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Mayan Palace Puerto Penasco
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Reviewed January 6, 2013

Okay folks, we just got back from a week's stay at the Mayan Palace in Puerto Penasco. We have never stayed the the property or been to Puerto Penasco. So without further ado, I'll share with you the good, the bad, and some helpful tips to help counter any other gripes or complaints other reviewer's have shared on here. They are not in any order, just random thoughts to help make your stay the best possible.

1) The Mayan Palace is NOT close to Puerto Penasco...it's a 30 minute drive and believe me, there's NOTHING else around it. So if you don't plan on eating at the hotel, you will have to drive into town for all your meals... Or do what we did and hit Super Ley (grocery store) or Sam's Club and use your kitchenette to do a lot of cooking. Super Ley is off Constitucion Ave. Off the main road that comes into town from Gila Bend, Ajo, Why (Penasco Sonoyta Hwy) you'll see a Burger King. It's DUE west about 3 blocks from there. If you're looking for Sam's Club, it's right when you enter town on Penasco Sonoyta Hwy.

2) The wait staff we found to be VERY friendly and very helpful. The pool bar adds a 10% service charge...that is their tip...if you would like to add more you can but not necessary. However, we added 5% to that...

3) We went to Mayan Palace in January and it was a tad chilly. Bring sweatshirts and long pants! The outdoor pool is BEAUTIFUL, but no one is in it...too cold. But the property has a very nice indoor pool with glass windows all around so you can still have a view of the ocean.

4) The gym at the Mayan Palace could be the best gym I have come across at a hotel in Mexico. Very extensive and a great view of the ocean when doing cardio. We did not try their spa, Brio, but heard it was quite nice.

5) When we went, the outdoor pool had happy hour from 12pm to 1pm and 3pm to 4pm. Half priced drinks saved a LOT OF MONEY...ask them when it is...

6) The hotel rooms are very clean, the beds comfortable, and the entire resort is spotless. I gave our maid a tip and she made animal shapes out of towels every day for the kids...they loved it! And so did I... :-)

7) When checking in...or even before you check in...ask and request a TOP TIER floor. If you have to grease the skids, offer the front desk person $50 bucks. Trust me. It's worth it. And I'm not talking about just the view....the first floor rooms are gorgeous as well. But the issue is, one of the only complains I have about the property is the floors are all hard surfaces. The tables and chairs are made of wood and when they scrape across the floors, they sound like nails on chalk boards...the wood legs reverberate and the sound transfers to the floor below. And trust me, IT'S LOUD! Especially if you go to bed before the people above you do.

8) The time share deal. First, as you ALL KNOW, Mexico is a fairly poor country so you cannot blame them in trying to sell a time share or even book a meeting with you to make a living. However, it's painful. I avoided the entire process by NOT picking up our "welcome packet". I would rather skip the free margarita, the 50% off at the spa, or discounted golfing to be left alone. However, they DO call you. I told them on the phone, "I'm not interested. I appreciate it and would appreciate it if you didn't call me any more about it." That was it, the time share thing is done and over.

9) The ocean is wonderful. It's warm and has very little current. Kids will LOVE to play in it. AND, seashells are lined heavily up and down the beach. The beach is private and you can walk literally for miles and miles.

10) The walls in the hotel room are not that thin, but the doors to the hallway are. Again, hard surfaces reverberate sounds so people walking pass talking sound like they're in the same room as you. Just in case, bring some ear plugs if you are a LIGHT sleeper. Or, just down a few more beers or tequila shots and you'll have no troubles.

Really, it's a very beautiful and friendly property if you go knowing what to expect. It's not a plush Four Seasons, but it's a nice property that is very clean, fun, and quite relaxing! Bring some books!!!

ADDED TIP:
If you've never been to Puerto Penasco, as we have never been, it is a very quite fishing town that depends on tourism to make it. The Malecon at the point downtown is VERY nice, but quite small and the vendors are the WORST I've ever seen in Mexico. They are all over you like fly on stink hustling you for a sale. They even have "car tenders" who point where to park, then help you back up and want a tip...like you couldn't do that without them. We found very little restaurants that were above average, however, three places NOT on the ocean were wonderful.

1) Chef. It's on Freemont coming into town from Mayan Palace. It's on the north side of the road right before you get to Penasco Sonoyta road. Excellent for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

2) Just past Chef on the same side is a taco stand called Combo Taco. Best shrimp tacos I had while I was there. Skip the marlin, it wasn't that good and I'm used to Marlin from Puerto Vallarta...not the same. However, the shrimp and "combo" were awesome and it comes with a fresh salsa bar complete with cabbage slaw you can put on your camarones.

3) Kaffee Bar. It's about a quarter mile on Penasco Sonoyta on the left handside by a dentist office about a quarter mile before you get down to the malecon area. It's small, but has the best coffee and pasteries in town. And, they are open for breakfast and lunch and it's FANTASTIC!

Hope this helps and enjoy your trip to the Mayan Palace!

Room Tip: Make sure to request the 3rd or top level rooms. They are not any fancier and all the rooms have nice views (Except the ones facing the desert side of the property), but it will prevent you from having to listen to the table and chairs reverberate their sound when they're moved across the floors above you. Trust me, they're loud...and it'll wake you up at night if you're a sound sleeper.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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44  Thank tahaus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

+ves: Clean, friendly staff, indoor pool, activities (beach volleyball, pool tournament)

-ves: almost everything is charged - tennis rackets, pool tables, drinks are expensive, internet is very expensive (170 pesos/day) and it's not very fast, coffee in the room (first one is complimentary) is also charged, restaurants are good but pricey

Spa - It is nice and relaxing. We did the Spa Romance package which was supposed to be 3 hours, but it only lasted 1.5 hours. They said to spend rest of the time in the steam/sauna - which we could have done with any other package. So, not really worth it.

Town is about 30 minutes from the resort and is pretty laid back.

Activity center folks - Jessica and Ignacio are friendly and energetic! Even the Ecofun folks (Ricardo, Angela, Doralee, Alfonso) were fun and accomodating.

Time share presentation - If you are strong enough, it shouldn't bother you at all. They won't kill you but yes, they would try to sell :)

It was great to mingle with other guests most of whom were really fun!!!

Room Tip: Suites are very roomy.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sunny M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012

Mayan palace was our exchange week choice for x mas. Out in no mans land is not for us. Did not eat in restaurants. We had taken food and very glad we did. To expensive. They think they have a high class resort, but it is not. The high preasure sales pitch on day 1 was not welcomed. The resort is in a beautiful setting, and if beach combing all day is enough enjoy. The Point restaurant in town had excellent food, but 30 minutes of shopping and we were done. We left 2 days early and will not go back. Do bring clams and shrimp home cheap and great.

Room Tip: Choose top floor. No elevatot, but no noise from above. Request ocean view and make sure they write it on reservation.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank snowbirdtrave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012 via mobile

The Mayan Palace near Puerto Penasco is a beautiful resort on the north end of the Gulf of California/Sea of Cortez. Unfortunately its location is not ideal, but with a few adjustments it could be a great vacation destination. The resort is about 30 minutes away from Puerto Penasco thanks to a slow, windy road into the resort. There is lots to do in the town which is welcome as the resort is limited in both activities and restaurants. There is no nightlife as the bar closes early. There are fees for using the gym and tennis courts, and the pool outside was freezing with no hot tubs. The golfing is very good but expensive and the beach is beautiful with lots of shells. It is perfect for small children as there is no undertow and few waves. Watch out for the timeshare presentations: they ARE NOT 90 minutes and they ARE high pressured. Puerto Penasco was a neat discovery but the Mayan Palace has lots of plans in the works that are far from being completed. Next time I will look for something in the town

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank Lincoln22Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012

We visited the Mayan Palace again in mid-October and once again we had a great vacation. The Lobby is awesome, the grounds are beautiful, the staff fantastic and the beach is the best in Mexico. We bring most of our own food so we only have a couple of beach side snacks at the outside restaurant. There are lots of activities if you want them. Again, we will warn you. If you don't want to buy a timeshare don't go on the tour. Simple as that. We have been owners for years and we love it. Go to our review on 8-27 for more information.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank EthanR12-57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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