Vacations are important. They are an investment of time and money to improve you (and your family’s) physical and mental well being.
So the last thing you want is problems and distractions that create stress, which is what you are going on vacation to get away from in the first place.
One of the best places my family and I have found to relax without any worries was at Hacienda Tres Rios in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, south of Cancun and north of Playa del Carmen. This is a magnificent all-inclusive resort.
The staff understands why its guests are there and that is to relax and be pampered. And we were! My family of two adult and two children visited the week of Christmas 2009.
The staff said the hotel was entirely booked, but it never seemed crowded and the staff never seemed so busy as to decrease their attention to you.
Yes, the resort is beautiful. Two large pools occupy the center: one more quiet, one more activity oriented. The famous king-sized canopy beds line the spotless beach allow for total relaxation. The crystal clear rivers, flowing from the cenotes to the ocean, provide a wonderful and calm place to swim or search for aquatic wildlife. The marble-lined suites are spacious and roomy.
But I think what makes this resort stand head and shoulders above the others we’ve visited is the staff. They honestly go out of their way to make sure you are pleased. We found them so friendly that we learned their names very quickly.
From Miguel, the catamaran captain, to Tony and Andy, the sports and activities directors, to Justino, Angel, Trinidad and Elva, the waiters, to Abernathy, the beach barman, to Nancy, the buffet restaurant hostess, to Hector, the concierge. Their politeness and eagerness made us feel totally at ease and free from stress during our stay.
All of this customer-pleasing behavior is epitomized by the famous Oscar, the resort’s executive chef. As it was our first Christmas Eve – a major family holiday for us – we asked Oscar if it was possible to whip up some non-meat dishes to reflect our traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner.
Our family and our friends were blown away by the culinary glory we were served! Including a personalized birthday cake for our friends. Another family from Toronto, at the same dinner, were served a totally vegan dinner that they were singing the praises of. In fact, every meal we had was delicious.
The outdoor grill became our favorite lunch spot, while the young boys in our group loved heading to the outdoor brick pizza oven or ordering plates of nachos.
There’s a kids club but our boys preferred to be on their own and enjoyed the pool, playing water polo, or volley ball or soccer with the other guests under the direction of Tony and Andy.
The evening entertainment is also well done, from the welcoming Mexican Fiesta, with mariachis, to the Mayan and Fire shows, to the Caribbean Party on the beach. There was also a Christmas Eve party in the main “square” of the resort, with live music and dancing.
The resort tours to the cenotes are also worth booking, and because space is limited and there are many guests, they do fill up. However, we were still able to change our tours on Tuesday for Wednesday and Thursday without problem. However, our lackadaisicalness in booking a massage meant we couldn’t get one. Not a big deal.
We visited Playa del Carmen’s famous 5th Avenue on a cloudy day by booking a taxi for $26 roundtrip and booked a taxi that took us to the ruins in Tulum, though there is an outside tour desk that will arrange tours for you.
When it came time to leave, check out was at 11 am and our taxi was arriving at 2:30 pm. So we sat on the beach while our luggage was securely stored and when it was time to leave, we were given a courtesy room to change into our travel clothes.
It’s those little things that you appreciate because it’s one less thing to worry about. And we certainly didn’t worry about anything while we stayed at Hacienda Tres Rios. We’ll be back.
The only negative came from an intolerant guest, who felt the need to payback his hosts’ hospitality by stealing the baby Jesus statue from the outdoor Nativity display.
- 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