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Is Sandos Caracol really so bad ?

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Is Sandos Caracol really so bad ?

Hi everyone

We got married in 2000 at Ibersotar and recently saw a great deal for the Sandos Caracol, which seemed to have pretty good reviews. Recently the place is getting terrible reviews and I am starting to worry.

I am due to go on the October 9th.

I am getting worried about it now, and wonder if I should contact my operator to try and change ?

Any advice would be appreciated.


Calgary, Alberta
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123 posts
4 reviews
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1. Re: Is Sandos Caracol really so bad ?


We are also going on this October 6-20, and I have read a few reviews, some really like this resort and others say it is the worst and list many reasons why...I think sometimes it just depends on individual expectations, as I found out last year when reading reviews. I am not going to go there with unrealistic expectations. The biggest concern for me that I have seen posted regarding this resort, is that the power fails for periods of time and quite frequently, I don't like the sounds of that at all and I am really hoping that this is not the case.....

But other than that we are very excited to go back to the Maya, and are counting the days.....45days 3 hours and 18mins until we board our plane....

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2,877 posts
132 reviews
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2. Re: Is Sandos Caracol really so bad ?

I have not read the reviews on the Sando's C. But I will tell you that I have very much learned to "read between the lines" on alot of these posts.

Some people expect to be treated like royalty but don't want to pay the price then all they do is complain. I would suggest that you check what it "ranks" as far as Trip advisor favorites. Then I would check w/ what your travel company ex: Apple, Funjet, rank it as ...and see where YOU fall in what you expect.

I traveled to Punta Cana a few years ago and if I believed every crabby review about the resort I chose I would have cancelled and stayed home.....I trusted my instincts and had a wonderful time and in fact returned to that same property for a repeat vist....

Some gripes are legit...some are just out there. Some people you just cannot please. Good luck!!! : )

Brick, New Jersey
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416 posts
15 reviews
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3. Re: Is Sandos Caracol really so bad ?

Just being on vacation you will have a great time. I have sent clients there that loved Sandos Caracol. All I can say is to not expect an Iberostar. THey do not compare.

Have fun.

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4. Re: Is Sandos Caracol really so bad ?

Thanks for your speedy replies !

I am quiet open minded and understand some people want 5 star service for 3 star prices, but you know how it is.

I havent sounded the agent out yet but I am tempted to. When I booked which was early August the reviews were quite good, but they have really gone downhill in the last 2 weeks.

I know its not going to be the Iberostar, we just thought we would rather save a bit of money and spend more time in the town itself.

Hopefully the reviews will start to pick up soon !

Many thanks


London, United...
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40 posts
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5. Re: Is Sandos Caracol really so bad ?

We stayed at the Sandos Caracol in July and loved it!

It was our first trip to Mexico, so do not have other hotels/resorts to compare it to.

I read a few bad reviews before I went and found nearly all of my fears unfounded. The food is excellent, the staff cannot do enough for you and the room was great(junior suite)

The power did go down twice in the 2 weeks we were there, but only for about 30 minutes each time, maybe less.

The beach is fine, nice and clean, but there are a few rocky bits about, you just have to weave your way through them out to the man-made breakwater, which is no major drama. Take some bread rolls (or even chicken nuggets!!) from the restaurants into the sea by the breakwater and get snorkelling, the fish will swarm around you in their droves!

I would certainly go back to the Caracol again, I loved it

Ponte Vedra Beach...
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252 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: Is Sandos Caracol really so bad ?

Hello, We just returned from Caracol and were there Sat Aug 11 thru Sat Aug 18. I have posted many times on this forum if you click my profile and read some. You'll see that I'm a very positive person and am NOT one to complain w/o cause. I have been to the Yucatan approximately 10+ times, staying as far north as Cancun and as far south as Tulum and over on Cozumel.

1995 Cancun (can’t recall resort)

1998 Cozumel Allegro (I think…can’t recall)

1998 Playacar Iberostar Tucan (AI)

1998 Tulum/Kantenah Bay Eldorado (AI-Adults Only)

2002 Playacar Viva Azteca (AI)

2003 Cancun (can’t recall)

2004 Playacar Allegro Playacar (AI)

2005 Cancun (Non-AI can’t recall hotel)

2006 Puerto Morelos Villas Playasol (private condo)

2006 Playa Paraiso Iberorstar Beach Paraiso Beach (AI)

2007 Puerto Morelos Villas Playasol

2007 Playa del Carmen Sandos Caracol (AI)

(1998 3x ... it was a very good year!)

My point is.....If I did not like my experiences in the Yucatan..I would not continue to go back so frequently. My 7 y/o daughter just completed her 8th trip there!

Anyway, like you, I read all reports and noted they were all good prior to my going. Lately, they have been really really bad. I haven't posted a report yet - still catching up - but I agree with a lot of the negatives.

The beach made water entry EXTRAORDINARILY difficult. Heed the warnings and take water shoes. That was my fault and I do not fault the hotel/resort for this. The beach itself was expansive, beautiful and groomed.

Power: We lost power CONSISTENTLY - DAILY!

Water: Worse than losing power - we lost WATER COMPLETELY at least FOUR TIMES! In the shower - all soaped up - water completely shuts off. Not pleasant. Other times - equally surprising - you'd go to the bathroom and expect to wash your hands and no water would come out. Other times - instead of losing water completely - in the shower it would just drizzle and only on scalding hot. Had this happen on at least 4 occassions.

Day 2: Our toilet would not flush. This took quite a few phone calls to get remedied. We were actually leaving our room to defacate b/c we didn't want to continue to clog it up.

We only had one day w/o room cleaing. The only reason this was a problem for us is it was immediately following the day of our toilet problem. Although it was now functioning...it was dirty and gross.

Two phones calls to the front desk did nothing to get us our toilet (room) cleaned that day. The next morning - I went directly to the front desk and our room got cleaned daily thereafter and well (for which I tipped).

We're not "needy" room service cleaning people - we'll reuse our towels (hang them up) for a couple days and are extra tidy so there's nothing out of place all they have to do is sweep the floor, clean the stool, empty the trash. Heck, I'm so anal I even find myself pulling up my own bed covers and "kind of" making it before we leave the room. A little OCD I'm afraid.

Some positives: We had a junior suite and it was lovely. The grounds are immaculately maintained. The food wasn't bad - not gourmet -- but not bad for an AI. I'm not complaining about it and no one ever got sick. The staff are always wonderful....with the exception of our one day room cleaning incident...everyone we encountered was happy (or put on a happy face) and hard-working.

The only other "complaint" I must tell you about is the pool. It was so treated that it literally turned my very very blonde daughter's hair GREEN! Good thing we live by MSU (Spartan Green). It was also turning other's bathing suits and hats, et al green as well. A little girl from Germany had a white hate that was totally green around the brim. At least we know the water was clean, right? If the chems didn't affect you.....

Any other questions, please feel free to ask.

Victoria, Canada
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63 posts
44 reviews
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7. Re: Is Sandos Caracol really so bad ?

We were there in March, with our 3 year old son. We stayed the previous year at the Coba. The two resorts are completely different. We had a great time at the Caracol and would go back again in a heart beat!! This resort is definately not a high end resort, however, the food is good, the grounds are beautiful and the beach is huge. The staff were awesome with my 3 year old and were always chatting with him at dinner to keep him occupied. The shows were entertaining, but don't expect a broadway show :)

We had a junior suite on the ground floor and I would not recommend this... the suite was beautiful, but we had a few problems, like our sliding glass door did not lock, and even after they said it was fixed it was not. We ended up jamming a table under the door. We often found (large) spiders in our room, but the worst was the black scorpion that crawled out of the sofa-bed!!

It was great having a stocked mini-bar in the room and we enjoyed being able to keep water and beer cold for after our little guy went to bed.

One thing is the hotel is nice and close to town so easy to get around.

IF you are looking for a place to relax and unwind, I would recommend this resort. The added bonus is the wildlife around the resort, my son always wanted to feed the turtles.

As for power outages they did happen, but try and relax you are on vacation and we encountered the same rolling type blackouts in the Dominican.

Leeds, West...
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475 posts
94 reviews
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8. Re: Is Sandos Caracol really so bad ?

we are going in 2 weeks and to be honest i have heard some bad reviews but every single review that is ever written about any hotels there will always be some bad reviews i think people expect way too much but at the end of the day it is what you make it ... unless you are royalty that is. We got a good deal and we are going to make the most of it. We went to Cuba last year and we stayed in the cheapest hotel ever and it was great it had its faults but hey whose perfect.... Make the most of your holiday Its not every day you will wake in such a beautiful place.

Enjoy i bet you will have a great time xx

Ponte Vedra Beach...
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252 posts
5 reviews
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9. Re: Is Sandos Caracol really so bad ?

Michelle, I would go so far as to say that one doesn't have to be Royalty to appreciate the ability to rinse the soap off of an already lathered body in the middle of one's shower; the ability to flush the toilet; and even a clean toilet. Unless of course, only Royalty would be upset by a bowl that looks as if it's coated with Nutella.

Yes, vacations, as life, are what you make of it.

However, the things I mentioned, i.e., running water, toilet, clean toilet after not being able to flush it for almost 36 hours.....are not unreasonable complaints.

4 posts
1 review
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10. Re: Is Sandos Caracol really so bad ?

Hi Michelle!

I will be at the Sandos Caracol 09/04-09/11. I think luck is on our side. Afterall, earlier this week it didn't look like PDC would even be around thanks to "Mean Dean". I confirmed that it was open and fully operational as of this morning!

Knowing some of the previous problems allows us to prepare. I intend to take a couple of small flashlights and some cheap plastic containers to fill before showering...just in case I need it for rinsing off the soap!

I stayed at the RIU Jalisco in Puerto Vallerta in June and had the same trepidations due to some "not so great" reviews just before I left. I had a great time and no problems.

In regards to theft - always one of my biggest concerns. I do not use the safes...just lock valuables in my luggage.

Will you be there any days between 09/04-09/11?