Shangr La Caribe is a beautiful low key resort where all the room are within a short moment's walk (in the sand) to the beach or pools. The rooms are somewhat sparse, which was fine, having the nice patio with hammocks as an alternative. It bothered me that they skimped on bath towels, especially when we had 2 children in the room. They only included 2 hand towels and 2 bath towels. However we got beach towels at the front desk and whenever they were dirty we'd swap them out for clean ones and use them for back ups for the showers, especially to wrap up the little guys. The people who work at the hotel are all warm and friendly. The staff working the grounds are pretty much constantly working, cleaning the sand, whatever. The restaurant staff are great too, although sometimes seemed quite busy, if not too busy, but all was ok on that end. The food at the breakfast buffet was great - nice spread of fruit, pastries, cold/hot cereal, a few of the same hot items daily (scrambled eggs, refried beans) etc. The mangos and papaya were my favorite, absolutely perfect. I wish I brought tupperware to take some for snacks later in the day! We never had lunch there. Dinner was ok but it didn't start till 7 PM local time,which was too late for our young children. We tried dragging them there a few times only to watch them sit in a daze and not eat. So we usually ended up going out to eat around 5 with the kids, put them to bed, and then my husband would grab some food from the dinner in a takeout container, which I usually wasn't interested in. The late dinner was a disappointment because the cost of the room obviously included the cost of food and we couldn't take advantage of it with the young kids. I guess it's a local / cultural thing though, with the siesta timing, restaurants open late. I just wish that as a hotel with international tourists they would have had more flexibility in the hours. The beach was great, water was amazing clear/blue. There is a wonderful place across the corner - Garden of Shangri La where they offer yoga and massage. The yoga instructor was wonderful (just wear bug spray in the afternoon for mosquitoes), and only 100 pesos. They are opening a raw food restaurant and the menu looked wonderfully healthy and refreshing. We did a day trip to Tulum (in a local mini-bus) and a taxi to Xcaret. If we didn't have young children, I would have been a little bored in Playa Del Carmen for a week but with the pace of our young kids and needing a nap, loving to scoop and dump sand, it was the right pace for us. The thing that did bother me was the front desk service - the guys there were always very friendly and answered questions, but I asked for a few things such as extra bath towels, a hair dryer, a different crib/pack-n-play (was all warped) and I never got any of them. I saw them make a note of it in their notebook but it never arrived. i guess that's the down side of not having a phone in the room is you have to walk to the desk to follow up. i didn't miss the braindead tv, i finally got some time to read, perfect! The pools were a little chilly but the pool toward the garden area of the resort was a bit warmer and my children enjoyed splashing around in there as the front part only went up to 2 feet.
The first few nights of our stay the resort was very quiet, despite the restaurant being very full at meals. We did experience some of the corruption in hearing a late night party across the street at another hotel/restaurant starting at midnight well until 4 am. I mean music slamming the whole floor, really really loud. In the morning I asked the front desk and they showed me how they called the police, file complaints etc and it turned out it was a politician or police chief's daughter so the police purposes never responded to the calls and there was nothing the hotel management could do, because who else could they complain to if not the police. I sort of got it, despite being woken up at 1 am and shoving my head between pillows until i fell back asleep around 2 am intermittently woken up all night.
All in all, it was a lovely place for a low key beach vacation... but perhaps a little overpriced if you don't get to eat at the restaurants for the inclusive breakfast/dinner.
- 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