I'd be happy to help anyone who has questions...I'll post review, etc later!
I'd be happy to help anyone who has questions...I'll post review, etc later!
Hi there we're going in a couple weeks. Are there any bugs, mosquitos to worry about?
Do you happen to know resort email address?
How was the food, beach activities, customer service?
Was it your 1st time there?
Thanks for any info!
BUGS - I would say NO. I didn't see any mosquitos, felt like I had 1 bite (itchy spot) but not sure what caused it. I get eaten alive by mosquitos normally so this was so wonderful. I have seen mosquitos at other resorts but not here. I wouldnt worry about it but bring some bug repellent in case you go to an area they are bothering you and you will be prepared. No need to apply until you see them.
FOOD- , the food was OK. I guess I'd rate it about a 6. There was always something edible and many choices but many things did not look appetizing so I avoided. At the buffets, head to the grill and pasta stations, which cook the food fresh (cook to order omellettes and fried eggs). I found the best tasting stuff was there. Snack bar by beach does cook to order burgers.
I tried to try everything at first, but ended up wasting it if I didnt like it, so stuck to my favorite things mostly. There were always 2-3 hotdog dishes (one morning the scrambled eggs had cut up weiners in it!... also weiner pizza, etc)...it was quite funny (trying to cut costs where possible, i guess). The margarine was TERRIBLE!! I read about this before and they were right. If there is any place in town to buy butter packets, I would get them and bring a few to dinner or breakfast. The stuff they serve tasted like crap on toast/buns. Plus it was hard as rock in am, so spreading on toast impossible. The selection of fruits was limited to honeydew melon, canteloupe, oranges, grapefruit, and pineapple. There is a gap between 10pm-11pm where there is no food available - and there is NO room service at all. Got conflicting info but tried calling several times and NO chance of this. Misleading info on web if it says this. As a Maya guest, we WERE NOT allowed to eat or drink alcohol (juice ok) at other restaurants (except for our alacarte reservations). We were warned not to try and were busted at the bar when we tried to order a drink. Perhaps if we had long sleeves and/or covered our wristband (blue) - axteca was orange, perhaps we couldve gotten away with it but they noticed right away.
For the alacartes - They were very enjoyable as you felt like you were dining. The main dining area here is very crowded, loud and hot. NO ambience at all. We got used to it and chose to sit on the right side, near a window and would arrive later (after the rush when it was quieter). that helped.
The quality of food in Portofino was a 9/10 for me, You are allowed to choose 3 things plus dessert. I love seafood and it was all so delicious - everyone in our group loved it there. The Bamboo was ok, (you were allowed to choose 3 things total). The sushi appetizer - I ate it but had stomach issues after so maybe avoid that (I doubt there was a sushi master in kitchen so you're taking your chances). The spring roll appetizer was chewy and tough (edible but not fresh tasting). I ordered the tempura meal as I love tempura. I DON'T recommend. It was the only meal we got that didnt have rice to accompany - just a few battered carrots and shrimp - the plate looked like something was missing. It wasnt real tempura, it looked more like a breading, light and greasy coating. The other tepanyaki or yakitory (spelling?) dishes had rice and were enjoyed by the group. We all had fried ice cream for dessert (it was ok, not the best - coating was a bit creasy and chewy).
ACTIVITIES! - YOu will NOT get BORED! The staff had activities all day (starting with stretching at 10am- stuff around 5pm). Play crazy game, very fun! Near the swim up bar in afternoon, it is lively - some games in late afternoon there, and dancing lessons, water aerobics - 11:15 - fun! There was red flag everyday so we could not kayak and catamaran but head to beach station around 9am, to sign up if weather is green or yellow. PLUS they allowed boogie boarding in red flag weather, grab one anytime (for an hour) - they were a blast!
I highly recommend borrowing one of the bikes and riding around. we did this on the last day. they are situated in the staff parking lot on the right as you ENTER the resort at the security station. we did not need to give deposit or anything (just room number) we were allowed 3 hours. it closes at 5pm. we biked all around playacar, it was beautiful. we wanted to ride to town one day but ran out of time...one week is too short to do anything!
Hope that helps!
Please feel free to send a message for more detail or info on anything!
Thanks for the review - I found that your impression is very much consistent with my own from 3 years ago. This is a very moderately priced resort and I think they deliver good for the money - if the active vacation is what you want, their activities are better then anywhere, so the resort is very recommended for the families with the teens or for the younger adults.
I just have a comment on the alacarte food - despite you were allowed to choose 3 things total at the Bamboo - if you do not like what you got, you should ask to change it and not to eat if the taste is not good/strange. I agree that sushi with the raw fish in it is not the wisest idea in mexico and if you saw that some members of your party are having the better meal then yours - you might ask to change your plate. I guess that Teriyaki and Yakitori are the better choices in a hot Mexico as generally these are well cooked dishes...
I have one question re. evening entertainment - did you see any live band playing in a courtyard in the evening? We had the most enjoyable experience 3 years ago with the young band there and I am trying to find out if they are still around.
Thanks so much for all the info.
Just a few more questions if you don't mind. Do the guys have to wear long pants to a la cartes?
Where is the best place for rooms. We'd like top floor with ocean/pool view if possible & central location. Would like to email resort ahead of time to request although it was also under our booking request. Also, if we could request a la carte reservations ahead of time possibly.
Still looking for current resort email
Is it typical for beach weather to always to be red/yellow flag. Any difference in time of year?
Were the chairs taken @ the crack of dawn?
We booked with Sunwing & heard the rooms don't have mini bar fridge?
Oh ya, do u happen to know how far to Akumal, Tukum & Xplor? Should we take taxi or collectivo & wondered cost?
Thankyou for your review.
We stayed at Viva Maya last June and quite enjoyed.
You said:" As a Maya guest, we WERE NOT allowed to eat or drink alcohol (juice ok) at other restaurants (except for our alacarte reservations). We were warned not to try and were busted at the bar when we tried to order a drink. Perhaps if we had long sleeves and/or covered our wristband (blue) - axteca was orange"
But we didn't find this to be the case, we went to the pool bar at Azteca and ordered and had no trouble getting cocktails.
Rozy, my husband wore nice shorts and Hawaiian shirts to the ala cartes and was very comfortable and welcomed.
I went looking through my papers from last summer and these are the email addys I have. Hope they help!
Mr Mario Avila guest services:
We really enjoyed Viva Maya, was a nice clean and fun place. I would recommend to anyone as long as they go in knowing that it is a 3 star, they will have a lovely vacation!
Sue - you guys just got lucky or the guys tipped well so the bartender could not let them go:(
I personally asked the reception when there and they said that people from Maya can not use Azteca bars and buffets - but allowed to go around to see the resort and the beach. People from Azteca are allowed to use Maya's bars and buffet because it is 1.Small. 2.They pay more for the rooms then at Maya.
TRANSPORTATION TO XPLOR- If you go to xplor or xcaret - then take a taxi for sure. we found if we grabbed a cab where they waited (at the entrance before the security gate, then we got better deals). It was 140 peso to go to xplor and xcaret (did both) but when we asked bellman for cab, they said the rates were posted at 155 peso (firm). On the way home, we asked if cab would take 150 peso and he said ok. I ALWAYS paid with pesos, definitely cheaper. The minimum rate anywhere is now 70 peso (or $7 US) so paying by peso is cheaper.
To akumal or tulum, find out what other did. I'm guessing it's $20-30 each way by cab. Collectivo is not convenient from where Viva is located - may need to walk a bit or cab ($7) to hwy and catch collectivo from there. If you do a tour group thing, it's not a bad deal as transport is included so whichever you prefer.
As far as bands, I don't recall a band there...perhaps I missed them!
I saw Men in the restaurant in shorts but most were in pants - the place is pretty casual so i'd be surprised if you were turned away. All my boys wore shorts, no problems for them. My hubby always wore pants, didnt want to get kicked out!
when you are standing on the beach,which direction to Playa del Carmen(left or right)? We plan on visiting Senor Frogs and doing alittle shopping on 5th Avenue.
Is it true that there is no mini fridge/bar in the rooms? And you only get 1 bottle of water for the week?(as I have read from some reviews).