Riviera Maya, Mexico
Mexico is the location of choice for this vacation! Oasis Tulum is located in Riviera Maya, 1.5hrs away from the Cancun airport or 2hrs if you get stuck in traffic. Ugh. Upon arrival, we learned that there are actually 2 resorts there, Oasis Tulum and Oasis Tulum Grand. We were at the Oasis Tulum. The Grand side is a little shinier and there are a few more perks, but we were quite happy with the Oasis Tulum. In fact, almost every resort we dropped people off at was a tiered resort.
There are other restaurants on the Grand side, but if you're not staying over there, you can pay to try them out.
The beach was fantastic. There was ample shade and sun. There were 2 hot tubs near the beach bar that kids enjoyed. I recommend water shoes. It's not overly rocky, but there's enough coral there to cut your foot if you're not careful.
The room was great! Big bed, big bathroom and a nice balcony. Not that you'll spend much time there anyway!
The nightly shows were impressive. These weren't your usual daily entertainment people do all the shows. These were pros; they were brought in for these shows and hosted by the daily entertainment crew. The disco is in the same place and it's pretty good. Lots of space, American and Spanish music pounding through a killer sound system.
There are a lot of tours that are reasonably priced, if you want the whole day trip($120 or so per person, per tour). To go to the ruins at (not too far from the hotel), admission is 59 pesos($6 US). You can grab a guide there to take you through(for a fee) or go through yourself. We went with the tour through . You can climb the ruins at , but not at Itza. We did both tours, so feel free to ask if you have any questions about either. I HIGHLY recommend is going to a . It's the North American equivalent of swimming in an aquifer. Mexico has no rivers, everything is underground and you can swim in the caves of beautiful, fresh water. Just makes you feel good!
When they bring you to a souvenir store run by Mayans, BUY THERE. They are SO much cheaper than at the hotel or at Playa del Carmen. We didn't make it to Playa del Carmen even though our hotel offered a free trip there. We didn't hear a good thing about it. The people we met at our hotel went, but they all complained. People were very pushy, yelling at them and everything was expensive. The souvenirs weren't the only expensive sales there, apparently the restaurants were no deal either. Just what I heard!
I loved the buffet. Who the hell says that? Mexican food is wonderful and we got our fill. Some things were poorly labeled, but it was amusing. The staff were very welcoming and fast.
We hit the buffet on our first couple days for all of our meals while we got a feel for the place. There wasn't much difference between breakfast and left except that the guy was cooking something more . A lot of heavy foods were served at breakfast, but that's how they roll! There was your traditional foods there as well, so no worries.
For lunch/dinner, they had a good variety of food, chicken, beef and veggie dishes were all plentiful. At lunch, they serve pre-made sandwiches. I was hooked. Fresh bread and mini-croissants. Yes and yes. They had rich cheeses, bean sprouts, salmon, chicken, etc. I think I ate them everyday.
I was happy there and didn't really mind of we ate anywhere else!
The leftovers were brought next door to Dos Lunas for late night .
Dos Lunas - Italian
We heard that this was the same as the buffet. As we headed to dinner, my man suggested we go to the buffet at Dos Lunas for a change of scenery. We walk up and they tell us they serve Italian food and no reservations required! No dress code really, men just need to wear sleeves.
Excited, we were seated and checked out the menu. The manager, Joaquin, greeted us. He was fantastic. He seemed to pop up at any a la carte restaurant we were at. Very customer focused and so sweet. Oasis Tulum is lucky to have him.
While we browed the menu, we were brought focaccia to dip in balsamic and olive oil with shredded parmesan. Pretty sure, this alone, was the reason I had to hit the gym so hard when I got back.
The menu was not translated into English, only in Spanish. They had just opened as an Italian restaurant, so we didn't hold it against them. Our server's English wasn't great, but we figured it out, . My man ordered the Bolognese every time. It wasn't over saucy, but it was very tasty. Instead of a heavy tomato/meat sauce, it was with spices. We were impressed.
I went with a good ol' Hawaiian pizza. The pizza is great! Made fresh in a real pizza oven, it was delicious. Ample toppings and the perfect size for one person. The thin crust was nice since I had just ate a ton of focaccia. Recommended!
On another visit, I ordered pasta, but the translation wasn't clear and I didn't ask the right questions....like, is it spicy? Oops. HOLY CRAP. I'm not a spicy gal and this was a bit much for me. I know, I know, I was in Mexico, but still. I feel like that detail was kind of important to this pasty, red-faced and sweating Canadian.
They stayed open during power outage during a storm, lit by candles, they could still make pizza!
Love this place! We went there every chance we had!
It was a 4 course meal. We started with salads, he picked the Watermelon Salad and I chose the Warm Goat Cheese & Walnut Salad. I won that round. The warm salad was DELICIOUS. My man was mad he didn't get it. Lots of goat cheese crumbled over large leafy greens with walnuts and a balsamic dressing. He didn't the Watermelon Salad, nor did the table next to us. Me: 1, Jay: 0.
Course #2. I selected the Eggplant Parmesan and he went with the Sausage Penne. The sauce on the eggplant was plain and it was mushy, overcooked. My man and the table next to us devoured the sausage penne like they had never seen food before. I was able to snag a bite and it was pretty good! Creamy sauce with sausage out of the casing throughout. Me: 1, Jay: 1.
To the main course... I went with the chicken and he went with the steak. Our previous experiences with beef in foreign countries hasn't been good, but he took a chance. The chicken was juicy and delicious, but it was no match for the steak! I couldn't get a bite, he wouldn't give it up! All I heard were moaning sounds from across the table. Apparently, it was tender, well seasoned and cooked perfectly. I wouldn't know, he wouldn't let me taste! Me: 1, Jay: 2.
Dessert time! Our experiences with cryptic, badly translated desserts hasn't been great. I went with Tiramisu and he went with the custard. The 'custard' was CRÈME BRULEE! (If you haven't read my other blogs, I'm a crème addict) I was so mad. Crunchy sugar and custard, I'm surprised he didn't lick the bowl! I was pretty good considering I'd never had it in a foreign country. The Tiramisu was surprisingly good. Hell, even Italian places in Canada don't get it right, but this place was pretty close. Me: 1, Jay: 3.
The service was great, food was great. Don't miss out on this a la carte!
Yes, they had sushi and it was on the beach. Was I worried about sushi in the heat? Yes. It took me 5 days to get up the nerve to eat it. I HAD to try it though; everyone said it was good and it was! They keep everything in refrigerators and out of the sun to ensure the food doesn't spoil.
They had a decent variety and some special rolls as well. They were in reasonable quantities as well. My man doesn't eat sushi, so I was happy that what I wanted came in 4 pieces.
In between the buffet and the sushi bar, there was an outdoor restaurant and we didn't know until 2 days before leaving! We thought people from the buffet were just eating outside.
They had nachos, club sandwiches and things like that. The nachos were good, simple and very cheesy. We got a couple orders of them. The quesadilla was great! It was small, cheesy and fresh. The club was pretty good as well and it was very popular. The service was a bit slow sometimes, but it was worth the wait.
There was musical entertainment each night at the Mexican restaurant and it was great. It's located by the pool and is a bar during the day. We almost missed it!
Lime Soup. Sound weird? Don't be afraid; I hope you love it as much as I did! It was like sunshine in a bowl. Lime with a little veggies in broth with strips of crunchy tortilla. Yum!
Our mains weren't as good. Everyone said they enjoyed this place, so I'm sad we didn't go back to try something else. I got the Fish Tacos. There were 2 tacos cut in half, amounting to 4 bites. Very small portion. My man had the Mole; something everyone that goes to Mexico has to try. It's their dish and it's pretty good. Don't be scared when they tell you it's chocolate sauce. There IS chocolate in the sauce, but it's a sweet spice. Not bad!
Loving the pool? Don't want to go far for eats? You don't have to; Happy Chicken saves the day! We tried many items on this menu. I recommend the chicken burger, chicken strips, chicken wings and fries. The service is pleasant and the food is very fresh. Like something? Keep ordering it; they'll keep bringing it. The ketchup isn't very good; no Heinz, but you'll live. The chicken nuggets weren't very good and my man didn't really like the hamburger. We went there a few times as the portions are not huge, but you can order more of something you like and not waste much if you don't like it.
While were at this resort, there was a plane load of Italian vacationers. Oasis Tulum really catered to them. We couldn't eat at the Italian place one night, because it was Italians only that night. There was specific Italian entertainment people on the beach everyday. We felt excluded. We were never invited for games or volleyball. They had an Italian show at the disco every night. There was only one entertainment person from the hotel that would interact with the English speaking people. Ricardo was great. He would get us involved and even have lunch with guests!
All in all a decent vacation, not our , but there was nothing wrong with the resort, rooms or food. We'd like it if they were a bit more social with us English speaking people, but that's it! A great place for yummy food and beautiful beaches.