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  Viva Wyndham Azteca Resort   Joan ~ Nova Scotia

March 2008

Arrival and Flight: CanJet charter, flight in ok. Took 2.5 hours longer due to 130 mph headwinds. Had to make a re-fueling stop in St. Pete's. Flight home is another story! Check in at resort was quick and room was ready as we arrived late.

Rooms: Neat and tidy. The girls were always on the go by 8 a.m. and were very efficient. Kept neat all week with lots of clean towels, washcloths were harder to come by. Was not impressed by the quality of the doors to the rooms. They were the hollow wooden panel doors that everyone has in their homes-not the type I would use as a secure entrance door. We had adjoining rooms as we traveled with our three children. Their room had a deadbolt and chain lock, ours did not have the chain lock. Our door had also been previously pried open as you could see where the trim around had been replaced and hinges moved. Our door did not close properly either. It would pull tight and click so you thought it was shut, but more often than not it was still open. We found the trick was to hold the handle and lift the door up a bit in order to make sure it was locked. They also did absolutely nothing to block any sound from the hallway.

Restaurants: Tried the Mexican and Italian restaurants. Service at both was poor and food was mediocre. Buffet food was never hot and they found some very creative uses for leftovers from the snack bar and previous nights suppers. Stuck mostly with the pasta bar. We didn't find the selection to be as varied as other resorts we have been at. My husband and I actually ended up losing weight. Line up for omelette/egg bar in the morning was always long and they kept the bacon behind the counter so that you also had to wait in line to get some. We also found that you had to check dishes and cutlery as they were not coming back from the kitchen always clean. We are not usually too "fussy", and I can understand once or twice, but this got to be an everyday occurrence.

Bars: Overall, got most of our drinks from the bar by the pool. We have been to other resorts where the bartenders would be chatty and joking around and having a good time with everyone, but I found that most of the staff here did not seem to be as happy and upbeat as others we have met.

Beach and Pools: Pool was good. My only concern was that there was not someone keeping an eye on it for cleaning/maintenance purposes. Twice I had to remove my children from the pool because other children had thrown up in it. The second time it was my husband who went to find the net to scoop the "gunk" from the water. The beach has taken a beating. There are lots of the big sand bags around and while we were there, they had guys pumping sand from the ocean back up onto the beach to try and keep from losing any more. The first three days the beach was red-flagged, so you could only walk in one direction-the other way it was washed out right to the patio of the resort next door.

Grounds : Great

Activities and Entertainment: They did a good job. Had a great time playing Bocce Ball one the beach. Some of the animation crew were a little full of themselves, but it was entertaining watching them talking to the younger women that were at the resort! Our youngest daughter participated in the Kids Club for part of our time there-Wali and Chantal were excellent!
She had a great time and they kept them busy with games, pool and beach activities and putting on a show at the theatre the last night we were there.

Tours : Did Xel-Ha. Booked it on-line before we left and had some problems when we went to meet the bus, they had lost our reservation. Not sure if they were just upset that we didn't book while in Mexico or what, but they did eventually take us on the bus and we had a great day after that. I would suggest booking once you get there, for the $50 US I saved booking online, it just wasn't worth the headache.

Departure and Check Out : Check out was quick and easy. Flight home was a fiasco. Am writing to CanJet!

Conclusion : Overall, it wasn't a bad resort. It is what you make it. Our flight down was late and we had some sunburn issues with the kids the second day we were there, so that may have tainted our attitude in general. I would give it a three out of five.


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  Viva Wyndham Azteca Resort   Cassandra ~ Ottawa, ON

March 2008

This resort is quiet and smaller than others we have visited before, but we enjoyed the calm after days enjoying the excursions. The service was great and the animation team really try to keep everyone entertained and involved. The shows are okay, the International dance show was really good. The food was fantastic, plentiful, and full of variety. The beach is one of the nicest in the strip because there is lots of room to swim without coming across a sandbag barrier. We were always able to find a chair on the beach but the pool was always ‘booked’ by towels early in the morning. We found the pool a little small but spent most of our time on the beach anyway. If you stay at the Azteca you can also use the facilities at the sister resort, the Viva Maya, and we went there a few times to eat at the restaurants and use their pool and the archery station and to go to the dance bar. It is only 4 resorts down and a nice walk after dinner. The Playacar plaza is about 5 minutes away walking and there are lots of trinkets and souvenirs to buy. We went to Playa del Carmen one afternoon and I suggest walking as there are Mayan ruins along the way. It took about 20 minutes to walk back from the town to the resort. We did a few tours, one to Coba, which was fantastic, as well as to a cenote and a Mayan village, and also to Xel-Ha, which is a must for everyone who goes to the Mayan Riviera. It was beautiful and fun and has something for everyone young, old, fit or just looking to walk around and relax. If you want a big party and lots of people I would suggest staying at the Maya, but if you want a smaller and quieter resort for a good price, with good food and a nice beach, then I would suggest the Azteca for sure. We loved Mexico and the Mayan Riviera and would go back again!


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Viva Wyndham Azteca Resort Bill ~ Canada

January 2007

My wife and I just returned from a week vacation in the Mayan Riviera, where we stayed at the Viva Wyndham Azteca.

The flight:
We flew from Hamilton International Airport Ontario, which is very convenient, because it is only 20 minutes from where we live. The airline was Skyservice. On the way down, there was only one friendly stewardess. The rest of them looked like they hated their job and did not want to crack their face by smiling. On the way back,it was the same story.
In the Sunquest brochure it says that the Azteca is 45 minutes from the airport. This is correct if there are no other stops to make. Our trip to the hotel took about one and a half hour.

The hotel:
We arrived around 11 a.m. Check in was very smooth.(There were only 4 persons to check in) A welcome drink was offered to us. Very nice welcome to the hotel! The room was not ready yet. Check in time is 3 p.m.So we changed in the washroom into our shorts and t-shirts. Then we had a drink and then lunch in the buffet restaurant. The food was excellent and had plenty of variety.
After lunch, about 1 p.m., I went to the lobby and asked if the room was ready yet. And yes, it was. So don't wait till 3 p.m., but check once in a while. The bell boy took us to a very dark hotel room on the ground floor with a balcony that had a view of a fence. Very depressing! I went right away to the front desk, and told them that this was unacceptable. They went all out of their way to accommodate us, and gave us room # 2114, which had a nice view of the pool. The rooms are basic, but large enough, and very clean.
The Pool:
Nice pool, well maintained. Have seen much bigger pools in other resorts, but considering the the size of this resort, it was more than adequate.

Beach:
A lot of erosion occurred during the hurricane. I heard some people say that they lost about 80' of beach. So it is narrow and short. But enough to have fun, if you like to swim in the ocean.

Restaurants:
Buffet restaurant was excellent with enough variety. Did not bother with the a la carte restaurants, but heard from other people that they were very good also.

Personnel:
Excellent, Excellent, Excellent! They bent over backwards to please you.

General:
This resort is very recommendable for families with children. As for myself, next time I will try an adults only resort.


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Viva Wyndham Azteca Resort Stacy ~ Calgary

January 2007

My husband and I just returned from a fabulous week in Playacar. We travel every year, and usually to different countries, but due to timing with passports this year, we decided to travel back to Mexico (you don’t need a passport from Canada).

The Flight
We booked through selloffvacations.com on a SunWing vacation, a new tour agency in western Canada. They chartered out the flight to AeroMexico. The representatives at SunWing were amazing – prompt, efficient and never promised anything they couldn’t deliver on. The flight was the best flight south we have EVER been on. There really is something to be said for Mexican hospitality. We upgraded our seats to the business class seats (a nice perk when you aren’t flying someone like AirTransat) for an extra $200 each way. It was well worth the money. We were served a drink as soon as we were settled in our seats, the food was incredible (enchiladas on the way home) and the service was far from anything we’ve received before on a flight.

To the Resort
The transport from the hotel was the same as any, a big tour bus. The difference is, though, with a smaller tour company, you don’t have one bus going to one resort. We had to stop at 3 other resorts before getting to ours, so it was after 1am when we arrived at our resort. No welcome reception L.

The Service at the Resort
We were first put into the older section of the resort, block B. The resort is laid out in a U shape, with the lobby at the crook and the bar and pool in the middle. Our room was clean, but we were very disappointed with the two double beds. We immediately went to the front desk, where they assured a king room as soon as one became available. Sure enough, Sunday at noon, we were moved to a king room without an argument. The safes are digital, so you don’t need to carry a key around all week.

The Food
The Guest Services girl is Canadian and is very, very helpful. Making reservations was not a problem. We ate at the Italian restaurant the second nite we were there, and it was mediocre. The service was bad. The Japanese restaurant was incredible. We didn’t dine at the Mexican restaurant because we decided to go into Playa del Carmen to the Blue Lobster our last nite there.

The buffet, is, well, a buffet. It’s your usual all-inclusive buffet. No salads to speak of. That kinda bugged us. The snack bar is good, they will grill you a hamburger at 3am if you come back staggering to the resort after a long nite partying in Playa del Carmen. Nice perk, the 24 hour thing.

Playa del Carmen
You’re literally a 15 minute walk or a $5 taxi ride to the main strip in Playa del Carmen. We spent a lot of time there. There is a sports bar on 5th Avenue called EZ Sports Bar that played all the Canadian hockey games (we saw all three Flames games while we were there). The shopping towards the beginning of the strip (towards Senor Frogs) was better as far as deals. The further into town you get, the more expensive it got.

The Beaches and Pool
They’re gone. That’s all I can say. No beach volleyball at the Azteca. They’ve lost about 30 feet of depth in beach front. It was rough while we were there, red flagged 5 out of 7 days. You do get a chair easily though, at the beach, and there is a little waitress named Alicia (Ah-lee-see-ya) that will keep bringing you your slushy fruity drinks all day. Tip her every now and again and she’ll never let your glass get dry.

There are women tanning topless by the beach, but it’s not allowed by the pool. There are a lot of ********* at this resort. Most are pleasant, but you do get your rude ones. They mostly stay near the pool (and hog the chairs there too). Generally, we only found chairs around the pool if you were there early (before 8am) or early afternoon (around 1:30 or so). There is no swim-up bar, which kinda irked us.

Side note: take a bigger thermos or water bottle down for your drinks or you’ll be filling up more often, the glasses are only 4oz glasses.

The Pains
First and foremost: the timeshare sales people. You will get a nice little welcome note under your door the first nite saying they have a gift for you. DON’T GO GET IT. Once they know your face, they’ll hound you all week to go to the Maya to sit through a presentation, etc. You also get a lot of these in Playa del Carmen. They say 90 minutes, but it takes 4 hours plus out of your day. Don’t get sucked into going, no matter what they promise you, and they will promise you whatever, excursions, etc.

You do get a few beach salespeople, but if you say no, they walk on by. The resort also has a photographer that walks around each day with monkeys, parrots, etc. taking pics then charges you $11/each to buy them. I guess it depends on if you really want a picture with a monkey. J

Overall
We would definitely return to this resort, especially if we’re traveling with the kids. If we’re going alone, I’d opt for an adults-only.

4 out of 5 on a rating scale.


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Viva Wyndham Azteca Resort Diane and Luc

May 2006

we went to the viva wyndham azteca in mayan riviera this past april 22 to april 29 it was the best we had the best time the staff is a1 the bartenders are great the whole place is fantastic i have been recommending this place to all of our friends we still feel like weve never left the yoyo song is still in my head we had a tequila night of our own here at home last friday nite we just couldnt get enough of mexico. we would like to say high to nelson and hugo and the rest of the awsome staff. they always had a smile on their faces and always happy and very hard working we are definetly going back i loved it my husband loved it and our friends loved it we salute the azteca u are the best we are always thinking of u as u can see . our stay was the best thank you for making our stay great


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Viva Wyndham Azteca Resort Wendy ~ Canada

April 2006

We were at the Viva Wyndham Azteca from April 1-8th 2006.
AMAZING...LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

My husband and I took our whole family to Mexico as a Christmas present. We were booked at another resort, but got scared off by bad reports. We made a last minute change to Viva Azteca. We are SOOO glad we did. Everyone loved it.

The resort: It is a very small resort. This was something we didn't know before we went and are so glad it was. It was amazing. You are one minute walk from everything in the resort. It was our kind of resort. It is in a gated community called Playacar, consisting of one resort after another, timeshares, condos and private homes. It is a very safe area with lots to see. Playa del Carmen is about a 25 minute walk to the north or a two minute cab ride ($5. u.s.). Walk if you can, it is worth it just to see everything around. There are even some little Mayan ruins on the side of the road. The hotel has bikes with locks and mopeds. The bikes are free to use. I am sure you have to pay for the mopeds. Some of the bikes also have kid seats on the back. Take a belt to belt your kids in as there are none attached. Playa del Carmen is a fun place to see and shop. Be ready to barter, and don't be shy. I bought a silver (.925) bracelet. I was told it was $85.U.S. I got it for $30. I left once and threatened the second time. Near the end I was tired of the game and simply used lines like "I have $10. that is all". It works. To the south of the resort about 5 minute walk is a little market with some upscale shops and touristy shops. There is also a convenience store there.

Day trips....we only went on one and it was with a private tour guide.
Eduardo of Edventure Tours. He was amazing. He showed up at our resort and we told him what we would like to see/do and he took it from there. We went to Tulum to see ruins, a cenote (underground rivers), snorkelling with turtles, baracudas etc, and snorkelling in an amazing lagoon.

Rooms: Good+. They could use a revamping, but were nice and kept clean. We had no problems at all. We were given 3 rooms side by side (6 adults, 1 child, 2 babies). They were in perfect location and view. (2324,2325,2326). I was concerned with reports of the hard beds. Yes, they are hard, but I had the best weeks sleep, I have had in years. I think everyone felt the same.

Food: Excellent!!!! We didn't even bother going to the a la cartes or over to the Maya resort to sample. It is a sister resort that you can utilize. Lots of variety. Mexican food was great. The "special" each night was very good. The deep fried pork was soooo good (but sooo bad, if you know what I mean LOL). We ate in the courtyard for all our meals. Enjoyed the goings on in the courtyard each evening during dinner. Dinner starts at 7:00 which is late for us, but it turned out to be great. It gave us time for a late afternoon play in the pool with the kids and then time to get ready for dinner. If any of us got hungry we had a snack at the beach bar. The pizza was amazing. The nachos, salsa and guac. were also great.

Kids Club: Can't report, as we didn't use it. The kids we saw seemed to be having a great time.

Pool: Super for us. Safe area for the little ones. Fun area for the adults. We alternated between the beach and the pool.

Beach: GREAT. We managed to get a Palapa every day that we went. We saved seats, but someone was always sitting there. It is frustrating when people go to the beach in the middle of the night or early morning and save a good chair and you never see anyone sitting in them but that goes on at every resort. Our beach was huge. The day we left the water was pretty rough and it destroyed a lot of the beach though.

Activities: AMAZING. We only participated in a few of them, but enjoyed watching. There was always something going on and the entertainment staff is amazing and very approachable, as a matter of fact, they do the approaching. They will ask if they can sit with you at lunch. Take them up on the offer. They are very interesting to talk to.

Entertainment: My husband and son took our grandson to one show (Lion King). They enjoyed it. We didn't go to any other as we were usually wiped by 8 o'clock and the shows don't start until 9:30. My only negative would be that they should be earlier, but the day staff are the ones who do the shows as well, so need the time. They really work super hard.

My husband and I will be back for sure.


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Viva Wyndham Azteca Resort Nancy ~ Montreal

April 2006

We just returned from the Azteca. We wanted to go to the Riviera last fall but were delayed with all the hurricane damage. We waited until things got better but couldn't find anything in our price range until March. We had read reviews on the Azteca and had a good idea on what to expect but thought the beach would have been better by now. This vacation was not cheap. We got a better price because we waited until March to reserve but we have had much better resorts for a lot less in the past, including the Bahia Principe Punta Cana. It was, however, one of the less expensive packages available and we wanted to see more ruins and be near to a fun place like Playa Del Carmen.

HOTEL: Stayed March 25-April 1/06. Small family oriented resort. Fast check in and out. Management staff friendly and efficient. Rooms close to beach and pool, basic and but very clean. Excellent maid service with new towel art every day. I think all the linen on the beds were changed daily. Fridge provided but don’t forget to plug it in when you arrive. Bottled water, coke and sprite provided daily. Beds set on cement slabs made for an uncomfortable first night but no problems after that. Quiet and efficient a/c. Loved that the patio door had a screen. We’d open it around 5 AM to get fresh air. Never saw a bug in room or on our balcony. Small balconys but you can catch a glimpse of ocean from every room, I think. Well tended grounds with a sunken garden with real Mayan artifacts. Quiet at night. Good water pressure in shower but problems you’d get 5 seconds of scalding hot and 5 seconds of cold..haha. Soap dispensers in washroom and shower, no other toiletries provided.No facecloths the first day but no problem the rest of our stay. Large closet with drawers. Electronic safe – no charge – in room. Small boutique on site. Fun shopping plaza five minute walk from resort – felt very safe walking around and it was a nice walk after dinner. Huge Riu Palace next door. Five dollars cab into downtown PDC – great place to spend the evening or a 20 minute walk. Hotel also has bicycles for free. Spent a wonderful day at Xcaret - $12 taxi one way.The evening shows are a must see – the highlight of our trip.

RESTAURANTS:

Buffet : One part in the courtyard under the stars – very romantic with candlelight in the evening. Food was well prepared but nearly the same every day. I’m used to AI buffets but this one was frustrating. Fish was delicious but the same fish every day. Only saw one 'theme night' - the other nights were same old same old. No special greenery or decoration. Lots of custardy desserts and one or two choices of ice cream – the coconut one was fabulous. Breakfast had good variety, fresh omelettes made to order. Juices were very disappointing – all watered down concentrate at buffet and snack bar and only melons and bananas for fresh fruit. Great guacamole daily. Papaya at snack bar some days, but tasteless.

Wait staff at buffet and bars were worked off their feet, no time for a few seconds chit-chat, a quick hola and on to business. Serve yourself beer at lunch. They often ran out of food and it would take 10-15 minutes before refilling, if at all. Coffee was poor – have it at the bar across the way from their great espresso machine.

La Scala: No ambiance, felt rushed. Entrees with lots of unidentifiable mixtures. We went twice because the men liked the beef but the second time it wasn’t as good. Grouper was good first time, not the second. Shrimp risotto not nice. Best dessert was chocolate mousse.

Bambu: Good ambiance, great waiters, good food. Sushi not bad, great spring rolls. Tempura had big shrimp in it. Not much for dessert. As usual, we had coffee from the bar after the meal.

Café Viva in PDC – $10. Six dollar cab took us to the Café. great service from good natured waiters. Meal included a welcome drink and a big glass of wine. Food very well presented and good. Pizza had way too much cheese on it – go for something else – it’s worth it! Had delicious grouper in Tequila and mango marinade. Chocolate mousse same but better than La Scala. It was a fun evening away from resort. Great walking around PDC – lots of people eating and shopping – no cars allowed. We were never harassed by vendors or time share people at any time. In fact we had to run after them to ask questions. Very laid back.

Snack Bar: hot dogs, hamburgers, good thin-crust pizza, the same pasta dish every day, good and plenty fries. Limited salad bar and desserts. Not many tables and hardly any in the shade. Serve yourself soft drink, purified water and juice machines but again – juices very watered down. They even said it on the cards in front of machines “mango juice with water” etc.! Only saw fresh guacamole once at snack bar. Bar on other side of snack bar – always long lines, barmen very rushed and they also had espresso machine at bar. Amazed to see that not many people tipped. They worked very hard and were very grateful for any tip. C’mon people – have a heart! And Viva management – get an extra pair of hands here!

Main Bar: Open 24 hrs. Great place to get a good cup of coffee in the early morning and some fresh pastries. Again, barmen very busy, need an extra pair of hands here too. Live entertainment every night. A guitar player comes twice a week – great Stevie Ray renditions, this guy can play!

BEACH: Sorry to report that there is a big beach erosion problem at Azteca – made a bit worse by hurricanes. As a result, the lounge chair area is shortened because there’s a 4-6 ft drop to the actual beach. Huge sandbags hold the beach back from further erosion and workers were filling more and spreading the sand in the lounge areas. Lots of new palm trees which will look great once they have more leaves. Lounge chairs not allowed on beach so it gets crowded. Waves don’t knock you down so it’s pleasant swimming in that beautiful turquoise water. Lots of new boogie boards and kayaks. On our first day I stepped on a piece of wood in the water and when I picked it up I found it was a board with 4 3” nails sticking up out of it! It could have been the end of my or someone elses vacation. Don’t know if it came from Cozumel or a boat. Didn’t find anything else the rest of the week and the beach was clean and very enjoyable. This is not the beach for long walks, unless you can squeeze by the cement wall at the Allegro next door.The biggest problem was the towel game in the morning. I must have shade for health problems and I’m usually down at the beach by 7:30 to reserve, go for breakfast and get back by 8:30. No palapas at 7:30, none at 6:30 either. Finally spent the last 3 days of vacation getting up at 5:30!! ..ridiculous!

ACTIVITIES: Animators worked very hard and were always smiling. Some good shows in evening – great costumes. The kids seemed happy with their day. Animators come from all over the world. They also put on fun entertainment in the early evenings in the Courtyard – along with two nights of vendors and one night of great mariachi band– great ambiance. Scuba Caribe sells water activities. We took the Snorkelling tour for $30. Disappointing. They take you out by Sea-Doo to the boat anchored at the Viva Maya – crazy ride there and back. Reef is off Xcaret Park. Reef is pretty with lots of fish but shallow and you have to follow the leader so you get kicked and pushed by other snorkellers. Not for seasoned snorkellers but great for kids.

All in all, it was a nice vacation but could have been better. The beach needs work, buffet needs more variety and some zing to it and staff needs to be increased. It was nice to be near PDC and Xcaret and be able to walk around feeling safe but we would choose another resort the next time we visited the area.


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Viva Azteca Resort - Playa Del Carmen Jake

December 2004

we just returned from a week-long stay at the azteca. this is our fourth visit to the resort. our previous visits included myself, mother and sister. this year my grown children joined us. unfortunately, we all found the resort less than adequate. our previous visits had all been positive. we learned that the wyndham had taken over which may explain our experience. upon arrival we were sent to two rooms (across from each other). one of the rooms faced the garden/pool; the other a construction site with a full work force directly in front of the room! we asked for rooms on the other side of the resort and were politely accommodated. while the physical appearance of the resort did not change from our last visit, it was obvious that most everything else had. the rooms were not clean (floors in both baths and bedrooms needed washing/moping), mini frige not stocked, no extra toilet paper, tissues and no toiletries (shampoo, etc.) one of the bathroom shower curtains was moldy, the closet doors were off their tracks, and one of the phones was not working. we arrived at 3:00pm and went directly to the beach. what a shock! the beach had erroded to half its size and there was a huge drop to get to the water. because the beach had erroded, the chairs were literally on top of one another. what a disappointment. i realize that the resort could not be held responsible for the errosion but it was still a dissappointment since we are not pool people.

the staff at the resort continues to be exceptional. they are friendly, helpful and happy. it was obvious that the staff had been severly cut. there were fewer servers, room maids and bartenders than our previous stays which made service very slow. this biggest disappointment was the food. the buffets were awful. hot food was not hot and the cold selections wilted and sparce. also, the selection was limited. often lunch was the previous night's dinner. breakfast remained good. we went to the maya mexican restaurant which was worse than the viva's buffet. in fact, we went out to dinner after. we also had reservations at the italian restaurant which was horrible. we ended up at the buffet after. i did speak with one of the managers who was shocked to hear of our disappointment in the food and could not explain the room's conditions.

in all, i couldn't recommend this resort to anyone.


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Viva Azteca Resort - Playa Del Carmen Canada

February 2004

Just got back from Playa del Carmen from a 1-week stay at the Viva Azteca. This is our third all-inclusive holiday, having gone to Dominican in 2002 and Cuba in 2003. We went with our 2 boys, aged 9 and 13.

The resort was great. Everything was very clean, the staff friendly and the rooms were a nice size. The mix of guests was about 50% Italian, 30% Canadian. The food in the main restaurant was of good variety and quality. We booked the “La Scalla” an Italian a la carte restaurant one night, and the food and service were certainly top quality. The pool bar has a nice little buffet of pizza, fries, hotdogs and hamburgers all day long (as well as a soft ice cream machine). The bar service itself was good; I never waited more than a minute for a drink.

The beach had the nicest sand I’ve ever seen, the water a beautiful blue color, with gentle waves rolling to shore. No rocks are in the water, so you don’t have to worry about where you step. The resort supplies all sorts of non-motorized watercrafts and toys and seemed to always have enough to service the guests. The staff offered a steady diet of activities and were not at all pushy about you joining water aerobics or in a game of volleyball. The one downside of such a nice sandy beach was the lack of any snorkeling off the shore. This was not only the case in front of the Azteca, but also of all the resorts within a mile of either direction of the Azteca.

The Play del Carmen area offers many activities to keep you busy. You could stay for weeks and not see all there is to see, this is the main difference from the less developed areas we stayed at in Porta Plata and Holguin. We did Xel-Ha and Tulum, a eco-water park and Mayan ruins, both were worth the 40 minute bus ride. Xel-ha is a large and very well run park that features all sorts of water activities. This is where we snorkeled. This park was the highlight of the trip, Tulum was interesting as well.

Two warnings about Playa del Carmen, anyone who stops you to ask how you are enjoying your trip and how long you are staying are trying to get you to see a sales presentation on either a vacation club (time share) or to see another resort for your next trip. They offer gifts such as free passes to the sites, car rentals, trips to Cozumel if you just go visit the location they are selling. We went, our visit lasted 3 hours of the most intense and persistent sales presentation I have ever seen. We did not buy. The pitch was 30 weeks holidays for $30,000. My other warning is about Signature Vacations. These are the folks who put together the vacation packages. I would think that almost all Canadians at this resort were on a Signature package. The plane is awful, very small seats, we did not fly direct and they seemed to just sell, sell, sell the entire plane ride. They sell duty free, they sell drinks, they sell snacks, they sell headsets; in short they try to nickel and dime you to death. Don’t even think about catching some sleep with all that activity going on. Secondly (and the reason I won’t ever book Signature again) they ripped us off in selling us a package to Xel-ha. I figure for a family of 4 they charged us at least $20 a person higher than the exact same product being offered blocks away at a mall that is known for being a little too expensive.

All in all a great vacation, and we will return to Mexico again, just not with Signature Vacations.


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