Breathless Soul Review - March 2022

Discussion in 'Breathless Riviera Maya Forum' started by Cheers2US, Mar 22, 2022.

  1. Cheers2US

    Cheers2US Guru Registered Member

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    Location:
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    This was our 1st trip to any Breathless resort or any AMR resort (parent company) for that matter.

    A quick background: husband & I are in our 50's We are from Ohio (USA) and considered ourselves very vanilla and anti-social until our first trip to Temptation in 2013. After that, we were STILL vanilla and antisocial at home, but at the resort, we knew that no one knew us and no one gave a sh!t! After many great stays at TTR, we ventured toward Desire and that became our favorite place.

    We wanted to book Desire in January 2022 but omicron hit so we nixed any plans. Then we tried to book Desire for March 2022 but the weekends were all sold out and the weekdays were $800+/night for even the cheapest rooms so we said Nah.

    Found some great reviews online for Breathless Soul, a new adult-only resort that opened December 2021 and found great deals (less than $350/night before taxes/fees) so that was that.

    Overall: Breathless Soul is beautiful, clean, new with a feel for luxury.

    Staff: excellent at every level. Very friendly, attentive - I feel this is the norm in Cancun. These folks work super hard. For instance had servers Marlene and Eddie at Spoon (their breakfast buffet) and then I'd see Eddie again at lunch and then Marlene during dinner and again the next morning. I saw this with a few of the wait staff: doing double shifts or back to back or both.

    Pools: very nice. There were 3 pools: Xhale (highest rooftop, for Xhale members only, with the exception of special event dinners, more on that later), Xcelerate (lower rooftop, available to all, more lively with music, DJ, occasional dancers, champagne sprays) and Energy (ground level, larger, quieter) My husband and I stayed only at the Xcelerate pool (these names are awful and hard to keep track of: Xhale vs Xcelerate) The view was amazing: you can see so much of Cancun, beach side and lagoon side. (Great view of Temptation, too! I waved at the building often) Pool bar, lots of beds available, (but weekends were tight) towels were free, you could take as many as you wanted, they didn't ask your room number or anything. Drink service was very good. We did take the elevator up to visit the Xhale (members only) pool. They were fine with us looking around and taking photos. Again, great views. This Xhale pool was pretty quiet and tame.

    Entertainment: this part was OK only. They had a set group (6 or 7) of attractive, energetic men & women who danced up on platforms or roller-bladed with torches, but they weren't like Playmakers (from Desire and/or Temptation) They didn't engage with the guests on a personal level; we never even learned their names or what they'd be doing next. Things just kind of popped up and if you happened to be there, great. For example, lively music plays all day by the Xcelerate pool but every so often, out of nowhere, these dancers will pop out, dressed in costume, and start dancing on a platform, or breakdancing, or playing bongo drums. It seemed random but OK whatever it was entertaining. There are no MCs/hosts like JJ or Marco at TTR or Ana Banana at Desire or Chinos on the BC.... nothing like that. Also their dancers, just... dance. It's not choreographed or even impressive. They're just better looking and dressed in fancy costume and on top of platforms, but it's not like a dance troupe or anything.

    Beach: beach was good, but it's a public beach so there are lots and lots of locals. Lots of families having picnics, for example. They'll bring blankets, tents, floaties, food/drink, pets... It's not a problem per se; they're respectful and keep to themselves. They don't use the resort chairs or towels (obviously) But they do take up much of the waters, and this might be an issue if you want that private resort beach, guests only, feel. It's definitely not that. You're sharing their beach with them. But otherwise, it's a nice beach, not too much seaweed, NO vendors. There is decent drink service after 10am or so. Again, towels are readily available. If it's busy (weekends namely) you cannot hold more than one set of beds. We saw a couple who tried to hold 2 sets of beds. The staff told them they did it the day before and it wasn't addressed because it wasn't busy but on this day it was so they'd have to forfeit one set of chairs.

    Food: food was very good; large portions! There are several restaurants: Italian, French, Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian and the breakfast buffet (that opens for lunch only on Saturday) No restaurant needed reservations except hibachi at the Asian ("Silk City) By the way, Silk City is rooftop and the evening views are spectacular. Again, no reservations, so it's first come first serve, which can lead to long wait times. There are also bar/pool side grills serving up burgers and tacos (oddly no pizza)

    Room: We didn't upgrade, but our room was beautiful. So spacious and luxurious. 2 double beds (we thought we wouldn't like that but it worked out fine. Slept on one bed, used the other for laying out towels, clothes to wear, etc) Large sitting area with a couch, chaise and extra chairs. Desk/chair in corner. Bar area with mini fridge (beer, water, juice, soda) and full bottle of tequila (they will replenish for free) and Nespresso coffee machine. Bathroom had double sinks with lots of counter space, a shelf below and drawers below the shelf. Separate room for toilet. Shower is glass walls, but you can adjust the opacity. Shower is made up of 2 rain showers and a handheld. I had read reviews that this is too much water and this was correct: using either or both of the rain showers led to water seeping out from under the door, so we just stuck to the handheld, which was fine. Full size toiletries that smelled amazing. They use products made by Gilcrhist and Soames. I googled this brand and it seems pretty high-end. I wish I "stole" more of these when I went home. (I just took whatever bottles were left) The room has lots of drawers, shelves, hangers, closet space, easy to use closet doors (I'm talking to you, Temptation) bathrobes, slippers, an umbrella, a clothes steamer and a standard electronic safe. There is also a nifty "room service door" where staffers can open up this side door, put food in, and later you open up the little door on your end and retrieve the food. Contactless. Afterward, you reverse the process, putting your used dishes in the same space and contacting them (via room ipad - did I mention the room has an ipad? ) and they'll pick up at some point. The room has a TV that SWIVELS full 180 so you can watch from your bed or swivel it around and you can watch from the couch. Really neat design. The balcony had a table and 4 chairs and a beautiful view of the lagoon...

    OK I could go on forever. Basic points: resort is great, clean, new with great food, beautiful room, excellent staff, nice pools, decent beach and for us, it was very affordable.

    Things that were not so great:

    1) communication could be better. We were told by staff (and other guests via Facebook) that all dinners required long pants and dress shoes (not sandals) for men. This was true, but only for the restaurants. What we didn't know, until it was too late, that there were several dinner events throughout the week that were like outdoor buffet/grill events where seating was outside, casual, and men could wear anything, even swimwear if wanted. My husband wasn't happy about dressing up in long pants and dress shoes each night, only to head downstairs and learn he didn't have to do this. There were at least 4 such buffet/grill outdoor dinners during our week. We had no way of knowing what to expect because details were sparse. Other guests complained about restaurants saying they were open but were really closed, and vice versa. So the lack of clear communication was a little frustrating. Oh! Also, 2 of the dinner events on the Xhale rooftop (accessible to all, not just Xhale guests) had teeny-tiny plates for the food. (photos below)

    2) no theme nights! Well, only one: Monday was Neon night. We were at dinner from 8-9p so I don't know if there was anything going on. However once we finished dinner, we headed out to the main area and while there people there, and music playing, there were no entertainers, no mood, no activities.... so it didn't really feel like a theme night. Most guests were not in neon, which was disappointing. Other than Neon night, no themes! Even March 17, freakin' ST PATTY'S DAY, and we were the only ones decked in obnoxious green gear (we wore these at Temptation March 2021 and it was blast as everyone else had on green gear as well) But no one at Breathless had green anything on, not the DJs, not the wait staff, not the other guests, not even the dancers! What?! They were in gold leotards. So much for St Pat's! We had on green glitter glasses, a bow tie and I had a green wig on and it felt SO WEIRD to be the only ones reveling like this. Ugh. But otherwise it was a fun, just not a "festive" St Patrick's Day/night.

    Anyway, don't bother packing a sexy school girl outfit or your toga or your matching batman/batgirl costumes or your sexiest Burning Land or nurse skirt.... they don't do these things there.


    3) Layout: while the resort is new and pretty, it's mainly vertical. Ground level, room, rooftop, all day, up and down. At least the elevators are super-fast. Never waited more than a minute for any of them. (By the way, their floor numbers are bogus. For example, we were on the 15th floor. Well, the floor numbers START at 11 and of course skip floor 13, so being on the 15th floor is really being up on the 4th or 5th floor. Not important or anything, just a little amusing) They don't have the lush landscaping you'll find at Desire: no pretty plants or gardens or flower beds. There are plenty of palm trees, even on the rooftop, but that's basically it. If you want to see pretty plants, flowers and trees, you can take a short walk outside.

    3a) Walkability: it's fine walking up and down the beach. You can see Temptation, but you can't walk there (via beach) as there is a block. There is a neat pirate ship area with a dock and you can take photos with the life-size pirate display. Walking along the street is fine in either direction, but there are no shops or anything interesting: just other resorts. You can walk across the bridge (lovely views of the lagoon and pirate ships here) and all the way to Temptation, which is what we did almost every morning.

    4) Disco. OK we were lucky to even have the disco open because Cancun/Quintana Roo was now green (covid-wise) The disco had been closed up until early March so we were fortunate to have it at all. The disco was closed Sunday but open all other nights, but did not open until 11pm. For us, this meant dinner (at 7-8pm) then... nothing... nothing to do for hours until the disco opened. There are nice fire pits with comfy seating outside (very nice feature) but to sit there for hours was pretty boring. As I mentioned before, we are not very social, and while the guests are all nice, it's not like you can strike up conversations on the spot, like at Desire or TTR. We decided that we'd take a short nap/break in our room each night between dinner and the disco opening. The disco is good, has a DJ, loud music, a bar and adequate seating.

    5) Sexiness.... it's pretty tame. The entertainers wear kind of sexy costumes, but no thongs or anything like that; just PG-13 garb. I have heard toplessness is around near the pools (not IN the pools) but we didn't see any bare boobies. (the only exception was one of the locals at the beach: she removed her bikini top for about 20 minutes while sunbathing) Couples do not make out in the pools or on the beach, not even french kissing... everyone was so Carnival Cruise-like and well-behaved and it made me miss the shenanigans of Desire and Temptation.

    6) Lunch options: very few! Daily lunch available at Fish Nets, which is mostly seafood. OK, it's nice, but it's the same, limited menu each day, so it gets old by Day 2 or 3. There was a buffet lunch only one day (Saturday) and I wish they'd just do it every day like other resorts. You can also get burgers/tacos/quesadillas from the 2 grill areas.

    All in all, we had a good time. We would do it again, if we could get the same great rates. As much as we love Desire, we can't afford their $800/nt rates. I probably forgot some details, but I'll try to add if I recall them later.

    Here are some photos!

    View of the Xhale tower:

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    View of the Xcelerate tower (smaller of the 2 towers) with the Energy pool:
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    Energy pool:

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    Our room! It was amazing! Again, we did not upgrade, so this was a basic room for us:

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    Next to each room door, is a "room service" door. (There is a safety issue with these; PM me if you want details)

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    The TV swivels so you can view it from the bed, or rotate it 180 and view it from the couch.

    Military/police presence on the beach. Saw them several times a day:

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    We see you, Temptation! (All the way on the right, behind the hut):

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    Locals at the beach:

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    One of the entertainment staff dancers up on a pedestal at the Xcelerate pool:

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    One of the evening events at the Xhale rooftop pool where all guests are welcome (not just Xhale members):

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    Teeny-tiny plates (more like saucers) for 2 of the Xhale dinners:

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    View from the bridge by El Embarcadero tower (ten minute walk from Breathless Soul)

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    Other views from our walk:

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    Outdoor grill area. On Monday night, the Neon event is here.

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    Pirate ships! Fireworks at night:

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    Food photos:

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    Buffalo chicken salad

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    Grilled steak and grilled mahi-mahi (yes, tiny plates)

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    View from Silk City; amazing!

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    Silk City menu (Asian food)

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    one of the bar cocktail menus

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    Fish Nets menu

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    Picante menu (Mexican food)

    Scenes from St Patrick's Day evening event up on Xhale rooftop (note that no one is wearing green, EXCEPT US)

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  2. mexico24

    mexico24 Guru Registered Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Ratings:
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    Great review! We were definitely wondering. Actually used Soul as the “destination” we told our family and friends when we were at DRM a couple weeks ago. Now we’ll be able to give some details. We were a fan of breathless riviera maya when it first opened. It was more like TTR the first year, and a little the second, but has definitely tamed down. Last time we were there was in’17.
     
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