Mother and adult daughter trip Feb 16th to 23rd,
First thing I should tell you when reading this review is that I consider myself to be your average consumer.I dont tend to be high needs.
I like good food, soft sand and a drink or two and I am a very happy girl ! I work in a customer service role so I know what is expected so I want the same for myself. However, I know that I am on vacation so therefore I tend to be patient as I have no where to be in a hurry.
Pools were very clean and although there were plenty of small children- none were overly noisy or out of control.
Majority of patrons seemed to be families or couples. We met another Mom and daughter, a few sisters and a group of 4 friends but no young singles 20 somethings which would have perhaps made my daughter's week a little more enjoyable. She still had an awesome time but that would have been just that much better.
Most covered areas by the pool were gone by 7.45 am but there was always plenty of shaded area by the beach
Service was excellent - all staff we met were friendly and helpful.All staff spoke English well and were more than happy to do so. Could be because my Spanish is very limited.!!
Sunny every day. A little cloud on first and last days (we were only there for a few hours in afternoon on arrival and a few hours on departure morning)
Room was always clean and fridge restocked whenever any thing was used
Beach and pool water seemed to be at same temperture - not something that upsets me if one isnt warmer than the other.
Watched the dance troupe from Camrose Alberta (Yeah, Canada)they were cute and entertaining
Saw the Broadway hits show and On Da Radio both good - Micro phones werent great they needed some tuning, but other than that great dancing and singing.
Capri (Italian)- pasta plentiful - good service and lots of selection- My daughter's favorite restaurant
Maritachi (Mexican )- very attentive - Portions here seemed to be larger than at other al a cartes - only one where it was a struggle to finish my meal - really enjoyed the chocolate tequila cake and the after dinner drink called Sombero - (Tequilla,Baileys and some other similar liquors- it was delicious)
French - Paid extra to go but well worth the extra money. Staff was very attentive.Wine seemed to be of better quality here than at the other restaurants on the Colonial side. This was my favourite.
Spanish- cold soup for starter was refreshing. Staff was good but not quite as attentive as at the other a la cartes
Santa Fe (Steakhouse) - Steak done medium as I like it. Had special which was ribeye - more fatty than I expected -Salad bar selection was good - this was our least favourite.
Buffets - most breakfasts at one on Colonial side. Omelet maker was very good. Smoothies wery very tasy. Service attentive and quick. Ate one breakfast at the Caribean side - not as attentive and smoothies were pre made could nt choose your own ingredients, Service on this side just as quick and polite
Lunch buffet was only disappointments. I generally eat a large breakfast and then small or no lunch and then a large dinner, so only did lunch 3 times in the week there - Capitan Morgan didnt like at all except for ice cream and staff was friendly and attentive. Lunch on Caribean side was ok not bad just not outstanding. Lunch on Colonial side on first day we arrived was good as I was hungry due to travelling times. Other day that I was there was good but again not outstanding.
Dinner buffet - ate once on Caribean side and once on Colonial. Nothing stands out as exceptional. Not bad just not "WOW" Others we met paid the $5.00 to eat at the Palace Buffett and seemed to think it was worth the extra charge if only for the larger shrimp
Lobby (Public Bar) at Colonial best of all
Red Wine except at French Restaurant was only passable
Enjoyed : Miami Vice,Mango Tangos,Pina Colodas,Strawberry Dacories,and Margoritas and some Slammers.
Never waited long to be served and all servers were friendly
Hugo the tattoo guy from the beach - very interesting to chat to regarding his life growing up in Mexico City, and his aspirations as a young entrepeneur in Cancun/
Nancy in Guest Services - Other guests at the resort who we spoke with complained that it was difficult to book or change reservations.She had no problem re arranging and finding us times that we were happy with. We just wanted to have somewhere to eat and some time between 6 pm and 8 pm. Only the Spanish was outside that time frame and it worked out to our advantage because this was the night that we went in to Playa on the evening shopping tour.
Isabelle the Transad Rep - very knowledgable about the tours we should go on and great presentation skills.
Ariel - Bus Attendent on the way to resort from the Airport. Knowledgable, upbeat and made the 2 hour trip to the resort fly by - he kept the beers flowing which was great.
Bus to Playa del Carmen - bus picked us up at the hotel at 5 pm was to return at 8.30 he was 30 minutes late coming to meeting point so we didnt get back to resort until 9.40. Made it close to get to our 10 pm dinner ressie but we made it. Shooping in Playa not much better than right on the resort. Enjoyed seeing the town and the local entertainment that was out. Venders could have been pushy if you let them be. I didnt respond when called so they didnt bother me much once they realized I wasnt interested in them.
Dolphin Swim - was amazing - smaill groups. lots of interact, all that my daughter wanted and more. I didnt like that the viewing area for companions to the swimmers was so far away that if you wanted pictures you were obilgated to purchase the ones they took (which were good pictures, got the disc with all the pictures for $70.00 )
CoCo Bogo - 10 pm to 4 am - Free liquor(perhaps a little too much ) from when you walked in the door until you staggered out ! Show was on 3 floors - video and live performance of many pop icons such as Lady GaGa, Michael Jackson and Madonna,Elvis and Superheros ie Spiderman. Well worth the $65.00 cost
Ek Balam- Repelling into a 75 foot hole in the side of a sandstone pit dropping into fresh water - or you could take the stairs. Tarzan swing into the water. Diving platform from 25 feet or so. Jungle climb - walking between ropes one above and one below across the lake - Swimming in crystal clear water with sandstone walls surrounding you. All this followed by a lunch made by locals. Rice,salad, beans, 2 kinds of chicken made with local spices, hand make torillas made in front of you. Dinner entertainment was local girls dancing in tradional dress.Purchaced the CD of the pictures $46.00 lots of pictures of Mexico and Mayan area on it including screen savers. Then it was back on the bus to drive thru typical Myan villages to get to the paramids. Kids waving from the road excited to see the bus.
Ek Balam was amazing. Very Interesting from a archological and sociological point of view. Largest paramid is over 106 steps up . I only made it to 50 and got woozy. My daughter climbed to the top and said the the view as incredible. Going up was much easier than coming down. I had to come down v e r y s l o w l y and one foot at a time tilted sideways holding on to the step above so as not to fall. I was extremely glad to make it back to the bottom with out a mis hap.
All told this was super trip.
A few minor hiccups = directions at the airport as to which bus to get on to get to the resort were a little confusing,
check in was delayed a little too long - arrived at 12.15 was promised room would be ready for 3 pm after asking 3 times after 3 pm (was told 3 tiimes would be ready in 15 more minutes) - finally was in room at 3 .45 .
Air conditioning in room was a little noisier than I expected (but not so much that I couldnt sleep)
None of these hiccups were of major consquence. I was on holiday in the sun with my favourite person in the world who also enjoyed every minute of her trip
I have been to DR, twice to Jamaica,and on a cruise and this was better than all of them combined. I will most definatly go back to this part of Mexico and more than likely to this hotel complex . Well ,ok, let me think about this ..
I WOULD GO BACK TOMMORROW IF I COULD ....
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.