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“Great time with family,,we will return soon!!!!”

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Sandos Playacar Beach Resort
Ranked #59 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Reviewed 14 August 2011

Read the reviews and booked knowing that this was a family resort with some positive and negative points. One concern was staying in the Riviera suite area that was a walk to the beach area. Once you get to your nive room in the Riviera suite section of the main lobby, you can see that the reviews are correct, this is the newer section of the hotel and is very clean. The walk to the beach was very relaxing and made for good family time......watching the animals and checking out the native plants.... If you are dressed for a nice dinner and want to take the shuttle, it is at the front door of the lobby waiting for you!! The pools around the beach area are nice, but do get a lot of action during the day, so the pool in the riviera section was a nice change after a long day on the beach. Great drinks at all the bars, but the bar in the main lobby has a better selection of top shelf liquor. Great ice cream at the lobby bar area also..... Plenty of lounge chairs on the beach, game room was lots of fun for the kids, the animation group had my son playing volleyball each day and we felt that the food was good. Some specialty rest. were better than others, but why would someone expect great Asian food in Mexico??? Eat the Mexican food,,,it was great!!!! The entire staff was pleasant and willing to help and it was nice to see the resort manager on the property daily meeting with staff. A very clean and relaxing vacation with good food and drink..........

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank James R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 August 2011

We are a family of four from England with two adult daughters and have recently returned from a fantastic two week holiday at Sandos playacar. I am very surprised to read negative reports about the service provided at this hotel as we found it to be very good – all the staff were courteous and helpful and several were exceptional – going out of their way to make your experience a happy one.

We had one of the whirlpool rooms in the riveria section – yes this area is a 10/15 min walk from the beach but well worth in our opinion for the size of the rooms, and it meant that we used a lot more of the pool areas at the hotel than I think some people might do. I would say we walked about 25% of the time, the rest we used the shuttle service between the lobby and the meeting point as it was too hot! (We never had an issue with people jumping the queue really but did feel that maybe they could have had 2 vans to speed things up – or to use the golf buggys more in the busy times) Our room location certainly didn’t stop us using the beach which was just AMAZING. The white sand, clear blue sea and with the added bonus of being the last hotel along the line so to the right was uncluttered & beautiful. Well worth it to wander down there & also to borrow the hotel’s masks & snorkels to go and see the fish on the reef there, fantastic!

We liked the fact that the hotel was in the ‘playacar’ area which is a privately owned little village made up of hotels, private residences and a plaza area with a few shops & a starbucks! It meant you could go for a wander out of the hotel, we borrowed the hotel bikes one day & cycled all round it. If you were really energetic you could even walk/cycle to PDC though we just paid the taxi fare 70 pesos for that. It was when we were doing the pick ups to return to the airport to the other hotels that were just located on their own off the highway that we felt that was a big advantage.
We ate at all the a la cartes and our favourites were the Brazilian & the Mediterranean & we went back again to those for a second visit. Tip: The chocolate BISCUIT (not cake!) pudding at the Med is to die for if you are a chocolate lover!! The buffets – were buffets – plenty of choice, I don’t see what else people can expect. The best burgers & chips were to be had at the little place on the beach- yummy.

The entertainment was good – the staff work extremely hard. One observation we felt was that they could have utilised the theatre better. They have the show there at 8.30 each day but after that one hour the entertainment moves to the plaza area. We felt that it was a shame not to stay in the theatre area as there was more room there than at the plaza area, particulary when there was a couple of wet evenings.

We loved the fact that there was so much choice of where to go; main pool, beach, swim up bar pool, adult pool – we particularly liked the latter, it was so peaceful there and you could always get a lounger. Again another slight complaint was that sometimes it wasn’t ‘policed’ by staff and the odd group of children would enter – despite it being cleared marked, but it was no big deal.

Trips: We went to Tulum by ourselves – got a taxi there but a Collectivo back which was by far better value and so easy. Go early and wear swimwear as you can cool off in a beautiful cove there. We did the altournative Coba Mayan adventure – a great day (just make sure you double check the pick up as we were told the wrong place and missed it, luckily we got to go the next day). Did horse riding at Rancho Baxaal & also did the Thomas Cook pub crawl which ended with a trip to Coco Bongo’s which was just mad & unlike anything we have ever seen before!

Wow – I didn’t realise I was going to write so much, I hope it helps! Feel free to message me for any questions. Oh and if you’re going from England – you definitely only need to take pesos, we didn’t have dollars. I would definitely recommend Sandos Playacar, we had a brilliant time!

Room Tip: Riviera section block 9200 worked good for us!
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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9  Thank Jewel_1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2011

We spent 8 days at Sandos Playacar. I had my wedding ceremony and reception there and we also celebrated a birthday.

The hotel accommodated our group of 25 according to our preferences. Our requests were met even though the hotel was fully booked. It helps knowing Spanish. I am fluent in both English and Spanish but I felt that I got more out of the service if I kindly asked in Spanish.

Staff: They were friendly; most would make eye contact and smile and say ‘Hi’. I didn’t experience any rudeness or lack of interest.
Remember, if you ask politely, you will get a similar polite response.

Food: I tried and I liked the Mexican a la carte and Asiana. The Grand Buffet always had something good. I liked the choices. At dinner time, you can visit the Italian buffet and the main Grand buffet at the same time. The sweetener used in the drinks didn't taste very nice. The pina coladas at the swim up bar pool were really good. The mudslides were also quite nice.

Beach - beautiful, it was cleaned every morning unlike the other resorts along the beach.

Pool – the pool by the beach was always full of kids. There were a few mystery things floating in the water – a cross between sand, sun block and spilled drinks. When we reported this, the maintenance staff came in 15 minutes to clean up.
All the other pools were very clean. I really liked the swim-up bar pool in the Riviera section since it’s less crowded.

Room - Our beach front room was clean. Victor was an excellent in sorting out our room everyday. The towel art was incredible!

Spa - a bit expensive but the services were well worth it. I had my hair done on my wedding day and I really liked it. Go to the spa in the morning and check out their special rates and packages for that day, these are not on the spa menu.

Entertainment – The live music at night was great. The Mariachi was really good on Mexican night. The hotel entertainers always started a good party!

Operator: I was rarely put on hold. I noticed that if you call in the evening or at night, it is likely that you will be put on hold.

Wedding services – these were good.
Expect a surprise $120 Beach Wedding Fee which the municipality is now charging the hotel, which Sandos will pass on to you. I found out about this 1 week before the wedding even though we had secured a ‘free package’ since we had quite a few 7+ days reservations.
Maria and Lupita worked very hard on the day of the wedding and showed they cared. They accommodated a few family requests for us and we were grateful for this.
A few things didn’t go according to schedule but I guess this is to be expected at every wedding. I did not use a resort photographer since I found an amazing 3rd party online. The lobby delayed my photographer and her assistant by 30 minutes and I had to make several angry phone calls until they let her jump the queue to allow her into the resort.
We had a lot of spectators at the beach during the wedding, I guess because the hotel arranged everything so beautifully.
The mariachi played for 30 minutes during dinner, not the 45 promised. They were very much in a rush to get out.
We ate at the Italian buffet and the food was excellent. The waiters provided a very good service.
Tip for future brides, if you are having a 5:30pm wedding, a dinner service for 7:00pm will not allow you enough time to take photos after the ceremony, especially if things run late.

OVERALL: I would return to Sandos, it is good value for money.

Room Tip: The hacienda rooms are nice and big, the Riviera ones are new, the beachfront ones are hit and miss.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Choloate Chip C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2011

We got an amazing deal from Travelocity, so I was weary that it would be awful. Everything went smoothly and we checked in to a fine room by the beach with no problems. Things did break, lights went out, refridge stopped chilling, but the staff was pretty efficient in fixing everything quickly. We had strong air co and a glimpse view of the sea from our balcony in the standard room. I like that Sandos was last in the line of hotels so you could walk down an empty beach. I liked that in the Playacar everything was right there. I have stayed in two Iberostars and found the distance between things pretty irritating. I would not have stayed at the Riviera because we like to be close to the beach. I don't care how much nicer the room is. I walked over there a couple of times to go to the a la carte restaurants and was amazed how far it was. Having said that, the beachside pool is loud and full of kids. If you don't have them yourself, you might not appreciate them jumping and shouting and having a good time. My kids had a great time with the other kids there. They met people from all over Europe and the states. There is a game room that the kids could go hang out in and I thought it was pretty well stocked with pool tables, ping pong, a Wii, late afternoon movies, air hockey, chess, and board games. When they needed to get out of the sun or wait for us to get ready to go out they would go hang out in the air co. The food was okay. Sometimes it was great. The a la carte restaurants were so so. The Mexican was good but the wait was absolutely insane. I don't recommend it. But we don't go for the food.
The beach was lovely and I recommend walking down to the point as the water is beautiful there. We went snorkeling on the rocks just off shore and down the beach. It was pretty good considering it's free. We paid $100 for a boat from Puerto Morelos to the Palancar reef and it was not much better in terms of fish. The coral was okay.
I had to work while I was there and found the free internet did the job. They have it in the meeting point (we called it the melting point) so it was quite close. You can also pay for it, but I didn't need to.
We did stop by the Caracol a couple of times. I liked their beach better. Playacar can get brown in the hotel strip. I don't know why. The Caracol is really nice. However there are a ton of bugs. We all got bitten in the two hours we were there.

Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
7  Thank sacoxf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2011

It was a super clean, nice resort. I stayed in the new buildings in the farthest point from the beach and it was a quick, scenic walk to the beach. I would request that same room location again. we had a virtually private pool and pool bar right out of our 1st floor room. We were 2 rooms from the corner to walk right to the pool area. Couldn't have made it easier on us. The room was huge and well appointed. We would go to the beach and main pool for action, that was fun, but sometimes it was nice to have the quieter pool, still had a little blocked in area that was shallow for our daughter. It was blocked in with these pillons so we could hang in the deep side and she could hang in the shallow side and we could play with her and she couldn't get to the deep water. don't do a timeshare tour, do the entertainment every night, it's awesome. buffets are buffets, they are good but not special. I wasn't disappointed with anything. We booked on expedia during some special someone made known on a forum and got a 7 day (saturday-saturday) with airfare (direct flights too) and all taxes and fees for 2 adults and a 22 month old for $1,009. I spend more than that on a weekend getaway, so I was loving it even more.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank 99p38a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2011

The Resort was a zoo!! The service was the worst I have ever experienced. The front desk was horrible, they would hang up on you, they ask you call 45 minutes ahead of time to pick up your luggage, I called one hour and they never showed up, they shrug their shoulders at you, they could care less. The list goes on and on, I am glad to be back in the USA! I have stayed at the Royal Sunset in Cancun and the service was exceptional. Never again Sandos, you get a big fat ZERO!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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7  Thank DLH34535
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2011

This was one of the best choices I've made for a vacation thus far. My girlfriend and I stayed here for the first week in August and aboslutely loved it! This being our first time in Mexico, we were a little over whelmed with the hotel choices. I definitely knew I wanted to stay in the Playa Del Carmen area. After looking at the best options and being reccomended a few other hotels by friends, it was narrowed down to Sandos Riviera Resort & Spa. I read the reviews on this site and had no doubts about my selection. And I was right!
First off, the entire resort is amazingly beautiful! The grounds are well kept. You see the staff every morning cleaning every little area to make sure is up to guest expectations. From the lobby to the rooms, even down to the beach, it is all around stunning! It's very close to the town of Playa del Carmen where you can do all your shopping and enjoy the nightlife of Mexico. A $7 five minute cab ride or a 25 minute walk. Very conviently located
We stayed on the Riviera side with a gorgeous view of the pool. The only plus I find with staying on the other side, is that it is closer to the beach. Despite what some of the reviews may say, there is a reliable shuttle that comes every couple of minutes that takes you to the other side. But I will agree that there are some people who act as though they never saw you standing there waiting for the shuttle and jump right in front of you, but that's not the resorts fault, just a huge difference in culture. Anyway, even if you dont want to wait for the shuttle, it's literally a 5-8 minute walk (depending on how fast you walk) to the other side.
I loved the Riviera side because the pool was a lot more chill and had a swim-up bar, while the other pool closer to the beach didn't. That pool bar had one of these best bartenders I know, Rafael! And being from NYC, I know a good bartender. He was awesome! His drinks were great and he made them they way you wanted them! And after seeing me and my girlfriend for a few days, he automatically knew when we wanted out shots of tequila. Talk about great customer service, which is definitely what they are all about here. They try to cater to everyone and do a good job at it. The restaurants, a la carte and buffet, are great! I highly reccomend El Guacho, Asiana, The Mediterranean, and Le Gourmet.
They also have awesome wildlife around to give you that real "we're not in kansas anymore" feel. We caught the Coati every morning after breakfast trying to get food from the guest, which i suggest you sneak food from the buffet to feed them. We even saw a tzereque hopping around the grounds. There's just so much to write about this amazing place. The beach, the rooms, the food, oh and the people! We've met alot of wonderful people here, including the staff. This was a wonderful vacation. I am definitely coming back here whenever I get a chance. And that's a promise!
Don't forget to tip, bartenders, waiters, y su camarista (your maid). A few extra dollars go a long way.
The only negative thing i have to say is, I had made an arrangement with Darren from web relations and it never fell through. So I was a little disappointed the first night of my vacation but all the great memories made here definitely compensated for it.
Overall This place is AMAZING!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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5  Thank ADashPhotoNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandos Playacar Beach Resort

Address: Paseo Xaman-Ha | Manzana 1, Lote 1 Fracc.Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#32 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#40 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#42 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#43 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#53 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £161 - £416 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandos Playacar Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 819
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa is an all-Inclusive hotel in Playa del Carmen with both family and adult sections. We are ideally located on a magnificent white sandy beach in the gated community of Playacar, within walking distance to downtown Playa and Fifth Avenue. Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa is located only forty-five minutes from the Cancun International Airport, and the pier serving ferries to Cozumel is a short distance from our property.Playacar is a private, master-planned community situated on the southern edge of downtown Playa del Carmen. Guests at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa enjoy this exclusive community’s impressive infrastructure, including an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Von Hagge, the Xaman-Ha Aviary, pristine biking paths, and Mayan ruins, accessible to the public for hiking.Riviera Maya is a protected region where many remaining artifacts from the fascinating Mayan civilization can be found. Surrounded by Mayan archeological zones, such as those at Tulum, Coba, and Chicen-Itza, this Playa del Carmen hotel successfully preserves a strong sense of Mayan culture onsite, adding an authentic feel and flavor to the vacation experience in Playacar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandos Playacar Beach Hotel
Hotel Sandos Playacar Beach
Beach Playacar Resort Sandos
Sandos Playacar Resort
Sandos Playa Del Carmen
Gala Resort Playacar
Sandos Gala Playacar
Sandos Playacar Mexico
Sandos Resort
Playacar Sandos

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