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“Paradise in its simplest form!”

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Hotel Akumal Caribe
Ranked #17 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Paradise in its simplest form!”
Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

Just returned from 1 wk stay in one of the bungalows. If you are looking for a quiet, central, unpretentious place to stay this is it. Beautiful beach just out your door, close to many attractions, great service, great food, awesome snorkeling, small grocery stores near by, dive shop on site, abundance of clean taxis, close to public transit, air conditioned rooms, great gallery offering handcrafted mexican art, natural surroundings, nice pool and extremely nice staff and locals. I would definitely return here. Food was very good but more expensive than planned but the service in the different reataurants was top notch. Free wifi. Had a couple of issues through out our stay that were remedied instantly and without problem. Large clean beach towels offered. Rooms were well cleaned daily. Very quiet and safe. Beach was clean and not over packed lots of locals on beach which was wonderful. Snorkeling was awesome. Saw multitude of fish and sea turtles. We felt very welcome and at home where ever we went. Lots of hidden treasures to discover nearby. Only surprise was it gpt dark at 6.30 and there were no tv,s inrooms so the nights were long but that was my issue not the hotels! Thankyou hotel akumal caribe for a wonderful week in paradise. Very impressive place! Just what i was hoping for.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Paula L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Hopkins, Belize
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2013

we stayed to late at the Wet n Wild and ended up having to stay over and found this gem. Clean and excellent service that provided for our family of 9. The daylight brought so many surprises that we did not want to leave. What an amazing place, clean beach, snorkeling from the beach, fishing boats right there, kids playing in the sand and the pool excellent. We will return

Room Tip: We had a casitta in the garden but its not far from beach and loved cosiness. Glad NO TV in room but...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mary and Danie O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2013

If proximity to the best beach in the Caribbean is high on your list, then this is great value for the $$. We've been staying here for 5 years. Its not fancy, pretentious, or all-inclusive. As others say, its very clean (considering the wind blows in all kinds of stuff from the beach) Prices went up this year, but there were some improvements like a new patio door and AC unit (not necessary with the fan and patio doors open), updated electrical, lamps, etc.
Food is good at the snack bar, and also at the Lol Ha dining room. Make a reservation for a table on the deck for extra attentive service, and bring a sweater for the cool ocean breeze in the evening. If you want some variety, The Turtle Cafe is nearby, and further away, on Half-Moon bay there is La Lunita and Que Onda (see my reviews for those).

The spa has moved to a better location, and Ruby still gives the best pedicure I've had.

The beach is perfect for kids (big and small) with a gradual shallow area with soft white sand. Snorkeling is amazing; turtles, rays, squid, porcupine fish, and a rainbow of tropical finny friends are not afraid of us. It does get crowded Friday-Sunday, but the beach is wide and long and you can always find a spot to put a chair or blanket. Some public bathrooms would be nice for those not staying here, and would eliminate the unfriendly "ticket" system at the snack bar. Maybe the tour bus folks could pay for these...

There is justified concern for the environment here: with bus loads of tourists, and possible development of a large resort. The bay and area is precious, as there is no other place as charming and accessible. I do hope the officials keep this in mind and plan development carefully. Visitors can help by wearing protective clothing rather than sunscreen (better for fish and human too).

Room Tip: 401, 408, 416 face toward the ocean and have 2 balconies. Others have only 1 balcony, less ventilati...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank ProfandPres
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2013

Just back today, was snorkeling with green sea turtles 16 hours ago! So amazing, such a great location and such a pleasant quiet little hotel/villas! Great food and drink, very good prices; and many other choices in the immediate area. Feels like a preserved slice of how the Mayan riviera must have been years ago. The polar opposite of big soulless corporate resorts in Cancun!

Room Tip: Bungalows are a bargain and very quiet, and about a 60 second slow walk from the beach!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank PaulKowalski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2013

We visit Akumal at least once a year, and this is one of our favorite places to stay. It isn't fancy, but it is lovely, friendly, kept spotlessly clean, and has some of the most beautiful views possible, with the setting right on the beach and balconies or patios for each of the rooms. Only 21 rooms, too, which is SO nice compared to the giant monster hotels and resorts in other parts of the coast. There's a nice pool and sunning areas around it, as well as palapas to lounge under, with beach chairs. Unfortunately, the amazing beach and bay on which this hotel sits is attracting more and more day tours to the town and beach, and at some times of the year it is getting awfully crowded. (If you go, it is still beautiful and special, and PLEASE respect the turtles and coral in the bay.) The area of the beach for the hotel guests is JUST for the hotel guests, though (just up a bit from the water's edge), so you don't have to fight crowds there.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank beach s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2013

I have been to this hotel repeatedly in my life and changes are slight and it never wears on me. This may be the oldest hotel on the entire Mexican caribe coast, pre-dating the invention of Cancun and the construction of Mex 307 highway. Its original owner and founder was Pablo Bush Romero, who ran a private diver's club in Mexico City and built it as a base camp for their diving expeditions. To my knowledge it is still owned by the Bush Romero family. They work hard to keep it up, keep it simple and keep it affordable to the thousands of loyal visitors who come back to this hotel over and over again in the course of decades. Over the decades I have seen it change in small, incremental ways. Even as late as 2004 there were no televisions, no telephones and no Internet anywhere on the property. The rooms are simple and clean and well serviced. The hotel sits on one of the prettiest beaches you may ever see in your life. There is a small, simple, chlorinated pool next to the hotel, and if you get tired of that, there is a giant, crystal clear, salty pool full of turtles and fish called Akumal Bay right next to that. It is a very affordable place - the kind of place I feel comfortable recommending to friends and relatives of all economic levels. But even though I could probably afford places much more expensive than this, why pay more if you don't have to? This place has it all at a price that is nothing short of a bargain, given its location. The only down side is that during the day the beach can get quite crowded. After decades of sleepiness, the beach has been discovered and tourists from all of the nearby hotels descend on this beach on busy days. Many expensive, big resort hotels lost a good part of their beaches in recent hurricanes - or never really had a good beach to begin with - and now organize tour buses that drop their guests off at the front door of this hotel. But by sun-down, when the crowds are gone, it is the same cozy laid back Akumal that it has been for the last 50 years. Simply the best.

Room Tip: Garden bungalows are cheaper than rooms, but more accessible to the restaurant and bar and more spac...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Zachary_F_N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Our family of 5 (grandma, 2 parents, and kids aged nearly-3 and nearly-6) just returned from an excellent stay at the Hotel Akumal Caribe February 18-24, 2013. We stayed in the adjoining bungalow rooms 116 and 117. This set-up was perfect for us. Grandma and the kids stayed in the room with 2 double beds and the parents stayed in the room with one double bed and a kitchenette. As others have said, the furnishings were on the older side, but I can honestly say it didn’t bother us in the slightest and, in fact, maybe allowed us to be a bit less concerned about the sand and seawater we were constantly tracking through the rooms. We didn’t miss having a sea view at all, as we were mere steps to the sea, Lol-Ha and the excellent casual beach bar/restaurant. We didn’t even need shoes to walk from the bungalow to the beach/restaurant area. Evangelina did a wonderful job keeping our rooms tidy and treating the kids to adorable towel animals on the beds every day.
The hotel’s location is fantastic. It is part of a little town center on the beach, so you can walk to everything, including a few little restaurants, the convenient Super Chomak supermarket, a wash & fold laundry counter, several little souvenir shops and art galleries, etc. Best of all, this little town center area seems to have very good security. We never felt unsafe in any way and we were never harassed AT ALL by vendors trying to sell us things, which was a stark contrast to the morning we spent at the Tulum ruins, where vendors are calling out to you constantly. Going to Tulum made us appreciate that there must be rules against this in Akumal. We dined at Lol-ha and the beach bar/restaurant, which are part of the hotel, and also at a fish restaurant in the beach town center (I don’t know the name) and the Turtle Bakery also in the beach town center. All the food was excellent! We also had a rental car, which enabled us to drive up to La Buena Vida on Half Moon Bay for lunch, which was such a treat--great food in a beautiful location, with lots of character. If we didn’t have the little ones with us, I would have liked to have dined at the adorable treetop tables that are only accessible by ladder! If you don’t have a rental car, you may be able to get there in a rental golf cart. A great idea might be to rent a golf cart, head up to Yal Ku Lagoon for a morning of snorkeling, and then hit La Buena Vida for lunch on the way back.
Back to the hotel . . . ! The beach was absolutely wonderful. It was a lot “busier” than I was expecting since I knew the hotel was on the small side, but I hadn’t realized that it is a public beach, so it was really bustling with all kinds of locals and tourists. Although it wasn’t what I had expected, we ended up really enjoying the happy atmosphere. Also, we had the best of both worlds because there is a subtly-roped-off area of the beach adjacent to the beach bar/restaurant that is only available to hotel guests where you can get set up with some lounge chairs. Even being there during a busy high season week, we could always get lounge chairs even if we didn’t get there until mid-day. Unlike what I hear from a lot of other places, there was no need to claim chairs at 7am! We frequently left our snorkel gear at our chairs while we were down at the beach playing with the kids in the surf and nothing was stolen. We saw a lot of other people doing the same thing, which leads me to believe there is not a lot of theft at this beach. Nevertheless, it was great that our bungalows were so close to the beach because there was no need for us to bring cash to the beach—one of us just ran back when we needed money for lunch. The sand was incredible soft and the water was shallow for a long way out, which was perfect for our little kids to play in!
We found plenty of turtles in the sea grass directly out from the roped-off beach area next to the bar/restaurant. Swimming south, we saw a couple of rays and then came across a bit of coral with colorful fishes. The turtles were more impressive than the coral, but that’s okay! We came for the turtles! And it is great in general (and rare) to have such good snorkeling conveniently located right off the beach, and in front of such an economically priced hotel. Yal Ku was also a great place for snorkeling. It is rocks—not coral—but the fish are plentiful and colorful nonetheless. Also, it is just a really neat place with beautiful paths and statuary. If my kids were older, it would be a great place to rent a palapa and spend half a day lolling around.
We drove ourselves to and from the airport in a rental car. While the road from the airport was actually excellent in terms of pavement, lighting, and signage, and it was really a straight shot and very easy to navigate, our drive from the hotel back to the airport was in the wee hours of the morning and I have to say we were a little concerned to be out driving when it was so dark and desolate, partly because we had been ripped off by a major-brand gas station on that stretch the day prior (they told us our credit card was declined, which was a lie, and made us pay cash, so they charged us twice). We were on to the scheme, but didn’t want trouble, so we just paid our cash like good little gringos and then filed a dispute with the credit card company. But the experience reminded us that the world outside the adorable little Akumal beach center can be sketchier, and it made us a little concerned during our dark drive to the airport the next day. I think next time we would use commercial transfers to and from the airport and just rent golf carts to go to Yal-Ku. The only other place we drove was to the Tulum ruins, and I’m sure we could have done an “excursion” for that if we had wanted to. (And I’m sure we could likewise do an excursion for Xel-Ha if we ever go there, which we did not on this trip because it sounds like that place is expensive and probably better suited to adults and older children).
We have very few suggestions for improvement at this fantastic hotel. First, we wished there would have been drying racks or lines in the locked, windowed porch connecting our bungalow rooms. With so many wet bathing suits, it was hard to find places to hang them around the hotel room. Second, although the “meal plan” is great in that you can save 10% on your food at the hotel, we found that bill-paying often took an extra 20-30 minutes because of all the back-and-forth with the logistics of the card. Some of the servers had the system down pretty well, but others were sort of hopeless about it and you really had to sit there forever waiting to pay. Generally, one of us would stay behind for bill-paying while the other 4 of our party left and got on with their lives. Although I agree vacation is a time to slow down and not be so rushed all the time, you really don’t want to spend an extra 20-30 minutes sitting by yourself at a restaurant merely trying to pay the bill. It seems there should be a way to streamline this process, or at least to train the waitstaff to be more efficient about it.
Not to end on a (minor) negative note, I’ll reiterate that this is a lovely, economical hotel in a fantastic, bustling (but not loud), safe, beautiful location. We would definitely go back!

Room Tip: Bungalows are steps from the beach and restaurants. We didn't miss having a view at all.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Akumal Caribe

Property: Hotel Akumal Caribe
Address: Hwy 307, Km 104, Carretera Cancun-Tulum, Akumal 77500, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#11 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Akumal Caribe 3*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The beach in front of Hotel Akumal Caribe. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Caribe Hotel Akumal
Akumal Caribe Hotel
Hotel Akumal Caribe Riviera Maya, Mexico

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