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“Great Resort!”

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Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #27 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
geelong
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Resort!”
Reviewed 26 June 2012

Mahekal Beach Resort was fantastic!
We stayed in 29P - in an ocean view room. We had perfect, un-interrupted views of the ocean so we were very happy with our room!
All of the staff are very friendly and helpful at the resort, especially Jose who carried our heavy bags up to our second floor room.
The resort is situated on a quieter, cleaner section of beach which was great.
I would definitely recommend this resort to any of my friends / family and look forward to staying again!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank LuMon1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reading, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 June 2012

We had just travelled around California for two weeks and then came to Mexico for a week to finish off our honeymoon - the Mahekal did not disappoint!

From the welcome to the goodbye we were very well looked after and felt right at home. The staff were very friendly and the concierge in particular (Bolle) was very helpful with arranging trips, etc. (Would recommend Tulum for some Mayan ruins about an hour south of Playa del Carmen) He even treated us to a complimentary bottle of Champagne on the beach to celebrate our recent marriage!

Our room was one of the lovely Garden View huts and we particularly loved the traditional tile bathroom, as well as the hammocks outside. The beach was just a two minute walk from our hut and the water was warm and crystal clear.

We were really impressed with the quality and variety of the food. We had expected to eat out most nights but ended up eating at the hotel more often than not. The meal exchange scheme meant that we could exchange our dinner for lunch and then go into town for an evening meal, which was very useful.

The hotel is located in the middle of Playa del Carmen so walking in and out was extremely easy. The town itself is full of nice restaurants and bars and the main strip carries on for ages! (One of the nicest bars we went to was a Cuban place not far from the Mahekal - on a Saturday night they had a fantastic Cuban band and everyone was salsa dancing!).

We would definitely recommend this hotel to other couples or families and hope to come back one day in the not too distant future!

Max and Carolann Grandison, UK

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Carolann G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aurora, Ilinois
Level 6 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 June 2012

This was our second trip to Mahekal. The first time was in 2007 when it was called Shangri La Caribe. We fell in love with it then, and it is still just as magical as ever! On this trip, we had three other couples join us. We had a phenomenal time! Here's a quick summary:

Resort/rooms: GORGEOUS! The vegetation around the resort and the location on the beach is amazing. The thatch-roof huts are so authentic and we just loved them. We specifically chose this resort originally, and again this time, because of the fact that there are no TVs, no phones, etc. When on vacation, our whole purpose is to unplug and get away from it all! As others have said, if you want luxury - marble, jacuzzis, fancy linens, etc. - this is not the place for you. It is rustic but that is what's so charming about it! We loved sitting on our hammocks and feeling the incredible ocean breezes. We stayed in an ocean view room again (11B) and loved it. The view was nice, but it also gave us some privacy (beach front rooms look awesome, but you will have people directly in front of your room at various times of day). I'm sure garden-view rooms are nice (they look bigger than some of the other rooms), but during summer months it gets VERY hot back there...no ocean breezes getting through past the third row of bungalows. It wouls probably be ok during winter months...

The location of the hotel is spot-on - within easy walking distance to town, although it's a cheap cab ride if you are tired or feeling lazy :-) The area has grown tremendously since our last trip there five years ago - I was happy to see all the newer places that have popped up on 5th and also on Calle 38....five years ago, this same area was somewhat deserted. I agree with other reviewers that the only drawback to the location was the pulsating music coming from Mamita's Beach Club....we were able to ignore it/not pay attention to it most of the time, and it certainly did not detract from our vacation.

Beach: The BEST in the Playa Del Carmen area! Soft white sand that never gets hot, beautiful blue waters, gentle waves crashing the shore....we have definitely come to the realization that we are beach people! It is so nice to go swimming in the waves whenever you need to cool off. Most of the time the water was very clear, but it depended on the surf. One day a TON of wood/logs washed up on shore, and that day there was a lot of seaweed (and even some garbage) floating in the water. It definitely looked like the result of some kind of storm somewhere else....the staff worked hard to clear it all away quickly!

Food: The food at the resort was top-notch! We had breakfast every day, three dinners, and four lunches. Mexican night was Sunday, and Italian night was Tuesday. Food was amazing! Everything was fresh and served piping hot, even on the beach! We loved having lunch right on the beach several times. Everyone in our group (total of 8 people) raved about the food. Delicious!

Bars: Loved the swing bar - too bad it's not located closer to the beach! That would be nice :-) We did not go to the other bar at all. Beware of charging things to your room! On our first trip here, we would walk to the corner store daily to stock up on beers, ice, etc. and keep a cooler in our room. On this trip, we ordered drinks from the bar frequently. We had quite the sticker shock when we checked out! In fact, our bill was substantially higher than the other couples that traveled with us, so we're a bit worried that some of the charges were not accurate. We unfortunately did not save the receipts, so who knows...

Service: The staff goes above and beyond to be helpful and attentive! Boli the concierge is extremely helpful and had lots of information about the area and excursions. Since we were return visitors, he gave us a handmade wall plaque that has our name on it :-) The wait staff on the beach was also excellent! I am SO mad at myself right now because I can't remember the name of our usual waiter (I want to say Alberto?). He was always right there when we needed him...he even literally RAN back to the restaurant to get me some sour cream for my quesadillas! The maids were also very good - the room was always spotless, and they even lined up our shoes for us :-) Being a bit OCD, I thought that was great!

Side notes/reviews:
Cyan-Ha dive shop - located right on Mahekal's beach - AWESOME! We had our last scuba dive with them at the end of our trip (our first two dive days were day trips to Cozumel). The dive master that went diving with us was amazing (I again hate to admit that I can't remember her name, but I think it was Barbara). She was so helpful, knowledgeable, and patient with us, since we are new to the world of diving! Unfortunately, I got seasick after the first tank dive, so we had to cut the trip short....one of the best parts was that they even had a videographer come along with us, and she caught our experience, along with all the marine life we saw, on a beautiful professional DVD! Of course, there is a cost for that service, but again, since we are new to diving, I thought it was well worth the price :-)

We went into town four times for dinner - I would HIGHLY recommend Gigi's on 5th - very close to the resort, a few blocks south on 5th....it was amazing! Our entrees were delicious and reasonably priced. We did not like the calamari appetizer, but or meals made up for it! We also enjoyed Imprevist (on 1st avenue around Calle 14). Very small place, but very nice! Blue Lobster was also good :-) We were not so thrilled with Aldea Cocina (on 5th, closer to downtown). Many of our dinners were overcooked...but the atmosphere was nice. DO NOT go to Bip Bip (5th ave and constituyentes) - they lured us in with promises of free drinks with our meal....after taking our order, they did not return for almost an hour! Terrible service...

So, that's about it in a nutshell.....please feel free to send me any messages for further details :-) I have relied heavily on the reviews of others, and I'm happy to return the favor!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank alired
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deerfield, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 June 2012

We spent a wonderful vacation in this hotel. The room was beautiful and very clean. The staff is very helpful and friendly (Front Desk, Housekeepers, Concierge, Waiters, ), the service is excellent. We got our room Ocean front and we enjoyed the beach very much. The food is the best, good quality, variety and plenty. The Hotel practices greenwise for enviromental friendly. We are planning to come back very soon!!.
Thanks Bill and Rocio

Room Tip: Ask for Ocean Front.... Very nice rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank william g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
norway
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2012

This is a very cozy resort, right on the beach- where you live in small huts, with straw-roof. We had a ocean front, which I would really recomend spending those extra dollars on! It was just amazing to lay in the hammock and listen to the waves at night. AH. The breakfast and dinner was also very good, classical mexican dishes- and mostly buffe. There is ALOT of mosquitos there, and we did not know this, so we were full of bites. USE SPRAY! Some of the rooms also needs an upgrade, but this is a SIMPLE resort, NOT a luxury resort, so we did not mind. The lobby was SUPER, free internet, a nice library and super good service. The SPA, with the massage man, Gabriel- was also FANTASTIC.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank norwaytravler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Neptune, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2012

Mahekal beach resort is a very special place. I am told that if I were to categorize it, that it would be called a boutique hotel but it would be a crime to try and put any kind of label on it. If you are looking for a quite setting for a relaxing beach vacation that is in walking distance to town where you can shop and dine, this is it. Mahekal's staff is amazing and very friendly. Their property is kept immaculate and their landscape is taken care of all by hand. It really is peaceful. They have a wide beach with lounge chairs that you will always find many empty.
Our own experience when we checked in was the air conditioning unit in our room wasnt working. These things happen. The front desk staff were more than gracious and within ten minutes of us reporting the issue, we were taken to another room that was already cooling down.

We had nice chats with both of the desk staff over the course of our visit. Really nice guys. The wait staff in the restaurant the same. Even the grounds & maids were all friendly.

I wont go into much of what others have wrote. It is unfair to give too many opinions as everybody is different. Breakfast is buffet & various types of cooked eggs to order. Very nice and satisfying. Lunch has a good menu of sandwiches and Mexican fare. Dinner is buffet. Sunday buffet is Mexican with a Mariachi band. If you go, get them to do a song when they get to your table. The idea that you only get either lunch or dinner lets you go out to 5th Ave and experience the local places. A nice way to help support the local economy.

I have read many reviews here before going. There is a bit of nit-picking but I saw nothing that cannot be overlooked in this paradise. It is ridiculous to think of any place to be that perfect. My own home isnt.

Mahekal is going to be our place to return to in future beach vacations.

Things to keep in mind if you go...

Ask for a fridge when you check in. Roughly $6 a day. You will want cold water in the least.

The ground transport is worth it inasmuch as it will be one less thing to worry about when you get there. There will be somebody right outside the terminal with a sign with your name on it. It will not be included on your bill until you check out so dont worry & think they forgot to put you down for a pick up. Mahekal is very efficient.

The dive shop on property has a jet ski and a boat/crew for scuba diving. They can hook you up for fishing, sailing & snorkeling. Parasailing is a walk down the beach.

A less than 30min walk or a taxi for 50 Pesos gets you to the pier to take a ferry over to Cozumel.

Bring a lot of $1s & $5s for tipping and for exact change. These people work hard at the hotel & deserve the tips. You can also add the tip to your drinks bill which is charged to your room.

It is true about change, even the local Walmart has troubles with change. If you are so inclined, bring all your money that you need and lock it in your room safe to save on the ATM fees. You really dont need Pesos.

Otherwise, ATMs are everywhere. One is right outside on the street of the hotel. Many only give out USD. Pesos versus Dollars...almost everywhere you go, they will give the bill in both at roughly the exchange rate so I did not feel I was going to lose out paying in Dollars. Even if the small shops get you on the exchange rate, what are you really going to be out? Probably not as much as the ATM fees.

There is a brick oven pizza place right up the road called, Piola. Its really good and you will most likely want a break from Mexican-style food some time in your visit.

Up the road is also a 'Super' for beer on the corner. Go one more block and there is a quickie mart called 'OXXO' for beer and junk food as well.

La Chopperia bar & restaurant had beer on tap and a menu that wasnt in English. Was fun to try out something we were not sure what we were ordering although there was somebody that spoke English and could translate the menu.

Las Delicious has a fish of the day special. A guy might try and take a picture of you with a big bottle of Corona and later on try to sell a small bottle of Tequila with that photo on the label.

Dont drink the water? I dont think this is a big issue anymore. What will get you is too much sun, heat & booze.

Safe? Very! 5th Ave is very safe. The only danger you might face is an uneven curb or a stroller running over your foot. There is a good police presence.

The hawkers along 5th Ave are a little off putting at first. They are trying to survive with the bigger stores. The bigger souvenirs shops have A/C and all their stuff has a price tag unlike these smaller stores where you haggle down the price they ask for. Take this in mind...My wife got a purse from one of the smaller shops and got the price down to $30USD. She saw a similar purse at the bigger shops for $24USD but it was clearly inferior to the other one. The $30 purse was hand made while the $24 was probably made in China.

Thank you Tripadvisor and all that have posted.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rob B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia
Level 6 Contributor
67 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2012

This was our second visit to Mahekal after a previous visit in October of 2011. Please see my previous review for a complete write-up.

Our visit was just as great this time (actually, better because the weather was better) and it was even more exciting because we knew what to expect. We were happy to see that our favorite employee, waiter Rogelio was still there and as sweet as always. As was the case last visit, we found this resort to be a beautiful, well cared for, relaxing oasis on the most beautiful beach in Playa.

Just wanted to add a couple suggestions for those visiting:

1. In addition to tipping the cleaning staff, please tip the waiters and bartenders at the hotel. Yes, the hotel says a tip is already included, but from what I understand it is about 10%, so not very much. The staff work really hard and do such a great job and they really appreciate being given a little something extra. Europeans, please remember that it is customary to tip 15% for good service at the restaurants in Playa del Carmen. Also - everyone - note that tipping taxi drivers is not customery and there are set rates for taxis based on zones. Do some research ahead of time and know what you should pay because many of the taxi drivers are known to try to swindle tourists and get them to pay more.

2. Keep your eyes out for the black and white hotel cat named Miguel. If you see him, please give him something to eat. He was skinnier this time when we saw him (too skinny) and from what I understand, he gets by only on what scraps the guests give him.

3. Speaking of animals, please DO NOT patronize the exploitation of lion, tiger and jaguar cubs on 5th Avenue. There are vendors there who have them strapped into chained leashes and charge tourists money to get pictures with them. These cubs are taken from their mothers and when we have seen them, they were screaming and clearly in distress. These businesses should be considered criminal activity and by patronizing these vendors, you are encouraging them to continue in this abusive treatment of these beautiful animals. These business would not exist without people patronizing them so please, stay away!!!

4. Be sure to have dinner one night at Origenes restaurant right across the street from Mahekal. FABULOUS food, beautiful live music every night and great service at this restaurant. We also highly recommend Piola for some of the best pizza ANYWHERE, and Luna Maya for a sophisticated, romantic, elegant dinner. We had our best meals at these restaurants.

If I had only one complaint, it concerns the hotel's proximity to Mamita's Beach Club which BLARES obnoxious, repetitive, pulsating house music for several hours straight in the afternoons and early evenings. Mamita's is 2 properties south of Mahekal, yet the music is so loud you can hear it full blast all throughout Mahekal...even in the rooms with the windows shut. It really detracts from Mahekal's beautiful, relaxing quality.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Sassygirl18
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

Property: 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
#19 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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