Just back from Villas Mayas Bungalows
we have been going to the Riviera Maya for about 10 years, and the past 5 have been at the Villa Mayas Bungalows, part of the Akumal Caribe complex. Even though the price has crept up considerably, we love the privateness of the gardens, and the spacious, airy bungalow rooms. This time we were put in one of the green trimmed bungalows near the hotel - big disappointment. Much smaller room, with only one opening window. After about an hour, we decided to approach the desk to try and get one of the bigger rooms. Barth was very accommodating, and did get us into one of the nicer bungalow rooms in the garden area.
This was the first time we have been there in March (we usually go in late January), and found the weather to be slightly warmer as was the water temp. There was more seaweed than I've ever seen - Half Moon looked especially uninviting. There also seemed to be slightly more people on the beachs this time of year. Unfortunately, the snorkeling tours at Akumal Bay are as relentless as ever - however the snorkeling was the best we have ever seen - turtles were everywhere! Did a morning at Yal-Ku, we were the first ones there. Very pleasant and peaceful at 9:00. The price here has also crept up.
Dining - Lol-Ha snack bar is always reliable for a good lunch or casual dinner - never disappointed. El Capitan in Tulum was very good, fish cooked Mayan style. We went to Tequillaville on a Sunday evening - big mistake. Apparently Sunday night in the pueblo is beer by the bucket drinking time. The restaurant was full of young guys trying to drink as many beers as possible. The one waiter totally ignored us. We left. Wound up at Turtle Bay, which has always been one of my favorites. I got one of their killer burgers, my wife had a gargantuan salad with shrimp. Haven't been to Ultimo Maya in years, we decided to try it the next night. What a pleasant surprise. Alfredo the owner is the perfect host, and the food was 5* quality. Wife had the coconut shrimp, I had the fish in poblano cheese sauce - wow for both, especially with an Indio beer.
In the past 10 years we have seen this whole area become so much more commercialized and crowded, with a new AI popping up every few miles, and garish billboards all along the highway. Hated to see the cement blockish looking Secrets Akumal poking above the palm trees next to the Akumal Caribe. Rumor is that the Bush family were pressured by the government to sell land to Secrets.
Despite the changes, there's no place with the magic of Akumal, and we'll be back.