We booked over the internet after a bit of research. Wanted something smallish, not in the main drag and something looking less like the huge commercial anonymous resort type hotels nearer the beach where you could've been anywhere in the world. We stayed for about 2 weeks and used it as a base to get out and about interspersed with recuperative days spent on the beach!
We were not disappointed!. The hotel had a Mexican feel about it, typically Mexican vibrant colours, full of little individual nooks and crannies to sit and read, dip in the [choice of] 2 beautiful pools in either full sun or shade depending on what you wanted and the time of day. Everywhere was immaculately clean and spotless, all the staff were friendly and helpful with a sense of humour. Although the hotel doesn't have it's own restaurant, breakfast was no problem as it was served in the adjacent restaurant by exchanging a voucher given at reception - breakfast was great, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, pancakes, toast, cereal, juice, tea or coffee.
The hotel is situated on a busy corner, about 5 mins from 5th Ave and about 10 mins walk to the beach. We didn't eat at the adjacent restaurant other than breakfast as there's just so much delicious variety and diversity to suit all pockets within easy strolling reach. The nearest ATM and Bank is 5 minutes down the road.
We didn't notice the traffic noise if there was any! All the rooms open onto a pretty internal open courtyard or walkways and the building is 3 stories high [ground, 1st and 2nd floors]. Our room was on a corner, it was light and airy as it had windows on both elevations, some of the other rooms we glanced in whilst passing looked as if they could be a bit dark. Our suite had 2 rooms [but only 1 with air con] each with a queen size bed and with a central shared shower room. It had a safe [deposit for special padlock at reception], a TV but we didn't watch it as we were usually out and about. The only down side of our room/s was other than the beds and a chair at the desk there was no comfy chairs to sit in to read or just slouch for a bit. There is also free internet access, free iced drinking water from a cooler by reception, a giant superstore just round the corner for bits and pieces and an amazing Italian deli/small restaurant [Sabrinas] for takeaway delicious rolls, sweet and savoury pastries for lunch or for trips out.
The hotel do organise trips, but we didn't try them and accessed the sights independently, so I can't comment about them or their value. If you like to explore a country a bit less like a tourist, then I'd recommend using the "Communale" which is a sort of cross between a taxi and a bigger bus or coach system. They are a fleet of [I think?, State owned?] minibuses which run from Playa to the surrounding larger towns, local people use them to get to/from work, they run all day from early in the morning till late at night and run about every 10-15mins, they only cost about the equivalent of £2 each for a 45 min journey. There are dozens of stops along the highway, you just flag them down and if there's spaces on board then the driver will stop, if not you've only got a short wait til the next one. We experienced a selection of these from very clean, neat, newish with air con to older hot vehicles where you just have the windows open!. Quite a fun, safe way to travel! Ask at reception where the "Communale" Playa pick up point is - their livery is white van with light blue or red flash along the sides, great way to get to Tulum or Cancun and back again [not to the airport - no room for big luggage].
General Mexico travel tip here! - It didn't affect us, as we only had Pesos, but we noticed that all the State/Government ancient archaeological sites will only accept Pesos, not USD. Many of the more expensive restaurants appear to accept either currency, most also appeared to want to know where you're staying if you use a credit card, debit cards seem to be OK.
The only down side to the hotel and that's being really picky! would be that we weren't expecting such a hard bed! It took us a couple of nights to get used to it, after which we both slept like logs!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Este hotel de 66 habitaciones ofrece mucho mas que comodidad. Es un excelente lugar para disfrutar de sus vacaciones o viaje de negocios. Con una decoracion moderna, conservando su arquitectura mexicana, un ambiente familiar y la hospitalidad de su personal haran de su estancia un recuerdo inolvidable. Todas las habitaciones se encuentran alrededor de alguna de las 2 piscinas y de su exuberante jardin tropical, decoradas con amenidades modernas sin perder su espiritu mexicano. Este encantador hotel tiene todo lo que usted necesita: amplias habitaciones, un hermoso jardin, una agradable y refrescante piscina al centro del hotel y otra mas pequena y privada con un asoleadero de madera ideal para recostarse en un camastro y disfrutar del sol rodeado de palmeras, cuenta con un elevador con vista panoramica hacia el jardin interior para acceder a sus 3 niveles, asi como un excelente servicio por parte de su personal. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Las Golondrinas Hotel
- Hotel Las Golondrinas Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen