Hali and Mike return to Playa del Carmen!

We decided to try another trip to this area because we had heard good things about the RIU Palace -- and it was on sale!  Once again we had the pleasure of travelling with our good friends Christine and Paul.  We were all very, very impressed with the resort.  The grounds and buildings were very nice, and the service was consistently excellent (which is no feint praise).  The resort was wonderfully quiet, which made this resort an excellent choice for people like us that have one drink after dinner, and then go to sleep.  The clientele was generally middle aged couples, although there were families and singles of various ages.   If any of the younger couples wanted to party, they probably went to one of the 3 other RIU resorts nearby.

The daytime actives included beach volleyball, Hobie sailing, boogie boarding, kayaking, and windsurfing (with a quick outlaw session of surfing thrown in to boot).  The surf was fairly large at the start of the trip, but became more calm each day.  The water was very calm during the last couple of days.  During one such day we all sailed the Hobie far down the coast and took turns snorkeling near a small inlet -- fun!

The skies were mostly sunny for the majority of our stay.  We had a bit of a scare when we first arrived because it was pouring rain.  Fortunately, we did not see weather like that again for the rest of our vacation.

In the pictures below we have tried to capture some of the fun times and some of the beauty of the resort.  To see pictures of our other fun trips you can visit our main vacation page HERE.  Happy trails!   - Mike & Hali

Hali and Mike during the first day on the beach. The beach was huge and well populated with Palm trees.
Christine, Paul, and Hali doing the group pose.
Christine and Paul with a different view of the beach in the background.
Mike with the huge fountained courtyard in the background.
Hali near the headless, armless angel statue. Maybe it's a European thing...
Group photo in the main courtyard. This area was the main night-time gathering ground.
Christine serving it up. The court had good sand, but was very close to the water.
Mike contemplating the wisdom of an overhand serve.
Wet, sandy ball? Underhand is the way to go!
Paul has located the one spot on his body that is not covered with sand -- his thumb. As usual, Paul was the dominating force on the court all week long.
In a vacation first, the water sports guys let me use a windsurfer to go surfing.
The pool area was nice, although we spent little time there. This horse fountain was located to the far side of the pool area.
Our usual breakfast location.
The view from one of the walkways near our room.
The attractive grounds were very well maintained.
This is a shot of Hali in the corner of the main courtyard. We would see a team of a dozen people cleaning the tile every morning.
Another shot of the main courtyard. The show bar was on the left and the outside seating for the restaurant was on the right.
Hali on the palm-lined path of the courtyard.
Every "hot" tub we found was warm, at best. Too bad!
A view of the courtyard fountains during some brief morning clouds. They turned the mutlitude of fountains on at various times of the day and evening.
Mike, Christine, and Paul enjoying a lounge near the volleyball court. This is a rare shot of Paul reading a book on the beach. Save this one!
Hali, Paul and Christine getting ready to take a dip in one of the fountains.
This is the front of the resort. There was a small shopping area right across the street.
This a slow flash image of Hali and Mike at the main courtyard fountain. I had to play some games with the image to make it viewable -- finally rendering it in sepia tone to make the most of it.
Another night courtyard image of Hali and Mike (regular flash).
Paul, Hali and Christine enjoying a pre-dinner drink in the luxurious show bar. We usually sat near the wall of large french doors opening out to the courtyard.
Another night shot of Mike and Hali.
Hali took this no-flash timed exposure using the headless angel statue base as a tripod.
This shows a little of the floral design found in the pools. The flowers were beautiful tile mosaics.
Mike during the start of our half-day horseback ride. The ranch was huge.
Each of the horses has an intersting name. Here Christine is getting ready to take her horse, "I'll Do Whatever I Want", for a ride around the corral.
Calgary and Mike chatting about the day on the range.
Here's Paul returning from Cozumel. It's a good thing he brought his swim trunks!
Hali taking her horse for nice run.
Hali letting her horse cool down after the gallop up the beach.
One of the ranch pets was the cutest little fawn!
Hali checking to see if the fawn's nose is as soft as everyone said.
A late afternoon visit to the pool.
Christine and Paul having the mandatory pool bar beverage.
Another pre-dinner visit to the show bar.
Pre-dinner group photo (slow-flash).
Post-dinner group photo (slow-flash). Everyone is chuckling because I had to jump the fence to get out there in time!
Mike, Christine and Paul enjoying an evening stroll on the beach. We had to do something to work off all of that great food we ate at dinner.
Mike's beautiful wife Hali under the beautiful Caribbean moonlight.
Hali in front of the courtyard fountains. I used the slow flash to capture the beauty of the illuminated fountains.
More fountains...
We thought she was naked, but closer inspection revealed a thin bronze dress.
Hali posing on one of the super-fun Hobies.
Hali near the main lobby's huge chandelier.
Hali near the stairs to the courtyard.
The room was large, well appointed, and came stocked with a modest liquor cabinet.
The pelicans would think nothing of diving after a fish 10 inches away from a swimmer!
Mike on windsurfer with Cozumel in the background.
Last day group photo under the palm trees.
Hali near the beautiful lobby bar. We're all packed and ready to go home.
Mike in the lobby bar. We're just killing time; waiting for bus to arrive.
Flight is delayed for 3 hours? No problem! Mike and Paul got in a few more games of Volleyball while the ladies relaxed.
This was a great trip, and wonderful resort. We would definitely go back again!
Happy Holidays!
  Mike & Hali

Hali and Mike would like to dedicate this page in loving memory of Hali's mother Isobel.