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Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #28 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 February 2011

Agree with what everyone has said before - this is a beautiful place to unplug and enjoy a relaxing beach vacation. Gorgeous property on one of the nicest beaches in Mexico. One caveat - get the best room you possibly can. Our first 'Ocean View' room had no ocean view whatsoever, was right next to the bar and pool, and had an unpleasant smell. Late night negotiations went nowhere, but we went in the next day and were moved to a true Ocean View room - our own beautiful little cottage actually. Same room category and price! We saw other people doing the same thing next day - don't stick with the first room you get if you aren't happy. Definitely stay close to the ocean - it makes an incredible difference in your experience here even though it's a small place.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MexTraveller99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,805 - 1,811 of 2,843 reviews

Reviewed 16 February 2011

We love Playa and this was our second trip to this resort town. Mahekal is in a great location. It is far enough north on the beach that the beachfront is not overly crowded, yet it is close enough to the shopping strip that you can walk. The staff is lovely and the resort is very clean and safe. We stayed close to the beach but not directly on the beach which was ideal. We could sit on our porch and watch the ocean and the pool yet had privacy that the beachfront apartments did not. Breakfast was always nice. Dinners were good but it is a buffet. A buffet would have been ok a couple of nights but not every night. Internet access is localized to the bar and registration area. The pools are pretty but not big. If you want laid back luxury, a nice location and a pleasant experience, this is the place in Playa del Carmen.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank PatMedart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2011

Just spent 2 weeks at Mahekal and had the time of my life. Wonderful hotel and great beach. The hotel is just as great as the reviews on Tripadvisor says, and I would love to come back some time.

Tips:
Rent a fridge in the reception - 5 US dollars pr. day
Borrow a hair dryer for free in reception (or bring your own, it's pretty basic)
If you need to leave early in the morning before breakfast is ready (7.30), ask reception to prepare something for you. They are happy to do this. you will get a ham and cheese sandwich, a banana, a small youghurt and chocolate milk.
Take a taxi to Mega and get everything you need from groceries, to toiletries, batteries, water, etc. Mega is much better than wallmarts which is right next door. The taxi is 34 pesos. Walking would probably take more than 30 minutes and you might not like the look of some of the streets.
The hotel recommends that you take a taxi when you go to Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue, the main strip in Play). this is not necessary, just go left when you exit the hotel and Quinta is the first street you meet. The further down you get, the more happens. Lots of bars, restaurants and souvenir shops.
The hotel is located on Calle 38. There are a few nice restaurants and a good hammock shop on this street near the hotel. Quite charming area, actually. very unlike Quinta.
There is a mini supermarket (quite dirty and not very nice) on the corner of Calle 38 and Quinta. If you continue down Calle 38 to the next corner you will get to Oxxo. this is also a mini supermarket and much nicer. Some kind of chain. it has an ATM inside.

Nice to know:
the beach is beautiful and the water wonderfull. however, be aware that it is a very very busy beach (in february). There is plenty of space and loungers on the hotel section of the beach but in front of this is the public section. here you will see large mexican families, large groups of young people hanging out and having fun, and many many tourists from nearby hotels without beach. There is also massive water sports actions - jetskies, parasailing, banana boats, fishing boats, speed boats, etc. Not very tranquil. Finally, there is a constant stream up and down the beach of joggers, walkers, etc taking pictures and videofilming. It did not ruin my experience, just don't expect to feel alone/private. there is also a beach club south of Mahekal. if the wind is in the wrong direction, you can hear the techno music.
Choice of accommodation: We opted for the Seaview rooms and that was perfect for us. The rooms directly on the beach have the best views of course and is only a few meters from the edge of the water. but they also have no privacy. So be prepared to be filmed and ogled while sitting there. The wind is also very strong and cooling. Nice when you are in the sun but too cold for me when you are in the shade. We had a nice view but also shelter from the wind - number 31B. The downside was the proximity to the pool area and the bar. I would not recommend getting a ground floor room - again because you have no privacy. The first floor rooms feels very private.

Well, I coud go on and on and really I can only give my warmest recommendation. If you have any questions, just write and I will help if I can.

Regards
Birgitte

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Bipper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2011

Looking for a calm, well-run hotel with friendly staff and great massages? (Try Alexei) Stay here. Looking for dancing, crazy parties, and sports on a big screen tv, go elsewhere. There are no tvs or phones in the room. Other guests included families with big and little kids, people in their 20s, older couples. All looked happy. A number of different languages were heard.

After a Christmas season spent dealing with a relative's health emergency, this trip was my R&R before returning to work. Until this trip, I would not have believed that a 4 night trip could do the trick. (but would have liked a week)

Location: We specifically picked this location b/c it did not have a wild nightlife. However, the excellent location - on the beach, but just a few minutes walk from the pedestrian street - meant that we could choose to have dinner in or out, go to a club (or not), shop or relax.

Staff: All were helpful. Waiters remembered our drink and seating preferences. The front desk staff were great

Rooms: We paid extra for a beach-front room, which was enjoyable. Each room has a deck or verrandah. All have comfortable hammocks. The beachfront and beach view rooms have a nice breeze, so that air-conditioning is rarely required. Rooms also have fans. The rooms varied in size quite a bit. Some have connecting doors - in general this was not an issue for sound. Our room was always very clean. Beds were great, decor simple. There was enough hot water, but some people might find the pressure a bit low (we were at the far end of the property).

Food: breakfast was great - lots of fresh fruit, and wide selection of foods, including eggs, porridge, yogurt, toast etc. Dinner was generally good, sometimes excellent, and once just ok. The hotel was not full - some nights were a choice of several items, other nights were buffet.

Communication: If you need to stay in touch with home, two areas have wifi, and there's a computer for guest use in the bar area. We could get cell-phone coverage in the room.

There are 2 nice pools, but we opted for the beach instead.
In spite of all the hype in the news recently, we felt safe in Playa Del Carmen. We were also there at another location in Aug '10 with kids and felt the same. I think it comes down to being sensible in where you go and at what time. We felt safe sitting on the beach at night. At times we could hear a club across the water - I suspect this is a problem for all the Playa hotels.

Massage: Lastly, I must mention Alexei's massages - I had 2 in 4 days! He managed to fix a long-standing shoulder problem that had not been resolved over many massage and physio visits at home.

An enjoyable, relaxing trip.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank wannatravelnow_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2011

Stayed at this place years ago when it was called Shangri-La. It is under new management. Clean as a whistle, really helpful totally friendly staff and the food is now excellent! If you want an good old time place in a beautiful non commercial setting close to town then this is it. We opted to have lunch and breakfast and have dinners in town. Playa certainly has changed and it is full of half empty and half built condos but Mahekal is just about perfect. A peaceful enclave with lots happening up and down the beach and in the nearby town.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank williamtaylor39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2011

My wife and I had a great stay at the Mahekal. We had an Ocean Front room that was literally 10 paces from the water. Large deck with hammocks were wonderful. The first night there was a wedding, so it was very loud until 1am, but every night after that was absolutely perfect. We actually didn't miss not having a TV or phone. I brought my Ipad and we watch a movie on it 2 nights. Breakfasts and lunches were very good. Best part is the fresh squeezed OJ! Dinners were average, but we went out most nights. Two great resturants right up 38th - Piola (great wood fired pizza) and Origenes were both excellent. There are 2 pools. The one by the ocean was much nicer with less young children in it each day. Rooms are thoroughly cleaned each day, but we did have some ants each day. I guess that's a trade off for being steps from the ocean. By far the service award goes to Jose the Bellhop. He was genuinely friendly and had a smile we won't soon forget. Location to 5th ave. was perfect. Far enough to get away from the crowds, but within walking distance. Security was outstanding. We had security guards walking our beach every night - all night. The only reason I don't give Mahekal 5 stars is the price for what you get. Close to $400 per night was a bit high for the rustic atmosphere that you experience here, but all-in-all a great hotel with good service and a beautiful location.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank radams006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2011

We went to Cancun in October and stated at the Le Meridien. To compare the hotels is not entirely fair as the Le Meridien is a fancy full service hotel and the Mahekal is a bit more primitive. The Mahekal theme is primitive, no tv's, no phone, no clock, etc. That is all fine on paper but in our opinion for a hotel that lacks those things should be less expensive. They market their higher price being due to the included food. But unless you really enjoy buffets and very similar food for every meal you will want to wonder off resort to mix it up. Only other interesting things was the beach blanket situation. They make you initial next to your name when you check in, but they do not elaborate on why you are doing so. But if you leave your beach blanket on the beach they inform you that there is a $50 USD charge to get another one. I guess beach blankets are very rare in Playa Del Carmen. Overal we liked it, locals very nice, felt safe in town and didn't have any problems with the water. On a positive note the beach was great, although a bit more attention could have been paid cleaning up the garage on the beach, perhaps this is because it was a public beach, but we didn't run into as much trash on the beach at the Le Meridien. But if we were to do it again we would prefer going back to Cancun and staying at the Le Meridien.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank adamnewcastle1
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: £174 - £346 (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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