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Reviewed 19 October 2005

What a great resort~ My husband and I decided to book a last minute trip to the Mayan Riviera, (seeing what a wonderful time we had on our honeymoon last year)for our first year anniversary, and I cannot express enought how wonderful this resort was. Yes it is a family resort, but the resort is big enough that the kids truly do not bother you. With this being our second trip to the area, we were quite familiar with the town and some of the activities, so we ended staying at the resort more often than we normally do. The animation team was really out there trying to get people involved in their activities, and they were so much fun. The day after we arrived my husband and I walked down the beach to our hotel we stayed at last year, and I cannot express enough, what great condition the Gala is in, in comparison to most other resorts. The beach there was beautiful and the grounds and buildings were well maintained. As for the rooms, they are a little outdated, but all they would need would be a fresh coat of paint (other than the blue), but who cares, you have one of the worlds best beaches a few steps away, why would you care what your room looked like! Seeing the photos from other reviewers did scare me a little to see the damage done by the hurricanes, wondering if it was going to be in the same condition when we arrived, but to our surprise, you would not even think the hurricane touched them in any way. Everything was rebuilt and perfect!!!!!!! Food was never an issue for us, and believe me I know people say they are picky eaters, but there is no one picker than me, and We always had a satisfying meal everytime, from the made to order omlettes every morning to the delicious pasta at night, we were always stuffed, by the end of the meal. Do I consider this resort a 5 star, absolutely. This resort has a beautiful beach, very clean and well maintained pools, grounds and buildings. Food, if your not happy at the buffet there a three other resturaunts that you can go to, yes you have to make reservations, yes its a pain the the butt, but who cares, your on vacation. ENJOY IT! I have been travelling since I was 14 years old, (many places around the world) and I am 27 now and I can honestly say that this tops my list as one of the best vacation spots that I have been to. There are so many things to do and the people that work both inside and outside the resort are just so friendly and gracious that its such a pleasure to be around.

I am hoping to post some pictures soon, to show what a beautiful place this is and what great value it is for the price!

Take care and have fun!

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
41  Thank robbie78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Northern California
115
Reviewed 14 October 2005

My husband and I stayed at the Gala for our honeymoon in late June early July and we had a blast in Playa Del Carmen. We booked through Apple, and picked the Gala randomly. This is a family resort, so if you want a more adult location pick another resort. The kids didn't bother us; it was kind of cool seeing families having a great time. The resort wasn't awful but there wasn't anything really special about it, except for the beach!!!! The beach was probably the best one that we saw in the area. I wish we would have picked a different resort for our honeymoon but we would most likely come back when we have a family. The food got old after the forth day but it wasn’t that bad. The Mexican restaurant and the Mediterranean restaurant were pretty good; it was nice to have a change. We went to 5th street twice and loved it, but just don’t let the vendors take advantage of you and make sure you try the seafood. Tulum is wonderful, Xcraet was so much fun, and we also went of a snorkeling trip. We had a great time in Playa Del Carmen and we both can’t wait to go back.

15  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2005

When you read the reviews posted on these sites and you haven't been to the resort in question it can be quite unsettling which is why I decided to write this review.

We were at the resort last December and we are returning this December for another week so that should give you some indication of our thoughts to start. Having been to 11 different all inclusives in various area's in the Caribean and Mexico I feel I have a fairly broad experience with witch to base my review.

I think the first thing one should take into account when rating vacation resorts in where they are located. If you go to a country outside of North America you have to take into account that the standards will not be the same. A 5 star resort in North America is not the same as a five star resort in the Caribean. Of course neither are the prices. There are resorts in the caribean where you can have North American 5 star accomidations and service but you will also be paying North American prices for this. If you want to pay $4000.00 per person per week you can get North American 5 star service.

The Gala is a great place for a family vacation. Last year my wife, 6 year old son and I had a great time. My son cried for 2 hours on the day we left.
There is plenty of activities for the kids to do and the kids club is very well run with staff that seem to actually like there jobs.

I have nothing but praise for all of the staff that I interacted with. They all work very long hours for little pay and yet still smile and are more than willing to help if you are the least bit curtious.

The rooms are just what a vacation resort room should be, fuctional. If you want to go some place and spend all your time in the room then you should consider some place other than this. Yes the beds are a bit on the hard side but a full day in the sun, swimming, playing and a few cocktails later I never had a problem sleeping.

The food is very much above average for an all inclusive resort. If you have been to Cuba then the food here will seem like 5 star cuisine. They have a very wide variety even when you have a very picky 6 year old. Our favourite restaurant was the Mexican one and we never had a problem getting a reservation.

The facilities are great, the equipement is in very good condition. The pool in nice but we prefer the beach and swimming in the ocean.
The beach is spectacular. I have been to numerous beaches through out the caribean including Antigua, Gaudalope, Dominica, St. Marten, Kits and this one is as good as it gets.

There are many great attractions with in the Playa Del Carmen area that are worth seeing if you are the type that get resort closterphobia.

So in summary, if you go with the realization you are in a developing country and the food will be different then your local McDonald's you might be able to appreciate the wonderful beach and fabulous climate of the Yucatan.

  • Stayed: December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
63  Thank gordo62Vancouver_BC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2005

visited this all inclusive hotel from the 11th of sept
for two weeks, first impressions of the hotel, it
rated it self as a 5star deluxe hotel!!! i dont think
so, a four star would be more appropiate. The approach
to the hotel, needed some updating. reception
staff ok, but nothing to write home about!!!
given hacienda as they made a mess of reservations,
despite having mada reservation back in march 2005!!
they had a change of management, so beware of that.

other tiresome quirks where having to make a daily
reservation for the a la carte restaurants, and
only for the times that suited them, not you, i.e
the paying client!!! Also to hire one of their
precious bikes you couldnt just help yourself,
you had to practically sign your life away to get one,
so in the end gave up!!! most of staff, i say almost
where helpful and friendly, but one in the italian
restuarant had a big chip on his shoulder, and
wasnt a people person...... still all they got paid
was about usd4.00 a day!!! so all in all I wouldnt
go back in a hurry. and i work in the travel
industry!!!

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank airways
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2005

My husband and I spent six days at the Gala and weren't overwhelmed by the property or staff. With the exception of a few delightful staff, the majority of Gala staff are not overly friendly. Food is average and we're still wondering what the hype over making reservations for the two restaurants is all about because the food was equal, if not the same, as what was being served in the ala carte restaurants. Also, don't bother bringing a dinner coat or heels because the so-called dress code is non-existent; we sat dressed-up among folks in shorts and flip-flops... With the exception of the nightly shows and post-show dancing, the atmosphere at the Gala is not festive, rather, it is quiet and at times boring. The hotel itself was probably quite beautiful in its prime, but has undoubtedly entered its "golden years" as workers constantly hammered and pounded in an effort to keep up with the wear-and-tear. Then there is the issue of the bee's. Bee's in your food, bee's in your drinks, bee's in the pool, bee's everywhere. We began to wonder if the hotel is generating income fermenting honey because they seemed oblivious to the problem. The two items that we did find to be excellent was our room cleaning staff, although they swear that the hotel doesn't know what hair conditioner or lotion is, and the beach -- it was beautiful and very clean. This was our first time to the Riviera Maya and it may not be our last, but we will definitely not be returning to the Gala as some things are best not repeated.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
20  Thank MelL2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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