When I was approached to visit the Azul Fives by Karisma I had no idea what to expect. The website looked great, but then, most hotel websites look great, so I never really pay too much notice to that.
One to thing to remember, this is Mexico, most things are outside. Which means on arrival you are presented a very beautiful resort lobby, but that’s pretty much all you see initially. The staff greet you with champagne and wet hand towels to help refresh you from the trip.
After check-in, it just got insane!
Nothing can prepare you for the sheer size of this luxury resort until you experience it for yourself. Even with our drone, you don’t quite see the full extent of what you’ve just signed up for. Check the video to see what I’m talking about.
Village feel resort
Beyond the reception area is the first of many bars, the Gin Bar, serving pretty much every gin you could dream of, this venue doubles as the outdoor night entertainment area as well. Singers, magicians, Michael Jackson impersonators all make an appearance at some point through your stay. The Village area also plays host to a coffee shop, a tour booking desk, a gift shop, and a number of restaurants that open on to outdoor dining areas around the Cenote.
Mexico has many Cenotes in the area. The village area plays host to a small Cenote (pronounced Say-note-hey), an ancient sink hole that formed hundreds of years ago, and over time filled up with water and became it’s own eco system of life. The Cenote at Azul Fives is only a few meters deep and is actually part of the dining and entertainment area of the village.
At breakfast time spider monkeys will swing over to say hello, and if you are lucky you’ll spot two of the wild boar that made the cenote their home. The water is untouched, so it is crystal clear, a beautiful sight to see first thing in the morning.
Azul Fives offers a variety of room configurations, all of which will impress you. With the Gourmet Inclusive concept, this also means your entire mini (well, not so mini) bar and all room service is free of charge. Minibars are always the “worry point” for me at check out, so this concept really makes your stay so much more enjoyable.
The villa complexes are laid out in such a way that all villas have immediate access to a pool, so if you fancy a quick dip you don’t need to walk to the beach or the main pool, you can just step outside and voila, you are in the water. Some of the pools also have easy-access bars and restaurants.
Because of the design of the resort, you can’t easily get to the beach unless you are a guest of the resort (or were planning on trekking through a small jungle first!). This means that the beach is never overcrowded and offers pristine sand and free food and drink (alcohol included) all over the soft sand. It also means that after a few days, you’ll start to notice a few familiar faces and it makes for a very friendly environment for adults and kids alike.
Behind the beaches private loungers is an infinity pool with a swim up bar, volleyball nets and a concierge who can help you with towels or food an drink orders.
Yes, it’s what you think it is. Once you’ve paid the per-night fee to stay, everything else is free, actually not everything, but 99% of all menus are inclusive. I think there was one bottle of wine on the menu that you had to pay for, all other food and alcohol was free. I literally left my money in my room for the whole stay. It’s a very liberating experience, and enables you to fully relax without worrying.
There are a number of gourmet restaurants to choose from, and they are exquisitely designed. You don’t feel like you are in a hotel restaurant, you feel like you are in an authentic restaurant from that part of the planet, and the food lives up to expectations.
The resort offers such an array of different eateries I didn’t get to experience them all in a week. Italian, World Cuisine, Street Tacos (yes, there is a lady in the main ‘village’ area making tacos for you), Thai, Bistro, Mesoamerican, Japanese, Mexican, are just a few of the options, not forgetting all the walk up grills and snack locations, oh and a protein bar if you want to stay on your health kick abroad.
There are dedicated Gin and Tequila bars, themed perfectly of course, and the mainstream ZKY bar which also has karaoke if you fancy expressing your inner Elton.
Oh did I mention, the room service is 24/7 and the vegetables are grown just down the street at another Karisma hotel?
You can access pretty much everything that the Playa Del Carmen and the Maya Riviera have on offer from the Azul Fives. The friendly booking agent will take care of all your experiences, and the transportation picks you up from the front lobby.
Azul Fives is utmost luxury, and paired with your own full service concierge… I can’t recommend a visit enough.