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“The best! Loved it!”

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Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #27 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Aurora, Ilinois
Level 6 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“The best! Loved it!”
Reviewed 22 July 2007

We had such a great vacation - a week at SLC - it's beautiful! The beach is fabulous, tons of palapas and chairs. We originally booked a superior garden view but upgraded to ocean view when we arrived - well worth the extra $! The sea breezes were so wonderful, and we could see the ocean right from our window! I highly recommend the upgrade if it's possible - we're thinking of maybe getting one of the ocean front cabanas when we return.....

No concerns at all about safety...they have security on the beach I think 24 hours a day - we always saw someone out there, making sure it was only SLC people using the chairs. We always locked our wallets/passports in the safe, but it's a bit small so we left our expensive camera, laptop computer, etc. in the closets. Never noticed anything out of place or missing.

Bugs: yes, you may encounter an ant or two here and there. In 7 days, I probably killed about 7 ants. They were never in/near the bed, mostly in the bathroom. One day I woke in the middle of the night and found a weird larger bug on the floor by the bathroom that was almost dead - don't know where that came from! Woke my hubby to take care of that one :-)

Food: We enjoyed the breakfast for the most part - I'm a bready breakfast person (muffins, bagels, etc) so I was a bit tired of the same pastries after a while, but the pancakes were good. My husband liked the egg dishes (rancheros, omelet, etc). We only ate dinner at the resort for one night - Mexican buffet on Sunday - it was great! They had free slammer shots as you enter, and it was all decorated with flags and balloons. Lots of fun! The food was good, especially the lamb - yummy!

We bought a foam cooler and beer at El Campeon - a little store one block back behind SLC. We also brought a small colapsible cooler from home to bring out to the beach. We bought ice about once a day from the SLC bar.

We ate one breakfast and one lunch at El Cuevo del Chango - 1/2 block back behind SLC - wonderful! Highly recommend it - great atmosphere!

Weather was somewhat hot and humid, but as long as the sea breeze was coming in, it was great! Being in the direct sun was hot, but sitting in the shade under a palapa or on our hammocks on the balcony, we didn't even notice the humidity. The only unbearable heat was walking 5th ave during the day - no breeze! Out of 7 days, it only rained two - one day was a 15 minute downpour, then sunny and perfect again. The other day had two bouts of rain, with a total of about 2 hours of cloudy/rainy - then again sunny and beautiful the rest of the day. It was amazing how quickly the temp dropped when these little storms came through, and it was a welcome relief from the humidity for a bit.

One final note, we wanted to pack light, so we planned on getting our clothes washed one day - they have a service that picks up and drops off right at the hotel, so we opted for that. It was great! We gave them 7 shirts, 4 shorts/skirts, underwear, socks, etc. and it was $9 usd total! Well worth it so you don't have to pack as much.

Loved many of the PDC restaurants, didn't like others....see my future post on the Playa Del Carmen forum page for more info....

Wish I was still there! Doing laundry and cleaning house isn't quite as fun as laying on the beach all day! Let me know if you have any questions!
:-) Alice

  • Liked — Beach
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
8 Thank alired
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2007

We were there with my wife for our honeymoon. The hotel is magnificent and everything was simply perfect. The people, the restaurants, and the rooms. We felt that there was a constant intention to make us feel tottaly at ease. Definitely the best place I have ever stayed in.

Stayed December 2006
3 Thank ALFRED82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chico, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2007

My family, which includes two 18 yr. old girls and one 15 yr. old girl, stayed for 7 nights June 23-30 and loved every minute. There was plenty for the teenage girls to do and lots relaxing for my husband and I. We enjoyed the wait staff, who knew us by the end of the week. The food was better than expect after reading many of the reviews posted here. The mexican fiesta night was a blast. Lots of fun, mariachi band playing and tequila popper for those wanting to participate. This quaint resort was quiet, relaxing and well maintained. Our room was cleaned daily and we were provided with fresh water in our rooms. Our beach was SO much less crowded then the BIG resorts to the south. We never had a problem finding available beach chairs to use. We enjoyed walking 10 minutes to downtown to see the lively bars and restaurants, but it would not have been necessary if we weren't with teenagers. The 2 for 1 happy hour was a great way to meet other guest, play pool or ping pong, or just enjoy each other. I had a massage the last day and it was a little bit of heaven. We're going back in two years for our 25th wedding anniversary withOUT the kids!!!!

  • Liked — It was quaint, small resort
  • Disliked — The shower head was terrible.
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2 Thank Ylydon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2007

This was the first family vacation we have taken in some time and it was wonderful. There are not too many places you may be able to agree upon with a 21,23,24,25 year-old and two parents but Shangri-La was perfect for all. It provided us a great mix of relaxing time to ourselves, time together snorkeling right from the beach, great family meals, and easy access for trips to Cozumel and Chichen Itza. The staff was absolutely wonderful and the food was great. We raved about the multiple different styles of eggs you could have for breakfast and dinner was well above our expectations after reading other reviews. Hippolito and Jorge are the best staff to serve you during meals! We were extremely happy with the rooms and a short walk to down town provided a great way to wind down the evening on 5th Ave. The resort is filled with very friendly other guests who you can become acquainted with over the nice 2 for 1 happy hour! A perfect vacation leaving all of us wanting to go back!

  • Liked — the beach
  • Disliked — the humidity
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2 Thank ichterjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2007

I was so surprised to read the last few reviews. We stayed at the Shangri-la from June 16-20 and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a totally relaxing low key getaway. It is a lush, beautifully landscaped "village" with adorable little bungalows on a pristine beach.
Since we had no complaints, our contact with the front desk was limited but always positive. When we made our reservation we were told there were no ocean view rooms available but when asked for one at check in, we were given one right away. The view was gorgeous and seconds from the beach. We were in 14A and would request the same room next year.
We loved the pathways to the bungalows and our pretty front porch and relaxing hammocks were awesome. Our room was delightful. It was pleasantly cool , clean, bright and airy with comfortable beds and pillows. Each morning it was throughly cleaned. All the wait staff were helpful and friendly. The other guests we talked to were definitely as happy with the place as we were.
We didn't see bugs but by the last day one of us had lots of little bites that were very itchy and bought Calamine lotion in the gift shop. We wrote down to remember lotion next year.
Both the restaurants were charming and the servous was excellent. There was a variety of food and we found breakfast especially delicous. The Mexican buffet one evening was fantastic. The second day we went into town for dinner and both agreed, why bother paying for a dinner in town when we could have a better dinner free at "home". "Happy hour" was one of our favorite times of the day. The bar was low key and relaxing. We had terrific 2 for 1 Pina Colada's and Mojitos every afternoon.
There was not a momment when we were not completely relaxed. The massage was so lovely and we found the price very reasonable. It was awesome to drift back to our hammocks after the massage was over. Each day we sat on comfortable beach chairs with big orange beach towels that could be exchanged for fresh ones any time. The pretty palapas umbrellas allowed you to be in the sun or the shade all day. Drinks and lunch could be ordered on the beach and brought to you. We had a shrimp cerviche which was to die for. We only had lunch one day because we were so full from breakfast. The hotel had nicely dressed security men walking on the beach who made us feel very safe. In my opinion, anyone who was not happy with the beach, would not be happy anywhere.
If you are looking for a place with room entertainment, hot night clubs, and numerous restaurants to choose from, this is not the place for you. But for us, a plush atmosphere, good food and drinks, clean airy rooms, friendly staff, refreshing swimming pools, comfortable places to in sit enjoying the breeze and an absolutely fabulous beach- you can't go wrong. We're looking forward to be back next year at the same time.

Stayed June 2007
4 Thank Beachloveralways
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2007

We Stayed at the Shangri La on 6/23/07-6/27/07 and Im trying to find some fault but really cant. We stayed in 31A and it was wonderfull. First some info on 31A. Its appx 15 steps to the pool, 40 steps to the bar, and 101 steps to the sand at the beach (yes, I counted them!!) The view from our hammocks was beautiful, as we got to see the garden area, and the opening was right to the water!! (check out my picture and you will see). The room is nice...no problems at all, except the bathroom door tends to stay closed, so if you shower, it stays pretty humid and moist in there. I just put a shoe in front of the door to keep it open. Hammocks were nice and a great way to relax and spend time with my wife. Now for the resort. There is a brochure I read that says that the way its situated on the grounds, you dont see many people, and its true. They are there, but its pretty big, and there are 2 pools, as well as the beach, so people are pretty spread out. We stayed in the newer section, which is the CARIBE section, and it truly was a relaxing experience. The staff at the front desk was very helpful and nice, as well as the bar staff. My brother in law works and lives in Cancun, appx. 40 miles away, and he visited us everyday and was able to stay. Most places in that area frown on guests, or charge guests for a day pass, but we asked, and they said no problem....he was more than welcome to stay with us for the day(s). They even provided him a beach towel....free....which is unheard of even in some US hotels. They do provide a complimentary breakfast and dinner, which is good food. Not the greatest, but It did work. Breakfast was all kinds of fruit and juices, as well as all kinds of different egg combos and/or omelettes. Dinner was buffet style and it was a Mexican food theme one night, and Italian style another, and then American. Overall, it satisfied us, as some of the restaurants in town are pretty pricey. We ate at the Shangri la, and walked to town for the coffee and ice creams. My wife is planning on getting some relatives to go to Playa, and would definately want to stay here, as the bungalows are 2 stories each, and some are connecting, so it would make for a fun and exciting time if everyone is in the same building! Overall, it was a fantastic stay, no problems, and relaxing, and I would definately go back....as well as recommend this place.

  • Liked — No phones or TVs or internet!!!!!
  • Disliked — Happy hour was only from 5-6!
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank mrfone44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntingdon Valley, PA
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2007

We stayed at Shangri-La for the second time in two years. Last time we were in 33P and had no problems at all. That's one of the reasons we returned this year. However, the only real problem we had was with bugs in the room. I read another person's review and realized that we had the same room - 34P. I wasn't going to write a review this time around, but after realizing that we both had the same room and the same problem, I thought I would mention it to anyone going to Shangri-La and requesting a beachfront bungalow. Don't get me wrong - this problem didn't upset me as much as it did the other reviewer. Once we alerted them about the bug problem, they immediately sent two men over to spray and change the linens on both beds. We still had bugs on the wall behind the bed from time to time, but it wasn't anything that I couldn't handle with a little of my own bug repellant. The bugs were tiny, tiny ants (I think). I didn't get bit by any, only mosquitos at night when we were outside. One thing you have to remember when you stay in a beachfront bungalow (or any with a thatched roof) at Shangri-La or anywhere in Mexico - there will be bugs. Let me stress one thing - I hate bugs. I pay a lot of money at home to an exterminator every two weeks so that I don't see any in my house. But when I'm in Mexico, I expect that I will see bugs. It's just different and you have to be prepared for it. I checked the beds every night and we never had any more ants in them.

Everything else was perfect, just as before. We love this place and won't let a few bugs stop us from returning. I think I'll be sure not to stay in 34P again though.

Stayed June 2007
4 Thank jjsmom
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
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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