Aventura Spa Palace - A Dreamy Wedding & Honeymoon on the Mayan Riviera
Written: Nov 30, 2004 (Updated Jan 10, 2007)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Beautiful, amazing, enormous, lots of amenities, great service/staff, plenty to do on the Riviera
Cons:Don't isolate yourself with Chaza tours, airfare to Cancun, some disorganization
The Bottom Line: I had my dreamy beach wedding at Aventura and we enjoyed 11 heavenly days of honeymooning. I loved this hotel and we're ready to go back!
For months, we agonized over where to book our honeymoon. I wanted somewhere tropical, and we looked at everything from all-inclusives like Sandals or Beaches to smaller places, to cruises. Finally, we decided to go with an all-inclusive, specifically because it was for our honeymoon. The last thing I wanted was to have to wake up each morning and have to plan out and budget each day. The deciding factor was finding some great suggestions on TheKnot.com, a wedding website where brides/brides-to-be can post ideas on bulletin boards. I had never heard of Palace Resorts, but it looked great and I mostly heard raves about it. Once I started researching it, it was soon obvious that we wanted to go.
Booking It & Getting There
Although some people book this resort through a travel agent, I did my research and didn't find anything that was cheaper than the Palace Resorts website. It came out to roughly $300 a night. I checked airfare on Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, and found flights to Cancun for around $700 to over $810 per person, but again, booked the airfare through Palace for a total of only $430 per person roundtrip, saving myself at least $300pp!
The only thing I didn't like about booking online was that you do not get a confirmation e-mail, and you do not have an online account where you can check your reservation. I actually called to confirm, although it was mostly to check if I had checked the box noting that it was a honeymoon.
About a week and a half after booking online, I got my paper confirmation receipt and airplane tickets in the mail, which was a relief.
We choose US Air (I was given the choice of 4 airlines when I booked), and had to wait for the paper tickets to apply my fiance's miles for an upgrade, because you need information that is on the tickets. US Air did honor an upgrade.
The online reservation system and the paper confirmation make no mention of room preference or what room you are in. I called about a week after I got the paper confirmation to request a room with an ocean view, on the 3rd floor, on the Spa side (as opposed to the Aventura side).
Our flight was in two sections, and we arrived at Cancun International Airport, which is approximately 45 minutes north of the resort. As soon as we stepped out of the airport, there was a van waiting for us, which promptly whisked us to the hotel. If you book through the website, the transportation is provided free through Chaza Travel who also does tours.
As soon as we walked into the lobby, a waiter came over with a choice of champagne or a drink (I believe it was a sex on the beach). This is heavenly after a long flight, a long day, and we were both certainly thirsty, so it really hit the spot, not to mention that the pampering was already starting! Check-in was fast and painless. We were able to request a room on the Spa side, 3rd floor, and with an ocean view. (Room 3521 - partial ocean view, quiet, we loved it!). Everyone staying at the resort gets a bracelet, depending on who you are (time share, honeymooners, VIP, etc. We started out with a yellow one, and then the day we got married we got a bright pink one to mark us as honeymooners. We were given various information on things including a hotel map and a listing of the various restaurants. A bellboy whisked our bags to our room, giving us a quick tour on the way, and we were set to go. When we got to our room, we got a cheese platter and wine.
Aventura Spa Palace & the Room
Everything about this place is just gorgeous. Heading south on the main highway from Cancun, the entrance is on your left hand side (on the water), and has huge signs against the road. The main road winds upwards toward the hotel, and the landscaping everywhere is absolutely gorgeous. There is a main gate with an attendant, and any time you come in or go out, they asked us what our room number was.
The lobby is amazing, and it is spectacular especially upon arrival. It is stunning with beautiful plants and a stained glass ceiling. In the middle of the lobby is an open patio with palm trees and areas to sit. There are both a North and South lobby, and they offer many essentials. There are gift shops, phones, tour desks, guest services, spa services, car rental services, and more, including reception and a bar in each.
The gift shops are very nice, with a variety of essentials and reasonably priced items. There are all kinds of things like Pepto B, Pantene conditioner, condoms, disposable cameras, magazines, books, postcards, shirts, swimwear, sandals, trinkets, etc. Ironically, they sell water, which I thought was hilarious since you get all the bottled water you want for free at any bar/eatery! At first, we thought the gift shop was expensive, but the prices were actually decent (which we discovered after shopping in various towns). There are also nice jewelry stores and a spa store. I wish there was a photo developing place on the premises, but we ended up just getting stuff developed in Playa del Carmen.
The resort has 1266 rooms, which are all identical (except for about 10, which are presidential suites). Each room has a king size bed and a jacuzzi. You get a balcony with a hammock, two chairs and a little table. There are two nightstands, a desk, closet with a small safe, iron (and ironing board), hairdryer (1600 watts), TV (with various cable channels), and a mini fridge. They keep the mini fridge stocked with beer, soda, and water. All of the outlets are your "normal" kind.
I have heard people complain that their water wasn't restocked but the guys came by regularly. On the first day, I put some of the bottled water in my dresser drawer so that we would be "ahead of the game", but they seemed to add more each day, well more than we could possibly need. If you're in a crisis for water, you can always just ask for some at the bar, or there is a door tag where you can check off that you need a specific item restocked.
The bathroom is really nice. The shower is large with glass doors and a bench inside (everything is tiled). We always had plenty of hot water, and the water pressure is great. There is also a retractable clothesline in the shower if you need it (we needed it!). The maid kept the vanity area stocked with plenty of soap, shampoo, washcloths, mouthwash, and so on. We got fresh towels every day (including a daily towel animal!), and bathrobes.
The Jacuzzi is nice and large, and the hotel provides bubble bath. It has some nice accent lights over it and it has a nice design. I had brought a bunch of bubble bath so that we would have extra, or in case I didn't like theirs, but we were fine. In fact, a little blue bottle of their bubble bath goes a long way, and we ended up with exorbitant amounts of bubbles piled high (too high!). A note on the Jacuzzi - we heard that you could do laundry in the Jacuzzi, so we brought some laundry soap, which worked well. Afterwards, we hung our swimsuits/clothing in the shower. You can pay Aventura for getting clothes washed, but we only had a few. Another thing is, there is a drain sort of hidden on one side of the Jacuzzi near the balcony curtains. We made the mistake of turning on the Jacuzzi when it wasn't full, with the jets pointed up, and jets of water sprayed all the way over the side of the Jacuzzi on to the curtains and floor. So we learned exactly why that drain is there - don't make the same mistake! It was good for a laugh but we also soaked some things we would have rather not.
Overall, everything about the room was great. During the day, the maids cleaned the rooms incredibly thoroughly, mopping the balcony and the floors, making towel animals, and restocking all our towels and so on. There is a turn-down service, so at night, we would come back from dinner to find the bed turned down with chocolates on it!
I did not go to the Spa or the gym during my stay at Aventura. However, I would have loved to have gone. There are a variety of services like massages, and there is free hydrotherapy, and the gym looked great. Some of the spa treatments are in neat little palapas out by the water's edge, which looked really enticing.
The Grounds, Pools, etc.
Like I said, the grounds of Aventura are amazing. The landscaping is great, the design is great, it just looks wonderful. There are different areas around the hotel, like a mini zen garden, mini cactus garden, rock climbing wall, mini footpaths through the trees, a walking meditation maze, small obstacle course, and much more. We also saw some areas lit up in the trees (by the Mayan sweat lodge huts) at night with various color lights. Everything looks clean, neat, and well groomed.
There is no beach. Instead, there are lagoons, which are fed by the ocean. You can see waves breaking over the sides of the lagoon. Because the lagoon connects to the ocean, there is a fair amount of fish and other sea life in the lagoon. We went snorkeling for quite a while in the lagoon, and saw a variety of fish, some conchs, some crabs, and a brittle star. The bottom of the lagoon is a little silty, so it can get stirred up a bit and cause some cloudiness. I really liked the lagoon because the water is calm and it is very relaxing - to the point where I got a decent sunburn from spending so much time out there! If you throw bread into the water, it just thrashes with fish! You can also kayak on the lagoon.
There are plenty of pools at Aventura Spa Palace, including an indoor one in the North Lobby, which has underwater music. The outdoor pools are beautiful and have plenty of amenities, like a swim up bar, volleyball net, Jacuzzis, and shallow parts where you put your lounge chairs in. There is also a snack bar right near the pool, which is very convenient. At different times, they set up grills and various stands for getting other goodies. There was one day we were down at the pool (we tended to leave the hotel during the day) when they were cutting the tops off coconuts, pouring in rum, and serving them up as Coco locos!
I know a lot of people complain about all the walking. Aventura is indeed a huge place, and it does take some walking to get from point A to point B. However, I never felt like I was overwhelmed by excessive walking, unless we had forgotten something in the room. The great thing is, you can get from your room to the lobby in the pouring rain without ever stepping foot outside of the buildings.
You need a towel card for towels. You get two cards when you check in, and you bring them to a little hut by the pool for your towels. Then you can switch them for clean towels or pool cards any time you want. You can also bring the towels wherever (on tours and whatnot).
We saw some cats at the resort, and pretty much everywhere we traveled. We often saw them hanging around the pool and restaurants. No one seemed to be bothered by it, and people usually fed the cats. I thought they were really cute and they weren't bothersome at all, as they tended to kind of sit patiently looking hungry and pathetic! The only other "critters" we saw were small geckos (so cute!), tiny lizards that disappeared quickly into the plants, and some birds. I was so excited one night we saw a baby gecko in the corner of the room, which we put outside on the balcony.
There are a total of eight restaurants (!) on site. They do not take reservations, unless you are going for a wedding or honeymoon dinner. There was one day out of our 11 days there that there was a wait - and it was a whopping 45 minutes, so we just went to Las Ventanas (a buffett, obviously no wait). If you are worried about waiting, just go a few minutes before 6pm, when they open, and you'll be fine. Usually they served champagne right before the restaurants would open too, which was nice.
~ La Huerta- Vegetarian. I am a vegetarian, so of course we ate here, and this was one of our favorite restaurants. There are some meat items on the menu, which is a good idea, so that everyone can have something! This is one of the smaller, air-conditioned restaurants, and has somewhat of a dress code (basically, look nice, not drenched from the pool kind of look). We ended up choosing this place for our wedding dinner because it is nice and quiet, has a nice atmosphere, and there were lots of things on the menu we wanted to try. Some of the foods we tried: eggplant appetizers, cucumber dip, tofu lasagna, pesto pasta, various salads, broccoli watercress soup, beef tourenados.
~ La Hacienda- Gourmet Mexican Cuisine. This is the other restaurant that has a dress code (I remembered that both restaurants with the "La" are dress code!), and is also quiet and air-conditioned. The menu didn't really have anything vegetarian on it for me, but the waiter was very accommodating and without me even asking offered that they would make me vegetarian enchiladas, which were awesome.
~ El Greco- Mediterranean Cuisine. This place is an ocean front palapa (a palapa is an open building, thatched roof), and is open on the sides (no AC). Some of the foods we tried: risotto, gazpacho soup, ostrich, chocolate cake.
~ Mo Mo No Hana- Oriental Cuisine . I thought the food here wouldn't be that great, but it was! We started out with some sushi, and I had my doubts when I told them I needed vegetarian sushi, but sure enough, it came out just right (I think it was avocado/cucumber). Some of the foods we tried: vegetable chow mein, chicken chop suey, szechuan fish, miso soup, clear soup.
~ Mundaca- Poolside Restaurant. This salad did not have much to offer for me as a vegetarian. However, I ordered a Caesar salad and it was about 3 romaine leaves, which was sort of funny! Some of the other foods we tried: chicken consomme soup, three pepper pate, filet mignon, asparagus soup.
~ Ventanas- Italian Restaurant. This is a buffet with a pool in the middle of the restaurant. This was probably my least favorite place, but I was satisfied with the variety of food they had. We even just stopped in for dessert or ice cream at times.
The restaurants open at 6pm. As for the "dress code", it wasn't particularly dressy, but just something nice. Obviously, they weren't denying people because people would come in jeans (as I'm thinking, since when are jeans dressy? I'd get fired if I showed up to work in jeans!). But it was also nice to get a little dressed up, especially for a nice romantic dinner. I loved being able to wear a little black skirt, cute top, and some strappy heels to dinner, especially considering it was 20 degrees out back at home in NY. Many times that we ate at the buffet (for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Las Ventanas), if a waiter caught sight of me carrying my plate, he would take the plate and carry it for me back to the table. I felt very pampered!
For breakfast and lunch, a few places are open with buffets. I usually got breakfast foods like pancakes, cereal, fresh juice, toast, or fresh fruit. There are lots of foods available, including some Mexican breakfast foods like fried pineapple, fried cheese, quesadillas, or chorizos. Lunch was similar, but we usually just snacked (pizza, awesome tortilla chips and guacamole).
There is also a snack bar, bars, and room service. Room service food is available 7pm to 6am, with foods like soups, salads, burgers, filet mignon, cake, and more.
I never got sick the whole time I was at Aventura. All of the water is bottled water, even when the waiters pour water in the restaurants. I don't have a great stomach, either, but I was fine and had no problems whatsoever. We had brought all kinds of stuff like Pepto B and Immodium, and didn't use them once. The food seemed fairly healthy, and the portions weren't gargantuan, so I actually felt pretty good the whole time I was there!
My Wedding at Aventura
Like Sandals and some other destinations, Aventura Spa Palace has a general wedding package that is free, and you can add on additional things. You should be able to find everything you need, from having your dress steam ironed to accomodating a wedding party.
The requirements for getting married in Mexico is that you have to be there three full days before the wedding, and you need a blood test (has to be in Mexico), passport, birth certificate, and driver's license.
We arrived on a Tuesday, and met with our wedding coordinator (Claudia) the next day. We had our blood tests and then walked through each component of the wedding. We did not have any family or friends with it, so the wedding was pretty simple without a lot of added options. Of course, we wanted to pay for the extra things like the bouquet and boutonnaire and photography (there are many "extras" to choose from). There were a variety of flower arrangements to choose from, although no calla lilies, unfortunately (lots of other kinds, ones that looked like tiger lilies, tropical flowers, and so on). We brought a CD with wedding music on it, and picked out four tracks (for procession, ceremony, toasting, and exit).
There are two wedding gazebos on the property. One is on the shore in the middle of Aventura's coast, and the other, which we chose, is down at the end of the Spa side end (also by the water). We chose this one because it seemed more secluded, larger, and with a better view. We went in November and they were doing construction on the other gazebo. I don't think it would have been a photo disaster, we just preferred the other location better regardless.
On the wedding day, I had my hair done at the salon in the North Lobby at 8:30 (took about an hour). Went back to the room, got ready for our 11:00 a.m. wedding. It rained a little bit, so Claudia asked us if we wanted to wait about 20 minutes to see if the rain would stop. Sure enough, it did - in fact, the sun was blazing by the time we stepped out of our room! Claudia arrived at our door with the boutonniere and bouquet, and walked us downstairs to where a golf cart and the photographer were waiting.
The photographer was helpful in coaching us. The justice of the peace began reading, including a passage from a Mexican philosopher. All we needed to do was say, "I do". We exchanged rings, and then did a champagne toast. We exited the gazebo through a rice toss, and the photographer took us around the property for photographs. It was pretty hot, considering it was around noon time at this point, and when we headed back to the room (complete with being carried over the threshold of our room!), the maids had been busy at work making a big bubble bath and putting flowers with towel decorations in our room.
The wedding photos took 48 hours before they were ready, and our marriage license is legal in the US. It is in Spanish and we just have to file it here in NY.
There are some other components to our stay that relate to getting married there. If you aren't getting married at the resort, you need to show your wedding license when you arrive. (In other words, you can't "pretend" to be newlyweds to get freebies). There is a honeymoon dinner every Thursday night, which consists of a photo and special dinner in the convention center. You also get a wedding dinner, where they make a reservation for you (normally, you can't reserve at a restaurants). We missed the honeymoon dinner because we didn't know what day it was, our voicemail was broken, and then our tour ran late. The wedding office offered to schedule a honeymoon dinner, which was much like the wedding dinner including some wedding cake (a.k.a. chocolate cake with vanilla frosting).
Tours & Activities
Because I booked through the Palace Resorts website, I was funneled through Chaza Travel for my tours. This was probably the only downside to the trip, only because I didn't really like their tours. You get several free tours with your all-inclusive package. You can go to Tulum, Chichen-Itza, etc. for free, and there are also free shuttles to Playa del Carmen and the other Palace Resorts. The tour busses are really nice new Mercedes Benz buses, which were very comfortable and made the trips that much nicer.
Tulum was our first trip, and we stopped at Xpu-Ha (another Palace Resort about 5 minutes away) on the way. The problem with Tulum was that we had a large group, and we could barely hear the guide. We weren't moving much, and time was passing. This left little spare time, so after over an hour of not really paying attention to the guide, we had barely any time to explore on our own or get any great photos. After Tulum, we stopped at a Mayan shop, which was not on the itinerary. Palace Resorts, as our guide explained, has an agreement that we stop and support the local Mayans here. That also meant being locked out of the bus for 1/2 an hour when I had no intention of spending any money. It took me about 2 minutes to have no desire to browse, since the workers in the store just follow you around. So I sat outside in the parking lot with a very pregnant woman and stared at the aloe-like plants that had chunks of Styrofoam stuck on each tip.
Chichen-Itza ended up being the same. Two hours there, we waste time with the tour guide and don't have enough time to see the good stuff. Then, we go to a buffet (free) where there is absolutely no vegetarian food other than some wilted salad and rolls. You get the idea. I wasn't angry or fuming or anything, but give me a break. Two hours in the bus and no time to explore more of Chichen? That was the last Chaza tour we took.
My advice? Do things on your own, or with another company. You can step out of the North Lobby any time, and there are taxis waiting to take you wherever you want. There is even a sign out front listing all the taxi fares. It was about $10 USD to Playa del Carmen, $5 to Xpu-Ha, and you can of course travel much further.
We took the courtesy bus into Playa del Carmen, which is awesome, and you can just walk for hours. From there, you can also go to Cozumel, which was also awesome. We rented a car from the on-site car rental agency (Travesias) on the last full day we had at Aventura, and drove no more than 45 minutes away, hitting Actun Chen (caves), Tanka Tres Casa Cenote and some other places. The day was just full of things to do, with plenty of little places to go that don't have that Disneyland feel to them.
There is so much to do on the Mayan Riviera. We already know we are going back, probably to Aventura, because we love the hotel and the Mayan Riviera. In our 11 days, we didn't get around to nearly as many things as we would have liked. I don't hate Chaza, but do your research so that you don't end up relying on them or any of the other travel people at the hotel for your day trips. You step out of the North Lobby and there are taxis lined up to take you wherever you want. There is also a sign outside of the lobby with a listing of all the taxi rates.
You can stay at any Palace Resort and visit any others for free, and by taking a free courtesy shuttle bus. If you want to go to a beach in Cancun, for instance, you can go to the Beach Palace. We visited Xpu-Ha, and it was nice to see another Palace Resort with all the benefits of an all-inclusive. We didn't have to worry about bringing food, drinks, or towels.
There are also things always going on at the resort. Lots of fun stuff by the pool, and I always got a laugh out of the zany activities guy by the pool, whether it was dancing or pool volleyball tequila. There is a schedule of plenty of things to do from Yoga class to Salsa dancing. There is also a show every night, like a Mayan show or Casino night.
Tips, Hints, Thoughts
I did a lot of research before going to Aventura Spa Palace. I felt really prepared, and I was really prepared! I knew someone was going to walk up while we were checking in and offer us champagne, and I knew there would be a lagoon and no beach. So we didn't have much in terms of surprises. However, I do have recommendations, both general and for the bride/groom.
~ Spanish. Learn some. A majority of the workers at the resort barely speak any English. (Not to worry, the reception desk and other highly important places have people who speak English well). We also needed to know Spanish quite a bit in town, shopping, taking taxis, and so on. I would recommend knowing the basics: Hello, speak English?, trash, water, where are the bathrooms?, menu, receipt, one-hour photo, photo developing, where is ?, bus, no smoking, vegetarian, how much?, a little/lot, how far?. You might also want to know your numbers, at least 1-10. It felt nice to re-familiarize myself with some basic Spanish, and I think the Spanish staff appreciated it.
~ Xpu-ha. It is minutes away, also a Palace Resort. We had considered staying there for our honeymoon, and I'm glad we didn't. We loved to visit it, though. The difference is because it used to be an eco-park. They added the luxury hotel rooms (which look like palapas, but have Jacuzzis in them!). There are lots of kids running around, and busses show up by the dozens to drop off tourists, so it gets a bit chaotic. Give me 10 years and some kids, and I'll love it there. I just don't recommend it for a honeymoon.
~ Calling cards. Even 800 calls get a major surcharge when you call from the room, so your best bet is either using your own international calling card from the payphones in the lobbies, or buy a $10 calling card from the Apple Travel desk for 20 minutes.
~ Sun. It's your vacation, but get up early. It's light out early, take advantage of it. The sun is going down by 4-5pm. In retrospect, I would have rather gotten up early, taken advantage of the beautiful bright sunny hours of the day, and taken a nap right before dinner.
~ Time share. I was just waiting to be harassed by the time share people. People were saying the phone was practically ringing off the hook. Finally, I found out that you have to be over 30. So, I'm safe for 3 years!
~ Money. We brought lots of small bills with us - $1's, $5's, and some $10's. We did a bit of tipping at the beginning (bell boys, etc) and some small spending. There is a place to exchange money at Aventura, but we didn't need to. I found an HSBC Bank ATM in Playa del Carmen, so I got pesos there. They accept US money anywhere you go, but we tried to put everything on the credit card or pay in pesos to get the best exchange rate, and to avoid having too much money (and leftover pesos) on us. Also, you can charge just about everything at Aventura to your room (gift store purchases, wedding package items, etc). I didn't have any problems with money while we were in Mexico, which was great.
~ Wedding. I got a little bit of a "Palace Resorts bracelet tan" which I can see in the wedding photos, so just a warning! I recommend bringing a tiny travel spray bottle for water, for ironing a tux shirt or the like. For the wedding morning, I was worried because it was hot and sunny. I didn't want to stuff myself or drink a whole lot, but I also didn't want to pass out. I brought a PowerGel, which was awesome. They actually sell pedialyte and other drinks in the gift shop if you need. I also wore sunscreen for the wedding, and it was a good choice for standing in the sun taking photos. I forgot hand wipes for after the fingerprints, but the "champagne guy" gave us napkins which worked just fine. Although the hotel supplies shampoo, I brought my $.97 Suave shampoo (left the remaineder when we left), my own conditioner, and my own soaps. I didn't want to "experiment" with hotel soaps etc. the days before my wedding and end up breaking out or something. I also wanted my favorite conditioner with me, for all the swimming (chlorine, saltwater) and then having a wedding hairdo which required massive amounts of hairspray and curling iron action. Some of these things were bulky to bring, but it was a lot more reassuring to have my own things. You can also buy nice stuff like Pantene in the gift shop. I also thought it would be cute to wear sunglasses in a wedding photo or two, but I forgot them!
The only thing that even began to detract from Aventura Spa Palace were the tours with Chaza. I wasn't enjoying the tours nearly as much as I could have, had they been better designed without them taking us to the shopping places and not spending a lot of time at the actual attractions. I would have also liked more free-roaming time.
Not really a downside, but I wish the hotel had rainy weather activities planned. There was one day that it just rained all day long, and it would have been nice if they had some activities in the convention center or something.
Another issue was that the map at Aventura is wrong, at least for the salon. I found this out when I went to scope out the hair salon the day before my wedding. I followed the map to the South Lobby, and couldn't find the place, and when I asked at guest services, they said it had been moved to the North Lobby. Let me tell you, if I had gone to the South Lobby on my wedding day at 8:30 in the morning and couldn't find the salon, I would have flipped out (considering I had just taken a shower and it was near 90 degrees). I would have Bridezilla'd my way to the North Lobby. It was only by coincidence and my obsessive preparedness that I found out the hair salon was no longer on the map.
Something that surprised me is that there is no great internet access at the hotel. We paid $5.00 for 15 minutes on the computers in the business center (South Lobby). Those 15 minutes fly by, especially when I have hundreds of e-mails piled up. We racked up quite a few 15 minute sessions on the internet, between uploading photos, checking e-mail, and researching day trips. It would have been really nice for such a great resort to also have internet access, and I was kind of surprised they didn't. It also looked like places in town (Playa del Carmen and Puerto Aventuras) had cheaper internet access.
Lastly, it seems like there is some disorganization. For example, knew there was a honeymoon dinner, but we didn't know when. We were supposed to get a voicemail letting us know about it, but we did not. I wasn't too happy when we missed the dinner. Also, there were some things I felt I wouldn't have known about, had I not researched it. Another example, something as small as having my picture taken with the "bird guy" (a guy who walks around with two parrots), I only knew from chatting on theknot.com. It seemed like not everyone was perfectly sure about things, like when we heard a guest arguing over a courtesy bus. We got papers saying one leaves for Playa del Carmen around 7am and then noon, yet the North Lobby staff were telling him there was only one departure. I learned to be careful and thorough about planning. I found out little things here and there as I spent time at Aventura, and I never felt like I got an organized set of information. When we checked in, we got several pieces of paper; some photocopied, then a glossy map, then a little "passport" coupon book, a tiny piece of paper from Chaza for our return trip to the airport - all things that easily got buried under all the stacks of brochures that we were inundated with. It would be nice if there were a single booklet or something where all the pertinent information was kept.
We're going back to Aventura Spa Palace. We looked at some other hotels nearby that I thought were tough competition, and Aventura easily came out on top. I was thrilled with our choice. I had a fabulous time and I do not hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone. I was very sad to leave and I had such a wonderful time.
I am giving this hotel 4.5 stars, and was very very close to a 5, but was not lacking enough to be considered a 4. Aventura Spa Palace had just the combination of things we were looking for - all inclusive at a reasonable price, great location, beautiful and clean, ages 18 /no kids, plenty to do, great rooms, etc. I can't give it 5 stars only because of the few things that detracted from our stay - like I said, some disorganization, Chaza running a sort of monopoly, no internet access (a surprise). We are already planning another stay at Aventura, and cannot find another hotel in the area that has everything that Aventura does (so well-maintained, the room type, the property amenities, adults only, and so on). I was worried when we booked that we would get there and the hotel would not live up to our expectations, but it was just perfect.
Palace Resorts: www.palaceresorts.com
My other Yucatan, Mexico reviews:
Playa del Carmen
Uxmal (Mayan Ruins)
Dzibilchaltun (Mayan ruins)
Tulum (Mayan ruins)
Chichen-Itza (Mayan ruins)
Coba (Mayan ruins)
Cenote Zaci, Valladolid
Hotel Meson del Marques, Valladolid (www.mesondelmarques.com)
Izamal, the Yellow City
Gran Melia Royal, Cancun
Holiday Inn Merida
Mayan Beach Garden, Costa Maya
Blue Sky Hotel, Tankah Tres Bay
Note: If you want to see pictures from my trip or have any questions whatsoever, drop me an e-mail at EpinionsJavelina@hotmail.com. I took pictures of everything from food to the taxi rates sign to the lagoon! Also, I read lots of great trip reviews on theknot.com, which you can find by going on their chat boards.
Read all 19 Reviews
Write a Review