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Old 07-01-2011   #16 (permalink)
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Or you can stay at at AI in town like we did - - for the convenience of feeding our children non-stop all day long (and the pool and service rocked too!) - - and still enjoy all that Playa has to offer by going off resort and heading into town often, taking day trips to places like Akumal and Tulum, etc...We did the same things on this vacation that we did when we stayed in Condo a few years ago.

It's not one (AI) or the other (Condo or hotel). Unless you decide to never leave the AI grounds.

You can still do Playa "and not miss out" no matter where you lay your head down for the night.
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Old 07-02-2011   #17 (permalink)
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It's the Barcelo Maya Palace. And they don't have time shares at Barcelo, they have what they call a "vacation club", where you buy nights for future stays. Bad deal, pricing is better when you book each stay individually.
yeah they mentioned something about having to buy points? Any way the resort looked awsome from the outside. I got sick eating at the Reef mid week but was able to over come it. My wife wife got sick the last day and ended up going to the ER once we got back to the states Dr. said it was stomach bug. I suspect the food personally. When I got back i told my TA to please not book anyon else for there. BUT BUT BUT I do wana say after all it is PLAYA DEL CARMEN Kenny Chessney wrote songs about this place for a reason. PLAY is absolutly stunning. Its hard to realise how beautiful the water is untill you get back and start looking at the pics and you say to your self my god that place is georgous.
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Old 07-02-2011   #18 (permalink)
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Well.. we will be staying at the Reef this year, in 8 days actually... This is not our first trip to Playa.. have stayed at the Gran Porto 3 times and Sandos Playacar once but we got such an awsome deal at the Reef this year we decided to go with it... As long as we have a bed to flop down on at night and a shower in the morning we are pretty good to go so we are really looking forward to getting there! I know the Reef probably doesn't compare to Gran Porto or Sandos but for the money we saved by booking there I thought it was well worth a try!! Can't wait.. Sorry you didn't have a good time because I know your trip report the first time was great, one of the reasons we decided to go ahead and give it a try (medicaldawg), lol... oh well.. let you know on July 19th when we return how our trip went!!
Im glad my previous post helped you decide. One little bit of adivse though kinda stear clear of the buffet. I think that is where we might have picked up a tummy ache. The two resturants upstars are awsome i would recomed those every night. or catch a cab tell them to take you to 10th and 8th. There is a little taco stand called gamberii their fish tacos are the best ive ate so far. A lot locas recomed the place. Go to 10th and 4th hook a left on 4th about a half a block up mannes place is on your left.
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Old 07-02-2011   #19 (permalink)
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i know this is not the place for this but those vendors down town ruin the experience for my family and I. My wife showed some intrest in a braclet that he said was 100us. Well after several attempts to be polite and walk away the price was dropped to 35us. I agreed to it handed him a 100us bill and he gave me 50 back stating he needed the extra to buy beer. My wife looked at me and seen my crazy look and said please dont act like that we are in mexico we dont want any jail time here. But i could have gotton my money but thats just an example of how they act and behave. Looks like its island time next year southern carabbeain. I gotta find another forum for that but will be checking back in with you guys
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Old 07-08-2011   #20 (permalink)
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Forget the AI's - rent a condo - seriously.
While I'm very aware that this board is mostly pro non-AI options (as am I for the most part, actually), I do wonder -- is it appropriate to go on the AI section of the board and urge people to choose non-AI options? Don't people come to the AI folder specifically to discuss AIs?

ABgirl, I'm not picking on you personally. I've seen this happen before and it's more of a meta question for other members.
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Old 07-08-2011   #21 (permalink)
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If I was booked here and didn't know it wasn't very nice when I booked, I'd be on the phone with my travel agent looking to switch hotels. Spend a little more for a better resort. Meh is being generous!
I talked to my husband about finding a new hotel, but he (as stubborn as always) doesn't think that it's going to be as terrible as I'm now imagining. His main reason for not wanting to change is that "it can't be as bad as my time overseas (he served 2 tours), we'll eat elsewhere and we'll be fine". I'm going to cross my fingers and hope for the best. At least if it's a sucky trip, I can rest assured that we'll never go there again. *sigh*

Last edited by JHawkFan; 07-08-2011 at 05:48 PM..
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Old 07-08-2011   #22 (permalink)
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While I'm very aware that this board is mostly pro non-AI options (as am I for the most part, actually), I do wonder -- is it appropriate to go on the AI section of the board and urge people to choose non-AI options? Don't people come to the AI folder specifically to discuss AIs?
I agree, have said this myself in the past. That's why this specific section of the board exists!
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Old 07-18-2011   #23 (permalink)
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While I'm very aware that this board is mostly pro non-AI options (as am I for the most part, actually), I do wonder -- is it appropriate to go on the AI section of the board and urge people to choose non-AI options? Don't people come to the AI folder specifically to discuss AIs?

ABgirl, I'm not picking on you personally. I've seen this happen before and it's more of a meta question for other members.
very well put.
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Old 07-19-2011   #24 (permalink)
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Just returned from a 10 day stay at the Reef and had a fabulous time!! Food was great and the staff was awsome! Our rooms were clean and cleaned great every single day and we had our fridge filled and coffee and four bottles of water basically daily! The pool bar was wonderful, snack bar was open every day and I ate wayyyy to much and the specialty restaraunts were awsome!!! The very first year we went to Mexico we stayed at Gran Porto Real and I got so sick but never once dreamed it was food poisoning, just figured it was too much mexican food for my system at once.. and every year we went back to Gran Porto and to Sandos and now the Reef I have never been sick again, so I hate to blame me getting sick that first year on Gran Porto.. but anyway.. We had a fabulous time! No complaints at all! Our room was beautifully decorated with a swan and petals with champagne and strawberries covered in chocolate that looked like little tuxedos... Sorry your second visit wasn't good here, we totally enjoyed it!!!
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Old 03-04-2012   #25 (permalink)
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Just returned from a 10 day stay at the Reef and had a fabulous time!! Food was great and the staff was awsome! Our rooms were clean and cleaned great every single day and we had our fridge filled and coffee and four bottles of water basically daily! The pool bar was wonderful, snack bar was open every day and I ate wayyyy to much and the specialty restaraunts were awsome!!! The very first year we went to Mexico we stayed at Gran Porto Real and I got so sick but never once dreamed it was food poisoning, just figured it was too much mexican food for my system at once.. and every year we went back to Gran Porto and to Sandos and now the Reef I have never been sick again, so I hate to blame me getting sick that first year on Gran Porto.. but anyway.. We had a fabulous time! No complaints at all! Our room was beautifully decorated with a swan and petals with champagne and strawberries covered in chocolate that looked like little tuxedos... Sorry your second visit wasn't good here, we totally enjoyed it!!!

Good to hear we are staying here in may and I was getting worried didnt wanna spend my 20th doing this all week
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Old 03-06-2012   #26 (permalink)
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Enjoy your stay JW. We did. Just go in not expecting too much. It's an adequate resort (IMO) on a nice stretch of beach and walking distance to Playa. I looked at it as a inexpensive beachfront hotel with the convenience of the All Inclusive. We spent days in Playa,Tulum,Akumal, and Cozumel as well so it wasn't one of those lock yourself in All Inclusive Vacations which I don't think we would have enjoyed there that much.

We also stayed at a condo directly across the street from the Reef and that was nice as well.
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Old 03-07-2012   #27 (permalink)
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well if this is your first trip dont worry. Playa is so beautifull you wont even notice the things i mentioned. There is an RIU right next door that is beautiful. Next time i go to Paya im gonna try Bacelo playa palace delux. Im sure my spelling is wrong on that but i meet several people that owned time shares there and had nothing but good things to say about it!
RIU is awesome ! BUT .... it is $500-600 more expensive per person per week. You can not compare Reef and RIU. It's the same as comparing snorkeling to scuba diving
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Old 03-13-2012   #28 (permalink)
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i know this is not the place for this but those vendors down town ruin the experience for my family and I. My wife showed some intrest in a braclet that he said was 100us. Well after several attempts to be polite and walk away the price was dropped to 35us. I agreed to it handed him a 100us bill and he gave me 50 back stating he needed the extra to buy beer. My wife looked at me and seen my crazy look and said please dont act like that we are in mexico we dont want any jail time here. But i could have gotton my money but thats just an example of how they act and behave. Looks like its island time next year southern carabbeain. I gotta find another forum for that but will be checking back in with you guys
Having practically grown up "bargaining" in Mexico on vacation, I am not bothered or upset by the vendors. They are doing their job. Trying to get as much money from me as possible. My job? Trying to keep my money from them. And not in a bad or judgmental way. Had it been me, and someone wanted to keep 15 for beer, I would have said you have got to be kidding, laughed, and put my hand out. Maybe you are not comfortable with that, but really, if you go back, give yourself permission. What if that happened at home? Would you walk away? Honestly, you think you are going to jail for complaining that someone is ripping you off?

Hope your next experience is better.

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Old 06-15-2012   #29 (permalink)
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Get your feet wet cheaply

My first trip to the area was 6 years ago. I thought I had booked a trip to Cancun, but was actually to Playa.( that's how green I was. Just give me a beach and a beer, and I'll be happy, and I was. )

We ended up at a very inexpensive AI called Grand Coco Bay. I thought I was in heaven. The beautiful Carribean Ocean, white sand beaches, all food and drinks included, who could ask for more. We didn't even know 5th Ave. existed.

7 trips later we have become spoiled. We have stayed at Sandos Playacar, Iberostar Cozumel, Be Live in Akumal, Riu Yucatan, Barcelo Tropical, and The Bric ( lovely inexpensive Non AI on 28 calle just off 5th.)

The Reef is located in Playacar, a gated area, 15 minutes walk from 5th ave. and all the action. It looks very nice from the street, also looks great from the beach. We have walked by it many times, having stayed near it often.

My point is if you are on a budget,as we are, try a place like the REEF. you'll love the area. You can adjust future vacations with your experiences and budget.

We are taking several family members down after Thanksgiving and the Reef is on the short list.
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