I took my two children, one 13 and one 11 with my girlfriend for a short trip to Akumal. We stayed at Playa Caribe #3. Joyce was super responsive, easy to deal with and helpful setting up the trip. Once there the staff, Augustin and Roseleah were great to deal with for everything we needed: such nice people.
The place is a lovely first floor condo with a small pool right out the door. It is a beach house, so it is all hard-surfaces. But it is well appointed comfortable and quite large. We spent a lot of time out on the deck, or in the water or out on day trips so we don’t know from experience, but it felt like an easy place to be stuck if the weather was really bad. Even if you are a homebody, with the pool and the view this is a pretty great place to just hang out. 5 steps down to Half Moon Bay: really great snorkeling. The bay has a rocky entry (it is corral really) so not the perfect beach for swimming but plenty of that is close by if that is your thing. We happened to be there during a quiet time and for only a few days, so it felt like we had our own private pool (though it is not) and our own private bay and reef. I can imagine if the place was really hopping it might be a little "busy" for my taste having our door right off the pool.
Both rooms and bathrooms are very large and very comfortable. The master bedroom can be opened up to the whole living room and a the great view, which can be great but note, it is a moveable screen and doesn't offer a ton of privacy.
Recommend Yal-kul lagoon (close up the road), Akumal beach, turtles off Akumal beach (close down the road), the beach at Tulum ruins is spectacular, Gran Cenote is great for snorkeling or cave diving, La Lunita (short walk) our best meal, Buena Vista (short walk the other way) decent dinner, Lol-Ha in Akumal town our second best meal.
There was a cool local cat that befriended us which we thought was very nice.
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Just returned from a week at Playa Caribe in Akumal. I waffled between giving this 4 or 5 stars and decided it's really 4 1/2 for us. There are some outstanding things about Playa Caribe that make it 5 stars and some things that could have made it just a bit better. I have no regrets at all about choosing to stay here and overall we had a wonderful stay.
The good stuff:
**In this case, beachfront really means beachfront. Step out the door, cross the patio, go down a few stairs, and it's beach.
**Staff are friendly, helpful, competent.
**Condo is well-equipped for any stay. Kitchen has a toaster, blender, microwave, coffee maker, almost everything. Almost. More on that later.
**Incredibly roomy and spacious, great value. I'm not sure my own home is this big.
**Clean, clean, clean. Incredible housekeeper (Rosalia); please tip her well.
**Stuff to borrow to make slow days better (movies, books, some snorkel gear, games).
**Someone else commented on the beach having too much seaweed or something, and it does have a lot of seaweed. The beach is attached to the ocean and seaweed grows in the ocean. Trash washes up on the beach. Playa Caribe staff clean the beach in front of the property but the rest of the beach isn't their problem. My observation was that the private homes don't clean up the trash at all but the resorts do. Yes it's disheartening to see but that's the way it is.
The "could improve" stuff:
**There was a cooktop and microwave in our place but no oven. And we wanted to bake some chicken for dinner one night. I was a bit flummoxed.
**On more than one occasion, we needed to ask the property manager (Agustin) about something but couldn't find him. Office hours seemed random. Posted hours or a note about where to find staff would be really helpful.
Things we didn't like:
**We stayed in #3 because it's ground floor with instant beach access. If I go back, I won't stay in that unit because it has the least amount of privacy. Because the building's pool is mere steps from unit 3's patio door, people seemed to think it was appropriate to go from the pool to looking into our living room. This happened more than once with more than one person. We resorted to closing the patio door curtains during our entire stay, which was a bummer because we couldn't see the beach. There has to be a way to get people to understand that is so not-cool!
**Similarly to the above, we were awakened at 12:24 one morning by a drunken party arriving. They were there for the Akumal Comedy Festival. I had to get up and talk to them because they were not going to shut up. I told them it was 12:30 in the morning and they replied that it was only 10:30 in their time zone. Ok...Maybe incoming guests need to be given some common-sense rules on quiet hours or something. I don't know, but it was a bummer to have the whole family awakened. Not Playa Caribe's fault of course, just a drag for us.
**We had elephants upstairs. No idea who they were, but they were up at 6 every morning doing what sounded like furniture moving. You know that shrieking sound a chair makes when you drag it across tile? That was it, multiple times every morning, for 15 minutes or so.
Some of this may sound nitpicky, and it may be, but perhaps it can be improved. Adults shouldn't need it, but quiet hours/times emailed with reservation confirmations might work. We wondered if a short, partial wall, even the height of a single concrete block, could keep people in the pool area from coming up to the windows and looking in. (I have no problem with noisy children or crying babies; I was there with my own kid. These problems were all from adults who should know better.)
Unit 3 is definitely beautiful and well-equipped and perfect in so many ways. If we return, we'll stay at the top and get a bit more privacy. Drunken partiers are a bit harder to fix...
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