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Sandos Caracol Eco Resort
Ranked #82 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Ontario, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised...”
Reviewed 10 March 2008

My wife and I "ended up" booked into the Sandos Caracol after booking the "Mayan Promo" deal through Sears from Feb 8 to Feb 15. (our anniversary) Once arriving from Toronto via Skyservice, we had no idea where we would eventually end up until the Signature Rep at the Cancun airport told us which bus we were told to board. After a 45 minute bus ride (including 2 stops) we were warmly greeted for check-in by a very nice young girl (Beiley). The original room we were given was not as we requested so she told us to return the next day and she would look after our request. With the help of Walter, we ended up in room 221 with a king bed and jacuzzi tub on the balcony. It was wonderful. Overlooking the main pool with a wonderful view of the ocean at sunrise.

Once we got our bearings, we explored the resort and realized it is very well laid out. Very easy to get around and not too large. The large activity pool is quite busy. Mainly families including quite a few kids. We found the relaxation pool our favorite. Large enough with a swim up bar, yet not a lot of screaming kids. Besides, Gabriel the bartender was our favorite.

We found the food at the 3 buffet restaurants for breakfasts and dinners very acceptable. Plenty of choices. We preferred breakfasts on the veranda at the Mexican. We enjoyed lunches at the Gaucho grill (which doubled as the Steakhouse at night) and had 3 great dinners at all 3 a la cartes. We enjoyed after dinner drinks in the piano lounge and specialty coffees again, on the veranda at the Mexican.

Took the free shuttle bus into Playa del Carmen one day. Worked out well. Pick up right out front of the resort and they drop you off a block from 5th ave.

Beach was ok. You can tell it has been washed away but still nice for walking. We walked about 45 minutes each way. The grounds are very well kept. Maintenance always being done. There are timeshare reps walking around at all times. A friendly "hola, no thank you" is all you have to say and they left us alone.

Met a lot of very nice Canadians and Americans during our stay. I would like to say there are a LOT of Europeans that vacation here.

Overall, we had a great vacation. I have to say, there is nothing negative that we can report about the Sandos Caracol. It was a very nice, typical 4 star all-inclusive resort that we would recommend and would definitely return if the price was right.

  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank kellyndave13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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phoenix
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2008

My husband and I stayed at Sandos for 5 nights and 6 days and had an amazing time! It was our first all inclusive experience, and we were a bit hesitant because the price was almost too good to be true. However, we were very impressed with the grounds, room, food and service. All of the staff were very friendly, the drinks were great, and there was a variety of food. I would sign up for the "select vip" club online (it doesn't cost extra) but you are able to use the "select" beach which is great. I would also make reservations the second you get there since they tend to fill up quickly.

I try not to travel to the same place twice, but this place was terrific! If you want to have a relaxing vacation on the beach, drink and eat without worries of costs/tips/carrying money, then I hope you decide to go here!

Stayed March 2008
Helpful?
3 Thank lsfechter4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wargrave, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2008

As an ex worker for Thomas Cook, I have been to a lot of different hotels and always do my homework to where I stay.
This hotel is fine so don't worry about people moaning on other reviews. Ok, it is not the Ritz but unless you can afford that sort of price this resort will suit most of you. I have never been to a cleaner resort and never saw so much as a cigarette butt on the floor in the grounds! The food is good in most of the restaurants, did not think much of the steak restaurant but you can get that in the main restaurant anyway so you wont miss out. Leave a $ a day in the room fridge and that will get it replemished every day for you!
Take a minute out before you go and join the Select Club online at Sandos web site before you go. This gets you access to 'posher' areas at no cost.
Met some great people there, mainly from Canada and would defo go back again. Not for single sex parties though for families and couples it is perfect. Beach is quite rocky under water but 4 swimming pools to choose from that was not a worry. Try pool number 3... quiet and always sun loungers available. Select Pool.. go for breakfast and have Buzz Fizz and Smoked Salmon. (dont forget to pre register to get this!)
So ignore all the moaning minnies, unless you want to pay double the cost.. go for it and have fun!

  • Liked — Lovely grounds and lots of space
  • Disliked — A bit out of the way of town but they do have a free shuttle service
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
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Helpful?
6 Thank Gillian240164
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Regina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2008

My daughter and I stayed at the Sandos Select Club for 1 week beginning March 1. Upon our arrival at the airport, we informed our driver we wanted to go to the Sandos Select Club. He told us that it is actually called the Sandos Caracoal. When we arrived at the hotel, they put our wrist bands on us which said Sandos Caracoal (which is rated as a 4 star). I told them I had not booked at the Sandos Caracoal, but at the Sandos Select Club (which is a 5 star). The reception staff said they only book how our travel agent passed on the information, however, I had all my paperwork and it clearly said Sandos Select Club. They then changed our wrist bands which gave us the use of the Select Club amenities (private beach which is no big deal as it is as far away from the rooms as you could get). To make a long story short, they did not have a room for us at the Sandos Select Club area, so we had to stay in a much older room in the Sandos Caracoal. The room was okay, but it certainly is showing its age and did not have the amenities that you paid for in Select Club such as a coffee maker in the room, robes and slippers, etc. Also, we could never shower in the morning as we never had hot water - we would have to wait until the late afternoon. Another problem we had (and several others that we spoke to) is the hotel check-in system doesn't seem to work very well. Our first morning that we arrived, we decided to get a couple hours sleep as we were up all night. Just as we were falling asleep, my daughter said she thought someone was trying to get into our room. I said I thought is was just someone outside in the hallway. Well, 20 minutes later, someone tried again to get into our room (thank God we had the chain on). Reception had given our room to a family who had just arrived from England and who were as equally tired as we were). They were so embarrassed - I phone reception and told them what they had done - they said just send them back to the desk. So always put your chain on your door if you stay at this resort (or any resort for t hat matter). I personally am getting tired of going to Mexico and having to fight for everything that I paid for. As for the food, it was okay but became very tiresome as it seemed to be the same food every night. And, we could never get into one of the ala cartes - they would just tell you to come back tomorrow, but you would get the same story every day (unless you get really mad - the Select Club members are suppose to have unlimited ala cartes - we got one on our last day). Also, we could not get a late checkout as they told us the hotel was full. This was a real problem for us as we were not getting picked up until 2:00 am in the morning. So, we were without a room for 14 hours. The beach in front of this resort is terrible - you certainly cannot swim in the ocean due to all the rocks. As well, the hotel does not have enough beach chairs for all of their guests. Unless you get up with the birds and put your towels out, you'll end up sitting on the sand. Would I go back to this hotel? No. Would I recommend it to my friends? Not if I wanted to remain friends. This was my 6th visit to Mexico and although this was not the worst resort we've stayed in, it rates right up there. The only time we never had to fight for anything we paid for and the food was excellent was the Riu Santa Fe in Los Cabos.

  • Liked — The layout of the resort felt like you were in a small village.
  • Disliked — The fact that you do not get what you pay for and the way they market one resort as two.
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank LadyContessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Alberta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2008

My daughter and I were at the Sandos Caracol from Feb 28 to Mar 6/08. At my booking I requested a ground floor as I have severe arthritis in my knees. On arrival, they had placed us on the 3rd flr. (walk up). After some talking and a $10 tip, we were changed to ground level.
Reception was very welcoming and friendly. Our room was Way Out - long walk to the centre of everything. This long walk was very painful for me. Our room was lovely with a stocked fridge of water, pop, & beer. Housekeeping left our beds made up beautifully but I don't think the floors were ever cleaned as our feet would get gritty and dirty.
The beach was not very swimable; rocky and weedy.
For a resort this size, the pools were too small. The spa was wonderful. I had an 80 min. massage (the works) and it was luxurious, although a bit pricey.
The buffet meals were varied and very tasty and displayed beautifully; many choices. I was not very impressed with the a la carte restaurants.
The worst part of our stay was the attack of some kind of vicious biting bugs (No, they were NOT mosquitos). The resort has numerous natural lagoons which must be the breeding ground for these vermits. We got bit up pretty bad on our legs and arms with huge red welts that were pus filled and so itchy that scratching didn't help. My legs are a mass of red, itchy scabby and swollen welts. We missed out on restful nights sleep because of the irritation. It's over a week now and I'm still battling the itch.
The Sandos Caracol is a very nice resort but because of it's size, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone having a walking problem.

  • Liked — Most activities, restaurants , shopping located centrally
  • Disliked — The vicious bugs that chewed us up (not mosquitos). Legs/arms a mass of itchy lumps and presently very scarred up.
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lalik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
headn2mexico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2008

This was our first AI so I am a newbie but I know this was not 4 or 5 star place. I would rate it a 3 star resort. My biggest complaint was the food!!! By the third day I was starving!!! (We stayed from 2/29 through 3/5). We actually went to 5th Avenue to eat to get a good meal. The buffets were the same almost everyday and only warm. No hot food. Speaking of food, the two included reservations did not happen for us. We did get into the oriental place and it was ok but the other days were all booked. I was NOT happy w/ this at ALL!!!!

Second complaint, there was an aweful smell at certain places in the resort - sewage smell. I did not like that and it made my mind wonder....lol

Entertainment on the resort was not that good - boring.

We had a FunJet representative right at the resport and he was EXCELLENT. Hooked us up w/ trips and recommended a restaurant, etc. He helped us w/ just about everything.

Overall, it was an ok resort but we will not be going back mainly because of the food.

  • Disliked — FOOD!!!! Sewage smell and rocky beach
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank headn2mexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerset
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2008

My partner and I stayed at Sandos Caracol from Feb 27th 08 - 5th March 08.We were a little anxious prior to our departure as some of the previous reviews were very negative,but we can honestly say that we had a fantastic holiday staying at the resort.
We had registered to the Sandos select club before departure and on checkin were offered an upgrade to a deluxe room with jacuzzi at a very reasonable rate.
Our room was great -a huge bed, and a fantastic view over the relax pool. The room was very clean and the house keeper cleaned daily , supplying fresh towels, restocking the fridge etc.
The whole resort was immaculate and all of the staff were very friendly and courteous.
We visted each of the restaurants at the hotel and had no problems getting reservations for any of the al a carte restaurants, all of the food was of a very high standard and provided us with an opportunity to taste foods we would not have otherwise had an opportunity to try. All of the waiting and bar staff were very pleasant and helpful.
We spent several days chilling by the relax pool and had no problem acquiring sun loungers ( put your towel on them on the way to breakfast).
We also spent some time lounging on the beach and again had no problem getting sun loungers. Yes the sea is rocky underfoot, but I managed to enjoy a swim with out wearing sea shoes. the beach it self is beautiful.
We did an excurison to Chichen Itza, this was a long trip, but was worth it for the experience.
We spent a day at Xcarat, get there early and snorkel the underground tunnnels before too many other tourists arrive- its brilliant. We also swam with dolphins at Xcarat- incredible. I would say that one day at Xcarat is not enough, if you have time, make two trips there- we did not get to see all of the park in the time we had.
Caught the free shuttle into Playa Del Carmen to get pressies to take home. Shop keepers do want you to come and buy from them , but are in no way hassling as in some countries. If you declined to go in to their shop they usually made a joke about it and were pleasant. A taxi back to the hotel was only 1O USD. The beaches in Playa Del Carmen are just what you expect holiday beaches to look like, white sand and blue sea-beautiful.
We treated ourselves to a massage each on our last day at the Spa. I relaxed with a gentle aromatherapy massage, my partner opted for the deep tissue massage and the masseuse certainly put him through his paces- I don't think he really relaxed- but mine was good.
All in all we had a fantastic holiday staying at the Sandos Caracol, we had no complaints, we were not hassled by the Elite Club time share reps. The accommodation, food and facilities were all too a very high standard, and we could not really understand where the previous negative reviews we had read had come from.
Would love to return to Mexico again some time in the future and stay longer.

  • Liked — Immaculate room, good food and great weather
  • Disliked — Rocky underfoot entering the sea
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank carriej67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandos Caracol Eco Resort

Property: Sandos Caracol Eco Resort
Address: Carretera Chetumal Pto Juarez Km 295, Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#31 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#45 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#51 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#59 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#72 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sandos Caracol Eco Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 956
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Also Known As:
Caracol Beach
Sandos Caracol Eco Hotel
Sandos Caracol Beach Resort Spa
Sandos Select Club
Sandos Caracol Mexico
Hotel Sandos Caracol Eco
Caracol Village Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Sandos Caracol Beach & Spa Mayan Riviera
Sandos Caracol Resort
Sandos Caracol Riviera Maya

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