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“Beautiful views, friendly staff, perfect vacation”

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Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #28 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 June 2010

My husband and I just got back from celebrating out anniversary in Mexico. We stayed at Mahekal for 7 nights. This place is wonderful! The grounds are amazing, the beach is beautiful but what truly makes this place feel like home is the staff. Everyone is extremely friendly and helpful. We stayed in room 8A that was ocean view room but it truly felt like an ocean front as we were steps from the beach and could feel the ocean breeze every day/night. The rooms are bare but are kept extremely clean. If you expect luxury this is not for you. There are no TV’s or other electronics in the room but that did not bother us at all. The place is like a little paradise. There is a lot to do in the area; the resort is just a few minute walk from the 5th Ave where you can find all different restaurants, shops, galleries and other entertainment. I truly recommend Mahekal for a romantic, relaxing getaway.

Special thanks to Boli and Gabriel who organized transportation and tours for our stay. I can’t thank Boli enough for his kindness and lending his camera for a day when our broke down. Also, special thanks to Jose and Vincente, our friendly servers at the resort restaurant. Thank you for making our stay so wonderful. We will be back.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank gmz18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,865 - 1,871 of 2,842 reviews

Reviewed 8 June 2010

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Mahekal Beach Resort for 5 days and it was everything we hoped it would be. The resort is very quiet, very clean and well kept. There are plenty of chairs on the beach for the taking, the pools are never over-crowded and the ocean was warm, clear and amazing. The beach was very clean, never too crowded, we found a nice spot to the far right of the Aventura side in the shade that was great for a post lunch ciesta. The resort staff was always very courteous and willing to assist you in any way.

We had a ocean view room (11A or Once A) which was great. We could easily see the beach from our porch hammocks and could feel the constant breeze all day, which was amazing. The room was great, very basic, very clean and relaxing. Great shower and bathroom.

We selected the breakfast and lunch option which worked out great for us. Up early in the morning for a run or a walk on the beach (which my girlfriend loves to do...), followed up with an excellent breakfast. I can't imagine anyone not being satisfied with the selections available at breakfast. Tons of healthy options that is unless you are use to dining at a Denny's Mega breakfast buffet, this might not be the place for you. Lunch was good too. It was nice to be able to come in from the beach, grab a bite and then get back out to the beach for the rest of the afternoon. A lot of 5th Ave opens around 10-11AM, so lunch options are available there, but it is several blocks away.

To do's: Be sure to go to 5th Ave in the evening for nightlife, drinking, dining and shopping. A great time. After dinner buy a nice cigar from one of the many shops and hit up one of the many dessert / wine bars.

Also be sure to rent the hotel bikes and cruise up and down the back streets of Playa to see the rest of the city outside of 5th ave. Also a great time. We hit 3 or 4 different beach bars on our bike journey and had a lot of fun.

Overall a great time and I would highly recommend this resort to anyone who is looking for a relaxing vacation in a beautiful resort on a beautiful stretch of beach.

Special Thanks too:
The Honeymooners - Mobile Alabama
The Swiss Family Robinson
McGavin (comma) Shooter
Austin
Jake and Vienna

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank etrain33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2010

We just returned from our honeymoon at Mahekal. This place is truly paradise - you won't miss TV or phone. I highly recommend getting a room on the beach. We were in 28P and could sit on our balacony and watch the sunrise in the morning and see the stars at night, while watching/listening to the ocean.

I am a vegetarian (my husband a meat eater). Fortunately, there were several options for dining at the resort and in town. The food was excellent. You are allowed breakfast everyday and either lunch or dinner. FYI -You can even order lunch from the dining area and the staff will actually bring it to you at the beach/pool. The service is first class.

The staff is so hard-working and friendly. They go out of their way to ensure each guest has a positive experience and has everything they need.

The concierge, named Bali, is amazing. He is very familiar with the activities in the area and can help you plan your stay. I recommend seeing him when you first arrive.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank amyl89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2010

My friends and I stayed at the Mahekal May 2010 over a long weekend. The hotel is just blocks from town but still quiet and on the beach. The service was excellent; the staff was friendly but professional and worked very hard to accomodate the guests. The rooms were spacious and extremely clean. Best of all, the food was outstanding. One could order breakfast off the menu or enjoy a lavish buffet with wonderful fruits, etc. - loved the granola. We ordered off the menu for lunch, with tons of choices. The shrimp salad was to die for. All in all, this is a perfect choice for those who want the convenience of being in town with a low key quiet atmosphere. It is an excellent value as well.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
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2  Thank texastraveller2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2010

My boyfriend and I just go back from our stay at Mahekal. It was the best hotel I have ever stayed at! We had a beautiful little bungalow with the traditional palapas roof. It was just so wonderful! We had hammocks on our porch, a view of the ocean and the staff was extremely helpful and friendly. Mahekal is located within walking distance to tons of great restaurants, shopping and buses that will take you to lots of Mayan adventures. We were there for a wedding, and let me tell you, if you want a fantasy wedding that feels like a romantic movie, this is the place to get married. It was just stunning. The food is great at the hotel as well. We opted for the breakfast and dinner option. Although it is not an all inclusive resort, it is very affordable and drinks are very low priced. There is also a happy hour at the bar by the pool (they have swings!) and we figured that we actually spent less than we would at all an inclusive resort! We even saw a concert on the beach one night!
Mahekal has it all! The beauty, the convenience of location, affordability, the food, tranquility and the bet that we will be back to visit again another day!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank aeaton12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2010

Mahekal was absolutely perfect. Hammocks, small bungalows, beach palapas, good plentiful fresh food, lots of adorable paths and nooks and crannies, and generally very clean, safe, comfortable with some touches of luxury. We did not see a better place in all Playa del Carmen, and it completely satisfied my beach-front vacation fantasies of drinks on the beach, reading in hammocks, wonderful warm water, etc. And far more romantic than anything we saw in Cancun, where we spent our last night.

A few things to know: the food really is good, and you can switch between dinner and lunch at the resort if you want to go out. You can walk to Fifth Avenue, which is the main strip and it is nicer on the north half than the southern half; however, the streets between Fifth and the beach are more local and less tourist-y, and have some nice surprises like a really good tequila bar. Mahekal doesn't offer that many activities, and you can't snorkel right off the beach (nothing to see). But if you rent a car, you can go to nearby cenotes, and Xel-Ha.

All in all Mahekal was one of my best beach vacation experiences ever, and I would go back in a second.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ireneper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2010

If you want South Beach ambiance complete with sleek Euro furnishings, a beach cluttered with beach beds and techno music thumping all day and night, this place is not for you. If you want renaissance splendor with marble and crystal, a Jacuzzi on your balcony, five restaurants where you line up at 6 a.m. to make reservations and pools where you can play the towel game to your heart’s content, then this place is not for you. If you want beaches where you’re lying inches away from someone talking nonstop on their cell phone, this place is not for you. And if you cannot live without television or a phone in the room for 24 hour room service, this place is not for you.

On the other hand, if you want a small, intimate, laid back beach resort with colorful palapa style accommodations where you can laze away an afternoon on your patio in your hammock; if you want beautifully maintained grounds where paths meander throughout, connecting the cabanas, pools, bar, and restaurant; if your idea of a perfect beach is lying under a palapa, far enough away from others so that there is a sense of privacy, then this place is for you. I would definitely describe Mahekal as barefoot chic, with excellent attentive service, whether you’re at breakfast, dinner, by the pool, or on the beach.

THE ROOM

We had a ground floor cabana in the Pueblo section, set in the garden and close to the La Loma restaurant. This was a very quiet section of the resort, and after seeing the other areas, I was glad we chose to be set back a bit. I felt that there was more privacy and less foot traffic of people coming and going past your patio. The room was small but spotless, and the A/C was the best we had anywhere. In case you get chilled like we did, there is an extra blanket in the top part of the large closet. Speaking of closet, there were tons of hangers, lots of shelf space, and a small safe that will hold passport, money, etc., but not your laptop. There was always plenty of hot water which came up very fast. The patio had two hammocks, and a table with two chairs. Every day we received a bottle of water, and some extremely creative towel art from the ladies who do the housekeeping.

THE FOOD

Having read the very mixed reviews, we were a bit concerned but need not have been. Breakfast was amazing, and so extensive that I do not understand how anyone can possibly have lunch afterwards, provided they took full advantage of the buffet. There were always two different kinds of juices (varied from day to day), fresh fruit: papaya, mango, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, bananas and grapefruit. They had plain and fruit yogurts, several different kinds of cold serial, and the most delicious hot oatmeal. There was also ham and cheese and sausages put out every morning, along with hash brown cakes and different kinds of bread. On top of this, you could order eggs any style: poached, scrambled, ranchero, boiled, fried, eggs motulenos, or toluquenos, (two delicious Yucatecan style), you name it. After all this food, lunch was not happening.

Dinner was almost always very good. We ate dinner out twice, once because we wanted to go back to Yaxche after a terrific lunch there last time (big disappointment), and the other night because the a la carte menu did not appeal to us (salmon with chaya and chicken with mushrooms). The other nights ranged from the good to the outstanding. They especially went all out for the buffets. Maya night they had Salbutes, which are little tortillas filled with shredded chicken, avocado, and onions, Yucatecan chicken, cochinita pibil, fish baked with achiote paste, fried plantains, rice and beans, fantastic little meat balls, etc. The Mexican BBQ buffet had the best skirt steak, so tender, and delicious, grilled chicken, grilled fish, ribs, sausages, and lots of sides like guac and pico de gallo, and rice. On another occasion they had fish in parsley sauce, steak brochettes (delicious), duck breast with mango sauce (wonderful), and pork with tamarind sauce (this was only ok because it was a bit too sweet for me.) I was disappointed in seeing the menu for the day we were leaving: Caribbean buffet with paella, shrimps in wine sauce, and some other things that looked really good. I would recommend not missing any of the buffets. Those were our favorite meals. They also make terrific soups: pozole, sopa Azteca, and a German soup with cabbage and sausages that we did not try but sounded good.

Menu for two days at a time is posted in the lobby in the morning, and you can switch out dinner for lunch if it doesn’t appeal to you.

SERVICE

Everyone, from reception to wait staff, housekeeping, grounds crew, and so on was very friendly, helpful, and professional. Special mention to Rogelio, Ignazio, Juan, and Ivan, but not mentioning any other names does not imply they were lacking. This was an incredibly nice staff, one that really contributed to making our stay special. There is service around the pool up front by the ocean, and also on the beach. So if you want to eat or drink something without leaving your lounger, they’re there for you. Security is top notch; there are several guards patrolling both the beach and the grounds around the clock.

There is free wireless access available in the lobby and the bar by the pool. Pretty zippy, so there is no interminable waiting for pages to load. There is also a massage hut along with other spa services offered. Bikes are available for guests and are a good way to get around.

POOLS

There is one pool by the bar where they hold happy hour and another up front by the ocean, where the Aventura restaurant is. We preferred the one by the ocean for the view, the water was cooler, and it was deeper. Plus it was just a hop to the beach, so you can go back and forth between the two. The other pool heated up very quickly so it was more like sitting in your bath tub. Plus it tended to be more crowded, and the water is very shallow. That makes it better for children.

DRINKS

Between 5 and 6 drinks are two for one and the frozen margaritas are outstanding. They are 45 pesos each, except during happy hour, so even at regular time they’re a bargain. I loved the fact that they were nice and tart instead of the sweet mix so many places uses. I also had a pina colada at the bar up by the beach which was great and so strong there must have been mostly rum in it lol. Bloody Mary’s are also terrific, and the restaurant La Loma serves wonderful wine, both red and white, for 50 pesos a glass. A terrific deal for “winos” like ourselves  The happy hour bar could use a little sprucing up to make it more inviting. A few more tables with chairs, a some more bar stools would definitely help.

THE BEACH

Just beautiful, soft sand, turquoise water, gentle waves (except for the first couple of days), and perfect temperature. There are plenty of loungers with palapas, so you do not have to play the towel game.

MISCELLANEOUS

We didn’t spend much time in town, but it’s there if you need it for nightlife, dinner, shopping, seeing and being seen, etc. We ate once at Babe’s Noodle Bar, which was very good and very inexpensive. The restaurant Yaxche moved, and unfortunately seems to have left its Maya identity and food behind in the old location. I will review it separately, but it was a big disappointment after our last visit.

If you need laundry done, there is one on the right side of the street the hotel is on, between 5th and 10th avenue. Open at 8:00, and done in an hour. We paid 45 pesos for about 4 pounds of clothes.

All in all we had a wonderful time, and will definitely be back to the Mahekal. It certainly lived up to its name. For around 120 dollars per day we had a terrific room in a beautiful place, and breakfast and dinner for two. We felt that it was the deal of the century and glad we were able to take advantage of it.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank travelerNewYork
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

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
#20 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £176 - £344 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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