Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Resort Review: Azulik in Tulum, Mexico

Good morning, everyone! A review on the hotel we stayed at during our visit to Tulum has been HIGHLY requested by y'all. I had so many emails, snapchat questions, comments, etc. so I'm putting together a full post on my review! This post is not sponsored by the resort, and I'm going to be very honest about some of our likes and dislikes. To be blunt, although it was definitely one of the prettiest locations I've ever had the chance to visit, we were actually pretty uncomfortable the whole time! I'm going to share some photos from my instagram first, so scroll down to the end of this post for the full review. 

First up, this picture was taken on our first morning at Azulik! Every balcony has a giant swing that you can swing on. 


frill off shoulder swimsuit, also comes in black HERE & comes in a two piece HERE

This is a partial beach view.... the room located to the left of me is the Honeymoon Suite (the best room in the entire resort!).


hot pink swimsuit top, also HERE // swimsuit bottoms, also HERE

Another beach view... the water was clear turquoise and beautiful. For the full blog post on this hot pink swimsuit, click HERE



This picture was taken at the entrance to the hotel. Azulik was built in the jungle and the entire resort reflects those "jungle" vibes! For a full blog post on this peplum dress, click HERE

MAC lipstick in "impassioned" // Baublebar pom earrings

This picture shows a better view of our back porch/balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Imagine waking up to this every morning! There was a swinging bed, outdoor bath tub and a hammock on our balcony too. 



There's a really cool beach bar located on Azulik's beach. We loved the swings that lined up next to the bar. Every morning they made a fresh, unique smoothie concoction that was both healthy and delicious.



floral dress  // pom pom earrings

The swinging bed on our balcony! 



 blue embroidered romper // tassel earrings

First of all, how cute is this hat?! Secondly, you can see how fine and soft the sand is in this picture!

 "talk to the sand" straw hat // black bikini top // bottoms // tassel bracelets

My favorite bikini top from the trip, because it fit right in with the surroundings!


This was the bed in our room. It's a floating bed with a huge mosquito net, which really came in handy at night. You can't see from this picture, but there is a fan located at the very top of the bed that you could turn on at night to help keep cool.

 white off-the-shoulder top, similar HERE // jean shorts

Another balcony view one day when we ordered room service!


All of the rooms are connected by walkways that are two stories above ground. This was cool but we did find it a little dangerous - someone could easily slip or fall off the edge if they lost balance!


One of the coolest things - a giant hammock a couple of stories above the jungle!

 blue and white off-the-shoulder top // white shorts

Tulum is an hour's drive away from Playa del Carmen. We went into Playa one day for some shopping. They have really cute Mexican boutiques with blankets, tassels and scarves - and they also have some American stores like Forever 21 and Sephora.

straw tote (this holds a TON of stuff!) // Chloe wedges, dupes HERE & HERE
pom pom earrings, similar but less expensive HERE

Another view of the outdoor bath... it's easily big enough for two people! Also I'm a little obsessed with this swimsuit too :)


Marysia bikini top, also available in all sizes HERE // swim bottoms


During our trip to Tulum, we stayed at Azulik. We were initially drawn to this resort because of the AMAZING imagery we had seen online and on their instagram page. We read a ton of reviews before we booked - it's an eco-friendly hotel, with organic architecture made from it's surroundings. We knew beforehand that there was no television, A/C or showers (only bathtubs) and that wi-fi could only be found in the hotel's lobby. This didn't deter us though, instead we were really looking forward to relaxing and disconnecting from the world. In the end, though, we did not have an overall pleasurable experience at Azulik! My mom both agreed that if we were rating Azulik purely on looks, it would be a 10 out of 10 (I seriously can't stress enough how BEAUTIFUL this place is), however, by the end of the trip we were both so ready to come home and have the luxuries of wi-fi, good food, air conditioning and just the general feeling of cleanliness. You'll see what I mean... I'm going to go through some different categories below. 

Room: After looking at ton of photos online, we booked a Sky Villa, which is one of the rooms located on the upper floor of the resort. You really do feel like you could reach out and touch both the sky and the ocean! The actual room was amazing... it had all glass doors that you can shut and lock, and there were two doors that open up to the ocean so that you could get some wind and hear the ocean waves. The toilet was kept in a little hut inside the room (we used this to change clothes too). There was a small bath tub in the room that we used to bathe, and even a coconut shell so that you could pour water on yourself. One thing I didn't like: there were no drawers and no closet. We had a really hard time organizing our clothes and shoes because there was literally no place to put anything. I don't know how other people do it (maybe they keep stuff in their suitcase the whole time?), my mom and I had to use a couple corners of the room to fold and organize our clothes. There was no A/C in the room, but we didn't mind that (we visited St. Lucia last year and also had a room without A/C so we were used to that). February is a good time to go because it's not too hot! There was a fan located at the top of the bed that we turned on at night, and that really helped. Another thing we did not like about the room: no electric lights, just candlelight! In theory this sounded really cool, your entire room lit with candles at night. In reality, it made nighttime at Azulik really difficult. There were only six candles dispersed around the room and we could barely see ANYTHING at night. If you wanted to put on makeup for dinner, you were out of luck. I could barely get dressed by the candlelight, and washing my face was a nightmare.... I couldn't see well enough to take my makeup off all the way, and in the morning I would wake up with huge black mascara streaks all over my face. Not attractive!! 

The best thing about the room was definitely the balcony: we loved the floating bed, outdoor bath, swing, hammock and lounge chairs. The view from the balcony was truly the most amazing sight I have ever seen.... especially the sunrise above the Caribbean Sea.

Food: I have very mixed reviews on the food at Azulik. The resort is not all-inclusive, so you pay for each meal as you go. I don't know how to put it.... the food here was just kind of weird. Some of it was amazing, and some of it was terrible. There are three restaurants at Azulik: the beach bar, the Cenote Bar, and Kin Toh, a fairly new and very expensive tree house restaurant. The beach bar was great: they made delicious smoothies, alcoholic drinks and at night they served Thai food on the beach, which my mom and I LOVED (the Pad Thai we had was the best I've ever eaten!!). The Cenote Bar was where we ate breakfast and lunch. They had a very limited selection of food for breakfast, only a couple of options to choose from including a smoothie, yogurt bowl or eggs (these were good, and healthy!) but we really wanted more variety. I wanted waffles or pancakes sooo bad one morning, but they don't make them. We did not like the lunch food at ALL there... the menu was full of names we couldn't pronounce (which is fine - we were in a foreign country, after all). However we tried out a few of the dishes and they just weren't to my liking. We did eat at Kin Toh one night for dinner (the tree house restaurant). The atmosphere was simply amazing... you're eating dinner while looking out on the Mexican jungle! We had a 5-course dinner and they "surprised" us for each course. It was also weird, but it tasted good! One dish they brought out had baked fish with a frozen ball of coconut ice cream on top - they brought out a torch and torched the meal so that the ice cream would melt all over the fish. Sounds strange but it was very good! 

To be honest, my mom and I both agreed there wasn't enough variety in the food, and we just wish it had been better in general. I would have loved some guacamole, but they didn't even serve authentic Mexican food at the resort. My mom also got really, really sick one day that we were there. We weren't sure if it was from the food or maybe the ice, but it didn't make us feel better!

Beach: Azulik has a beautiful beach located right next to the resort. There are two kayaks that guests are free to use anytime they want, and lots of lounge chairs and small huts that you can lay on. The sand is soft and fine, and the water is crystal clear turquoise. Like I said before, the beach bar is really awesome and they will bring you drinks or whatever you want while you're laying on the beach! Two caveats: 1. The beach is very small, and you can't go on "beach walks" there because there is simply not enough beach, 2. The beach is a nude beach. We didn't participate (lol) but really didn't mind it - just be prepared when you go! 

Activities: There are some fun activities to do at Azulik! Every morning at 8 a.m. they have yoga on the beach, and there is an entire Maya Spa where they offer facials and massages. Also located on the beach there is a small booth where you can sign up for excursions. My mom and I REALLY wanted to go to the cenotes (natural lagoons where you can swim) and we signed up and paid for an excursion on our last day. HOWEVER! My mom ended up getting really sick on that day and we had to cancel - they didn't offer a refund since we had already paid. 

Transportation: We had Azulik arrange our transportation from the airport to the hotel and back. It was easier and less stressful for us this way, and we didn't want to have to find a taxi at the airport.  They used this taxi service (it may be cheaper to contact them directly!). It was a two hour drive from the Cancun airport to Azulik. 

Downsides: Unfortunately, there were quite a few other downsides to Azulik. I'm going to go through them one by one for those of you who are thinking of going or already have a trip booked!

*Mosquitos/bugs: Bring bug spray!! This place is covered in mosquitos and other bugs (we found a couple of spiders in our room). My mom and I both wore bug spray, but we ended up coming home covered in itchy, red bites. We both would go down to the outdoor lobby at night to work on our phones/computers and we think this is where most of the damage was done, lol. 
*Wi-fi: We knew ahead of time that there was no wi-fi in the rooms, and that we would have to go down to the outdoor lobby to get wi-fi. I had anticipated this, but the wi-fi connection was TERRIBLE in the lobby, which made it really hard to get work done on this trip! Keep in mind - I worked the entire time, putting up blog posts and social media posts every day. It would sometimes take up to an hour just to post one picture to instagram (much longer for blog posts). For most of the people that come to this resort, they are truly on vacation and this wouldn't be a problem at all. There was definitely a good enough connection to be able to send a quick text. 
*Cleanliness: Maids did come to clean the room every day, but both my mom and I both felt that we could never get "clean" here. I love to go take a shower right before bed and go to sleep feeling clean, but this was impossible at Azulik. We would put on sunscreen and bug spray throughout the day, then felt like it didn't come off in the bath all the way. The floor of our room also got dirty from sand particles.... they make you leave your shoes outside of your hut, so you are walking around with dirty feet in your room! I HATE going to bed feeling like my feet are dirty, so I would try to wash them off in the bath and then put on socks just to walk over to the bed. 
*Dangerous?: Okay this last point sounds kind of funny because I don't know how to word it! Both my mom and I thought that the walkways were a little precarious. There were a lot of steps and all of the walkways and rooms are stories above the ground. We agreed that it would be incredibly easy to have a misstep or lose your balance for a second, and fall a really long way. I also burned my finger really badly trying to light a candle one night. Of course, it was so dark that I couldn't even see my finger to know if it was okay, I had to wait until the morning. 

As you can see, there a some positives and negatives to Azulik. I am always, always honest with you guys, which is why I'm sharing the negatives and not just how amazing it is. The fact that this was a "work trip" and not just a vacation I think made it particularly hard... we woke up early and took photos nonstop for most of the day, and were exhausted by nighttime, so all of these small inconveniences added up pretty quickly. If you truly want to get away and connect with nature, then this place is for you! It is incredibly romantic, and I think if I had been there with my boyfriend (rather than on a work trip with my momma!) it would have been a completely different experience. 

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments! Also check out my other hotel review of  Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia - it is BY FAR my favorite trip of all time. You can read the the entire review HERE.

xoxo 

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68 comments:

  1. Perfect place <3

    www.evdaily.blogspot.com

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  2. What a refreshingly honest review! Thank you so much for sharing -- no doubt this resort is GORGEOUS but I can def see how no electricity/no showers would get a little annoying after a while.
    Xx, Kathryn

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  3. It looks amazing but I can totally understand your points about cleanliness, lights and the food. Sounds like a great place to spend maybe two nights just to get the experience! Your pictures were absolutely gorgeous!

    Xo, Nina
    Law of Fashion Blog

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    1. Yes totally!! We were thinking that we should have spent a couple nights there for the experience and then stayed at a different hotel (with showers lol). Thanks for your comment, Nina!

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  4. Thank you for being so open and honest about your trip. It's so refreshing to hear the "real" story behind the beautiful pics! XO

    Shauna

    www.lipglossandlace.net

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  5. This was such a great review and you covered it so well. It looked really pretty though and I enjoyed all your outfits from it. I just want to compliment your dedication and did everything possible to still blog and post everyday even through the struggles. What a fab job Cait.

    Jackie | fashionxfairytale |

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  6. Looks so wonderful there!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  7. Loved reading such an honest review! It looks gorgeous but it was good to hear the not so fabulous parts too!

    www.rosyoutlookblog.com

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  8. This was so interesting to read because from the photos this place looks sooo dreamy! I really don't know if I could handle the no showers and sleeping in bug nets haha All the negatives aside, you looked fabulous the entire trip and Tulum looks gorgeous!
    xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

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  9. Wow great review!! This was so helpful. I definitely have to visit Tulum one day! Looks beautiful there <3
    XO Janina
    http://janinafran.blogspot.ca

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  10. It looks amazing, but I TOTALLY see your frustrations. Thanks for being honest. My husband and I went to Tulum last year and loved it so much, we want to go back this year (we haven't ever traveled somewhere twice b/c we love new places!). I was super curious about your review of this place since I had seen it online!I'm with you though... I don't really need AC or a ton of amenities, but I think the lack of electric lights, shower, etc would start to wear on me, too. Just a note, we stayed at Colibri hotel when we were there (they own several in Tulum) and the place was fabulous, the food was amazing and I'd go back in a heartbeat! Just if you're looking for somewhere else! We also stayed part of our time at Casa Malca, owned by a New York art curator so it's filled with AMAZING art (would make for fun photos!). Has a rootop terrace that overlooks the ocean and the jungle, too. Amazing place. Also a former home of Pablo Escobar...ha! Random, right? Oh and finally, we have some friends who stayed at Jashita and love it so much they go back over and over. Just a few more places if you're wanting to return to Tulum but try a different hotel! Anyway, seriously appreciate your honest review! Glad you had fun and the hotel looks amazing but that's what's so great about Tulum...there are places to fit every type of traveler!

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    1. Hey Jackie, thanks so much for your recommendations!! We definitely want to go back to Tulum - it is GORGEOUS and I know there are hotels there that would be a better fit for us! I will look into all the ones you recommended, I've heard of the Colibri Hotel before but I need to look it up again :)

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    2. We stayed at Jashita last year, and I can't recommend it enough! The snorkeling there was so great, and I loved that the property was small. Made for a nice quiet getaway!

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  11. Love all your bikins and outfits - not sure if I would want to visit this place though hahaha. The idea of applying makeup via candle light on a resort vacation does not really appeal to me. The photos are absolutely deceiving!
    www.luellapearl.com

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  12. All your outfits from the trip have been amazing but that blush bikini bow top...gosh it's stunning!!!!!!

    Arum Lilea

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  13. Great review, but you guys missed out on some of Tulum's best hot spots. The Mayan Ruins of Tulum are breathtaking. Hartwood (restaurant) has amazing food in the cooked jungle setting. The restaurants and stores that line the beach are so enjoyable. The fish tacos along the beach are so yummy. I hope you go back and enjoy more of the sites in Tulum!

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  14. I've seen this resort by another blogger & she experienced similar frustrations. I love the swings at the bar but my hubby would never go for the not feeling clean & limited amenities!
    Kari
    www.sweetteasweetie.com

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  15. Thank you for your honest review! The resort looks beautiful but it kind of sounds like camping to me- which is not my style! Haha. Loved seeing all your beautiful vacation outfits though!
    www.giltedgeblog.com

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  16. So, aesthetically, this place looks lovely, but I don't get down with:

    No showers - WHAT? When I go on vacation, I always take a hot shower or bath before bed (sunscreen, makeup, bug spray, plain old sweat from the heat) - gross.

    No electricity at all - y'all, it's sunny. Get some solar panels, so a girl can put on her makeup at night, and wash her face!

    I also do not co-sign on mediocre food. Usually, in Mexico it's because the menu is very Americanized, and in bulk, but being an a la carte resort, with an emphasis on more local fare, there's no real excuse for it. I'm sure you also paid a pretty penny, so that's a big ole nope for me.

    You looks AMAZING though. In very outfit. xoxo

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  17. Gorgeous place but apparently not a good vacation for workers!!
    xx,
    Areli's April
    Areli's April on Bloglovin

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  18. The pictures look amazing! I am so sorry that not everything was great!

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  19. I have been to Tulum several times now and I took a tour of Azulik... I knew it wasn't for me either although it's a very cool property. I will cut to the chase and tell anyone reading that if you want the amazing vibe of Tulum, long walks on the beach, and great food every time, wifi, AC, electricity (lol), then stay at the BeTulum or Casa Malca. They have all the modern amenities but still keep it boho chic (emphasis on the chic). #ilovetulum

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    1. Hey Leslie! Thanks for your comment! I will check out both of those, we loved Tulum and those resorts sound amazing!

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  20. I have been to Tulum 5 times and love it so I'm sorry to hear you didn't have the best time! I go with my family and we stay in private villas and I will say a lot of them don't have wi-fi and when they do it's not that great so I think it's more of an infrastructure problem than a hotel problem. There are so many great restaurants along the road that I would definitely suggest anyone who goes there try: Mateo's which has THE best fish tacos (it's on the jungle side), a little farther down the road is Unico which is one of the best meals I've ever had and Hechizo another fancier place which is also amazing!

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    1. Ahh thanks for the recommendations!! We definitely want to go back to Tulum soon... we heard so much about the restaurants nearby but didn't have a chance to check them out! We particularly heard abut Unico and how amazing it's supposed to be!

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  21. Oh wow, this was def. an adventure! Sorry about all the down parts of the trip, cleanliness would be the biggest issue with me. Also, always a sad story when the food doesn't deliver or when you feel sick afterwards because it was of a bad quality. Being somewhere and not able to relax because your internet connection is really bad is something that def. would test my nerves and would totally set me off in my work.

    I like your palm print bikini and blue romper very much!

    http://lartoffashion.com

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  22. I normally like your honest reviews but this one rubbed me the wrong way. I guess if you know the place is going to be rustic and showcase local cuisines and you want American food, wifi, and the creature comforts of home, maybe you should have booked a completely different hotel? I'd love to stay somewhere like this and relish every little experience. I have stayed in plenty of rustic places, but nowhere rustic and 5 star like the Azulik which is $600+ a night. I guess I just have a different perspective.

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    1. Hey Sonya! Thanks so much for your feedback. I think a lot of people would absolutely love Azulik, this was simply my honest opinion after staying there for five days. There were a lot of amazing things about the resort too, that we loved! Everyone has a right to their own opinion, even if it's different than mine :)

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    2. I appreciate your honest review Caitlin and am glad that you are civil to people who disagree. I do hope that you had a fun trip.

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  23. Great review! I'm confused about it being a work trip though. Did you stay for free or pay for your trip?

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  24. I just don't think that I could deal without the A/C! I like to be cold when I sleep!

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  25. Hi!! Besides the cleanliness which I completely agree with (specially needing to have my feet clean hahah! ) The main thing that sticks out to me was not having anything more then candles!! Your right makeup would be impossible for dinner. All of your pictures are AMAZINNNNGGGGG (ps- I'm buying half of those baithing suits hehe.) I hope you get to go back with your boyfriend for a non work related trip!! It won't be too hard for them to add an outdoor shower and furniture for clothes even if it was a simple metal rack. I hope they get feedback and fix those important issues beforehand if you ever go again. Thank you for the honest review! (: very helpful and fun to read

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  26. Ugh sounds awful! Reminds me of Bachelor in Paradise! Haha. Thanks for the honest review. Definitely not a fan of Mexico in general and have been to a bunch of different cities, but don't have to worry about going to Tulum now. Too many other great places in the world to visit without all the hassles!

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  27. You look so stunning in all of the pictures! I can definitely see being uncomfortable at the resort, the shower situation would drive me crazy!

    HashtagFabLife

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  28. I would not like the whole lit by candles thing. I would trip over everything at night! But, it does work stunning out there!

    Hannah
    www.hannicmor.com

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  29. I've been interested in going as well due to all the photos, but I am very grateful for the time you put into this honest review!

    Now off to buy all those swim suits ��

    xo,
    Kayla | www.thebeautifulmelody.com

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  30. Thanks for sharing! It's great to get a real review with both the positives and negatives. It does look beautiful though.

    http://thegirlswhobrunch.com

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  31. I love all the ruffles on the bathing suits this year and it sounds like you had such a wonderful vacation!

    Lauren,
    http://www.atouchofsoutherngrace.com

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  32. Caitlin,

    Thank you for sharing your honest review. The resort looks beautiful!!

    I loved your Marysia one shoulder bikini top. May I ask what size you got? I have a wider back and chest so I'm just trying to figure out what size to purchase. Thank you! :)

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    1. Hey Brooke, I'm wearing a size XS in the top an a size Small in the bottoms! I actually thought I could have sized up to a small in the top, though, it felt a little tight on me!

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    2. That helps so much! Thank you! :)

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  33. Hi. Great review. We go every year to riviera maya and have thought of going a few days early and staying at one of these rustic resorts. I could not handle it for 5 days. I totally get what you're saying. I had read online that at these resorts you can't flush toilet paper - is that true? I also think I'd be frightened at night knowing there were no lights!

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    1. Hey Mary! I think it's a great idea to stay at a rustic place for a couple of days, and then switch hotels! For the first couple of days we absolutely LOVED it, it was only then that we started really wanting to shower haha. To answer your question about the toilet paper - yes we were able to flush it! Hope that helps :)

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  34. I've never commented on any of your blog posts before but I've been following you for years. This is exactly why I love coming back time and time again, you're so honest with your reviews. I camp and go backpacking all the time so I'm cool with not showering or having light but if I'm going to Mexico to relax at a resort I want to shower and not have to live by candlelight! I've seen so many bloggers at Azulik so I've been so curious about it but you're the first one to give an honest review/the low down so thank you for that! It really is beautiful though.

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    1. ditto (but not the backpacking part, lol) --Becky in Oregon

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  35. You are adorable!! Im in love with your white one piece. What size did you get?

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    1. I ordered it in two sizes and the US 0 was the size that fit me best! I usually wear a US 2 in ASOS so I had to go down a size!

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  36. Omg thank you so much for the brutally honest review! I'd been eyeing Azulik for a few months since first seeing photos. I really appreciate you thoroughly describing the negatives because the photos make it look so inviting I doubt I would have seen past that. I imagine a lot of people would be in for some strange disappointments if they hadn't seen your review first!

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  37. love the pictures, I really like your review.
    Irene
    www.thedailylace.com

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  38. The photos of this hotel look so beautiful, but I could definitely see why it wasn't your favorite! The food and absence of lights in the room would have driven me crazy!!

    By Lauren M

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  39. Thank you so much for that great review. The resort might not have been great but your outfits were. 😊 Michelle/cocowouldapprove.com

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  40. Thanks for the honest review. The resort didn't sound great but your outfits were😊

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  41. absolutely love azulik, i was there last summer!

    http://www.theeyetraveler.com/brooklyn-bridge-cafe-habana/

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  43. 2 questions. One for Caitlin and the other for everyone. Caitlin: So you had to shampoo your thick, long hair in a bathtub instead of shower? To everyone: If anyone has been to the Amansala resort, can you comment on it please? Thanks!

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  44. I love the honesty! Thank you for sharing :)

    xx Kathryn
    www.chicandshimmer.com

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  45. You have to look the cutest in bathing suits than anyone I've ever seen!!

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  46. Very interesting, thanks for the review! And hey at least you looked cute while you were there!
    xo, Alexis
    https://cincinnatisass.com

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  47. Waw beautiful pics! I adore your bathing suits!
    www.faraloo.com

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  48. I can totally understand how you think you can be prepared for that rustic feel, only to be confronted with it once you get there! I've traveled to developing countries on mission trips and no matter how much they prepare you, you always still go through that initial shock. Thanks for sharing your honest opinions! The views and your suits looked gorgeous!

    xx, Tomi
    http://goodtomicha.com

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  49. Loved how honest your review is, I love reading all of your hotel reviews because your travels look amazing!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

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  50. Hello from Serbia Caitlin :),

    I like your posts, you are so beautiful girl and your posts are so positive and great, i like to watch and read them :)..

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