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Riviera Maya - Where to Stay?

Old Jul 29th, 2014, 06:58 PM
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Riviera Maya - Where to Stay?

Wife and I are looking for a beach ending to our vacation in August. We have five nights in the Cancun area. We have stayed in Cancun and Playa Mujeres before and were planning on heading south this time.

Debating between Playa del Carmen or maybe Tulum. Intrigued by the Viceroy due to small size and adults only. Also somewhat drawn to Tulum, because it seems super laid back and relaxed. For Tulum, kind of intrigued by BeTulum and The Beach Tulum. Looking for something with a nice beach, comfortable rooms, and decent enough service. Preferably something with either a decent restaurant or near something decent. Not expecting amazing cuisine, just decent.

Any and all thoughts appreciated.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 08:17 PM
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This might not be of much help, but if you do end up staying in Tulum, consider a dinner at Hechizo -- although it's been a while since I was there, I thought it memorable -- certainly a cut above anything else I ate in the area -- and it still seems to get good reviews. It's a taxi-ride away from Tulum....
http://www.hechizotulum.com/index.html
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 04:33 AM
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If you are interested in an all inclusive, the Catalonia Royal Tulum fits your requirements. It is a small, quiet, adults only all inclusive resort on a gorgeous beach.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 04:38 AM
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Not sure that it matters whether you go to Playa or Tulum as the formula for AI is almost always the same... Great beach, great food in a somwhat secluded area. Should you wish to venture out for a short while, then I would suggest you go to Viceroy, only because it is several miles north of Playa and therefore easily accessible by taxi. Plus, Playa has so much more to offer than Tulum in terms of walking around 5th ave. to take in all the people, places and enjoying a bite to eat and a cold drink ! Plus, no matter where you go in Playa, you are always just a few minutes from the beautiful turquoise waters and white sandy beaches.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 05:45 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. Neither opposed to nor committed to an all-inclusive. The primary thing holding us back from an all-inclusive would probably be that most are larger, but something like the size of the Zoetry wouldn't be the end of the world.

Also looking at the Banyan Tree and Rosewood. Anyone with any experience?

Thanks for all the thoughts.

consider a dinner at Hechizo

Looks great, but closed until December, per the website.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 08:20 AM
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Not sure Tulum is super laid back. Maybe it is in comparison to the places farther north, but it's a bustling town packed full of tour buses during much of the day.

But that section of beach south of Tulum, by BeTulum that you mentioned, heading into the Sian Ka'an, now that is really laid back. It's a beach for walking miles without seeing many other people.

Only negative is that in recent years there has been a lot of plastic trash piling up due to countries like Venezuela and Honduras dumping at sea. It's quite bad farther south near Mahahual, very sad. Not sure about the area immediately south of Tulum.

If Mayan sites interest you there is a small one south of Tulum called Muyil. It's not as spectacular as the better known ruins, but you can be virtually alone. In January of last year we spent a few hours there, twice, and saw a grand total of two other tourists. We did some birdwatching, which took up some of our time. Being secluded in a magical place like that is special to us.

Not sure if that's what you are looking for, but have a great trip.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 09:59 AM
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As an above poster pointed out, if you stay at an AI, it almost doesn't matter what town you are near since you are not in the local culture, but a gated, carefully groomed environment. If you decide to do a regular hotel, Tulum and Playa are vastly different. Playa is a very busy, fast growing little city with a great beach, lots of shopping and nightlife but no high rises. There are many small hotels, condos and b&b's on or near the beach.
Tulum has two parts - the beachfront is lined with small hotels, bungalows and cabanas, most are eco-friendly and have limited electricity; some have restaurants and bars. Tulum's beach is one of the finest in the Caribbean - miles of wide, white sand and fairly good sized waves. The other part of Tulum is the actual downtown which is about 2 miles inland. It is a hopping, funky little town with lots of restaurants and shops. The back streets are still very Mexican feeling.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 10:26 AM
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Friends stayed at Cabanas Tulum, sister hotel to The Beach last year and loved it, I saw their room and it was really nice. It now has a pool, AC from 7pm to 7am and free breakfast of anything off the menu at adjacent Ziggy's Beach Club. On a great stretch of beach.
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Old Jul 31st, 2014, 09:39 AM
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I haven't stayed at the Viceroy, but stayed in Petit Lafitte which is very close. I didn't think the beach was very nice in this area, meaning that it was rocky and difficult to get into the water. If by a nice beach you mean it's nice to look at and walk on, then it will be fine. If you want to swim in it, it's not a nice beach. The photos on TA show it quite clearly.
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Old Aug 10th, 2014, 01:20 PM
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Be Tulum looks like a beautiful resort but it is very expensive. There are many other small boutique resorts that are on a beach that are just as nice and won't cost as much. Look at the Tripadvisor pictures for some of the others and see if you like any of them. There were several that we looked into but since they are so small many sell out quickly.

Celti was a very nice special occasion restaurant that was downtown. We had great food and personal service there. Don't forget to try the gelato at Panna e Cioccolato. It is delicious.
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Old Aug 12th, 2014, 09:12 AM
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We love Playacar Palace in Playa Del Carmen. It's right near 5th ave shops, next to Cozumel ferry dock for more exploring of that island. It's a small boutique type hotel, laid back and friendly and all-inclusive. Great food! It is one of our favorites, and clso9e to so much. There are tons of photos of the resort and info on the facebook group Forum for Palace Resorts Members & friends, if you want lots of current info and advice for any of the Palace resorts, or even just area tours info. Those people are very helpful and travel all the time, so are a good resource. Hope this helps.
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Old Aug 15th, 2014, 08:21 PM
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Thanks everyone. We've settled on the Viceroy. Not sure I am super-excited by the choice, but it seems to check the boxes and will be a good option.
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Old Aug 16th, 2014, 07:12 AM
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Personally...I would get away from the mainland alltogether. Since you're already staying a few days in the Cancun area, why not venture over to Cozumel for the end of your stay? The local food is amazing, its quiet (just don't stay near the cruise ship pier), the reefs are outstanding, the people are friendly and kind, the views are to-die-for. Lots of little places to stay...resorts, private condos. Its lovely.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 07:34 PM
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If you want super laid back, try Mahahual, beautiful small hotels and gorgeous beaches practically all to yourself once the cruise ships leave. It is what Playa was 20 years ago and what Tulum was 6 years ago when we moved to the Yucatan.
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Old Aug 28th, 2014, 01:41 PM
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Some initial feedback from the Viceroy.

- Great staff. Very friendly service. Attentive without being overwhelming.
- Food is pretty decent. Nothing that blows you away, but good for a beach resort. The all-inclusive is good value.
- Rooms are very nice. A heavy rainstorm showed why thatch has fallen out of favor as a roofing material, however.
- Private pools are better than some - deep enough to actually get into. A huge plus.
- Beach really isn't bad. Better than the other hotels right around. Some rocks out there, but you can get in up to your chest without hitting a rock. Really not bad at all. The beach portion is nice, with very soft sand and enough width. Maybe not as good as Cancun proper, but better than Playa Mujeres where we have stayed before.

All in all a very nice place. The first place in
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Old Aug 28th, 2014, 01:42 PM
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s/b - The first place in the area I would return to. Almost an Asian resort feel. Very private feeling with good, individual attention.
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Old Aug 29th, 2014, 01:36 AM
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Btw, Hotels.com is having super sale (up to 50% off) on a lot of Riviera Maya properties and the Viceroy is one of them, so check their rates, I got the email a few days ago. It may be a private sale for those who sign up for their email mailings though. If the deep discount rate doesn't come up for Viceroy on the main hotels.com page, sign up for their emails and you should get notifiedof this current sale. Then you can opt-out of their emails...
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Old Aug 31st, 2014, 01:47 PM
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Almost done at the Viceroy. Service has remained excellent. Food has remained surprisingly good, including the chef's table. Room service has been excellent. Beach huts are awesome and no fighting to secure them. They need to rethink the thatched roof thing (cute, but impractical), but otherwise a great beach resort. A really great beach resort, better (IMO) than the more highly rated St. Regis Punta Mita.
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