A couple of weeks ago Bebé, my mom (aka Grammy) and I spent 4 nights at The Fives Azul Beach Resort in Playa del Carmen. I was really excited to check it out, because it’s a little different than most all-inclusive resorts. The Fives offers various ways to stay at the resort. Guests can book as all-inclusive or European plan guests, they can become members of the vacation club, or they can invest in partial or full ownership of a unit. There are actually people who live in the resort!
This explains why our room was actually an apartment with a full kitchen! (See the bed they brought in for Bebé? It was super comfortable.)
We also had a gorgeous rooftop deck with a jacuzzi.
The sofa is also a double-size pull-out bed. The kitchen had a microwave, oven and stove, dining table for four and a full-size refrigerator, which was stocked daily with beer, juice, soft drinks and snacks. The room also included bath amenities including a hair dryer, bathrobes and slippers (and kid-sized ones for Bebé). 24 hour room service was included.
The Fives have suites with up to 3 bedrooms available.
The Pools and Beach
Azul Fives is unique in that there are pools all over the property, not just in the beach area. They kind of wind around the buildings and provide a place to relax for those who prefer peace and quiet.
The main pool and beach area offer a little more action. It is important to note that if you want chairs around the main pool area you have to get up bright and early and save them (but security will remove your towels after one hour if the chairs are not being used so you have to time it just right).
Between the waiters and ordering at the bar, it was always easy to get a drink at the pool. There are a few swim-up bars in other areas of the resort.
Photo: The Fives Azul Beach Resort
There are always loads of lounge chairs available on the beach, and a beach club where members can reserve a beach bed (with a butler) for the day.
On a calm day you can swim in the ocean, and there is a pier, which is a nice place to take pictures or just take in the view.
The Restaurants and Bars
We never went hungry, that’s for sure!
For breakfast there are three choices, the main buffet Flavours, La Brassierie, also a buffet, and room service.
We tried all three and La Brassierie was definitely our favorite.
The morning we went to Flavours we were starving and there was this awesome taco stand outside, so we had a DELICIOUS taco while waiting in line. The tortillas were being made fresh right there.
There are numerous options for lunch. One day we ate at Sea Olive, which serves Mediterranean dishes, and the next day we tried Lizards, where you could grab hamburgers, hot dogs and empanadas to go. They even had a vegetarian option for my mom. In fact, all of the restaurants had vegetarian options and some had them marked on the menu.
Both Sea Olive and Lizards were very good and very conveniently located right next to the main pool. Oriola grill and La Taqueria taco stand are located at the main pool as well. The third day we ate lunch at La Brassierie after a quick trip to Cancun for Bebé’s semifinal soccer game. #soccermom (They won!)
For dinner, Arezzo, the Italian restaurant, was definitely our favorite, with Koh Thai in a close second. The first night we had dinner at Flavours. They have a different theme each night, but the selection is very limited. The last night we ate at the Mexican restaurant, Mestizo.
It’s important to note that it is difficult to get dinner reservations, especially at peak times, so it’s important to head to dinner early and get your name in, and then you can have a few cocktails.
Speaking of cocktails, there are bars all over the place and it was always easy to grab one. Our favorite was The Gin Bar because of it’s central location and outside seating. Children are not allowed in any bars, except for outside seating areas and Zky Bar during the shows.
I really wanted to spend time in the Mexican cantina Nineteen Ten but alas, Bebé couldn’t go in.
There is daily and nightly entertainment at Azul Fives. During the day you can play beach volleyball or soccer, do water aerobics, or take a Latin dance class, among other things.
The best entertainment for Bebé was when he found the soccer goal on the beach and a friend to play with.
There was a basketball court as well, but it was a little too far away from the pool and I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t see Bebé when he was there.
As usual, we were present at all of the nightly shows. We went to the fire show the first night, but it started to rain and there was a mass exodus. The second night we saw a lip-sync show where the performers imitated famous singers like Beyonce and Bruno Mars. The third night was karaoke, which was more like a sing-along. They generally hold all the nightly entertainment outdoors at The Fives Plaza, but the weather was kind of iffy when we were there, so they were moved to Zky Bar. On Fridays if the weather cooperates they have a Mexican market, and that night there isn’t a show.
Bebé spent one morning at Azulitos Playhouse aka the kids club, and enjoyed it. He played video games and then joined a gym group activity. Depending on the hour, there were often quite a few kids there. The kids club is for ages 4-12, but there is a baby room where parents can bring their younger children to play.
Bebé doesn’t need it anymore, but the resort offers strollers, cribs, pack ‘n plays, bottle sterilizers, and more, so parents don’t have to lug all of that around on vacation.
There is a nature walk on the grounds, and in general there is a lot of flora and fauna on the property. The most exciting animals we saw were the monkeys!
Bebé loves the Mayan legend about alux, little mischievous dwarf-like creatures that will sabotage you if you don’t show them the proper respect. The Fives have a house for the alux, and hold a weekly ceremony to honor them.
All of the employees were polite, helpful and hardworking, and I don’t believe I have ever named specific staff members before, but I came across two who happily went above and beyond, Augustin in The Gin Bar and Miguel in La Brassierie. They are a couple of gems and you can tell they really enjoy and value their jobs.
One thing that is important to know is that the resort is large and spread out. If you are comfortable walking, you’ll get a lot of exercise, which is great for burning off those extra vacation calories. If you are not, there is a shuttle that circles the resort. However, wait times can range from 5 to 20 minutes, so it’s important to plan for that.
The Fives Azul Beach Resort also offers an adult only area, which includes guest rooms, a pool and a restaurant, a spa, and a fitness center that is open 24 hours a day.