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“Reef”
Review of The Reef Playacar

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The Reef Playacar
Ranked #95 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Rockford, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Reef”
Reviewed 30 May 2014

This is a nice resort. Our group of 4 girls purchased the standard package, which suited us fine. We were going to pay the extra $6.00 to eat at the Mexican restaurant one night, but it was so cold in there that we ended up leaving. We frequented Botticelli's often for dinner. The waiter, Daniels, is great. Very accommodating, cheerful, full of energy. However, they were always out of at least 2 or 3 of the main courses; and we weren't able to get the chocolate volcano until our last night.
The buffet had good food as well, and a good assortment. The staff was nice.
The snack bar was good, but we always felt like we were bothering the cook(s). Same with most of the bartenders. It took a long time to get a drink, and they come in small cups, so it didn't take long to finish and find yourself waiting again. Also had a situation in which the bartender was there by himself and as I was approaching, he literally left the bar and was gone for a few minutes. We felt like they'd give their fellow Mexican vacationers priority, even if they came to the bar after others were already waiting.
The grounds are beautiful. Loved the coffee bar.
The rooms are nice - adequate, but there's a lot of noise outside. The phones in the room don't work for dialing room to room, despite following the instructions. Someone was supposed to check on it, but it never did get resolved. The beach and pools were great, and it's a nice walk to Fifth Avenue. Overall I felt we got our money's worth. It was an economical trip, but served our needs.

Room Tip: Upper floors would probably be the quietest.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank SunGodess1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at The Reef Playacar, responded to this review, 15 June 2014
Dear guests,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us about your vacation at the Reef.

We are focussed on fulfilling our guests needs and expectations so we appreciate your constructive feedback and will keep on working hard on it.

We are pleased to know that you like our beach, gardens and the Coffee Bar.

The telephone lines are out of order for the moment because of a problem at the phone switchboard.

We hope you come again, there are some special programs to repetitive guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Chesapeake, Virginia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

The resort is very beautiful and well taken care of. The staff is outstanding at this resort. Felix and David at the bars are top notch! Front Desk attendent Willy is superior! Buffet hostess Lucy truly listens to the guest in regards to concerns about food choices. Servers Paulena and Gladys are spot on with the best customer service I have ever had at any resort. Victoria at the omelet table will cook any kind of omelet or prepare eggs anyway you like,all done with a beautiful smile. Conicerge service by Orilio was excellent! The Entertainment crew Irena,Yasming(aka Choco),Nayeli and Gabriel were truly enjoyable and such a pleasure to talk with and they are so energetic, all with such geniune enthusiasm. Rooms were great,even down to very nice linens on the beds. A wonderful vacation and we were truly sad to leave!

Room Tip: we had a standard room in building 6 and it was excellent
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Angela H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at The Reef Playacar, responded to this review, 8 June 2014
Dear guests,
Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor, it is really great that you shared your experience with us and future guests.
We are thankful to read that you remember so many staff members by name and we will make sure they receive your congratulations.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 May 2014

The resort was small and intimate, but was always packed with people which made it hard to get a beach chair, eat, get a drink at the bar, basically do anything except go to the gym or spa. The spa was never staffed well with people so it made it hard to make an appointment, but the overall quality and service of the staff in general could have been better. Whenever we asked for any help the staff seemed bothered in some way. The food service had little to no variety and everyone ate at once. We even ventured off property a couple times just for variety and to be free from crowds. Maybe the size got to me or the rude staff, but I won't be staying there anytime soon.

  • Stayed December 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank MegBoyk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westminster, Colorado
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2014

First off I must say I loved the grounds and the beach, but that was about all there was to enjoy.

We were excited to have upgraded to the "premium" package which to our surprise included dine at the Mexican restaurant. However if you are expecting top shelf liquor, think again. First of all they were continually out of everything. Most of the time you were forced to trek through the grounds to the premium bar only to be told by the rudest bartender that they are out. When we confronted the supervisors they remedied the situation by pouring cheap booze in premium bottles !! One of the best bartenders they have even admitted to several of us the they did that!! Again we confronted the manager who appeared to be sincere. We were told the problem would be remedied. However not 4 ours later they were "out" of premium booze. The excuse given was "we didn't think we would have all you guys drinking the same thing.........." Really? We bought the premium all-inclusive package to, what eat and not drink? All that aside and after just having to put up with crappy drinks and rude bartenders the week went on and it got better.

Our room 733 got flooded after a heavy rain storm. The bathroom wall were like waterfalls. The skylight right outside the door leaked like a sieve and the perfect slope of the deck allowed all the water to come in under the door. Some of our friend room flooded so bad they had to move. The food was not bad. not the best all inclusive but not the worse either. The Italian and Mexican restaurants were very good and were excellent alternatives to the buffet.

As we were traveling with a group of 40+ the resort fell flat on its face. They had the perfect opportunity to make things right with not only us but all of those who were traveling with us. The truth of the matter is they are more worried about bottom line than customer service. I hold management responsible as there were several very pleasant waiters and bartenders. I find it hard to believe that the workers would swap out liquor without being told. As we caught on to their scheme we asked to see the bottle cracked and they quickly grumbled and griped.

And to top this wonderful time off we ended up missing over $100 dollars in cash. When I filed a complaint they quickly told us that the safes are totally secure and that nobody could have taken the money you must have lost it. Well yeah duh...... we lost it in one of your employees pocket.

Just a summary. The food is average, the grounds are beautiful, as is the beach. The management is only looking after the bottom line and when you stay at a cheap resort where they cut every corner possible, just think, you get what you pay for!

Room Tip: Unless you're a time shore holder it doesn't matter what you request they give you whatever...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
10 Thank mocujo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2014

it started out bad with the time share offer but after that things got better ...there are a lot of stairs there and it is close to 5th ave..but the rooms need updating ,some of the stuff is 16yrs old when it was built..but after a day or too we got settled in with the food and room ..the staff was great and housekeeping did a bang up job...will we go back ...oh yeah ...playacar is safe and fun to walk at day or night ,there is security at the resort and they do a great job..make sure you see willey for baggage and lucio at nicos and of course oreo in the lobby very helpful if you have a problem...thanks guys for a great vacation see you next year...cosmo

Room Tip: ask for updated room
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank rottenronnie76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NJ
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2014

Love this resort and will return. stayed 6 days in May and had a wonderfull time-. the view the staff made it most memorable, chocolate, willie, felix, and both bar-keeps at Nicos. enjoyed the Chocolet Martinies along with many other offerings.

Food-. Id give the food here a solid 4 satrs. although the offerings are slim all the food I ate was outstanding. night and day compared to the Moon Palace. snack bar burgers and wings nachos and guacamole and chips were outstanding. service was fast. buffet for breakfast-, lunch-, dinner were all very good. while the offerings repeted it all was good. wait staff at the buffet works very hard to please. the two resturants id give a solid 5 stars. outstanding service and food. again. night and day compared to the Moon palace.

Bars-. a solid 5 stars. I thought all drinks were good strong if need be. Nico although empty at times was very relaxing. all service was fast and friendly. the chocolate martini were to die for. and strong. yummy.

beach and pools solid 5 star. beutifull. the views are breathtaking. the water at the beach is spectacular. plenty of chairs for everyone at all times of the day at both pools and the beach.

rooms a solid 3 1/2 stars. small cold and clean.

the jungle setting 5 stars... beautifull.

staff 5 stars. chocolate, willie, felix, and both bar-keeps at Nicos among the many....

Entertainment 2 stars.

and here is were the resort falls short and I hope management takes note. MUSIC. MUSIC. MUSIC. some days it's on. somedays it's off. the first day the music at the bottom pool/beach played all day not loud but just perfect. you can hear it pleanty at the bottom pool and beach. the next five days it was on/off on/off and some days not on at all. why???? at 10 AM when the bars open the music/party should start. this is so simple.... it's a tropical vacation. play music. same with Nico. one night there was about 15 - 20 people there and at 8pm the music stoppped. my wife asked Louis(i believe thats his name) if he could turn it back on. one momento he said. a half hour later the bar was empty and the music was still off. WHY. OH WHY does this happen.??? again at nico on some night it was on and some off. makes ZERO sence. the main pool the music is controlled behind the pool bar with a portable radio. why is this.? I understand not hiring bands as the resort is very fare priced and bands cost money but this place need someone in charge that handles the music. it's so simple to do. everywhere you go be it cruise or other resorts it all starts with entertaining the guests. the loby bar never had music on. just the TV. boring. it gets boring sitting around the pool/beach for hours with NO MUSIC. trust me.!!!!!! it's simple and free !!!!

in closing I will return and hope to hear music from 10AM on to the night. it's so simple to do. it's what brings together every country. it is and will always be about the music.!!!!!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank tommy281
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lynn, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2014

As a return visitor to The Reef for the most part I knew what to expect and was not disappointed in the least. The beach in Playacar is absolutely breathtaking! A pathway from the lobby meanders through a tropical jungle and leads you to your first view of the ocean. We stayed there ten days and each time I viewed that scene it was like magic. After a long flight it was nice to be greeted by Willy's warm smile and a glass of champagne. He led us to our room which was spacious and had everything that we could possibly need for our stay.

The bartenders worked very hard to keep the guests happy. Each time I saw a guest with a yummy looking drink I would ask them what it was and as a result was introduced to Miami Vice, a Dirty Monkey and a Blue Hawaiian along with my personal favorite the Mohito. A shout out to David, Felix and Victor who always had a smile and were so very helpful.

The buffet is one of the reasons that I didn't rate this resort as a 5 star. Most of the buffet fare was a bit lacking. It was certainly edible but at the same time there were areas which clearly could use a little improvement. They didn't have a carving station, however there always seemed to be a taco station and a pasta station. The offerings usually included some sort of fish and chicken, salad and a starch. By no means will you go hungry! In the morning the omelets were wonderful and freshly made. I did miss the sausage links and bacon that were offered on my previous stay. In it's place were these tiny "chicken sausage"s that tasted like hot dogs. A big plus however was Mexican night which is held in the upper level. It was quite a treat and the food was great!

On the other hand I think the two restaurants had improved the menu from my last visit. The offered more choices that were free and the quality seemed better. At the Mexican Restaurant I thought the Coconut Shrimp were spectacular and The Botticceli had a wonderful Bolognase and Fruite de Mare as well as a nice Filet Mignon.

The snack bar was a great place to tide my boyfriend over with Buffalo Wings and French fries and their Nachos and Guacamole made a nice snack mid afternoon between trips in and out of the water.

Though many people in previous reviews have mentioned that there is a fee for use of the safe and the six dollar surcharge at the Mexican restaurant, this information is all clearly spelled out on their website and people do have the option to upgrade to their premium plan. I will say I did miss the use of the jaccuzzi that used to be available to all guests but was still happy with all that was provided and feel that The Reef is a great value.

Overall I think The Reef is a charming smaller scale resort in lush tropical setting. You can take a stroll along the beach and in 20 minutes you will be at Fifth Ave., or take a walk through Playacar on a cobblestone road lined with palm trees, beautiful homes and resorts. I so enjoyed sitting on our balcony with a drink before dinner enjoying the view and reading a book or playing cards and as I sit here writing this review I am smiling as I remember what a wonderful time I had at The Reef. Now all I have is this tan and a great memory of my time in Play del Carmen :)

Room Tip: Try to get a room facing the jungle
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank takemeaway53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Reef Playacar

Property: The Reef Playacar
Address: Paseo Xaman-Ha, Ret. Sayil s/n | Fracc. Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#49 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#56 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#64 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#65 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#80 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Reef Playacar 3.5*
Number of rooms: 196
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This boutique style all-inclusive resort is located on a beautiful white sandy beach just steps away from the famous 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico. The hotel offers all food and domestic drinks, 1 buffet restaurant, 2 a la carte restaurants, Italian & Gourmet($), snack bar, ice cream parlor, various bars including a swim up bar, 2 pools, kids club, daily activities & nightly entertainment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reef Playacar Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Reef Club Playacar
Reef Playacar Mexico
Reef Playacar Playa Del Carmen
The Reef Playacar Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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