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“The oldest and coziest family owned hotel in Quintana Roo”

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Hotel Akumal Caribe
Ranked #17 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“The oldest and coziest family owned hotel in Quintana Roo”
Reviewed 27 February 2013

I have been to this hotel repeatedly in my life and changes are slight and it never wears on me. This may be the oldest hotel on the entire Mexican caribe coast, pre-dating the invention of Cancun and the construction of Mex 307 highway. Its original owner and founder was Pablo Bush Romero, who ran a private diver's club in Mexico City and built it as a base camp for their diving expeditions. To my knowledge it is still owned by the Bush Romero family. They work hard to keep it up, keep it simple and keep it affordable to the thousands of loyal visitors who come back to this hotel over and over again in the course of decades. Over the decades I have seen it change in small, incremental ways. Even as late as 2004 there were no televisions, no telephones and no Internet anywhere on the property. The rooms are simple and clean and well serviced. The hotel sits on one of the prettiest beaches you may ever see in your life. There is a small, simple, chlorinated pool next to the hotel, and if you get tired of that, there is a giant, crystal clear, salty pool full of turtles and fish called Akumal Bay right next to that. It is a very affordable place - the kind of place I feel comfortable recommending to friends and relatives of all economic levels. But even though I could probably afford places much more expensive than this, why pay more if you don't have to? This place has it all at a price that is nothing short of a bargain, given its location. The only down side is that during the day the beach can get quite crowded. After decades of sleepiness, the beach has been discovered and tourists from all of the nearby hotels descend on this beach on busy days. Many expensive, big resort hotels lost a good part of their beaches in recent hurricanes - or never really had a good beach to begin with - and now organize tour buses that drop their guests off at the front door of this hotel. But by sun-down, when the crowds are gone, it is the same cozy laid back Akumal that it has been for the last 50 years. Simply the best.

Room Tip: Garden bungalows are cheaper than rooms, but more accessible to the restaurant and bar and more spac...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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3 Thank Zachary_F_N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2013

Our family of 5 (grandma, 2 parents, and kids aged nearly-3 and nearly-6) just returned from an excellent stay at the Hotel Akumal Caribe February 18-24, 2013. We stayed in the adjoining bungalow rooms 116 and 117. This set-up was perfect for us. Grandma and the kids stayed in the room with 2 double beds and the parents stayed in the room with one double bed and a kitchenette. As others have said, the furnishings were on the older side, but I can honestly say it didn’t bother us in the slightest and, in fact, maybe allowed us to be a bit less concerned about the sand and seawater we were constantly tracking through the rooms. We didn’t miss having a sea view at all, as we were mere steps to the sea, Lol-Ha and the excellent casual beach bar/restaurant. We didn’t even need shoes to walk from the bungalow to the beach/restaurant area. Evangelina did a wonderful job keeping our rooms tidy and treating the kids to adorable towel animals on the beds every day.
The hotel’s location is fantastic. It is part of a little town center on the beach, so you can walk to everything, including a few little restaurants, the convenient Super Chomak supermarket, a wash & fold laundry counter, several little souvenir shops and art galleries, etc. Best of all, this little town center area seems to have very good security. We never felt unsafe in any way and we were never harassed AT ALL by vendors trying to sell us things, which was a stark contrast to the morning we spent at the Tulum ruins, where vendors are calling out to you constantly. Going to Tulum made us appreciate that there must be rules against this in Akumal. We dined at Lol-ha and the beach bar/restaurant, which are part of the hotel, and also at a fish restaurant in the beach town center (I don’t know the name) and the Turtle Bakery also in the beach town center. All the food was excellent! We also had a rental car, which enabled us to drive up to La Buena Vida on Half Moon Bay for lunch, which was such a treat--great food in a beautiful location, with lots of character. If we didn’t have the little ones with us, I would have liked to have dined at the adorable treetop tables that are only accessible by ladder! If you don’t have a rental car, you may be able to get there in a rental golf cart. A great idea might be to rent a golf cart, head up to Yal Ku Lagoon for a morning of snorkeling, and then hit La Buena Vida for lunch on the way back.
Back to the hotel . . . ! The beach was absolutely wonderful. It was a lot “busier” than I was expecting since I knew the hotel was on the small side, but I hadn’t realized that it is a public beach, so it was really bustling with all kinds of locals and tourists. Although it wasn’t what I had expected, we ended up really enjoying the happy atmosphere. Also, we had the best of both worlds because there is a subtly-roped-off area of the beach adjacent to the beach bar/restaurant that is only available to hotel guests where you can get set up with some lounge chairs. Even being there during a busy high season week, we could always get lounge chairs even if we didn’t get there until mid-day. Unlike what I hear from a lot of other places, there was no need to claim chairs at 7am! We frequently left our snorkel gear at our chairs while we were down at the beach playing with the kids in the surf and nothing was stolen. We saw a lot of other people doing the same thing, which leads me to believe there is not a lot of theft at this beach. Nevertheless, it was great that our bungalows were so close to the beach because there was no need for us to bring cash to the beach—one of us just ran back when we needed money for lunch. The sand was incredible soft and the water was shallow for a long way out, which was perfect for our little kids to play in!
We found plenty of turtles in the sea grass directly out from the roped-off beach area next to the bar/restaurant. Swimming south, we saw a couple of rays and then came across a bit of coral with colorful fishes. The turtles were more impressive than the coral, but that’s okay! We came for the turtles! And it is great in general (and rare) to have such good snorkeling conveniently located right off the beach, and in front of such an economically priced hotel. Yal Ku was also a great place for snorkeling. It is rocks—not coral—but the fish are plentiful and colorful nonetheless. Also, it is just a really neat place with beautiful paths and statuary. If my kids were older, it would be a great place to rent a palapa and spend half a day lolling around.
We drove ourselves to and from the airport in a rental car. While the road from the airport was actually excellent in terms of pavement, lighting, and signage, and it was really a straight shot and very easy to navigate, our drive from the hotel back to the airport was in the wee hours of the morning and I have to say we were a little concerned to be out driving when it was so dark and desolate, partly because we had been ripped off by a major-brand gas station on that stretch the day prior (they told us our credit card was declined, which was a lie, and made us pay cash, so they charged us twice). We were on to the scheme, but didn’t want trouble, so we just paid our cash like good little gringos and then filed a dispute with the credit card company. But the experience reminded us that the world outside the adorable little Akumal beach center can be sketchier, and it made us a little concerned during our dark drive to the airport the next day. I think next time we would use commercial transfers to and from the airport and just rent golf carts to go to Yal-Ku. The only other place we drove was to the Tulum ruins, and I’m sure we could have done an “excursion” for that if we had wanted to. (And I’m sure we could likewise do an excursion for Xel-Ha if we ever go there, which we did not on this trip because it sounds like that place is expensive and probably better suited to adults and older children).
We have very few suggestions for improvement at this fantastic hotel. First, we wished there would have been drying racks or lines in the locked, windowed porch connecting our bungalow rooms. With so many wet bathing suits, it was hard to find places to hang them around the hotel room. Second, although the “meal plan” is great in that you can save 10% on your food at the hotel, we found that bill-paying often took an extra 20-30 minutes because of all the back-and-forth with the logistics of the card. Some of the servers had the system down pretty well, but others were sort of hopeless about it and you really had to sit there forever waiting to pay. Generally, one of us would stay behind for bill-paying while the other 4 of our party left and got on with their lives. Although I agree vacation is a time to slow down and not be so rushed all the time, you really don’t want to spend an extra 20-30 minutes sitting by yourself at a restaurant merely trying to pay the bill. It seems there should be a way to streamline this process, or at least to train the waitstaff to be more efficient about it.
Not to end on a (minor) negative note, I’ll reiterate that this is a lovely, economical hotel in a fantastic, bustling (but not loud), safe, beautiful location. We would definitely go back!

Room Tip: Bungalows are steps from the beach and restaurants. We didn't miss having a view at all.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2013

This is a very nice little hotel sitting right on a 5 star beach. The rooms are basic but they are clean and well appointed. The staff is fabulous and the grounds and pool area are wonderful!

The free breakfast is a nice bonus and they have a meal plan for the Lol Ha should you choose that option.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Fishee2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grand Junction, Colorado, United States
Level Contributor
249 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2013

If you’re looking for the glitz of a new, sparkly all-inclusive hotel, stop reading now. But, if you want all the amenities that one of those places offer, such as excellent food and service, views, snorkeling, diving, Yoga, spa services, and shopping, all in a quaint-quiet-out-of-the-way setting, then Hotel Akumal Caribe is the place for you.
The hotel and casitas are a bit tired and need some attention, but they are clean and just a few feet from the beautiful beach and pool. Most mornings and evenings, you can see a cruise ship coming and going from Cozumel. (Be sure to take a multi-plug outlet because there are only three outlets in most rooms.) The two lamps and refrigerator take up 2 of them. Some refrigerators can be a bit noisy. Every room has a coffee pot with complimentary coffee on the first day. You can buy more coffee at The Super Chomak located on the right as you enter the resort where Charlene will help you find about anything you need from fresh baked goods to beach toys for the kiddos. No need to take clothes, there is a large inventory of those, too. Some of the rooms have efficiency kitchens, but the best food on the Yucatan can be found at The Lol-Ha Restaurant, so why cook ? The waiters, dressed in their crisp, white guayaberas speak English and do their best to make sure you have a wonderful eating experience during breakfast and dinner. There is usually live entertainment at least two evenings a week. Just ask George about performances while at the front desk when you check in. Be sure to ask about what types of daily excursions can be taken to Tulum, Xel Ha, etc. Also, ask for an Ethernet cable for your computer if you need Internet access. There is wi-fi, but it takes siestas occasionally. It works quite well at the restaurant and The Beach Bar, where you can have lunch, watch TV, or just people watch. Many of the waiters have been there for over 20 years. Check out the yoga schedule at the Akumal Yoga website. Whether you are an expert, or a beginner, or have never been to yoga before, don’t miss this experience with Michael or any of the yogis. The studio is located upstairs in the building to the left of the entrance. After yoga, walk across the road to Budha Garden Spas and book an exquisite massage with Ruby or any of the therapists there. They have a website, too. Do a little shopping next door for authentic Mexican folk art made by local artisans. There is another up-scale shop located just around the curve with everything from unique jewelry to sculptures. For more of a souvenir shopping experience, check out the booths behind The Beach Bar where you can get henna tattoos and a new beaded hair style. For the best coconut ice cream, stop in at Loquitos, then go next door to The Dive Center and book anything from snorkeling to see the turtles, or diving on the reef, or swimming in a cenote. Be sure to follow the rules and don't chase/bother the turtles. There does seem to be an abundance of vans bringing in snorkelers from other resorts. Grab your camera, take morning strolls down the beach, and walk all the way to the rocks. I call it ‘jungle on the beach.’ If you like iguanas, you’ll be there awhile. My last morning, I photographed 36 of the pre-historic critters. There is 24-hour security and we have always felt very safe there. David and Laura are the host and hostess with the most and mostess ! Before you pack, be sure you know what Akumal means.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Kathy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Connecticut
Level Contributor
130 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2013

Another wonderful visit to our favorite getaway. The hotel / bungalow units are the closest you can get to the calm bay. No shoes needed, everywhere is accessible by foot and you do not have to wear sandals to eat in the snack bar area. The bungalows are being updated, with new A/C and platform beds, getting away from the cement platforms found in some hotels. The staff, some there for 30 years, is friendly and efficient. The hot water is almost to hot. The beach is raked every morning. The food is good as are the drinks, but you do pay a little more for them, you are at a resort on the beach with the best views around. We keep going back, even though it has been discovered and sad to say almost overrun with snorkel tour groups, arriving by land and sea. Hopefully there is a way to control this in the future.

Room Tip: The hotel gives you better views of the sea, but you will pay more for them then the bungalows, whic...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank retireandtravelnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2013

Loved this place--kinda like an ole time family resort. Not fancy, not fluffy, but genuinely nice people, thoughtful, funny. Room was very clean. I think it was the original resort in Akumal and had that feel. Food in restaurant was above average; beach was great in the a.m., too crowded in the afternoon. Snorkeling off the beach was the best I've found on the Maya Riviera even with not great water clarity. We saw turtles, sting rays, manta rays, even squid hanging out which I had never seen underwater before.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank diana2341
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brecon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
112 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2013

From the minute I stepped out of the bungalow I had to pinch myself that I was actually in such a beautiful place. The location and experience is a 5 pointer and the accommodation a 4. Akumal is so nice I would definitely return. The accommodation we had was the bungalow with fridge which was very close to the beach, Lol-Ha for Breakfast and Dive Centre. The bungalow was peaceful and private with A/C, fridge and water cooler. Everything was very simple. This was nice, but it was very short of storage space which I understand from the owners is part of the plan to stick to a particular look and feel for the place. This is OK but hard for 2 adults and 2 kids.
The A/C was a bit noisy and the beds hard. We asked for a mattress topper which we got.
These minor points were very much outweighed by the extremely helpful staff who could not do enough to help with anything. They were absolutely great. You feel like you are in a little community in Akumal which is inviting and friendly.
We like many others saw plenty of turtles, the second half of the week had poor visibility so I would suggest staying more than just a weekend if you want more chance of good weather (it had been windy).

Breakfast was pleasant at Lol Ha - continental with coffee refills and very nice.
If you do go shopping I would recommend the supermarket on the highway (orange) about 15 mins drive North towards PDC as the local shops are a bit pricey. My brother did some dives with Scuba Caribe and found them to be fine.
Please please don't harrass the turtles, some visitors were basically chasing them around - there are guidelines at the turtle ecology centre and on the beach.
We loved this place and I hope to return one day.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Heisenberg_uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Akumal Caribe

Property: Hotel Akumal Caribe
Address: Hwy 307, Km 104, Carretera Cancun-Tulum, Akumal 77500, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#11 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Akumal Caribe 3*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The beach in front of Hotel Akumal Caribe. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Caribe Hotel Akumal
Akumal Caribe Hotel
Hotel Akumal Caribe Riviera Maya, Mexico

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