12 December 2007

Akumal Sur

As the highway construction continues, its becoming safer and more clear all the time. Akumal is clearly marked however its a bit more difficult to get to Jade and South Akumal Bay's. The turnaround to get into South Akumal (Akumal Sur) is past Bahia Principe hotel just before the overhead pedestrian walkway. As you U-turn and head north on the highway, you are approximately 1 mile to Akumal Sur entrance. We're all very happy to see a sign there!

03 December 2007

Lol-Ha Holiday Menus!

The first of the Holiday Menus that we would like to share with everyone visiting Akumal over the Holidays.

Lol Ha Christmas Eve Dinner Menu
· Grilled Shrimp and Plantain Banana skewers with Mango Sauce $145
· Seared Scallop Ceviche- with thin sliced cucumber, fresh orange segments and shallots $145
· Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail- tangy cocktail sauce spiked with horseradish $120
· Quesadillas Lol ha - Mushroom, grilled sweet peppers and manchego cheese. $69
· Fresh crab quesadillas $99

· Cream of Potato Soup with Smoked Salmon and Rosemary flatbread wafer. $79
· Lol ha House Salad $68
· Mixed Field Greens Salad- with blue cheese crumbles, carmelized pecans, and pear slices. $68

· Prime Rib – Served with garlic mashed potatoes and Broccoli Cheese Gratin $340
· Roast Duck with Sweet Onion Port Marmalade – served with Garlic mashed potatoes and Broccoli Cheese Gratin $220
· Grilled Salmon with Sweet Thai Chili Sauce and Shrimp skewer – served with Jasmine Rice and stir fried vegetables. $220
· Stuffed Chicken Poblano - Lightly breaded and stuffed with Manchego Cheese, chorizo and poblano peppers. $179
· Caribbean Lobster Medallions with Pesto Sauce – served on a bed of Linguini $399
· Roasted Vegetable Linguini- in Pesto sauce, with eggplant, roasted peppers, sundried tomato, olives, oyster mushrooms, and toasted garlic bread on the side. $159
· Hawaiian Quesadillas – grilled pineapple, cheese, and smoked ham inside $69
· Chicken Strips on a Stick- served with Marinara sauce and a side of macaroni au gratin $69
· Make your own Ice Cream Sundae- any ice cream, with a tray of toppings for you to choose! $59
To reserve please email laura@hotelakumalcaribe.com . Once the reservation is confirmed, they will need a $10 USD per person deposit sent by check to our US reservations office.
Check made out to Laura B. Wolfe, address: Akutrame, Inc. PO BOX 13326 El Paso, Tx 79913. Atn: Liliana

Seatings available 6:30, 6:45, 7pm, 9:00 and 9:30
Second seatings (9:00 and 9:30) will enjoy music to dance by starting at 10:30pm. The DJ will play music from the 50's, and 60's, Latin, and Rock n Roll. Playlist will be on each table for special requests!
· Seared Scallops with Carmelized Leeks and Caviar Sauce $145
· Ahi Tuna with Tropical Salsa- bite size pieces, lightly seared with a Pineapple Soy Ginger and Avocado Salsa $120
· Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail – With Tangy Horseradish Spiked Cocktail Sauce $120
· Fried Green Tomatoes –Lightly breaded and served with a smoky chipotle cream sauce $68
· Tuscan Style Onion Soup – with Crispy Prosciutto and Parmesan Wafer $69

· Lolha House Salad $68
· Mixed Field Greens and Arugula Salad – with Dried Cranberries and Fresh Shaved Parmesan in a light Champagne Vinaigrette Dressing $68

· Prime Rib- Served with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Zuchini Gratin $340
· Rosemary Rack of Lamb – served with Mint Jelly, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Spinach SoufflĂ© $240
· Caribbean Salmon with Guava BBQ Sauce and Mango Salsa – Served over a bed of Linguini and Fried Bananas $199
· Seafood Risotto- Safron infused Arborio Rice with clams, mussels, lobster, scallops, Spanish Sausage and oh so much flavor! $240
· Chiles en Nogada – Stuffed Poblano Pepper with Ground pork and beef, spiced with raisins, nuts and capers. Served with walnut cream sauce and fresh pomegranate $179
· Quesadilla Trio- Combo plate of Hawaiian, Cheese, and Peperoni Quesadillas $79
· Mini Meat Lasagna - $79
· Make your own Sundaes $59
To reserve please email laura@hotelakumalcaribe.com . Once the reservation is confirmed, they will need a $10 USD per person deposit sent by check to our US reservations office.
Check made out to Laura B. Wolfe, address: Akutrame, Inc. PO BOX 13326 El Paso, Tx 79913. Atn: Liliana

12 October 2007

Rental Specias!

La Iguana & La Sirena – 15% off all new reservations arriving prior to December 20, 2007

· Casa Iguana – 15% off all new reservations arriving prior to December 14, 2007
(up to 8 guests) http://www.i-akumal.com/casaiguana.html

· Akumal Breakers - $4000/US week new reservations arriving prior to November 16, 2007 (max occupancy of 10) http://www.i-akumal.com/breakers.html

· Casa Portuguesa - $2000/US per week on all new reservations arriving prior to December 20, 2007

04 October 2007

Time of my life

My boyfriend and I went down to Akumal in the beginning of September and it was fantastic! It was my first visit to the Riviera Maya and I can't wait to go back. We went down with a group of 6 friends and stayed in Casa del Sol. The house was amazing. The outdoor kitchen was a great place for us all to get together at night for dinner and we spent quite a bit of time there. If we wanted a little peace and quite the house was large enough to accommodate us all with room to spare. We were just steps away from the lagoon where we could stand on the foot bridge and watch the fish swimming in the crystal clear water. Some of us, myself included, went snorkeling in the lagoon. It was beautiful. The snorkeling was only topped by the scuba diving. It was my first time and I loved it; easily my favorite part of the trip.

Staying in Akumal was great. The restaurants in town are fantastic with plenty to choose from. The bakery has a great breakfast menu and La Buena Vida is a bar like no other. I could have never left town and been perfectly happy with my 10 days in paradise.

Of course we did leave town, visiting the ruins in Tulum and 5th Ave in Playa as well as Aktun Chen (a great cave system just minutes from Akumal). Staying in Akumal gave us the peaceful time on the beach that we wanted, but still put us within about 30 minutes or less of about everything we wanted to do.

We have been home for a few weeks now and we are still talking about what a great time we had. The only problem with my vacation was that it ended!

03 October 2007

A little hurricane debris isn’t going to stop me!

A group of 8 of us went down Sep. 6 through the 16th of Sep. '07', just a few weeks after Dean visited to the south. I just have to say WHAT A GREAT TRIP! We stayed in Casa del Sol and it was spectacular. The house is huge and beautiful with lots of character, perfect for a large group like ours. My girlfriend and I were the first to arrive so we picked out our room and I took her around town to show her around. As a former Akumal local, I knew the good spots, but they aren't hard to find in Akumal. The rest of the group arrived a few hours later and the fun began! We had two birthdays while we were there and what a blast. We had one at La Buena Vida, one of the best bars in the world. The other, we went to La Cueva del Chongo in Playa del Carmen. The atmosphere was like you are in the jungle with a water fall running through it, it's pretty cool.

On the first Sunday we went to Chitzen itza (the big Mayan ruins near Merida). It was the first time most of the group had seen anything like it. The ruins are well restored and well maintained. During the rest of the week everyone enjoyed the activities available in Akumal such as messages at the spa, scuba diving, sky cycling, snorkeling and much more. My girlfriend enjoyed the scuba diving the most, it was her first experience and now she won't quit talking about it.

So, all in all we didn't let a little hurricane debris stop us, it sure didn't stop the fun in the area. There was still a little debris around that was being cleaned up but other than that you would never know that a hurricane like that had been so close. Thanks Sydney and Leslie for the house, it was the best!

17 September 2007

Highway Construction on 307

I have been in the Akumal area for the last couple of weeks and wanted to drop a note to let everyone who will be arriving in the next few weeks knows about the construction on Hwy 307 in front of Akumal, Jade Bay, and South Akumal. Having a 4 lane highway is very nice but until it is finished things are changing every day.

To enter North Akumal you will drive past the pueblo entrance and use the retorno right after the second tope (speed bump). This has been completed and will not be changing in the immediate future.

Akumal Beach Resort entrance is blocked off today. You can take the access road which runs on the east side (beach side) of the highway from the entrance at north Akumal. I am sure this will be changing in the next week.

Jade Bay is also only accessible from the access road.

At this time there are no signs of Akumal Sur. The entrance is located 1.7 kilometers south of the north Akumal entrance. There is a large billboard for Bahia Principe on the west side. There is also construction on the west side of the road right now.

I hope this helps! Please feel free to email us if you need more information at info@akumaldirect.com. Have a great vacation! Leslie

05 September 2007

The animals of Dean

My feet are back in the US, and we covered a lot of ground. My hat changed and I accompanied the Disaster Services Team of the Humane Society and Humane Society Int’l, we went to assess the situation of Dean’s path and its effects not only on the animals but on human health as well.

We spent some time in the town of Limones before heading to Xcalak and Mahahual. The road between them had been passable for a few days but had downed trees and electric poles. Xcalak had minimal damages, nothing compared to the destruction Mahahual endured. The evidence of the path was visible miles out; it makes you realize the severity of the surge. Crocodiles have been displaced as the water pulled them from the bay. Structures are gone or badly damaged and a good amount of the coral reef is on the beaches, horrifically loaded with trash.

It doesn’t resemble what we know of the town, but it is amazing how far they’ve come in just 2 weeks. The governor had finally arrived (on Sunday) bringing trucks and military to help clear the road. People are tired but they are positive and have pulled together as a community. They are living in tents and under lean-to’s and it was common to see their dog hanging around as well. The help coming in the way of food and supplies always warms my heart. We were able to bring over 1250 lbs of food down to the distribution center set up in Mahahual. Thank you Scott & Gary for helping us get it there!

For those of you who don’t know me, we do spay/neuter clinics here in Quintana Roo. Sterilizing is the only long term solution to an animal overpopulation problem. With the amount of animals roaming and surviving, populations will flourish and there is already evidence of packing in Mahahual. Understanding this is a human risk issue, I did get to experience one such meeting. It was a happy gathering as lone dogs realized others were out there, they found friends to frolic with!

HSI is hoping to secure funding for a 4 year program to include the communities of Limones, Mahahual and Xcalak. Our plan is to have a clinic sometime in Nov/Dec, help is always welcome in the ways of volunteers, supplies, food, accommodation, and of course contacts. We will have local vets attending and the municipality has already proven supportive of such programs.

We set up base in Chetumal, where there was more evidence in some places than others that Dean strolled in. One such place not so fortunate is what’s known as the Chetumal Zoo. We were thrilled to hear that they are more of a refuge, or sanctuary because their animals are rescued. I love to hear that! There is a lot of damage to their outdoor enclosures and all of the residents have been in their feeding and holding facilities. Large cats, primates and others wandering in their small cement cages has prompted HSI to secure immediate funding.


From Chetumal, we crossed the border to Belize City and a few area towns affected. We visited the Belize Humane Society and Animal Shelter, and a typical scene we see all too often. Limited resources, a surplus of dogs, minimal homes to be found and disease spreads quickly. Shelters need to have an adoption program for them to function, and HSI hopes to help them institute that. We will also help with putting together a spay/neuter campaign, I do love Belize!

Included in the assessment was the Sian Ka’an Biosphere and down to the quaint little fishing village of Punta Allen. We weren’t sure the road was going to be open so we ventured down finding it to take us the normal 1 ½ hours from Tulum. The road was washed in places but passable with care. The one sight that amazed us, after seeing the surge as far up as Akumal; the stretch of road that has natural mangroves looked virtually untouched. Leave it alone and it will survive, it was a very sad realization seeing what we’ve seen the last 4 days. Punta Allen was cleaning up the usual sand and debris, but it looked good overall. We did our first s/n clinic there last year and will plan on getting back again soon.

I took a lot of photos, not only of the properties. I’m sad to say they will have to wait another few days until I can get them from my “field” friends – I’ve had my camera taken, well, my sisters camera which is even worse!! I will share them soon.


04 September 2007

Life after Dean

I've just returned from Akumal and my trip south to Mahahual. Its amazing to see how much was accomplished in just 1 week. Pools are cleaned and filled, gardens cleared of debris and tourists moving in. The road in front of La Buena Vida/Vista del Mar continues to improve but this is where the waves washed through. The rest of the Akumal road is as it usually is in the rainy season, pretty bumpy.

La Buena Vida is ahead of schedule and they opened last Thursday night. They have a new menu, new staff and an overall new feel. This combined with its usual charm has Akumal a bit more lively these days.

All of the properties are opened, except Akumal Beach Resort which will open September 15th. It was nice to see the amount of cleanup work they are doing, and the beach looks untouched.

All restaurants are open as are all local businesses. The beaches took on the power of Dean gracefully, and once again persevered. We've gotten up, brushed off the sand as we gear up for high season. We were fortunate, but in the storms path, others were not.

27 August 2007

Las Tortugas

Another devastating aspect of hurricanes is the turtles that nest during this season. You can see nests of Loggerhead and Green turtles beginning as early as April and hatch up through October/November. Data presented by CEA (Centro Ecologico Akumal) indicated that almost half of the nests were damaged by the storm surge. Eight nests were able to be rescued with successful releases post hurricane. Of the 141 nests documented before the storm, 73 were able to hatch and get to sea. The great news is, they began nesting again just 2 days after Dean rolled through, they must know there's only a few more months to make up for lost time! As with all of our non-human friends, they are more aware of natural disasters than we are. Visit www.ceakumal.org for info on CEA and the turtles.

I am heading south myself today, to wear my other hat. Along with the Humane Society International and the Humane Soc. of the United States and their Disaster Service team, we are going to Mahahual/Xcalak and Chetumal to assess the damage and the situation with the animals. I will be documenting the trip so stay posted.

26 August 2007

Property Update, Akumal Beach Resort

Akumal Beach Resort will be closed for cleanup and glass repairs until September 15th. All other properties are on schedule to reopen as directed in the Aug 23rd posting. To recap, all properties will be open for reservations August 30th (some earlier) with the exception of a few. Casa Tortuga has some structural damage and closed for renovations. Casa del Mar and Nicte Ha in Akumal will be open for reservations as of September 30th. Casa Portuguesa on Tankah has no structural damage, cleanup and fence repair will be complete for reservations by August 30th.

25 August 2007

5 days post Dean

I've arrived in Akumal, and pleasantly surprised by the progress thus far. What I noticed before I even entered town was the vegetation and how green and lush it still looks. From what we experienced with Emily and then Wilma shortly afterward, it wasn't nearly as bad. Although the cleanup is no small job, its moving along rapidly. The photos we've seen just days before are nothing compared to what it looks like now.

I walked South Akumal and Half Moon Bay today to find dozens of homes and condos coming together, feeling positive about what I saw. It does look like a tropical storm came through in some places but every day marks huge improvements.

I want to stop and take a moment to thank the managers and caretakers who have been working round the clock ensuring our area have a speedy recovery. And they are. Sand and rocks have been cleared from pools and gardens are being cleaned. It makes us realize the people behind the scenes, the ones that make sure you have a comfortable stay. They are the ones that fare the storm and are ready to begin working once it passes. We want to thank each and every one of you for all the hard work, none of us would have what we do without you!

Thank goodness Cueva del Pescador and Que Onda are open for dinner and the ever-faithful, post-hurricane Turtle Bay keeps us fed throughout the day! It really is business as usual around here.

Many of us who live here have also become accustomed to seeing one of the few beach dogs left in the Akumal area. He can be seen at the bakery scrounging bacon for breakfast, hanging with visitors during the day and normally at a dog loving tourists place for dinner. Not a bad life for a dog you may think. But during times like these, they're on their own and "Cane" is one of those dogs. Noone knows where he hunkered down during Dean but it wasn't shortly afterward he surfaced again. He was named today by his new friends he found in South Akumal and looking like nothing ever happened. We also have some good turtle news....I'll leave that for tomorrow.

24 August 2007

Happy Birthday Sydney!

In the midst of Hurricane Dean info and photos, we thought we'd change the subject for a bit. Lets turn our focus to wish Sydney a very happy 40th birthday today!

We hope your day was as fabulous as we wished for you, here's to 40 more!

23 August 2007

Akumal Direct Properties Update!

Hey! So far, so good! Town is shaping up and everyone is working hard to clean up and help each other. Below is a quick update of Akumal Direct properties. We hope this helps and please be sure to let us know if you have any questions!

Akumal – Electricity, Phone and Internet service have all been restored. Unless otherwise specified all reservations due to arrive prior to August 30, 2007 have been rescheduled. The road has been blocked by the debris near La Buena Vida and Vista del Mar, but is now generally passable, however further cleanup and repair is required.

The Akumal Beach Resort did suffer some minor damage including low level flooding. General clean up and other repairs are under way. The hotel will be closed through August 30 and will begin accepting arrivals on August 31.

Casa Iguana: Minimal damage. Open and accepting reservations as of August 30.
Casa del Mar – Main level damage (windows/doors blown). Pool has been cleaned and repair work is well underway. Accepting arrivals as of September 30.
Nicte Ha – furniture damage first floor, first floor structural damage (windows/doors blown), pool & yard need to be cleaned, no arrivals prior to September 30.
Playa Caribe – No structural damage. General clean up ongoing. Accepting arrivals as of Aug 27.
Playa Blanca - No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Accepting arrivals as of August 30.
Luna Azul - No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Accepting arrivals as of August 30.
Penthouse at the Reef - No structural damage, cleanup ongoing.
Accepting arrivals as of August 30.
Casa Maya – No Damage. Clean up complete. Now accepting reservations.
Yool Canaal – No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Accepting arrivals as of August 30.
La Sirena - No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Beach must be replaced. Accepting arrivals as of August 30.
La Iguana - No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Beach must be replaced. Accepting arrivals as of August 30.
Casa Pantera - No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Accepting arrivals as of August 30.
Casa del Sol - No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Accepting arrivals as of August 30.

South Akumal – Electricy, Phone and Internet service restored. Road is passable. South Akumal faired very well. Most properties anticipate only a brief closure for clean up.

Casa Cielo – No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Previously scheduled maitenance schedule in place. Accepting arrivals as of Sept 23.
Akumal Breakers – No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Accepting arrivals as of August 30.
Casa Langan - No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Accepting arrivals as of August 30.
Seven Seas – Slight structural & electrical damage, pool & yard need to be cleaned. Previously schedule maintenance in place. Accepting arrivals as of October 1.

Tankah – While properties in Tankah generally faired well there a few notable exceptions, including Casa Cenote restaurant. The road is not yet passable but clean up is ongoing. Several areas of Tankah Bay gained beach.

Casa Cavu – No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Accepting arrivals as of August 30.
Casa Rosa – No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Accepting arrivals as of August 30.

Soliman Bay – Most properties and the beaches faired very well. Most properties have added to their beach. Properties at the southern end of the bay tended to have more damage.

Casa Tortuga -Tortuga-first floor structural damage, no upper level damage, no power, palapa roof intact, gardens are gone, closed for reservations until further notice
Casa Yamulkan – This great palapa house is intact! No flooding, sand needs to be moved from front porch area, open for reservations August 30.
Casas Jihae and Kristi - No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Accepting arrivals as of August 30.
Casa Playa Maya - No structural damage, cleanup ongoing. Accepting arrivals as of August 30.

Turtle Bay and Cueva del Pescador are open for business and operating a full capacity!
Lol-Ha beach bar and Que Onda will be open by this weekend
La Buena Vida will be closed until Sept 21

La Buena Vida photos

Here are some views from the road and beachside at La Buena Vida. The cleanup is moving along and most villas will be open for reservations by August 30th. A few exceptions to that are Casa del Mar and Nicte Ha, both in Akumal, which plan on being open by November 1st. Casa Tortuga on Soliman Bay will also need additional time for cleanup and repairs.

Hurricane Dean Photos

A view of the road to Half Moon Bay near the Mango Cafe and La Buena Vida. These photos is sent to us by Pablo Diaz of Selva Maya, http://www.selva-maya.com/.
The beach of Half Moon Bay. You are looking at Villas on the Reef, Luna Azul and Playa Caribe.

Hurricane Dean Update

Thank you to everyone who has sent on their concern and support for friends and neighbors in the Riviera Maya. We have been so lucky and we are sending our thoughts well wishes to people of the Costa Maya and Chetumal.

In Akumal clean up is well under way and in some cases complete. Electricity has been restored, phone and internet service are working well. The road to Half Moon Bay remains closed although clean up has begun. With the exception of a very few properties, most will be operational within days.

The Akumal Beach Resort is closed for the next week and is not accepting arrivals at this time. If you are arriving post August 30, your reservationis unaffected.

The Cancun Airport is open, however it is operating at a lower capacity for now. Please check with your airline.

Playa del Carmen is open for business.

Turtle Bay began serving breakfast yesterday and we hear that La Lunita will be reopening within days if not tonight!

If you are arriving after August 30, 3007 your reservation is unaffected by Hurriance Dean. Please feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions at info@akumaldirect.com. Thanks again!

07 August 2007

Welcome to the New Akumal Direct Blog Spot!

Hello Everybody! Thank you so much for dropping by to visit our new blog. We hope that you will soon find great information on Akumal and Mexico's Riviera Maya and some of our favorite ideas on how best to enjoy your time here.

If you have a story or information you would like to share, please register and post. We look forward to hearing from you. We also love photos! We really enjoy seeing photos of our clients during their stay.

As always if you have any comments or questions please email us directly at info@akumaldirect.com. Thanks again! We are really looking forward to hearing from you! Thomas and Sydney Reagan

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