I recently spent a week at the Azul Fives with my family (four kids ages 5-13). It was our first trip to Mexico and we had a very good experience with both the Azul Fives, and with the activities available in the Rivera Maya. Prior to the trip, I spent a lot of time on Trip Advisor and appreciated the reviews which were posted, so I want to add my perspective and hope it helps others plan their trips to the area.
The Azul Fives is one of the newest properties in the area, and the facilities were excellent. We stayed in a two room suite with a roof deck. The pictures on the web site do a good job of describing the accommodations - they are clean, modern, and very attractive. In addition, the restaurant locations were very well designed and beautifully appointed - the facilities are a great strength of the hotel.
The hotel is comprised of a number of identical three story buildings, with a long winding pool weaving between the buildings. As a result,guests have access to a pool right by their room, in addition to the larger pool located near the beach. This is very helpful for families with younger children who want to stay closer to their rooms and are looking for less activity than takes place at the beach. Some reviewers have commented on the pool temperature, but we found the pools to be just fine and spent many hours in the water. There are three "swim up bars" spread out across the winding pool near the buildings, and many guests seem to enjoy the access to the friendly staff ready to serve a cold beverage.
The buildings are set back from the beach, so there are no real ocean views from the rooms. The walk to the beach from the rooms varies by location, but is no more than 5 minutes from any of the buildings. At the beach, there is a larger "infinity edge" pool that looks out on the ocean and also includes a swim up bar. This area is more active and high energy, and hotel staff organizes activities like beach volleyball, soccer, and dancing. This was all done in a fun and lighthearted manner and did not take away from guests who just wanted to enjoy the sun.
One of the highlights of the trip was the very pleasant and professional staff at the hotel. We were very impressed by the desire of the staff to help us enjoy our stay. This was our first trip to Mexico, and we came away thoroughly impressed with the friendliness of the many people we met both inside and outside the hotel - it is a real benefit to travel in this region. I can honestly say that our interactions with everyone we met at the Azul Fives was a pleasure and enhanced our trip.
We particpated in the Gourmet All Inclusive program and thought the food was good, not great and there was some uneven service levels. There are three main restaurants, complemented by smaller "cafe" styles options near the guest rooms. Flavours is the main breakfast area, and the breakfast options were terrriifc - custom omelettes, fresh waffles, pancakes, fruit juices, and some mexican specialties all in a beautiful setting that felt like a high-end restaurant.. Our family was excited for breakfast every morning. Sea Olives is more of a Meditarranean style restaurant, and we only ate their one time. We found the food to be average and service was a little slow. We did enjoy Tsuki's, which offers Japanese/Asian food and was quite good. The restaurant is small so it fills up on busier nights. It is worth noting that every restaurant offers a kids menu, and the staff does their best to accommodate requests to help younger guests enjoy their meals. We always felt welcome as a family in all of the venues.
Special note regarding the smoothie bar - connected to the gym/spa is a place that makes fresh fruit smoothies which are fantastic. You can get drinks made with mixes at the bars, but this venue offers the real deal and they are terrific.
The property has a very nice kids club staffed by some terrific ladies who are friendly and energetic. Most families with young kids seemed to have their kids there for some portion of the day. Activities include Lego, video games (always an attraction), water games at one of the pools, and some crafts. The ladies in the center were always positive and happy to welcome another visitor, and our kids looked forward to spending some time there each day.
Very nice facility with a couple of treadmills, ellipticals, weights and stretching. Clean, modern, nice. Spa was expensive, but services were very good and they have options focused on kids.
As other reviews have cited, you cannot swim directly in front of the hotel because there are rocks/coral in the water. However, a walk of a few minutes up the beach gets you to a sandy bottom where you can play in the waves. The water is warm, clean, and beautiful. We spent some time in the water every day. Lots of beach chairs and cabanas for those who want to hang out closer to the water.
Playa Del Carmen - bustling town 15 minutes away worth a trip for shopping and dining
Tulum - must see Mayan ruins on the coast
XCaret - an "eco park" that is somewhat like "animal kingdom" and has a great show in the evening that is worth seeing
Akumal - terrific snorkeling in a protected bay
Dolphinaris - swim with dolphins - beautiful new facility and a great experience
Best of luck in planning your trip
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located just 10 minutes from charming Playa del Carmen, Azul Fives Hotel is noted for enormous suites designed for families and friends with up to three bedrooms with rooftop decks. Activities and special experiences foster togetherness for families, couples and groups of friends. The 360-suite hotel offers the renowned Gourmet Inclusive® concept, as well as flexible meal plan options to suit all agendas. Private barbecues highlight family activities, and the Kid’s Club sponsored by Fisher-Price® caters to children. Rooftop Weddings inspire soon-to-be-married couples. The 24-hour room service and full-service concierge ensure memorable vacations. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Azul Fives By Karisma Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Azul Beach Resort The Fives Playa Del Carmen Riviera Maya, Mexico