Playa Del Carmen AI

MariposaTraicioneraJune 12, 2007

Has anyone stayed at an AI in Playa Del Carmen? We were out there for a month in 2005 but rented a lovely condo. This time around no one wants to cook or do grocery shopping while on vacation so AI seems to be an easier deal.

One of the resorts that came up is the Gran Porto Real.

If you had a great time in PDC at an AI please share your experience.

Good food, drinks, beach and to some extent, entertainment required :-)

Cheers,

Mari

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sue36

We have stayed at several of the Riu hotels. They were very nice, good food, I would highly recommend them. We also stayed at an Iberostar, which I did not like.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 10:47AM
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MariposaTraicionera

Thanks Sue. I read some bad reports on the RIU in Playacar.

A 15 night stay at an AI with bad food/attitude will not be much fun.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 1:18PM
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MariposaTraicionera

We were thinking of booking through American Express. Has anyone done this?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 8:47PM
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sjerin

Probably a dumb question, but what is AI? Or is it Al for Alabama? Just curious.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 11:44PM
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gibby2015

My guess was All Inclusive.....

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 12:15AM
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MariposaTraicionera

Sorry, I should have said "All Inclusive" in brackets.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 12:34AM
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pecanpie

We booked flights once through AmEx, in order to use points to pay. It took a couple of phone calls to actually get the points credited (on our statement)to our purchase, and then all was well.

We had no problems with the flights, so I can't tell you how their travel service does in a crunch.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 8:11AM
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sue36

Mari,
To clarify, we DID like the Riu. We stayed at three of them, I believe. All very nice (and I am picky). A lot of Europeans, maybe some Americans wouldn't like that. The food was good, somewhat exotic. Again, we like that, maybe not everyone would.

The Iberostar was awful.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 1:09PM
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reno_fan

Sue, what was it that was awful about your stay at Iberostar?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 7:02PM
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honeyb2

Mari - I've taken family twice to the Viva Wyndham Maya. We all loved it - beautiful beach, clean and pleasant rooms, decent food, enough for the kids to do (entertainment was cheesy but much loved by the kids). We rented a car and took a day trip to Chichen Itza for culture, took the kids on a snorkeling adventure where you go into an underground cave (cenote). DD went parasailing off the beach. My husband did an off-shore fishing trip. If you are looking for the ultimate in luxury or gourmet meals, this probably won't meet your standards, but we found it a nice place to relax. One thing to note is that there are a lot of Europeans there - more than Americans - some folks find this off-putting (more smoking than in the US, some topless sunbathing etc). Also, I've heard that they have some giant sandbags down by the beach now to deal with erosion, though most don't seem to find these too much of a problem. I'd go on tripadviser and look for some recent reviews and pix. Good luck with your decision and have fun.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 7:57PM
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sue36

Issues with the Iberostar-

The food choices at the regular restaurant were very limited and seemed to be the same thing day in and day out. It was next to impossible to get into the "specialty" restaurants. You literally have to get in line at 6:00am the day after you arrive, and even then you won't be able to get in some during your week. There weren't enough chairs at the pool. They would let people "reserve" chairs for the day with a towel. So the chairs were full, but the pool was empty. Well, empty except for all the obnoxious, unsupervised bratty kids. The Iberostar had a lot more Americans than the RIUs - not a positive. The last thing I want to here on vacation is a bunch of loud mouthed, crude idiots who take full advantage of the open bar.

The hotel rooms were less than impressive. Nowhere near as nice as the RIU. The front desk staff was rude and uncooperative.

The Iberostar just seemed trashy.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 10:33PM
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reno_fan

Wow, that sounds pretty bad! We went to the Iberostar Lindo last summer, and we were thrilled with it. The specialty restaurants were easy to get into for us; we just called and made a "reservation" a few hours before dinner.

Our staff was amazing. I felt like I'd died and gone to "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" heaven, as they treated us so well.

There was a definite lack of pool chairs around the bar area, but surprisingly, not around the wave pool which is where we spent most of our time.

DH and I were just musing about how we'd like to go back, but our stupid double house fiasco has put the kibosh on those plans.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 10:01PM
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MariposaTraicionera

Thanks for all the suggestions. The Royal Real (related to the Gran Porto), looks like a dream come true! I have read some great reports so far. Two weeks in heaven...or almost, lol

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 1:08PM
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many_hats

Mari, I'm not sure if you've done the trip already or are still looking for advice but since we stayed at The Royal (it used to be the Gran Porto Real but was 'rebranded back in December 2006), I thought I'd chime in.

It's across the street from its sister resort, the Gran Porto Real and although both places are nice, The Royal is definitely more upscale than the Gran. You have access to all the amenities at the Gran when you stay at The Royal and we did eat there once but since The Royal was so much nicer we basically stayed there. (There's another sister place right in Playa but it's not nearly as nice.)

Food was great, rooms (junior suite--the standard room) were more than adequate, service was top-notch. We traveled with our two kids (19 and 21 at the time) and they loved it. From what we saw walking up and down the beach, The Royal definitely had the nicest beach and sand. The cabanas (?sp) on the beach were heavenly.

The only down-side (not experienced by us due to our room location) was that on one side of the resort is a real party area and on New Year's Eve the party was pretty loud and continued well into the next day. Some guests on that side of the resort were pretty sleep deprived from all the music and partying.

The place is just as pictured on Trip Advisor. I would definitely recommend it as an AI. Fifth Avenue (in Playa) is easily within walking distance and is a fun place and seems safe even at night as there are so many people there. We didn't find many shopping bargains there though--other than Kahlua and vanilla.

Any other questions, just ask!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 9:22AM
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