Didn't bother to count them when we were there but not many. As you said there is lots of shade from the palm trees so you won't need to worry about that, you'll find a spot.
If you really want a palapa you can get one, there always seemed to be a few not taken when we got up in the early morning. Let me just warn you that it gets a little testy when people get up in the wee hours, put their stuff under a palapa to reserve it, leave to go back to bed or go eat or whatever and don't show back up at the beach for hours and hours and don't use the thing for most of the day. If you want it, get up and get it and then use it, you'll be able to get one if you really want it.
Please don't worry about the palapas. We were at CSA over Thanksgiving this year, and they were installing a few more palapas on the "new" side of the beach. We actually saw some open palapas at about 8:00AM (which is quite unusual)! In addition, they have some "sun sails" up (these are lengths of sailcloth canvas strung up horizontally among three palm trees, and serves as some additional shade). Between the new palapas, the sun sails and the natural shade from the palm trees, you should have no problem with finding some sun and shade (even if you're not always under a palapa).
I'm so jealous of your time at CSA - we have to wait until next Thanksgiving, and given the fact that we have FEET of snow outside (and are expecting MORE), I wish I were there right now!!!
sherrynchuck, I totally understand about the reserving of palapa's and agree with you that this is really unfair. I have had that problem on lots of holidays where chairs are reserved but never used. I would never get up early to reserve one and then not use all day, but thanks for the advice. If I ever do get to reserve a Palapa, I assure you I will be using it all day lol.
ORV, I would be happy to pay extra or even if they created a reserve list or whatever, but it would just be better if people thought about it before they reserve them. If people had more thought for others they wouldn't reserve all day and not use them, but there are always those out there who don't care about anyone else but themselves. It's a shame.
Gonegirl, I know how you feel. We had major snow here in the UK and the thought of this holiday was the only thing that got me through it. I can't wait - 2 weeks today till we are there - woo hoo
Thanks again for the answers so far, this is a big holiday for me so I just wanted some nice memories and pictures and like the idea of sharing one of these with my bf at least once, so wondered how many there were available.
TravelBug--I think don't worry about favorite spots to sit, likely it's related to where your room is located or your favorite bar or if you plan to go to the pool later or any number of variables. For us, we had a BFVS and to walk out a few steps under the shade of a palm tree was our favorite spot because it was close to our room. Any spot on the beautiful beach is perfect and you'll find your personal favorite once you are there. The "new" side of the beach would be to the left if you are facing the water. It won't look any different and you won't notice anything about it, just a point of reference in describing locations for some folks.
The beach isn't the new part, that has always been there. The buildings on one side of the resort are newer so people refer to that as the new side or the new section. The beach is pretty much the same, it's just the stuff behind it that is newer or older. The beach (and the whole resort) is pretty long so that's just one way to distinguish which side you are talking about.