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“Playa Caribe #1”
Review of Playa Caribe

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Playa Caribe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 May 2014

4 of us stayed in Playa Caribe #1 from April 28 to May 5, 2014. We really enjoyed our stay at Playa Caribe and would definitely recommend others give this serious consideration for a convenient, clean, well appointed condo that is fully air conditioned (not just the BR) and has drinkable water (reverse osmosis system) located on quiet street within easy walking distance of very good restaurants and bars. The condo has parking for 3 cars right in front of the unit and additional parking directly across the street for the rest of the occupants. The building has a security guard all night keeping an eye on the building and the cars which made us feel very secure. They also had an onsite manager and daily maid service.

All units surround an atrium open to the sky. Unit #1 is on the first floor furthest from the pool. The condo is located in the middle of Half Moon Bay in Akumal, Mexico.It is a 2BR/2BA condo with a king bed in one BR and two double beds in the other. Both bathrooms are identical and have a tiled shower/bath combo (no shower curtain or doors so showering sprays about half the bathroom) and twin sinks. Both BR are spacious and have sliding glass doors opening to small private concrete decks on the front of the building.

The "master" BR has sliding/folding wicker doors separating the BR from the main living area. While this is nice during the day when you can open the doors and be in the BR and look right out the rear sliding glass doors to the ocean, those doors don't provide any sound deadening or light blocking and you can therefore hear everything happening in the entire condo even when they are closed. This means you can't really sleep in if you are in the "master" BR. The second BR has a solid door and provides a little more sound proofing from the activities in the condo. Unfortunately the second BR has a stained glass window (non opening) that faces the atrium and a sliding glass door facing the parking lot, both of which allow a great deal of light to enter the BR even late at night. The two sleeping in the second BR wore sleep masks in order to be able to sleep. They also were able to hear others entering the condo complex and walking up to the other condos. Both BR have ample closet space, and TV with cable and a DVD player. The "master" BR also has a small safe.

The kitchen was reasonably equipped with fridge, stove top, microwave, toaster, blender and the pots, pans, tupperware, glassware and silverware needed for the four of us. The only thing that we would have liked would have been an oven or toaster oven to reheat pizza and bread. There was a dining room and table with seating for four and a living room with an L shaped, concrete couch with cushions and a single wicker chair. There were also four bar stools surrounding the kitchen counter/bar.

The rear of the unit has sliding glass doors and windows opening out to a concrete patio with a patio table with four chairs. The sand starts immediately at the patio and your are about 75ft and a few steps from the ocean. The pool is on the same level as the condo patio and only about 50 ft to the right as you walk toward the ocean. The pool is fairly small and has two levels; a shallow area about 2-3 ft deep and a step down to about 5 ft deep. The entire pool has a wide flat rim so you can be in the pool with your drink and look out at the ocean - nice.

There are several thatched roof palapas with beach lounge chairs down on the beach and we never had a problem finding an empty chair. We watched turtles surface every time we sat at the beach. People in the upper floor condos said they could see rays swimming from their balconies. The beach is rocky and some type of bootie or foot protection is a must in Half Moon Bay. Akumal Bay is about a half mile south and is almost rock free and a better place for barefoot entry. About a half mile north is Yal Ku lagoon which is a very well maintained private gated area where you can sun and snorkel without waves.

There are four restaurants on the Half Moon Bay road and all are very good and within walking distance although a car, bike or golf cart are appreciated in the heat of the day. We saw lots of cats, a few dogs, a couple Tejon (coatimundi) and agouti running around in the woods by the parking lot which made it fun to see what you could find as you walked up and down the street. There are also two small "convenience" stores within 50-100 yards of the condo and two larger stores in the town of Akumal where you can pick up most anything you would want or need while at the condo. The town of Akumal also has several additional restaurants and bars, adding to the convenience of the Playa Caribe location.

In summary, a very nice condo in a great location well managed and secure. If you are with a group that consists of people who keep the same hours (going to bed and getting up at the same times), this condo is wonderful. If your group has people that want to stay up and read or talk while other want to sleep, the openness would likely be an issue.

Room Tip: # 1-3 are on the first floor. There are three units on each floor. if you select 1-3 you don't h...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 May 2014

My wife and I stayed in Playa Caribe Unit #11 from Apr. 02/14 to Apr. 16/14. This year makes 5 years in a row coming to the Riviera Maya. We stayed at AI’s for the first 4 years and decided to change things up. We are so happy we did!
Reviews often say the same things about their subject, but each of those things is what is important to the reviewer at the time. If we restate the obvious here, it is simply to reinforce what we believe to be true: Playa Caribe #11 may very well be the best condo in the Hidden Gem that is Half-Moon Bay, North Akumal Playa!
An observation: After the first week of our stay, I mentioned to my wife that neither of us had once said “let’s go back to our room to get ready for….” whatever activity we might do next. What we had been saying, without realizing it, was “let’s go home and….” A subtle but telling difference!
Here’s a summary of our experience here.
We booked directly with the owners, Mike & Cathy. Payments made through PayPal. Mike responded to all of our inquiries promptly, and he arranged for our private transfer from the airport to Playa Caribe. The transfer company was at the airport on time with our name on a sign, and on time for our return trip. At our request, the driver stopped at the Chaudraui (grocery store) in Puerto Adventuras for us where we picked up breakfast supplies and refreshments (about ½ hr.). Cost was about $180 (USD) return, plus what we felt was an appropriate tip. Note: all other $ amounts mentioned below are in pesos (MXN). Use your own currency exchange rates.
Arrived at condo a little early, but the cleaning staff let us put our luggage and groceries in the unit anyway. We waited on the balcony where we were truly amazed at the view. The pictures give you some idea of what you will be looking at, but they cannot begin to let you know how mesmerizing that view becomes during your stay. The condo itself is clean, bright, nicely decorated, and with a kitchen with everything we could think of in it including: coffee maker, blender, juicer, small beach cooler, and a good selection of spices. There was a nice Welcome basket with fruit and coffee and a few snacks. Both bedrooms are: large with lots of closet space; exceptionally comfortable King bed in the master; small ocean-view balconies; large en-suite bathrooms w/ double vanities and large, tiled step-in tub/showers, good water pressure and lots of hot water. There are books to read, movies and music CD’s, playing cards and Wi Fi (lost connection a few times, but not a huge bother). The balcony has a table w/ 4 cushioned chairs and a cushioned rocker. There is also an electric grill. The building has its own reverse-osmosis water filtration system. Unlike anywhere else we have stayed in Mexico, we drank from the tap, made coffee and ice-cubes with it, and filled water jugs to refrigerate and drink later. Never a problem!
As mentioned by others, be ready for the stairs! There are 65 stairs! Calf-muscles yelled at me a little for the first week. To paraphrase an earlier reviewer and a great rock band, those 65 stairs were a “stairway to our little piece of Heaven!”
We didn’t use it often, but the pool is clean and refreshing. There was always an available palapa and loungers. Water shoes are a must as the beach entry is rocky for about the first 15-20 feet. The beach was raked every morning. There are bicycles $50/day and golf carts $400/day. We walked everywhere and never felt unsafe for a moment-day or night: Yal-Ku Lagoon (15mins); Akumal Bay (15-20 mins); Akumal Playa (15-20 mins); collectivo at the highway (30-35 mins); Akumal Pueblo across the highway (45-50 mins). All those times are at a fairly leisurely pace; you’re on holidays, you’re in Mexico, its 30°C/86°F. There is also a corner store just across the road for incidentals and replacing refreshments.
The staff were all very helpful and unobtrusive. You could tell they took great pride in their work and were appreciative of your generosity. My hat goes off to Agustin (reservation manager), Alfredo and Luis (maintenance), and particularly the Patricias and Anna (housekeeping).
There are lots of restaurants to choose from. The ones we visited are reviewed elsewhere.
There are 2 dive shops. One beside La Buena Vida, and the other beside the Eco Centre. They will take you snorkelling, diving or fishing. If you want to explore a bit, talk to Agustin. He was always helpful and knowledgeable. Collectivo fare is about $35/person: Akumal Playa to Playa del Carmen or to Tulum. Taxi fare about $350: Akumal Playa to Tulum or to Xcaret. Ferry to Cozumel $163/person one-way. Recommend buying one-way tickets as this lets you choose which company to use on your return trip. They run every hour, but each company alternates. If you buy return tickets, you will have to wait for that company’s ferry. Cozumel was fun. If you are a diver, go! If you are going strictly to snorkel, stay where you are; Yal-Ku is great, Akumal Bay is home to some very large Green Sea Turtles you can swim with (one of our favourite thing to do), all kinds of Rays and fish, and there are all-kinds of cenotes to visit – one of our favourites was Dos Ojos (about a half-hour south).
In closing: enjoy your coffee on the balcony with a 180° unobstructed view of the most amazing Sunrises anywhere, have breakfast without having to go anywhere, chill on the beach or the balcony with your favourite book, go for a walk, dip in the ocean or the pool, watch the Moonrise while listening to the waves, watch Magnificent Frigate birds and Pelicans soar, watch for Pablito, Bob and Scute (we nicknamed 3 of the Tortugas/Turtles) pop up for air right in front of you in Half Moon Bay, savour the quiet, smile when you realize how many times you have sighed with contentment that day!
Pack lightly. Everywhere you can go within walking distance is a relaxed sandal/barefoot/T-shirt kind of place. We believe that you will be glad you picked Playa Caribe #11, and that you too will say “let’s go home!”

Room Tip: #5,8 &11 for unobstructed 180° Views! You really can't go wrong with any unit.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Lara_Rob214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2014

We just came back from the most wonderful vacation in Akumal. We loved Playa Caribe Unit # 11. It had everything we wanted and more!! A fabulous location right on the beach, breathtaking views and unexpected amenities which made our stay even more special. The condo was impecable, the staff very friendly and helpful. We loved the Buena Vida Restaurant which was within walking distance, the mini supermarket across the street and the Corner Store were great places to pick up some basic necessities. Akumal Bay was so beautiful!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Berta0613
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2014

Before booking Playa Caribe, I checked all the room tips on TA and decided that I should try and book the rooms with the 180 degree ocean views. None of those rooms were available so I finally booked room #6, which overlooks the swimming pool and is on the second floor .The view of the ocean is still fantastic!

The apartment was so cute, an ideal for vacation holidays. #6 has a white theme going for it so it looks amazingly clean and bright. There is fantastic natural light that comes in from both ends of the apartments and lovely ocean breeze - should you choose not to use the airc onditioning. The bathrooms were also immaculate.The decoration is very quaint. Paper mache handicrafts and paintings make the whole place very cozy.

The maid came in everyday and cleaned the whole place, made our beds, and washed dishes etc.

We had no problems with air conditioning, shower pressure and drank water from the tap. There was no mildewy odor that you sometimes have in beach side apartments.The only issue was non functional internet. I didnt care since I wanted to be off the internet but my husband felt the loss.

The kitchen was really well stocked though we only cooked breakfast and used the fridge for cold beer.They have a small swimming pool which looks great for kids.

Getting into the ocean in front of the apartment was a bit tough.There were a lot of rocks at the water edge so we had to walk gingerly but we could snorkel a bit. The entire Half Moon Bay is probably like this but we didnt try other areas and went straight to the very calm Akumal Bay - half a mile's walk - for snorkeling (Saw huge turtles!). Snorkeling at the Yal Ku lagoon was amazing too!

If you can manage with a bit of spanish and love local cuisine go to 'Taco Maya'. Its a lovely family run restaurant with very easy prices We also had some lovely dinners at Buena Vida.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank Noella D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2014

Playa Caribe truly exceeded all (four friends) our expectations! The staff was friendly and knowledgeable, the ocean front views from our extremely comfortable unit were breathtaking, and the location was ideal. The staff did an excellent job cleaning, not just making beds, but actually cleaning our room on a daily basis. The kitchen was well equipped (owner must like to entertain) and easy to use. It was also a real treat to be able to drink the water right out of the tap! The AC worked great when we needed it, but we all preferred opening things up to feel the ocean breezes. The infinity pool which overlooks the ocean was a real plus and never crowded. We had a car for day trips, but easily walked to snorkeling, beach dining, shopping, and massages right from our condo. During our stay we peeked inside a few of the other units and they all looked inviting; however, our unit looked like something out of a Tommy Bahama ad. We would definitely stay in #7 again.

Room Tip: Unit #7 has beautiful ocean views!
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Martin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2014

Our family (wife and I and two kids, ages 10 and 7) stayed at Playa Caribe from March 31 through April 6. The condo (#4) was very clean and centrally located. Most reviews of the place highlight the cleanliness and the water quality (drinkable!), so I will dispense with that.
We liked the condo for its location. We walked to Yal Ku Lagoon for snorkeling one day and it was a pretty easy walk (Yal Ku takes only cash so I had to jog back to Playa Caribe then back to the lagoon). We also walked to Akumal beach 3 or 4 times for food and the beach. The kids complained one day about the heat, but it is an easy 20 minute saunter. We always felt safe. Playa Caribe has a small pool, and the kids enjoyed that, even though the ocean is right there. Half Moon Bay has excellent snorkeling - many different fish and coral formations. The strong winds and rough surf while we were there decreased the visibility and made it unwise for the kids to go out, but I saw sea turtles, angel fish, parrot fish and Flamingo Tongue snails (among other creatures) in Half Moon Bay. We were told that the winds and surf were a bit unusual. Playa Caribe is also near Xel Ha, which we visited one day. We took a 250 peso cab to the park and spent 300 to get home. That's roughly $45 for four people, round trip. Xel Ha was great; snorkeling, zip lines, lazy river, etc. We also went to Rio Secreto one day. The entire trip took about 6 hours, but we were only in the cave for about 40 minutes. We all thought the cave was fun and interesting. Yal Ku Lagoon was full of fish, mostly schools of 6 to 7 inch "sardines" (little silver fish someone said were sardines). The snorkeling there and at Xel Ha was very easy and the visibility was excellent. Finally, we went to Akumal and hired a guide out of the Akumal Dive Shop. We saw 11 sea turtles in the 45 minutes we snorkeled. The guide, Antonio, showed us two sea turtles within 4 minutes of getting in the water. We also saw a ray, fish and coral. Again, the visibility was sub-optimal due to the weather, but we still felt it was well worth the $25/person. Antonio was especially good with the kids; he took a life preserver to tow my daughter, since she was a little reticent to snorkel in the ocean. She didn't use it, but having that available helped to allay her fears. Tip - as you enter the beach area you will be approached by young guys offering you snorkeling tours through different operators. I cannot comment on the quality of those places, but I can unequivocally vouch for the Akumal Dive Shop.
Dining: The condo was well-equipped with plates, silverware, pots and pans, but we ate out most evenings. Everyone has different expectations of restaurants and bars, but for what it's worth, we liked La Lunita, not so keen on Gynn Ak, so-so on La Buena Vida. All three places are within a few blocks of Playa Caribe. One evening we walked north to Que Onda, near Yal Ku Lagoon. It had very good pasta. Turtle Bay Cafe (in Akumal) was the best place we ate. One morning we arrived just as it opened and bought fresh, warm cinnamon rolls. Unbelievably good, but get there early because we went back at 8:45 the next day and they had already sold out.
Agustin, Playa Caribe's on-site manager was very helpful. He made cab arrangements and gave us information on activities. He was a good resource.
We recommend Playa Caribe for couples, families or anyone looking for a clean, well-located, well-priced beach-side condo in the Akumal area.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Doug S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2014

We stayed over March break in condo 12. What a wonderful spot.
Lovely Mexican decor. Spacious balcony, great view. Kitchen has absolutely everything you need.
Big 2 bedroom unit with 2 bathroom and all the amenities even a first aid kit. So great to be able to drink the water.
Half moon bay is lovely and shallow for beginning snorkelers, be sure to bring water shoes or fins as the coral is hard on tender footed toes and goes all around the bay. We were surprised how many folks had not brought any we loaned ours daily.
Bought fruit at the market on wed/sat in Akumal pueblo and groceries at the Chedraui supermarket in Aventuras.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank kaypeaDeltaBc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Playa Caribe

Address: Lote 34 | Half Moon Bay, Akumal, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 24 Speciality Lodging in Akumal
Price Range: £110 - £284 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playa Caribe consists of twelve 2 bedroom condos and 3 studios. Generally regarded as the best on Halfmoon Bay. We have the only water treatment (RO) system that allows you to use and drink the water safely just like home. We have a pool and are centrally located to all that the Akumal area has to offer. Some of the best snorkeling is right off our beach. You will see turtles all year round right from our patio. Hope to see you soon in paradise. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Playa Caribe Hotel Akumal
Playa Caribe Riviera Maya, Mexico - Akumal

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