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“Most Amazing Weddingmoon E-V-E-R!!!!!”

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Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #27 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Most Amazing Weddingmoon E-V-E-R!!!!!”
Reviewed 26 December 2006

My husand and I were married on the white sand beach in front of the BEAUTIFUL Shangri-La resort on November 18, 2006. We had 43 friends and family in tow to share our wedding in paradise. It simply was the most wonderful time of both of our lives.

Not only is the staff incredibly friendly and accommodating, but everything was clean and well maintained. We stayed in a third floor suite on the Aventura side right next to the Aventura dining room where we held our reception. The daily breakfasts were yummy, fresh and cozy with "delicious coffee." The dinners were great too! We just didn't understand what all the complaining about the food was, seriously. Oh! You HAVE to have a hamburger at lunch time and order a side of guacamole for your chips. I know it' s not traditional Mexican fare, but after a night of Don Julio shots and Tecate, you will be in tip-top shape again. If you decide to visit, please say hello to the waiter Miguel from Ryan and Erica! Everyone remembered our names and could not have been any nicer.

Ok, the only thing we didn't like was the noisy construction next door, but THERE WAS A HURRICANE!! Of course they are going to re-build paradise, C'mon!!! Just get up early, get in your hammock and remember you are in paradise for a short amount of time so just ENJOY it!! They're making it better for everyone to keep coming back!! Truth be told, my parents bought a condo in town while we were there because they loved it so much in Playa.

I would also agree to buy a cooler at Wal-mart and stock up on beer to bring with you down to the beach. There is a very cute little market up the street from the reception where you can buy hard liquor to make mixed drinks or tons of beer to choose from as well. Beer cozies really help too. We put them in the welcome bags we packed for everyone when they checked in to the hotel. Also, bug spray for your ankles and calves at night because that is the only thing the bugs seem to like attacking. Weird thing is, you don't even feel it until the next day.

I am posting my pictures and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions because I could rave for pages and pages about how wonderful it is. If you are planning a destination wedding and want it to be everything you could ever imagine with all of your guests talking about it for the rest of their lives, contact Christine through the Shangri-La's website and tell them that Erica sent ya. You will have an amazing time!!

  • Liked — Wonderful staff, great beach...everything!!!!!!!!!!!1
  • Disliked — Construction noise, but it was to be expected
  • Tips/Secrets — Cooler, cozies, bug spray...and tip your waiters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
15 Thank enokleberg1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 4 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2006

We stayed at the Shangri La in November to attend the wedding of a family member.

When we first pulled up to the Shangri La, we were a little nervous because it didn't look like the "typical" 5 star hotel. We were pleasantly surprised.

The hotel is very clean and has a remote and peaceful atmosphere. It's literally built on the beach with cute little walkways that guide you around the grounds. The rooms are clean and comfortable. Each room has a little balcony with hammocks for relaxing.

The pool areas are as clean and beautiful as the rest of the hotel. There's a hot tub in one of the pools, although the water's temperature is not very warm.

The beach is gorgeous. We enjoyed swimming and had rafts for relaxing. One thing we particularly liked was that the beach never seemed too crowded and there were always enough chairs to go around. (You don't have to get up early, put your towels on chairs, and "claim your spot".)

We ate breakfast and a few dinners at the hotel. Food was good! We especially enjoyed the guacamole, pico, and nacho we ate for lunch by the pool.

There's a cute little bar with a daily 2x1 Happy Hour. You can relax with your drink while you play some pool or ping pong.

Another great feature is the location. You're just a few blocks- within walking distance- from the famous 5th street. What a fun and quaint area. There's so much to do. Cars are not allowed to travel down 5th street, so you're free to walk the cobblestone streets and shop, eat (many of the restaurants have table right on the sidewalks), or enjoy 2x1 drinks at many of the restaurants. This street has something for everyone! Even upscale shopping. This is truly a placed not to be missed in Playa. The atmosphere is uplifting and fun. You'll find you want to go back to 5th street everyday.

We can't wait to go back to Shangri La. We would highly recommend paying a little extra to stay in a hut on the beach. They're a little more private as you are not sharing walls with anyone else. They're also quieter as there is some construction going on right across the street from the lobby and very close to some of the rooms. (Workers started at 6:00 every morning.)

Enjoy your stay at Shangri La. You will be very glad you made the decision to stay in a quiet and relaxing place. The staff is exceptional and we were impressed by their attentiveness and willingness to go out of their way to make our vacation special.

Have fun!

Stayed November 2006
Helpful?
8 Thank roccok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level 6 Contributor
207 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2006

We researched a lot before choosing this hotel, and I must say that it was just what we've expected: great beach, relaxed atmosphere, good service and basic but clean and cozy rooms. Even the food was better than most reviewers have stated.

The only problem with the hotel is just the ugly building being built accross the road. For one thing, this four story "temple like" building is totally out of place in front of the Caribbean palapas of shangri-la. (Check my pictures). It just ruins most of the setup. But what is really a problem, is the terrible construction noise, starting at 6:30 AM (no typo here). Most of the week it was annoying but bearable hand hammering, but on two days we got unbelievable noisy machine hammering which kept us awake. Moving to another room was not easy since most of the Aventura and Left Caribe Sections were affected and finally we had to downgrade to a Pueblito section room which, although not bad, was not the same as the Caribe room. The hotel reception staff seemed overwhelmed by the problem.

So, my advice is: Coose a room as far away as possible from the construction (right side of Caribe section, next to Las Palapas, should be ok) or check whether there will be construction activity during your stay. For the rest, the hotel is great.

  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
19 Thank Diego_W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2006

We just got back last night from a 1 week stay at the Shangri-La Caribe. It was fantastic! We researched (on-line) probably every hotel from Tulum up to Puerta Morales, relying heavily on trip advisor reviews. Shangri-La was everything we expected and more.

Our room, 2nd level Aventura side, was great. Clean, big, comfortable beds, and the tiled shower is nice. A large closet and a dresser for our clothes! Also a suit case rack that we used mostly for drying stuff - there was also a clothes line with clothes pins on the patio. The patio was great with two chairs a table and two hammocks.

The bar at happy hour (5:00 - 6:00) was full of people but not obnoxious. It has 2 ping pong tables and 2 pool tables and always had some people having a good time. (unlike the bar next door at Las Palapas - we went there one night after Shangri-La happy hour and it was quiet and deserted - not even any music playing. Although their happy hour was from 4:30 - 7:00 and I guess if you go early there is a bar right on the beach at happy hour that is pretty fun).

The staff at Shangri-La - especially the staff at the restaurants - is excellent. Always smiling and extremely helpful. They definitely made our stay more enjoyable.

I was a bit nervous about the "all inclusive" food and atmosphere. I was pleasantly surprised. Each restaurant was set up like a restaurant. You could have nice romantic dinners and never felt like you were at a cafeteria. There were mixed reviews on the food that we had read. Maybe they have a new chef but, all of the food was good. Considering it is hard to spend less than $45 for a meal in town (and usually more with drinks and an appetizer), we thought the all inclusive deal was well worth it. The only thing negative I would say is that there was not a lot of variety from night to night - mostly a choice between pork or fish as a main course or a Mexican type buffet. There was more variety in the soups and appetizers for dinner. Breakfast was always good.

There are some great restaurants in town to choose from and it is definitely worth it to walk over for a couple nights - an easy pleasant walk. Or it is a $3 cab ride.

There is still construction going on behind/next to the resort. This could bother some people - it wasn't a problem for us. Really only the morning that the trash truck was there - did it wake us up.

We never missed the TV or the phones in the room. There is internet service at the hotel for $1.50 for 30 minutes (although the keyboard was a little off - the "a" key typed a q and the "q" key typed an a - etc..).

Tips: Bring a beer cozy to keep your beer or soda cool at the beach. Go the the market - there is a super market called "Mega" right in town - and get a disposable cooler for ice and drinks in your room. Bug spay for the evenings - it wasn't terrible but it is the tropics and mosquitos definitely come out. Renting a car was well worth the money if you want to go up and down the coast or to the ruins. Get the damage waiver as not all of the roads are perfect and there are plenty of trucks dropping rocks. We paid as much for the car as we would have just for cabs to and from the airport. Snorkeling in Aventura is great if you want to avoid the touristy waterparks. We saw Sea Turtles, reefs and all kinds of beautiful fish and only paid $10 for the equipment at the Aventura Dive shop.

We would definitely go back to Shangri-La. We met nice people and had one of the best vacations we have ever had. It is quiet relaxing and has a nice beach with palapas, lounge chairs and great swimming areas. Also, it is one of the only hotels in Playa del Carmen with a pool right on the beach and a Jacuzzi. The Jacuzzi is not hot but is still warm and nice in the evening or when it gets cloudy or rainy. It is also close enough to town that you could go party every night if you wanted or you can just stay in at Shangri-La and enjoy paradise!

  • Liked — atmoshphere
  • Disliked — parking on street only
  • Tips/Secrets — there are tips in our review
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank Phathed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2006

When we got there i was a bit worried couse the reception is so tiny and simple, just a desk and a computer under a palapa almost! But the place its amazing is soooo romantic. Even when we said we would be charged if we wanted a bottle a champagne we didnt!!! (maybe the forgot to charge???) and got freee fruit! wich was also suposed to be charged. The food is great and the staf and waitters are warm and friendly. The only one thing and that wasnt their fault its that it rained for 2 days sooooo much that the water almost got into the cabin! missed by about 4 inches! But that made the whole experience actually more fun!. I definetely want to go back there.

  • Liked — the rooms
  • Disliked — its a little far from all the shops u have to take a taxi (wich is no expensive though)
  • Stayed June 2004, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Elenitamoreno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — Room was right on the beach!
  • Disliked — No fridge in room.
  • Tips/Secrets — Buy a floatee for the pool and the ocean.
  • Stayed September 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
21 Thank mayansunloungers4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mesa, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
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!

  • Liked — Ocean Front Individual Bungalow...right on the beach!
  • Disliked — Dinner - not very good.
  • Tips/Secrets — Pay the extra and upgrade to the Beach Front Bungalow - worth every penny!
  • Stayed September 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
27 Thank beachbumaz
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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