Our family of four visited Hacienda Tres Rios over the Thanksgiving break. We're not frequent travelers, so this was our first such trip with our kids (11 and 13). We had been to Mexico just once before, for our honeymoon in Cozumel many years ago. Suffice to say that we were all looking forward to this trip.
I discovered HTR when shopping on Costco's travel site and liked the sound of the Eco-park setting for the vacation. When I was ready to book, the HTR package disappeared from Costco's site, so I ended up booking directly with HTR. I asked the lady in reservations (Maria Sandoval) specifically about transportation to/from the airport and she assured me that it was included and that someone would be waiting for me at the airport. Well, that didn't happen and I ended up paying the $50USD to get to the resort. Combine this with all the "helpful" folks at the Cozumel airport trying to offer you a ride, this wasn't a great start. Not terrible, but a little frustrating. I did find that transportation is included for members - our first exposure to differences between "renters" and "members".
The "presentation" - As part of the check-in process, we were given the intro information from a concierge, including the invitation to the "promotional presentation". Of course, this is the offer to become a private member of HTR and the Sunset group. The presentation was described as 90 minutes with no high pressure sales. I doubted the high pressure part of that statement, but decided to take them up on it for some free tour tickets. Even though we were clear that our vacation budget precluded us investing in anything they had to offer, it still took 3 hours to get through the third layer of sales pressure before we finally left. Fortunately, it was a rainy day... not sure we would have stuck around so long if the weather were nicer. It was clear to me, however, that if we got up and left the "presentation" prematurely, the "gifts" would not be awarded.
Service - generally service at the resort was very good and staff was attentive. The grounds were also very clean. Don't be in a hurry if you're going to the Mexican, Asian or Italian restaurants. Chances are you'll be in there for at least a couple of hours. The food was good, though. The kids did struggle a bit to find something on the menus, as many of the dishes and ingredients were not what they're used to.
Transportation - while at the hotel, you're a long way from the gate at the highway, so using the affordable bus service is not really an option. Taking a taxi into Playa del Carmen was $200 pesos. If you mostly just want to hang out at the resort, there's no problem, but you have other plans, just know that there's some distance between HTR and any other activities.
Bugs & Critters - the coatis (racoon-like animals) were not a problem at all. They are there, but they were not a nuisance. By the time we left, I had lots of little red bites all over my body. As I didn't feel anything biting me while I was awake, I do think that they are from bed bugs. That's no good, and unfortunately, something that folks will be asking about when I go back to work when they see the little red marks.
Tours - we did the bike, kayak and snorkeling tours within the resort. All were fun. Not a lot of fish to see in the river, but it was still enjoyable. We also did the brand new Segway tour that started just this week for an extra $20USD per person. This was terrific and everyone really enjoyed it.
Overall, the trip was OK. If we were to return to the area next year, I would look for a different place to stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy and relax in a sustainable tourism luxury development in the Mexican Caribbean, our Spa & Nature Park make it the perfect spot for relaxing while your younger and more adventurous companions explore the beauty of the Riviera Maya within a safe environment such as this award-winning eco-luxury hotel integrated within Tres Ríos Nature Park. Be part of a paradise designed to restore and preserve the natural landscape without sacrificing the comforts and amenities of a five star all-inclusive hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hacienda Tres Rios Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Hacienda Tres Rios Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico