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Question Advice for group of new divers - seeking convenience

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Brodydog

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Blue Angel is a pretty good "dive" resort with all the appropriate amenities (location, good restaurant/bar, dive shop, entertainment, etc.) but don't set expectation too high. We stayed there for a week in Oct and won't be staying again. We've always wanted to try BA b/c it looks like a perfect dive resort. Not that its a bad place at all, just not for us. The comfort features are lacking, admittedly we are a bit spoiled since we usually stay at El Cid or BnB's. If I was much younger and doing a 'guys' trip BA would be perfect. The location, grounds, staff are fantastic, here's what we didn't like. Very 'rustic' rooms, the beds are terrible, no chairs in the rooms, lots of mold (bathroom ceiling was nasty!), 'kitchen' chair on deck, only had hot water one day, no place to hang anything in the room and would have been nice to have a microwave in the room.

I'm not knocking BA, just want to caution you on setting expectations for your group. It's a nice spot, been around along time but showing it's age and in need of serious maintenance/updates.
A nice, well rounded review of Blue Angel. I’ve stayed there several times and although I found the rooms to be adequate for my tastes I could see others needing a little bit more. I was there to dive so not in the room much. But it’s not somewhere I would recommend if someone had non divers in a group. Our bathroom sink needed a bit of attention the last time or two we were there. It all depends on what you’re accustomed to.

We’ve since moved on to a place in town that is an upgrade in my eyes. We also love the fact that we can walk around to different restaurants in town without having to get a cab. And we love our new dive shop.
 

NDL_Diver

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You can do Casa Mexicana and easily dive with several dive ops. 3P's office is close and they will transpot you to the marina. Aldora dock is 2 blocks away (Aldora leaves dock 7:30). Salty Endeavors will pick you up at downtown Docks (Aldora and others)...
They are central, have breakfast included, clean and comfortable.
 

NDL_Diver

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Biggest challange is getting good dive shop reservations for a group 6 weeks from now in high season.
 

nodakdive

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A nice, well rounded review of Blue Angel. I’ve stayed there several times and although I found the rooms to be adequate for my tastes I could see others needing a little bit more. I was there to dive so not in the room much. But it’s not somewhere I would recommend if someone had non divers in a group. Our bathroom sink needed a bit of attention the last time or two we were there. It all depends on what you’re accustomed to.

We’ve since moved on to a place in town that is an upgrade in my eyes. We also love the fact that we can walk around to different restaurants in town without having to get a cab. And we love our new dive shop.
I've never stayed at BA, but I'm somewhat of a fan. That said, I too found the sefeuchs post to be informative and well rounded. It really helped me fill out my understanding of the place.

Casa del Mar has been mentioned by a few in this thread. As it checks all the convenience boxes I thought I'd expand. I've stayed there on every trip with one exception when I stayed at Casa Mexicana.

As opposed to BA, there are at least 2 restaurant choices other than the CDM restaurant less than a one minute walk from CDM. There are also more dive shops within that same distance and more hotel options too. Though it is north of the marina, I've witnessed at least one dive shop that leaves from the marina pick up divers from the CDM dock. I suspect there are others that would do the same as it is so close to the marina. This is conjecture for sure, but I suspect that if I contacted Tres. P. and told them that there are 6 of us a CDM that want to dive with them for the week but want to be picked up from the CDM dock, Tres P. might acquiesce and pick us up. 4 divers might be enough. With regard to shore diving, at CDM you also have multiple entry/exit points. CDM is probably 5 minutes closer to the reefs than BA, maybe even a little more. This may be true of BA too, but at CDM you're a one minute walk from a convenience store. This has come in very handy at times, plus the OXXO has canela coffee. Yum. CDM also has a hot tub and a swim up pool bar. Sounds like BA has a nice staff. I would say the same about CDM.

What I like about CDM is that it splits the difference between a large resort and someplace like BA. I've taken non-divers there many times and they've loved it. In terms of "rustic", CDM sounds like a little step up from BA, but CDM is still what I'd call rustic. Clean, quaint and a little rustic. It's not the Park Royal for sure. Also, as opposed to the southern resorts, you're north of the park, so all dive sites are a possibility for you no matter who you dive with.

Reasons to stay at BA instead of Casa del Mar:
It's really small. 22 rooms compared to about 100 rooms. I like that CDM is small, but there would be more guest traffic/activity there than at BA for sure.

Closer to town. I've walked from CDM to town and anyone downplaying that walk isn't being very honest. I don't know that I'd walk from BA either, but if the cab fare is less than CDM, that could be a good reason to stay at BA.

BA is right on the water and all the rooms face the water. No road between the hotel and the water. I've heard some complain about road noise at BA, but others have said it's not a big deal. It wouldn't bother me.

No proximity to cruise ship piers. At CDM you're only about 2 blocks from the south pier. If your room faces south, the ships block your view during the day. Very present.

You actively desire a room with no TV. (I really enjoy watching Mexican TV before bed.)

Less people/tourist traffic. As CDM is close to the south cruise pier, there is more tourist traffic during the day. In some ways, this is a plus for CDM. There is jeep, car, Harley and scooter (don't do it) rental right there. The submarine excursion is right across the street as is the AquaCat snorkel excursion, though I think they take you from there to board the AquaCat downtown. You get on a boat for the sub right at the shop. There are snorkel excursions from the ships that go to Tikila, which is right across the street from CDM. In any event, BA would be less tourist traffic and for some that would be a plus.

Fridge in the room. Last time I was at CDM they didn't have those, but you could request one if I remember correctly.

It's been awhile since I've been there, so some things may have changed. I may have heard that the Harley rental place is gone now.

Hope this helps.

Edited to correct AquaCat to Fury Catamaran. Had the AquaCat liveaboard in my head.
 

ggunn

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This may be true of BA too, but at CDM you're a one minute walk from a convenience store.
It is indeed true of Blue Angel; OXXO is just south of it on the other side of Melgar.
You actively desire a room with no TV. (I really enjoy watching Mexican TV before bed.)
Blue Angel has TV's in the rooms but we never turn ours on.
 

Brodydog

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This is conjecture for sure, but I suspect that if I contacted Tres. P. and told them that there are 6 of us a CDM that want to dive with them for the week but want to be picked up from the CDM dock, Tres P. might acquiesce and pick us up.
My guess is TP would have you picked up on the way to the marina. That’s what they’ve always done with people staying somewhere between their dive shop and the marina when I’ve been. Of course with 6 people who knows.
 

nodakdive

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It is indeed true of Blue Angel; OXXO is just south of it on the other side of Melgar.

Blue Angel has TV's in the rooms but we never turn ours on.
OXXO is a plus and I'm not ashamed to admit the TVs are a big plus for me.

It looks like there's a restaurant called The Butcher Beach and Grill just south. Have you eaten there? How about Le Chevacharia? Any other food that close?
 

ggunn

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OXXO is a plus and I'm not ashamed to admit the TVs are a big plus for me.

It looks like there's a restaurant called The Butcher Beach and Grill just south. Have you eaten there? How about Le Chevacharia? Any other food that close?
Sorry, I don't know either of those places, though I'm pretty sure I have seen at least one of them from the street in the little strip center just south of the hotel. We usually cab it for dinner; we have lots of faves in town.
 

PARADISE HUNTER

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If I was going down with one or two other couples I would look at a two or three bedroom condo at El Cantil condos. They are on edge of downtown and across the street from a grocery store. They are not cheap, but affordable if splitting it up two or three ways. Great place and location imo! I would also look at Living Underwater for my diving. Steel tanks, fast boat, great owner and valet service. But they are popular and only have one boat, so you may not be able to book with them. But if you can, they are worth it.
 
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