My family and I recently returned from a 10 day holiday at the amazing Azul Fives, and we all can honestly agree that this is one of the BEST family vacations we have ever been on.
First of all, I would like to address the WHINERS. Prior to going on this vacation I read many reviews on this hotel and noticed that there are quite a few fairly negative ones. In my opinion many of these people, who often claim to be "experienced travellers", need to get off their high horse and step back into reality. When you are traveling, things go wrong sometimes, people make mistakes. Its part of it, and if you can't handle it and go with the flow, then your probably better off staying at home! I saw a complaint that was made about the drive on the road going into the resort and how it wasn't exactly visually attractive. It disappoints me to hear things such as this because ultimately, Mexico is not one big all inclusive resort. Its very different from the U.S. and Canada, and no, not all areas are going to look as beautiful as the five star resorts you are staying in. If something like that is going to bother you, then you need to get your priorities straight. I noticed on the road into the resort that there were many housing complexes, I’m not sure what is wrong with that, people need places to live? In my opinion I find it very interesting to see things like that, you get a chance to catch a brief glimpse of what the real Mexico is like - not just the tourist side of it. Ultimately, when you are in Mexico, you are in a foreign country, and people do things differently, have different expectations and ideas of how things work and you NEED to be able to keep that in mind otherwise you will be disappointed every single time.
My family and I have been to Mexico quite a few times, mainly to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. In addition to Mexico we have also been to various destinations all over the Caribbean, the U.S., Europe and also a number of cruises. We all agreed that the service at the Azul Fives is quite possibly the best we have ever received while on vacation. I honestly don't know how anyone could say anything bad about the staff here. They are the most amazing, friendly, welcoming and hard working staff I have ever come across in my life and we were all blown away. There are two staff members we met that really made our trip special and are worth mentioning. The first would be Emilio, the bartender at the Palamas swim up bar. He was so kind and friendly and knew us all by name. His drinks were our favorite and he makes a fantastic mojito! Or margarita...or anything for that matter! He would bring us drinks without us even having to ask and we would often find ourselves spending our evenings just sitting and having a conversation with him. Fermin, a waiter at the Beach Grill restaurant was another amazing staff member. He made our dinners at this restaurant (YES it is open for dinner, many people think its not which is a shame) so enjoyable and entertaining and we loved talking to him and seeing his smiling face each time we went there. On our last night he even brought us a special dessert - deep fried ice cream! It was delicious. These two men in addition to all the other hardworking staff really went above and beyond our expectations and made our trip amazing. Please remember, the staff are not your slaves. It saddened me to see that this was often how hotel guests treated them. These people work SO hard and do not deserve to be treated with anything less than the utmost respect. If you're not going to tip them, then please...at least give them a polite "thank you"..
Our room was very clean, spacious and modern looking with very comfortable beds. Also, there were no bugs to be found, which was great because my family does not do well with bugs. We fit five people in a one bedroom suite (one bedrooms are max. 4 people) and we still had more than enough room! We knew to ask ahead of time for certain things, such as a room on the ground floor facing the pool, which we did get. We were so glad to have a room like this and to be able to walk right out to the pool and bar. Another thing we loved was that most of the rooms are only about a 3 minute walk from the main pool/beach area, something that doesn't happen very often in large, extravagant all inclusive resorts. The shower in our room was great, large and lots of room, and there were two washrooms, which was perfect for us.
The restaurants and food at the Azul Fives would definitely be above average for an all-inclusive resort. Not only was the presentation of the food impressive, the taste was as well. The Italian restaurant was AMAZING and I would highly recommend it. All the other restaurants are delicious as well. The Beach Grill is good for lunch or a snack while at the beach, or for dinner, it was definitely our favorite spot. The Flavours buffet is great for breakfast and has a wide variety of different types of foods for both breakfast and dinner. The swim up bars have delicious "snack" foods, such as quesadillas and fresh salsa and guacamole. The room service is another great thing we experienced, we ordered room service almost every day and it was delicious every time. All in all, I think my family and I ate better than we ever have on any cruise we have been on (and if you've been on a cruise, you know what that is like). We never got bored of the food and there was always something for each of us to enjoy.
The beach is very nice, it was definitely my favourite spot to relax. Yes, it is rocky along the shore and can be a bit tricky to swim in if its rough, however all you need to do is get over the rocky part (the water is shallow where the rocks are so if it isn't extremely rough then almost anyone can do it) to get to clear water and sand which is great for swimming. The staff at the beach really make it great, they're always very friendly and going around trying to get people involved in activities, which I loved (beach volleyball, water aerobics etc). Also, the bar staff are very good and are always making sure you have a drink!
Some other things I’d like to mention about traveling to this area; We rented a car while we were here for about two days and I would highly recommend doing that as it really allowed us to get out and see a lot of things. We felt completely safe driving around and the roads were fairly clear of traffic and simple to navigate. We drove to Tulum one day to see the Mayan ruins, where we also booked a snorkeling tour to go on afterwards. We drove from the ruins to Santa Fe beach for our snorkeling tour, and this was one of the most amazing beaches we have ever been to. On the second day we had the car we drove to the Maroma Beach Club and Marina, which was 10$ per person to get in to, but TOTALLY worth it. The beach was beautiful and great for swimming. Also another must is going into Playa del Carmen for a day and/or night and going to 5th street, which is mainly a tourist area so its very safe, but its a really neat place to see and it has great shopping and restaurants!
This resort is a very kid friendly, family orientated place. If you are looking for a romantic getaway and you don’t enjoy having children around, I would not recommend it. Also, it generally seems to be free of crazy partiers (we were there during spring break), so there is no need to worry about being in party central with your family. However if you happen to be the "spring breaker" type and you're looking for a party, this resort may not be for you.
- 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