20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Aquatech has it all
"Went to Aquatech with some freinds to checkout the world-class cave diving offered in that area. Aquatech is a full service hotel providing us with an onsite dive shop for tanks, equipment storage...the provided us a van and driver to take us to the local Cenotes. They even made us lunches to take with us on our days of exploring the incredible caves. Aquatech is unique in that you can sit on the gorgeous beach right outside your hotel/condo and then be off cave diving during the day. From what I understand there is also excellent ocean diving in the area as well. I'm not sure how many times I have visited aquatech but I can tell you it won't be the last! Peter Sotis www.addhelium.com"
- Travel date: 13th November 2008
Fantastic time-Loved It!
"My wife, two 9 year old twin daughters and I spent a week and a half in the area south of Cancun, Mexico. We were booked at a place called the Ocean Maya which is one of those all inclusive, gated places that abound in that area. Thankfully we rented a car and, with the help of Frommers stumbled upon Aqua Tech Villa DeRosa in Akumal, Quintana Roo, about 60 miles south of Cancun. The place was fantastic, just what we were looking for. It is an intimate resort right on Half Moon Bay, Riveria Maya. The setting is beautiful and the people are the friendliest that we have ever met in any of our travels. The beach is directly outside your back door and there is a fantastic reef with excellent snorkeling right there. My wife and I took advantage of this one of the afternoons that we were there. The proprietors are also extremely knowledgeable about the other natural attractions nearby. The second day, we hired Nick, one of the guides, to take myself, my wife and two daughters snorkeling in Cenote Dos Ojos and the lagoon in Akumal. These were two lesser known gems that we would have never found on our own and our guide, Nick, was very informative regarding the history, environment, flora and fauna of these natural wonders. And Nick was great with my 9 year old daughters with helpful tips on snorkeling and explanations about the fish, the coral and the caves (Cenote). The Cenote Dos Ojos was a little frightening for Vivian as she never swam in a cave before (nether had any of us!) but Nick took her by the hand and she was just fine. And what an experience! It was fantastic. The Aquatech Villas Rosa also offers instruction in and guided scuba diving in the Cenotes as well as from boats in the Caribbean, but we were not there long enough to take advantage of that. And the bartender, Quickie, makes the BEST margaritas. My wife had a couple with our dinner there and promptly forgot her purse (with all charge cards, driver's license, etc.) when we left. We called the next day and they had it, safe and sound and we came back to pick it up. There is a restaurant on the premises, operated by Quickie's wife, Gynna. Gynna's grandfather founded the town of Akumal and there is a bust of him at the entrance to town. She trained in the USA and worked at a couple of places in Florida (she told me the names of the places, but I can't remember-must be the margaritas). She is working on a cook book that incorporates local Mayan dishes with local ingredients. The meals that we had were great. Nothing elaborate, but fresh, local ingredients creatively and impeccably prepared. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for an engaging experience focused on the natural environment and water sports including snorkeling, diving, sea kayaking, wind surfing, etc. The place is casual, the people are cool and the vibe is great. It reminds me of the vibe at White Grass Nordic Ski area in West Virginia, except its warm outside."
- Travel date: 1st November 2008
Put them out of their misery
"For 15 years they were the top cave diving operation in the Yucatan. About 10 years ago, that began to change. With the departure of Tony and Steve, the place declined steadily. It is a shame to see a pioneer operation decline so badly. The rooms are a mess, the appliances in a state of disrepair. Service is basically non-existent. Tony/Nancy should either hire a professional management staff or just sell the place. At this point, I canât think of any reason to stay there or use their dive services."
- Travel date: 16th October 2008
Great place, great people!
"First time I stayed at Riviera Maya was in July, in a near by, all inclusive resort. I was very disappointed with my stay and while walking on the beach I came across Villas Derosa. When booking my next trip, despite all the bad reviews,I have decided to go for this small, family owned resort. I was picked u at the airport by a very nice young gentleman who brought me directly to Villas Derosa. I got a nice room, with an amazing ocean view. The room was a little old fashioned, but clean. The housekeeper came every morning to refresh the bathroom and and was always very nice and polite. The food was fine, can't complain. One day, I ordered eggs, and they were a little to spicy. I called the kitchen and was offered a new meal immediately and had it delivered into my room shortly after. I absolutely loved the beach. It is natural, beautiful, clean. They have 4 dogs which do run around the resort and the beach, but they never bothered me. If you don't like pets and other kind of animals like snakes and birds, don't stay here. But I think that this is what makes the resort special. It is family owned, small place and if you stay here, the staff makes you feel like a part of their family. I was able to hold a 2 meter long snake, which was a wonderful experience, saw the Sea Turtles laying the eggs as well as watched the little once to leave into the sea, visited some of the near by caves. And all this, thanks to the wonderful Villas Derosa staff. Especially Quickie and Gina, who work at the beach bar. This is not a luxurious hotel with all inclusive services, but it is a great place for anyone who wants to enjoy a hustle free vacation in a family resort, likes the natural beauty and is able to enjoy life from little things and have fun on the sun!"
- Travel date: 15th September 2008
No Doubt - great place
"The staff were always cheery and friendly... always helpfull with advice... never once did they say to us or others...not to go somewhere because they thought badly of another resort.. their attitude was always... if you need to see this or that then absolutely do it... we can make it happen for you... or show you the way if your a do it yourselfer. The food was always fantastic there... the beach bar was always stocked and clean. Gina makes a mean Pizza As for the dog comments and the packages they deposit on the beach... there are many dozens of homeless animals in that area and to sit and point fingers at the dogs of DeRosa is crazy unless your stalking the dogs 24/7. My group have taken many tours with them over the years and never had a bad experience.. the entire time i was there.. other guests were commenting how much they enjoyed their dives and the staff running the hotel. I never heard one complaint. They bend over backwards to accomodate you. In writing a general review... normal people on forums sites don't get into the personal lives of owners of hotels , resorts and or Casa's. But noticing the comments made on this website regarding Villas DeRosa Im seeing its all malicious and insulting towards the owners and staff.... that most of the reviews are obviously trying to ward off people from staying there because of their beliefs against certain resorts who not be named. Apparently Trip Advisor is not keeping there word on Hearsay reviews being posted and personal insults being posted. This is a trip review site.. your suppose to review the hotel.. not what someone does on their own personal time when they arent working. I say go and decide for yourself... dont always believe everything on a website."
- Travel date: 27th August 2008
Disappointed with the decline
"Location is not a substitute for good service. Villas de Rosa is on a steep decline and the bottom is not yet in sight. Luckily, I do not get involved with the VDR politics or drug and alcohol activity, but it is noticeable to guests just the same. Our trip was all about diving and on that front, our guide and Sherpas were incredible, as always. So what's wrong? Well (deep breath in to get this all out)... the tanks are not in good condition, doubles are not properly assembled (and the staff stood by and watched as we, the guests, properly assembled their tanks), we had to remind them to get fills before we ran out of cylinders, the vans they have left (some where mysteriously missing) threatened to leave us stranded due to severe maintenance problems, making each trip to the jungle more adventure than necessary, dogs have free run of the place (luckily none pooped in our area, but the beach is a mine field), the manager woke up one morning in front of our condo deck (on two beach chairs pushed together) with one of the female guests (and later was caught in the office with another guest's daughter), the police (or some other type of officials) continuously showed up on the property looking for something, the buildings need work, the meals, while decent tasting, were not consistent or reliably delivered...am I out of room??? I did not have issues with bugs in the room or problems with hot water. It is a real shame to have to write this type of review as VDR could be a wonderful experience - as it has been in the past. Unfortunately, after taking these issues up with two of the owners/partners/managers (it is tough to tell who is who), the clear message is that it is not going to be fixed, no one can control Nancy, and if you want to dive out of VDR, you will have to just live with the conditions and attitudes as they are. So, I must warn you, be prepared for anything. Villas de Rosa is not the least expensive place in the area, but after this trip it is my opinion that is is being run as if that is the case. Beware or be flexible."
- Travel date: 13th August 2008
"The beach in Akumal is spectacular! I will definately go back to Akumal, but not at Villa DeRosa. The place is lacking some upkeep. The view and the location couldn't be better. Being able to sit from your balcony and hear the water and see the sun rise was fantastic. The beach was never cleaned up like the others on either side of the condo. Things would wash up during the night, like netting or styrofoam, and they would be there all week, unless they washed back out the next day. No one ever cleaned up the beachfront. At check in, the smell of pot was quite noticable, coming from the owners apartment. The owner never introduced herself, maybe because she could barely talk due to the obvious cotton-mouth she was experiencing. Never saw her over the week long stay. Animals were not a problem as the others stated. Dogs were there but never ran into any of "their business" as others had, and they never bothered us. Things were musty as others had stated but what do you want...you're on the beach! It is unavoidable, you really can't help that. The kitchen was bear bones when it came to utensils or pots. Due to the fact that the bathroom needed cleaning before I would even let my family sit or take a shower, we decided not to eat or drink anything that they were serving. Owner said the menus were suppose to be in the holder if we wanted to order any food...never saw the menus. They advertise a restaurant, but it is only her housekeeping staff that will whip you up something in the basement apartment where they live. Only staff that ever recognized your existance was the housekeeping. Dive workers and office staff will walk right by you. Didn't dive there, the shop is a mess and their equipment looked old. Went into Akumal and used the Akumal Dive Center for the week, they were fantastic, very friendly and very professional. The 4 of us did 6 dives a piece and the prices were very reasonable. Great place to dive or snorkle. Definately encourage going into Akumal for the diving and food. Got the name of a few other places while we were there and will look them up when we return. Akumal is one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever seen, you can snorkel right off your beach. The Villa DeRosa has great potential and you can tell it was a great place to stay in the past. Probably needs a new owner or atleast one that takes pride in their place. Planters all over the place could be beautiful if they put plants in them or even took care of the few plants that were in them now. Don't let the pictures on their website fool you...they were taken a long time ago. Too bad, it could be a beautiful place."
- Travel date: 26th March 2008
"these condos are located on a beautiful beach and access is perfect, but with 4 dogs running around and no clean up watch where you step. the beach is never cleaned up with debris,etc. if you don't mind ants and roaches this is the place is for you. don't plan on cooking too much in your kitchen since there are few utensils and the kitchen appliances are at least 25 years old. not one comfortable place to sit much less beds, and if you like musty sheets they have them. beware air conditioning is only in three bedrooms and very loud. although they say satellite tv (13 channels) available, works sometimes and never in the morning for news. portable radio picked up 2 stations no music. the most disturbing thing I've ever seen is they have 2 cats. one is 13 years old an so thin it's pathetic. tried to give some food but since the cat has a tumor on the throat cannot eat much less lick up fluids. starving in front of your eyes. we'll return to akumul, beautiful beaches ,BUT NEVER HERE!!"
- Travel date: 9th March 2008
A week of total relaxation and amazing dives!
"After reading some recent negative reviews of this resort, my husband and I had some apprehensions before our latest trip to Villas DeRosa in February 2008, but we were not disappointed and had a very enjoyable week as usual. We are both full cave certified divers and have been visiting Villas DeRosa since 1996, usually with a group of several other divers but sometimes just the two of us, as we did for this trip. We have always considered the weeklong cave diving package close to our ideal of a total vacation, one that allows us to completely relax, enjoy the beautiful and secluded setting, and concentrate almost exclusively on diving. Almost all the logistics of getting out on dive excursions: tank fills, arrangements for access and transportation to the dive sites, meals, bottled water and sodas, etc., are taken out of our hands. All we have to worry about is getting our own equipment ready for the next incredible dive! At the Cancun airport, we were promptly met by a familiar face: Roberto, one of Villas DeRosaâs long-time employees, who helped us with our luggage and drove us to the resort. We also made a stop at a supermarket along the way, and he waited while we picked up some fruit and a few snacks to supplement our regular meals. Upon our arrival, Nancy DeRosa greeted us warmly and showed us to our hotel room, with Roberto hauling most of our luggage up to the room for us. Nancy did mention that she had had some recent difficulties in the kitchen but that she had just hired a couple of new cooks (in addition to another cook who had been working there for a longer time), and asked us to let her know if there were any problems with the meals during our stay. However, we had no complaints about the quality or quantity of food. Even though the variety of dishes served at dinner was not as great as it had been in previous years, everything was tasty and well prepared. Our only quibble was that one morning at breakfast we were served only a large fruit plate which my husband did not think was enough to sustain him through an active morning of diving. However, the situation was easily resolved by asking our dive guide to request an extra sandwich for us to take along when we headed out for the dayâs dives. The hotel rooms are clean but fairly basic with concrete stucco walls, tile floors and simple furniture. Personally, we consider it a plus not to have fancy carpeting and furnishings to worry about when we are constantly dragging wet dive gear and sandy beach wear in and out of the room. Both the hotel rooms and condos have ample electrical outlets for recharging dive light and camera batteries. The condos are very spacious with an up close and personal view of the ocean from the back porch or balcony, and at night we loved leaving the sliding door to our balcony open and the air conditioning off so that we fell asleep listening to the sound of the waves. The hotel rooms lack the ocean view but have balconies overlooking the pool area and the jungle beyond. The grounds are well landscaped with lots of tropical flowers and an on-site menagerie of reptiles and birds, not to mention the ownerâs two friendly Labrador retrievers and three sociable cats that frequently roam the premises. If you are not fond of animals, I wouldnât recommend staying here as there is likely to be at least one dog or cat in the resort office at almost any time. While staying at Villas DeRosa, we find it helpful to keep in mind that it is a small, family-owned resort. In contrast to larger resorts that may have a staff of hundreds of employees, Villas DeRosa has a limited staff who, while friendly and hard-working, may not always have the resources to grant a guestâs request upon a momentâs notice, and if you donât speak much Spanish it may take a little time to make your wishes understood to some of the staff members whose English comprehension may be limited. However, we have found that if we put in a request for a special service ahead of time, they will try their best to make it happen for us. Due to a staff illness and larger cave diving groups also in residence during the week of our visit, we were assigned a long-time employee of the DeRosasâ dive operation, Tito, as our dive guide. Although he did not have as much experience guiding full cave divers as he did leading cavern tours and open water dives, he was extremely friendly, knows the operations of the dive shop and the locations of the dive sites very well, and worked hard to get everything ready for each day of diving, including nitrox fills and stage bottles. Working from memories of our previous visits, we came prepared with a list of sites and specific routes at those sites that we wanted to dive. Even though a few of the places on our list were new to Tito, he still took us to every site we requested and even introduced us to one highly decorated cave system we had not seen before. We thoroughly enjoyed spending the week with him. And needless to say, the cave diving is truly spectacular. The variety of cave systems has to be seen to be believed, and more are being discovered all the time. In short, there are more luxurious resorts but none where we feel more relaxed or more at home. Itâs a difficult place to leave, and we generally find ourselves planning our next visit even before our stay is over."
- Travel date: 1st March 2008
"Villas De Rosa was a horrible experiance. My family and I had so many problems while staying there! The beah was full of dog poop from their labs, which they never picked up. There were red ants EVERYWHERE in the apartment. Most of the appliances in the apartment did not work. There were no telivision channels. Also, we stayed there for hurricane dean....we stay there for two weeks and the beach WAS NEVER CLEANED UP!!! my daughters love the beach, and they couldn't enjoy it because the staff was lazy and never bothered to clean up the mess that was left. not to mention that everytime i went up to the office for something, it smelled of marijuana! EVERY TIME! the owners of this resort are high and drunk 24/7. Everytime i would talk to nancy's much younger english boyfriend, he would reek of alcohol and marijuana. as well as nancy. this was an absolute horrible experiance!!"
- Travel date: 19th February 2008
"We were pleasantly surprised by how perfect our stay here was. Our family (with two travel-savvy teenagers, aged 19 and 17) was in a bad mood upon arriving, and the 19-year-old was annoyed to even be on this trip, thinking she was too old for vacations with her family. However, our stay in Akumal made her think twice. We were given a second-floor two-bedroom condo with GORGEOUS views overlooking the Caribbean. The glass wall on that side enabled you to see it from the entire kitchen and living room area - but I can see no reason why you would want to stay inside. The beach itself felt very private. Other residents were friendly, and according to the 19-year-old, the manager's son was highly attractive. The resident puppies (and their parents!) kept everyone's spirits up, as they adorably jumped on the beach trampoline and played fetch. There were palapas to lie under and it was much appreciated. The beach was visually STUNNING, and the sand was nice, and the water temperature absolutely perfect, and free of annoying seaweed; however, once you entered the water, it definitely got a bit rocky. The rockiness probably isn't that frustrating for the typical Aquatech guest - the place especially caters to divers. However, we didn't feel out of place (though they did try to suggest that our kids to take scuba lessons - but not obnoxiously - we were tempted. And I definitely recommend at least snorkeling in the area - it's worth it). The pool was pleasant, and the decor around the area was beautiful. The two-bedroom condo exceeded our expectations. Though only the bedrooms had air-conditioning, the living room and kitchen kept surprisingly cool as long as you left the window open at both sides (it went all the way through), allowing the draft to do its thing. There was more than enough space (and bedding) for our family of four adults and almost-adults. The showers had fantastic water pressure. In the kitchen, there was a bottled water dispenser in addition to the tap water, which my husband especially appreciated. The decorations made us feel like we were in a tropical paradise - but the kind of tropical paradise you actually want to be in, not a mere tourist trap. The room itself was incomparably nicer than the next place (usually a timeshare place) we proceeded to stay at in Cancun. As for Akumal, it was a refreshing change from the hubbub of Cancun - an oasis of sorts. It felt real, and let the natural beauty of the area speak for itself. It wasn't overly built-up, or obsessed with nightlife, and it didn't feel like everyone was just out to get you, the tourist. However, there is still a bit of a noticeable separation between the "locals" and the "tourists." The last thing I'd like to mention about Aquatech is how friendly and accomodating the manager was. The place is owned by Nancy and Tony DeRosa (Tony was there during our stay). Tony was both laidback and accomodating; for example, upon arrival, he hadn't exactly reserved a specific room for us, which we weren't thrilled about, but then let us have our pick of all the open rooms, and offered advice about things to do in the area. Also, they (Nancy and Tony) are the pioneers of cavern diving! Overall, it was an unexpectedly pleasant experience - and an amazing value. I wouldn't hesitate to go back there (and I don't usually like to go to the same place twice)."
- Travel date: 31st December 2006
"We stayed at the Villas DeRosa Hotel in June of 2005. I know I am a bit late in writing this review, but here it goes. We stayed in the hotel portion of this place. There are condos here that look quite nice, but we just stayed in a room for a couple of nights. The hotel part faces back towards the street and overlooks the pool. The room is VERY basic. We had one bed with a bathroom. Our air conditioner was not working well so they had to come in and change it out. It took them awhile, but finally they took care of it. For $50 a night, we could not complain. The pool is kind of small, and they do scuba lessons in it so it has that deep portion. This place is for the scuba type of people for sure! They had lots of tours going out. But it was nice for a dip. The rooftop restaurant/bar was really nice. They had loungers up there and bed things and it was really beautiful looking over the sea. This was a great place to relax and hang out. There are lots of loungers on the beach and it was quite nice. It was a little rocky, but not too bad. They have sea kayaks and things to use with a $20 deposit. That was really nice. This area is quiet and a bit secluded, so we loved it. There are a couple of small stores within walking distance for snacks as well as other properties. We stayed here to be near Yal-Ku Lagoon which is quite beautiful."
- Travel date: 5th December 2006
Villas DeRosa Beach Resort is also called
- Aquatech Villas DeRosa Resort
- aquatech hotel derosa