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“Absolute tranquility”

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Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #27 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 May 2011

This is probably the most beautiful ‘hotel’ I have ever stayed in. I use the word hotel advisidly as it’s not like any other I have been to. There are some things I didn’t like but the beauty of the setting and the almost total tranquility made up for them.
The hotel is made up of many cabanas and a few rooms set it sandy gardens, imaculately kept. Many, including ours have views of the Caribean. Our room was delightful, two large beds, with a good shower room. There are no phones or TV’s, which for once I found rather nice. Two hammocks hung outside our door on the small veranda, beyond that, the sea.
Breakfast, next to one of the two pools, overlooking the sea, was great, very American, but the waiters were, really, a bit thick and it’s pot luck whether you get what you ask for, better to take the buffet.
The evening meal, which we only took once, was in another restaurant at the back of the resort, buffet style and fine, but not great and why not use the nicer one overlooking the sea?
Besides the waiters, well most of them, the staff were great and very helpful, especially the concierge, bar staff make a real effort as well, I'm now addicted to Pina Colada's.
Playa Del Carmen is OK but at the end of the evening it was lovely to get back to our lovely room.
A small piece of paradise.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Nick P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 May 2011

The first thing that struck us about Mahekal Resorts, Playa Del Carmen was its contrast to many other resorts dotting the Yucatan Peninsula. It doesn't boast of an all inclusive tag or have one of those artistically overwhelming entrance. It is nestled near the ever busy Fifth Avenue but provides complete bliss and peace. The view is awesome. You wake up, come on to the porch and the beach is right there, waiting for you. You could either go for a swim or watch the blue, blue beach from your hammock. The price of your room covers a breakfast and a lunch or dinner, which is an awesome deal for you wouldn't want to miss breakfast! The service staff are ever helpful, the beach towels are always clean, warm from the sun and readily available. My husband and I especially loved the swimming pool and the pool view bar which served yummy Mojitos and the all time favorite Corona. Can't wait to go back already!!

Room Tip: Ask for ocean view room:privacy and view assured
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank vaishk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2011

Wonderful unique place in Playa Del Carmen, right on a beautiful stretch of white powdery beach. The grounds were meticulously maintained and beautiful, very special to have your own casita! The breakfasts were great, a menu you can order from and a buffet with everything including freshly squeezed juice and the service was outstanding!We only had dinner two evenings, it was good but not such a variety and both nights it was buffet only. I would have liked a menu to order from. Their lunch menu is great, with many selections and you can opt out of dinner and have lunch instead which is what we did to enjoy some of the restaurants in Playa. There are so many and it is literally a five minute walk to fifth street.. The hotel is in a great location, just away from some of the busier hotels. It was quiet the first couple of days but on the third day in the afternoon we started to hear music. The concierge told us that it was due to the fact that it was the week before Easter and many people were on holiday. We did hear it each day thereafter, it didn't last for hours but it was not a plus! I believe the music was coming from Mamacita's which is an unattractive beach club down the way. It's lined with cabana's on the sand which really takes away from the beauty of the beach. Just avoid it and stay on the Makekal strip which has chaise lounges and protection from the sun beneath lovely palapa's plus security. I found the whole area very safe. Some of the reviews said you should take a taxi back at night if you were in town but we walked and never felt at all uncomfortable. The room was lovely, we stayed in a garden view pueblito which although not right on the beach was set amidst beautiful grounds and a lovely water site. (literally a hop skip and a jump to the beach) Love the hammocks! The shower took about ten minutes before it actually had hot water but once it was hot it stayed hot! The hotel staff in general is great, the concierge arranged a day trip to the ruins for us with pick up at the hotel. Tulum and Coba are wonderful! All in all, a wonderful vacation and I can't wait to visit again! I could have stayed for a month!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank LauraB888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2011

This is the 3rd time we have visited this property. The first was in 2007 for 5 nights, then 2010 for 7 nights, and this year for 10 nights. We have already started saving for our return next year and are hoping for 12-14 nights.

What a truly relaxing, beautiful and friendly experience. The staff are wonderful, they remembered us from the previous years and went out of their way to welcome us and make us feel pampered and at ease. We especially enjoyed chatting with Rogelio, Jorge, Manuel and Jose. We learned that a 10% gratuity is included on the bill at dinner for drinks, but not for service of the food at breakfast or for the evening meal. You may want to tip your waiter directly to ensure that they are being compensated fairly for all the hospitality, hard work and service they provide. We experienced these tips being graciously and gratefully accepted.

Improvements are noted throughout the property, from upgraded linens and bedding, to higher end toiletries, and the dinner meals were most enjoyable this time, as they included greater variety and more fresh vegetables and salads, than in previous years. They were so good we didn't bother to switch them for the lunches.

Our children (boys 11 and 14 years) absolutely relished this experience and were quite happy with the simple pleasures at the resort, playing in the ocean for hours, playing pool and ping pong, hanging out in the hot tub at sundown and painting ceramics. What a treat for us to see them unplugged from electronics and truly appreciating their surroundings.

In the bar/ activity palapa, Julianna manages the ceramics, with help from her sons, and all are very talented artists. Julianna and Jose custom painted stunning, large platters for me, which are now hanging beautifully in our home, eliciting many compliments.

We have stayed twice in garden rooms and this time in an ocean view room, which was merely steps from the ocean. We found that the ocean breezes kept the room cooler and airy, without the need for air conditioning, despite the weather being 25 celsius at night. The rooms were kept very clean, with an ever changing array of towel art and flowers, and the maids and gardeners were also very friendly.

The beach was perfect for an early morning run, an afternoon siesta, or a later in the day walk to town for fruit or ice cream from the vendors. And yes it is the best part of the beach for miles. A vendor sells fresh fruit in a cup for $2.00 right beside the public access to the beach, steps from the hotel's beach chairs. The fresh mangoes, coconut, watermelon and pineapple were fantastic.

Boli, the concierge, recommended us to go to Plaza de las Americas mall, one day for mexican ice cream and we also bought a styrofoam cooler to keep our drinks cold in the room. We went on one full day tour from Edventure Tours and had a great time. The highlight was swimming in the open ocean with sea turtles. WOW!!

All in all this is a fantastic place to spend a vacation. I searched the internet thoroughly, from the Caribean to all over Mexico, looking for an alternative vacation beach spot, but was unable to find another hotel with these qualities. We were thrilled to hear that the hotel was not going to close as was previously reported during our first trip and we urge the new owners to continue to retain the unique charm and character that is Mahekal.

We will be back!!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank cohorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2011

I cant say enough about Mahekal. The beach was awesome, service fantastic and the massages under the palapa were truly relaxing and exhilarating. I just cant say enough about this place. The breakfast was great the only minus was the dinners. I felt the dinner buffets didnt have enough options. Lunch was great- ordered it from our casita and the ceviche was fresh and full of flavor.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank alo24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2011

Wow, that is all I can say about staying here at Mahekal. Everything was amazing with our room, the location of the room, the beach, the food, etc. Okay, I'll break down some of the components of our amazing trip. ROOM: was 52A, by the garden view, aka we watched the cute fountain from our room, and it was really relaxing to swing in the porch hammocks and watch the fountain and listen to the crazy jungle birds. The room was tidy, and the AC worked well. The bathroom was clean and had character with the funky colored tiles. Note: the shower is an open one, something to keep in mind if you are sharing a room with someone that you are not comfortable with them seeing you fully naked. There's a free safe in the room, and they give you complimentary bottles of water each day that you stay. Also, you may walk through sand to get to your room, but they mop the floors every morning, so the sand doesn't accumulate. Make sure to talk to the concierge "Bali", he is awesome and will give you the best referrals. We had wanted to snorkel, but the waves at Playa were too choppy and the port was closed. The 3rd party company who does the snorkel rentals, etc. referred us to Cozumel or Akumal. Basically we ended up renting a car for $45, rented snorkel equipment for $10 (all through the resort). With our 1 day rental car, we drove to Tulum to see the ruins and then went to Akumal to snorkel on our own, aka it was free. All of this was based on the recommendations of “Bali”. It was the best idea ever honestly! RESORT: Everything is so close together, it's awesome. It literally was a 1.5 minute walk to the beach. We only had breakfast and dinners there, both of which were really good. The pools were nice and clean. The beach is clean and you get to hang out with the locals since it’s a public beach. Happy hour is offered from 5-6pm and it’s buy 1 get 1 free special. The prices are in pesos (make sure to bring more pesos than your form of currency, ie. USD or EUR, pretty much all the places were wanting pesos). Drinks at the hotel were honestly the cheapest ones I saw in comparison to places on 5th Ave.; they were between the 40-65 pesos range. Try the “beach kiss” which is pineapple juice, cream of coconut, and Malibu blended with ice. It smells like Hawaiian Tropic, but tastes phenomenal! 5th AVE: Being 2 girls on a vacation in Mexico, there was never a time where we didn’t feel safe. The 5th Ave area is super trendy and busy. Make sure to walk all the way down, there are so many cool things that you wouldn’t expect to be there. Overall, I will be coming back to Mahekal pretty much for the rest of my life. It was so tranquil that it was hard to leave. I’m secretly thinking about it for a destination wedding because it was an unforgettable experience. :-)

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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7  Thank Playabeso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2011

We had a terrific time at Mahekal. All the reviews are right--the staff are fabulous. The food was fine, not great, but the atmosphere in the dining halls made it a special experience. We had entertainment on a few nights, and by mid week, we knew many our wait staff and fellow guests. Our kids had the run of the place--it's that safe--and made friends with other guests' kids. Nightly Happy Hour in the 'club house' was a treat--the kids met their new friends there for ping pong & pool & "kiddie cocktails" while we sat at the bar. Our rooms (we were in 36A & B: oceanview was more like a 'glimpse') were just OK. The beds were comfortable, but too close, and the bathroom was humid and smelly. 36A's AC was WAY too strong for the small room, so we had to turn it on and off all night long to keep the humidity down! We either froze or were hot and sticky. (36B was more comfortable.) We would have liked a room fridge, but bought a cooler & ice at the little tienda up the street to keep cold water bottles on hand. I'd have loved a broom, too! Since the whole resort is on sand, it's hard to keep it out of your room, especially with kids running in and out. One sweep per day by the housekeeper wasn't sufficient. I'd also have liked shades to block out the morning sun! The room was bright by 6am! The turquoise water was perfect--warm & shallow a long way out, though rough. The location is great--close to 5th avenue, but far enough away from the pushy vendors and mayhem. We would go back, but next time, we'll shell out the extra beans for oceanfront. We'll forego some of the excursions we took this time and spend more time enjoying the relaxation and beauty of the resort. This was the perfect "off the grid" vacation.

Room Tip: Get a room in the new area-left of 38th!
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  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank Kelly5280
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mahekal Beach Resort

Address: Calle 38, Entre Avenida 5a y Zona Federal Maritima, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Shangri-La Caribe)
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 Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#17 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#20 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £171 - £345 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Mahekal Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 196
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Mahekal Beach Resort is a legendary resort village located on 800 feet of white sand beach in the heart of vibrant Playa del Carmen. It has 198 thatched roof, palapa-style bungalows within steps of Fifth Avenue, the celebrated entertainment, shopping, and restaurant district of Playa del Carmen. The thousands of loyal repeat guests at Mahekal Beach Resort describe it as magical, memorable, and authentically Yucatecan. Our style is friendly and relaxed, a unique Caribbean experience where you can rock gently in a hammock on your private terrace and enjoy undoubtedly the best beach in Playa. Our guests love the fact that we have never compromised our truly unique ambiance and style. In keeping with that style, our rooms do not offer televisions. Instead, they feature original, brightly colored, Mexican tile bathrooms, private terraces with hammocks for siestas and star gazing, and locally-crafted Mexican wood furniture in an outdoor seating area where you can enjoy our magical sanctuary. The Resort offers meal plans that include breakfast daily and lunch or dinner. This choice gives our guests the opportunity to explore the many dining options in Playa del Carmen. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mahekal Beach Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Shangri La Caribe Hotel
Shangri La Caribe Playa Del Carmen
Mahekal Beach Resort Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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