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I finally went to Playa Del Carmen.  For real this time.  I actually went twice within six months.  Once in November 2023 and the other time in June 2024.  I stayed at two different adult only resorts.  Both have their positives.  So, let's dive in.


My first trip to Playa Del Carmen, I stayed at the Hilton Resort, in November.  Location was everything!   If you like to leave the resort and explore your surroundings, then this is the best option.  The Hilton Resort is about a block walking distance from 5th Avenue, which is a popular street in PDC.  On 5th Avenue, there are tons of restaurants, shopping, activities, street performers, etc.  I walked up and down that street at least once a day.  It was just so cool to be among the people.  I even got a tattoo and a massage.  Both decisions could have been questionable.  But, YOLO.  The resort has direct beach access.  And November through January is prime time to visit the Caribbean side of Mexico.  Any other time of the year, the beach is probably not accessible due to sargassum, which is basically seaweed.  It overtakes the beaches and turns the water brown between February and October.  However, the food at the resort was surprisingly great. I didn't have one bad meal.  I even had a seven course dinner that didn't disappoint. Everything was so delicious.  We had an ocean view room.  But the room was a bit dated and sparsely decorated.  And there was a random jacuzzi-like tub in the corner of the room.  Seemed misplaced and random.  The pools on the resort were nice.  I'm slowly turning into a pool girl/pool snob.  So, I enjoyed the pool but not as much as the beach.   The music was upbeat and lively near the pool.  People were there to have a good time.  The accommodations are my only complaint.  Not top notch but also not the bottom either.  The location definitely made up for the room.  This resort is for the grown folks who still like to get out and have fun.


While in Playa Del Carmen, I visited Chichen Itza.  Chichen Itza is one of the seven wonders of the world.  It was amazing to see how a structure of that magnitude could be built in the 1400s.  The tour guide talked a lot about the Mayan culture and the parallels it has to modern day religion.  I wanted to grab some pics using my tripods but tripods are not allowed.  Some nice people offered to take my picture and that was kind of the vibe there.  People were there to marvel at the structures, learn history and take lots of pictures.  The tour stopped through Valladolid.  It was a quint and colorful Mayan town with so much charm.  We were treated to a traditional Mayan meal that included lime soup.  I was skeptical.  It was actually tasty.  The half day trip was 10 hours since Chichen Itza is about three hours away.  It was so worth it though.

My second trip to Playa del Carmen, I stayed at Impressions Moxche, in June.  Oh my!!!!!  The room was gorgeous and modern.  A breathtaking ocean view room with a hot tub on the balcony.  Double sinks, huge bathtub and a separate rainfall shower.  Lovely.  There weren't enough outlets in the room though and our tablet to control the room would not stay charged.  So that is my only complaint when it comes to the room.  The property is immaculate.  I counted six pools in the center of the resort.  There were also four dedicated pools for guests on the Impressions side of the resorts, including two rooftop pools.  One pool had a man made beach entrance that went 10 feet deep,  The others were all different with walk-in declining entrances, no defined stairs and pool bars surrounded by plenty of seating and lush greenery.  I even found two cenotes hidden beyond the pools,  I just kept coming across more pools and more areas to hang out.  I liked that the rooms had more of an inside hotel feel.  Most resorts I’ve been to have hotel room doors that lead to the outside heat directly.  This resort is pretty remote and a 20 min drive to 5th Avenue.  So, this trip was strictly a resort trip,  We checked in and didn't leave until we checked out.  It's definitely a chill resort.  This secluded location comes with spa music playing all day long,  It's very relaxing.  They do have an entertainment team, who hosts games like bingo and movie trivia.  Very laid back.  The food was decent.  The best places to eat were Ember and teppanyaki at Suki.  The spa is an oasis.  As an Impressions Moxche, a 25 min massage was included.  I opted for just a foot massage.  Truth be told, the massage was just ok and I would have been mad if I had to pay for it.  The resort has a speakeasy/hidden club that you enter through the Pharmacy and exit through a gender neutral bathroom.,  I was excited to go and use the password "Alka Seltzer" to get in.   But no one was at the door and the music was techno.  I lasted 15 mins and went back to the room.  We had a butler so that was a plus.  He checked in daily to make sure we were ok.  And he also replaced my iPad charger that was broken by housekeeping.  I had a seven course meal at Teodoro.  The menu was super fancy.  I almost didn't want to experience it because it was that fancy.  But, I'm glad I did.  The courses are super small but, packed with flavor.  I could tell the curator of the menu really created a masterpiece.  The dishes are paired with wine.  And the restaurant sits on the beach.  It was an exquisite experience.  I experienced a Mexican wine tasting, which was nice too.  I had no idea that Mexico even produced wine.  I can't say it was the best wine.  But the wine boutique where it was hosted was so pretty.   The private dinner at Bottega and something was described as a dinner in a wine cave.  It wasn’t actually a wine cave.  It was a wine room with huge window between the Italian and French restaurants.  The food was interesting.  Not totally bad, just interesting.  I wouldn’t book the private dinner again.  This resort is for the grown folks that work a lot and need time to unwind or for a perfect honeymoon.


All in all, I liked both resorts for different reasons.  I like being near the action or at least having the option to see the action at the Hilton.  But, I also like the peace and quiet of a secluded resort like Impressions Moxche.  I love a posh hotel room.  I love butler service.  But, I also like being left alone sometimes.  Let me call you when I need something.  I prefer great food over decent food, of course.  My perfect trip would be Impressions Moxche located where the Hilton is.  The restaurants would have the decor of Impressions Moxche but the food quality of the Hilton.  The Impressions Moxche pool would have the upbeat vibe of the Hilton.  Maybe not all of the pools but at least a couple of them.  And I would travel in between November and January.  That would be my wish.  But, I guess you can't have it all.


So which one would I go back to?  Both depending on what type of trip I want to have.  

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