This is a trip report on the Caribbean Reef Club, having just returned from a 4 day stay in October 2000. Let me clarify that we are not lifestyler's. We have also traveled the Caribbean extensively, staying at many resorts to include The Cutlass Bay Club, Club Orient, Soroban, Grand Lido Negril, Grand Lido Braco Village and Grand Lido San Souci to name just a few with c/o facilities. We have also taken nearly a dozen cruises (have yet to try a nude cruise).
ADVANTAGES OF THE CARIBBEAN REEF CLUB:
* Hotel permits only "male/female" couples to stay (last summer while we were at Club Orient a chalet had been rented by six males between 20-25 years of age --- need I say more about what that was like).
* Adults only resort, no children or teens
* Easy airine access
* Price is reasonable for an all inclusive resort
* Resort is small, romantic and relaxing
* Service is out of sight --- the best
* Grounds and rooms are spotless
DISADVANTAGES OF THE CARIBBEAN REEF CLUB:
* Technically under Mexican law the ocean and part of the beach are textile.
* Evening entertainment is lacking.
* May have only a few couples while you are there - Very quiet, maybe too quiet.
We decided to book this resort because we only had a few days and it is close to us; 6 hours flying time vs 16 to 17 hours into St Martin or elsewhere in the Caribbean... and the website made the resort look wonderful --- the resort is just as beautiful as the website shows.
Arriving in Mexico, Cancun customs were the easiest of any Caribbean country we have been to that have customs --- off the plane and right through customs. However, they do, evidentially randomly check baggage.
We booked our reservations through Skip of the Caribbean Reef Club who is located in Huntington Beach California and verified there were no groups scheduled for the hotel the week we would be there. We also paid in advance $50 to cover round-trip cab fare to and from the airport. Our cab driver was waiting with a sign "Caribbean Reef Club" just outside the terminal. Our 30 minute trip to the hotel was uneventful.
We booked a studio room on the ground floor, our room was beautiful and we had a small patio and pathway leading out to the pool to our front (recommend the ground floor studio). The path to the right took you to the c/o beach (c/o beach sits back from the water, near the jacuzzi). Our room was equivalent to Braco Village rooms and better than Club Orient's studio. We have had bug problems both at Club O and Braco, but no problems here, other than a mosquito or two coming through the patio door we forgot to close. The room includes a small kitchenette (similar to Club O), nice sized shower, king-size bed, couch and chairs and satellite TV. Floors are a polished travertine tile.
The figure eight pool is as gorgeous as the website pictures show and crystal clear and clean. The jacuzzi is also beautiful, but off by itself on the c/o beach. The jacuzzi does not get heated until early evening, but is very nice by 10:00PM. We found it somewhat disappointing that the entire beach immediately in front of the hotel is off limits for c/o use (topless they say is okay --- but we saw none). Also since the beach immediately in front of the hotel is textile, you have to put a suit on to go in the ocean. Federal troops (group of three young solders) seem to patrol the beach with automatic weapons daily --- we felt a little intimidated when we saw them, but probably because we are just not used to Mexico. They did nothing to make us feel that way, other than walk down the beach and I am sure it is all for our own safety. The hotels clothing optional beach is to the side of the hotel and in front of the Jacuzzi. We tried both the c/o beach and the pool area... felt most comfortable at the pool over looking the ocean. Had some gawkers, one or two men, every hour or so, some tourist and some not walk by the hotel and c/o beach to see what the can see (nothing like Club O and the cruiseship people). From the beach, gawkers could NOT see up into the pool area due to the low vegetation along the pool area retaining wall --- you at the pool on the other-hand, can see over the vegetation for a beautiful view of the ocean and beach below.
Food was excellent!!!! Be sure to try the "catch of the day" it is outstanding. All the waiters are so carefully trying to do a good job. We can't say enough about their service, it was excellent. We left each one of our waiters a tip before we left the resort (you don't need to tip, but keep in mind the help only gets paid approximately $10 per day US dollar equivalent). The service at Caribbean Reef Club is much better than any you will see at Club Orient or the Lido Super Clubs. We had CD music with dinner in their beautiful dinning room, even danced one evening, but other than dinner music, there was absolutely no other entertainment, any evening that we were there. If you want formal entertainment, you must go to the hotel zone in Cancun.
We only had four to six couples at the hotel while we were there --- Speaking with the owner...... and I agree with this, he feels the resort operates best when 10 to 20 couples are booked at the resort. He indicated that some of the "groups" that come to the resort can be very wild and on those occasions the resort will generally only book to that group (they know which those are). When the resort has greater occupancy, I assume 10 to 20 couples, the resort does have more going on... a theme night, beach bar-b-que to name a couple of activities. We hit an extremely slow week at the resort, but it was still really, really nice and yes we will consider going back (we do prefer the deep Caribbean, St Martin, Bonaire over Mexico). We recommend Caribbean Reef Club to any naturist -- recommend you just don't book while a group is at the resort.
Food for thought... the days of remoteness of this resort, maybe numbered. Cruise ships are talking about trying to make the Puerto Morales harbor a cruise stop and a major hotel chain has inquired aboout ocean frontage adjacent to the Caribbean Reef Club.
Edited by Carol_Hill on 11/13/00 11:23 AM.