The reviews on TripAdvisor weren't grand. A couple of weeks before departure, I went online to show a friend where I was going. Three bad reviews in a row! Where was I going??
The Oasis Tulum is 24 kilometres north of Tulum and 34 kilometres south of Playa del Carmen. What I was excited about though was what was east of the resort. Mar Caribe.
As I remembered. So many shades of blue. Oasis Tulum is one of many, many resorts that edge Mar Caribe from Cancun south. Our shuttle from the Cancun airport to our resort was 2 hours, to give a perspective of how many places were built for us winter-escapers.
The evening we arrived we couldn't see that we were in a smallish resort. By the next morning, we knew the lay of the land. It was an easy adjustment. Sun. Sand. Water.
For the first 6 days, we stayed within our resort. There really was no reason to leave. Everything was here. But we wanted to see more. And so it was on Day 7 that we decided to go to Playa del Carmen. It was the first time in nearly a week that we traveled faster than 2 kilometres an hour.
There is something to be said for moving that slow in life. Once in a while.
Life in a resort is highly organized. Food. Drinks. Events. Entertainment. Even the towels. Piles of them every day. This was one of the complaints in the TripAdvisors' reviews. Not enough beach towels. I expect the hotel staff read TripAdvisor too because it was all corrected by the time we arrived.
Checking in at our hotel, we were banded with a plastic wristlet. Each resort has its own colour.
The day we went into Playa del Carmen, I was walking along the popular (and over rated) 5th Avenue when a man rushed up to me.
"Remember me? I am your waiter from the Oasis Tulum?"
"No, I don't remember you."
"Sure you do."
"No, no. I don't."
"Why don't you come and look at my shop while you are here."
I kept walking. I looked at my friend who was walking beside me, a new Mexican who I had met a few days before. I was perplexed. He pointed to my wrist band. Any one who watched tourists knew exactly who I was. Or more precisely, where I came from.
- two swim-up bars (though one woman's comment left me wondering: "What do you think people do when they sit at the bar for hours, drink the entire time and never leave the pool?")
- outstanding activity people (we got two personalized Spanish lessons!)
- very friendly staff, especially the bartenders
- food (I discovered on the last morning that the breakfast cook made an outstanding quesadilla)
- Sitting on the beach chairs after dinner facing the Caribbean Sea
- Live music - every night!
- Being tossed around in the sea
- Having a school of fish surrounding me when I was floating in the waves
- Rustling palm trees
- The warmth of the sun on my skin!