|Old Reviews - Hidden Beach Resort|
All the glowing comments about the staff and facilities that you read, and less complimentary remarks about the beach are true. The grounds are impeccable kept, rooms comfortable and clean, the staff, entertainment crew will make every day, rain or shine, relaxing and enjoyable. Possibly the best part is all the great guests you are sure to meet. As for calling themselves a 5 Star resort, that's a stretch for a Caribbean without a usable beach.
From my perspective, they do have a serious downside. I would grade the staff excellent and business practices a unscrupulous. I am a bit surprised that their billing practice has not come under scrutiny sooner, except for the $100 bottles of $9.00 wine.
Here how it works. Your bill is $3,800 US which HB converts to pesos using an inflated exchange rate, this time 11 pasos to one USD. Your bill becomes 41,800 pesos. (11 X 3,800) When the charge clears the US bank, they use the correct exchange rate (10.25 pesos) and pays Hidden Beach $4,078 (41,800 /10.25) or $278 more than your bill that was quoted in dollars. Call Hidden Beach hear a convoluted fable about Mexican banks requiring transactions in pesos(correct) and possibly a problem with the US bank (not true) They ask for a e-mail and promise a answer, but caution it may take awhile. (I figured it out in 10 minutes, international exchange rates are readily available on the net) and I am still waiting and waiting.
Travelers checks are no answer either. Here they use an the exchange rate for the Travelers Checks is 10 pesos to the USD. I spoke to several people who notice the disparity in bills and credit charges and for some reason let it slide.
What you can do.
Check your credit card bill online or by phone as soon as you can. If the charges are more than you were quoted, authorize payment of the correct amount. At the same time, notify your Travel Agent to help resolve the difference. Any other suggestions are welcomed
We were at Hidden Beach last year in June for the first time with the Rowdy’s. Enjoyed it so much that we returned in June 13 -21, 2005 with the Rowdy’s again. Besides having a great time Exotic Travel (HBR’s repeat guest program) hosted a night at a club in Playa called Mil Aluxes, aka the Cave, it was booked only for the Rowdy’s.(I will explain more about this later). Then on Wednesday Mike and Chrissy Hopson (who are with guest services for Exotic Travel, and nudist their selves??) had the HotinPlaya Nude Day Cruise….more on this in the report.
June 13-21, 2005
When we arrived in Cancun, we got our luggage and headed out of airport, as we had pre-booked Lomas for transportation to HBR. Our driver asked if we wanted a Cerveza, we of course said si’, he stopped at a 7/11 store and we got two coronas for $1 each compared to $4 each at airport. It took about an hour to reach Hidden Beach Resort.
Hidden Beach was just as wonderful as it was in June 2004. There are only 42 beachfront suites at the resort. The staff would go out of their way to please you. Ancieto, a waiter at LaVista restaurant remembered our names from last year, which is remarkable. The food was good to excellent, no complaints, service was prompt. The staff made you feel special by calling you by your name.
A bellboy got our luggage from the car; we followed him, thru the guarded gates and into the main lobby for check-in. I noticed the sign in the lobby, the American Association of Nude Recreation (AANR) membership plaque sitting on registration desk. While not a family resort, HBR does seek to maintain a nudist/naturist environment. From the posted rules: “Please no explicit sexual behaviors in public areas”. At this point I will also go into detail on the resorts au-natural policies. You can be nude 24 hours a day anywhere on the HBR property including the dining room and disco. From our resorts posted statement and rules: “We are pleased to offer full Au Natural facilities at Hidden Beach Resort. Our Resort is designed for guest participating in all types of nude bathing only!” and “Dining is clothing optional”.
We had arrived about 1:30, and the front desk clerk stated our room would not be ready till about 3 pm. We had not eaten, so we sat outside of LaVista and ordered off menu. Our waiter Ancieto, called us by our names when he came up to wait on us. Ancieto remembered our names from last year, which is remarkable. After we ate, I went back to check on our room, yes it was ready. The bellboy took our luggage and we followed him to room 1117. Our room was on second floor about 2 rooms from where we were last year. The room was adequate in size, Mexican Décor. Mexican tile on floor, king size bed with a beautiful towel/ floral arrangement in center of bed (the bed is built on a concrete stand with mattress on top, firm but very comfortable), we also had a ceiling fan above the bed. Near the sliding glass doors, were a couch and small table with two chairs and a bottle of champagne. On the wall was the liquor cabinet (tequila, rum, bandy and scotch), refrigerator (stocked with DosXX, Tecate, sodas, and water), remote controlled TV with DVD player. The bathroom was huge, plenty of counter space, coffee pot and tub/shower.
We proceeded to get naked and head down to the pool to see all of our friends from last year. Just to name a few Butch & Kathy, Chuck& Cathy, Durwood & Melinda, Bert & Linda, Jackie & JimBob, Jeff & Becky, Ron & Nancy, Gerald & Karen and quite a few more Rowdy members to mention, plus new faces. This year they had towel bins on each side of the pool area vs. stacking towel up on the marble top bar in the pool. Butch gave us two new Rowdy’s hats.
Tito the main bartender (funny and claims to be gay, but who cares) was still there, the activity staff from last year was not there, but cute Dulce did a great job with activities, she kept things lively. John, one of the managers was still on site, checking to make sure everything was satisfactory. Most of the other staff, waiters and bartenders were still there. This year the resort had installed a plastic canopy over the tables between LaVista and the pool, purpose of this was incase of rain you could still eat outside.
Resort overview: The resort consist of two blocks of rooms, which are two levels high, with the La Vista Restaurant, disco and main nude pool separating both blocks of rooms. All rooms weather on the ground level or second or third floor, have chairs and hammocks outside the patio doors. All ground floor rooms are swim up rooms, just step outside your door and enter the water; the waterways connect the rooms with the main nude pool. This is where the swim up bar is. The main pool is adequate, not real small but not huge either. The HBR pool is very nice, offering swim-up bar with barstools, the depth of the pool is about 4 feet, on the outer ledge of the pool the water is about 1 foot deep that can hold 3-4 lounge chairs. There is a volley ball net stretched across the pool for playing volleyball. There are two towel bins on each side of the pool for fresh towels for any guest to obtain. To the south side of the pool, was the hot tub. It would hold about 12 or 14 couples, temperature was either comfortable or too hot. On the other side of the swim up bar, are outdoor dining tables with plastic canopy over them along with palms towering above. On the beach overlooking the Caribbean, are approximately 12 -14 palapa huts, they have four post attached to the roof, with curtains attached to the poles, there is a futon mattress under the palapa to lay on and enjoy the peacefulness of the Caribbean. The beach is beautiful but not swim-able, there is a lot of coral, so take water shoes, but still great for floating on a raft.
The best part of the resort is its compactness. You will have every excuse to meet others at the nude pool and grill, in the restaurant, disco or at the beach. There are enough spots to be on your own, too, for a quite time. The resort was kept immaculate and clean.
To the north end, they have not completed the new pool with swim up bar & hot tub. This entire area is covered by a huge palapa hut, great for cooler weather or rainy season. Hopefully it will be completed for this winter. Plus there are plans for building casitas on the north end of the property. This new pool will become the center of the resort.
Liquor at the Bars: There are two bars at HBR, one is the swim up bar and the other is in the disco. Both bars stay open till 2 a.m., so there was always a place to get a drink. Both bars carried premium liquors and they seem never to run out of your favorite brand. The had Bacardi Anejo, Jack Daniels Bourbon, Jose Quervo, Absolute Vodka, Beefeater Gin and too many more to list. Dos XX was on tap, but they also had in cans or bottles, Sol (very similar to Corona), Tecate and Tecate Light (which are awesome light beers), all served with a lime. They offered several house wines; they were a good quality, Chilean Red Merlot and a White Chilean Chardonnay wine. For drinks around the pool, beach and disco they used large sturdy plastic glassware that looked like real glass. These were very nice to drink out of vs. small plastic cups…..A very nice touch for a 5-star resort. They still had a girl continuously walking around the pools and taking orders for more drinks….in fact most of the time you did not have to ask her for another drink, she would bring you one before you were ready…..this is top notch service.
Dining: Breakfast, lunch or dinner meals are served in the intimate clothing optional La Vista Restaurant or directly outside, several tables are set up between the restaurant and pool bar. Most people ate outside, since there was always a tropical breeze blowing………….. Plus 24 hour room service is available, takes about 20 minutes to be delivered from the time you place it.
Breakfast is served from 7 am till noon, ala carte or buffet
Breakfast is either buffet or ala carte from a menu. The buffet located inside the La Vista Restaurant was excellent. It had a variety of fruits, Mexican pastries, Mexican breakfast dishes, sausage and bacon…a chef the would cook eggs to order, omelets to order, fresh waffles, pancakes and French toast. If one of the waiters saw you carrying your plate, he would rush up to you and take it out of your hands and deliver it to your table. Fresh juices were available along with coffee. Service at breakfast was good, no…it was top notch, the wait staff would continuously be refilling your juice and coffee cup, as soon as you were finished eating, the waiter would remove the dirty plate and empty your ashtray. You could be fully nude in the restaurant or outside eating, but just about everyone had some type of cover-up on.
Lunch was at the pool grill or ordered ala carte from a menu. Each day they would set up a large portable grill, and cold bar consisting of pastas, salsa, guacamole, lettuce and onions. In warming trays, there were fresh nachos, cheese sauce, Mexican beans. On the charcoal grill they grilled chicken, grilled fish, shrimp kabobs, steaks, and burgers. If none of this appealed to you, you could still order from the menu. Service by the waiters was still top notch, continuously refilling your drink, water and removing dirty dishes and emptying your ashtray. Most people ate lunch in the nude or the ladies tied on a short sarong. Just remember nude protocol by placing a towel on your chair. Towels were always available.
Dinner This was truly a 5-Start resort, quality and presentation was excellent. Service was appropriately timed between courses; in fact I believe the food has even improved from last year. Dinner was served inside the La Vista restaurant or directly outside on tables that were set up in front of the pool. Always a tropical breeze blowing to make outdoor eating enjoyable. Dinner was ala carte, always a five course meal. In each category there were usually two or three items to choose from, and always at least 5 entrée’s. For desert the chocolate cake was excellent, along with Mexican ice cream…. the best taste you could imagine.
Attire at dinner consisted of short sarongs for men and women, some women went topless or some men wore thongs with open shirts and some ladies wore really Sexy X Rated clothes (clothes that you wouldn’t wear at your standard restaurant back home). Dress will always depend on the crowd from week to week. Deborah enjoyed wearing sexy x rated clothes along with about 3 other ladies; I think they were trying to dress the sexist.
Disco: The disco is located above the La Vista Restaurant; it usually gets going around 10 pm. They have installed a “Dance Pole” in the disco. Nightly shows or theme nights are held in the disco, Mardi Gras Night, Lingerie Night, etc. The resort brought in entertainers to put on a Mexican/Mayan dance show. Participation of guest varied from night to night. There is a bar in the disco that stays open till 2 am. The disco is not air conditioned but relies on two open sides providing tropical breezes. Some nights dance attire stayed on, while other nights clothes came off. The entertainment staff, Dulce participates dancing with the guest. The bartender gets into dancing with the guest too. The staff tries their best to make sure each guest has a great time.
El Dorado Resort and Spa: This resort is located next door, walking distance. While a guest of HBR, you have full use of EDR, but must be clothed. There are 3 restaurants, 4 bars, 2 swimming pools, gym and spa, water sports center, etc. One day we put on our clothes and wandered over to EDR, just to check it out. The resort has had a full renovation; it was spread out but well maintained, felt unusual seeing all these people with clothes on. We did find the bar with the double swings, very interesting. Guest of EDR is not allowed to visit HBR, unless they purchase a day or night pass. Cost of day pass is $45 per person and cost of night pass is $65 per person. This helps to ensure gawkers will stay out.
Scheduled Daytime Activities: There were plenty of posted activities on a board near the pool. From Spanish lessons, yoga lessons, body painting, cooking, water volley ball, & painting pottery. Some activities took place while others did not, but who is keeping track. Dulce would get naked to play water volley ball with the guest; this is very unusual compared to Braco. At least you felt the entertainment staff was interacting with the guest.
Dress Attire for Meals: Dress attire was anything from nude with a towel placed between your butt and the chair. Most women wore a short sarong, went topless for breakfast or lunch. Men for breakfast wore short sarong, or a thong, open shirt or a pullover t-shirt. For lunch most every one was naked or a towel wrapped around bottom half or short sarong. Dinner, had women wearing sarongs (full body sarongs or short sarongs covering only bottom half, topless), sexy thong and bra sets, or X-rated sexy clothes (things you would not wear at a regular restaurant), the guys wore short sarongs, no shirt or just a thong & open shirt or no shirt. Anything that you felt comfortable wearing was acceptable.
The CAVE in Playa del Carmen
Mike and Chrissy
Each Wednesday, Mike and Chrissy has a “HotinPlaya Nude Day Cruise” which you sign up for and pay Lomas Travel in the Lobby of HBR. The only affiliation with Lomas Travel is them collecting the money……HotinPlaya Nude Cruise was designed and started by Mike and Chrissy and is chartered by Maroma Paridise Beach. The cost is around $85 US per person, which includes transportation, the cruise, snorkeling, free top shelf booze, and sandwiches on boat. Desires Resorts guest can contact Mike and Chrissy at email@example.com to accommodate others who wish to go on cruise. Both Mike and Chrissy assured everyone, no one has ever got sea sick on the cruise; the boat stays in very calm waters. The bus leaves at 9:30 am and returns you to the resort around 5 pm. The bus takes you close to Puerto Morelos where the catamaran is docked; the area is called Maroma Paradise Beach Marina. Once off the bus, you proceed to the outdoor bar, where you are offered Mikes famous bloody mary’s or (soon to be) drink of choice. Mike gets you to sign a waiver, to board the catamaran. After finishing our drinks, we head down a long pier. There sits the boat “LA LA”, a 75 foot catamaran.
We all board the boat, find seats and boat leaves the dock. The crews consist of the captain and two crew members. The catamaran uses an engine plus sails for power. As soon as the boat leaves the dock area, everyone was allowed to get naked. Tito and Dulce from HBR, came along to help out on the boat. There was plenty of mixed drinks and Cerveza to drink, but be sure to try Chrissy’s Rum Punch, (she will share the recipe). Tito wore his sling shot thong on the boat, goofed around, sang and danced and had a great time.
The boat went so far out and let down anchor. Snorkeling gear, flippers, mask and life jackets were handed out. All those who wanted to go Nude Snorkeling followed one of the crew members, who would show them exotic fish. Everyone else remained on the boat, talking and drinking. We remained there to close to an hour, got everyone back on board and headed out again. The crew served several varieties of sandwiches, along with more booze.
The catamaran backed up to a deserted beach, water was about six foot deep when you stepped off later, but the crew was there to help everyone into the water which within just a couple feet you could stand up. The crew brought the liquor to the beach where you could still get drinks. Everyone’s cameras came out, taking pictures or having their pictures taken. People played in the sand, and then everyone bent over for a group picture, howling at the moon. After bout an hour, we all got back on the boat and headed back in. On the way we passed other boats, where we all mooned them. We all had fun and it was well worth the money….plus no one got sea sick. So if you get a chance to be at HBR on a Wednesday, be sure to take the HotinPlaya Nude Cruise with Mike and Chrissy.
Back to Hidden Beach:
HBR, would we return…..YES, in a heart beat. What impressed us the most was the attitude of the staff and each staff member had their own way to make you feel special. The food was first class, well presented and courses were served in appropriate time frames and at correct temperatures. The booze is top shelf and if they ran out of a particular brand, very shortly it would show up. I know my view points my not agree with others but this is my opinion of the resort. It was fabulous. Guest change from week to week, so sometimes the resort will be lively and other times very calm. One great thing about HBR, is that it is a small resort, you can meet everyone there, you didn’t have to get dressed at all or dress in as little as possible. We totally enjoyed our stay at Hidden Beach with the Rowdy’s and we will be back.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for anymore information you might need.