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Old 09-19-2014   #1 (permalink)
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PDC Rissask Report, Aventura Mexicana September 2014

I am a bit late on starting this...so I had better do this already before I forget all the restaurants we ate at!

We spent a week in Playa, from August 30 - September 6, staying at the Aventura Mexicana.

I had read many rave reviews of the hotel and had always wanted to stay there.

It is easy to see why it has so many fans. Great location on Tenth Avenue at Calle 24, easy walk to several restaurants and everywhere around town. Wonderful friendly and welcoming staff (especially waiter Nicholas and Jorge the bartender, and Chris the manager, all such nice guys).

Lovely small adult pool and smaller family pool. Great on-site restaurant, the Mayan Bistro.

It is not a fancy hotel by any means. Not really what you think of as a 'boutique' hotel or anything. But it has everything you need and is clean and well kept. The king bed in our room (402) was quite comfy, compared to most Mexico hotels.

They gave us this cabin-type room, it was all on it's own up on the sun deck. We weren't quite sure if that was considered a great room or a not very desirable room!? But we loved the privacy!

We had our own little private patio area, and no one was every up on that sun deck, so very private and quiet. We booked on Expedia, so maybe it was a punishment room. Ha.




as you can see, the bathroom is open at the top...might be a problem for some couples!





This room was in the 'Junior Suite' category, which means it has a mini fridge, coffee maker (not a Keurig, some other pod style maker, pretty good coffee actually) a safe, large closet with a good number of clothes hangers (there aren't usually hardly any!), microwave and small kitchen sink, and sitting area with loveseat and ottoman.

sun deck adjoining- that is 'our' gate.



The area around the hotel was very quiet at night, which was much appreciated, too. In high season it is likely a bit noisier- Reina Roja was right across the street but we never heard any major noise from there or anywhere else.


The AM has a fairly extensive included breakfast, which we actually had every single day - scrambled eggs, white or brown toast, selection of cold cereals, yogurt with fruit (usuallly melon chunks) and/or granola, two or three varieties of sweet breads like banana loaf, two different fruit juices, coffee, teas. You can order sides like bacon for 30 pesos off the menu.

We had dinner also at the Mayan Bistro one night and the food is very good and the service excellent - I would have to say the best service we had that week, anywhere in town, other than Oh La La.

The hotel was maybe half full all week. Usually we were the only two in the pool, which was great- but most tables in the quite small restaurant were full for breakfasts.


and this is the ancient resident cat, Olivia, with a little friend



If anyone has any questions about the Aventura Mexicana, ask away!
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until a week on Isla Mujeres!

until 2 weeks in Huatulco and Puerto Escondido!

Last edited by Rissask; 09-19-2014 at 03:57 PM..
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Old 09-19-2014   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rissask View Post
I am a bit late on starting this...so I had better do this already before I forget all the restaurants we ate at!

We spent a week in Playa, from August 30 - September 6, staying at the Aventura Mexicana.

I had read many rave reviews of the hotel and had always wanted to stay there.

It is easy to see why it has so many fans. Great location on Tenth Avenue at Calle 24, easy walk to several restaurants and everywhere around town. Wonderful friendly and welcoming staff (especially waiter Nicholas and Jorge the bartender, and Chris the manager, all such nice guys).

Lovely small adult pool and smaller family pool. Great on-site restaurant, the Mayan Bistro.

It is not a fancy hotel by any means. Not really what you think of as a 'boutique' hotel or anything. But it has everything you need and is clean and well kept. The king bed in our room (402) was quite comfy, compared to most Mexico hotels.

They gave us this cabin-type room, it was all on it's own up on the sun deck. We weren't quite sure if that was considered a great room or a not very desirable room!? But we loved the privacy! We had our own little private patio area, and no one was every up on that sun deck, so very private and quiet. We booked on Expedia, so maybe it was a punishment room. Ha.

The area around the hotel was very quiet at night, which was much appreciated, too. In high season it is likely a bit noisier- Reina Roja was right across the street but we never heard any major noise from there or anywhere else.


The AM has a fairly extensive included breakfast, which we actually had every single day - scrambled eggs, white or brown toast, selection of cold cereals, yogurt with fruit (usuallly melon chunks) and/or granola, two or three varieties of sweet breads like banana loaf, two different fruit juices, coffee, teas. You can order sides like bacon for 30 pesos off the menu.

We had dinner also at the Mayan Bistro one night and the food is very good and the service excellent - I would have to say the best service we had that week, anywhere in town, other than Oh La La.

The hotel was maybe half full all week. Usually we were the only two in the pool, which was great- but most tables in the quite small restaurant were full for breakfasts.

If anyone has any questions about the Aventura Mexicana, ask away!

(I have to post the pics later, but I just wanted to get things started. )
Good stuff - thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-19-2014   #3 (permalink)
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I am going to post the hotel and beach pics later.
They are on my iPhone...it's a PITA.


But I have some from a camera, so will do those.

We dove with Pluto Dive shop again- that is who we were OWD certified with, in August of 2009 I think it was. Barbara is a great divemaster. Alberto was back home in Italy but she said he is returning soon.

We dove two 2-tank dives with them, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. We did Jardines, Barracuda, Tortuga and... ?? Can't recall the fourth site.

Saw far fewer lionfish than in 2009- which was heartening!

Coral was in good shape. Saw loads of morays, some spiny lobsters, a big triggerfish, a few barracuda, rockfish, some rays, a couple of huge crabs, and several other species. Visibility was not great due to rain and some windy days stirring everything up.

Last edited by Rissask; 09-19-2014 at 04:15 PM..
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Old 09-19-2014   #4 (permalink)
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Staying at the AM, we got a discount at either Indigo or Kool. They call it 'beach club passes' but they just give you a hotel business card and then you talk to them there.

We went to go to Indigo one morning but the beach there was pretty awful, tons of seaweed and dark brown water....we passed, and that day (I think it was Monday?) we went up to Canibal Royale instead and pitted in there. Water was not perfect there either but a heck of a lot more clear.

Another day we went to Kool but the guy was kind of rude as he took one look at our hotel card and pointed to the back row, where we didn't want to sit....it was virtually empty there and I tried to ask if we could just pay full price and sit where we wanted and he was saying no...uh, really? So we went to Mamitas instead. Water was quite good there, we swam quite a bit.
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Old 09-19-2014   #5 (permalink)
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We had been a little apprehensive about the weather forecast. Yeah yeah, I know, ignore it, but I was remembering how much rain this area had in almost all of September and October 2013, and the forecast had said there was a system in the area that was supposed to result in a couple days at least of socked in rain.

But it turned out we had great weather, mostly. The rains had only recently begun and there were a few of them- but most were heavy but short, and overnight, so not bothersome.

Plus the rains cooled the temps down somewhat, so we actually liked it when it rained. Other than the one day were walking back from the colectivo street and got halfway back to the hotel with no umbrella and the skies just suddenly opened up. We waited twenty minutes in the porch area of a condo building and chatted up an ex pat, then walked the rest of the way 'home'.




On Thursday afternoon we went to Cenote Azul as it was soooo hot we needed a break and a swim in water that was not tepid or lukewarm like the ocean and hotel pool.

It was clear and sunny that day most of the day, this time of year I prefer overcast as it's cooler.

We walked down to the colectivo street after our morning diving and lunch at Piola (great thin crust pizza, yum!!). The colectivos park along Calle 2 between 15th and 20th Avenues. There is a sign posted stating the cost. To Cenote Azul was about 30 pesos.

It was as pretty and refreshing and clear as we remembered! Love this cenote.











We swam for about two hours, read a bit sitting on the rocks, and of course I got my fish pedicure.









It feels good. And don't laugh at my big feet and monkey toes!

I noticed at least one place in Playa that offers the South Asia style 'fish pedicure' foot baths -smaller fish than these were....that whole idea grosses me out. How often does that water get changed?

It felt so good and refreshing I didn't want to go back to the hot crowded city. But eventually we packed up and walked back out to the highway and caught a colectivo heading north.
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Old 09-19-2014   #6 (permalink)
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i do love Aventura Mexicana. very quaint hotel. they really have a great staff. did you try the cream of celery soup with gorgonzola? OMG...i don't even like celery and this soup is awesome.

also, did you try the frozen basil martinis at Piola? quite refreshing and delicious.

looking forward to reading/seeing pics of your and Don's vaca!!!
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Old 09-19-2014   #7 (permalink)
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We swam for about two hours, read a bit sitting on the rocks, and of course I got my fish pedicure.








OMG! Those pictures give me chills. I get the heebie-jeebies just at the thought of fishes touching me. You're a braver woman than me! LOL

It also makes me feel really silly too, since my screen name is Alaska Fisher (I love to fish, but don't make me take it off the hook. Ick)


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Old 09-19-2014   #8 (permalink)
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OMG! Those pictures give me chills. I get the heebie-jeebies just at the thought of fishing touching me. You're a braver woman than me! LOL

It also makes me feel really silly too, since my screen name is Alaska Fisher (I love to fish, but don't make me take it off the hook. Ick)

I'm not sure I could let those fishes.....oh hell no!! I'd be screaming like a girl if they came at my feet, lol!!! Love your pics and narrative and you do not have monkey toes!!
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Old 09-19-2014   #9 (permalink)
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A - I had not read about those basil martins until AFTER we had pizza there! So no, I didn't try one. But I hear they are very good.

the fishes nibbling at your dead skin DO take you aback a bit at first, but it tickles more than anything. I have to say it does absolutely no good for your feet, though.

If you don't want them to do that, all you have to do is keep moving and shoo them away. They won't nibble unless you stay quite still. So don't worry about swimming in a cenote if you want to.

AK, I don't like taking them off the hook, either! I don't mind putting minnows or leeches ON the hook, but I feel sorry for the fish.


Will be back Monday to finish and do the restaurant reviews and day at Akumal.
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Old 09-19-2014   #10 (permalink)
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I'm glad you liked the Aventura Mexicana, I really like that hotel.

I've always had a room on the ground level, right near the bigger pool.
But your room looked much nicer.
I appreciated that it was very quiet at night.
And the Mayan Bistro ... I love it!
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Old 09-19-2014   #11 (permalink)
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I'm glad you liked the Aventura Mexicana, I really like that hotel.

I've always had a room on the ground level, right near the bigger pool.
But your room looked much nicer.
I appreciated that it was very quiet at night.
And the Mayan Bistro ... I love it!
We were sad that we ran out of nights to eat there again! I wanted to try the huge Campeche shrimp they have. They looked so good! Apparently the Tequila Shrimp dish is yummy.

Yes, it was a lovely little hotel.
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Old 09-20-2014   #12 (permalink)
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Okay. So you've included fish AND bikini pics in your start. I'm listening.
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Old 09-20-2014   #13 (permalink)
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okay. So you've included fish and bikini pics in your start. I'm listening.

+1
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Old 09-21-2014   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing! I will be watching for updates..
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Old 09-23-2014   #15 (permalink)
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On our second day in Playa, Sunday August 31, it was overcast and raining off and on...so was the perfect day to go watch some Roughrider CFL football! They were playing their annual Labour Day classic game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

We walked past PG's but it was dead....like, crickets sort of dead. Plus it was too open to the weather for us that day. So we walked up Fifth and found the End Zone. Had some decent guacamole and a bucket or two of beer. Yeah, Corona. It was the coldest. What of it?








We were happy we picked End Zone. It was packed and there was THREE other tables of people in green and white and one lonely table of Bomber fans too. They were actually interesting, a father and his son and daughter in law and their two very young kids, they were all transplanted Manitobans temporarily living in Playa. Apparently the father in law has a cenote on his property- so cool!


I always have liked this big shop next door to the End Zone, with all the Oaxacan and Chiapas handicrafts.



After the game that day we wandered down south a bit and walked through the new fancy mall. Meh. It's a mall. We did buy some wine at La Europea. Nice shop.

We had walked to Mega earlier in the day and bought some snacks and rum and mix and limes, etc.

That day for dinner we went to La Fragata. It was always a favourite of ours before the new fancy renos. I prefered the old more laid back style but the new decor is nice, too.

We sat outside. I had the chicken.... with a cream sauce I can't for the life of me recall. But I do remember it was really really tasty.

Don had the filet mignon and he said it was very good. It looked good, anyway! Prices are very reasonable and it is a nice quiet side street, (Calle 26 between 5th and 1st, kitty corner from PGs Sandbox).


We popped over to Off the Vine for a nightcap glass of vino and then strolled home. In a light rain, I believe it was, but we had our umbrella.

We took exactly three cabs all week, from the bus station to our hotel, back from Akumal, and to the airport (we took the ADO bus from the airport to the station in Playa)- we walked otherwise- ALL OVER TOWN. I have never walked so much on a trip before- at least it's flat!
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