Akumal Bay Beach and Wellness Resort - Akumal Bay, Mexico.
Akumal Bay beach and Wellness Resort, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Approx 90 minute transfer
* * * * *
I'd like to start this hotel review with a small disclaimer. This is in no way affiliated with Akumal Bay Beach and Wellness Resort and all opinions are my own based on my own experience.
Much like our previous stay in Tenerife, our trip was booked with Holidays Please via Thomas Cook. We travelled at the beginning of May and stayed in a Junior Suite with All Inclusive for 7 nights. Return transfers were included in the price.
I will mention here that we travelled just out of the dry season going into the rainy season so our prices were lower than what they are during peak season and holidays. I used one bank holiday day and 6 days holiday at work (total of 11 days off). To see how I do this you can read how I travel with a full time job here.
All rooms in this resort have a sea view - which is amazing! I've never been to a resort that guarantees every room a sea view so this was very novel for us. There are two types of room you can book at Akumal Bay Resort - a junior suite and a penthouse suite. We stayed in a junior suite. The room is huge with a kingsize bed (also available with twin beds), small sofa and coffee table, TV, and mini bar. The minibar is restocked daily and includes soft drinks, spirits, beer and snacks.
The balcony is small, but has a jacuzzi bath which is great to settle into with a drink to watch the sunset over the beach. The jacuzzi bath in these rooms seem like an after thought, because really the balcony is a little on the small side so you may find that your sat on top of one another on the seating area to the side.
The bathroom is open plan, to an extent. The toilet and shower are behind frosted glass doors, but the main vanity area is open into the room. Perfect for couples, but those travelling with friends or family may want to consider this when booking your room. I believe this is the same in the penthouse suites.
Although the room is large and spacious, I would say it is basic accomodation for a 5* rated hotel. The furniture is dated and the rooms could all do with a lick of paint. Maybe this is the standard in Mexico? But I must admit that I have stayed in better 4* accomodation. That being said, the rooms are really clean and get cleaned every day. You are provided with shampoo (no conditioner - take your own!) shower gel, soap, tissues, gowns and slippers.
Overall I would give the rooms 3.5/5.
The food for me is what justifies this hotel as a 5* resort. If you are a lover of Mexican food you will be in for a treat at Akumal!
There is a buffet resturant that serves breakfast, lunch and tea and the opening times are really good. I didnt once feel like I had to sacrifice my lay in to make it to breakfast - bonus!
There are also four Al La Carte resturants that are open in the evening. Be warned - the Brazillian steak house is busy from open until close. We tried twice to get in here and both times there was over an hour wait. There are no reservations made for the guests and it is a first come first serve basis. All Al La Carte resturants open at 6pm.
There is also the main snack bar come burger bar in the evenings. I highly recommend the burgers here - I tried the vegan burger on the first night which was delicious, and the beef burger one other night. Both were very good and definately worth a visit.
There is a sushi bar which I believe is open during the day until 6pm, which comes highly recommended.
Lastly, this is one of the few AI resorts that I've stayed in where the room service menu is all included in the price! Granted, it's not a very traditional menu and caters more for the American pallet, but definately worth a try if you're having a romantic night on the balcony, or if jet lag has gotten the better of you for the night! We enjoyed pizza, tacos, chips and chocolate pudding - yum!
Overall I would rate the food as 5/5.
The Hotel Facilities
Akumal Bay Beach and Wellness Resort has everything you could want from an all inclusive resort. It has one main swimming pool, two small infinity pools, 4 bars, buffet resturant, 4 Al La Carte Resturants, gym, spa, entertainment, 24 hour reception, room service, and a small convience shop / souvenier shop. It shares it's beach with one other hotel making the beach semi-private.
For me, the beach area outside of building 4 is the best part of the beach for sunbathing as it is quiet and the sunbeds are spaced out away from the busier section outside building 2 (where the main pool and bar is). This part of the beach feels a bit 'benidorm' for me - the sunbeds are quite crowded together and theres alot going on! Personally we like to be away from the hustle and bustle on holiday so we enjoyed being near building 4. This area on the beach has a little pop up bar and an infinity pool, so even though the beach is a bit more rocky here, you can still cool off in the pool if the heat gets too much - which we did regularly!
If snorkelling and diving is your thing, the beach outside building 1 is your safest bet. If you're really lucky - you'll see some turtles - you are in turtle bay after all!
There are also on site photographers which we did use, they were fantastic and I would highly recommend for a wedding or honeymoon / special occasion photography. The photos are pricey - but well worth it for the memories.
The one thing you won't have to do here is fight for a sunbed. There are plenty of sunbeds and bali beds around the resort plus tables and chairs to relax on. There is always somehwere to sit and relax! The sunbeds, in my opinion, are cheap and nasty - a few we sat on were broken. For this level of resort I would have expected a better quality of sunbed. But this is something very minor!
Overall I would rate the hotel facilities 4/5.
Final Thoughts and Advice
For me personally, I would rate this hotel as a good 4*. There are a few little things that let it down like the sunbeds, the dated rooms, small balconies.
The one thing (other than the food) that I cannot fault is the staff. The staff here are really hard working and will do anything to help you, even if they have been on the quiet bar all day bored out of their brains! Due to a complication with our booking on arrival, the manager and the PR manager dealt with us brilliantly, and subsequently we will be returning in the near future.
Unfortunately when we were on our trip here we experienced high levels of seaweed on the beach which spoilt the view more than anything else! It's one of them things that is a result of global warming and was particularly bad during our stay. Again, the staff worked day and night to try and stop the seaweed from coming on to the beach - which seemed like a non stop battle. The only thing that affected me personally was the digger trawling up and down the beach to help clear the seaweed. Again, not the hotel's fault at all and purely down to circumstance. Nevertheless, still a shame, but no one argues with Mother Nature.
If you are booking here, or have booked and are arriving soon - be sure to visit Juan at the excursion reception, located next to the main reception. He is an absolute credit to ABBWR and helped us book the most amazing VIP excursion to Chichen Itza. It's a must see if you are visiting this part of the world!
Would I Visit Again? I am soon! But probably not after that - but only because there's so much more to see!!