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“Relaxing, friendly, but where's the beach”

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Porto Bello Private Residence Club
Ranked #15 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Clearwater, Florida
Level Contributor
600 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 272 helpful votes
“Relaxing, friendly, but where's the beach”
Reviewed 25 October 2009

For our 3rd week in the Yucutan (after Playa and Cancun) we decided try something new -- a marina. It was pretty neat with all the great fishing boats right outside our end unit. Our patio had nice chairs and a table, with a hot tub (this one didn't seem to want to produce HOT water, but we talked to others who had hot water). We could not make our safe work, or the internet after trying two cables......other rooms seemed to work fine. We were in Unit 108 - so maybe avoid that one. Fun to walk around the small little "town" and people were friendly. Looks like a great place if you want to 1) fish; 2) swim with the dolphins (which we could see every day and the manatees being fed) or 3) parasail. Those activities are right there. Our pool was nice and very warm (this is not an Omni pool set up). Many people who come here own and many have several weeks. The "beach" is about 10-15 minutes walk over to the Omni where you are allowed to use their beach. We didn't even bother. It is so small (eroded). Folks did say if you wanted to use beach it was a very short swim out to the reef to snorkel and they did enjoy it. Puerto Adventuras as a little too quite for me -- so we rented a car for 2 days and went to Akumal to snorkel with the tortugas and then to Tulum and Jose y Ana's beach club. I guess if you just love to rest and read, swim in pool, great place. Bed was comfortable, kitchen worked (glass stove top cracked) and things were on the older side, but it was just fine. The A/C worked great and was needed due to humidit/heat. We had a one bedroom unit and it seemed to have plenty of room for us. No eating table in unit, but the one on the deck worked fine. No ice cube trays, but we used the egg holders from the fridge. One more thing -- when we checked in the lady said they sold water. I sort of said OK (this was Saturday, with staff gone on Sunday). By Monday, we were there right away to get water. The tap water is horrible!!! So for relaxing, mellow time, fine place.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Gena C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
So. California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2009

Stayed at the Porto Bello Marina & Villas on an Interval Exchange. Our last trip to this part of Mexico was 30 yrs ago. Everything had changed so much. Used USA Transfers for the trip to and from the Cancun airport. Liz at Porto Bello was in the office when we arrived and was very helpful throughout our stay. The unit was clean and the marina area, shops and Dolphin Discovery provided pleasant, albeit a little pricey, surroundings. With fishing boats coming in each afternoon, I expected to eat a little more cheaply at the marina restaurants. Took a half day trip to Hidden Worlds to snorkel a couple of cenotes. Liz hooked us up with Go Paco Tours for a trip to Muyil. This day trip took us to the ruins at Muyil, a hike through the jungle to a large lagoon in the Sian Kaan reserve where boats met us to take us further into the reserve to view more ruins and a "float" down a natural channel in the wetlands. It was fantastic. Paco was a great guide and provided insight into all of the features of the ruin and the Sian Kaan reserve. Our final day was spent on a shopping excursion to Cozumel. We couldn't believe how commercialized the island has become. Thought we were in Cabo with everyone hustling one thing or another.

We found we didn't need a car with our trip providers providing transportation. Also glad we didn't return to the tourist traps of Tulum and Xel-ha. We'd rather remember them the way they were 30 yr ago.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank espanad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2009

Porto Bello Marina and Villas will probably be a great fit for you if you are an independent traveler, have done your research on what to do in the Riviera Maya, and have a lot planned for your vacation.

My husband and I recently returned from a 1 week stay through an Interval Exchange.

Accommodations: Condos are modern, comfortable, clean, well decorated, sufficient kitchen, have daily maid service, TVs with DVD player, stereo, great verandas with lounge chairs and table with chairs for eating outdoors. Jacuzzi on the veranda, view of the Marina and pool, pool very clean with plenty of lounge chairs. Our unit did not have a phone- bring your cell! Also, there are almost no staff here, no concierge, no brochures, no guidance for your vacation, no big welcome- so make sure you've done your research and already know what you want to do.

The Area: South of Cancun about 1 hour 20 minutes for us, we did not experience any construction delays as others have described in the past- very easy drive on one highway the entire way. We found the area perfect for getting to everything we planned to see: 25 minutes North to get to Playa del Carmen, 20 minutes South to get to Tulum, 2 hours 20 minutes to Chichen Itza, 15 minutes North to Xcaret and Xplore, 15 minutes South to Akumal, 1 hour 20 minutes to Coba.

Porto Bello is within a larger tourist development, Puerto Aventuras. There are a few so-so restaurants, a money exchange, ATMs, and shops as well as the Dolphin Discovery Park a short walk from your room. We found enough snacks and basics in the shops to make our breakfast and to pack a simple lunch each day which saved us a lot of money.

The Beach: The beach within Puerto Aventuras is not ideal- rocky, reef (which makes it good for snorkeling though), sandbags sticking up out of the sand where they are trying to save the beach line. There is also very little space for lounging as the hotels take up most of the beach with their chairs and do not allow you to sit unless you pay for a daily pass. We were told $20 a day to sit under a palapa at Hotel Omni. The pool/beach bar at the Omni served us, no happy hour, but decent prices and okay drinks.

Some Must Do's from our trip:

-Rent a car. I would not stay at the Porto Bello unless you plan on having a car. There really isn't much to do within the complex.

-Stop in Puerto Morelos on your way from the Airport and eat on the deck at Pelicano's. Get the fish Tikin Xic- amazing!

-Go to the Tulum ruins- pack a lunch, drinks, and wear your bathing suite. See the ruins and then spend the rest of the day swimming on the beach with the ruins in the background- big waves, clear water, and a beautiful view! Bring a hat, no shade whatsoever on this beautiful beach.

- Go to dinner in Playa del Carmen each night- really great restaurants and nightlife. Definitely eat at Yaxche and try their Mayan Margarita- also amazing!

- Spend a day at Chichen Itza, bring a hat- stop at some of the cenotes near Akumal to swim on your way back.

-Go to Xcaret, get there early because there's a lot to see. Swim the underground rivers, snorkel, and definitely stay for the show in the evening. It's really expensive but we were really glad we went.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank BostonVacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nc
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2009

Had a great mini vacation in Puerto Aventuras. We did not do a lot of research and did not know what to expect. The Porto Bello Marina is in a great location, near the dolphins and other sea animals and a handful of restaurants. There are fewer units than I would have guessed and the other guests were mostly owners - we did an Interval swap. The owners seemed to all know each other very well. Several of the owners were very nice and offered some great advice regarding restaurants and day trips - they really made the difference. We did feel a little self-conscious about our young children as most of the owners were retired and there was only one other child there (whom our kids had a great time with). Enjoyed watching the fishing charters come in with the days catch.

Pros: Loved Akumal - snorkleing, going to Playa Del Carmen at night, and Tulum - again Playa Aventuras is central to all of this. Great houskeeping. Rooms were great.

Cons: not a great beach at the Omni. Staff was nice, but really not around much. I inquired about a purchase, and no one followed up.

We hope to come back next year.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ragman2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pasadena, CA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2008

Signed up for some more cave diving classes through ProTec Diving in Playa Del Carmen. Since Puerto Aventuras is closer to the Cenotes than Playa is, and since ProTec was willing to pick me up at my hotel I decided to switch my IntervalWorld timeshare to Porto Bello.

My unit was a 2-floor 2-bed 2-Bath Full Kitchen Villa. The Jacuzzi bath on the balcony outside the Master Bedroom was nice to come home to after 11hr days of cave training. Everything worked well in the kitchen, and the Wired Ethernet internet connection was very reliable. The other owners I met were super friendly and told me where the best part of the reef was for snorkling. The reef outside the Omni is really quite healthy-shallow, good visability, I saw 2 turtles, 2 different kinds of rays, star fish, and tons of reef fish in less then two hours. Massive staghorn & elkhorn coral with brain corals interspersed througout. The Marina has lots of fishing/sailing/parasailing boats for charter if that is your thing. A smattering of good restaurants surround the marina and it was peaceful and quiet.

Some negative points:
SINCE the main highway is under construction for the next 6months, there is very heavy traffic on the road. To get to Puerto Aventuras from Playa del Carmen should take ~20min, but it will actually take more like ~1hr since the last 6 miles will require that you sit through the southbound traffic, get past the construction, hit the turnaround, then sit through the northbound traffic. This is a serious waste of vacation time and I can't imagine how it is going to be during high season!!
PORTO BELLO is a small operation-this was fine for me, I just need a Bed and a Head, but if you are expecting room service, in-hotel restaurants, and an available concierge this is not your place. They have no elevator, so be prepared to lug your 50lbs of scuba gear up and down 3 flights of stairs twice a day if you are on the top floor. I experienced a very short electrical outage and a short water outage in my 1 week stay.
THE MARINA: Some people like the dolphin shows and the dolphin interaction where you can pay $150 to pet them for 10minutes, but I am always really depressed when I see imprisoned dolphins. The seals and sea lions don't generate the $$$ that the dolphins do and their prisons are inhumanly small. While the dolphins get all the fish they want and great medical care I still feel horrible for all the animals there.

All in All Porto Bello offers a nice villa with good access to the marina, cenotes and the Omni's nice reef. I would reccomend them to any independant traveller who doesn't need to be coddled by their resort. I would like to return.

  • Liked — Jacuzzi, Internet Access
  • Disliked — Traffic (NOT Porto Bellos fault, but is a serious problem-construction should be done by Apr2009)
  • Stayed November 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank satsujinsha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
94 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2008

This property is amazing (see my pictures for villa layouts)!!! Everything was immaculately clean, service from the Operations Office was excellent at all times, even before arriving to the property. I connected via email with the Operations Office staff in advance to schedule check in options, questions about the property, etc. and never had to wait more than a day for an email response. Hector Garcia, the Assistant for the Operations Office for Porto Bello, was unbelievably helpful. His boss, Malinali Berroeta, was also great. But Hector truly went out of his way the whole time! I booked this property through Interval International and stayed for a week to celebrate my honeymoon. With all the Interval fees, it came to $475 for the whole week! I was able to book a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom villa and having the amazing space was great! Full kitchen, jacuzzi on the terrace, modern decor, you name it, we had it! The best part was that we could literally walk out of our villa and see the Dolphin Discovery dolphins! Can you imagine having breakfast every morning and being able to see the dolphins playing together so closely? Amazing experience...the Puerto Aventuras restaurants are quite good...I highly recommend Dos Chiles for breakfast...don't waste your time with "The Pub" or "Richard's Steakhouse", not worth it! Also highly recommend Tiramisu for pretty good "Mexican Italian"...prices are not terribly high at all of these...a fish fillet for $13 for the most part...can't beat that! What we most loved about Puerto Aventuras was the fact that we had a central location to wander around with our rental car. If you are in Puerto Aventuras, do not miss out on going to Akumal! You pay a fisherman $20 and take a short boat ride to where you can swim with sea turtles! Don't waste your time and money with the diving and snorkeling tours place (Akumal Dive)...Also, in Akumal go to Yal-Ku lagoon...very beautiful and good snorkeling. All in all, I would go back to Porto Bello Marina Villas in a heartbeat! Also close to Puerto Aventuras are a bunch of "cenotes" (google this, you will be mesmerized) heading south on route 307...do not leave Riviera Maya without seeing these beautiful nature gifts!

Other "perks": free internet access (not wireless, but all you have to do is plug in your laptop to a cable that Operations Office gives you and you have unlimited internet access in your villa for free!); you can wash and dry a load of clothes for $7 and they will even fold all the clothes for you! Just drop it off in the laundry room and they bring it all back to you when it is ready...pay $3.50 and they put a big bottle of water (those that they do for office water coolers) in your villa...worth it to do this, the water at Porto Bello is NOT purified!!!; also, free parking right in front of your villa!

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Boricua1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Hills, CA
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2008

This is a PROS VS CONS review

First let me say I had a totally amazing time here! I really don't have any complaints about my stay or the area - but if I'm going to nit pick here goes:

PROS:
- SO many animals in one location it's like sea world when you walk out your bedroom door. the place has dolphins, sea lions, a sting ray, manatee (and for some cash you can swim with all of them).
- It's a great location if you plan on going to see a bunch of sights like Talum or Xcaret. It's smack in the middle. 15 minutes to the right is Playa Del Carmen and 30 minutes to the left is Akumel.
- There are a handful of cute little shops and places to eat and walk around.
-The rooms are beautiful! Marble floors, big showers, nice kitchens, jacuzzi on the patio!
- Free Internet
- If you go in offseason it's totally quiet and sooo mellow.
- If you don't mind a 5 minute walk - The Omni has amazing Mexican food and a beautiful view!!!

CONS:
-The beds are uncomfortable unless you like hard beds - I'm more into the plush Heavenly beds you get at Westin. I finally got some sleep after about the 3rd night
- MOSQUITOS GALORE! Bring your OFF!
The pool is OK, but a 5 minute walk over to the Omni gives you a much nicer pool and a beach.
-NO BEACH. The beach is at the Omni and you have to pay to sit at it.
- No gym. The gym is at the Omni and you have to pay to workout in it.
- No swim up bar at the pool. Again, take your butt over to the Omni for your margaritas.
- This place is about an hour taxi drive from the airport and will cost you about $70.
- The only real night life and good shopping is in Playa Del Carmen which is 15 minutes away (and they have monkeys there - yay) but that's $16 cab ride there and a $16 cab ride back
- There are a bunch of stray cats and dogs everywhere in Mexico and if you're like me, you constantly feel bad for them and want to take everyone of them home.

Other than that - Porto Bello was great!!! They have section I, II abd are building III. I suggest building II (where we stayed). It's much closer to everything - including the sea life!

  • Liked — The sea animals on the grounds
  • Disliked — the bed was hard and the mosquitos
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank shanzy288
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Porto Bello Private Residence Club

Property: Porto Bello Private Residence Club
Address: Puerto Aventuras, Bahia de Xcacel Lote 9 MZ 923 | Plano 01, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Amenities:
Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Number of rooms: 64
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience Porto Bello Private Residence Club inside the beautiful gated Beach, Marina and Golf Resort of Puerto Aventuras. Porto Bello is a Flagship property of Puerto Aventuras that offers a wonderful hassle free lifestyle in Marina View home size full equipped 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. Vacation Rentals available per night, week and month. Send us an email at to find out about our season rates and experience the personal services of our concierge even before you arrive. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Porto Bello Marina And Villas
Porto Bello Marina & Villas Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Porto Bello Marina Hotel
Porto Bello Private Residence Club Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Aventuras

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