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Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #28 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Everything we were looking for”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2011

Mahekal was everything we imagined and more. From the time we booked the trip to our cab ride to the Cancun Airport, they were more than willing to help with anything and everything.

Concierge: Boli, the concierge, was THE BEST! He was so friendly and really went above and beyond. He made dinner reservations for us, organized a snorkel trip with others from the hotel and booked us horseback riding. He made everything so easy, we told him what we were looking for and he delivered! He offered up suggestions of things we might like to try and did everything with a smile. I have nothing but great things to say about his service.

Hotel: The hotel is a hidden gem! The grounds and rooms are really unique. I was very happy to not be in a high rise building. It really allowed for a true "beachy" feel. The hotel was very casual, but beautiful which made it all the more relaxing. There was no pressure to have anything but your beach cover up on while at lunch or at Happy Hour. It was so nice to be able to walk off the beach at 5PM, sandy and in flip flops and head straight to Happy Hour!

Food: Breakfasts were included and were great! Many options (yogurt, delicious fresh fruits, pastries, eggs, cold cuts, etc.). You had the choice of eating lunch or dinner at the hotel. We had lunch there every day. What I loved the most about their food was that it was simple and fresh. They had several healthy options, so that you didn't feel like you were gaining 10 pounds during your stay. It was the kind of food that you could every day and not get sick of. We had dinner at the hotel twice. Both nights were buffet. They were good, but not as good as the lunch. I think that is typical when you eat buffet style.

Playa: Playa was a great place to walk around at night or during the day. They have so many great restaurants, it's really hard to choose from!! I ate at Fusion, El Tortuga and John Gray's. All awesome places that I would definetly recommend. Also, there is a great coffee place on 5th Avenue: Au Cacao. They had the best iced coffee I have ever tasted.

** I do have one suggestion though. Depending on the room you are planning to stay in, be sure to request an exact room or don't give up until you get what you want. My boyfriend and I paid for an Ocean Front room, which we thought would be our own private bungalow on the beach. It turned out that we were in more of an Ocean View Room, 27 Playa. It was not a private bungalow, it was connected to 4 other rooms. 2 next door and 2 above. We were very, very upset when we saw this (even though it was directly on the beach). They said they get complaints a lot about that room, and the old management did have it listed as an Ocean View Room. There were several other people who were upset with their room location (almost every person we saw checking in had an issue). I think they may have been overwhelmed, as the hotel was fully booked. We never ended up being able to move rooms and they would not refund us for the Ocean Front, but we got over it once we stopped and realized how little time we actually sat in our room.

All in all, the best!!!!

Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank NicoleElter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2011

We had a wonderful stay at Mahekal. The resort was beautiful and relaxing. We spent all day laying on the beach under the palapas. We felt that the resort was well represented on their webpage / in the photos here on Tripadvisor. It really was what we had been promised - a beach getaway without phones, televisions and blaring music.

Property and staff: The resort is well maintained, they have a big crew and they are constantly sweeping the paths, raking the sand, etc. There were security guards on the beach, making sure that the loungers were always available for guests. (take your hotel towel with you when you go to the beach so they know you belong to the resort!) We had a cheap room in the back and were very pleased - it was spartan, yes, but clean and romantic with a big porch w/ hammocks and plantation blinds and screens on the windows instead of glass.

Food: Breakfast was as others have said, awesome. Lots of selection, fresh fruit, fresh fruit juice, coffee, tea, yogurt, granola and cereal, breads, and a menu of hot items. Lunch was menu in the same building as the breakfast. They also have outside seating at the pool, overlooking the beach. There were three vegetarian items on the menu - Veggie Fajitas, Veggie Tacos, and Veggie Flautas. Basically mixed, cooked vegetables, with different breads/sides. I had the fajitas and flautas, both were good, and the vegetables were lightly seasoned so they had a nice flavor of their own. Dinner was sometimes menu and sometimes buffet. We alternated eating lunch and dinner at the hotel. Both the times the dinner was a menu, there was a vegetarian entree (cheese ravioli, and veggie stirfry), on the day there was a buffet, it was seafood themed, so I was left eating sides. There were a lot of sides however, and I didn't go hungry. All beverages (including water) are extra at dinner.

Drinks: Happy hour is 2 for 1 from 5-6pm. Big turnout for this, and they did also have a selection of fancy non-alcoholic drinks that some people were ordering for their kids. Pina coladas were good with fresh pineapple juice. The prices I remember are: Corona 35pesos, Pina Colada 55pesos, Margarita 55pesos, flavored margaritas 65pesos. Most of the mixed drinks were between 50-65, and the beers were all 35 (I think?). So the 2x1 made it a pretty good price!

Guests: Mix of people - young couples, families, and older couples. There were quite a few well behaved children around. Some Americans, Canadians, and a mix of Europeans - German, Italian, and French.

Playa: Cute, touristy town. Lots of restaurants. The trinket shops were pretty crap, didn't find any really good crafty things to buy. The Mega is only a short walk away and you can get sunscreen, water, snacks, etc. much cheaper there. Sales people weren't too pushy and never touched you or shoved things in your hands. Also there weren't any people begging, or selling things on the beach, which was nice.

Other Comments:
1. Bring bug spray! It is a tropical climate and there are a lot of bugs in the evening.
2. Carboncitos was a nice restaurant - had the vegetarian tacos w/ cheese, very good!
3. We used the ATM at the cancun airport in Terminal 3, just outside the bathrooms when entering Cancun to get pesos for the trip. When we got home the card was frozen, it had been compromised by someone trying to take money out elsewhere in MX : ( It was not a pleasant surprise after such a nice trip. Next time we'll order pesos at our bank before going and only use the card as an emergency back up.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank aw123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riverdale, Maryland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2011

just wanted to write a quick note about our experience with Mahekal. My fiance and I planned a scouting trip to playa del carmen and wanted to tour Mahekal as a potential wedding site. I asked them around 2 weeks in advance for a tour and meeting with a wedding coordinator and we never heard back from them! I wrote 2 follow up emails letting them know I hadn't heard from anyone and still no one responded. We went to playa del carmen and back (without going to Mahekal) and around 5 days after getting back (around 3 weeks after writing my initial email) I get an email from Ayahamint Aguirre, Wedding & Sales Coordinator asking if I had received her last 3 emails. I said, of course not since I've sent you multiple emails asking for someone to respond. I asked her to resend her original emails, and I haven't heard back from her. I checked my junk and spam folders, nothing. That was around a week ago. Even if she did try to send those original emails, (which i highly doubt) something is wrong with their system or internet. Just wanted to let potential wedding couples know the difficulty they may be in for trying to communicate with the wedding coordinator. After this frustration, I could never give them the chance to be our wedding location.

Stayed February 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank smattes82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClauPac, General Manager at Mahekal Beach Resort, responded to this review, 8 March 2011
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post your comment. We regret your recent experience and difficulty communicating with our wedding coordinator, Aya. This is not the way we typically conduct business and it goes against our total commitment to service. While she did not perform to your or our expectations on this occasion, Aya has received many compliments from previous wedding couples who she has assisted in planning and orchestrating their dream Mahekal beachfront wedding. She received two excellent comments since your comment was posted. We want to assure you that Aya and our team are committed to making weddings at Mahekal the best they can be. We seriously consider all comments made by our guests and potential guests, positive or negative, and will continue to work hard to provide excellent service and avoid this type problem in the future. Mahekal has hosted hundreds of fantastic weddings and is a beautiful setting for them. Again, we sincerely apologize for not serving you properly and would love to have another opportunity to serve you and show you all that the Mahekal has to offer.

Sincerely yours,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MN
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2011

We selected this hotel as it's not the usual and it was great! We have two young children 6yrs & 4yrs and it was great to walk such a short distance to our room & the beach. I could go and grab sunblock from the room and still see them playing in the sand. Plus, we could put them to beach and then set out on the porch with a drink and enjoy the ocean and stars. The staff were so great to our children. They knew them by name, made them balloon animals and asked them questions and took time to really talk to them. I must say the food suprisedus as it was very good and varied greatly! We walked to 5th street for shopping and food which wasn't far with the kids. The maid service made different animals each day which our children couldn't wait to see. We travel frequently and don't often say we would come back as we like to see new things but this time will consider as we like this hotel and section of beach was PERFECT!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Tige1123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
37 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2011

its on the mellow end of playa del carmen. Nicely done lobby, well maintained grounds, nice pool and bar. I stayed in a garden publeto, it was comfortable and simple with nice bathroom, high ceilings, simple furnishings. cool private patio with a hammock. I wanted to move to a room on the beach but they were all booked. If you enjoy the simplicity of tulum, you will like the rooms and the resort. If you need a TV and a chain hotel vibe, its not for you. The food was good, simple and fresh and the restaurants around the hotel were the best in the area. The staff was helpful, non-intrusive and multi-lingual which was helpful b/c many of the other guests were French... I had a totally chill long weekend. Recommend.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GETAGRIPNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MexTraveller99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Troy, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
82 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PatMedart
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
#21 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 On the Beach 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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