Tag: Playa Del Carmen

On the second night, we were really craving raw fish, so we actually opted to go a bit more “local” local and dined at a sushi spot called Nikkori recommended by one of the staff members at Mahekal.

Here’s the review:

  • Pros: Good sushi, good portions, not infested with other tourists (which can be a huge blessing at times)
  • Cons: Not all items on menu are available, and there seems to be continued manifestation of language barriers that can make ordering complicated based upon extensive menu options (e.g. ordering a Sashmi versus a “Sashimi Special” which is supposed to come with ponzu and sliced serranos – something that is very difficult to describe in two different languages when it comes out different than expected)
  • Must Try: Tuna Cocktail
  • Know Before You Go: You should expect to be flexible if you’re ordering wine, as their menu versus what’s available may differ drastically

Til Next Time,

Michael

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Yaxche – slightly touristy, but still completely Mayan

I’m going to try and focus on a lot of the meals we ate and give quick, simple tidbits about each. Starting in Playa Del Carmen, our first night we went to a highly-recommended spot called Yaxche, and explored the vibrate 5th Ave (“Avenida 5″) district.

Here’s the review for Paxche:

  • Pros: Good “authentic” Mayan food, good/spacious restaurant layout
  • Cons: A bit touristy, outside dining can get very sticky (this should have been obvious, but it was actually kind of deceiving upon entry)
  • Must Try: Duck Tacos (“Kuts Tacos”)
  • Know Before You Go: There are a lot of panhandlers and gimmicks in the area, so tread carefully before engaging in dialogue with any of the vendors (although – on a related note – Yaxche did have a guy taking photos of couples at their tables and came back around with your image on a tequila bottle with the date/name of restaurant… I told myself I’d pay up to $20 for a novelty item like that and ended up talking him down to 200 Pesos, so I was a happy camper even though I probably didn’t heed my own advice)

As far as Kitxen goes, we were very excited to find a spot that had local, live music. It was funny, too, that almost every other song was a cover of a catchy American tune (a nice touch that showed how much influence our music has internationally – and how much the people of the area enjoy catering to their main tourists). “Avenida 5″ as a whole is a blast – tons of little shops and boutiques where you can get some great deals and practice your Spanish and negotiation skills.

Til Next Time,

Michael

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I wanted to also review the dining experience at our hotel (Mahekal) – where we had a meal plan that included breakfast and dinner (which we were able to switch out for lunch each day, a highly-recommended decision in my opinion).

Here’s the review:

  • Pros: Good/consistent food, convenient
  • Cons: Limited options around the property, and menu remains largely the same every day
  • Must Try: Breakfast quesadillas (hand made by onsite chef if/when available)
  • Know Before You Go: You can dine anywhere around the property for lunch and still get the lunch menu/free meal swap (instead of eating dinner, you trade out for lunch) – just be nice to the staff and they’ll help serve you wherever you like (by the beach, by the pool, etc)

Til Next Time,

Michael

On the first two days of the trip, we opted to stay somewhere a little more modernized and relaxed – as we knew the latter part of the trip had much more exploring and charm in store. Thus, we decided to stay at Mahekal, a fairly luxurious beachfront spot which seemed to have a lot of the things we were looking for in the area (which – as I’m sure you may believe if you’ve ever searched – is actually really difficult to triangulate and arrive at an option that meets “most” of your wants/needs in the area).

Here’s the review:

  • Location: The location is great, as it is actually within short walking distance of the bustling Fifth Avenue shopping/dining/entertainment district in Playa Del Carmen. But it also feels like a secluded oasis, as the grounds and beach scene make it seem like this could be the only such resort for miles. A HUGE plus is that the resort is right next to an Oxo (convenience store), which is great for necessities like personal hygiene items, water, or other beverages.
  • Facilities: The facilities are great, and the only downside may be the volume of seaweed on the beaches (very common to the area though). The beach area has tiki huts, cabanas, and suspended day beds. The views  are incredible, and can be even nicer from your own room if you have an ocean view (pictures at the end of the post).
  • Amenities: The amenities are great as well, as they have several pools, bars, restaurants, and a clubhouse area loaded with TV’s, ping pong, and billiards. If you consider meal plans an amenity, theirs is great and flexible – allowing you to trade out meals if you prefer to dine in town for certain meals.
  • Staff: The staff are very friendly and helpful. The bartenders and servers will help provide you whatever you need wherever you are throughout the property. They are also helpful with nightlife/food recommendations throughout town.
  • Rooms: I was very impressed with the rooms, and a nice bonus is that each room gets two hammocks to suspend from your balcony/terrace seating area.
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View from balcony out onto beach with palapa umbrellas and chairs

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The room, very nice with an authentic palapa style roof

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The infinity pool, which has its own bar and restaurant – the same area where breakfast is served

Til Next Time,

Michael

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The ruins at Tulum

Apologies for the long layoff on content! Over the past couple of weeks, I had been pretty wrapped up at work with an offsite conference as well as trying to do as much as possible in advance of a much-anticipated week off. Hence this post…

This past week, I took the opportunity to travel to Mexico with my significant other (SO). It was a wonderful time and I want to take some space on the blog over the next few weeks to document some of the great places we went and also offer some of my own lessons learned, tips, tricks, and other notes. Prior to departing, we found ourselves struggling to find many independent blogs or articles that reviewed a lot of the places we wanted to go (searching reviews from TripAdvisor and Booking.com and the likes can be incredibly mind-numbing). So we decided to come back and document as much as we could in the hopes that one day, someone may profit from our experience. Or – if not – we could at least have the documented information to lean on when we plan our next getaway to Riviera Maya.

A couple of the awesome places we visited that I will be sharing more information about and photos from in the coming weeks:

  • Playa Del Carmen
    • Hotel: Mahekal
    • Dining: Mahekal, Paxche,
    • Nightlife/Entertainment: Fifth Avenue (“Avenida 5″), Kitxen
  • Tulum
    • Hotels: Rosa del Viento, Livetulum
    • Dining: Casa Jaguar, Casa Banana, Posada Margherita, MamaMuu, Cetli
    • Nightlife/Entertainment: Gitano, Manuel’s, 2×99 Happy Hour
    • Sightseeing: Tulum Ruins, Dos Ojos Cenote

Again, sorry for the hiatus and stay tuned for more to come… I promise I’ll try to tie it back in to the blog’s overarching theme somehow or another.

Til Next Time,

Michael

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