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Old 01-18-2008   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by See Turtle View Post
Jen:

Welcome to the forum.

I gotta tell ya, you should skip the AI entirely and just book the Luna Blue (or any of the many other great hotels in town) for your entire stay. For $600 a night you could have the best room at any of those hotels, eat dinner at the most expensive restaurants in town and still have $200 left over every day.

BTW, the Playa beaches are not all that crowded. Haven't been in March, but was just there over the holidays (Chirstmas/New Year's) and not too crowded at all. Besides, for a $10 purchase of food or beverages, you can occupy a chaise lounge on the beach at a place like El Pirata with beach service all day long. Or you can spend a little more and go to Mamitas or Kool Beach Clubs just to the north.

And the best part of all? Not a single, crappy buffet to be found. Hey, if you wanted to spend your vacation in a buffet line, you could rent a crappy room in Chicago and go to an MCL everyday.

Have a great time.
Thank you for the great advice!!! We actually haven't booked the Royal yet.. so I am absolutely considering the non AI route.. I agree there are so many wonderful places to eat and explore that I'm almost convinced that it may be a better idea than spending the $$ at the Royal. My boyfriend on the other hand would like us to experience the Royal for this upcoming trip due to the wonderfull reviews.. I can't really argue with that because the place looks immaculate. Either way....this will NOT be our last trip to Playa.. so if we decide to book the Royal this March we will most definitely book a condo or one of the many great non AI hotels the next time around. We are hoping to come back with a few couples and book a place like Ancanto- the rooftop pool sold me
ps: HEyyyyYYyy I enjoy buffets lol but I see your point
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Old 01-18-2008   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by fireinmn View Post
Great advice!!

Welcome Jen!

We were there in early March 2006 - it's wasn't too busy. We found many many places on the beach.

Have fun.
That is such a relief! I love having a "scene" and all, but I need some darn privacy! Thank you! I can hardlyyy wait! Can you believe I already packed?? LOL..
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Old 01-18-2008   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmsitaly View Post
Hey there, sorry for the delay...
Our top places are also some of the more popular spots on the board here. Can't imagine going to Playa without hitting all of them.

Babes www.babesnoodlesand bar.com
(we usually eat here at least 3 times) Mojitos, Swedish Meatballs and Thai dishes-everything is fantastic that we have had there
La Cueva del Chango (cool jungle/garden atmosphere with wonderful food and fresh juices) We go for breakfast usually
HC Monterrey great steak
Media Luna (great spot for anytime food and great people watching)
La Tarraya (great spot for lunch on the beach, try the ceviche)

Now there are lots more, but if you only have a few meals I would not miss these places.

They are all pretty casual also. There are lots of more expensive places, but we really don't do them that much...no need really. But, I would try Glass Bar, have heard Negrosal is good, as is John Grays and Chicago Dons (steak) I live in Indiana though and I can get a great steak anytime. I prefer the stuff I can't get at home-but that is just me.


As for the spring breakers, I wouldn't worry too much. Yes they are there, but not a huge presence, and there are people having fun allover the place. Not the 1000's of 20-something craziness of Cancun.

I wanna go now!!!
I've read some great stuff about the places you listed.. glad to hear you confirm it
haha I hear ya.. we definitely have the steak and the pasta here (even though that is a darn great combination, so I see why people stick to that meal category lol..) it is probably a good idea to enjoy the culinary goodness that Playa has to offer ! I can't wait to dive in the wonderful seafood and the local taco joints! My mouth is watering nowwwwwwwwwwww thinking about it...! I would certainly invite you to jump in my suitcases but I have to fit all my shoes in there first.. haha.. why am I such a girl?!!!!! Thank you for your reccomendations Keep them coming if you think of anymore
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Old 01-18-2008   #19 (permalink)
aņejo
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Welcome to the neighborhood Mrs. Muffin....the Royal looks beautiful and is great because it is right in Playa del Carmen and all the fun. We enjoyed the Riu Palace our first year in Playa, but it was too far from town...and, we found that we enjoyed non-AI better so we have stayed in local hotels the last 3 years....Playa Maya once (on the beach and a great hotel) and La Tortuga twice (just wonderful with a great pool and attached restaurant)....we are going back to La Tortuga in a couple of weeks.

Have fun planning and deciding!
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Old 01-19-2008   #20 (permalink)
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Welcome Jen! From one new Chicagoan to another!
BTW - stayed a few nights at La Tortuga (NYE & NYD), and loved it. The ONLY thing that I didn't like is that it's not on the beach, but it has everything else. (and you get passes for Mamita's beach club). Nice spa - Spa Itza. Like Jack said, great place!
Have fun!
Sandi
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Old 01-22-2008   #21 (permalink)
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