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#2811 rodent

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    Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:10 AM

    Originally Posted by breeburns 

    Morgan, we also felt like it was dead and we were the only guests there but honestly I loved it! We had pool areas to ourself it was great. Oh and I know what your talking about with being woken up in the middle of the night by that darn squeeky wheeled room service cart! Drove me nuts!! Also our air conditioning in the room was noisy at times, but I think anything would have woken me up to be honest due to the lumpy really hard bed! I know other peoples beds weren't as bad as ours!
    We also did Xplor the day before our wedding with a few of our guests and had a blast! It was definitely excerisize going up those towers and I would suggest to anyone who wants to go bring old running shoes because they will get soaked!! I wore flip flops because I only had brand new runners that I wasn't willing to get wet.
    I'm going to try and post the sneak peeks from our photographer today! We just got them!!

    yeah, we loved feeling like we had the place to ourselves.  We wanted to relax & were not looking for a party.  But, it did get a bit boring on Saturday when we decided to spend the day at the hotel, instead of an excursion.  It's probably because we were up at 5:30am and then in bed by 9pm, probably before the place gets fun.  

     

    I'd recommend people trying to avoid the rooms within hallways.  

     

    I think it would be so much fun with a group for a wedding feeling like you have your own private hotel.  

     

     

     

     

    I packed watershoes for Xplor, but didn't realized you need them for the ziplines too so my tennis shoes got soaked.  I have a photo of my holding them up trying to keep them dry on the waterslide, but that was pointless because there was no hope for them at the lines with water landings.  Luckily they did get dry enough on the balcony for the flight home.  



    #2812 rodent

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      Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:19 AM

      Here is my review. 

       

       

      Pros:

      What we enjoyed the most was that the place was practically empty.  But, as it changes to a Hard Rock, I imagine it will start to fill back up again.  It was really nice having restaurants, pools, and the beach to ourselves several times.  

       

      We really enjoyed the Jacuzzi tubs, but were told during the time-share sales pitch they will be removed.  Probably for the best, since they do waste a lot of water.

       

      24-hour room service was a nice perk, but we never used it.

       

      The drinks were really good with a nice selection of liquor. 

       

      Staff was all very nice and helpful.  Tipping isn’t required, but the staff were all so great we tipped often.

       

      The gym was really great.  I’ve never seen such nice equipment at a hotel.  The spa looked nice too, but we didn’t use it.

       

      The room was nicely stocked with drinks.

       

      The location is great, just a quick trip to Playa del Carmen.  

       

      Lots of iguanas and a few monkeys around the hotel.

       

      We enjoyed the jungly fitness trail and other landscaped areas between the rooms.  Except the one on the far spa end had a pond and therefor tons of mosquitos.

       

      Cons:

      The worst part of our stay, and reason why I would not go back, is that our rooms were so loud.  I think it would be OK if you were not in a hallway with rooms on both sides.  We couldn’t sleep at night with the noise of people coming back from the bars and then the noise of them ordering room service.

       

      The tile walkways were very slippery. 

       

      For such an empty hotel, I was surprised they would only give us a room with 2 full-sized beds.  

       

      The food wasn’t that good and few restaurants were open.  We had dinner in the Italian restaurant, which I kept hearing was their best, and I wasn’t impressed at all.  There was always a nice selection of fruit at least.  My husband liked the food more than I did, so perhaps they are better with cooking meat than vegetables. I liked the beach buffet, but it was closed half of our stay due to rain.  

       

      We were told long pants were required for the nice restaurants.  My husband didn’t pack any and pants were $70 in the hotel shop.  By the end of our trip, we learned they were not enforcing the dress code, but by then we had missed most of our chances to try the other restaurants. I think we would have found it more entertaining if we had gone to a different restaurant each nice, instead of the buffet each time.  I wish we had tried the Mexican restaurant, because it sounded like fun.  

       

      I like a rocky beach with lagoons over a sandy beach and ocean waves, so I thought the beach was fine.  But, the lagoons were not nearly as fun as the Catalonia next door.  We had such a great time kayaking around the Catalonia.  At Aventura Cove, it was more like kayaking in a swimming pool.  You can’t get in the ocean there, either.  It would feel safer with kids though, so this is a great beach for families.

       

      As nice as it was having the place to ourselves, it got boring.  There wasn’t enough to do around the hotel during the day.  The shows started too late for us to enjoy, since we were getting up really early each morning.  You also couldn’t walk to the town from there.  This is where I think it would be a different experience if you were there with friends & family.  We weren’t interested in the pool parties, but it would have been nice to have little activities, like painting ceramics, markets, or early evening shows.  

       

      The rock climbing wall was closed for maintenance, and judging by the condition of the sign, it had been closed a long time.  We were disappointed in this, because we were looking forward to climbing.

       

      We signed up for what we thought was a tour of the changes to Hard Rock.  Instead, it was a cheesy sales pitch to pay for a membership to the hotel.  It was really overpriced.  We told them we paid way less to stay at the Catalonia & they told us how their hotel was so much better, but we really enjoyed the Catalonia so much more.  I can’t believe people would actually purchase this membership plan.  Sounds like such a rip-off.  We did get $100 off an excursion though for sitting through the sales pitch.  Something they had during the sales pitch said the hotel is ranked #3 in the area on Trip Advisor, but right now it’s ranked #13 out of #16 in Puerto Aventuras.  

       

      The bellhops left people’s luggage sitting outside unattended for a long time.  As we were waiting for our van to leave, we saw someone’s bag sit alone for 30 minutes.  It would have been so easy for us to steal a couple of bags on our way out.  

       

      The shuttles to PDC don’t run very often so we never got to take advantage of that.  They also really promote the stay at one, play at the others, but it wasn’t clear how to get to the others.

       

      Overall, this place felt kind of sterile and lacked the character and fun of the Catalonia.  Changing to a Hard Rock will probably be very good for this place, but the Hard Rock brand doesn’t appeal to us, so we will not be back.  If you are there for a wedding, it should be wonderful, since it will be so much fun just having your group together.  For just the two of us, not wanting to pay for an excursion each day, it was lacking.  



      #2813 rodent

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        Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:24 AM

        My Xplor review

         

         

         

        I was so impressed by Xplor.  We showed up early to beat the lines and barely had to wait for the ziplines.  Wear watershoes for the ziplines, because there are water landings.  I didn’t realize this and had planned to change into my watershoes for the river, so I got my tennis shoes soaked.

         

        They say it opens at 9, but I think they will let you in at 8:30.  I think we arrived about 8:45.

         

        The ziplines were very nice, with double lines to make you feel safer.  The stops were very gentle. 

         

        There was a lot of thought in making people comfortable.  As soon as you finish ziplining, there is a juice bar.  The lockers, clean bathrooms, and other amenities make for such a comfortable trip.

         

        The lunch buffet was great.  The food was delicious and the open air restaurant was relaxing.

         

        I loved the photo stations.  They recognize a chip in your helmet and take a photo as you pass by.  Then you can purchase them all when you leave at $45 for one person’s photos, $75 for two and then further discounts for more.  I was impressed by the quality of the photos.  They picked cool backdrops and used flash nicely to make the caves light up.  I also appreciated the group photo stations where you push a button and it takes your photo. I wish they were not all watermarked with their logo, even if you purchase them.

         

        I enjoyed the ziplining and river swim the most, but all activities were nice. 

         

        We paid for transportation, but ended up taking a cab back at 2:00.  Since we didn’t have lines, we were done with everything and ready to get back to our hotel.  We would have just taken a cab there, but we got a deal buying it as a package, since we did the hotel’s timeshare salespitch. I’d recommend just taking a cab or collectivo though and skipping the Xplor transportation.  It’s cheaper to only buy the ticket to get in and we’d prefer to come & go as we want.  The other family riding with us was really late, so we had to wait on them to go.  Finally we convinced the driver to take us & come back from them.  Otherwise we would have missed our advantage of getting there before the long lines.

         

        I didn’t realize that there were 2 circuits of river rafting & driving the vehicles until the day after when I was looking at the brochure.  It also wasn’t clear there were 2 zipline circuits, but we did do both of those.  I’m not sure if the double circuits are more about crowd control so they don’t emphasize doing both.  1 round of rafting and driving was plenty though. 



        #2814 rodent

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          Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:26 AM

          oh and a cab was $20 from aventura.  A collectivo would be ~$3 each, but my husband didn't want to take one.  



          #2815 breeburns

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            Posted 07 June 2012 - 11:33 AM

            hey heres a link to my sneak peeks!! I'm so thrilled with them!

            Getting Ready - Bree.jpg

            Wedding Day - Waiting.jpg

            Weddind Ceremony.jpg

            Wedding Ceremony - Group.jpg

            Wedding Day.jpgWedding Day 2.jpg



            #2816 breeburns

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              Posted 07 June 2012 - 11:38 AM

              And my TTD teasers too (I highly recommend doing TTD it was so much fun and i got to wear my dress again!): 

              Trash the Dress - Cenote 2.jpg

              Trash the Dress - Cenote 1.jpgTrash the Dress - Silhouette.jpgTrash the Dress - Mermaid.jpgTrash the Dress - Beach.jpg



              #2817 jszy10

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                Posted 19 June 2012 - 02:58 PM

                Hey ladies!!  Does anyone know what the details are about using your resort dollars for jewelry??  We will have $500 to spend at ASP and $750 to spend a Cozumel Palace, and I'm debating what I want to do where.



                #2818 breeburns

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                  Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:57 PM

                  JSZY - Chase posted a little while back about the jewelry stores:

                   

                   

                  You are permitted to use $300 of your resort dollars at the fine jewelry stores but only on diamonds and gold.  Also, you can negotiate prices in this store!  Do not pay full price.  You do have to pay 11% taxes.You are permitted to use $100 of your resort dollars in the silver jewelry stores.  Again an 11% charge.  You can negotiate prices in these stores too.

                   



                  #2819 sxcT

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                    Posted 20 June 2012 - 07:01 AM

                    Originally Posted by jszy10 

                    Hey ladies!!  Does anyone know what the details are about using your resort dollars for jewelry??  We will have $500 to spend at ASP and $750 to spend a Cozumel Palace, and I'm debating what I want to do where.


                    Hey Jess!!  When do you leave?  I would really like to know what you think about it when you get back.  I think David and I have both decided to go somewhere else for our 1yr anniversary but same area.  We are thinking Barcelo since its in the same area and we get a huge discount there.  Hope you guys have a fabulous time!!



                    #2820 jszy10

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                      Posted 20 June 2012 - 08:09 AM

                      Thanks Bree!

                       

                      Taryn -- We leave early Saturday morning!!!  I will definitely let you know how our trip goes!  I had friends go to Excellence in Riviera and LOVED it!






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