I was really excited to go to ABR. I read reviews, joined forums, watched the webcam, and assumed the people who posted negative comments were just high maintenance or hard to please. I am not super picky but can definitely understand some of the issues.
Would we go back? Maybe – IF the resort made WiFi available in the rooms (right now, it’s $35 a week and only available in the lobby and part of the main bar) and improved the beds. We’d have to consider the added cost of eating out several meals, buying liquor, and possibly buying an inexpensive set of drawers. The resort, however, was very clean, the location was amazing, and the staff were super friendly.
LOCATION: ABR is on a gorgeous stretch of beach. We snorkeled every day that wasn’t too windy. We saw turtles, stingrays, squid, and lots of beautiful fish and coral. There usually were beach chairs to be found, but we had to get up early to get one under a palapa or shade. Akumal restaurants and shops are about a 10 minute walk up the beach. We made that trip quite often, which provided some needed exercise.
ROOM (741): Our room was on the second floor at the far end of building 7. Our view was mostly of tree trunks, but we could see the ocean through the trees so it wasn’t a huge deal. The room was very clean, and the housekeeping staff did a phenomenal job. We recommend getting a room in building 6. It's close to the "action," but far enough away to be quiet.
As others have described, the room was very basic. From other TripAdvisor reviews, we knew there were no dressers but didn’t realize what a pain that would be until we tried to settle in. There were no drawers – anywhere. Our options were to live out of a suitcase for a week or pile everything onto the counter. We put everything on the counter. It wasn’t pretty but did allow us to find what we needed.
If you like a SUPER firm bed (like my boyfriend), you’ll be in heaven. I, however, struggled to sleep through the night, even with foam topper. I’m used to hard Mexican beds, but this was a bit extreme. I’m glad I brought my own pillow.
We had a couple of maintenance issues with the room. We notified the front desk staff, but the items never got fixed. Also, we never got any washcloths, even after asking for some. Maybe the resort doesn’t have any… But again, it was super clean – and all the housekeeping staff we met were super friendly.
FOOD: The food was hit or miss. Some items were very good, while others were mediocre, but we always got plenty to eat. The chicken was usually tasty. The bread was always good. The fresh juice was yummy. I eventually discovered that the omelet chef made fried eggs on request. They were quite good and a welcome break from the typical buffet fare.
We ate at the beach bar most days for lunch. They offered burgers, hot dogs, pizza, fries, and tortilla chips. The burgers were precooked but heated on the grill so tasted pretty good. The pizza and fries were delicious. The guacamole and pico de gallo were always plentiful and fresh.
LIQUOR: Although the bartenders were always friendly and happy to help, the bar selection was VERY limited and the drinks were served in tiny glasses. “National” brands included Kahlua, Cuervo Especial tequila, and Smirnoff vodka. The ONLY whiskey they had was Scotch (yuck). I normally don’t like Cuervo, but it tasted fine in their margaritas. We ended up going to Playa del Carmen to buy some Jack Daniels and better tequila. Both stores in town carry liquor, but the Jack was really expensive.
* Bring an insulated glass with a straw. The bartenders are happy to fill up whatever you bring them, plus it works great for the self-serve beer and juice.
* Stop at the airport or in Playa del Carmen and get any brand-name liquor and/or soda you might want (and maybe a cooler for ice).
* Buy and use the Maya Solar sunscreen sold in the local stores. It works great and doesn’t harm the reefs. Plus the SPF 15 Tan & Block formula provides a subtle but noticeable bronze.
* Be VERY careful to not touch the coral – with fins, feet, or fingers! Too many snorkelers were damaging the delicate coral - probably without even knowing it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.