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“Convenient and relaxing”

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Chac Hal Al Condominiums
USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Convenient and relaxing”
Reviewed 27 March 2009

We've just returned from a very relaxing stay at E302. The condo is nicely furnished and in good condition. We enjoyed being so close to the restaurants and activities, but it was still quiet after 9:00 pm. Chac Hal Al has a very nice beach area , not crowded at all. We loved opening up the sliders and letting the ocean breeze blow through. Everyone is friendly and helpful. This is our fifth stay in Mexico - three times in Playa del Carmen, twice here. I don't think I'll ever go back to Playa. Puerto Aventuras is small, quiet, and the beach is much calmer. Great snorkling right out our door. We just love it here and can't wait to return.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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3 Thank pattyb821
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2008

We stayed in chac al hal e-106, a 2 br 2 ba ground fl unit, right after new year’s 2008 with our 27 month old and had a great time.

1) Complex/condo:

The condo was really ideally situated, between the beach and the pool, and just steps away from the marina. Even though we were very close to all the restaurants, shops, etc. it was still quiet and peaceful. I am very glad that we paid the premium for a beachfront unit, because it was well worth it—it really was much nicer on the beach side. The beach itself, while not huge, was never crowded, nor was the pool. The pool has a gentle sloping area perfect for little kids. There were a few other families with children while we were there, but mostly couples of various ages. Clientele was predominantly American, but included Mexicans, Canadians, Europeans, etc.

We rented the place as a 1 BR from Coldwell Banker and they were really excellent. They provided us with a booster chair and crib and dealt with service issues very promptly. They even offered to send their driver into Playa to buy us a stroller. We would be happy to rent from them again.

I’m not sure I would rent this particular unit again, however. Even though it has some nice features (e.g. the second br looks out onto a terrace with high walls, and not directly onto the parking lot, like some units), it didn’t have a dishwasher, dvd player, internet access, etc. The bed was REALLY hard, though it was a lot better after they put a couple of mattress pads and a foam topper on it. Furnishings were decent, though not exactly high style (if things like plastic soap dishes and plastic towel bars bother you, this is not the unit for you). We also had persistent trouble with the toilets backing up. It had a small (5’ x 2’) refrigerator and cable with stations from nyc and Miami which came in intermittently. We were able to get a code for wireless access from Coldwell Banker that did not work in our condo, but would work out on the beach.

The ocean was calm, with very gentle waves. We did not go snorkeling, but people we met said that there was lots of coral and fish just a short swim away. The common areas of the complex were well maintained and it was great to be able to walk out from our place and see the pelicans and palm trees.

2) Marina:

The marina has about 10 restaurants, and our daughter really enjoyed watching the dolphins, sea lions, and manatees who live there. The restaurants all charge tourist prices and pretty much have the same menu: e.g.

1) Fajitas/tacos/enchilada, etc. (60-90 pesos)
2) Hamburgers/chicken fingers/fish and chips/sandwiches (“)
3) Spaghetti/ravioli/lasagna
4) Grilled fish w/rice and vegetables and simple sauces (175 pesos)
5) Steak/filet mignon/jumbo shrimp/lobster/surf n turf etc (250-300 pesos)

After a while, the meals did become kind of monotonous. We ended up eating at both the Pub and Tiramisu regularly, although service at both places could be quite slow. Gringo Dave’s can be a fun place—the waiters balance margaritas on their heads, and they also make balloon animals for the kids on certain nights. The best entrée we had there were the fish skewers, which are not on the menu (far superior to both the fish fajitas or the grilled fish). The best place for your basic fish/rice/veg plate was, oddly enough, the Italian Bakery. Their pizza had a soggy and undercooked crust, though. Soups and salads at Trebol were quite good, though the entrees we had there were disappointing (the fish was not fresh, and the enchiladas weird and tasteless). Richard’s served a nice steak. It’s all pretty basic, simple food—no haute cuisine/creative cooking here.

All of the restaurants accept American dollars, and a few take credit cards. There is an ATM in the marina and an internet café that charges a peso/min. Trebol and Tiramisu also offer free wireless.

For cheap eats, several places had pizza (150 pesos for a lg pie). There is also a tiny place next door to the Pub (called the Pub deli) which serves sandwiches (called ‘tortas’) for 30 pesos and a daily luncheon special (e.g. chicken w/cactus and soup; pork cutlet with rice and beans) for 50 pesos. The menu is only in Spanish, you sit on plastic chairs and don’t have a view of anything really.

Peanut allergy warning: if your kids are allergic to peanuts, be aware that the granola that they use in smoothies in Mexico has peanuts in it. We discovered this after our daughter got sick.

PA is a tourist enclave and the prices are what you would pay in any resort: 40 pesos for an ice cream, $5 for a box of cereal, 20 pesos for a bottle of water, 35 pesos for a smoothie, etc. Even though we ate breakfast most days at the condo and had snacks there, we spent $100/day easily [and we’re not big drinkers or lobster eaters or anything)

3) playground

There is a little playground at the school, which is located just past the main entrance to villas del mar. (about a 5 min walk from the marina). it’s to the right as you are facing the school. There is a very pleasant café called Bamboo across the street from the school where you can get ice cream, smoothies, sandwiches, etc.

4) Airport transport

We used Cancun valet, based on recommendations from trip advisor, but I would not use them again. On our way down, we called to request a car seat and they did provide one as promised, but then they forgot to give us one for the return trip to the airport and we ended up having to hold our daughter on our laps. On top of that, our driver was surly—when we got to PA, after a very long trip, we asked him to help us bring the luggage into our first floor condo. He said yes, then dumped the bags outside of the van and drove away. On the way back to the airport (it was the same driver), he forgot to unload our dvd player along with the other luggage and nearly drove off with it.

We stopped at Walmart in Playa on the way to PA, where we were able to buy fresh milk (the only kind they sell in the convenience stores in PA is the kind in the box), good fruit, large containers of unsweetened yogurt, etc. They even have a small organic section (near the express checkout lanes).

All in all, chac al hal was a great place if you are looking for a low key beach vacation and don’t want to deal w/crowds. It was great to be less than a minute from the beach, the pool, and places to eat. We had one day that was overcast and chilly, and another where it rained on and off, but besides that the weather was fantastic, and the ocean breezes just great. It would have been nice if the restaurants had been a bit better but other than that, it had everything we were looking for.

  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
5 Thank Illinois_traveler22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alaska
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2008

Chac Hal Al in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico
We made it past all the timeshare sharks in the Cancun airport, and on to Thrifty car rental shuttle. It took 45 minutes for Thrifty to get it together and find us a car (we had a reservation). Finally underway, it took us 60 minutes to drive to Puerto Aventuras, we were flagged down by a Policeman but he just said “it is 80 Km per hour”, and we were on our way, no ticket or bribe.
We found Chac Hal Al right beside Omni hotel.
Our unit was E 303(week 1) and E 102(week 2) in Feb 08, we rented from BlueCaribbean.com and highly recommend them.

E 303 is a 2bedroom condo, we loved it. It is on the third floor, so we dragged our luggage up three flights of stairs. The condo is set up with a kitchen, living room, two bathrooms, a bedroom downstairs (a double bed and two bunkbeds) and a big bedroom upstairs. The kitchen has a full sized fridge, stove top, toaster oven, microwave, coffee maker and a complete set of dishes. I was surprised to find that there was no hairdryer or dishsoap. The bed upstairs is kingsized and hard, I bought a mattress pad at Sorianos (in Playa del Carmen) and that helped. The bedroom has two huge closets. It even has a washer and dryer. There are sliding glass doors out to a balcony that overlook the bay.
E 102 is a one bedroom unit on the ground floor. It was wonderful to be able to just walk right off our deck and onto the grass down to the pool or the beach. E 102 has one tiny bathroom, a washer and dryer, small kitchen and a nice sized livingroom, it could use some paint and fixing up but it was fine for us.
We only spent a short time in the little pool, most of our time we were floating in the bay or snorkeling. I saw an eagle ray just snorkeling right off the beach. The sand is soft but there are rocks to watch out for. The beach has a fair bit of seaweed, try the Omni beach next door it has better access to the beach (less seaweed and rocks). The ocean water is suprisingly warm.

There are no phones in the units (you can rent a cell phone). It is easy to find the Blue Caribbean office and they are very helpful, they delivered more water to us and told us good places to eat. Our favourite is Omni for breakfast, Gringo Dave’s for drinks and fish tacos and the Pub for entertainment and hamburgers. We watched the Superbowl at Richard’s restaurant but were disappointed with the food.
Our favourite tour was to Tulum, it is gorgeous. The temple right over the cliff is amazing and the beach below is incredible. We had to walk a long way to get there but it was worth it. I did notice that they had a shuttle from the main parking lot right to the entrance. The other place we loved was Yal-Ku lagoon in Akumal, very pretty, lots of fish and quite cheap compared to Xel-ha lagoon.

We would recommend the Chac Hal Al to all our friends.

  • Liked — location, wonderful beach
  • Disliked — no phones or elevator
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank scubabum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2008

16 of us stayed here for a friend's 50th birthday. I had been to Playa Del Carmen a few times, but never stayed this far South. It is a lot more secluded than Playa. These are private condos that the owners rent out to vacationers - mostly thru Blue Carribean Adventures Rental Agency. I enjoyed the stay. As usual, the Mexican accommodations are not on par with what you would find in USA, but not too bad. We stayed in unit E-204 which is a small unit. Since it was just my wife and I, it was fine for what we needed. A few observations: 1) the condos are very close to the beach - 40 feet or so. The ocean is not very good to swim in at this particular location, but the beach is fine. There are quite a few rocks in the water. 2) When you go out in the beach area at night, it is quiet and peaceful. Many of the condos are owned by owners who don't rent them out, so there are not that many people here at any one time. 3) There are many restaurants/Bars/Shops within a five minute walk from the condo. The bad thing is that hardly any of them take credit cards. They want cash only. The only one who took plastic was Tiera Misu (sp?). I didn't take that much cash thinking that credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in the world not. Apparently, Puerto Adventuras never got the memo. The vendors are just cheap and don't want to pay the 2% processing fee. 4) We rented a car. Since the taxi was $85 each way from the airport, we rented a car which also gave us the freedom to drive around to other areas in the area. Including tax, insurance, gas the cost for 6 days was $340. So we paid a little more, but it was worth a premium for the freedom. I might add that the driving was no different that in USA. I took the full insurance, but one of the people in our group declined all but the liability insurance (which they said was required). The bad part about renting a car was.... the Coppers. The rental cars are well marked as rentals, so the cops are always keeping their eye on you. I got pulled over 3 times in 2 days. One for not having my seat belt on (cost me $60 cash) and one for going 8 miles over the speed limit. I don't think I was speeding, but he had a gun. Cost me $80 cash. Interestingly, part of the cash goes in the left pocket and the rest goes in the right pocket.

All in all, a good trip. I would go there again. I might not rent a car though.

  • Liked — Not very crowded for a prime beach location.
  • Disliked — Ocean was rocky outside the condo
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank jaythetravelguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2008

We stayed 2 weeks in C-203. I can't say enough good about our trip this year. We had stayed at the CAT in previous years, but will more than likely book here again instead. Our building was directly in front of the pool, and just steps to the beach. We arranged for Blue Caribbean to pick us up (we booked online through them) at the airport, and for $20 extra, they took us to the grocery store on the way, and waited as long as we needed. Curt was very helpful, even ordered lunchmeat for us at the deli counter, since we speak little Spanish.The marina has plenty of different restaurants to eat at, and a couple that have pizza you can order to go. Make sure you visit Wahoo Wacko for Happy Hour (every day from 2:30-5:00), and Gringo Dave's for the Fiesta Platter(lobster, steak, chicken, fish, shrimp, and rice for $38. Hard for 2 to finish it all!) Our rooms were cleaned every other day, with fresh towels and sheets. THe girls in the office (Beatrice and I didn't get the other one's name) were VERY helpful with any tips.SNorkeling out front is great, but for a special treat travel down to Akumal and snorkel with the sea turtles. Absolutely one of the most amazing things I have ever done! WIreless internet available most anywhere in the marina, or you can pay $12.50 for 5 hours at CAfe CAfe. The Italian BAkery next door to here has excellent food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and takes credit cards).We are already looking for a unit to rent next winter. Best experience staying in the area we've had, and we have been visiting here for 5 years now.

  • Liked — Location and service
  • Disliked — stairs-next time we will rent a ground or 1st floor unit
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank hurricane1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chac Hal Al Condominiums

Property: Chac Hal Al Condominiums
Address: KM 269.5 Carretera Chetumal | Puerto Juarez Munic De Solid, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Puerto Aventuras
Price range (per night): $76 - $480
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Chac Hal Al Condominiums Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Chac Hal Al Condominiums Puerto Aventuras, Mexico - Riviera Maya

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