My husband and I and another couple returned to Playa Azul this February after a five year hiatus and we were certainly not disappointed! We stayed the last two weeks of February, taking in Carnavel festivities, which was fun as there is always lots going on in town in evenings (parade, street venders, etc.), lots of locals and families having good time.
The main attraction for us is the golf inclusion, golfing early every other day on a beautiful, albeit challenging course. It does charge extra for cart rental/taxi, but is still a good deal considering cost is around $150 per round, maybe more?, with cart if you are not with the hotel. Liked it better when we could walk to course, but they have since put up chain link fence around perimeter of course, making the 'walk' more than we would prefer (would be nice to have a gate at 17th hole to cut across to clubhouse).
We also went with the all inclusive option this time round and it was well worth it, even though we went out for dinner a few times during our stay, since Cozumel has so many fantastic dining options (Guidos - our favorite, Prima and a few others). On average we had two meals per day at the hotel and the food was very good, but nice to go elsewhere for a change. Having drinks included saved us money in the long run, so glad we did go with the AI option.
Our rooms were clean and definitely big enough for the two of us (our maid did a great job and always ensured we had lots of bottled water and any other supplies that needed replenished). In previous years we stayed in a suite which was quite a bit bigger, plus bigger balcony, but they are older and more expensive so unless there is more than two people or you are staying for an extended period, the regular rooms are fine. One thing they used to have (pre-hurricane Wilma) was a fridge in room, which would have been nice.
The entire staff, as in previous years, were absolutely fantastic, and owners Fernando and Martha made a point of asking us how everything was, if we needed anything, etc. The entire atmosphere is so friendly and inviting and it is the people working there who make it as such! Sorry that I'm forgetting some names here, but Special thanks go out to Carlos and his restaurant staff (Juan, Louis, Lil Carlos, etc.) and Felipe and his bar staff (Kermit, Marciel, Gilberto), for making our stay most enjoyable.
The beach was good and the water is fairly calm in front of resort and is a good area for snorkeling. One concern we had, that hotel can't really do much about, was being bitten by bugs on beach...not sure what type but assume sand fleas/ants. A couple of us reacted to bites more so than other two, but antihistamine and after bite lotion helped.
Went to spa once for massage and pedicure and was very satisfied. I'd put my back out and after having deep tissue massage, was able to golf again! They also provide daily specials so good to check out once you get there to see what you might like to have done during your stay, if you are so inclined.
All in all, this is a great place to stay if you are golfers and prefer low key, quiet, friendly atmosphere. However, if you are looking for big posh resort with all the bells and whistles, it's probably not to your liking...I've been to both and enjoy both...it just depends what type of vacation you are in the mood for at the time!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC