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“Not bad, but...” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mahekal Beach Resort

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Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #28 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
San Antonio, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Not bad, but...”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2006

Reasonable rooms, nice service, and it's on the beach but...
1) The included meals aren't particular good. Breakfast is patchy and the evening meals are generous but dull. We found a few great places jus tfive minutes away that are better value, notably Cafe Corizon, Sur and Babes.
2) The endless timeshare selling by the concierge gets really tiresome. They can't recommend any local restaurants, they oversell their own fishing tours (starting at $200 USD per person), and if I get asked about going to a timeshare presentation again, I'm going to scream.

The Happy Hour is good value at the bar. The pool tables need straightening. Quite a few kdis and families here too, but at least the beach is close.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Drink_Texas_Bar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (641)
Date | Rating
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English first
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2006

We stayed here for the second time the first week of June and could not have been happier. Firstly, it is amazing how well the hotel and the area in whole has recovered from last year's hurricanes. We saw very little evidence of any destruction at all.

The hotel itself is as good as ever. Peaceful and relaxing is the name of the game at this resort with the perfect beach being the focal point. The setting is private and the grounds are meticulousily manicured.The rooms are basic yet comfortable with some beautiful decorative touches. The service is good to excellent and the food is about the same. Breakfest is excellent, dinner is good. The atmosphere and service pick up any shortcomings the food quality or variety may have. The Vanilla pancakes, fresh OJ, and all you can eat bacon is to die for.

The hotel is probably an 8 out of 10 and the beach is easily a 10 out of 10. It all adds up to a beautiful and relaxing place to vacation. We will be back for a third visit in the not to distance future.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
15 Thank camboy70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Worth
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 June 2006

My wife loved this resort, though she was a little concerned, upon booking, that it might not be "fancy" enough. The long and the short - she loved being able to truly relax. This is a pretty laid back resort. There were some children - but they were typically infants or very young. There were no kids running and screaming around the pools.

Overall....

Accommodations - Simple but ample
Service - Excellent
Beach - Best in the area
Food - Great Breakfasts was a must and diners very good.
Margaritas - Off the chart
Sailing - Catamaran / Hobie Cat rentals available close by via independent vendors
Resort Value – Very strong

Tips:

Beach beverages: We bought beer up at the little 'convenience' store a couple of hundred yards up the road, packed it in a cooler and brought it out to the beach. Not because the beer at the resort was expensive - we just did not like having to walk to the bar each time.

Xcaret: My wife liked it - I could have skipped it.

Food: the resort food was the best we found. However, there appeared to be some upscale restaurants in town that we did not have time (or interest enough) to try.

Bugs: did not see one or get bitten by one during our stay – though we had plenty of bug spray.

Frisbee: we enjoyed playing with one in the morning before the wind picked up.

Just go…

  • Stayed April 2006
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
18 Thank savardi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Memphis, Tennesse
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2006

We stayed at the Shangri La May 25th thru June 1st 2006. We are around fifty years old and have visited Playa numerous times and would be considered well traveled around the Caribbean area. This is one of the more difficult reviews to write because while the beach in this area is undoubtedly the best in all of Playa, the facility has been around for many years. This combined with the construction of a new condo adjacent to the resort, as well as new units being constructed by the resort in the middle of the Caribe section and the damage to the palm trees by hurricane Wilma, make it difficult to recommend this facility as I would have a year ago. When you compare it to a new 5 star all inclusive facility like the new one on the other end of the same stretch of beach, it is difficult to give it more than a 3 1/2 star rating. Considering the cost difference it is still probably a good bargain if you factor in the fact it has the best beach front location in Playa del Carmen. If you want to be pampered and have the best of everything, you should pay more and opt for a newer all inclusive. Construction starts promptly at 7:30 a.m. each morning Monday thru Sunday and continues til dark. Our room was within 50 ft. of the new condo but since we are early risers and I am in the construction business this was not upsetting to us as it might well have been to someone desiring peace and quiet. [Point of interest: The new condos sell for $270,000 to $550,000 (penthouse) at this point but the fees are outrageous.] I recommend a beach front if you can get it and don't mind the extra money. If not go for a second floor because foot traffic goes right by your hammock if your on the ground floor. The second floor has a vaulted palapa roof (grass and wood poles) and makes you a bit paranoid about bugs. However we saw no bugs but with the fan blowing your hair at night it takes awhile to get use to it. The birds in the early morning sound like they are in your ceiling and will wake you if the construction noise doesn't. The bath room is minimal and has some age on it as does the room but it is clean and in good repair. The lack of a telephone is O.K. if you do not need emergency service in the night or wish to contact others in your party which were not factors for us. The no refrigerator is inconvenient and would be a nice inexpensive feature I wish they would add. They have no beach bar but you usually see a waiter around lunch time and can place an order for lunch on the beach at that time. We always travel with a collapsible cooler because they are difficult if not impossible to find in the Caribbean. There is a small grocery store 2 blocks up where you can buy ice, drinks, beer, wine and various other necessities. CHANGE YOUR MONEY FOR PESOS!!! The exchange rate is almost 11pesos to the American dollar but most of the stores still want to give you 10 to 1, go figure. I guess its easier doing the math but over a week it will make a difference. Nothing changes much about haggling over price in Mexico. Beware about silver prices, you usually need to divide their price by half then go from there. Who knows if it's real or not, the markings may only indicate the part that is actually stamped. Anyway back on the resort. You have breakfast and dinner included with the room and both are very good. The staff is outstanding and are really good with children. The beach is the best in Playa as I have said and although toplessness is common this is due to the large number of European patrons and is purely a cultural phenomenon. There are plenty of lounge chairs and palapas overlooking the prettiest blue ocean to be found anywhere in the world. This brings me to the problem of a fair rating for this resort. Would I stay here again? Probably. Is it a 4 or 5 star? No not if you consider the new mega all inclusives. Does it have good value for the location? Yes being on the north end of Playa at Coco Beach and still being within walking distance of old fifth ave. make it a hard to beat location. The rooms are definitely the biggest negative because of the age, but they are well kept. Bottom line your on vacation, on a beautiful beach, enjoying a cold drink, with the love of your life, its hard to complain about anything. Just do like I always do, research all your trips on tripadvisor, gleam what you can from each report, and you will get a pretty realistic picture of what to expect. Don't forget to pay it back with a trip report when you get home. Have a great vacation!!

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
20 Thank Tennesse Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2006

My family spent 5 nights at the Shangri La Caribe in April 2006. The hotel was fully booked for the easter holidays. We had a stand alone ocean front cabana for 4 nights and a standard room for 1. It was worth the money for the ocean front cabana. The second room we had was half way back into the resort in the Caribe section. The room was much smaller, amd much noisier due to the high density buildings. My one gripe is the Ocean front cabana was supposed to have queen beds, and they were doubles.

The beach is lovely, the swimming is good and gentle (very small waves one foot high). Snorkeling is possible right off the beach to the north, and off the point to the north, but it is pretty poor. The 2 pools are small but nice. There are plenty of beach chairs to go around, even when the resort is full. We had no trouble with beach towels, there were guards watching day and night.

The resort is well maintained, apparently the hurricane did a lot of damage to the vegetation, but if you didn't see pictures of the before, you wouldnt't know the difference. There is a big high rise being build directly behind the Aventura section, I woulnd't want to be in the back row right next to that. The map doesn't show clearly, but there is a public road and beach access that cuts right through the property, dividing the Caribe and Aventura sections. It just means the resort is not so pri vate or enclosed as you might think.
The Shangri la is probably a 15 min hot walk to town, either along the beach or on the roads. WE drove in once, our teenagers never went. A bit too touristy for us, and if you don't like bars there didn't seem any reason to go.

The food is good, sometimes very good, it you don't expect 5 star, you will be satisifed. The Mexican buffet was fun and good. The staff everywhere was helpful, and friendly. They were not overstaffed, sometimes you had to hunt to find someone to answer you question, etc.
We would go back. Nice, comfortable, pretty location.

Helpful?
11 Thank familySeattleWa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2006

If you want a somewhat rustic property with no crowds and don't care about the quality of the food at this "breakfast and dinner included" hotel, this is the place for you. A couple of tips if you stay here: Ask to opt out of the "dinner included" plan when you make your reservations. I didn't know it was an option to opt out, but another couple we met at the Shangri La did this. the dinner is remarkably bad, and breakfast is free to everyone anyways. You get a little discount (i think $30 or so per night), but unless you LOVE eating mall food everyday, you'll be better off. there are many cool restaurants to try in downtown PDC, so take a walk down fifth avenue and kill some time looking at the menus and finding a restaurant to eat at. don't lock yourself into eating at the hotel every night by doing the dinner included plan, especially since you can opt out. Second, try and make it to the breakfast each morning - though dinner is terrible, breakfast is surprisingly decent by comparison. Again, breakfast is free even if you opt out of the dinner plan, so you can't lose. Third, if you're going to drink beer, bring an individual beer cozy/wrap. It is HOT, and your drinks get warm very quickly. I read this tip in this forum before my trip but didn't listen. The second half of every beer I drank for the entire trip was warm. Fourth, BRING INSECT REPELLANT, especially if you're there between may through October. I can't speak for other areas or resorts at PDC, but there were a LOT of mosquitos at this resort (i'm sure they are everywhere during this time of year though). It was HILARIOUS to see all these people with dozens of giant red welts on their legs at the hotel. Luckily, I read a tip to bring repellant, and had zero bites. Finally, IF YOU HAVE KIDS THAT CAN'T SWIM, bring floatation devices (like those dorky inflatable arm things or doughnuts). The 2 pools on site are small, like glorified kiddie pools, but they are surprisingly deep! Only half of one of the pools is 3 foot deep or less, and that section amounts to an area of about 100-200 sq.ft. If you're kid can't swim, s/he will have very little space to wade around in at the pool without a floaty thing.

With respect to the property itself, it is located about 3 blocks north from the start of the busy downtown area of PDC (5th street) where most of the shops and restaurants are located. Since the stretch of beach that the Shangri-La is located on is a few blocks from downtown Playa, the beach is not too crowded. Also, even though the hotel was at capacity, we had no problems getting a palapa on the beach (a giant thatch sun-shade/umbrella), and in fact there were many empty ones. all the rooms are in detached 2 story bungalows. They all have a large, covered porch with hammocks and large rooms. One thing we notced was that there were no drawers or shelves in the rooms - there was a closet to hang clothes, but we had to keep our underwear and other clothing in our suitcases because there was no where else to put them except the floor of the closet. Also, none of the rooms have telephones or televisions. The a/c is on the noisy side, but it works fine. I thought the services were kind of primitive - no phones (if you want to call in for a wake up call or something) and there are no clocks in the rooms. Drink and food service on the beach and pool areas are almost non existent. If you want a drink, you have to get it yourself. All in all, it is a nice place and worth the $175 per night or so we spent staying there. It isn't the 4 seasons resort, but it isn't a motel 6 either. The property in and of itself is nothing special, but what separates it from the dozens of other resorts in the area is that it is close to downtown playa, but still has no crowds at the beach. for this reason alone, I would return to the shangrila and recommend it.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
26 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Twinsburg, OH
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2006

My family and I visited Mexico for the first time last June. I found the Shangri-la Caribe hotel listed in one of my travel books and on the web. It sounded appealing because it wasn't just another oversized all-inclusive where you have to fight the crowds and get up at the crack of dawn to reserve your beach chair. On the contrary, we found such a wonderful, charming oceanfront get-a-way that almost one year later, I can't stop thinking about this place and count the days until I can viisit again. We stayed in an oceanfront bungalow with our own little porch and hammocks. We fell asleep to the sounds of the sea every night! The breakfast buffet was memorable...a wonderful assortment of fresh fruit, fresh watermelon and canteloupe juice, delicious made-to-order vanilla pancakes, eggs, omlets and a variety of pastries, cereals, yogurt and breakfast breads. My husband and I travelled with two teenagers (ages 13 and 15), so they were a little apprehensive about going to a hotel with no TV. They were just fine without it! We painted pottery, played pool and went into town (5th Ave.) every day. One day it rained so we took the kids to the movies. We also enjoyed the dinners. My husband and I are great cooks so we are a bit particular with what we eat. The Mexican fiesta on Sunday was a great party! The staff was very friendly and can't do enough to accommodate you. The one thing they should think about providing the in the room is a refrigerator. We followed the advice of another Trip-Advisor reviewer and brought a cooler on wheels. The beach at this hotel was spectacular. Very, very clean and no seaweed. Just beautiful white sand and crytal clear turquoise water. I could go on and on with this review, but I'll stop with this comment. "You won't be disappointed with the Shangrila-Caribe!!!!!!!!!"

Helpful?
14 Thank lizajane67
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 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 On the Beach 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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