We found ABR to be everything everyone that has been a repeat traveler claimed it to be.
Rooms - we were in the superior section, room 659 - which was basic, but it was clean, the hot water worked, the bed was comfortable (even though many claimed it was too hard, we liked it) there were plenty of pillows, the a/c worked just fine (again, many said theirs didn't work well - ours was perfect) The balcony was plenty big, 2 chairs and a table. All rooms in the superior section are oceanview, ours was spectacular. Our railing had recently been replaced - I did notice some others appeared to be in need of repair, but they seemed to be fixing them as needed. The were plenty of channels on the TV to check out football, baseball or just something to watch while relaxing before bed.
Beach/Snorkeling/Bars - Well, there is nothing that I can compare the beach to. By far the best beach we've ever had the pleasure of enjoying. The sand is soft, there are plenty of loungers, some with shade, some just open sun, a few hammocks that are in sun/shade - depending on the time of day. Snorkeling was the reason we chose ABR, and we were
not disappointed. You can see plenty, including the turtles just a few feet from the shore. Swimming out to the outer reef will provide you with even more of a variety of fish, stingrays, eels and coral. All this can be accessed from the beach. There are a few rocky places to enter the water, but rocks usually equal good snorkeling. There is a much greater area of the beach that has the nice soft sand as far as you can walk out into the water. And as mentioned
it is a long long stretch of beach, that will take you right into Akumal. Beach bars are a ways in between, as this beach is very long and spread out. So bring a Bubba mug and make less trips, when you do visit the bar you will find a very friendly face waiting to fix your favorite drink. They quickly learn your name and your favorite drink. We found the drinks to be premium and never watered down.
Food - We were pleasantly surprised at how good the food was. There was always a variety of foods. Yes there was a pasta bar most days/night - which was very tasty. But there were other dishes at each meal. While they might have been fish or chicken each night, they were prepared differently. There was always fresh fruit and plenty of tasty desserts. Breakfast always consisted of plenty of variety, with the meat being a rotation of bacon and sausage each day. If there is something you want and don't see it, ask, they will try to accommodate you. The snack bar had great burgers and fries, guac and chips, there is a bar attached to it, as well as a beer tap and lemonade and water you can get yourself
My only complaint, and complaint might be too strong of a word, is the wifi. This may not be an issue for some and if you don't need it,then the $35/week fee won't apply to you. I didn't mind paying extra for it, had it worked with any reliability. It did not. I had to have them "rehit" my Iphone 3 times. The one day I needed it on my laptop instead of my phone, they quickly changed it for me. However, overall it was extremely slow and unreliable. I ended up just turning the 3G back on on my phone and handling what work I needed to do on it. Unless and until it gets better, I would not recommend you pay for it. And I understand, I live in the county and internet leaves something to be desired here too.
Also, there is no coffee maker in the room, while this may be considered a luxury, it is handy to have. I knew this before we went and purchased a 5 cup Mr Coffee ($14 @ Wallyworld) and took it and some coffee. Being that we were on the 3rd floor of building 6, we were very happy I brought it. You can also rent these for I think $5/day.
Value - This resort is an incredible value. It is not, nor is it touted to be a 5 star, it is a good solid 3-1/2. IMHO, for the money, you cannot go wrong with ABR. It's not luxurious, but has everything you need for a wonderful relaxing time in paradise. Become their friend on FB, they will send you a form to become there friend and you'll save even more on your stay. I checked the prices of some of the other places in the area and there is no comparison, and this is all-inclusive, where most others are not. We chose to walk into town and eat one day, food was also good there and very inexpensive. It's a 5 minute walk up the beach. For the price of this resort, you could afford to eat in town daily and still come out ahead.
We met many many people at ABR that were on their, 3rd, 4th, 5th and more return visit. I now know why and will be returning ourselves next year. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place to even my pickiest of friends. We normally stay in Adults Only resorts, but I was very pleased to see that every child there was supervised and well behaved and their parents should be commended.
Helping get some baby turtles into the water and away from the bright lights (these were turtles that nest might have been missed by the people checking them or were just on their own schedule) was an unforgettable experience.
Each of my request, which were, building 6 or 7 with unobstructed view of ocean and a King sized bed were all met. Check in took less than 5 minutes, and was accomplished with a smile, where she informed me of what, where and how things worked.
If you've read less than desirable reviews, chances are those people did NOT do their research prior to their trip, yet were compelled to write a negative review. Do your homework before you go, know what to expect, know the lobby and dining area are not air-conditioned, but don't complain if you get there and find this out! The only complaint I heard while there was a couple complaining about this very thing. If they had bothered to read up on it beforehand, they would have known this and not been disappointed or might have stayed elsewhere.
If you have any questions I can help you with, message me, I'll be glad to help.
PS - Don't forget to tip, someone ask me why we did, because it was all-inclusive, yes it is, but tip your bartender, the guy that clears away your plates, the lady that makes you an omelet and the lady that cleans your room, they appreciate it and you'll continue to get the good service, and they know you appreciate them making your stay better.
Top floors probably have best views, although all in 5-7 are ocean front
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.