We understand. Here are answers to some of the most asked questions regarding COVID-19.
Are there many cases in the Riviera Maya?
We are very proud of the aggressive and comprehensive approach to controlling the spread of COVID-19 that Mexico, across the nation, has taken.
What if my plans have to change?
We are all caught a little between trying to plan for our future, and making sure we protect our families in the event of unforseen circumstances. We're on your side and to help bridge the gap we've introduced new, temporary policies which offer a little bit of both worlds.
1. Payment Cancellation Policies are not linked to each individual property. Meaning you can see the exact payment and cancellation policy for that specific property right away.
2. Many great properties now offer Super Flexible Payment and Cancellation Policies which allow you to pay a minimal deposit to confirm your dates, allow you to cancel up to 14 days prior to arrival without penalty and allow you to create a payment schedule that fits your budget.
3. Other properties have introduced more Relaxed Payment and Cancellation Policies. Again, pay a minimal deposit and cancel up to 30 days prior to arrival without penalty. These properties also allow you to create a payment schedule that fits your budget.
How have your cleaning and maintenance practices changed in response to COVID-19?
This is something we are especially proud of. While we have always considered attention to detail and cleanliness one of the strongest characteristics of our hand picked properties, our onsite teams have now doubled down on rigourous cleaning and disinfecting procedures. Our teams are participating in continuing educaton programs so that each of us has full knowledge and capability of best practices and procedures.
We are closely following all recommendations from the CDC, WHO and hospitality professional industry associations. Specifically we have,
- Determined property specific action plans for deep cleaning and ongoing disinfecting of interior and exterior spaces.
- Increased good hygiene protocols, such as implementing hand sanitizer stations and frequent cleaning of high-touch areas.
- Ensuring ongoing education and preparedness for our onsite teams.
- Ensuring best practice procedures are proactively followed in all areas.
- Making sure that all team members are empowered to communicate areas of concern and recommendations.
General FAQ's and Business as Usual (The way we like it)
1. What are your Booking and Cancellation Policies?
Please see our policies HERE.
We urge you purchase Travel Insurance prior to paying the final balance of your reservation and protect your vacation investment. We do not have any affiliation with an insurance broker, however Travel Safe is a good place to start: https://www.travelsafe.com/
2. What is the check-in and check-out time? Can we check-in early?
Check-in starts at 3pm and check-out is at 11am.
If you will be arriving earlier or your flight is leaving late please check with us a week prior your arrival if early check-in or late check-out is possible. This is possible only if we don't have an arrival/departure and has to be confirmed via email.
3. Does the property have WIFI?
Here in the Riviera Maya, most properties have internet access, however in the beach communities, the internet may not be at the speed that you are used to back home. While the service is pretty reliable in general, we do have occasional outages, during which time we have to wait until the internet provider repairs it. They do not offer us a service level agreement, so, for this reason, we can not offer guarantees on the availability of the internet service during your stay.
4. What is the address of the property?
You can find the address on the final confirmation. However, here in Akumal Area, we don't have a big network of streets with house numbers. The majority of properties are identified by a sign out front.
5. Is it customary to tip the house staff or service providers and how much?
Tipping is according to your generosity and the level of service you receive. An average tip for basic house and groundskeeping service is between US$ 2-3 per person, per day. When tipping in a restaurant, it is customary in Mexico to tip between 15-20%. When using a credit card cash tips may be requested. It is also customary to tip your grocery bagger and gas station attendant who washes car windows.
6. What do I do to get more supplies or report a maintenance issue?
If you have a special request relating to a late checkout or additional supplies please speak to the front desk or your property manager. If you experience any maintenance issues please report while you are in residence and not after you have returned home so we may better ensure the comfort of your stay.
7. Where can I do laundry?
Most villas offer laundry service by the maid for $5.00 US wash, dry and fold. The condominiums normally do not have public laundries however you may check with the manager or front desk to arrange this service. There is a low-cost Lavenderia (drop off laundry) located on the west side of the highway in the Akumal Pueblo.
8. Is there parking available?
Yes, parking will be available when renting a private villa or a condominium.
9. Are crib and high chair rentals available?
Yes, cribs and high chairs can be rented for $15.00 each per day. Our Concierge can arrange this service.
1. What airport do I fly in to?
International flights arrive at Cancun. The airport code is CUN. Flights also arrive at Cozumel - transportation connects via Playa del Carmen water taxi to reach the mainland.
2. How long is the drive from the airport to Akumal?
Akumal is located 65 miles south of the Cancun airport. Driving time is approximately 60-90 minutes depending on where you are staying.
3. How do I get around Akumal without a rental car?
Our community is small, approximately one and one half miles long end to end. Visitors normally walk, bike or rent a golf cart to easily get around. Rental cars are recommended for visitors who wish to get out and about to explore the area and easily access major stores. Rental cars are recommended for the communities of Jade Bay, South Akumal, Aventuras Akumal, Soliman Bay and Tankah.
4. How do I buy gasoline? Can I use my credit card?
Credit cards are not always accepted. To avoid any confusion plan to pay for your gas purchases in pesos. Get out of the car, make eye contact and check to see if the pump is on zero. It is best to present the amount you wish to add to the vehicle and state that amount - 200 pesos - 500 pesos. Be aware of the bait and switch - "oh, you gave me 20 pesos and not 200". If this happens and your money is switched complain loudly - normally, there will be an “I am sorry” and the correct amount is returned.
5. Are taxis available?
Taxis are available for hire by the arch in Akumal. When taking a taxi it is always best to negotiate the fare in advance to avoid any surprises.
6. What should I do if I am stopped by police in my rental car?
First of all, stay calm. Present your rental car paperwork and your driver’s license. If you have been stopped for speeding, talking on a cell phone, not wearing a seatbelt, or drinking, you will be presented a ticket as these are all against the law here in Mexico. If the officer is seeking a cash bribe, he will most likely tire of you if you do not offer to pay and you do not understand or speak Spanish. It is not appropriate to pay cash bribes on the side of the road. Problems can be avoided by allowing ample time to return to the airport and observing driving laws and traffic signs.
1. Where is the best place to purchase groceries?
Traveling south from Cancun airport there are major groceries (Chedruai) in Playa del Carmen, Puerto Maya exit at Puerto Aventuras and Tulum. Sam’s Club is also located in Playa del Carmen. In Akumal, there are a variety of small convenience type stores on the beach side and in the Akumal pueblo on the west side of the highway.
2. Can I have groceries delivered to my accommodation arrival day?
Yes, there are some great grocery delivery services locally. Please contact our concierge for more information.
1. Is it safe to drink the tap water?
The tap water in the local area has a high calcium content, for this reason, it is not recommended for drinking. Purified water is provided for drinking, cooking, ice cube making and teeth brushing. Restaurants will only service purified water and ice.
2. What can I do to protect my health?
It is recommended to wash hand frequently and use hand sanitizer. Drink and brush your teeth with purified water. Sterilize and soak fruits and veggies in purified water or use Microdyne and iodine drop solution provided in your unit. Remember to remain well hydrated, many people become unwell on vacation through overexposure to the sun and dehydration.
3. How are the beaches in the Akumal area? Are they rocky?
Akumal is blessed with two gorgeous white sand beaches that are protected by the great Palancar barrier reef. Half Moon Bay is a beautiful sandy beach with a slightly rocky water entrance due to the close proximity of the inshore coral reef. Water shoes are recommended for entering the water for swimming and snorkeling. Akumal bay beach has a nice sandy bottom entry suitable for bare feet entry. Water shoes are also recommended when staying at Jade Bay beach and South Akumal beach.
Aventuras Akumal Bay is a beautiful wide sandy beach which is ideal for swimming. Water shoes are not necessary for entering the water and snorkeling.
Soliman Bay is one of the nicest beaches on the coast. The bay has a beautiful sandy beach with some turtle grass in shallow parts of the water. However, most properties have sandy paths which make water entrance easy. Water shoes are not necessary for entering the water and snorkeling.
Staying on Tankah beach water shoes are suggested.
4. Are fruits and vegetables safe to eat at local restaurants?
Yes, all fruits and veggies are washed in purified water. Yes, you may eat the lettuce.
5. Do restaurants use purified water and ice?
Yes, all drinks are served with purified ice and water.
6. What about ants and insects?
Welcome to the tropical jungle! To avoid tempting ants into your unit remember to seal up all opened food and secure in the refrigerator or in sealed baggies. Biting insects are not so much of a problem at the ocean however insect repellent is necessary when visiting attractions off the coast. While all properties receive regular fumigation, the odd insect may wander into properties by mistake. If you find one, please notify your house staff and they will return it back outside for you.
7. How do I request the restaurant check since it is not automatically brought to the table?
It is not customary to automatically receive your check after finishing a meal because it is considered rude to hurry one away from the table. Simply request your check to avoid a wait.
8. Will my cell phone work?
Please check with your provider prior to travel to activate coverage for the Cancun, Mexico area.
9. Where is the closest church for religious services located?
There are small, local churches located in Akumal Pueblo, Tulum and Playa del Carmen. The majority of the population are Catholic. Quintana Roo does not have a rich history of Hispanic churches. The grand churches of the peninsula are located in the state of Yucatan, mainly in Valladolid or Merida.
10. Are area services closed during holidays?
Since Riviera Maya and Akumal are major tourist destinations, area services do not close during the holidays.
11. Where are the closest medical services, ambulance, doctor and hospital?
- Emergency (Police/Ambulance/Fire) phone# is: 911
- Akumal 24 Hour Red Cross ambulance service phone# is: 984-802-5521
- Akumal private ambulance service: 984 876 2250
- Akumal Medical Center: 984 875 9090/9393 (call 984 806 4616 to speak to a doctor)
- Hospiten Riviera Maya Playa del Carmen (Av Balamcanché, Playacar, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R.): 984 803 1002
- Costamed Hospital Tulum (Calle 3 Sur s/n, Lote 8, Villa Tulum): 984 124 0830
1. How do I arrange transportation from and to the Cancun airport when not renting a car?
Our guest services manager, David will be happy to assist with your transportation needs.
2. Can I rent a car in Akumal?
There are no car rental desks in Akumal. David can arrange a vehicle from Budget Rent A Car to be delivered to your accommodation. In general, the road systems are in good condition and safe, however, the traffic can be fast, especially the taxis. The best rule to follow is to stay to the right, allowing faster traffic to pass. Keep an eye out for the speed bumps.
3. Can I hire a Chef?
Some properties have their own cooks that can arrange on-site meals. Others have preferred Chef service providers and can make a recommendation upon arrival. David can also arrange this service.
4. Where can I rent snorkeling, dive, kayaks and paddleboards?
On Half Moon Bay in Akumal, Akumal Dive Adventures is located next door to the north of La Buena Vida Restaurant. There are two dive shops located on Akumal beach for gear rental.
1. Can I use foreign money?
US dollars are widely accepted however it is always best to pay for purchases in pesos when possible to obtain the best exchange rate in change.
2. Is it best to order pesos from my bank or exchange at the airport?
It is always handy to have pesos on hand when arriving Mexico. The airport does not offer favorable exchange rates. There is a money exchange or “cambio” on the right as you drive up the hill across the highway in the Akumal Pueblo. We find that the best rates can be obtained using your card in the ATM machine. Check with our bank before departure to see what their rates and charges are for international cash machine withdrawals.
3. Do I need to notify my bank and credit card companies prior to travel?
Yes, it is important to notify your bank in advance that you will be traveling so your card will not be blocked for suspected fraud. Please note, you will receive change in pesos when making a purchase. For current exchange rates please see: http://www.x-rates.com/calculator
4. Where are the ATM machines located?
In Akumal, there is an ATM machine on the north side by the arch and inside El Publito market located across from the Super Chomak. ATM is also located to the south of Akumal inside the Dona Isabela mall in front of the resort Bahia Principe. ATM machines are also located in the banks in Tulum and Playa del Carmen.