I came here looking for a snorkelling holiday in the sun. I especially like snorkelling off the beach so that you can come and go as you wish rather than wait for a boat to go out at fixed times. I also wanted to avoid the many large all inclusive brash and noisy resorts with loud tecno music blasting 24/7 located along the strip on the way down from Cancun. This hotel didn't disappoint on any of these counts. There is an entertainment team that arrange the usual pool aerobics etc. but as there are a couple of other small hotel pools located further along the beach this didn't prove to be a nuisance.
The entertainment team were a friendly bunch who managed to quickly assess who didn't wish to be throwing themselves at a volley ball. There did seem to be quite a few of them given the number of guests but maybe this was because it wasn't high season? Their evening 'shows' wont trouble the X factor contestants and like some other reviewers I would have preferred to see more local entertainers. The entertainment area for shows is outdoors so will be rained off in bad weather. Unlike another reviewer I didn't find the noise from the shows disturbing and I had a room overlooking the garden & entertainment area. It was only for an hour or so each night and didn't run late.
My main criticism of the hotel is the lack of a good indoor sitting area and bar. The main bar sited on the beach is open to all winds and weathers. It has an area of decking in front but with no shelter at all and is poorly lit at night. Even when it's not raining it is quite windy here. So at night most people seemed to get a drink and retreat to their rooms. There is one small seating area by the restaurant and you can get a beer or wine from the restaurant when it is open. This has open sides and is used as a smoking area. So if like me you don't like smoking or it is especially windy this isn't somewhere you'll want to linger.
I was there for ten days and for some of this period there were strong on shore winds. These whipped up the sea making underwater visibility really bad, especially close in. With the exception of some channels the sea is shallow enough to stand for some distance out (yet still deep enough to snorkel safely). You can always arrange a boat trip for snorkelling or fishing on days with poor visibility. When the sea cleared the snorkelling was great. As someone else mentioned watch out for the Rays. I went over one on the way back in just yards from the shore. I also suggest wearing bright rash vests or a fluorescent flotation jacket. While the hotel boat was careful to avoid swimmers, local boats do pass through the area used by snorkellers. So best to make sure you are seen. I always take my own gear so cannot comment on the hotel's equipment. The beach is great with the pool bar and pools immediately behind you. Another mention for Luis - top man. A very friendly and helpful guy. Then again all the staff were also friendly and helpful. It wasn't high season but how refreshing not to have to fight for sun beds on the beach or by the pool. There seemed to be ample for the number of rooms / guests.
I especially liked the mix of continental guests (Italian, French, Australian etc etc.) rather than having a disproportionate number of British / N American guests.
The food was fine with a nice mix of Mexican and Italian options on offer each meal time. You can book the on site mexican restaurant if you especially want the local flavour. Overall I thought the chefs did a really good job. It's possible to get a freshly cooked option most meal times as well as the buffet. One small criticism is that I occasionally felt that the buffet food could have been a hotter.
You can get a taxi or walk to the main road to get a local bus but otherwise the hotel is isolated. There is one small shop on site. But if you are planning to visit to just lounge on the beach make sure you bring your essentials with you as there aren't any shops in the immediate vicinity. Another plus for me but not for some.
Overall a really enjoyable holiday for me thank you. Please do consider having an indoor bar area. If and when the weather closes the guests need to be able to beak away from their rooms.
I am aware that I am a little biased as this hotel ticked most of my boxes. If you are looked for wall to wall tiled bedroom and suites, 34 bars with nightly gala shows then this probably isn't the place for you. If you want to have a nice beach, pool and sea with friendly staff and a good mix of guests then give the Pavoreal a try.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The PavoReal Beach Resort Tulum which has been very recently renovated and restructured (during Summer 2012) is located in the wonderful Riviera Maya, only few km North of Tulum's archeological site, surrounded by the typical luxuriant Tropics vegetation. ... more less
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