side of the highway and it only costs 30 pesos. It was great and convenient!
Tulum – we took a collective to the ruins which were beautiful but packed with tours of people. From the ruins we took a taxi to a restaurant called: El Tobano which was across the road from Hemingway. The restaurant is open air and absolutely delicious. The food was prepared when ordered and super fresh. We hit the beach – which was gorgeous! We also got a snack at Ana Y Jose – and were not impressed – the food was lukewarm and not good.

Snorkeling – we used Geofish to take a snorkeling tour of the reef. They were great, although a little hard to get a hold of. It was about $30 dollars per person and we followed a guide in the water around the reef. The reef was beautiful and we saw lots of fish.

Playa really grows on you – and we absolutely fell in love with it and we can’t wait to go back!
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Old May 8th, 2008, 05:04 AM
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Glad to hear you had a good time...and have now been bitten by the Playa bug. : )
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Old May 8th, 2008, 06:26 AM
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just got back, also. Did you snorkel the reef south of PDC?
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Old May 9th, 2008, 07:34 AM
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We stayed at the Royal Playa del Carmen in Sept. '07. We really enjoyed the hotel and had a great time there. I do agree with your comment. If staying that close to 5th Avenue, I wouldn't do AI again. Next time, we would like to get a small cute hotel and then take advantage of the many restaurants and bars on 5th Avenue.

Sounds like you had a great time.

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Old May 10th, 2008, 01:50 PM
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Hi Bitter -

Yes we did snorkel on the south side.
It was wonderful!
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