Km 104, Carretera Cancun-Tulum, Akumal 77760, Mexico
Anyone who's strolled this shoreline can attest to the beauty of this beach. Akumal is truly blessed with one of the best powder beaches around and it's great for beachcombing and sunbathing. A coral reef protects the beach from large waves and provides a calm area for swimming and snorkeling the coral heads.
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"Amazing Beach, Snorkelling and Ambiance"
Posted by: Lee
on Apr 16, 2012 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
188 people found this review helpful
One of if not the best beaches we have ever been to in our many travels. Snorkelling also fantastic with many turtles, cuttlefish fish, parrot fish, barracuda, etc. The Resort is a fantastic property with all rooms facing the beach and ocean. It is older and the original beach resort in Akumal, but partially updated and renovated. Staff and service were perhaps the best we have had at any resort including the many 5 stars we have stayed at. Very Friendly and efficient. Never waited more than 5 minutes for a drink in two weeks. Rooms are big, but basic. Beds are ridiculously hard as are the pillows. Water pressure in shower was sometimes inconsistent as was water temperature, nothing major though. Food and drinks at the resort are generally excellent and very fresh and healthy particularly the salads, fruits and veggies. Fresh fish and chicken was regularly served and was always excellent. Beef not very good. Shrimp was usually served and was good Pasta was good too as well as phenomenal dill pickles! Wonderful laid back relaxing vibe at this place. We have already booked a 2 week return trip for Christmas and New Years this year. This is a perfect family resort and great place for younger kids. Our only real complaint is the beds and pillows. Next visit we will stop at Wal Mart and pick up some pillows and foamies. Fantastic Value here! Can't wait to return to Akumal! With some more updating, new beds, pillows and better al a carte restaurant, this place could be a 5 star.
Seamless and very efficient
Big, but basic with ocean view and flat screen TV. Could use some additional drawers or storage areas for clothes.
Restaurants and Bars:
All very good to excellent with excellent service except the a la carte restaurant was lacking in selection. Main buffet was excellent with good selection of fresh and tasty healthy foods. Avoid the beef though.
Fantastic and perhaps the best we have experienced
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Unlimited both on and off the resort including many excellent golf courses nearby and excellent restaurants and shopping in Akumal town
A slice of heaven which we plan on returning to yearly.
Posted by: Susan
on Feb 16, 2012 >
2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
203 people found this review helpful
This was a first time to ABR and a very first time to Mexico. The thing that hooked us about ABR was the snorkeling off of the beach. We have only experienced that in Jibacoa, Cuba.
Booked with Air Canada Vacations (another first) and were pleased with everything (except connections but were aware when we booked). Transfer from airport to hotel went well except having no experience with the wiley ways of the time share people I did get stuck for a little while. I have to remember that your tour rep will always be OUTSIDE the airport! About an hour and twenty minutes to the hotel.
Thank you all of the contributors to Debbies forums - got a lot of questions answered before we left. If anyone has questions just ask!
The reception at the hotel was great – mimosa’s (or just orange juice – not sure) and big smiles and “welcome”. We are not used to that; our previous experience with front desk people was not good – the staff at ABR seems to really enjoy their job. Got full explanations about the resort and how to get around and really all we wanted to do was dump our bags in the room and go exploring!
Room – Room 704 was a basic room – very clean. Bonus was the screen on the patio door so that you could fall asleep to the sound of the waves if you liked. Ceiling fan and air conditioning worked fine. Room smelled a bit musty at first but that is normal in this climate. Shower worked fine, lots of pressure and hot water. Maid service couldn’t have been better. Adequate amount of hangers. There was a hanging shelf unit; I would have liked a drawer or two but… minor in the whole scheme of things. Didn’t turn the TV on so can’t tell you about that. No charge for the safe – it was tiny; I did get my mini computer in there but after the first night didn’t bother.
Restaurants and Bars:
Bars – Bars were great and drinks were fantastic although we didn’t try a big selection. We were usually in bed by 10 Service was excellent. The only very little complaint I have is that you couldn’t get café con leche from the machine at the bar if there was coffee in the buffet. Again, very minor because the coffee in the urn on the bar (0630 – 0700) was fine and so was the coffee in the buffet. Service was the same tip or no tip. We tipped when we had pesos and when we didn’t we didn’t…
Buffet - We were really pleased with the variety and presentation of the food on the buffet. Breakfast offered omelets, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, pancakes, French toast, oatmeal (con leche and con agua), dry cereals, granola, fresh fruit, breads – Like what more could you want!
We didn’t do too many lunches here but when we did go there was a great variety. The salad bar even had sprouts… again, a good variety of protein including one fish and either chicken or pork and beef (usually three choices one of which was fish). Every supper we had was excellent – I don’t eat fish or seafood and was always satisfied. Yes, the food can be a little luke sometimes rather than HOT but it is a buffet… Some of the offerings were lime soup, tomato soup, chicken soup (I had the tomato and the chicken and both were excellent), roast turkey, roast beef, beef burritos, chicken enchiladas with green sauce, Mexican style beef tips, tons of variety in vegetables, salad, and my husband really enjoyed the desserts. Again bread was plentiful and the pizza was really good – nice thin and crispy crust. Wine and beer is self serve but if you sit at the table with nothing the servers will usually ask you if you would like something – I do like being waited on a little bit
Snack bar – only had chips and quacamole once (it was delicious) and on our last day we had burgers and fries – what can I say; it was burgers and fries. Service here was great also.
Pool- Didn’t use it but it looked clean
Beach – What can I say – perfection! Always a chair and some shade available. Snorkelling was good. We found the water a bit murky some days but it was extremely busy and tons of snorkelers out while we were there. Also, the weather was not cooperative in that it was cloudy and rained a bit of every day we were there but that gave us a chance to explore our surroundings.
Surroundings – The resort is very easy to get around; everything is very close so you don’t have far to go if you forget something. All staff are very helpful. Grounds are very well kept and the gardeners were very busy trimming and cleaning while we were there.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
One thing we really liked was the proximity to Akumal Pueblo. It was very nice to be able to explore on days that we felt were not really great beach days. We went to Launcheria, Lucy’s kitchen, Lol Ha, La Beuna Vida, and Yal Ku. We walked to all of these places except for Yal Ku although we walked half way back. Sitting at la Buena vida and watching the pelicans dive while having a margherita was my idea of heaven – almost as good as watching the turtles graze on the sea bed. We also went to Tulum Ruins one morning. Now, these things are not included in the resort price but we had done some research (OK – not much research just Loco Gringo) and knew that we wanted to try all of this. Prices were reasonable and very happy to have this option.
Entertainment – Animation team seemed to do a fine job. Lots of daily activities that you were informed about but not pestered to join in (morning stretch/yoga, dance lessons, watercize, sarong tying lessons, volleyball, etc… As for the evening entertainment, we were in bed early but did catch a live band the first night and another our second last night. Had a dance which I enjoyed
Conclusion – We will certainly be going back to Akumal in the future and for two weeks not just one. We are budget travelers and our only requirements are cleanliness, good drinks and snorkeling off the beach. ABR exceeded all our expectations in every area! The weather could have been a bit better but waking up to -25 yesterday and -24 this morning (and that is with NO windchill) I am not complaining. Even if there were clouds and a bit of rain it was always lovely and warm and NO BUGS – none that bit me anyway Snorkelling was excellent and now that we know a bit of the lay of the land I am sure we will enjoy it that much more next time; and there will be a next time.
"We are going back"
Posted by: Rob
on Jul 8, 2011 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jul, 2011 | Leisure | With Group
266 people found this review helpful
We loved this place, in fact we have already booked our next trip back, but it may not be for you.
If you like luxury, glam and perfection this place is not for you.
No disco, no night life, no 24 hour bar.
It is small, so not a lot in the way of facilities or services.
We are going to go back for three reasons. The Staff, the location and it is laid back casual. When I am on vacation I want to de-stress. I lived in shorts or bathing suit for 15 days. My wife just put her hair in a ponytail and lived in her coverup. Shorts acceptable even in the a la carte. I liked tapping my own beer. I suggest you take your own insulated mug or buy one in the village which is a 5 minute walk up the beach. A couple of weeks before you leave, go to your bank and order pesos. Everything is a bit cheaper in pesos rather than dollars. Lots of good shopping in the village. There are several stores, you can buy anything you need or forgot. Super Chomak has souvenir t-shirts for $15 or 135 pesos. If you go into the jewelery store, bargain the price down to half of the original asking price. Great deals on good silver.
The bus ride from the airport to the resort was just over an hour.Our bags were off the bus before I was at 12:30. We are greeted by Louis who tells us that room check in is at 3 and he will see that our luggage gets there. We step up to reception, they had our envelope out and literally waiting on the counter for us by the time we walked the 30 feet to get there. Sign the paperwork, drink the cocktail, get out the wristbands, maybe 3 minutes and oh “your room is ready!” So we go straight to our room. The view was incredible!!
We had a superior room (buildings 5,6,7). The room was bigger than I had expected. There were some hangers in the closet, not that we needed them. We didn’t really unpack that much as there nowhere to put most of our clothes. One suitcase on a night table, one on the suitcase stand. Four small shelves in the closet, one with the safe in it. Lots of space around the sink for my wife’s things.
The hair dryer worked, there was shampoo, conditioner and soaps, two glasses and a bottle of water. There were lots of fluffy towels of various sizes and a floor mat. The TV worked. I am a news junkie so I was happy to find BBC World news, CNN and Fox News all in English. There was more but it didn’t matter to me.
My brother and his wife were in a standard room (buildings 1-4). They are old and run down and cheaper. Sis-in-law said it is the worst room she has ever stayed in. They didn't care, everything else made up for it and they are going back as well. Christmas and Spring break.
Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet is right on the beach. They open the sliding windows so you get a breeze and can hear the waves 15 feet away. I found a reasonable food selection, hey I gained 5 pounds even with swimming twice a day! There was always chicken, fish, beef or pork. We loved the Mexican food, which you could spice up to your own comfort level. If you tried something of everything just from the salad bar you would have to take multiple plates. Loved their guacamole and pico de gallo which was also available at the snack bar.
Carlos started our day with a warm shy smile. We always lingered over breakfast, Antonio (God bless him), kept the coffee coming.
Unless you are picky about a specific chair on the beach there is no need to play the towel game before breakfast. We took our own snorkel gear, you can rent it for $15 a day. The snorkelling was part of what made this trip so exceptional. Right at the resort’s beach we saw everything but sharks. Turtles were a common sight, also saw octopus, squid, rays and more kinds of colourful fish than I could ever name.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
If you have children you may want to go to Xel-Ha. It is cheaper if you just take your own taxi and pay at the door rather than booking through anyone else. The place is all inclusive, food, drinks, towels, snorkel gear, life jackets or inner tubes, showers and lockers. You have to pay extra to swim with the dolphins but can watch for free.
Timhy at the main bar always remembered my wife’s favorite “Monkey LaLa”
"Elegant, serene, classy place. plus world class snorkeling right off the beach"
Carolyn on May 15, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: May, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
365 people found this review helpful
A lush tropical oasis-like having your own private resort. High staff to guest ratio. Quiet, elegant & very classy. But, the best-not pricey! This sleeper dream of a place is in the middle of world class snorkeling in calm lagoon-like Akumal Bay- fantastic colorful coral groupings, loads of fish & huge tortugas.
Superb night snorkeling-bring your light. Food is pure and fresh. Not big on things like cream sauces, but rather the likes of perfect roast prime rib, carved turkey, mexican specialties, fresh grilled fish. Excellent salad bar. No pretension here- just perfection. Can't wait to return! Just loved it.
"AMAZING BEACH BUT.... STAY AWAY UNTIL FULL RENOVATED"
Posted by: Janice
on Feb 17, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
313 people found this review helpful
My boyfriend and I just got back from a week at Akumal Beach Resort. He had stayed there about 5 years ago and warned me it was basic. Basic is ok with me RUNDOWN is not cool at all, especially for the amount I paid ($1225 CND each for air/all inclusive stay at resort). We could have saved $500 and gone to the Bahia Principle Coba, everyone we talked to said it was amazing and an incredible value for the money.
Most area's of the resort were way too RUNDOWN, how did this happen? Do the owners not care? Why are three building shut down due to repairs? No resort that charges as much as this one should be rundown this badly.
STAY AWAY UNTIL IT'S FULLY RENOVATED or don't pay as much as we did!!!
Check in was ok.
On the plus side we where bumped to a superior room, no extra charge but these rooms are too dark and cave like. All noises echo off the walls and if someone in the room beside us had a tv etc on it was loud in our room. We had to keep the patio drapes open or we didn't have enough light to see what we were doing. Any lights that we did have kept shorting out. And why are the beds covered in plastic sheets? In this heat I was sweating all night and uncomfortable. Our room also had a constant water dripping sound coming from behind the wall of the bathroom like a toilet running over next door. It would wake us up in the night if we didn't close the bathroom door. And closing the door only stopped 1/2 the noise. Our patio door never locked so it was a good thing we where on the second floor.
What ever they clean the wood bar's etc. with, a red spray, was highly toxic and caused me to have an allergic reaction. My eyes would get all red, irritated and watery. It smelled like gasoline.
Restaurants and Bars:
When I booked the trip the Air Canada ad said that the resort has 2 a la carte restaurants. Sure it does but neither of them is functioning and they are using a small room beside the buffet as the a la carte and when we wanted to go there for dinner it was closed that night. I would appreciate being informed by the resort when things are available. One day we waited 1/2 hour for the buffet to open at lunch and when I asked the bartender when it was opening he said lunch was being served somewhere else that day. This lack of information is very annoying. All this added to my disappointment with the resort and forced me to dine off resort so that I could have something good to eat instead of repeated buffet meals.
The buffet was a total disappointment. NO fish 5 out of 7 nights is rediculous. I can not eat chicken, beef, pork (and I'm glad, cause what they served looked aweful) or too much vegetables and carbs due to health issues. It was very inconvient that there was little to no protein for me to eat at dinner. I really don't enjoy eating pasta every night, it gets boring and upsets my stomach. The nights that they served fish it was over cooked, dried out and tough. Not Good!
We came to the Akumal Beach resort because of the snorkelling and at least that wasn't disappointing. If you like to dive don't waste your money just go snorkelling. The bay is where all the action is.
I also noticed on Sunday's the locals seemed to take over the Resort's beach chairs and used bathrooms and outdoor showers. The resort wasn't overly busy but if it was the guests would have to sit on the sand and I didn't pay to do that. I also noticed that a couple of americans not staying at the resort paid a bartender to bring them drinks on the beach. The bartender set them up with a table and lounges and brought them drinks all afternoon. I wasn't happy about this. I didn't get beach side service, I had to walk to the bar to get a drink and the bartender wasn't overly friend, just polite.
The beach was great and the snorkelling was better then the diving. I was able to go for a safe run by myself and not worry about locals bothering me and bus serve was just at the enterance.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Some GOOD live entertainment for people who want to relax after dinner would have been nice. Sorry but the animation team doing the chicken dance really sucks. We don't stay up late enough to watch the "show" at 9:30. We prefer to get up at 6 am and play hard all day so we like to unwind around 8:30pm and some nice light live entertainment in the lobby bar would have been nice. On the plus side the resort is very quiet if you are like us and prefer not to drink and party. Mostly older couples and families, not too many young wild singles.
Recommend the snorkelling at Akumal bay.
Must see chichen Izta and Coba.
Hidden Adventure Cenote snorkelling was ok but not all cenote's were available for snorkelling in.
Shopping and Restaurants in Playa del Carmen are great.
Watch out if you go to the La Beuna Vida restaurant (1/2 Moon Bay) to eat or drink, they ripped us off. Always be very clean in what you are ordering, I know a little spanish and still the waiter played dumb. BUT the food was amazing.
Overall I was totally disappointed with this RESORT. I felt ripped off considering what I paid. I wouldn't go back or recommend this resort until ALL the renovations are complete which is too back because the location is amazing. The owner and management seem to be renovating but on "mexican" time. The beach was great and the snorkelling was better then the diving. I was able to go for a safe run by myself and not worry about locals bothering me and bus serve was just at the enterance.
STAY AWAY UNTIL IT'S FULLY RENOVATED or don't pay as much as we did!!!
"Great family vacation!"
Posted by: YVRck
on Jan 14, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
316 people found this review helpful
Date of Vacation: Nov. 27-Dec. 4, 2009
Wholesaler: Signature Vacations
Airline: Air Transat (direct flight Vancouver-Cancun)
We are a laid-back, self-employed, professional couple, age bracket 55-60. We tend to favour casual resorts which offer good off beach snorkeling opportunities as we are very avid snorkelers. Large, fancy resorts with amenities we are unlikely to use do not appeal to us. We prefer small resorts on a nice beach and it goes without saying that cleanliness is paramount.
We have vacationed at the Akumal Beach resort previously and were very anxious to return. This trip was a family vacation which included our 5 year old grandson, our son & daughter-in-law. This was their first experience to the Mayan Riviera and the little fellow's first tropical vacation and trip on an airplane.
As experienced travelers we have flown Air Transat many times. Flight was on time both coming and going and actually arrived early at destination both ways. I had opted to pay extra and pre-booked our seats so we would be seated close to one other near the rear of the aircraft. Both hubbie and son are tall so I made sure they had aisle seats. Everyone was reasonably comfortable considering the 6 hour flight and of course I was well prepared with on board snacks, although some snacks are offered for purchase. Effective Dec. 1, Air Transat is again offering hot meal service so we enjoyed this on the flight home. Choice of two meals, which included a tiny glass of red or white wine, was decent for airline food compared to the cold sandwich offered on the way to Cancun. Flight staff were extremely friendly and professional. No complaints!
In advance of the trip, I had signed our grandson up for the Air Transat Kid's Club membership. No charge for this and some worthwhile perks are offered for the child & his immediate family. The Kid's Activity packages handed out by in-flight staff were a big hit and even I was surprised at the decent quality of the toys included in the package. Full marks to Air Transat! Our grandson's first air travel experience was very positive and he can't wait to do it again.
Our flight arrived 30 minutes early in Cancun at about 8:30AM. Going through immigration and customs was a bit of a wait but otherwise painless. I knew to head straight for the exit doors to find our Signature rep. so the time share sharks had no opportunity to distract or detain us. We had no problem finding the bus which was to take us to the resort but as most often seems to be the case, we had a fair wait for stragglers. Our bus was to drop vacationers off at 4 resorts, and Akumal Beach Resort (ABR) was stop #2 after the Barcelo complex. Trip from the airport to the resort took about 95 minutes. Our little guy slept for a good part of the way while the big guys enjoyed a beer (Corona) offered for sale on the bus. We arrived at the resort shortly before lunch. Considering the amazing price I had gotten for this resort, I was very surprised that our family members were the only guests on the bus going to ABR.
Walking into the spacious, open air lobby with it's quaint wooden plank floor and thatched roof (which leaks in some places when it rains!) was welcoming. Check-in was a breeze and even though check-in time is usually 3 PM, our rooms were ready when we arrived before noon. The check-in envelope contains the lock/key for your in-room safe, a room key on a lanyard, towel cards and a pamphlet outlining the resort amenities. Please note that your room number is engraved on the key so anyone finding your key can access your room. Although we had no theft issues, and I didn't hear of any either, I suggest you always keep your room and safe key separate! WiFi is available in the lobby area at a cost of $25US per week for those who travel with their laptop/netbooks. Computer stations are charged at $10US for one hour of use.
We had booked gardenview rooms, hoping to again be placed in building #1 which has some adjoining rooms. The resort was at extremely low capacity during our stay. We were assigned rooms on the ground floor of building #6 . Buildings 5,6 & 7 house the superior rooms at this resort, so we received an upgrade. Except for a few select rooms, buildings 1,2,3 & 7 were not being used. Room 604 had a king size bed while #603 had two doubles. We had also been assigned #609 which is a handicapped room with a king size bed. This room was absolutely not suitable. Any showering would have immediately flooded the floor and a longer shower curtain was apparently not available. When we were informed by the front desk that we could not be relocated to another room, we opted not to use #609 although we had paid for it. Odd considering the very high vacancy rate during our stay!! I'm sure the maid didn't mind having one less room to clean. The furnishings are basic and many complain about the beds being hard but we prefer a firm mattress so no issues on that account. Extra pillows are in the closet. The mattress and box spring had however seen better days and need to be replaced! We always take our own travel alarm clock. Just as well since none are provided. We did miss not having a mini-fridge, which we had in our room on previous visits. There are no coffee makers, iron/ironing boards or radios provided. All of the lights worked and no lamp shades were missing. In my first review of this resort back in 2003, I dubbed the decor “mexicano rustico”, and it still is! The bathrooms have a shower only, separated from the WC and vanity area. No water pressure problems and plenty of hot water. Vanity area is large, 1600 watt, two speed hairdryer is provided as is an ice bucket and a small thermal jug for bottled water (which is available from the dispenser in the main hallway on every floor in each building), face cloths, hand & bath towels, box of kleenex and small containers of shampoo, lotion & soap. We prefer to bring our own toiletries. Very large mirror with decent lighting but the mirror has seen better days. The retractable clothesline in the shower is handy! Across from the vanity area is a large clothes closet with double doors made of bamboo sticks (some missing!) and beside that is a narrower door which opens to four shelves. The closet floor was spacious enough to accommodate our empty suitcases placed flat and side by side so we didn't use the luggage stand provided. The no extra charge in-room safe (lock & key operated), is located on one of the shelves. There is no dresser in the room but the shelves are more than adequate. I pack my hubbie's cotton shirts on their hangers and bring along a few extras, so we never worry about a shortage of hangers. TV (cable, not satellite) is wall mounted. The remote control in our room was fine, but the one in our son's room fell apart as soon as it was picked up. A couple of elastic bands solved this problem. The A/C was adequate albeit a bit noisy.We prefer not to use air conditioning and appreciated the screen on the patio door. The door sweep on the entry door is a bonus as it prevented critters from entering the room. A note of caution:- the patio door locks easily so don't close the door behind you when going out on the balcony! A desk with chair, along with one other chair round out the room furnishings. Two plastic chairs and a small table are on the balcony/patio. We noticed that a few balcony chairs in building #5 rooms had some nice blue cushions. Our son's room patio door didn't lock properly and he had no hot water. These issues were repaired/resolved very quickly and satisfactorily. We were alarmed to find yellow caution tape around our balcony railings! I can't explain the logic in assigning this room with a very unsafe railing to a family with a young child except to say that one can safely presume a young child will not have an accident due to being intoxicated. It was only
Restaurants and Bars:
Restaurants & Bars:- Travel brochures list the resort as featuring one buffet, one snack bar, 2 a la carte restaurants (Mexican & Italian) and a specialty restaurant which requires payment. In previous visits, the a la carte restaurants were set up in larger allocated areas between buildings 2 & 3. Sadly, this area was dark and abandoned. For this visit, a small separate area next to the buffet was used as the a la carte venue. They alternated nightly between Mexican & Italian. A la carte restaurants are not available on Sundays. We did not dine a la carte for this visit so I can't comment any further. Several years ago, a fire damaged the buffet restaurant extensively but it has been rebuilt. Although not air conditioned, it sits virtually right on the beach and large opening windows provide plenty of fresh air and a fabulous view. Service was adequate to excellent. Many of the reviews posted before our departure complained about the food offerings- or lack thereof. We were more than happy with the selection and presentation considering this is a 3 star resort. They have labels telling you what the dish is! At every meal, we always found plenty which appealed to all of us- yes, even the 5 year old!- and the breads/pastry selection was especially fresh and delicious. Some of the hot dishes could have been hotter but this is a common problem at many resorts. A custom omelette station is available at breakfast . Only incident I can recall as being negative (but with a positive outcome!), was that a box of pre-packaged, sugar coated breakfast cereal our grandson selected was stale, so he didn't eat it. While many vacationers enjoy being served and expect this, we have no problem getting our own beverages or refills. Our son loved the self serve beer tap! Water/juice/soft drinks/milk/wine dispensers are all available in the buffet. The coffee machine was quite another matter. Coffee was horrible and the wine not much better! Explains why so many people arrived for dinner with their own bottle of wine in hand. I need my morning java fix and found it available at the main bar which opens at 8 AM around the corner from the buffet restaurant. The snack bar near the pool always offered fresh, oven baked pizza with various toppings as well as nachos with fabulous fresh salsa and guacamole. Hot dogs and custom cooked burgers were available upon request and one day they also had onion rings. The availability of chicken wings or fries was intermittent. Our family found the snack bar, which is open until 6 pm to be especially handy as it provided a late afternoon snack option for our grandson who would otherwise have been very hungry (and cranky!) by the time the dinner buffet opened shortly before 7 pm. Again, the self serve beer tap was a welcome addition to the snack bar area as was the water/lemonade dispenser. Alcoholic drinks were offered at the bar around the corner. There are 3 bars at this resort, the most interesting being the Moonrise close to building #1 as it features swing seating. The resort uses only domestic brands of alcohol, probably the least expensive brands available, but they do NOT water it down. We aren't big boozers but I sure do look forward to having a few tropical cocktails when I'm on vacation. This was a disappointment and a surprise change from our last visit! Compared to the lovely cocktails I've been spoiled with at Cuban resorts, where they use juices, this resort uses overly sweet and sickly syrups. Pina coladas were questionable and while I did enjoy a couple of daiquiris, I found myself ordering gin and tonic for most of the week. My son ordered a Caesars from the main bar one evening and it was undrinkable but hubbie had better luck with the Bloody Mary he ordered. It helped that he carefully supervised the bartender every step of the way. All of the bartenders were very friendly and accommodating, a few of them exceptionally so, and it was a real pleasure to deal with them. At no time did w
Beach:- The beach, with it's amazing directly off the shore snorkeling opportunities, is what keeps us and many others coming back to the Akumal Beach Resort! For a resort of this size, the beach is reasonably long and quite wide with white, powdery soft sand. Plenty of white, plastic beach loungers and palapas or palm trees for shade. A sign is posted asking guests not to “reserve” their loungers by placing personal effects or towels on them at the crack of dawn or the night before, so none of those dreaded “towel wars” many resorts have problems with. I can't say for sure this doesn't happen at the Akumal Beach resort, but with such very low occupancy during our stay, it wasn't an issue this time nor on previous vacations. The beach is well suited for young children and our grandson really appreciated the few sand toys I had brought along for him. Entry to the ocean is quite gradual, there is no erosion, very few rocks in most places so water shoes are unnecessary and the reef formation keeps the water relatively calm. No jet skis or parasailing! We did have a couple of very windy days (red flags) which kicked up some waves but nothing too intense or dangerous, so our grandson was still able to frolic in the ocean close to shore. Of course, he wore his lifejacket at all times! Some of the fish seem to have been habituated to expect food from guests who enjoy wading beyond knee depth water or they are exceptionally curious. It took no time at all for us to be surrounded by a bout 8-10 pompano fish (possibly Trachinotus falcatus) swimming in and around our legs as we stood in the ocean supervising our grandson. One fish even snuck up the leg of his bathing trunks and this momentarily frighten/startled him. He soon enjoyed the interaction with the fish, attracting them by snapping his fingers underwater, but I can well imagine other children and adults not reacting positively. The major attraction at Akumal are the sea turtles, rays and accessible reef formations; truly a snorkeler's paradise! Although the weather and visibility were not as good this time, we spent many enjoyable hours snorkeling to our heart's content. Bonus was being able to take a hot shower in the area behind the resort's dive centre when we come out of the ocean. Pool:- We rarely use resort swimming pools. Due to a couple of very windy days at the beach and because our grandson loves to swim, we spent quite a bit of time in the pool. A pathway separates the pool from the beach so getting away from the wind completely isn't possible but the view of the turquoise blue ocean is wonderful. The pool offers a toddler area and whirlpool section. Water was reasonably warm and clean although some areas of the pool had a nasty algae build up on the sides. We observed staff making an effort to scrub the sides, especially in the deeper pool which leads to the whirlpool area. A complete draining of the pool, followed by a thorough cleaning and a coat of light blue paint on the bottom would do wonders! Plenty of loungers and some umbrellas are available around the pool. The towel exchange counter is located by the pool, along with a small souvenir kiosk. A dive shop, the pool bar and the snack bar are just a stone's throw away.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activities:- The resort offers a variety of daytime activities and a nightly show in the theatre located across the walkway from the lobby. They have an animation staff and a list of daily activities is posted on the outside wall of the main bar area facing toward the gift shop. The few times that we did inquire about a certain activity, it either didn't happen or the staff were not at the venue at the time indicated. This is often the case when a resort is at low capacity. Animation staff were present around the resort and often engaged guests in conversation but more often than not, they were chatting amongst themselves at their station, listening to/playing music or busy preparing for the evening show. We did observe frequent beach volleyball games and once we were fortunate enough to convince a staff member to let us use the shuffleboard equipment after she finished playing with other guests. The equipment needs to be returned to the animation station when you're finished and they appreciate you doing so in a timely fashion. We had been looking forward to playing chess on the large outdoor board near the buffet entrance, as well as some bocce. When we inquired about using this equipment, we were told it was not available. Perhaps it's broken? A games rooms with a pool table and table tennis are located in the area behind where the Mexican a la carte used to be set up. There were no paddles available for the table tennis and the pool cues were in pretty rough shape with the set of balls also incomplete. It should be noted that a fitness room- very small and with aging/outdated equipment- is also located in this area as well as a medical/first aid centre which was abandoned with an emergency telephone number posted on the door. The resort has two tennis courts which appeared to be in good condition, although we never saw anyone using them. No idea where one could get some racquets but I'm guessing that many tennis playing guests probably bring their own equipment. I recall that a tennis pro used to be on staff and perhaps one of the animation team specializes in tennis. While I enjoy playing tennis at home, the tropical heat always overwhelms me, so I rarely play while on vacation. Archery is set up in an area next to the theatre. This was something that especially interested me but no one was around at the time posted for the activity and the equipment shed was locked. I was aware of the child size bows since I had seen them being used by children on a previous visit. After making an inquiry with one of the animation staff, we were directed to go to the archery centre with our grandson for a specific time so he could try it. We arrived 15 minutes early, found two staff sitting and chatting but were told that sorry, they were closing up, please come back some other time. I did try to convince the girls to at least let us see the child size equipment and perhaps try it even just one time, but to no avail. My grandson was especially disappointed and we were leaving the next morning, so we never did get to try the archery despite our four attempts. The Kid's Club, which we went to check out daily, was always closed which made the small fenced off playground unavailable. Just as well as there were a lot of mosquitoes in this area! There were several families with young children at the resort during our stay. We all seemed content to supervise our little ones and let them play on the beach. For us, this was a family vacation so dropping our little fellow off at the Kid's Club regularly was never part of the equation. It should be noted that an ATM machine is on site by the large gate near the Kid's Club area, but it wasn't working. The evening shows offered at most all-inclusive resorts are something people either really enjoy or take a pass on. We enjoy shows with a cultural theme or good comedy well presented, but we don't bother with audience participation/shenanigans types of shows. We made the effort to go for t
Conclusions:- Having previously vacationed at Akumal Beach Resort, we were a bit shocked at the deteriorated condition of the resort when we arrived. Those who know me from my countless years of travel forum participation are aware of my high praise and recommendation to visit the Akumal Beach Resort. VentaClub, who were most recently managing this resort, did it no favours and thankfully they are now out of the picture. Shortly after returning from our vacation, I found out that the resort management has been taken over by the owners with a promise that things would improve quickly. I can happily report, based on information gained directly from the new manager, that improvements to the quality of alcohol, coffee in the buffet, condition of the rooms, repairs to the balconies and changes to the entertainment have already been made. I am very optimistic that the Akumal Beach Resort will once again be returned to its solid, 3 star resort status. For those who enjoy a basic resort with great friendly staff located on a 5 star beach with snorkeling directly off the beach, put the Akumal Beach Resort on your vacation list. Our family definitely plans to return again! If our 5 year old grandson had his way, it would be tomorrow! Thanks for reading, Cristal (YVRck)
""As Advertised!" great snorkelling!"
eeeefarm on Jan 3, 2010 >
10 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2009 | Leisure | With friend
354 people found this review helpful
Akumal Beach Resort
eeeefarm November 30/09
Travelled with Sunwing. Good flight, got a red light at customs (they hand check your luggage) but otherwise uneventful arrival. Quick transfer to resort via minibus. Only a few of us to check in, so it went very quickly. As it was evening I didn't see much of the resort until morning.
I was in room 402, in the old section. My friends had a room on the top (3rd) floor of building 6, one of the "new" buildings, so we were able to compare. My room was relatively small, basic, and quite adequate for my needs. So close to the beach I could throw a rock and hit it. The air conditioner was a bit loud and the room could use updating, but it was otherwise fine. There were screens on the patio door, so it was possible to turn the A/C off an listen to the surf at night.....very enjoyable. The mattress was a bit hard for my liking, but that is my only complaint. The location was also great.....very close to everything, and yet quiet. My friends had a slightly bigger room with a wonderful view. They did have some issues with a lack of hot water on occasion. Other than that, no complaints.
Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet restaurant was literally right on the beach, and it was very enjoyable to sit next to the window and have a wonderful view while you were eating. Food was fine, but coffee in the buffet was abysmal. However, it was easy to pick up a cup at the bar (excellent coffee!) and bring it into the restaurant with you. Food selection and quality were fine for me. The "lobby bar" or however you want to designate it was right next to the buffet and service was very good. I don't do mixed drinks much, so can't comment on that. A La Carte alternated between Italian and Mexican. We found them both excellent.....and the staff were absolutely first rate. The snack bar was handy to the beach and had pizza, burgers, etc. The beach bar had self serve cerveza, but the bartender would serve you when he was there. The "swing bar" a little further along the beach was also handy and fun.
Never used the pool, but it looked nice and was cleaned every morning. The beach was wonderful soft white sand. If you walked into town (5 minutes) it was great. Walking the other direction the sand became coarse and going around the point there were rocks and other debris. Despite this, we wandered a couple of bays over to the nearest other resorts. After having a look we agreed that we preferred the ABR. The grounds were well maintained and pleasant to walk through.....the resort is built right along the beach, and does not extend back far from it as some do. You are never more than a short walk to the water.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Most of this vacation was spent in the water, snorkelling. We didn't bother with any other activities except for a couple of shopping excursions locally.
A couple of nights local artists came and entertained by painting as we watched. Very interesting, and nice to be able to purchase art one has seen produced.
I was very satisfied with my vacation. I went for the snorkelling and was not disappointed. The resort staff were wonderful, as good as any I have encountered on my many trips to Cuba. The resort itself needs some refurbishing, which it will likely get since the management has now reverted to the owners and they are committed to bringing it back to its former glory. A few years of indifferent management have cause some problems, but the location can't be beat and I would return even if conditions remained the same. Most problems are cosmetic.....and did not affect my enjoyment.