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Seeking Small Hotel Location & Selection Advice

Which Puerto Morelos hotels are on sale?
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Seattle
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102 posts
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Seeking Small Hotel Location & Selection Advice

We will be spending a week in early December in Puerto Morelos (with overnight trip to Chichén Itzá and day trips to Tulum, etc). I've noticed that a lot of posts here are about AIs, so, first of all, we are looking for a small, quiet, inexpensive hotel, preferably one where Mexican tourists (as well as US & Europeans) stay, definitely NOT an AI. What we love about travel is trying out local restaurants, chatting with local people (all right, our Spanish is only so-so, but it is still great fun and so interesting to engage in conversation).

We are considering Ojo de Agua, Hacienda Morelos, & El Moro, based on guidebooks and reviews. The reviews for El Moro are definitely the most positive. Our only hesitation is that we thought (:-)) we wanted to stay right on the beach. We are definitely open to other suggestions. What are the advantages/disadvantages, in this particular town, of beach or "downtown" locations? El Moro is near the town square, and it doesn't look that far off the beach.

Next, if we do decide to stay on the beach, Hacienda Morelos is close to the town center, while Ojo de Agua is up the beach, away from town, which seems inconvenient. Is it? How do the different parts of the beach compare? Is there shade on the beach (trees or palapas)?

While we have traveled in other parts of Mexico, this is our first trip to the Yucatán. Thanks for any tips!

Puerto Morelos, MX
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1. Re: Seeking Small Hotel Location & Selection Advice

Pasado El Moro is 1/2 block off the square and 1 block off the beach. Between Hacienda Morelos (now named Playa Hacienda) and Ojo de Agua, Hacienda is a much nicer and cleaner hotel, but the beach area is not as nice. You may want to look into Cabanas Puerto Morelos or Amar Inn also. For a list of all the hotel options with their websites and contact info, you may want to look at www.vivapuertomorelos.com/Hotels_Resorts.html

Puerto Morelos
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2. Re: Seeking Small Hotel Location & Selection Advice

El Moro is definitely the better of the ones you mentioned. We also have lots of private condos and houses here that you will enjoy. Staying close to town is advantageous in that you don't need to hire a car to get anywhere to eat or shop. There is no shade on the beaches here, some of the houses include beach umbrellas and there are umbrellas at Bar Ixchel, a walk down the beach. While Ojo de Agua is on the beach it is not that nice and is very busy with Cancun people at the weekends. Very few Mexicans stay in the hotels here except on the big holidays like Easter, School is still in in December so not a holiday time here. Let me know if you need more help

New England
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3. Re: Seeking Small Hotel Location & Selection Advice

Cabanas Puerto Morelos is my suggestion. It's not right on the beach, but right across the street and has a lovely garden, a pool and huge rooms. See the very positive reviews.

Seattle
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4. Re: Seeking Small Hotel Location & Selection Advice

I appreciate the responses and suggestions. One additional possibility I've found is Arrecifes. We are now considering Cabanas Puerto Morelos, Posada el Moro, Arrecifes, and maybe Hacienda Morelos (now either Carmen Hacienda or Playa Hacienda?). The first Destination Expert said Hacienda Morelos is now Playa Hacienda, but I can't find that under TripAdvisor listings or web search. Some have said it is now Carmen Hacienda, and that is listed by TripAdvisor. These hotels are rated, of the 25 PM hotels, #9-Arrecifes, #11-Carmen Hacienda, #12-Cabanas Puerto Morelos, #14-Posada el Moro. (9 was the highest rating for anything that didn't sound like an AI.) Do you think those are misleading? I got the impression that the change of management at Hacienda Morelos/Carmen had made a big difference. 100% of reviewers said they would recommend it (although there were only 6 reviews, none were negative). 92% of reviewers of Cabanas Puerto would recommend. I'm not sure how the ratings are calculated since only 80% of reviewers recommend Arrecifes, yet it was highest in the ratings. El Moro is somewhat less expensive, and most reviews are very positive. It sounds charming too. It just lacks the ocean views and being on the beach, but, in other places I've been quite satisfied with small charming hotels a block or two off the beach.

I guess a big consideration that would make a difference at this point is one that is hard to assess, so maybe you all can help here. I love to swim, snorkel, and sit on the beach, but I do not sunbathe. Sitting on the beach, I want shade of some sort: trees, a palapa, umbrella, or even a shaded deck looking out at the beach. Do any of the beaches have ANY shade? Are there umbrellas for rent? Are there palapas or cafe/bars right on the beach with shaded seating? Which of the hotels offer some form of shade?

Thanks again!

Puerto Morelos
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5. Re: Seeking Small Hotel Location & Selection Advice

As i said there is no natural shade on the beach. The only places that offer shade are Bar Ixchel where you can get sun chairs and umbrellas and Ojo de Agua, Carmen Hacienda now has shade available as well. I have no idea how the hotels get their ratings on TA - I think it has more to do with advertising than reality. Most private house rentals also have their own umbrellas and beach chairs, the one I manage has them and it is beachfront so most people hang on the beach then come back to the pool and so on same with the beachfront hotels and condos.

Seattle
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6. Re: Seeking Small Hotel Location & Selection Advice

How would I get information on the private house rentals? Since there are only two of us, that seems most likely to be a more expensive option. I would certainly consider that if we come back with our kids and their families. However, if it isn't more expensive, it might be something we would consider now.

Seattle
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7. Re: Seeking Small Hotel Location & Selection Advice

We did end up staying at Posada El Moro. I tried to post a review on TA, but the rating mechanism didn't work but is required, so my review wouldn't register. For anyone else looking at small hotels in PM, here is some information on our stay. We did have a wonderful, relaxing time! I am just now reading about the Christmas posadas, which make me wish we were still there!

The location of El Moro, just a 1/2 block from the plaza, is very convenient. It's a 2 minute walk to water (piers, harbor) but a few more minutes to beaches for swimming. The hotel advertises a "continental" breakfast, but it included coffee, tea, oj, bread/toast w/ pb & j or Nutella, delicious fruit (papaya, watermelon, melon, pineapple), cereal, yogurt--quite impressive & filling (and the same daily), served, in theory, as late as 10 am, although supplies may get low and you'd have to find someone to get more. (The owner, Miguel, who is completely helpful and accommodating, would say they will get you more, and the staff is very helpful and friendly, but there is not always someone hanging around for you to ask.) We were in a room with queen bed (plus 2 singles we didn't use), fan, AC (which we didn't use), and TV (didn't use that either) for about US$70/night, although we had a weekly rate that lowered it. (We had asked for room with AC, but the fan was sufficient; we didn't ask for TV, but I think they changed our room because I was on crutches, so we were put in a ground floor, and that was probably what was available.) There is a small, very clean little pool with lounge chairs around it and a little waterfall. If you plan mostly on being at the beach and just an occasional quick dip to cool off, this pool is more than adequate. The one down side, which could be significant for some: there is construction going on which starts as early as 6:30 am, with loud buzz saws, etc. I'm a city gal--and this didn't phase me too much, although it did wake me. Miguel said he had negotiated previously, during the tourist season, for the construction crew to start a bit later, but that didn't happen during the week we were there. He also indicated it was mostly due to a restaurant next door that's been under construction for two years already; however, we finally noticed that they were also doing construction on the 3rd floor of El Moro!

The regulated taxi from the airport is 700 pesos, but the return to the airport from PM was only 280 pesos, because they can set their own prices. We would normally just take a bus, but we had late arrival and early departure.

Puerto Morelos is charming, with many little restaurants, a great book store (Eng lang), and local events on the plaza. One night a local children's dance troop performed folklorico and another was the lighting of the Christmas lights. The beach has no trees, so, if you want shade, like me, you can either rent an umbrella or palapa, with table and lounge chairs for 150 pesos/day or sit at a beachside restaurant and order drinks and food, and dip in the water at will. We also heard you can snorkel from the beach (in addition to taking a boat to the reef).

It is also easy to visit nearby Tulum, for ruins and beach, Chichén Itzá, Cobá, etc. We took a collectivo for 5 pesos to the highway and the ADO bus from the highway to Tulum (I think it was less than 50 pesos). We also rented a car for an overnight stay in Valladolid to get an early start at Chichén Itzá. There was convenient street parking right in front of the hotel, but I'm not sure if there is any secure parking (probably not).

This was a relaxing vacation and El Moro was a comfortable, convenient, and economical choice.

8. Re: Seeking Small Hotel Location & Selection Advice

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