Last week we were in the Playacar area, just south of Playa del Carmen in the Mayan Riviera.A number of the resorts were experiencing serious beach erosion. A few hotels have absolutely no beach left at all - the waves were hitting against a sea wall. I read on another board that the hotels are sometimes not giving accurate information when asked about this issue. We were told by locals that the beach increases and decreases with each storm. Hurricane Wilma really impacted this area. Many of thebeach areas are just fine, but I would try to get an accurate report before committing to a resort. As of last week, the resorts further south were fine, but the northern end of Playacar was hurting. We heard various plans to restore the beach by dredging, etc. I hope they can resolve resolve this issue - it's a beautiful area to which we hope to return.
disneygal, do you know anything about the Secrets Capri resort? What is their beach like? Also do you know what the beach at Excellence Riviera Cancun is like. I know this resort is no longer owned by Secrets. We were due to go there last year but because of the damage caused by the hurricane we had to change to Sandals resort in St. lucia at the last minute. I would still like to go to one of the Secrets Resorts one day. it would be good to find out more about the state of the beaches though. thanks.
Hi mary-j! My sister was recently at Secrets Capri and had a most wonderful time. In general, the hotel, food and service were wonderful. I just asked her about the beach, to see if they had a similar erosion issue. Secrets Capri is further north, and apparently is fine. She said therewere a few rockyspots getting into the water, which is generally notthe casein the Playacar area. From what I recall reading,the beach at Secrets is good, butnotthe greatest.I don't know about Excellence - I think that's close to Puerto Muerelos, also further north than Playa del Carmen. It really varied from onehotel to the next, and probably from day to day in stormy weather. The big beach area in Playacar, near the Riu Palace and south, was just fine.
After the hurricane season last year, most of these resorts were crushed. The resorts have all gotten rebuilt quickly but the beaches are not the same. It is very dangerous to swim on them during certain times of the day. The resort I was just at (Aventura Spa Palace) has a lagoon but not a beach which was fine, but if you really love the beach don't go there. Do your research before you go because a lot of the resorts are still updating their web site as they complete the rebuilding of their resorts from Hurricane Wilma.
I was at the hotel next door (Riu Palace Mexico) last year and walked along the beach on both directions.
The Iberostar beach was fine. Some erosion, but well maintained. The problem I find with most beaches in general is the lack of natural shade. Umbrellas, called palapas, are hot because they impede the air flow. The Riu Palace hotel has natural shade since they planted many coconut trees long ago. The hurricane destroyed many of them, so the hotel has had to replace them with small trees that provide little shade. The Iberostar hotels have never planted trees on their beaches, so there were none for the hurricane to destroy.
We (my wife and I) have been at the Riu Palace many times and have visited the Iberostar hotels several times. We have never stayed in any of their hotels because of their beaches, primarily, but also due to what we consider better quality food and rooms. What we have liked about the Iberostars are their beautiful gardens and pools.
The Iberostar chain of hotels is from the island of Mayorca, Spain, as are many of the other all-inclusive hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean, including Riu, Barcelo, Melia, Bahia Principe, among others. Riu and Iberostar and some of the Melia hotels are rated higher than Barcelo, Bahia Principe and some others of Melia. The differences are mainly in the quality of the food and drinks, and the luxury of the rooms and public areas. How much better is a matter of taste, expectations, experience and idiosyncracies.