What would you like for breakfast?

Hello everyone!

My brother is visiting from the U.S. today, and we are about to choose a place for breakfast in Playa del Carmen. The choice is tough, because there are so many great places – all these restaurants along 5th Avenue, our own Indigo Beach Club…

- What would you like for breakfast? – I ask.

- Mmm… I don’t know! Give me some suggestions…  It’s your town…

That was the start of conversation this morning. If you are wondering about where you can find a delicious breakfast, you need take a look at the suggestions of my favorite places in Playa for breakfast.

          La cueva del chango                   (The monkey’s cave)

This is an institution in Playa and a real insider’s tip! The culinary delights include authentic Mexican flavors and natural juices. The restaurant was built over 20 years ago, when Playa was no more than a jungle, and the setting within the space remained the same ever since. Today, locals love to enjoy their breakfast surrounded by exotic jungle plants, savoring traditional Mexican dishes. The restaurant is located on 5th Avenue is 38th street.

100% natural

Fruit and oatmeal breakfasts are a popular hit at this 5th Avenue restaurant set in a garden – and eggs are some of the best in Playa, too. The smoothies are very good also and affordable – and, as the name says, 100% organic. Juices are great. This natural place is located on 5th Avenue between 10 and 12 street.

Indigo beach club

Our exclusive Bali-inspired Beach Club offers a sophisticated and upscale environment to all our guests. You’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast with a gourmet restaurant that combines exquisite cuisine in a unique setting with spectacular view of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. In fact, if you are in one of our properties you can enjoy our complimentary buffet breakfast (during promotion periods).

Ah Cacao

 If you want a quick breakfast, this is your best option – just go and try some homemade tasty cookies and brownies, accompanied by some hot/ cold chocolate or coffee, which is arguably the best coffee in Playa. Latte mediano is the drink I’ve been addicted to every morning! You can find two different locations, first on 5th Ave & Constituyentes, second on 5th Ave and 30 Ave. 

El nativo (The native)

If you are looking for inexpensive, delicious, big portions in Playa del Carmen, this would be it. The restaurant is worth the 15 minute walk from the touristy area of 5th Avenue. This is a typical local restaurant with good quality food and excellent prices. I love the fresh fruit smoothies, and friendly service. The restaurant is located on 30 Avenue and Constituyentes Av.

The Gym Cafe

Do you want a quick and delicious salad or fresh sandwich? They offer a healthy variety of bread choices, diverse selection of meats and a great assortment of cheese for you sandwich. This place is perfect to drop by after a work out, or to grab a quick breakfast. This cafe is located next to the gym and a few steps away from PORTO PLAYA and VILLAS SACBE.

What’s your favorite place for breakfast in Playa? Have you been at some of these restaurants? What did you think? 



Mariachi Moments

As you enjoy many fine restaurants of Playa del Carmen, the romantic, captivating sounds of mariachi will follow you from place to place. Pull up a chair at one of the outside tables (most Playa del Carmen restaurants are in the open air), and you will soon be asked to be serenaded by a mariachi.  A mariachi band generally consists of a violin, trumpet(s), classical guitar, a vihuela (a high pitched five string guitar) and a guitarron (a big acoustic bass guitar). The dress is silver-studded charro outfits.

Mariachi are closely intertwined with Mexican culture and are a natural expressional of the romantic and spiritual side of its people. Their songs speak about all the strong emotions: love, betrayal, country heroes, and vary from nostalgic and sad to upbeat and happy.

The mariachi originated in the southern part of the state of Jalisco sometime in the 19th century, though no one is sure where the name comes from.

It’s only natural that today mariachi stroll the streets of Playa del Carmen sharing their passionate art with visitors, guests and locals. If they realize that you are a gringo, they will play songs like Cielito Lindo (ah ya ya ya) and Guantanamera, but you can request anything to your heart’s desire – so come prepared!  My personal favorite is a very happy song called “Mariachi Loco.” The chorus of the song suggests that the crazy mariachi should dance and a good mariachi will entertain you with some interesting dancing while playing the song. When I hear this song, it instantly put a smile on my face.

I happen to live across from a restaurant and every night around 7 – 10pm I am entertained with live mariachi music. That’s another reason why Playa del Carmen is my happy place!

Just a quick tip – mariachi play to make money and the price varies quite a bit.  It is best to ask how much they will charge for a song before they start. Enjoy!

Pictures are provided by my new friend, amazing photographer Sarah Natasha, http://www.sarahnatasha.com, during our lunch with mariachi at Mi Pueblo restaurant in Playa del Carmen.

 

Special Beach Club Event Every Sunday – The Video

Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen kicks off an exclusive “Manager Welcome Party” for the guests of El Taj, Maya Villa, Porto Playa and Villas Sacbe. All managers were in attendance for the inauguration of this new special event. Just another reason why to pick Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen for your next vacation destination.

 

Ken: Hi! I’m Ken Schmidt from Condo Hotels. we have a special treat for our guests tonight, we are doing a free buffet at Indigo beach club and I’m here with our freshly appointed general manager of operations Frederic Bouchard, say hi Fred.

Fred: Hi!

Ken: So later you are going to see some pictures and video of our special event tonight. I’ll be glad to have pictures with Jack and Mark our partners at Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Ok, so it started to kick off here at Indigo and the buffet is going and allot of guests eating outside already I’m here with the visionary Jack Perlman and the money man Mark Pompei.

Mark: Hola!

Ken: I’m sitting here with Brenda, she is our guest in Maya Villa. she said that is absolutely wonderful here

Brenda: It’s fantastic

Ken: and she wants to come back for the BPM festival and we are going to invite her back because we had such a great time together and she sitting here eating our free buffet tonight and taking advantage and our manager special.

Brenda: Yes I am, and I took advantage of the breakfast every morning with my girl friends.

Ken: Fantastic

Brenda: It’s fabulous.

Girl camera: From where, from where, from where?

Ken: From Maya Villa, she said Maya Villa.

Girl camera: What city?

Brenda: Santa Monica, California

Girl camera: Thank you

Jack: All right, here we are

Ken: All right end of the night it was a great event and a lot of people coming to eat, everybody has full bellies plenty of drinking going on

And we look forward for the next event and so make sure to come stay

Jack: Every sunday night

Ken: Every Sunday night

Mark: 6:30

Ken: 6:30 perfect

Jack: Bye

Mark: at Indigo

Special Beach Club Event Every Sunday

Managers Welcome Party: Special Every Sunday

Have you heard of our exclusive Bali-inspired Beach Club? Located at El Taj Oceanfront, and decorated with beach beds and umbrellas imported from Bali, Indigo Beach Club welcomes for an unforgetable day on the beach, surrounded by lounge music and Medirannean fusion cuisine with Asian influences. Click here to check our official  Playa del Carmen live web cam.

Beach Clubs are one of the most popular ways to spend your day in the sun in Playa del Carmen, and Indigo has become one of the most sought-after by the vacationers.

So I am not much different from the smart crowd in this sense. I love spending some of my Sundays at Indigo Beach Club, and the good thing is, I live just one block away from the beach. Don’t be jealous! Do you remember my entry “Superbowl at the Indigo Beach Club”? Other lovely day in Playa del Carmen!

Well, last Sunday was special – on March 25th, Condo Hotels kicked off the “Managers Welcome Party.” This special event is meant to give the guests the opportunity to enjoy a dinner buffet from Indigo Beach Club and to meet the managers of Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen.

All managers were in attendance for the inauguration of the new special event.  With a range of assorted appetizers, sushi rolls, vegetable dishes, pasta and pizza just to mention a few, there was something for everyone. I need to say that sushi rolls are totally delicious! My favorite one: Lorena: Ken don’t eat more sushi, you will not leave anything for the other guests! Me: Just one more!  It was a beautiful night to be out with the temperature just right and a great ocean breeze.

And I have great news for you! This special event is EVERY SUNDAY! Yes, every week you can come to Indigo, feel the Caribbean breeze on your skin, walk on the soft white sand and taste a delicious buffet dinner for a very special price, just 80 pesos per person with a one free drink. We are waiting for you next Sunday!

I along with Jack, Mark and Frederic spoke with many guests and  condo owners to discuss this special event.  Everyone was in great spirits.  Please click here to see a short video of the event.

Win a Free Four Night Stay at the El Taj Hotel in Playa Del Carmen

Cinco de Mayo Contest!

Taste of Mexico by Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Do you love Mexican flavors? Do you have a favorite Mexican dish or drink? This is the best opportunity to show everyone what you love!

Hotels Playa del Carmen

Grand Prize: 4 night stay at El Taj, THE BEST HOTEL in the Riviera Maya (according to TripAdvisor’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2012)

10 Second Prizes: 50% off your stay

Who is the winner of the Grand Prize? One winner chosen randomly from the top 11 most liked and dishes

Who wins the 10 second prizes? The remaining 10 dishes with the most likes (places 2 through 11).

How: Through the official Facebook page of Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen.

1.      If you have not already, become a fan of Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen.

Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen Contest Step 1

2.      Post your favorite Mexican dish or drink, tagging the fan page of the restaurant where it is served (“@restaurant name”)

3.      Tell all your friends to “like” or comment on your post (the winner will be chosen from the top 11 posts with the highest number of “likes”).

Participate in the first 5 de Mayo contest by Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen, and celebrate this special day with us. You only have to become a fan of Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen on Facebook and follow our instructions.

RULES:

1 – Only one recipe per contestant.

2 – You can participate by posting the dish and tagging the fan page of the restaurant where it is served (Accompanying photos, videos, and descriptions are encouraged. The more information you provide the more likely people are to “like” your entry!).

3 – Entries without the restaurant tagged will not be counted.

4 – Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen reserves the right to reject or exclude those entries that conflict with the ethics and morals of Condo Hotels, or do not comply with the contest’s rules.

5 – The posting and voting starts from on February 24th, 2012 and submissions end on April 30th, 2012. 

6 – The winning entry will be chosen from the top 11 posts with the highest number of “likes” and comments, if found to meet all the requirements.

The dates of the prize are subject to availability of Condo Hotels. The deadline for entry is April 30th, 2012 Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen needs to be able to identify you as the winner of this contest.

The prize is non-transferable. You have to b

e 18 years or older to participate, and a resident or citizen of the U.S., Canada, or Mexico.

Good luck!

Traveling to paradise!

Welcome to Mexico!

So you’re booked to come stay in one of our beautiful hotels. Playa del Carmen is on your mind and you’re looking forward to relaxation on the beach or doing one of the multiple activities found in the Riviera Maya.  You get on the plane, and the flight attendant mentions that they will soon be passing out customs and immigration forms. If it is your first time leaving the country, this could be a confusing and possibly stressful situation. Don’t worry, though. I’m here to help you out and quell those nerves!

The Mexican immigration form is to be filled out on the plane, since in many cases there will be a person checking these as you exit and will stop you for this info immediately. There are two parts to the immigration form and you will fill out each side.  When you walk up to one of the many immigration counters you will provide them only with this form and your passport.  They will stamp the form and return the small half and tell you to proceed.

This is your temporary visa to be in the country and it is important to save this as you will need it to exit the country as well.  The airline person who checks you in upon your departure will ask for the form, and will not let you leave without it.  If you do lose the form, you simply go to the immigration desk and request a new one, but if it is busy and you’re running late for your flight there is a good chance you may miss it. This can be a huge inconvenience and can damper the last minutes of your well-needed vacation.  It is best to just keep your immigration form with your passport, as you will need to display both to the airline attendant when leaving, and the paradise can still be on your mind – so yes, it’s easy to get distracted.

The second form is the customs form.  Only one form per family is necessary. Once you pass through immigration you will go to pick up your luggage and proceed to customs. In most situations the luggage will be put through an X-ray machine where you’ll pick it up on the other side, present your customs form, and go through the traffic light as a random search method.  The person who hands the customs officer the form will be asked to push the traffic button, if the light displays green you move on. If the light displays red, you will be asked to put your luggage on a counter for an officer to do a baggage check.

We look forward to seeing you soon and hope you’re trip into and out of the country is an easy one.

The most beautiful hotels Playa del Carmen has to offer are waiting for you!!

Bicycle in the Sky – Hidden Worlds time!

Our excellent zipline experience!!

Hi everybody! This time, I will talk about the one of the greatest places in the Yucatan Peninsula! I went with my girlfriend Lorena, and when we started out, she was very intimidated about the experience. At the end though, she was happy we went on such a unique adventure!

We headed out from the Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen. Our adventure began with the SkyCycle, which is essentially a “chair-bike” suspended from an aerial wire that takes you zipping through the jungle. For anyone who has done zip lines, this is a much more enjoyable experience because you have more control then when using other similar types of transport. It’s unique and fun.

After the SkyCycle, we took the jungle canopy zip line. Waiting for us were many options to spend a really fun day, and we got to fly through the jungle! If you’re afraid of heights, I would not recommend as it would likely scare you, but I was feeling brave!

To continue the fun we go to rappel into the cenote, using a harness and all safety precautions necessary, This is not my favorite experience as it can be frightening, but definitely worth doing.

After the rappel waits for us Cenote Splash Down and the zip line through the enchanting cenote, you start the race at the ground level through an underground cave and then come splashing out on land into a cool clear cenote! Incredible! It was terrific and refreshing, and a great way to spend an exciting day away from Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen.

The next adventure is called Avatar, and it is an intense experience! This ride is a high speed, high adrenaline adventure, turning left and right at high speeds and ending with a great big splash into the cold water … like a roller coaster zip line! This is the newest ride that was invented at Hidden Worlds.

The perfect end for this adventure is the exciting experience in the incredible cenote snorkel. The Cenote tour will give you the opportunity to be up close and personal with what nature has been creating underground for thousands of years. This part of the tour is amazing.

The staff was absolutely wonderful and professional, and they made us feel so welcome. Thank you everyone! At the end of the day, we were back safe and sound at our beautiful Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen.

See you next time!

Café at Ah! Cacao

This is a place for a lover of chocolate and good coffee!

When is it coffee time? Well, if it were up to me, my answer would be “every day!” Yes, of course caffeine is bad for you, but sometimes you have to indulge. I found a nice place with good coffee right near our Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen facilities, and I would like to share my delicious experience!

“Ah! Cacao” is a nice place in the heart of Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen you can sit and enjoy a delicious coffee in every flavor and type: espresso, latte, cappuccino and chocolate frappe cold or hot, cold or hot. This is served at outdoor tables which sell everything you can think of with real chocolate. You can also buy gift boxes of chocolate, cocoa powder criollo, bars, cocoa beans and vanilla extract, all made right in Mexico.

Ah! Cacao was the only place that made me feel I had enjoyed the taste of real Mexico. Their hot chocolate and coffee is the best I have ever had! And the staff was very friendly and personable, I felt very welcome! I took some home so I could have something to enjoy later.

So, what’s my favorite? Probably a medium Latte. What’s yours?

Unwind at the Maya Spa

Balance & Harmony!

If you want to relax during your Playa Del Carmen stay, the Maya Spa, located at our Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen facilities, is a lovely spot. When it comes to haircuts for me, there is no better place in Playa del Carmen!

Maya Spa is my number one pick! Fast, easy, close by, and they do a good job. Every time I visit Maya Spa, my stylist Betty is so friendly, and she always sends me on my way looking better than before.

Inspired by the rich wisdom and traditions of its native Mayan ancestors, Maya spa is a unique, full-service spa and beauty treatment experience where you can find balance and harmony. It would be hard to find such a relaxing spot in the other hotels.

Our Maya Spa reflects the life-enhancing experience of achieving a transformation in physical health, emotional well-being and spiritual renewal. They offer the best and relaxing treatments for your body and mind and provide personalized services in a luxurious environment.

The lovely folks at Maya Spa did a perfect job with me — as always!

My days as a Mexican street vendor

Hi everyone!

When I think of my days as a Mexican street vendor, so many memories come to my mind! I’ll share my story! First though, I have two questions for you.

First: Do you know 5th Avenue? 5th Avenue is a great place to stroll, lots (I mean LOTS) of bars, restaurants, stores, the lights are beautiful, the music is glorious, there is a lot to see and enjoy…. You must not miss it! I’m  sure that will be one of your favorite stops. It’s a location that is easy to get to from the hotels Playa del Carmen visitors stay at.

Second: Have you been in a bazaar? (market). “Bazar Andale” is the name of the interesting market in the most famous street in the heart of Riviera Maya, and once every year you can find everything from clothes, toys, jewelry, hats, candies, and food. You can also find artists, mariachis and much more!

Now imagine the tantalizing combination of a cosmopolitan street, a wonderful bazaar, so many people celebrating, hot weather, the warm and gentle breeze of the Caribbean, and a “gringo” with “ojo rojo” in his hand — anything can happen! Only here do you have a great place to visit so near the hotels Playa del Carmen lovers visit!! The “ojo rojo” is a delicious beach cocktail. Its main ingredients are light beer, lemon, tomato juice, salt, hot sauce and worcestershire sauce. it’s got a real kick!

After I walked and walked along the street with my friends Carmen, Fred and Anahi, I decided try to be a vendor! I thought, why not? It looks easy, I can definately do that!

After a few minutes, I discovered that I’m a pretty good street vendor! Honey shampoo for $5? Mmm.. ok, give it to me! A strawberry soap for $3? Give me.. give me.. two? Perfect! Who else wants some? I made $35  in a short time! Maybe I should take up a new hobby…

See you next time!