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“Fabulous vacation!”
Review of Playacar Palace

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Playacar Palace
Ranked #23 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 May 2010

It was the best vacation we 've had. This hotel was absolutely great. The service is outstanding! There are waiters on the beach and at the pool that make sure you never get up to get a drink. They work really hard and always have a smile! Thanks to Martha by the pool and Anabel at the beach!
Because this hotel is smaller than others, you get to have a more personal service. We never had problems finding any chairs. No stress concerning that compared to elsewhere. The food was good for an all inclusive. Not many choices though. We went to Playa del Carmen one night. They should add a restaurant. The wine was also the best I've had on vacation. Everything was included from the excursions to the free phone calls to the US and Canada. The room was beautiful, modern and the beds were very comfortable. We had an amazing ocean view room. We ordered room service for breakfast the first 3 days and it arrived exactly at the time we asked for it. They were a bit mixed up though in the order but I didn't mind eating what they brought me. It was still good. We never had to wait a long time for anything and everybody made sure at all times that we were satisfied. The beach is beautiful, not too crowded like most of the hotels on that stretch of beach. The pool is small but offers a magnificent view. The entertainment staff is great too. They don't bother you if you don't want to participate. The music is not too loud and well chosen. Relax music in the morning and around 11:00 the rhythm changes. The location was great too. It was close to everything. It was our 9th trip(we've been to Cuba 4 times ex: Melia las dunas, Dominican Republic 3 times ex: Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro and to Mexico 2 times) and it was the best. It's different than others and perfect for me. I'll be back!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank bijou77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,350 - 3,356 of 4,591 reviews

Reviewed 3 May 2010

Our family of 4 thoroughly enjoyed this 4-night, 5-day vacation in Playa Del Carmen - $4,200, including direct AA flights from/to JFK. A bargain for the location, ambience, service, and amenities. Relax we did............

I spent time researching caribbean resorts, and then went to an agent for help - one in NYC who works with Classic Vacations. His associate in CA recommended Playacar Palace. There was a kids promotion, and my 2 teenagers stayed for free!

The Trip Advisor reviews were somewhat helpful, and one can dismiss most of the negative ones. Here are our remarks to add/confirm:
-Bring a $100 wad of $1 bills, and tip often.
-The restored beach is in great condition.
-Plenty of chaise lounges and chairs by the pool and beach, though you need to get there early if you want a good location. Staff run good activities for teenagers and adults.
-Buffet dining is very good, with short-order cooks at all meals. Meats are good and fresh. I especially liked the squid [calamari] fried by the cook.
-Liked the Italian restaurant, didn't try the Asian one.
-Dos Equis beer on tap. I'm a true beer fan, never had it on tap before, and enjoyed it with a wedge of lime.
-Mixed drinks, exotic shots, non-alcholic drinks, juices, sodas, etc. are good at all their bars. There's PLENTY of help regularly asking if you want another, and be sure to visit the bar and talk with the help. Nearly all speak english just fine. If you want more or less booze in your drink, just ask!
-Our ocean-view room had a jacuzzi, which we didn't use.
-2 double beds, would have preferred to have Queen.
-Spacious bath room area.
-Staff CLEAN the hotel and grounds ALL the time!
-We skipped the timeshare presentation, and I kept it short with the tour staff [they are not hotel employees].
-Take your own car service to/from hotel. There are many reputable companies, and be sure your travel agent books it.

Feel free to e-mail/submit questions.
Thanks for the helpful comments posted by many.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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8  Thank FamilyTripMexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2010

We recently returned from Playa and staying at the Playacar Palace - two couples, no kids. All of us have had multiple trips to Mexico - both Mayan Riveria and west near Cabo - so we're not 'newbies' to Mexico. We were very happy with nearly everything.

SERVICE. Outstanding. I must say that my husband and brother are regular tippers - $2 left at the table at breakfast/lunch/dinners; $1 or $2 with poolside drink orders; $2 with inside bar drink orders. This goes a LONG way, folks! My brother got Crown Royal and my sister in law got her beloved Captain Morgans! My husband got his whiskey strong enough (not all watered down) and I got decent Chardonney ... after asking for a Chilean wine ... and my brother got a really good red at the Italian restaurant AFTER politely asking. The poolside service and restaurant service was outstanding every single day.

FOOD. It's all inclusive so by definition it won't be super top notch. But we were very happy. The buffet had lots of choices and AGAIN if you ask for something specific they were more than happy to accommodate. Food could have been hotter at the buffet. And while there was not chips, salsa & guac. outside available readily, again all you had to do was ask. I'd rather have my guac come from the fridge than sitting out all day in the sun anyway.

ROOMS. Perfect. We never had a problem with cleaning, staff, etc. Again, $2 left every morning when we left the room and put out the sign for 'please clean' made all the difference. Yes, the bathroom floors get wet. That's what extra towels are for. You're in Mexico. Have fun.

POOL AREA. I personally loved that it wasn't huge. The activities (which I normally don't love 'cause everything is so loud) weren't overbearing and Super Eric was awesome without being obnoxious as some activity people can be. Yes, there were remenants of the last night's trash, but isn't that more a reflexion of our bad habits in not picking up after ourselves (it's called good manners) rather than a staff that I KNOW worked til midnight at the pool?

We really enjoyed this resort. Go with a good attitude and a friendly smile. ENJOY. They really DO want you to have a good time and enjoy their country.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with friends
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6  Thank wesgray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2010

We arrived mid day, and were unlike other reviewers greeted promptly with a smile, cold towel, and champagne. There was no sales pitch, only a swift check in and quick sign up for two free tours in which we were interested.

The room was a roomy double with no space issues and a beautiful view of the ocean and Cozumel Ferry dock. Everything was exceptionally clean and housekeeping was timely every day and very courteous.

Every member of the staff, from the pool bar to the restaurant servers and managers (particularly in the Italian) were accommodating and very friendly.

The food was pretty good for an all inclusive the Italian and Japanese were best with the slight edge going to the Italian. I do wish there might have been a slightly larger and better wine selection, but oh well.

Free phone calls to the US and Wireless Internet as well as Flat Screen are incredible amenities here that I was grateful for.

As for the tours, we chose to take Chit zen Itza and Coba. I might recommend either renting a car or private tour for Chitzen Itza due to the length of time it takes to get there. For Coba though, the tour was excellent as the guide was well versed in the history and spoke very good English. Also, the park itself was incredible and I wouldn't miss out on climbing Nohoch Muul as the view is unparalleled.

All in all, the resort was not overcrowded and no one in my party experienced any issues with service, the room, or otherwise- I would definitely recommend this to a friend in the future.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with friends
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6  Thank traveler31_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2010

We recently stayed for 6 days at the hotel while attending a family members wedding.
The public areas of the hotel were great with an awesome pool surrounded by a pristine beach.
The room on the other hand was one of the worst I've ever had in a hotel of this caliber. We had a room with 2 double beds. We could not open one of the closet doors because it was blocked by the bed. The other bed was butted up against the jacuzzi which rendered the jacuzzi useless and if you rolled out of the bed you would end up in the jacuzzi. Also, the drapes would not open all the way because the jacuzzi butted up against the outside wall and made it difficult to access the very TINY balcony.
The shower was located in a separate room with the toilet and was designed to be an "open shower" with a door or curtain. I'm not sure if the pitch was off on the floor to the drain or what but every time you showered the entire bathroom floor would flood necessitating mopping up the floor with towels. The vanity area contained a vessel sink with no room on the small surround to put any toiletries.
I'm not sure if the maids did anything other than make the beds and replace the wet towels because the floor always seemed dirty and the dresser and nightstand never seemed to be wiped down. I had to request tissues and toilet paper when we ran out and couldn't believe that the maid didn't notice we were out of these items???
We were at the pool very early every morning and the pool deck was always littered with the remnants of the previous day. It was usual to find empty ketchup and mustard packets, straws, cups and even limes on the floor of the pool deck.No one seemed to care about cleaning it up and every morning I cleared junk out from around our chairs.
The buffet was great with an ever changing array of choices. We ate at the Italian restaurant a couple of times and the food was phenomenal. Forget the Asian restaurant; below average food. There were several fine dining chefs in our group and all of them gave the food an 8 out of 10 which I think is pretty good for an all inclusive.
You could not beat the location with a 2 minute walk to 5th Avenue and a short beach walk to the ferry dock.
With the exception of the guy who checked us in; everyone we encountered answered with "it's our pleasure to serve you". Our check in was long; about 30 minutes and we could barely understand the guy who checked us in.
The shuttle service that was included from the Cancun airport was slow and our return trip had us at the airport 3-1/2 hours prior to our flight time. I think they group people together to pack the shuttles and they really don't care how early they get you there.
All in all it was a good experience but if they put you in room #142 asked to be moved.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank JMSMGIL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2010

We stayed at Playacar Palace from April 14 to April 21 and although our stay was not marked by anything spectacular, it was not ruined by anything terrible either. On a scale from 1 to 10 I'd rate it a 5. During our stay there were 3 weddings. Being such a small place, the wedding parties really made for cramped quarters. One or the other of the two bars was always "Wedding Party Only" and the main Italian restaurant was crowded with their quests. You might want to ask if any weddings are booked for the time you are considering staying before you book.
The thing about Playacar Palace is that it is no "Palace"... it is more a hotel than a resort. It is, however, located in a great area of the Riviera Maya. Playa Del Carmen's 5th Avenue is just steps away, the ferry to Cozumel is right outside the front door, Senor Frog's is right next door, and if you are adventurous the ADO bus station is just a walk away.
Mexico has replaced the beach that the hurricanes took away, and there are beach chairs out for guests but, unless you are ready to bake in the sun, don't sit there because they do not provide any umbrellas.
We are members and felt that we did not get treated any differently than non members. We did received a "VIP" room which consisted of a one cup coffee maker that didn't work, a pillow menu from which we could choose our "special" pillows, " aroma therapy" which consisted of an electric burner with scented oils, an I Pod dock, and supposedly upgraded liquor. BIG DEAL. Very dissapointing.
We didn't go on any of the included tours or golf and I'd be interested in hearing from someone who did actually use the course. We did use the "Spa" which you shuttle van to. The hot tub was cool both times I used it.
There is one thing that I have to give them credit for. I forgot my wallet with $200 cash and all my credit cards near the lobby. The front desk called to say they had found it and I went to the front lobby to get it without a single thing missing. Incredible!
Just keep in mind that this is a hotel not a resort. Buffet and just two restaurants get pretty boring by the end of the week. Food is just O.K. Avoid sitting with anyone when you first check in that wants to explain all the hotel has to offer. They really just want to hook you into a sales presentation. Palace Resorts is part of the RCI machine. Pool was small but O.K. When it's all said and done... the only reason to stay at this hotel is because it is located in Playa Del Carmen.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank sdemo66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2010

We stayed for 4 nights for a friend's destination wedding. Here are the pros and cons, starting with the CONS.:

CONS:
- the all-inclusive food was pretty sub-par. I've been to all-inclusive resorts before and this was the worst for food. The omelets were good, and that's about it. My spouse and one other person in our group got a parasite from the food.
- the wedding planners really messed up the "back up plan" for our friend's wedding. It started to rain and they had no where for us to go. luckily we still had fun, but it was embarrasing that they didn't have a rain contingency plan.
- when it rains, this place is terrible. they don't have as many fun activities as other resorts i've been to. also, with the open design of the hotel, it gets wet EVERYWHERE.
-smallish pool area. i was playing pool volleyball, but felt bad for the people that were just trying to relax.

PROS:
-excellent location, best i've been to in Playa del Carmen, right next to town and the ferry to cozumel.
-the rooms and resort are quite beautiful
-the housekeeping was on point
-the concierge people were very helpful
-the staff was very friendly
-free high speed internet

overall, i'd have to say i don't recommend this place, because food is far too important.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Gunners14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Playacar Palace

Address: Bahia del Espiritu Santo | Esq. Abraira de Arriva, 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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £299 - £598 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Playacar Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 201
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playacar Palace, a trendy beachfront resort located steps away from Playa del Carmen's famous 5th Avenue and the Cozumel Ferry Dock. Our all-inclusive, luxury resort features 201 appointed rooms, 3 restaurants and 4 bars. This resort is considered the perfect spot to relax during the day and enjoy the nightlife and charms of "Playa" at night. Playacar Palace is perfect for families, couples, and group getaways. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playacar Palace Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Playacar Palace Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen
Playacar Palace Resort

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