We stayed at the resort Dec 11th - 23rd, 2012. Let me start by saying we had a great stay. It was our first time staying at any resort that was less than a four star so we were not sure what to expect. We did our research in advance of the trip and can say that the resort was exactly what our Trip Advisor research said it was. A three star hotel with a great beach and amazing snorkeling. Food was better than we have had at higher rated resorts, just less options to choose from. Overall the resort was perfect for us. It was quiet, rarely did you have to wait for a drink and the beach and snorkeling were awesome. The overall ambiance of the resort is very relaxing, quite a change from many of the resorts we have stayed at where there were always lots of people milling around and at times quite busy and loud. If you like an active party scene / night crowd I would suggest you select a different resort. The bulk of folks here would have been mid to older aged or families who were clearly there to relax rather than socialize.
I will list the pros and cons with the hope that this will prove helpful. As long as you understand what to expect with a three star and are okay with those limitations you will have a great stay. That said if you want the luxury that comes with a higher rating then pay the extra money and stay elsewhere.
- Good beach with plenty of beach chairs and palapas. People play the towel game but we had no trouble finding space for 5 people without having to be on the beach in the wee hours.
- snorkelling and swimming with turtles right in front of the resort is amazing. We saw the most variety of species at this resort.
- buffet while not as comprehensive in offerings at some other resorts was okay to good. Each lunch they had a hot grill item in the main buffet. Fruit was plentiful and very fresh. Salads were always available. There was always a fish item available. The nicest treat was you could always could on at least on main entrée to be flavourful. Many higher end resorts we have stayed at had lots of choice but everything tasted blah.
- never any lineups for food or drinks
- great cappuccino and coffee at the main bar
- rooms were clean and there was use of the in-room safe was free
- All rooms are ocean view
- there is a stone walk that runs along the front of the resort allowing one to go from one end of the resort to the other
- Al a cartes though limited in choice were good.
- resort and beach were kept clean, they rake the sea grass every morning
- Town of Akumal is about a 10 - 15 minute walk from the resort and offers stores, restaurants, bars, etc. it is small but quaint. The two supermarket sold pretty much anything you would need.
- Staff speak good English
- there are filtered water dispensers on each floor of the resort in each wing
- air conditioning worked excellent
-showers were good and there was plenty of hot water
- room and safe is a key system that comes on a lanyard. We actually really like the system as you never had to worry about where your keys were at.
- soap, shampoo and shower gel are provided
- bars and buffet centrally located
- food at the snack bar was good, they also serve hard ice cream that was tasty
- there are showers and feet rinsing spots in front of the beach bar
- there are no time share folks and no vendors selling items on the beach
- rooms while clean are very basic. No mini fridge, no coffee maker, you receive one bottle of water at check in that you need to refill during your stay.
- there is nowhere to place your suitcase except for the floor or inside the closet
- safe is very small and looks ancient. Held the ipad, wallet, passport, iphone and ipod and nothing else.
- No free wifi anywhere on the resort, you have to pay and then it is only available in the lobby area. Fee is per device so you can't use it on more than one item without paying for WIFI again.
- towels are thin and rough
- beds are very hard. We had a king bed that came with a small foam topper and we slept great. My brother's room had two double beds and they were extremely hard even after they requested the foam toppers
- pillows are like little rocks. No give or squish to them. We adjusted though and slept well
- there really are no activities to speak of except for beach volleyball. The area beside the snack bar has a ping pong table, and deck shuffle board
- no free use of snorkels - though everything you need for snorkeling is available for rent
- transfer from Cancun is long
- only two al a cartes that alternate being open
- in the evening there were mosquitoes. They were not swarming but definitely enough to keep me scratching my arms and legs each evening. First time I hadn’t pack mosquito repellant and regretted it.
- none of the restaurants, bars or lobby area have air conditioning. We did not find this problematic as there were large windows in the restaurant that were always open to allow the breeze to keep one cool.
- there is no one bringing you drinks on the beach
You can reserve for the Al a Carte each morning between 10 am and 12 pm at the snorkeling hut which is also where you pick up and exchange your beach towels. It is attached to the snack bar. We really enjoyed the Italian al a carte both chicken and beef were good. The Mexican al a carte was okay. The fish option was good but the Mexican dish had very little taste. The burgers and fries at the snack shack were good as was the hard ice cream.
I am a water drinker and opted to fill my water bottle at one of the water dispensers on the floors where the rooms are and take that to lunch and dinner. The water in the main restaurant tasted very strongly of chlorine and a mix of swamp so was not enjoyable at all.
We had good success with the main entree for the dinner meal. We were here 12 days and were not served the same dinner main feature twice. My personal favourite was Monday night they served delicious french onion soup, a beautifully done, lean baked ham along with carrots and brussell sprouts as well as a whole variety of hot and cold buffet items.
Lunch was my least favourite meal but I always had good luck with the soup of the day. Salads were good you just get tired of lettuce and tomatoes (missed the cucumber and peppers) but it was fine. For fish lovers you will be fine as there was often a fresh grill fish options for lunch. That said the burgers, hot dogs, fries at the snack shack are good. Others liked the pizza they served but I wasn't fond of it.
I have never been fond of buffet desserts and found the desserts here the same as other resorts. Looked great but lacked flavour. This was fine though as there was plenty of fresh fruit and the ice cream at the snack shack is good.
Breakfast - the personalized omelet station was a hit. Bacon and sausages alternate each day. Fruit is plentiful and very tasty. With the cereals, granola, yogurt, etc. meal options were plentiful. Juices are not very good though. They are drink mix types so while okay were not something that we enjoyed.
The dive shops down from the resort were popular. My husband got scuba certified at the Akumal Dive Shop. Staff was great. He did his online course at home and finished up here with the remaining training and dives. Saul was his instructor and was fabulous.
We went deep sea fishing with Luis. The big guys were not biting but we had luck with bottom fishing. Luis was great and spoke very good English. For three hours inclusive of everything we needed we paid $150.00
Snorkelling was excellent and spanned a very large area making it easy to find space to snorkel without bumping into people. We saw tons of different fish as well as a 5-6 ft barracuda and a smaller one, a golden moray eel, three types of rays - an eagle sting ray, lots of southern sting rays and a yellow stingray, and grass turtles of all sizes. The coral in itself was interesting as there were many different types to see. We were fortunate enough to see two graysby locked in battle, it was pretty cool. We learned that graysby and eels often hunt together and sure enough each time we saw the eels we also saw grasby in the vicinity. We had brought a new underwater camera with us and captured some beautiful video and photographs. Groups of people come in from elsewhere on guided snorkeling tours. They can be irritating as they are careless but we didn't have any trouble staying out of their way. We did most of our snorkeling to the north of the resort (If you came out of the main buffet towards the ocean, you would turn left). Basically we would start snorkeling around the point where the massage cabana is located and go all the way to the rock wall where the boats are tied up. Be sure to look under the boats as you snorkel by. We saw a large grouper (4 ft) under one of the boats. Quite the surprise to look up and me met by the grouper’s teeth.
There was some type of entertainment each night at 9pm. But after long days in the sun and snorkeling we rarely made it out watch any of it. One of the free evening sessions presented during the evening was by a biologist that lives in the area named David. If this is offered while you are here it is worth sitting in on.
The Town of Akumal is only a 15 minute walk from the resort. There are two stores that sell groceries. You can purchase liquor, souvenirs, art, basic toiletries, etc. There are a couple of cafes and bars as well as a silver jewelry store. There is a library in the town where you can get English books for $1 USA. All proceeds from the library go to funding children’s activities in Akumal. Basically walk down the beach to the Akumal Dive Shop (not Akumal Dive Centre which is located before the Dive Shop). When you get to the Dive Shop there is a path to the left of the dive shop. Follow it and then turn left and you are in the town of Akumal. If you turn right instead of left and walk approximately 1 - 1.4 km you come to another area that has a bar, restaurant and a couple of souvenir shops and a jewelry store. Cuban cigars are sold in this area.
A few weeks before we arrived a part of the resort was sold off. Those that had been here before and mentioned the swing bar will be sad to know it was included with the portion of the resort that was sold off.
Massage - if you enjoy massages I suggest you book with Rosetta. She wears white glasses and gives a great massage. She combines a swedish massage with reflexology. You can book your massage at the brown cabana that is down from the snack shack. It is $60 for one person or $50 each if you are booking more than one (they don't have to be at the same time or for the same person). When your massage is done you go to the towel exchange area to sign confirmation of the massage and it is billed to your room.
Rooms - all rooms have ocean view. Buildings 6 and 7 are located to the south of the resort and are away from any noise from the main bar. They are located very close to the ocean. We were in room 739 which was the third last room in building seven and located on the second floor, which is the furthest from the main area of the resort. The room was great. We enjoyed the walk but others might find it too far. We were saying that the perfect room for distance, etc. would be building six but on the second level so you don't have all the walk through traffic. You reach building 7 but walking along the entire length of the main floor of building 6.
Beach - the beach is raked each morning and there is security on the beach day and night. Not sure why the security is needed as the area is very peaceful but on our last day we realized why, folks from the resorts to the north that do not have lounge chairs made their way to our area to use the chairs. Security sent them on their way. There are sandy areas where one can swim and then corral areas for the great snorkeling.
The main lobby will exchange CDN and USA currency into Pesos. They may do other currencies but I couldn't confirm this.
There is a wooden cabinet in between the two computers in the lobby (which are free to use and have wifi) were you can borrow books to read. They had a decent selection and I appreciated being able to access extra reading material. The computers in the lobby are not connected to a printer but if you wish to print your boarding passes you can email them to the front desk and they will print them off for you.
The gift store on the resort has a nice variety of items for sale. Prices are not outlandish but definitely more expensive than in Playa Del Carmen.
We used the collectivo to go to the Tulum Ruins and then from the ruins to Playa del Carmen and then back to the resort. Akumal Beach resort to Tulum was 30 pesos each. Tulum to Playa Del Carmen was 40 pesos each and Playa Del Carmen back to the resort was 35 pesos each. At the resort you just walk out the entrance to the resort. If you are heading north to Play Del Carmen area just stand on the side of the road and put your hand out when you see the while van's approaching. If there is room they will stop for you. You tell them where you are going and pay once you get there. Usually they will take US dollars as well as pesos. IF the collectivo is full it will flash its lights at you and you can flag the next one that comes by. If you are heading south in Tulum direction, cross the highway to the other side and do the same thing.
Taxi fares were posted by the bellman. We have a photo of the prices, if interested let me know and we can email it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the ancient language of the Mayas, long before Cancun, there was a magic place called Akumal "Place of Turtles". Between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Akumal Bay - Beach & Wellness Resort offers one of the best beaches anywhere, with almost a mile of white sandy powder beach, world-class snorkeling with sea turtles and top diving with a great variety of life that thrives within the live coral reef just steps from our guest room. The relaxed atmosphere in Akumal captivates the spirit of a laid back Mayan Riviera beachside town. Akumal Bay - Beach & Wellness Resort offers a truly unique experience for guests seeking the best possible beach vacation. All guest rooms are located in 4 buildings within steps of the ocean and feature breathtaking views of Akumal Bay. With the convenience of an All-Inclusive, we provide our guests with a sophisticated simplicity and friendly service in the intimate atmosphere of a small resort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Akumal Beach Hotel Akumal
- Beach Resort Akumal
- Akumal Beach Resort Mexico
- Akumal Beach Resort Riviera Maya, Mexico