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“Shangri-la is My Happy Place...it can be yours, too!”

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Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #27 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Bismarck, ND
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Shangri-la is My Happy Place...it can be yours, too!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2009

My husband and 3 other couples stayed at Shangri-la in February 2009. Our stay was the 4th time visiting this resort and it is amazing! The pictures do not come close to giving you a complete vision of the property. When we thought Shangri-la was going to close (more on that later!), we were so sad to think that all the beautiful landscaping, villas, tiled sidewalks, bar with swings would be leveled. We have been to Mexico and Playa more times than I can count and without a doubt, Shangri-la is the place to stay if you want the perfect beach experience. All it takes is a stroll up and down the beach and you can see for yourself that the beach in front of this resort is where you want to be. The villas on the beach are so rustic and perfect...open the windows, turn on your ceiling fan and let the ocean breezes float through your room. No phone, no tv, no clock - no problem! You will not miss any of them! The morning breakfast is another huge plus becuase you can get any kind of eggs, pancakes to order, not to mention a full buffet of pastries, fruits, ceral, fresh juice, yogurt, granola, etc. etc. The wait staff are so accomodating and they remember your name and they even remember our family from year to year. Sweet, sweet, sweet! The Sunday dinner is the one to stay on property for becuase there is every kind of delicious dish for you to choose from. And again the staff is there to wait on you hand and foot! Plus it is fun when the marachi band comes around to play songs...it really brings you into their culture and it's an innocent, family-orientated kind of entertainment. It will surely bring a smile to your face! Don't miss the happy hour at the swing bar! Great way to start your night before walking down to 5th Avenue and experiencing all the fun bars and restuarants Playa has to offer!
Now back to the closing of this resort. Just today we received a postcard in the mail saying that they are not closing, will improve their services and offering incentives to book. So we are thrilled and will be back! Don't wait! Book today for the experience you will always remember!

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Michelle V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,534 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Mexico
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2009

I spent one week @ Shangrila Caribe. I can say that, this is the best hotel in playa with beachfront. The staff and the restaurant are the best of the hotel, you can enjoy mexican and internacional food. The hotel is located only 200 meters away from mamitas beach club. Many people is saying that the hotel is close that is not true, please visit it.

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  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank 123456Mexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2009

Just back from a week at Shangri La Caribe. It was terrific, just like always. We have been going here at least once a year since 1988. So you understand we really like this hotel and how they do business. As many know the hotel changed owners around the end of December and was going to close in April, 2009. However, due to many events they are still open and are planning to be for at least two more years. The new owners are terrific and doing all they can to maintain the traditions of Shangri La. All the old staff have been retained and seem to enthusiastically support the new management. They Publico Area has been refurbished and the Adventura Section is now being completely renovated. Caribe is next. The rooms, drinks, food and location remain top notch. For further information check out the new web site---www. shangrilaplaya.com. Be careful, the old web site is still up and can cause much confusion.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank madgolfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pasadena, CA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2009

I don't know if it's all the straw umbrellas on the beach or what but once you are inside the resort it is very nice. Feels like a tropical paradise kind of thing. The beach is so nice at this hotel and the rooms are adorable.I really liked their breakfast's. Get the poached eggs. The mall is something like a $1 cab ride away and the cutest restaurant 'Cave of the Monkeys' or something is next store. This part of Mexico is beautiful and the hotel is perfectly situated in it's surroundings. Also they have hammocks on your front tiled porch that I spend lots and lots of time in. Bring mosquito repellent. Otherwise go for it, you won't regret staying here. It's very romantic also oh la la.

  • Stayed November 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank AngeLaPeregrina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2009

My husband and I just returned from a 4 night vacation to the Shangri-la Caribe. As the George Strait lyrics go....We had our own "ocean front property...." We truly felt like we were in our own private paradise.

We stayed in a charming, authentic mexican beach front cabana that was about 50 feet from the ocean. The front of our cabana had an expansive porch where we found ourselves relaxing, sipping our favorite tequilla, listening to the crashing waves or just lounging with books in our hammocks. This property is the perfect mix of relaxation, romance and FUN, which to me is what makes a perfect get away!

If not strolling along the beautiful white sandy beaches or lounging in the sun under a palapa, we were headed into town for a late lunch, margaritas, shopping or some late night fun in the town! The heart of downtown Playa was just a short walk away. The staff was always gracious and the food a special treat each day with the beautiful morning sky, incredible ocean views and my favorite made to order huevos rancheros, fresh fruits and juices! Massages on the property with Blanca were heavenly and not to be missed!

It is rumored this property is closing soon, but I know for certain that it will remain open for 2 more years. So go NOW and expererience your own little paradise and your own "ocean front property...", like no other!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank RaeTexas123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas,Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2009

It's hard to find a cool place to stay where the birds wake you up singing outside your adorable private palapa hut, complete with front porch and hammocks. Walk out the door to the beach, no elevator hassle, beautiful landscaped gardens, great food and service; plus they make swan, elephant, and unique animal designs out of your towels, decorate them with fresh hibiscus flowers, and place them on your bed everyday! Concierge is excellent -- arranged a great sidetrip for us to Sian K'aan biosphere, which is well worth seeing! Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank pajaroDallas_Texas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leesburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2009

Neat place! Some things were really good about this place; others really not so much. We traveled there during Easter week, April 9-16. The weather was nice; Playa was more crowded than my first time in Sept '07 and I probably wouldn't go during a holiday time again.

BEACH: The beachfront location is very nice, plenty of chairs and palapas and a nice wide area of sand. The beach clubs a short distance south aren't that great, chairs and people are crammed together on an eroding beach front and I was glad this place had its own beach front. Ocean had waves and strong undertow much of the time.

POOLS: This place had two small pools, both were clean and refreshing. The only really annoying thing were a few unsupervised kids screaming and running around at any given time of any day having been abandonded by thoughtless parents. When you're in the pool and getting bumped and splashed by these things, it can really get on your nerves in a small pool. Thankfully some left halfway through my vacation. (See above re avoiding a holiday period).

BAR: Drinks are not included, and there is an option of charging drinks to your room or paying at the time of service. We did both, the bill was correct at the end of the stay. The prices were okay, and the drinks were fine. Bartenders were half the time pleasant, the other half not. In the bar area there was a pool table and ping pong which further enticed the presence of the screechy tweens so that area wasn't that great sometimes. Going in to Playa for 2 for 1 happy hours was easy enough a few times, most places seem to have that.

FOOD: The food was interesting, I have been to really big all-inclusives before where there are numerous places to eat and dishes offered; this place offered breakfast and dinner in just two places as in, breakfast and grill items were always in one place, and dinner was always only in the other. A few nights were a la carte, the rest were buffet. The a la carte meals were okay, not inedible and not fantastic. The Mexican buffet night was nice with a mariachi band playing and a specialty tequila drink; the Italian buffet night was tasty and the place decorated nicely. Breakfast was fine with a selection of mexican egg dishes (yum!)

ROOM: My biggest gripe. I paid for the least expensive room, and it was really awful. It was a big single story palapa which base was concrete - and the bed bases themselves were also concrete slabs! Beds in Mexico are hard enough, and this just made it worse. Threadbare bed linens. There were just 3 lights, 2 of which were sconces (pointing upwards) and all using those dim spiral "efficient" bulbs. There was no room mirror, the only mirror was a bathroom mirror that was just shoulders up. I liked the shower, it was a big walk-in concrete shower with good pressure and was always hot enough. Hammock and chair and table set on the little patio, no view of anything so didn't hang out there. Room service was well done. It was clean and they spray and clean for these teeny little ant-like bugs in the bathroom, though on my last day there I ran into a cockroach the size of my head on the floor. (wear shoes in your room if you're on the ground floor)

I asked to switch rooms because of the awful bed, I was told they "were all like that" and none were available; not a nice response since the place seemed empty at the beginning of the week and many of the more expensive garden view palapa rooms had regular beds and decent mirrors and lighting (you could walk up to empty rooms and look inside). The beach front rooms looked really nice as well, however, it was very windy much of the time the closer you got to the beach.

CONCLUSION: If I went again, I'd get the better room and I'd try to avoid a busy time just because it's a small place. It's a hike from 5th avenue so there is a lot of walking if you don't cab it, although you must watch the cab prices. Went to Alux, the cave place, that's a must-see! Take pesos, it's much easier. I love Playa and will definitely go back!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank loafy
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
#21 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 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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