ABR & WC 4/7 through 4/14

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bassguy66
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2015/04/16 16:14:29 (permalink)
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ABR & WC 4/7 through 4/14

 
Travel/Flights:
Our flight left Boston at around 8:45am, and arrived in Cancun around noon or so (1 hour behind). We did not check any bags, and breezed right through immigration & customs in less than 15 minutes. Sure is nice traveling on a Tuesday!! We used USA Transfers for the drive to Akumal. The van/taxi area just outside the baggage claim area is a zoo, but we found USA with no problems, and were on our way within minutes. A quick stop at 7-11 for a couple cold beers, and we were walking into the lobby at ABR around 1:30pm. Travel home was just as smooth. First time flying on Jet Blue, and I will absolutely use them again…they were stress free and easy.
Check In:
When we first arrived, our room wasn’t ready yet, so we changed into bathing suits, and hit the beach & pool…..of course with a few cocktails mixed in! We went back around 3:30 and they put us in building 1 on the 3rd floor. Unfortunately, our room was behind many trees, and had (zero) view of the ocean. We had requested bldg. 3 through a few emails, and weren’t very happy with the view. We went down to the desk, and requested to be moved. At first they tried telling us they were sold out and had nothing to give us. After letting them know this wasn’t going to be acceptable, we agreed to stay in that room just one night, and be moved the next day. Sure enough, they took care of us, and they upgraded us to a penthouse suite in bldg. 4. The view was to die for, and the room was perfect. There is a lot of talk online about which is the best building to be in, so here is what our thoughts are……Building 1 & 2 are just north of the main lobby & restaurant area. This is also where the main pool is. The beach out front of this area is the most popular, because it close to everything, but most importantly, it’s on the only swimable section of beach. Building 3 & 4 are just south of the main area, and have an UNswimable beach (all rocks). We loved building 3 & 4 as it was so much more quiet, and the walk to the main areas for food and drinks is minimal at best. If we go back, I would request either 3 or 4….with 3 being just about as good as it gets for location (IMO).
Towel Game:
Unfortunately, the towel game is in full effect here, but not in all areas. If you want a spot in front of bldgs. 1 & 2, where the swimable area is, and the main pool….you will need to be up and out claiming your spot by 6-6:30am. I am an early riser, and was up to catch the sunrise almost every morning. I watched people come down and claim their spots like vultures. I watched one lady claim 8 chairs one morning by putting a single flip flop on each one!! There is a sign on every single palapa saying that your things will be removed if left for more than 1 hour, and that reserving chairs is not allowed. Unfortunately, these signs on the palapas are being completely ignored, and hardly enforced by the resort. Now there is some good news. If you go down to the rockier section of beach in front of bldgs. 3 & 4, you could find a palapa or bali bed all day long.
Seaweed:
The seaweed was pretty thick on certain days, and it’s floating just about everywhere. The ABR staff was out there every day doing a great job picking it up each and every day, but it’s a battle that is just about impossible. This is something that ABR does as good as they can with, but until the ocean currents change, this will be present. For anyone worried about it…don’t. It is a little bit of a hassle with weeds while swimming & snorkeling as it drifts into your face and body while out there, but it’s not so bad as to ruin your trip. We just snorkeled around it the best we could, and the further out we went, the better it gets.
The Room:
We were in 4306 a penthouse suite on the 4th floor. The room was spotless. They had beautiful towel art waiting for us along with rose pedals on the bed…a really nice touch. Between the fresh flowers they brought us, and the complimentary dessert they brought up one night, it was really nice. The bed was super comfortable!! So many beds in Mexico are like rocks, but these are really nice, and we both slept like babies. There is no dresser so we used the shelves in the closet along with the couch to unpack our things. A dresser would be nice, but certainly not a deal breaker. The shower and the toilet are right next to each other with a wall to divide, along with swinging glass doors. The wall and the doors do (not) go to the ceiling so let’s just say that bathroom noise could be an issue for some!! LOL There was a set of stairs leading up to the roof top deck which was very private. There were two lounge chairs up there along with the Jacuzzi. It’s a great little area except for one thing…it’s like an oven up there. The walls are high enough for total privacy, but block all the wind. There is no way anyone could sit up there during the day…it felt like it was 200 degrees up there. Of course we just used it at night for some star-gazing which was great.
The Food:
The buffet was decent, not great. If you are looking for top notch gourmet food, you will be very disappointed. If you understand what All-Inclusive food is, then you will be okay. The breakfast buffet was our favorite, as we loved the fresh omelets and fruit every day. Lunch buffet was hit or miss. We went in one afternoon and they were serving ribeye steak which really wasn’t ribeye, but it was delicious!! We both thought the guacamole was very bland no matter where you tried it. If you added some salsa, onion, tomato, and some lime…it was much better. The chips just suck, no other way around it. The snack bar was definitely a little rough. I tried a hamburger there that made Mcdonalds look like fliet mignon…just horrible. To be fair, I had a couple of (freshly) grilled burgers inside at the lunch buffet that were very good. The stuff they put out at the snack bar just didn’t hold well. The sushi bar on the beach was again, hit or miss. The first two times we had sushi there, it was very good. The last two days we were there, the sushi bar had NO FISH!!! Maybe it’s me, but please explain to me how the rest of the resort has fish, but the sushi bar does not??? Sorry, but trying to serve imitation crabmeat as sushi is ridiculous. We tried two of the restaurants, the gourmet & the rodizio…we went to both twice. The gourmet restaurant was very good, but portions are tiny. The second time we went there I just ordered two dinners so I didn’t walk out hungry. The rodizio  was quite good as well. I really enjoyed the steak here along with the grilled chicken. The pork and the turkey were dry. Over all, I’d give the food a solid “C” grade. Some days good, some days not so great. For an AI resort, it was what we expected.
Beaches/Pools:
The beach here is just awesome. There are 15 shades of turquoise water just staring you in the face every time you lift your head up to look. The water is relatively calm, but the wind was pretty relentless all week keeping the small waves coming in. The water temp I’m guessing has to be close to 80 degrees, and sure felt great on a hot day. By the way, the weather was perfect….85-88 and sunny every single day. The main pool is very nice, but it’s pretty busy at times with the kids. There are small dipping pools in front of bldgs. 3 & 4. These were great!! We spent some time sipping cocktails while draped over the edge of the pool staring at the ocean…it was heaven.
Snorkeling:
This is the main reason I chose ABR. I wanted a resort with great snorkeling right on site, and the reef out front didn’t disappoint. We walked down to the Lol Ha a couple times to snorkel, but the crowds are just insane down there…it’s really sad to see. Our first snorkel down by the dive shop & Lol-ha we saw at least 10 turtles…it was a fabulous snorkel, but the crowds just drove us away. After 2 snorkels in the crowds, we decided to just stay out front of ABR for the rest of the week, which really worked out great. The reefs out front are awesome. Once you get out far enough to get away from the silty cloudy areas, the reef is alive with life. We saw turtles almost every time out without having to go down to the crowded areas. Some days were better than others for visibility as the wind had things a bit stirred up out there…but we did find some amazing days with awesome visibility. I took over 200 underwater shots, and was lucky to capture some great pictures of the sea life. I pray that the folks in Akumal find a way to stop the massive amounts of tours, they are ruining this bay with the insane amount of people they dump on this beach every day. Really so sad to see….thank God we had our own little reef right out front that is just as good if not better.
The Staff:
All I can say is WOW!! These are some of the warmest, most friendly folks I’ve come across in just about any resort I’ve ever stayed in. They treat you like royalty here, and all have a genuine smile. There wasn't a single worker I walked past all week that didn’t give me a friendly “Hola” as we passed. From the front desk to the bartenders to the hostesses…they were fantastic. A couple that need mentioning….Wilber at the main bar….just so fun to be around. Patricia a beach server…just so sweet and nice. I’m sure I could probably name at least 10 more. Great service = happy guests, period. This staff is doing their jobs well, and deserve two thumbs up….WAY UP….great job folks!!!
Bottom Line:
WE WILL BE BACK
post edited by bassguy66 - 2015/04/20 12:11:09




#1
islakid
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/16 19:27:44 (permalink)
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I like the report.  Sounds great.  Gonna be there in May for 13 days.  Just wondering if your dates posted are wrong.  July????  Anyway nice report.  Thanks
#2
bassguy66
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/16 20:49:31 (permalink)
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islakid
I like the report.  Sounds great.  Gonna be there in May for 13 days.  Just wondering if your dates posted are wrong.  July????  Anyway nice report.  Thanks


OOOPS! fixed it!




#3
Vancouver Sundog
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/16 23:02:30 (permalink)
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Thanks Bassguy - great and frank report

A triple PMASB2019  & AASB2019 (Part  I & II) -
Happening now
 
 
 
 
 
 
#4
ulle trautvag
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/17 01:07:41 (permalink)
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How was your stone-enclosed balcony -- was it hot also?  Same question applies to the dark outdoor bar furniture that I saw in the panorama video.
 
Glad you enjoyed
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
#5
bassguy66
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/17 06:19:51 (permalink)
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ulle trautvag
How was your stone-enclosed balcony -- was it hot also?  Same question applies to the dark outdoor bar furniture that I saw in the panorama video.

Both our regular balcony (off the room) and the rooftop deck were way too hot during the day. The walls block the wind (especially) on the roof top deck...making it like an oven. They were both great at night.




#6
crunch
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/17 06:56:27 (permalink)
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Excellent very non-biased reporting.  That is actually pretty much how i felt about the old ABR except the rooms are much improved.
 
Pictures???????
#7
bassguy66
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/17 07:59:02 (permalink)
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crunch
Excellent very non-biased reporting.  That is actually pretty much how i felt about the old ABR except the rooms are much improved.
 
Pictures???????


We are working on our pictures, over 200 underwater...and another 200 above. Trying to weed through the bad ones before we post a bunch.




#8
LisaR
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/17 23:53:42 (permalink)
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Thanks for your report, bassguy.  I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures!




#9
bassguy66
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/20 07:41:42 (permalink)
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LisaR
Thanks for your report, bassguy.  I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures!


As promised....
http://s1235.photobucket....ary/?sort=2&page=1
Also posted this link in the All Inclusive Forum.
post edited by bassguy66 - 2015/04/20 07:42:55




#10
CurlSnout
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/20 11:56:58 (permalink)
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Nice report...thanks!

"Por que no refrescarte?"




#11
Soleil Soul
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/20 14:25:45 (permalink)
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Awesome report and photos, Gracias!! 


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LisaR
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/20 23:03:51 (permalink)
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Great pictures!  I'm living vicariously until June!




#13
water baby
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/22 13:06:36 (permalink)
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THANKS for sharing your pics and trip report!
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CallMeFrank
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/04/23 15:04:51 (permalink)
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Great report report and pics!  Thanks for taking the time to write it.
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Turtle Chaser
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Re: ABR & WC 7/7 through 7/14 2015/05/07 12:18:13 (permalink)
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Great report! We go in June. Glad to hear most people like it as they did before the changes. My husband is 70 and doesn't like the stairs so we are trying to get a ground floor room. We have yet been able to get them to tell us the price. So guess we will worry about that when we get there.

Allison and Rene
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