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Hotel choice help please

Edmonton, Canada
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257 posts
18 reviews
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Hotel choice help please

We are starting to think about trying out this part of Mexico but need some help in choosing the right area and hotel.

Usually goto the Mayan, south of playa, actually, Akumal area. Which has great beach and snorkeling. Plus acces to the village where we can walk to and hit up,some beach bars etc. we like to walk the beach and snorkel off the beach when we want too. Not having to take a boat always. Also have been to negril in Jamaica and again like the beach walking there, calm waters and ability to see some of the local areas as we walk.

Is there a hotel and area that does this for us here in Huatulco.

Thanks.

Alberta
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3,609 posts
32 reviews
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1. Re: Hotel choice help please

Clint, I suggest you use Google Earth and look at the area around Huatulco and to the west of it. It will give you a much better idea of what the beaches are like compared to Riviera Maya. They tend to be nice but not long. San Agustin which is about 22 km to the west of Huatulco is probably the nicest place to snorkel, and I would suggest is better than Akumal, although I have not heard of many seeing turtles and "barney".

Las Brisas has some on site snorkeling, but the coral area is quite small and probably best suited for kids and beginners. In general the water is much clearer in the Huatulco area than we experienced at Akumal itself or at Gran Bahia Principe.

Edmonton, Canada
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257 posts
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2. Re: Hotel choice help please

Any hotel suggestions? Ron, it seems you know both areas. Anything else you can comment on?

berwyn, illinois
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3. Re: Hotel choice help please

There are hotels, resorts, b&bs, condos and villas for virtually any taste and budget. Huatulco has 9 bays and 36 beaches, and the nicest beaches are not located near the resorts. My preference is to stay outside the main resort area and visit different beaches everyday. Taxis are inexpensive and readily available no matter where you stay- if you are used to Akumal, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the taxi situation in Huatulco. In fact, I think you will fall in love with Huatulco. I don't really know what you are looking for so I can't really comment on hotels. If you want beachfront, your options are more limited but in a place like Huatulco, beachfront is less important, IMO.

There are no hotels or resorts nearby but San Augustin is probably the closest to Akumal Bay as far as shallow water snorkeling but the coral isn't as vibrant and you won't find yourself hovering over a sea turtle. You WILL find a large variety of fish and other sea life, not to mention really great people.

Edmonton, Canada
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257 posts
18 reviews
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4. Re: Hotel choice help please

Beachfront hotel, walking the beaches and snorkeling at hand are priority. Don't need no 5 star, but all inclusive and decent food. Not someone that needs glitz and glam.

Thanks

berwyn, illinois
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5. Re: Hotel choice help please

AI with the best snorkeling would be Las Brisas. They have their own part of Tangolunda Bay with much nicer beaches than the beach the other Tangolunda resorts share. I've never stayed there though. AI is not my personal choice.

victoria, bc
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1,810 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: Hotel choice help please

If I may, I'd like to add a few more suggestions....

If coming from Canada the packages offered thru SunWing / Air Transat are the way to go... that is If you are planning a holiday that is one or two weeks in duration.... really the most economical way to go.

Most of the packages from Canada are for All Inclusive Hotels that are located on Tangolunda Bay, Rincon Sambroso and Conejos ( Crown Pacific, Barcelo,Dreams, Camino Real Zaashila and Secrets )These hotels are ocean front. Castillo, Villa Blanca, Binniguenda are not ocean front but they to have their own beach clubs, with transfers included. The latter of the two groups are located closer to La Crucecita and Santa Cruz.

To suggest a hotel would depend on what kind of holiday you are looking for ... If you want to kick back, lounge in the sun and just veg for a week then an A.I. would be my choice. . If you are keen to get out everyday, hit a different beach everyday, book a few excursions and head off into the hills, then maybe the latter group would suite you to a T! Whatever you decide to do, the area is truly a remarkable piece of Coastline to discover.. and that's coming from someone who lives on Vancouver Island. There are remarkable day trips to take inland, our last trip we spent the day at Hagia Sofia.. Wow, the scenery is truly breathtaking. La Crucecita has a large covered market for shopping, great restaurants.. all round wonderful ambience.

Here's a handy map of the area.

http://www.tomzap.com/map-Huatulco.pdf

Edit: I posted this before reading last hotel request... Oops!

Edited: 07 January 2014, 03:39
Nova Scotia
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2,101 posts
25 reviews
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7. Re: Hotel choice help please

Looking at your past trip reviews I would suggest you look at Dreams or Secrets. Dreams has snorkeling and snorkeling is readily available and very good around Huatulco. You will be able to do lots of it when you venture off the resort.

The scenery in Huatulco is outstanding! Mountains and ocean together. Very pretty area and the best weather! I always found the Mayan a bit boring and ugly once you got off the resorts.

Alberta
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3,609 posts
32 reviews
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8. Re: Hotel choice help please

"Any hotel suggestions? Ron, it seems you know both areas. Anything else you can comment on?"

We have been to Huatulco three times, Las Brisas twice, and Secrets this past December. My review of Secrets should be posted in the next few days. In Riviera Maya, we have been twice and stayed at Gran Bahia Principe Akumal (Golden Club-Transat) twice. Las Brisas is an older resort, built in the 80's as a Club Med. It is a very large and private site, with no foot access by the public to the beaches. The buffet food there is very good, but the a la carte's in our experience was not up to that of GBP or Secrets. For swimming in the ocean Las Brisas is much better than Secrets or GBP. The pool however is small, but not used much as the ocean is very swimmable. If you walk on the resort there are a lot of stairs at Las Brisas, but there are also golf carts which you can call to give you a ride. Short story is that for a price difference per week of $150-200 pp taxes in, I would probably stay at Las Brisas over Secrets. Secrets and Dreams have vacation club salespeople on site. Think of the time share shark gauntlet you have to run at the Cancun airport. They are not quite as aggressive, but you can't really get away from them, until you make it clear you are not interested. Not a factor, if that kind of thing does not bother you.

For packager, out of Edmonton, I much prefer Transat over Sunwing. This year their flights start in Calgary, go to Edmonton, and then direct to Huatulco. They use A310 planes which are nicer than the 737's Sunwing have. Sunwing in my opinion is badly managed and have no spare planes, or spare crews. The slightest upset destroys their schedule. The good news to Huatulco, their 737's actually have enough fuel to get there. They try to fly the same planes to Cuba and fuel is really marginal, especially on the return. That means unscheduled stops for fuel. But last minute Sunwing can offer some good prices, so I would never say never. Money talks!

In short I like the sheltered location of Las Brisas over all the other locations including Secrets. If you look at the resorts on Google Earth you will see what I am talking about. I also like the resorts on the ocean over the ones where you have no dedicated resort beach and have to share it with the public.

Edited: 07 January 2014, 18:24
Alberta
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3,609 posts
32 reviews
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9. Re: Hotel choice help please

On beach walking, Huatulco as you will see if you look on Google Earth is many smaller beaches rather than the amazing "go forever" beaches you can find in Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba or Punta Cana in DR. If you want to take a memorable beach walk in Huatulco, I would suggest taking a cab to La Bocana, about 2 km past Secrets. What you will see on Google Earth is inaccurate of what is really there now. The last hurricane washed the old beach away and created a huge sandbar which is about 1 km long. Compared to the highly sloped typical beaches around Huatulco which are hard to walk/run on, this sandbar is basically flat and easy. Nice scenery and lots of birds. You can find my review and photos at the link below.

tripadvisor.ca/…REVIEWS

Edited: 07 January 2014, 18:36
Chicago
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140 posts
59 reviews
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10. Re: Hotel choice help please

We have been to both places. They are very different.

Huatulco is very spread out. Tangolunda bay has around 6 AI's & I think has one of the larger beaches, but no beach clubs. In Huatulco, you need to taxi to a beach and then find a beachfront restaurant to hang out at. There is great snorkeling from shore at several beaches in Huatulco, but you must taxi there. The best way to see Huatulco is to take day trips by taxi. Very easy to do. La Crucecita is a small town and more rustic like Akumal, but somewhat larger. I am not sure that there is anyplace that you can walk out the door, wander the beach & hit some bars. Maybe close to the marina?

We stayed in a villa several times. Check out Villa Pacifico in Residential Conejos. loved, loved loved it.

Akumal & PDC have larger beaches & areas where you can easily walk from one beach club to another. Very different in Huatulco, but well worth a visit.

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