Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya
11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
My holiday overall at Azul hotel was fan...
"My holiday overall at Azul hotel was fantastic, it was very clean and very friendly with great customer service.
The food in the hotel was out of this word and the waiters could not do enough for you.
The entertainment was brill also such as sky dancers in the bar to a circus show so there was something for everybody although what you seen last week will be repeated the next.
Thereâs was also a lot to do outside the hotel too set up with your hotel rep such as shopping malls, the water parks and swimming with dolphins which was amazing may I add and also for very good prices (but shop around).
However before going to Mexico I found first choice very sloppy with their communication skills, we had to change our hotel twice due to their negligence to see that one of our passengers were under the age of 18 going to an adult only resort but it got sorted had we all had a fab time .
I would certainly visit again.
- Travel date: Fri 24th of August 2007
Good and hopefully will improve
"My husband and I traveled to the Azul December 26 to January 2. We arrived at 11:00 a.m. and our room was ready! It was heaven. I found the room to be small but perfectly adequate for 2 people although if you have kids it will be very crowded. The king size bed was comfortable. The bathroom was fine but tight. We stayed in bungalo 4 and I believe it is in the better section called the "Deluxe" rooms. The superior rooms (which are the new section) seem to be the ones having problems, bungalo 10, 11, 12 etc. We never had plumbing or water issues. The room and resort was very clean and beautifully laid out.
The food was generally very well done. Do not queue up for the lunch or dinner buffet, they always have a la carte menus. As well at dinner if you like a second course menu item ask them to double it for a main course option. The only issue there is whom to arrange the reservations with. No staff member ever seems to know. Service is hit and miss and I don't think it is related to tipping. Be forward and tell them you are ready to order before they take your drink order. This way the food will arrive in reasonable time. The asian restaurant is yummy and very quiet (no kids).
The beach is great but does have turtle grass. I obtained a beach bed every day that I wanted one (5 out of 7 days) by getting to the beach by 07:30. You can leave belongings but only for 1 hour before they are taken away. Spa services are held right on the beach and I enjoyed several massages there. The beach butlers are good (especially Bridget) but if you want the lunch restaurant and bar is a 20 foot walk away.
Extra activities are scarce. My husband participated in the beach volleyball and the hobiecat sailing. Snorkelling was very good in the area. Otherwise you are out of luck.
We visited Tulum (extremely dirty) but very interesting and Xel-ha, which we both enjoyed. Only problem there was the bus tour. It picks up from several hotels before arriving at the destination. The Iberostar is the worst as it is 4 hotels in one, therfore 4 lobby pick ups and the buses can barely make the turns.
Nightlife is non-existant. Generally any entertainement provided is good but short (circus night was interesting and so was the Mayan night). The staff put a lot of effort into the New Year's decorations/arrangements which unfortunately was rained out (the only day we had bad weather).
Families - if you have really small kids it is o.k. but not any over 5 years would think this is an entertaining location, no water slides etc. There are many hotels in the area that have these types of things. As well the nudist resort is 100 meters from the Azul. Easy access for anyone. The nudist are 4 feet from the water completely unclothed, men women, shaved etc. One gentleman was in a very "excited" state clearly visable to all (he was walking on the beach).
O.K. now for improvements - Any drink the customer wants should be obtained. I could not get a Manhatten to save my soul. There was always something missing! Cherries, bitters, red vermouth etc.
If they want a hot tub they should heat it! It looks pretty but is ice cold. Who is going to go in it?
They should expand on the small restaurant theme (like the Tainan) by creating a small all Italian or French restaurant. The Blue has a good selection but it is not pleasant to be in the same room day after day.
Service needs improvement by the bartenders and wait staff. The maids and the check-in staff were excellent."
- Travel date: Thu 6th of January 2005
"we wanted a smaller hotel on or near the water.
overall we liked the place. it is fairly new and we found some of the "systems" such as the breakfast service a wee bit stressful. the door prize is a truly kind and gentle staff that is learning as they go. i sense that they have a training issue. overall the rooms are good and the food okay to great. as vegetarians they did their best to accomodate us but any deviations from the menu resulted in a long wait. after a few days (we were there for 7 days) we identified the wait staff that seemed fast and efficient and began to tip. things went better.
the beach staff are very helpful as all day they pass with water, drinks, fruit and food. they are young and chipper.
if i had to complain, i would say that the beach is not very nice. because of the reef, dead weeds accumulate along the beach and the idea of long walks are difficult as piles of these weeds accumulate. a few staff rake and wheel barrel all day. they should get an automated system that can do this in the early mornings.
the water was warm and the sand white. the beach weeds is not a huge problem
if you want a small hotel, great staff, beautiful ambience then this is it.
we really enjoyed the "clubby" music they played as opposed to the usual loud marimba stuff."
- Travel date: Wed 5th of January 2005
Wonderful intimate/family resort!
"Wifey and I stayed at the Azul for four nights over New Year's. In summary, this is a great place with incredible food and only a few issues to touch on which made it "above average" vs. "excellent".
The beach and access is great. There is a reef a hundred yards out or so which keeps the large waves from crashing to the shore. The swimming area is nice and well-kept, great for kids/families. We had decent weather, but the wind made it a bit cool for much swimming.
If you want to get one of the king-sized lounge-huts, get out early (by 9:00 or so). There are plenty of beach accommodations and the staff is readily available for refreshments, etc. The activities don't all seem to materialize at this point, probably something that will mature over time.
The rooms are decent. Not luxurious, but good for two. Bathrooms need more shelf space and a few hooks would be a big plus. The bathrooms needed some help -- we had a toilet issue, a lingering odor (may have been the water, but likely a bit of sewer there), and a need for warm(er) water. But, if bathrooms aren't your hangup, this is only a small (but annoying) nit. Maid service was also somewhat unpredictable as to when it would occur and they don't give you enough time after they knock before they walk in ;-).
However, the grounds & restaurants were impeccible. We dined at "Blue" twice and at "Tainan" twice. Both places had really phenomenal food and service to match. The Tainan staff even came to find us when they had an opening for us.
The place gets really quiet at night -- except possibly for some activity in the Acevado Tequila bar. This is a very nice bar & lounge, although the techno-pop music was a bit overpowering at times. Decent selection of good liquors -- they upscaled their Tequila selection while we were there (another guest suggested that they needed some "good stuff"). Decent brandy, cointreau, grand marnier and other premiums.
There were a few large groups present and it's an ideal place if you're going with people that you want to spend time with. Being smaller in size, the staff also gets to know you in a short time (especially if you have a toilet issue!).
It's a bit pricey to go into town, although there is a 5 hour shopping shuttle that's only $11 or $12.
We'd definitely like to go back with our kids someday and highly recommend it."
- Travel date: Wed 5th of January 2005
Great Potential-Superior to Other All-Inclusives
"We are a family of four (two teenage girls ages 16 & 17) who just spent six days at the Azul (12/29-1/3). Previously we have stayed at deluxe Fiesta Americana resorts and all-inclusive Occidental superior properties. The Azul is definitely superior in overall atmosphere if you want a relaxing and quiet vacation. This resort reminded us of the smaller type of properties that we prefer in Belize. We do not like loud people and huge groups who hang out at the bar the minute it opens each day, corny entertainment, rowdy activites around the pool and continual comentary blasting over the loud speaker. The guests were families and couples-the atmosphere was much more refined and sophisticated than what you typically find at many Mexican resorts. There were also a number of European and Canadian guests which we appreciated as it was a much more international group.
We loved certain things about the Azul, as described in the hotel literature. The beach butler service and amenities are exactly as described. There were activities scheduled it just seemed that most of the guests were not interested in participating. The children seemed to be enjoying the "kid's activities". Pool bar services and wine selections were superior to other all inclusives were we have stayed. The decor and ambiance is very pleasant as we found the minimalist contemporary look pleasing. The housekeeping in the rooms, linens and public areas and grounds (including the removal of seaweed on the beach) were very well performed on a continual schedule every day. Certain aspects of the food services were very good, although very inconsistent (more comments later). The beach area is very pretty (seaweed is cleaned continually and was not a problem for us), the sandy areas and palapas are large and adequate to accomodate all of the hotel guests even when it is booked to capacity as it was when we first arrived. You do not need wrist bands or have to account for each beach towel that you use. The hotel has a number of board games and DVDs that they loan out for your entire stay, if you desire, and many guests played on the swinging bar beds and pool bar tables. The guest services staff was very polite and mostly prompt with all of our requests. On New Year's Eve (a fluist in the Blue Restaurant and Mexican band at the pool and beach) and New Year's Day (a mariachi band for the luncheon brunch and a vocalist and keyboardist in the pool bar area in the evening) entertained and were all very enjoyable and superior to what we had experienced at other resorts. The staff also had made lovely plans for a party and dancing, but unfortunately there was a torential downpour and part of the festivities were moved from the beach. It seemed that all of the staff is making a sincere effort to deliver the services as they are described, and to make this an upscale resort.
The greatest negative for us, since we had specifically verified this before we booked, were the on-premise dive services. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU ARRANGE DIVE TRIPS WITH SOMEONE ELSE BEFORE YOU DEPART. For three days in a row there were no dive trips with various excuses (it's too rough, it's Sunday, it's New Year's Day even though other dive provider's boats were seen out on the water each of these days). The one dive trip that we were able to make was mediocre in location and the handling of second/refill tanks and transferring between boats was inefficient and time consuming. The dive guide commented that this was his fifth dive in the last 24 hours.
We also strongly advise you to specifically request that you not be in building 7 (room 705 is 10 feet from the kitchen's back door and you can hear dishes being washed all night and kitchen staff talking). This is also next to the service area walkways and beach bathrooms. IT WAS HORRIBLE. THE ROOM HAD ABOUT 27" WALKING SPACE AROUND A KING BED AND NO OTHER SPACE IN THE ROOM. We had paid for two rooms (deluxe ocean front) and were moved the next day upon my repeated requests. The deluxe rooms were much larger and in a desireable location immediately adjacent to the pool and beach. Otherwise the negatives about the showers and bathrooms that have been previously mentioned in other reviews are true, but we did not find them that annoying. Shower water is warm but never very hot.
You do need reservations to eat in the evening at Blue and Tainan even though part of the guest services staff told us that you did not. There are only two seatings each evening. Table service at breakfast and lunch is very sporadic and slow. You are never offered a menu at breakfast or lunch unless you request one.(There are buffets that they obviously prefer that you eat from). Breakfast has a great selection of cold cuts, sweet rolls, fruit, cereal and yogurt. The hot breakfast buffet was mediocre. You must repeatedly ask to be seated and then make multiple requests that you be served juices, coffee (usually cold), and drinks as well as ordering hot cakes or waffles. At lunch and breakfast the buffet rarely changed. The salad bar was okay except that the were only about 10 large leaves of lettuce and cabbage on the entire table each day. In the evening many things on the menu were not served as decribed. The Tainan sushi is very good but the rest of the menu looked delicious but tasted very average (also not served as described with ingredients missing sometimes without any vegetables in the stir fry at all or, at Blue, the entrees seved with different sauces and/or side dishes). The greatest restaurant annoyance was that the "special" New Year's Eve menu with only a choice of 3 entrees (everything else was fixed) was served 3 evenings in a row although we were told that it would be the regular menu except on New Year's eve. This gave the impression that we would eat it until it was gone no matter how many days it took. We were never offered dessert at any of the restaurants. We always had to ask for it and it was the same every day, and definitely not the best that could have been prepared. It seemed that on Sunday that they were actually running out of food such as fruits and desserts. The presentation of the evening meals was attractive and the New Year's eve menu in Blue was definitely superior to other all inclusives. The snack bar has Hagen Das (sp.?) ice cream and sorbet all day as well as attractively prepared cups of fresh fruit combinations. Most of the sandwiches at the snack bar were also very good, but served with stale tasting chips and cheetos. Unfortunately, the food service is not completely as described, and was inconsistent and unreliable during our stay. Both restaurants are very attractive and the outdoor dining, bar, and lounge areas very pleasant in appearance.
There are three pools, but the water and spa are not heated and we only saw children in the water.
Evening dress is casual, but nice without beach wear or logo tee-shirts. It was quite windy the entire time that we were there, sunny in the morning, cloudy and rainy in the afternnonaround 3, and then the sky was clear with stars later in the evening. You may want a sweater or long sleeves in th evening.
We were also asked several times to come receive "our free gift", but it involved some type of 90 minute presentation on Karisma hotels and the "Exotic Vacation Club". The most annoying part was that they called us at 8:30 am the first morning that we were there after we had heard the dishes being washed all night and the security guards conference at 4:30 am in the alcove at our bedroom door.
The Auzl has great potential and we do hope that all of the negatives are turned around as we enjoy this size and type of property."
- Travel date: Tue 4th of January 2005
Nice SPA ambiance but still needs adjustments
"Dec. 25 to Jan. 1, 2005
Very clean. Very good food and drinks. Nice SPA ambiance music.
Beach butler very forward looking to all your needs.
Beach chairs and towels always available.
No harassment. Smiling staff.
Tipping is optional; we tried both and did not see a difference but it is always nice to recognize good service and they appreciate it.
Breakfast and Lunch "A la carte" ... only if you ask! Even there, they tell you it's the same as the buffet. Actually, the buffet may have some ingredients of what is on the menu but you have to make your own plate arrangements and it is not as complete as what you would get "A la carte". Also, don't be too picky on the description of the items "A la carte" ... you may get something different than what you ordered (e.g. gnocchi actually look a lot like penne in Mexico :).
Reservations required for dinner in the main restaurant (Blue) and there are only 2 seating (6pm and 8pm). If you take more than 1h30 you will be kindly reminded that you have to leave. If you don't want to be bothered by time, go to the Asian restaurant.
Again, Tequila tasting lessons did not take place.
We were lucky enough to experiment 2 days of cold water showers (no trace of hot water).
A leaking toilet was still not repaired after a week. We worked around this minor detail with a towel constantly on the floor.
If you want a beach bed, you have to "reserve" it around 7:30am.
In general, it was a very good and relaxing vacation."
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of January 2005
Fantastic but not perfect yet
"My husband and I and our three kids aged 20, 21 and 23 just got back form a one week holiday at the Azul.Over all I would say that we all loved it but there are a few things that can be improved upon.
Lets start with the good.Upon arrival at 7:30 pm we were greated warmly with fresh wet towels to freshen our faces and a glass of champagne.A classy touch I would say.The front lobby is absolutely beautiful.You can instantly hear the sound of the ocean. Registration went without a hitch and we were in our rooms within 10 minutes of our arrival.We had requested a room with 2 double beds with a cot for our kids but got a king and a cot instead.No big deal. Our kids didn't care and couldn't be bothered trying to switch.I don't think they have many rooms with double beds-most consist of kings.The rooms are not huge but again this is not something that is high on our priority list.WE had a beautiful white housecoat for our use during our stay.Again a classy touch.
The grounds are impeccable.They have several employees constantly taking care of the place.There are 3 pools on the property but we tended to hang around the one near the pool bar.There are ample places to lie around on.If the beach is your preference, there is no shortage of beach chairs.There are also several beach beds.You have to see this to believe it-king size vinyl mattresses with a thatched roof cover facing the ocean !!!!THere are also several hammocks to lounge around in.
The beach area is beautiful.Sea weed washes in daily with the tides but they do a great job keeping it clean.THe beach butler service is incredible(Bridget is awesome !!!).We were regularly asked if we needed anything and were offered food(fresh fruit, small sanwichwes..)and any drink of our choice on a regular basis.They even supply you with suntan lotion and fresh bottled water whenever you want it.Keep in mind that you are no more than 20 seconds away from the bar if you can't wait.
As far as the food is concerned we all really enjoyed it.There is a lot of variety and the presentation of the food (at the Blue) is 1st class.WE all enjoyed the outside grill(grilled shrimp, lobster tails, steak, grilled tuna-what is not to like !!!).There is also a small restaurant-La Mancha which serves up great sandwiches, fresh fruit ,desserts and a good variety of Mexican dishes.THere is also The Tainan restaurant.We all loved the sushi but didn't enjoy all the dishes offered on this menu.I believe this is a question of taste and not a lack of quality.The Blue restaurant offers 5 menus -The chef's choice, the All Lobster menu, South Beach menu, The Vegetarian menu and the Daily Choice menu.You pick from items from any of these or even add something from the outside grill.
WE all loved the New Year's Eve menu which consisted of smoked salmon, lobster bisque, sorbet and rack of lamb as the main course.The presentation was so impressive that we took pictures of the dishes.My kids regularly took advantage of room service ordering up BLTs and fries in the wee hours.
Now for the stuff to improve upon.WE had a leak in our toilet which they readily corrected.The hot water supply was questionable at times, especially around supper time when everyone was having a shower.A better shower curtain wouldn't hurt either.This would avoid the mess on the floor after every shower.We had to let the hot water run a good ten minutes before it warmed up.WE were in the building just opened up the weak before we arrived.They obviously need to add another hot water tank to service that part of the buiding.Also some days our room wasn't cleaned til late afternoon-another area needing improvement.
The night life is VERY QUIET.We knew this before we came but we did expect a little more life.For our kids this was too quiet so they headed into Cancun on a bus organized by the hotel.We also went into Cancun as a family to check out the night life.We are 5 so this proved to be quite expensive-$57 US each way(if you are less than 5 than a cab costs $28US).The bartenders are all great and really try to meet your needs.The Tequila bar is awesome !!!!
If you are looking for a place that isn't too large, that offers great food , that is on the quiet side and that offers great service than this is the place for you.With time I believe the Azul ,once it irons out its "growing pain "flaws, I believe it will become a 5 star hotel.My husband and I would definitely go back."
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of January 2005
The honest good and bad
"I visited Azul from Dec. 11-Dec. 15th.
I have traveled extensively during my lifetime, and when first arriving to the Azul hotel I was so excited and thrilled because I just knew we picked the right place. The grounds are beautiful and you can hear the sound of the ocean when they take you to your room because you are so close to the water. The bell boy took us to our room which was tastefully decorated in a contemporary design (not the W but still with a lot of charm)! We were in section 4 in the back of the building on the second floor. I recommend the 2nd floor so you have some privacy on your balcony. Our balcony looked out mostly on the Wave bar/lounge and had a small view of the ocean. I would not want to be in section 6.
Upon closer view I started to see the bad parts of the hotel such as the bathrooms. The are tiny! Our shower did not drain after taking a two minute shower. I called down to the lobby, and they soon had it fixed so if it happens to you like it seems to most, definitely call and complain. The sink is a bowl that is literally on top of the countertop and takes up all the surrounding space. They are trying to go for the new contemporary look of the sink outside on top of the countertop but the bowl is just too large and you have no sink space. It really isn't that big of deal - I really just thought it was funny that they chose that design.
My real problem was the food. I am a picky eater, but my husband is not and that food was all around disappointing. They pride themselves on selection and yet the desserts are the same five frozen desserts just thawed out daily. The Asian restaurant serves good sushi but there spring rolls taste very badly. The miso soup had somewhat of a strange taste. The food in the big restaurant is terrible for dinner and lunch except the sandwhiches. I was hoping for peanut butter and jelly by the end of the trip. Breakfast is the best meal of the day, although their omelettes lack any taste and are undercooked. I pretty much survived on Nutella. I love that stuff. All and all, don't expect much when it comes to the food.
The drinks are pretty strong so I wouldn't worry about them being weak. The tequilla bar runs out of the good tasting tequila the night after they get there shipment so you may want to head there the first night you get there. We didn't and ended up only being able to try the few they had.
As for the nightlife, there is none. I was there with my husband, and we aren't party animals. On the other hand, it would be nice to see one other person in the bars after six pm! We would keep checking to see if anyone would come out later, but it never happened except one night so I would bring some movies to watch just in case.
There are really no great activities at night or during the day. They plan a lot of activites but most of them never happen. We tried yoga one day, and it consisted of my husband and I with one other man laying on the ground for ten minutes while the instructor spoke of peace and her mother? Needless to say, pilates was the same routine just a different day. My advice - skip it altogether.
BEACH BEDS ARE A MUST. You better get up by 7 am and put your stuff down to resereve them. We used to set our alarm for 6 am and one of us would run down and put our books and towels on one of them to reserve them. They are amazing though and really add to your relaxation.
The pools are freezing because none of them are heated. Neither is the jacuzzi which does not make any sense.
We took the trip to Playa for $10 a person that the hotel offers one night a week. Very touristy town, and I don't want to go back so if you have limited time there I would skip it. The souvenirs are not cheap. You will find better prices in Puerto Morales - just remember to bargain down to atleast half price. If you want to buy silver, make sure it has the numbers 951 ( I think that is right - just ask) which indicates it is real.
As far as relaxation goes, this place is amazing because the beach is nice and calm, the beach beds are the best, and the service is pretty good.
If you are looking for a small hotel where you don't have to wear wrist bands and don't care about quality or selection of food this is your place. I liked Azul except for the food and non existent activities and nightlife. Next time, I will try something different. I came back very rested and relaxed just hungry! They just need a little work."
- Travel date: Wed 29th of December 2004
Very Relaxing time but several flaws
"Let me preface this review by stating that I had a very relaxing and enjoyable time at the Azul. I left satisfied with what I received for what I paid (except for the food). However, I feel I should be honest in my review.
The Resort and Property:
The property is very secluded which is great. No foot traffic on the beach except from the Azul and the adult resort next door. Not a peddler in site the whole time we were there.
The resort lay-out is great. Very small and compact. Multiple 2 story buildings all within a 20 second walk to the beach which was great. The contemporary feel to the resort is also well done.
The music at the poolside bar was usually very nice - chill lounge/downtempo beats which were perfect for relaxing. Good music in the tequila bar at night as well.
Unfortunately, while we were there (Dec. 11-15) there was quite a bit of construction, especially on the new dining area which is right in front of the beach. It was a little disturbing to have the sound of the ocean disrupted by jackhammers and chainsaws. But hopefully that will be done soon.
The beach is wonderful. Soft, white sand. A little seagrass which is raked each morning. The water is beautiful and clear. Didn't do much snorkeling while we were there so can't comment on marine-life.
The beach beds were the absolute best part of the entire resort. These things are so great. I have never been the type that can just sit at the beach all day and be lazy but with these beach beds, that is all we did for the 4 days we were there.
The only problem is that the resort has no rules governing the beach beds (other resorts I have stayed set a limit of 1 hour for you to be gone from beach chairs, after that they open the chairs to other guests and keep your belongings safe). Not so at the Azul. Once the beach beds are claimed in the morning, they are claimed for the day. The last 2 days we were there I had to get up at 630 in the morning to claim a bed.
But it is well worth it. The beach beds, as well as the swinging beds at the pool bar are fantastic. I also enjoyed the hammocks on the beach (even thought they aren't the most comfortable hammocks).
More on the beach butlers in the service section below.
First, I don't go on vacation to sit in my room. The rooms at the Azul are adequate. The bed and linens were nice. The safe is a nice plus (just don't lose the safe key - $150).
My big problem is with the bathroom - they are not very nice. Very small. Small shower with a terrible $0.50 shower curtain. Terrible tiolet paper. Rough towels. Even the layout of the sinks is bad (they went for the contemporary ceramic bowl look but it is way too big and not built into the counter).
Also, certain aspects of the room felt cheap and unmaintained. Plywood doors. The knob on the closet fell off exposing a large nail.
Again, these aren't things that directly affect your vacation but they are things you don't expect in a 4 or 5 star resort.
The bars and bartenders were disappointing. When I visit a 4 or 5 star resorts I expect to be able to get any drink I want. They should know how to make it and if not they should be prepared to give it a shot. Not so at the Azul.
If you want margaritas or daquiries or coladas you are set. But ask for a mojito or special martini and the response is a simple "No". The liquour selection was weak; consisting of a few mid range options in each category. And the beer selection changed each day depending on what they had left. Tecate only one day. Dos Equis only the next. Corona the next.
Even the tequila bar kept running out of the good tequila.
My biggest DISAPPOINTMENT. I am not a picky eater. I usually eat and enjoy anything and laugh at my wife who is always disappointed. But the food at the Azul was very very disappointing. I am not expecting amazing cuisine at an all-inclusive but when a place touts there dining like Azul does, especially on their website, I have some expectations for good food. Not so.
Breakfast - the best meal of each day. By the third and fourth days we really went overboard at breakfast because we knew it would likely be the only good meal of the day. Although the 2 omelettes we had were terrible. The pancakes and waffles were generally good. The cereal and fruit table were excellent. Menu was the same each day.
Lunch - La Mancha, the poolside bar, offered sandwiches and wraps. These were pretty good, not excellent, often lacking spices and adequate sauces. They advertise fresh fruit smoothies but they were not available. The main restaurant Blue, offered a more extensive menu - which means the same as La Mancha plus burgers, chickenburgers, pasta dishes and salads.
The pasta dish my wife ordered once for lunch tasted like poorly cooked pasta covered with ketchup. My burger was overcooked and underspiced. The ceasar salad looked like a side salad from McD's covered with bad dressing. My advice for lunch: stick to La Mancha's - especially the pitas, chickenburger or sandwiches. Also the waffle fries are great.
We only ate at the Asian restaurant once due to the limit menu offerings. The sushi was good. The vietnamese spring roll was absolutely terrible. But the feel of the restaurant was great.
Blue was disappointing both nights we ate there. The first night was Sunday night and they had a special Mexican menu which we didn't enjoy.
The second night at Blue they had the normal menu which is the same the rest of the week. It consists of four different sections: Lobster, South Beach, Low-Carb, Vegetarian, and Tonight's Choice (same each night). You can mix and match from all over the menu, as we did. The seafood bisque tasted like the enchalada sauce from the previous nights lobster enchiladas. And without going into details, we felt so bad by the final course because we had left such large quantities of food on our plates each course. It was very disappointing.
The last night we ate in Playa del Carmen (excellent food).
Desserts - I will agree with the remarks of a previous reviewer. The same 4 or 5 dessert options were available throughout the week and they were all below average pastries that seemed to be prepared in large batches. If you like desserts, Azul is not for you.
Our service was hit or miss but generally the workers are very friendly and very helpful. Unfortunately, they are still learning. Not once did I get a drink refilll without having to ask. The beach butler service was good 2 days, the other 2 days I would just have to walk to the bar (which is only 15 seconds away).
Activities: It seemed most of the planned activities never happened (tequila tastings, cooking lessons, dance lessons). The exercise programs in the morning (yoga and pilates) were nothing more than stretching. The beach volleyball and hobie cat were always available and lots of fun.
Overall: I had a great time relaxing at the Azul and I appreciate the contemporary small boutique feel they are going for. Unfortunately, the food and bar aspects of the resort are lacking."
- Travel date: Mon 27th of December 2004
Nice beach, but hotel needs improvement
"We stayed at the Azul from Dec. 18-25. Originally, our room was assigned in the older section of the hotel. However, after the water and the toilet didn't work, we were moved in the more modern (and in my opinion BETTER) area of the hotel. A wide range of activities are not available at this hotel, but this may be a good thing for anyone that likes to just lie on the beach without being hassled to join in to pool aerobics. Speaking of the pools, there are 3. There is a main pool, a shallow one for kids and a very small one on the other end of the resort. That being said, none of them are heated. The beach at this resort is very nice, and they clean the seaweed out every morning. There are also beds with canopies on the beach, but you have to be quick about reserving them in the morning. As was mentioned in previous reviews, there is a beach butler service. Fresh fruit and little snacks were offered throughout the day and magazines, books and suntan lotion were also available for your use. In case you get bored lying on the beach, DVD's are available for loan from the front desk with a fairly wide selection to choose from.
Now for my gripe, the FOOD. I do not consider myself a picky eater, but i do expect what I order to come as it is described. Rice most always substitute herbed potatoes, and on one occasion baby shrimp came in place of lobster. The resort advertised no reservations needed for dinner, but because of the influx of people for the holidays, a reservation system was put into place (don't know if it will remain). Also, if you are a person that enjoy having your dessert on holidays, then you will be greatly disappointed. Throughout our one week stay, there were 4 desserts every day, and they stayed the same for the week. Dry brownies, chewy phylo wrapped apples chunks, a little tart and a cheesecake tart. Personally, I like variety and taste. Unfortunately, this had been the only resort I have ever stayed in (and I have stayed in MANY) that did not go to any length to provide variety. I have a feeling the desserts were mass made and frozen, indicated by the white discolouring of the chocolate that results from refrigeration.
But enough about my complaining. The grounds at this resort are very nice, and the staff do work very hard to accomodate you. I feel that with time the resort will work out the kinks, but until then, we will try a different resort for our next holiday."
- Travel date: Sun 26th of December 2004
Good but not perfect
"We went to Azul Hotel and Beach Resort for 5 nights in the third week of December. Just like everyone, we did not know what to expect since the resort opened only a month before we got there. However, when we arrived, we were greeted by exceptionally friendly staff and got a moist towel as well as champagne â a nice little touch.
Our room was very cozy, and it had a nice view of the beach. There was a tiny balcony that we used for having breakfast. Many people we met complained that the rooms were very smallâ¦ We were happy with the size of our room because there were only the two of us staying there, but I could definitely see how families can find these rooms too small. We had a BIG problem with the bathroom â it was incredibly small, the running water was brown-yellow, and the shower head would not adjust so we always had a huge puddle of water in the bathroom and in our room (and even outside of our room!) after taking a quick shower. Moreover, they kept turning the water off during random parts of the day, and it was impossible to communicate with the staff to get it fixed. So if you like taking showers in your room after spending time on the beach, this resort might not be for you. I personally had a big problem with the quality of water â we put a towel on the floor to keep the water from getting out of the shower (just like I mentioned previously, the shower curtain did not stop the water at all) and it turned dark brown after a 5-minute shower. That was a bit disturbingâ¦ To add to the bathroom problems, our toilet overflowed after the first use, and the suitcase got a little wet.
The beach at Azul is very nice and clean, and the water is warm. It is pretty shallow in most places, so it is the ideal place to go snorkeling (additional $32/person) or kayaking. There were three pools (one of them was not open when we were there) but no one really uses them since the water is very cold. Many people complained that the water in the hot tub is very cold (I donât think they heat it), so we have never seen a single person in the hot tub. If you like taking long walks on the beach, it is beautiful for the most partâ¦ There is a resort called Desire nearby, which is a swingers/nudist resort.
The waiters and beach butlers were very nice and caring. They organized some activities and were very helpful with any questions. Although there are always a lot of activities planned for the day, only about half of them actually take place. When things are canceled, you are never notifiedâ¦
The food was absolutely wonderful â they had different menus every day in the main restaurant, and the food was always very good. Sometimes we had to wait for over an hour to get our food, but it was definitely worth the wait. During our last day they had a Mexican BBQ outside I highly recommend the Tequila Lounge for hanging out after dinner. The drinks there are amazing, and the decorations set a romantic mood. Moreover, the shows in the evening are great! We were a bit disappointed that there was no dancing in the evening but the shows were definitely very nice.
Overall, weâd give it an 8 out of 10."
- Travel date: Fri 24th of December 2004