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Sandos Playacar Beach Resort
Ranked #61 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Reviewed 25 May 2012

We really enjoyed Sandos Playacar. We traveled here in April of 2012 with our two children 7 and 10. Playacar is a little subdivision of Playa Del Carmen. It is a gated community in which helped me feel safer, especially bringing kids to Mexico. We enjoyed Sandos. It is a HUGE property. We stayed in the Rivieria section which was nice. it is close to the main lobby and several of the restaurants. However, it is a walk to the beach. We did not mind the walk the first two days, but by the end of the week the kids were saying, "we dont want to go to the beach, it is so far". We also enjoyed the pool next to our section. this hotel really does have something for everyone. We enjoyed the bar adjacent to the game room. This was the "after" beach stop. It was half way to our room. The kids would play while we enjoyed one more cocktail.

The beach is gorgeous. We were there on windy days. It took awhile to get service at the beach. if you tip they seem to be more responsive. The kids enjoyed the beach.

We had good food. We enjoyed the "fogo" restaurant. Our favorite was the Mediterannean. All of our dinners were good. I cannot say they were great. But it is Mexico. One does not go to Mexico for good food. you go for nice weather and sandy beaches.

If you go to Xplor or Xcaret instead of booking transportation with the tour company take a cab. That way you can arrive and leave when you want. Sandos is only like a 10 minute drive so by taxi it was like $14. This was well worth it. We did not have to meet the tour bus at 7:30 to take a ten minute drive. Usually the tout buses have you travel to all other resorts to pick up other people. You can bypass this by taking a taxi.

This hotel is nice, the grounds are clean, the food good, and beach is great. I recommend this hotel for families. However, I prefer a smaller hotel if traveling with adults only. My husband and I stayed at a small adult only hotel in Cancun and I prefer the smaller hotels to these grand resorts.

My kids say they want to go back. So, Perhaps in three years we will go back. i would stay here again with my husband and kids.

Room Tip: Stay in the Rivieria if you like to have a nicer room close to the restuarants. If you are wanting...
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank GFfromMT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 May 2012

We had a fantastic family vacation ! We traveled with two little girls (3 and 5 years) and they loved the kids club. Every hour they had a different activity for the kids and the ladies from the club were just great with those little ones.
The pool area was quite and there were plenty of beach chairs and fresh towels.
The main buffet was not great, but we loved the Italian restaurant and the Brazilian steak house.
Our room was very clean and everything worked perfect.
We enjoyed the shows at night and will certainly go back for another great vacation !

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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Thank micasaestucasa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2012

We returned from a our second holiday at Sandos Playacar last weekend and despite the slightly disappointing weather conditions I am pleased to say that it was even better than last year!

We stayed in the junior suites (adults only) section of the resort with a balcony overlooking to pathway and jungle. Last time we stayed we had a pool view but this was equally as nice, and if anything a little quieter. The rooms are lovely – very clean and spacious. At the end of each day we would return to find a little towel shaped surprise from our maid, Lucia!
The showers aren’t the most powerful and the voltage isn’t great – I wouldn’t bother bringing your own hairdryer as the one in the bathroom is more powerful! Straighteners etc worked as normal though – GOD SEND!!
The rooms are pretty much the furthest away from the beach and main restaurants which are about a 5 – 10 minute walk away. We didn’t have a problem with this as the walk is very scenic and before you know it you have reached the meeting point. There are golf buggy’s available if you wish to make use of them but we never have done through choice.

One of the things we were most looking forward to when we returned was the food!! As a fussy eater I can happily say that there was plenty of choice and I never went hungry. We ate in the main buffet for breakfast and dinner and the Mediterranean for lunch. The Italian buffet is also gorgeous if you’re a pizza and pasta lover like we are!

The beach is amazing and one of the main reasons that we returned. We never struggled to find spare sunbeds regardless of the time of day – there were even plenty of available shades this time too! My only comment would be that half way through the holiday we were informed that you are no longer able to drag your beds to the sea front because it is a public area and they may obstruct people wanting to walk the length of the beach! I don’t think they ever caused a problem personally as they were never too close to the water. This means that everyone is now in one big line down the middle of the beach which looks a bit odd!! But it was still close enough to catch a breeze!

All of the staff were very helpful and ensured that we had a comfortable stay. The entertainment team were fantastic last year so we didn’t know what to expect when they had all changed this time but they were actually even friendlier! They made every effort to include guests in their fun and games by the pool and on the beach but always took no for an answer without pestering if you didn’t want to join in. Our particular favourites were Renato, Guillermo, Mauricio and Carlos – who FYI has THE most beautiful smile I have ever seen!! :)
The shows in the theatre are also really good, especially the Michael Jackson tribute and the Decades show. And be sure not to miss Sandos Deal and Mr & Mrs in the main plaza which are normally great fun!

To summarise, I would go back tomorrow if I could – FANTASTIC HOLIDAY!!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Kim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2012

We visited Sandos Playacar at the end of April/beginning of May for a week with a group of friends. Sandos is definitely one of the most beautiful resorts I've ever been to. The weather was incredible; it was hot and sunny every day! We were given gold wristbands, which meant we got access to the premium bars and the adults only section of the beach in addition to the adults only pool/swim-up bar. Originally, we were given a room in the older section of the resort which is very close to the beach. However, on the first night, the music and noise from the live show near the Meeting Point was loud and we could not get to sleep. We called the front desk, explained the situation, and asked if we could pay to upgrade to the newer adults only section of the resort farther away from all the action. Immediately, the front desk upgraded us to the newer secton for free! We were so impressed by the assistance and helpfulness of the staff! Our new room was gorgeous and our maid, Cristal, always left the room immaculate and added special touches like the adorable towel animals and fresh hibiscus flowers. The grounds of the resort are very well maintained. We also thought the food was delicious. We dined at several of the resort's restaurants and they were all very good. I find myself craving mango juice and mojitos! The main buffet was excellent for breakfast and lunch! We were made to feel welcome on several occasions by Maria Jimenez; she was so kind and friendly! In my opinion, one of the best features of the resort is the beach. The beach at Sandos is gorgeous. The sand is kept free of seaweed and debris and the water is clear and beautiful. Another plus is that the resort is located at the end of a long strip of hotels and there's a rather long empty stretch of beach that's perfect for long walks. The resort is also very safe; even as a 20something female, I never felt creeped out or leery of my surroundings. I spoke so highly of Sandos upon our return that one of my coworkers and her husband booked a trip there in July! We were very very pleased with our stay and would not hesitate to go back!

Room Tip: request the newer adults only section of the resort!
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank ucfan89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2012

OK, let me just start by saying I get annoyed with reviewers who complain because they were not pampered enough, there were not enough English speaking channels on TV or that a resort stinks because they did not have their favorite brand of liquor. Instead this review will be combined with several others for COMPARISON. Sandos is not a horrible place to stay. How can anywhere that they serve you all you can eat and drink on a lovely stretch of beach be horrible? Buuuuuuut....... My wife and I have now stayed at five different resorts all in about the same price range, and when considering where to go, I along with others, would probably like to get the best bang for the buck and have a comparison. Let me also say that depending on which staff you interact with can make a huge difference in the overall experience. I am basing my assessments on comparison with Barcelo Maya and Tropical, Grand Bahia Principe, Dreams Puerto Aventuras. Depending on the time of year and travel company, you can usually get a night for two people for between $175-$250 a night.
At Sandos our first room at check in was pretty rough. The sink was cracked into what looked like four even pieces, the mirror's frame was a mess, the air conditioner did not work, the window in the bathroom would not close and the tile floor was in pretty poor shape. The room was so musty (most rooms in the Mayan Riviera are musty...it is the jungle) my wife was getting ill from the odor. After the first night we were moved to a different room which was dramatically better even though it was not an upgrade. Now the condition of the room would never ruin our vacation because we do not spend much time in it, but when comparing it to the aforementioned resorts, I would say it was easily the least appealing. All beds at Mayan Riviera resorts seem to be very hard (except Dreams Aventuras were wonderful), but these were ridiculous.
The food was Ok. Not bad...not great. Actually pretty close to what all the other resorts had at their buffets. They did have the best pizza of all the resorts by far on their Italian buffet. Both my wife and I felt the Gran Bahia had the best al a cartes over all, and the Dreams Puerto Aventuras Seaside grill (which is a sit down and be served restaurant by the pool) was far and away the best food at a grill or buffet at any of the resorts. The drinks at the Sandos were by far the most syrupy sweet and we spent more time than normal trying to get them altered to where we could actually drink them (my wife speaks Spanish so that was of great help....obviously). Again, you can get a bartender to work with you to make what you want, I am comparing it to the other resorts we have stayed and overall Sandos had the poorest drinks. The biggest difference we noticed at Sandos was the staff. Now not every staff member at Sandos was rude, but when comparing Grand Bahia (we felt like family) or Barcelo (where they were awesome), the staff was not near as friendly. It is the only resort I have actually become annoyed with the staff. At almost all other resorts we have stayed the staff are extremely hard working, and unfortunately put up with a lot of garbage from visitors with a smile on their face and a friendliness second to none. The difference at Sandos was evident enough that both my wife and I noticed it without even discussing it, and only learned later that we both came away with the same negative impression.

There were some positives while at the Sandos Playacar. Our room was part of ten that share a mini pool. This was a nice feature to cool off after a long day on the beach. They offered room service at no additional charge which is not always the case at the other resorts. They appear to have a very active children's program only to be compared with Dreams Aventuras. They had a circus show with two amazing young men from Cuba. They have a long courtyard with a stage which had two gentlemen playing guitar and singing in what I thought was the most entertaining show I have seen at any of the resorts. The beach is wonderful and only Barcelo has areas that can compare. You are close to Playa del Carmen if you would like to enjoy that atmosphere on your vacation.
Overall I can think of no reason I would return because of what I feel are better values in the same area, but if you are going to Sandos Playacar or have already booked a vacation, relax...you can still have a great time.
This review is already book length, if you have any questions feel free to e-mail and I will answer them the best I can.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank MikeL776
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2012

We had a family trip here; dad is a timeshare owner and so we had the black bands and access to the royal/premium lounges with computers and snacks/drink, a la carte breakfast in the French restaurant (wouldn't recommend), and the superb buffet breakfast for gold/black members. We also had access to adult only and palapa sunbed areas around the pools and beach. The all-inclusive food/drink rate was $70 per day per person.

This is a very large resort, as most are in Playa Del Carmen. It is within the gated community of Playacar. The resort is sprawling but quite a nice walk (10 minutes) from farthest adult only areas to the Meeting Point (main food areas toward the beach). We never had to wait very long for a shuttle when we got lazy near the end of the week. Those complaining about the walk are the ones who really should be exercising! The walk includes lush flora/fauna and animals (monkeys, donkeys, coati, cats). It was quite beautiful even with the animal/nature sounds they play.

The food at the resort was fairly good. We never got sick (the food in the Mayan Riviera is top notch compared to the rest of Mexico). We tried the Asian restaurant (great appys and desserts and decor, poor vegetarian options), French restaurant (just ok, not spectacular but great decor), Mexican restaurant (great food, bad house wine which is included), and Steakhouse (huge portions and quite good). The Italian (no reservations needed) buffet was really good! I didn't get too bored of the buffet because we'd be creative with the food we picked and made special meals out of them (eg. made my own tacos with fresh made to order grilled fish or chicken, croissants with deli meat and cheese in the toaster oven at breakfast). Oh and don't miss out on the amazing Crepe Bar and ice creams in the main lobby! Some of the other food around the pools was very American (hot dogs, burgers) but you could also always get some guacamole and pico de gallo (red salsa).

We stayed in the adult only area and the rooms were fantastic - inroom window opens from bathroom (separate shower,jetted tub, double sinks) into the bedroom. They were large and clean -- they resembled the $500 a night rooms at the Eden Roc Renaissance Marriott in Miami. The shower head was totally busted but I dialed zero and they had sent someone to fix it by the time I returned an hour later. I was impressed. We enjoyed the robes and slippers. In any American hotel, these would be an extra luxury. No problems with the safe contents in our 3 rooms (although I usually just lock stuff in my luggage which I'd recommend if you're paranoid like me). I liked the drying racks outside the room for wet bathing suits. I was also impressed by the cleanliness and the quality of the bathrooms in the common areas (except for the one closest to the beach - gets a wet floor).

All of the staff at the resort work hard at their job. They are never grumpy and always saying "hola!" They all try so hard to please. We attended the Michael Jackson show which I enjoyed! We went for a snorkeling tour with the resort ($40 each) which was nice (don't forget to lather on the sunscreen on the back of your thighs!!) and our group saw fish, rays, and a turtle. We also went to Playa one evening (shops close around 10-11pm) which has changed significantly in the last 10 years. We also painted pottery.

We were a professional couple in young 30s, with couple in late 20s, and couple in 50s and really enjoyed ourselves. We would return. Our parents had tried the Sandos Caracol previously and preferred this one. From the airport, we had prearranged BestDay travel to take us to/from the resort and they were very organized and trustworthy.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank yvrgirlToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2012

We traveled May 6-11. The weather was fantastic, it wasn't crowded, I'm not sure it could have been more perfect... well except a few things at the hotel. First time we stayed at Sandos Playacar. Before we could even get in the lobby we were welcomed and drinks brought to us. I love the Playacar area, very safe. Take lots of U.S. one dollars for tips.

The room was good, shower fantastic, mini frig wasn't cold but nice that they stock each day. Would have been great if the a/c were colder, bed and pillows were hard as a rock. The hotel property is huge but beautiful, thank goodness we got a great room location, close to the beach and food! The beach was clean and water wonderful. The staff were always amazing. The monkeys on the property were nasty....just don't stand under them!

The hotel had so many great things to do you really never had the need to leave. We really enjoyed the entertainment each night. The buffet was wonderful, no need to go to the restaurants, however we did try the Asian which was ok, the Mexican was good and the Steak was horrible along with the service we received. We really hated to leave and look forward to our trip back next year.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MelB71
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
#42 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#43 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#45 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#53 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £143 - £385 (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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