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“Reef Penthouse is the best”

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The Reef Condominiums
Ranked #11 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Akumal
Little Rock, Arkansas
1 review
“Reef Penthouse is the best”
Reviewed 22 December 2010

Having stayed in many places in Akumal for the past 20 years, the Penthouse at the Reef is our favorite. The unit is oriented parallel to the beach, so all rooms face the ocean to the east and the jungle to the west. Lots of outdoor balconies on both east and west as well for viewing both sunrise and sunset. Third floor at top of building is private and quiet. Owner is American living in Mexico and has lots of great tips for appreciating the local culture.

  • Stayed January 2010
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Helpful?
Thank arkansastraveler0954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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43 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Brandon, Canada
1 review
Reviewed 20 December 2010

We stayed in THE PENTHOUSE of the Reef Condos. There were six adults and we found it very spacious. There are two bedrooms (1 King and 2 double beds), 2 bathrooms and a large living area. The balcony is huge and overlooks Half Moon Bay. Though there were 6 adults we never found it crowded. The staff is wonderful. It is a 15 minute walk to Akumal Beach and a variety of good restaurants. If you don't want to snorkel in front of the condo, for a change you can make the 10 minute walk to Yal Ku Lagoon. If you have a vehicle, there is parking right behind the condo. It is a wonderful place to holiday.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank shack5696
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange County, Ca
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 December 2010

Your first words as you open the door to the Penthouse at the Reef will be Ahhhhhhhh...... Every room with breath taking ocean views. I've stayed in the Penthouse probably 6 or 7 times and it is always our first choice for an Akumal trip. It spans the entire 3rd (top) floor of a low rise condominium unit, with the most spacious balconies running the full length of the unit both ocean side and jungle side. Plenty of lounges, tables and chairs to enhance your outdoor experience. Morning coffee on the ocean side to greet the sunrise, and a cocktail on the jungleside for sunset views. Indoor decor is lovely and comfortable, with interesting art pieces from the local area and the owner's other travels.

Whenever we first arrive we run to the balcony to see how long it will take to spot a turtle in the water below. 35 seconds on our last trip! You snorkel with them from the beach in front of the condo, or beautiful Yal Ku lagoon is just a short walk away.

The bedrooms occupy opposite ends of the unit (both with spectacular views and access to the balcony), providing extra privacy for 2 couples, or quiet from the Kids. If you like to cook, you'll find a well supplied kitchen and an outdoor barbeque. If cooking is not your thing several great places to est are walking distance away.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank RVgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder,CO
1 review
Reviewed 13 December 2010

We spent a most relaxing two weeks in The Reef condos in Akumal, MX. Our unit was the Penthouse which takes up the entire 3rd floor. Both bedrooms and the living & dining room have ocean views with a buidling wide balcony. There is also an equally spacious rear terrace adjoining the entrance to the Penthouse. The condo is very well laid out and tastefully decorated with local artistic touches. We took turns dining in and sampling the local cuisine. The social center of Akumal is the Lol Ha bar and lounge (not to be missed at happy hour). There are also several quaint galleries and a small grocery. Snorkeling (from the beach or dive shops) was great fun. We all enjoyed the charm and laid back lifestyle of the Reef Penthouse.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank pg691951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2009

This was our third trip to Akumal, and the Reef was not a good experience. As soon as we entered the breezeway to the condo we were overcome by a powerful odor of mildew. The odor just got worse as we got nearer. The woman showing us in claimed not to smell anything but gave us a can of Glade or something. We suffered through the night, and the next day a male manager agreed that it stunk and had the place re-cleaned (or cleaned in the first place). That improved things to some extent, but really the whole place needed to be Cloroxed down. Plus it just left a bad taste in our mouth that they tried to pawn the place off on us when it stunk so bad. Plus the stove never worked.

We have stayed in the condos next door in the past, also managed by Loco Gringo, and they were great. Quite possibly this Reef owner simply does not pay for sufficient upkeep. In any event, we decided it wasn't worth saving a few bucks to endure a foul odor throughout one's vacation.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank mizzhell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
akumex, Owner at The Reef Condominiums, responded to this review, 10 December 2010
The mustiness in the unit was the result of a well-intentioned effort to reduce the building's carbon footprint. Unfortunately, in the tropics, A/C and fans cannot be left off in an enclosed unit—even when it's unoccupied. We resolved the problem (lesson learned!) and apologize for the unpleasantness experienced during your stay. This was an unusual and temporary situation not reflective of the high standards we maintain at The Reef. Our high return rate by previous guests testifies to that.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
79 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2008

I stayed 3 nights with my family at $110 a night booked through Loco Gringo. Great directions, and easy check in upon arrival in the afternoon. Stayed in a 2nd floor, 2 bedroom condo with everything except a TV (which isn't necessary). One bedroom, and 2 singles for the kids, and the other was a masterbedroom with king bed. The bed was firm and I slept great. Half moon bay is lined with condos, all full of Americans. We were there the week of July 7th. Took a chance with hurricane season, but had great luck with the weather. It is turtle season.

Saw 2 sets of eggs hatch one evening with turtles pouring out onto the beach and into the water, also a turtle came up and laid eggs one night. All withing 100 feet of the condo. All egg sites are marked and dated, so you can figure out which sites to monitor in the evening for turtle hatchings.

Akumal is well situated for visits to Tulum and Xel-ha. Yal-ku lagoon is a ten minute walk, or 1 minute car ride up the beach. Paid $9 to snorkel. My 9 year old loved it. You do need to be able to swim there, as the water is deep enough that you need to be swimming all the time and shouldn't stand on the coral (rock) outcrops anyways.

The beach in front of the hotel is all coral sand, and there is no sand in the ocean, it goes right to a rocky coral bottom. It was kind of choppy our first two nights. The 3rd day we snorkeled in the bay. It was pretty good, saw a sea turtle, live coral, and numerous fish. My wife went the last morning, a little futher out and saw a ray, and a 4-6 foot nurse shark. That was the end of her snorkeling for the trip.

Every evening we walked 5 minutes down the beach to the Buena Vida restaurant and bar for happy hour. Ate there one night and had pretty good fish. I would recommend it to anyone staying at the condos. My kid loved the bar swings, and especially the two treehouses with tables and chairs. You have to climb a ladder, and haul your drinks up in a bucket.

  • Liked — Location right on the beach
  • Disliked — Some might miss a TV or swimming pool, but I didn't.
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bizztravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2008

We booked the Reef through Loco Gringo. Excellent directions were provided to locate the property and the check-in was well organized. Fresh flowers on the table when we arrived and towels folded into the shapes of birds. Nice touch! We stayed in a second floor unit and the view is magnificent. All glass windows across the front and you can see the ocean from your bed. The kitchen is well stocked with cooking utensils and the linens are of reasonably good quality. Something was lost in translation as I found mi esposa flipping eggs with a flyswatter in the A.M. You may thank me later for hiding the flyswatter and purchasing an egg flipper for the utensil tray. There is a large terrace for relaxing. Beds are firm but we have experienced much harder beds in our travels. No T.V. but who needs it in paradise! Daily maid service and they do scrub the place down. Don't bother making the bed - they will only remake it as they are experts and you are just a punter. Yal Ku lagoon is a short 10 minute walk from the Reef and provides a sheltered snorkeling experience at 75 pesos per visitor. Just as good as Xel Ha or Ix Caret but significantly less expensive. The beach in front of The Reef is well maintained with loungers and palapas but the ocean is rocky in most spots once you enter the water. Plan to wear water boots or you will have difficulty wading. There are small grocery stores nearby and a mini-mall at the entrance to the Akumal resort area but they are quite pricey so if possible get your groceries at the large stores in Playa Del Carmen or Tulum. Cervezas and such are much less expensive in Akumal town (much in need of a facelift) across the highway. Take the drive and support the local economy. Just don't try it in a golf cart! Akumal resort area has limited access so security is high if that is your concern. There was a person stationed out back watching the parking lots all night.
This condo is huge, well appointed, and would accommodate a large family in comfort. I would definitely recomend this property to friends for a family vacation.

  • Liked — View and beautifully appointed rooms.
  • Disliked — Too many gringos in the area
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CalgarySnowhater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Reef Condominiums

Property: The Reef Condominiums
Address: Half Moon Bay | North Akumal, Akumal 77730, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beachfront condominiums located on Half Moon Bay. Excellent snorkeling from own beach, and just a few blocks from Yal-Ku lagoon. Building has three 1-bedroom condos on patio level, two 2-bedroom units on 2nd floor, and one 2-bedroom penthouse unit on the 3rd floor. All have private balconies and/or patios, are fully furnished (including full kitchens—not "kitchenettes"), and include daily maid service. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Reef Condominiums Riviera Maya, Mexico - Akumal

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