Chtichen Itza: Hacienda...
Chtichen Itza: Hacienda Chtichen Itza (Picture)
Uxmal: Mision Uxmal
Merida: Hotel e castelano
Playa del Carmen: Hotel las Palapas
Mexico City: Hotel sheraton maria Isabel 8Paseo de la Reforma 325, Zona Rosa
The white-sand beach in front of the hotel is a perfect place to relax. On a clear day you can look across the turquoise Caribbean and see Cozumel Island.
The hotel is situated on Playa Norte just off lively Fifth Avenue. Despite its location the hotel has a very relaxed and secluded atmosphere. Its tropical gardens are so enjoyable to walk round. All the expected facilities of a beach hotel are here, a highlight is the buffet breakfast. The staff are so friendly and helpful too. All these thing combined to make it such an enjoyable and memorable place to stay.
The rooms are either one or two story bungalows surrounded by tropical gardens. The relaxed atmosphere of the hotel means they don't contain a telephone or television. Who needs a tv though, when you can lie in a hammock on your private veranda.
Chtichen Itza: Hacienda Chtichen Itza (Picture)
Uxmal: Mision Uxmal
Merida: Hotel e castelano
Playa del Carmen: Hotel las Palapas
Mexico City: Hotel sheraton maria Isabel 8Paseo de la Reforma 325, Zona Rosa
We did not stay at this hotel but can tell you from what we SAW there it is stunning. Palapas on the beach, powered only by candlelight. I am not sure,but I don't believe they have electricity. Once you see the rooms and how your door of your palapa opens right onto the sand, you won't miss it.
Beautiful Palapa restaurant offers vegetarian food by the menu full, plus some seafood. A beautiful cove all to itself.
We took a tour offered by the reservation clerk when we went to scope out it's sister property, Copal.
Azulik BLEW me away. The only electricity powers the office and the restaurant, the rest of the grounds and powered only by candle light. I though i would go MAD until I saw the palapas. Large, beautiful, two beds..one hanging queen size, for napping. One king size for sleeping. Beautiful porch over looking the ocean from your cliff top palapa. Ok it's only about 20 steps down to the beach, but it changes your perspective in an amazing way.
Private baths with hollowed out trees which serve as your tub. A small round soaking tub for two is located outside. Beautiful grounds, spectacular cove. I forgot all about electricity after about 10 minutes. I highly suggest visiting their web page. Yoga, massage, a sweat lodge. Visit the web page. This place is so cool that even THAT may not do a good job doing it justice.
varies by the season At Villas Playasol you can enjoy the comforts of home in these beautiful 2-bedroom ocean view condominiums or 4-bedroom villas. Each accommodation is individually furnished with great care by its owner. They offer all the comforts that you would expect if the condo was you own.
You can view the world's second largest coral reef from your balcony, a diving or snorkeling paradise located just 300 meters offshore.
Enjoy a soothing therapeutic massage in the comfort of your condo from a local therapist, or relax by the pool, or read a novel under one of the palapas. No matter what your wishes, you will find your stay at Villas Playsol to be a very enjoyable experience.
When i stayed last Nick was the manager :)
When we got up we went straight down to the beach. We got some sunbeds and an umbrella and were set for the day. It was quite windy so it was much better than lying on the sand. Sam was playing in the sea and fell over a rock cutting her foot quite badly. She also had a blood blister. The bar staff had a first aid kit so we cleaned it and put a bandage on it for now. Poor thing was eside herself becasue she had bloods! It will be fine we later took the bandage off to let it dry out.
Marc went and got her a bucket and spade as promised (pink of course!) as well as some fruit for breakfast which stopped the tears.
We were happily reading our books with Sam playing iun the sand when the second drama of the day started. I noticed one of the dive boats coming in and everyone leaping off. Inoitially I though oh nice way to get back afetr your trip, having to throw your bags into the sea and dive in afetr them. Then I realised oh f**k its sinking! The sea was very choopy because of the wind. Teh divers were trying to get as much equipment off the boat as possible, seconds later it tipped over with the last person on the boat juping away. Marc ran across to help them bring in as many dive tanks as possible. Amazingly tehy managed to get the boat turned over again. I was surprised that no one not even the lifeguards were helping out, they just stood on the shore watching. It was then a tug of war as a rope was tied to the boat to try and bring it in. It was filled with water so far too heavy. They managed to tie it to a bulldozer that was paving the road but the wooden pole on the boat soon snapped off. They did get it out eventually though. The sad part of it was that the photographer who worked for the dive compnay lost a US$8000 camera. As he said, well there goes my livelihood! Bad day for him for sure.
We spent the rest of the day on the beach and then went back to the hotel for a swim before dinner. We met two women form Minnesota who come to Play regularly so we chatted to them for a while. We found a nice cheap place for dinner, mainaly Tacos which were really good so we will be going back there for sure!
On the way back Sam got some braids in her hair, pink ones of course!
Thursday 25th November
It was overcast when we got up and by the time we were ready to go out it was pissing it down. We stayed in the room until it had calmed down to a drizzle and then went out for brunch. We ducked into the Casa Tucan just as it began to come down hard again. We stayed there quite a while and got chatting to a family from British Columbia about Thailand, they went a few years back to go climbing.
We decided to skip the beach and go back to the room. We got caught in the next downpour just after we bumped into the ladies form Minnesota at the mini-market, they had the same idea, stock up on drinks and snacks and bunk out in the room! Sam was quite happy to watch DVDs for a change.
The rain stopped in the evening and we went to the internet café and then dinner at the Taco place again. It really is good value for money (MX$135 this time for the three of us). We walked along Quinta Av and back so it was a late night but we had had a very lazy day.
Rain again, Marc is getting serious cabin fever already and it is forecast to rain all weekend!
By lunch time the rain had stopped but it was still overcast so Marc and Sam went for a swim at the hotel before we went to the play park at the beachfront. The sea was a stunning aquamarine but large black clouds loomed overhead. We got caught as we headed back. The rain is warm so walking in the rain really isn`t a bother.
We had dinner at the German restaurant (Manne`s Beergarten on Calle 4, two blocks from the beach). The owners are very friendly, Susie is hilarious, they were pretty busy and she got herself in a bit of a flap! We`ll go back there again!
Saturday 27th November
We decided to walk further down the left side of the beach. We went as far as the new pier. My advice get to playa asap, the cruise ships will be docking here and all I can say is that it will ruin Playa with all the hoards docking here daily, but hey that’s just me I don`t like people! Beyond the pier is and even nicer beach so we walked almost to the end of that. We stopped at Las Palapas, a stunning resort, small cabanas in lush tropical gardens, nice pool and on the best bit of the beach. The cheapest rooms were $171, way out of our budget but if you have the cash it’s the place I would come to!
We walked back along the beach and got some sun-beds at Mamitas Beach club just after the Tukan beach club (as featured in the LP). It was MX$60 for the sun-beds and the shade tarpaulin. There was nice chill out music playing which was better than the noisy place we were at on our first day. There were a lot of Mexican people on the beach, all the beautiful people I might add! The water temperature was perfect and the beach club also had a kids pool which Sam loved. We practically had to drag her back.
In a place like playa it is easy to forget that in Mexico there are a lot of people who live in poverty. I noticed some kids on the beach scrummaging through the bins collecting cans and plastic bottles. It does make you feel guilty about lazing around all day while those kids scavenge for a few pesos a day.
On the way home (by this time it was dark) we stopped at the Blue Parrot Inn but we found a room even nicer for US$65 on the beach with a pool. Wee have decided not to go to Cozumel, it was very clear today and it looks like there are too many high rise hotels plus the cruise ships dock there. Playa is plenty crowded fir us and no we have found this new beach we are much happier. We will use the extra budget on upgrading to the beachfront hotel.
We went to Mannes Beergarten for some excellent Goulash. The free Tequila afterwards went down a treat!
We had breakfast at Zoo international, on Quita Av at about Calle 10 or so. It is an excellent little place. They have nice healthy breakfasts – bagels with cream cheese, yoghurt with honey and granola, freshly squeezed orange juice and even an internet café. We seem to have fallen into a routine, we headed straight for Mamita`s Beach club. This time we got sun-beds by the pool so Sam could swim all day and we could keep an eye on her. Well what I did see was a little holiday romance blooming. It was so sweet, she was swimming with a little boy and he turned round and held her face before planting a big wet one on her lips. They spent most of the day playing despite not being able to understand a word the other was saying. These Latino types you really have to keep an eye on!
We also bumped into the ladies from Minnesota – I really need to learn to remember names, they told us we can get coupons form our hotel so we only pay half price for our sun-beds – yee haw more money saved!
It was even hotter today. The sea here is indescribable, more shades of blue, turquoise and aquamarine than you could imagine. Marc can also do some diving from the beach here; the boats go out throughout the day so at least he is not gone for a whole day, they dive a little way off the beach.
We had another drama on the beach today. I saw some commotion down by the sea and then lots of people crowding round. A Mexican girl of about 12-14 came back to her family and was crying her eyes out and being consoled. The lifeguards were keeping another guy on his stomach in the beach until the tourist police came and dragged him off. I have no idea what it was all about I can only assume he was trying to `interfere` with the girl. I must say Playa is very safe though the tourist police are always around and things were dealt with very quickly.
Sam had bad tummy ache just as we were leaving the beach so poor Marc had to carry her on his shoulders all the way home – it is a long walk!! She is fine now, we have all had bouts of feeling unwell, always takes some adjusting. We are not using the air-con in our room either, we find it better to just adjust to the heat, we are used to it now.
We decided against moving to the beach front, we will stay where we are and rather save the cash, we like where we are staying so why move? When we booked the extra week we were given a free upgrade to a better room which has a fridge and microwave.
We had dinner at Manne`s again. We love the place, his wife / girlfriend, Susie is an absolute hoot! She will tell you herself that she is completely mad! Wednesday is the restaurants third anniversary so we will be there for that.
Monday 29 November
We changed rooms this morning. Because we are staying an extra week we got a free upgrade woohoo!! We now have a little kitchenette (fridge and microwave), a larger room and a hairdryer.
We took Sam to the Playpark and then had breakfast at Zoo international before heading to Mamita`s. We met a family from Minnesota (must be a special on flights I guess!) who had young girls but they weren`t interested in playing with Sam which was really mean. We stayed on the beach until the sun went down and then walked back along the beach.
We are thinking about hiring a car to do Chichen Itza and doing Tulum by collectivo (minibus). We are getting too lazy to move on (already :S!)
We didn`t get up as early as we had planned to but that seems to be the story everyday! We dropped off some laundry (MX$10 per kilo) and then got the collectivo to Tulum. The minibuses leave form Calle 2 continuously when they are full they go, it is only MX$30 per person each way and takes about an hour.
Once you get to Tulum its a short walk from the main road and you can then get a trolley bus the 750m to the entrance (MX$20 each, kids are free). It was baking hot today so we took the lazy way. The ticket office is right by the entrance and the entrance fee is MX$38 each but another MX$30 is you want to use a video camera.
Tulum is spectacular the way it is situated on a cliff with the sea as a backdrop. We walked around the site kicking ourselves for having forgotten the guide book! Will have to read about it tonight. We were lucky to spot a large iguana on a rock, Sam thought it was really `cool`.
You can walk down to the beach round the side of El Castillo and take a dip. We didn`t bring our cossies, it was so hot we could have done with a swim! There were a lot of people at teh ruins, a lot more than I had expected. We got the collectivo back and were in Playa by 3pm. It was nice to do something different and at least I have finally seen a Mayan ruin. The way things are going I may never get Marc to leave Playa.
Back at the hotel we made some sandwiches in the room (having a kitchenette is great!). We played some monopoly by the pool (Sam`s new favourite game). I faded afetra bit and had to have a siesta.
In the evning we went to Manne`s as it was their third birthday. The place was decorated with balloons and they had a limited menu but all our faves – Goulash soup and bratwurst. Everything was really cheap, beers and sangria was MX$10 and food was MX$15. Susie was pleased to see us and had seen my comment on their website. There was a great party atmosphere!
Saturday 4th December
Marc got chatting to two Aussie guys at our hotel. They just got back from Guatemala. They only went to Tikal and such a bad vibe of the country they decided to leave it at that. They took a private taxi and were badly ripped off, they paid and the driver then demanded payment again saying that they had no receipt. They ended up paying $80 for a $20 fare. These guys have traveled all over the world, SE Asia, India etc and said the slums are the worse than the worst they saw in India. They were constantly lied to and felt they had to look over their shoulder all the time. They heard gunshots outside their hotel at night as well. They got the bus back to Belize and heard stories form just about every traveler of being held up at gunpoint or knifepoint, having things go missing and just generally feeling uneasy. Two Dutch girls were shot on the Rio Dulce last week (apparently), a trip we were planning on taking. These guys are big boys so if they felt threatened imagine what a soft target we would be. We have just heard too many bad things. Everyone we have spoken to says that the country is absolutely beautiful but it is just so dangerous. We have therefore decided (for the meantime) not to go to Guatemala. It is a huge loss as it was one of the big highlights of our trip but no matter how beautiful a place is, if you are constantly looking over your shoulder it just isn’t worth it. Taking a child just makes it even more of a no go, it is a risk we are not prepared to take.
We will go through Belize to Honduras (by ferry) and then back again. Our options now are to either go into Nicaragua or come back to Mexico where we can get reasonable flights to Cuba. We need to do some thinking! Maybe we can get cheap flights form Honduras to Costa Rica.
On the way back from the beach today we enquired about flights to Cuba, $273 incl. all taxes per person, not too bad but not in the budget, well what are credit cards for huh?
We got up early but still didn`t make it to the beach much before 11am, ugh so frustrating, I hate wasting away the day by faffing about!
Strange weather today, it actually rained a little but was otherwise perfect. The sea was nice and rough so we had some good waves.
My daughter is becoming quite the barfly though. The bars here have swings that you sit on instead of stools (great idea!) so she spends a lot of time sitting at the bar! I was spying today, she walked up to the bar and sat down and the barman obviously knows her by now and breaks into a big grin and said Òla Samantha``, she said òla`back and then put out her hand to shake his and she sat there chatting away probably divulging all the family secrets!
On the way back Marc stopped off to try and book a car for Chichen Itza through Expedia. After the mess up with our hotel in Miami Beach (the one that was actually closed for renovation) they refunded us and gave us a credit of GBP25 which we can hopefully use against car hire. The plan is to drive to Chichen Itza and then go tot Valladolid and maybe a cenote (limestone sinkhole or cave)
Beatrice was telling us that she has an Austrian couple staying here and that they have been living in Guatemala for 3 years. They said that in the last 5 weeks things have just gone crazy there. Tourists are being targeted which is so sad because that is a huge source of income for a lot of people. People will just become poorer and that will just breed more criminals. I read on another journal that 3 cruise ships will not be docking and have changed their destinations to exclude Guatemala. The revenues we would have brought into the country is a drop in the ocean but for the owners of the guesthouses it would have at least fed their families.
We had dinner at Manne`s (yeah again!). Susie highly recommended that we got to Cuba, sounds like a good idea to me!
We ended up reading in bed until 2am so it was a late morning. First we went to Scotiabank (near the old bus terminal) to try and pay for our tourist card and were then directed to HSBC in the other direction. If you arrive in Mexico by air the fee is included in your ticket but since we came in by land you have to pay it at a bank before you leave the country. At the moment it is $20 each. Ànother thing, if you plan on coming in and out of Mexico you should ensure that you get a 180 day card so you don`t have to pay again. We didn`t do that and only got 30 days (sometimes you can get as little as 15 days). It is completely at your immigration officers discretion. You just have to ask and smile nicely.
Since it was so late we got a taxi to the beach (ok we were being lazy!) Sam went straight to her seat at the bar (yep she already has her favourite chair) and was given a plate of melon. Apparently she got one yesterday too! If she is getting free breakfast now, imagine what she will be like when she is older!
Sam met a little girl, Esme, from Salt Spring Island (North of Vancouver Island) at the pool. We got chatting to her parents who are really great people and the girls got on really well which was great. Sam was losing a bit of confidence afetr the nasty girls who comepletely blanked her. The girls came up with the idea of having dinner together, we drew the line at having a sleepover too!
On the way back to have a shower before dinner we stopped off to hire a car. Oh boy… then we got the whole timeshare sales pitch (which we were assured isn`t timeshare, but we aren`t fools!). Well we didn`t really fall for it but we did as well. Well the deal is we will go to the presentation but we get a car for two days, tickets for Chichen Itza, the whole free tequila, t-shirt, sombrero, blah blah for $20. Well since we have the time why not? We basically get the car for free. So that is the plan for Thursday we get free breakfast, stay for the presentation and vamos. Hehe its great not having money since there is no way we can be tempted, who`s the sucker now! We also checked with Beatrice and it is all above board you just have to go through the sales pitch. We will then go to Tank-ha (cenote) and Coba in the afternoon (ruins) and Friday we go to Chichen Itza and Valladolid (and a cenote if there is time)
We met our new Canadian buddies at 7pm and went to La Parillo for dinner. They had a Marimba band and later on Mariachis so it was a fun evening and the food was great. The girls were exhausted after all their playing and swimming.`
Wednesday 8th December
We actually got to the beach before 11am! Miracle!
Esme and her parents came later, they had actually gone ot one of these timeshare presentations but a different one to ours. You have to sign to say you won`t go to another presentation but their company is different to ours so we can still do that one too. They got free tickets to Xel-Ha (worth $150) so that may be a plan for when we come back to Playa, oh we are such cheapskates! Beatrice said we didn`t ask for enough free stuff! Xel-ha is a fun park, swimming in rivers, snorkelling, dolphins etc, a great place for kids.
We spent another day on the beach, chatting, relaxing and the girls came up with the idea of having dinner together. On the way to get cleaned up Marc bought me a lovely silver ring I have been eyeing for a few days, I got some earrings thrown in as well and also got the price down a bit, bargaining is half the fun!
It was Jamie and Linda`s (Esme`s parents) 20th wedding anniversary and their last day in Playa (for now). The girls gave each other huge hugs goodbye, so sweet! Hopefully she will make more friends along the way but now she has a penfriend in Canada!
One of the village's palapas
Another view of the beach
We're planning our holiday foor PDC in april 2007.... we are wondering if there ar eany tips for a good resort?
We're interested in a good resort with breakfast.. not too big of a resort, not too busy!
We are looking for Las Palapas, Shangri La Caribe and Rivera del Sol.
Are these any good or does anyone has other tips for us??
I am goign to Mexico in April and of course I am looking for cheap accommodations, I mean HOSTELS :) but I heard hostels are really bad there...
Can someone give me some info? I am used to hostels and I know they are not HOTELS but are they really bad or like everywhere?
Thx a million
Which area of Mexico. It is a huge country and accomadations vary tremedously.
I actually know a really cool one in the center area of Mexico City, it even hosts lounge and electronic music festivals, the rooms are cool but simple. It is not that expensive. will let you know the details as my cousin knows some people there.
Actually I will book an hotel in Mexico then I will need hostels in Oaxaca, Puerto Angel, San Cristobal, PAlenque and Merida,
Did you get my email?
Hello, I will need hostels in Oaxaca, Puerto ANgel, San Cristobal, PAlenque and Merida,
I did not stay in the hostel in San Cristobol, but judging from my time there, I am sure that it is just fine. There are also other cheap lodging there. Merida is pretty large and metropolitan (for the Yucatan) and clean, so the hostel there is probably pretty good as well. Most of Mexico has plenty of cheap hotels, but they are little mom and pop places so you won't find them on the internet. The owners are always happy to show you the room ahead of time so that you can see if it is clean enough and will be satisfactory. When I travel in Mexico I always bring a hammock (small, thin compact kind, which you can also buy there pretty cheaply). If you have a hammock you can stay in the palapas and they are by far the cheapest. Some palapas have hammocks so you wouldn't need your own, but most don't. Just do check them first and make see if there is some kind of netting or barrier between you and the thatched roof. Many a traveler has woken in the night to find things (bugs and spiders) falling out of the thatch onto your body. I usually look for this in the cheaper hotels as well if the have a thatch roof. Some of the larger (by larger I mean more than 6 or 7 rooms) hotels also have palapas that you can stay in for much less than the cost of a room. A $20-$25 US hotel would charge $7-$8 for the palapa. These are usually located in an area that you have to go through the hotel to get to, so they are secure in the sense of the only people that could mess with your stuff are others staying there. I have never had a problem in the palapas but I do sleep with my moneybelt and passport on my person.
A friend and I, both 26 year old males, are driving to Mexico around July 27th, hopefully entering through Nuevo Laredo and making our way toward Mazatlan before driving down the Pacific coast into Guatemala and back up the Carribean coast. We are driving with a trailer behind our truck (surf boards, camping gear) and planning on 5-6 weeks.
I am thinking we will be camping or renting small palapas most of the time as we are trying to do this cheaply. We will be doing lots of surfing on the Pacific coast, but are looking for other things we might miss. Not really interested in the tourist meccas, but if there is something unmissable...
If you know of anything I might not know about/read about in guide books, or if there is something I should not miss, I'd love to hear about it. We are interested in everything. Really looking forward to Oaxaca/Chiapas/Veracruz.
Hi Daniel, has you say one of your stops is Mazatlan, take precautions when transit between Durango City and Mazatlan is a curvy 2 lane road add more dificult with a trailer behind.
As for recomendations in the Pacific you should miss Sayulita nice spot for surfing there you will find a camping place next to the beach.
Sn Blas is another place but in this moment is full of "jejenes" mosquitos.
Do you have a place to stay in Mazatlan? if not tell me to ask my friends there.
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Address: Av. 34 Norte s/n, 5a Av. y Zona Federal Maritima, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, 77710, Mexico