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Mahekal Beach Resort
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Reviews (3,174)
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Reviewed 22 October 2006

My husband and I loved this resort. We had a beach front bungalow only steps away from the ocean. The bungalow had two double beds a sitting area and a beautiful tiled bathroom. The patio had a table and two chairs and two hamocks that we spent a lot of time relaxing in. The beautiful beach was just off our patio where we could relax under palapas . It is only a five or ten minute walk to the famous fifth avenue either along the beach or out the front lobby you can walk the street. There are all kinds of shops, restaurants and bars. The Shangri-la offers supper and breakfast ncluded with your room rate. Breakfasts were always good with a buffet of fruits, yogurts, pastries etc. or you could order off the menu. Supper you get a choice of two entrees (different every night) most times a mexican or a fish dish , not bad. There are two restaurants at this resort but one was closd for renovations while we were there. The one that was open was over looking the pool and the ocean the other one is in the middle of the resort. While there were no coffee makers in the rooms you can go to the restauant at 6:00a.m. as they had a large urn of coffee with cups to go, (tea bags and water also). There are two pools as well and one is over looking the ocean the other is in the middle of the resort where you can get scuba instructions if you want there is also a very nice swing bar and an area where you can play pool etc. There are not a lot of activities here but it is a great place to relax and walk the beach. Fantastic views, best beach in Playa we can't wait to go back. The only thing we could comment about is that they don't have a fridge in the room, this would be a really nice touch. We went to Walmart ($4.00 taxi ride ) and bought a small cooler and you can buy ice from the bar at the resort so it was no big deal. There are other local mini-marts just up the street to stock up on food/drink or what ever else you need.
All in all this was a fantastic place, sun, sand, ocean, shopping, it is all there. The price was right as compared to other resorts that we've been at that weren't as nice.

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled as a couple
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21  Thank mayansunloungers4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2006

In a word – perfect.

We made are reservations for an individual ocean front bungalow via several emails with the hotel directly. Each time I emailed a question or change, I was replied to quickly and professionally. I requested a room on the Caribe side, which we did receive. I also emailed a few days prior to arriving to confirm and also to request directions to the hotel, as we were renting a car for the week. We used these directions and found the hotel with no problem.

Check In was fast and painless. We had help bringing our luggage to our bungalow. This resort is gorgeous! Very picturesque. Our bungalow was very large on the inside, and it also had a very large patio, with two hammocks and a table and two chairs. We spent much time out on the hammocks. A great touch!

Breakfast and dinner are included in the room rate. I have to agree with the majority of others; breakfast was always good. It consisted of many fresh fruits, cereal, danishs and pastries, along with an a-la-carte menu with many styles of eggs and even French toast and pancakes. Breakfast was always good, and they also had VERY good coffee. Dinner, on the other hand, was just so-so. They offer you one of two entrees. The first night I had the Chicken in Mango Salsa, and my husband had the pork. These were just OK. The second night, we both choose the Mayan Pork (the other option was seafood, which we don’t care for). Again, the food was just so-so.

While we were there, the La Loma Restaurant (where they serve breakfast and lunch) was closed for renovations, so we had all three meals served in the Adventura Restaurant. This was fine by me…especially since Adventura is right on the beach with great views, while La Loma is inside the resort with no sea views.

Lunch is on your own. We spent many days on the beach, and they do have a waiter that comes around (usually late morning, early afternoon). We were able to order both drinks and lunch from him. He’d bring our order right to us on our beach chairs! You can charge this directly to your room.

There are also two swimming pools here. We didn’t use either one. Not many people by the pools all week. We did see scuba lessons being done in one pool. (There is a dive shop right on the beach.)

Speaking of the dive shop – we rented snorkel equipment (fins, mask and snorkel) for $8USD for a 24-hour period. You ARE allowed to take them off site as well. We did. We snorkeled at Yal-Ku Lagoon in Akumal – great snorkeling here! $7USD entrance fee per person. We also snorkeled some right off the beach of the hotel. It was OK…not great, but you can see some big and beautiful fish there.

Overall, this is a gorgeous resort with great, friendly service and absolutely the best beach in the area. Plenty of chairs and palapas, and not crowded. (With the exception of the weekends…it is a public beach, so Saturday and Sunday the locals come out and they know where the best beach is…at the Shangri La Caribe, of course!)

I would not hesitate to recommend this resort to anyone. It was 100% Perfecto. It is a great place to spend some time relaxing and enjoying the beautiful Caribbean.

Go, enjoy and have fun!

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled as a couple
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27  Thank beachbumaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2006

Simply fantastic! Bungalow close to the beach, clean, great food, lovely beach, friendly people, I'd recommend this resort to everybody! There was also a wedding cerimony and it was super!

  • Stayed: October 2005, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Tuscan72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2006

What can we say, my wife and I stayed here after suffering three nights at the #1 Luna Blues rock hard beds. Well if we could go back in time we definitely would have done all 10 at the Shangrila, it is as nice as everyone says.. We stayed in the pueblito section which is very nice.. A little walk to the beach, but the rooms are all redone and in excellent shape...

Food- as described breakfast is excellent, dinners a little more hit and miss somewhat monotonous, but the service was prompt and waiters always willing to help and extremely accomodating..

Rooms-Pueblito 52 B upper unit, very nice a little walk to the beach compared to the caribe section but very comfortable with nice remotely controlled air conditioning units and fans..Our stay in august was hot, and sleeping was a bit difficult but the rooms were still very comfortable. THe beds unlike what we have heard, were nice, firm but a bit pillowy on the top..

Bathrooms roomy and nice..Large tiled showers..

Patios-- large with two hammocks and if you are on the upper floors you get a nice ocean breeze...

Disadvantage of an upper room is that with the high roof it is hard for the air conditioner to keep the room cool..

Lack of a fridge is a problem.. Bring a cooler and buy ice and drinks from wal-mart or the little store just down the street..

Drinks purchased from the bar or store are pricey but available..

Lack of lunch is a bit of problem.. You can either order from aventura restaurant or go out, or buy snacks and wait until supper.. We usually got up later, for breakfast which lasted from 7-10:30 and then just snacked on some crackers and food we had picked up from the wal-mart or mega. Yes they do have a wal-mart...

Taxis-- Make sure to get the fare advice immediately from a reliable source... The drivers will definitely rip you off given the chance... Also if you are will to walk up to 10th rather than take the taxi directly from the Shangri Lato go downtown you will get at least a dollar or two cheaper rate... The door to hotel "tourista service" gets you a higher price...This tip was given to us by the hotel staff, and matters really only if you are using the taxis alot, but is nice to know...

Grounds- Beautiful and always being worked on, staff is very hardworking, and if you didn't know about the hurricane the only evidence is the big piles of sand.

Beach- As nice as everyone says...In a word "beautiful".. Amazing sand, gorgeous water, not crowded, and always palapas available.. A beautiful breeze kept it very nice even in the humid and hot summers of Playa..

Staff-- Excellent, restaurant, grounds, front desk, everyone was kind, friendly and accomodating...

All in all if you want a relaxing vacation in a simply beautiful location, then the Shangrila is for you.. The food choices aren't like cruising or even a more expensive all inclusive, but they are definitely simple buty enjoyable, and if you want something more go out..... The Shangrila isn't about food, trust me its about having peace, quiet , tranquility and above all an amazing location which you will love....

Go,, you won't be sorry...Trust me you won't miss your T.V..!!

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled as a couple
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29  Thank fourcrockers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2006

My husband & I stayed at Shangri-La Caribe in mid-June for our honeymoon & we loved it. We are already planning our next trip back.

We booked our trip directly through the hotel based solely on the reviews we read on Trip Advisor (thank you!!!). We preferred that it was a small, beachy resort to a huge chain resort. While being relaxed, it was not too rustic (nice cold air conditioning & good service). The grounds were lush & beautiful. The staff was absolutely wonderful & we actually never once encountered a time-share salesperson. We really did like the food actually. We particularly loved the local dishes like slow cooked pork on banana leaves, and of course, the Mexican night (with the mariachi band) was great. We did not eat at the hotel every night though, because Playa del Carmen had so many interesting places that we wanted to check out. We were also thrilled that our end of the Avenida 5 strip was much more laid back and less touristy than the southern end near the Cozumel ferry. Our hope was to get away from a lot of that, while still feeling like there was a little civilization around to go play in. We felt we completely met this expectation.

The beach at Shangri-La Caribe is hands down, the best beach in Playa del Carmen. The resort is directly on a large and immaculate beach and you are provided with plenty of loungers & shady palapas to relax under. When we passed the other beaches in town we were not impressed by the crowds, sandbags and boats anchored on shore. There is public beach access in the middle of Shangri-La’s beach area but it is pretty small & it never once made a difference to us. It was never crowded like the other Playa beaches (which also had plenty of public access). If you need to see the beach traffic just check out the resort's web-cam.

As others have said, a great tip is to purchase a disposable cooler at the store right up the road. Since the rooms have no refrigerators this was key to keeping our beer nice & chilly. If you need to, there is even a Wal-Mart that you can walk to (or take a cab to) if you have to really stock up on snacks, water rafts, beer or supplies. Bug spray is a big must.

Lastly, we took 2 tours arranged through Shangri-La Caribe from Alderban Tours. The Chichén Itzá tour was long and the driver had us a bit scared. The ruins were well worth it, but I think I’d have rather rode in a nice safe bus than to be crammed in a scary little rattly van for 3 hours. The second tour to Tulum & Xel-ha was excellent- same van, but shorter ride. The all-inclusive at Xel-ha was worth it too.

  • Stayed: June 2006, travelled as a couple
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20  Thank GMaks03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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