Playa del Carmen
Franchise operation 100% Natural has a foothold on Fifth Avenue ("Quinta Avenida"), the main drag in Playa del Carmen (between Calle 10 & 12). It serves up veggie pastas & soups, and fresh fish, meat and poultry, which you can eat in their tropical courtyard garden.
Just south of Playa is Ikal del Mar, with thirty beautiful, thatched villas, scattered throughout its lush grounds (the hotel prides itself on the fact that no trees were cut down during its construction).
Brighton-based Andy Budd was a guest earlier this month. Andy’s…
Sunday is traditionally a day to head to the beach – even more so last weekend as local families celebrating Día de la Familia mingled with the tourists.
Check the status of the hotels in Playa del Carmen.
South of Cancún, two diminutive hotels that have caught my eye recently are the Básico in Playa del Carmen, and the Mezzanine, close to the Tulum ruins.
Both first opened less than two years ago. Both are minimalist in name and style… but you do need fairly deep pockets (doubles at the Básico start at US$150; US$170 at Mezzanine).
Básico has just scooped the best "small hotel" accolade in Travel + Leisure magazine’s second annual Design Awards. The T + L jury singled out the Básico (pictured, right) as "small-scale and casual, slightly unkempt and very chic".
The kind of hotel where "you can throw your flip-flops anywhere."
Further down the…
Another batch of trip reports from the Riviera Maya…
Marsha and Adam Smith painted a serene picture of a recent trip to Cabañas Ana y Jose in Tulum to attend a friend’s wedding.
"The hotel was beautiful (although the restaurant was a little expensive)," Marsha wrote, "but otherwise we really enjoyed our stay there… the beach, the friendly staff, towel art… and best of all, our friends who we don’t see often."
"They had fixed almost everything [by January 3rd] Jenn emailed.
Elsewhere on this blog I’ve written…
A summary of the exchanges I’ve had with travellers over the past few days…
Dima Glushkov took this photo (right) poolside at the Riu Cancún on January 29th… "the colours of the sea were incredible," he says.
Katherine Welton wrote me a long email following her week-long stay at the all-inclusive El Dorado Royale from January 21st – 27th. The resort is located on the Punta Brava beach a couple of miles to the south of Puerto Morelos.
"With the exception of the palm trees, you’d never know that there had been a hurricane," Katherine wrote.
Earlier in January, Rebecca Lupton stayed at the same resort. She echoed Katherine’s observations: "Roughed-up palm trees told…
Cancún-based Grupo Anderson’s flagship restaurants Carlos ‘n Charlie’s and Señor Frog’s are magnets for tourists staying in resort.
The three Blue Parrot hotel properties – all of which are 100-300m from the Beach Club – were undamaged and have been fully operational since shortly after Wilma.
Verena filled me in on their ‘Wilma experience’.
Amazing to compare the photo (right), taken on October 22nd on day two of the hurricane, with the tranquil pre-nuptial scene on the same stretch of beach on December 17th.
Las Palapas re-opened on November 10th with 25 rooms – about a third of its capacity – but were operating normally by December 15th in time for a busy Christmas.
Playa del Carmen was also where Barcelona-based Oliver Hoffmann and his wife spent a week in December.
Ellen and Jim Fields returned to the Riviera Maya last weekend. They more or less traversed the same route as on their previous visit at the end of November.
You can read Ellen’s largely very positive report here.
The word on Tulum is that things are practically back to their pre-Wilma state.
Ellen and Jim dropped in on Paola Sbrizzi at Hemingway’s. As a measure of the speedy recovery along this strip of coast, Paola has already completely rebuilt her restaurant, which overlooks the Caribbean.
Further up the coast, there is practically no evidence of a hurricane ever passing over Playa del Carmen – at least on the blocks immediately behind the beach. …