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“Good Resort, average food, but lots of options for everyone”

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Sandos Caracol Eco Resort
Ranked #81 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 12 August 2014

My husband and I recently booked a stay at this resort. The resort has lots of options for food, entertainment and activities. It was extremely crowded when we were there, but we were always able to get lounge chairs in the select club area but the main family areas looked really crowded and restaurants could get really crowded and hot depending on the time you went. We travel to Mexico a lot and was disappointed with the food, while they had a lot of options and selections, it was mostly bland and the meat awful. We even had a touch of stomach upset which is pretty unusual for us, as we are accustomed to the food in Mexico. The highlight for us was the beach, we brought water shoes as suggested and our own snorkeling equipment and we loved it. It was shallow and calm clear water for quite a distance out. The nighttime activities were good, just get there early, seating is not well thought out, so you may not beable to see or take pictures if you are not there early. We also really liked the wildlife getting to see the spider monkeys, raccoons and Coati. We were saddened by the condition of some of the Coati, Cats, and the caged animals onsite, many of these looked unhealthy. :( We stayed in a deluxe select club room and it was okay, not as nice as a Marriott, but better than a motel 6. The bed was comfortable compared to many we have had in the area, the AC worked average, and we didn't have bugs in our room. However, the mini fridge did not cool and the balcony was tiny with one chair and faced other balconies, not an ideal location. Therefore, we did not utilize it. Our room was always cleaned good, but most days this wasn't done until late afternoon, so if you get up early and think of taking an afternoon nap, this is out of the question if you want your room refreshed. Most of the staff were all very nice and helpful. I also had issues with the bartender at the select club beach, he was rude and slow as was the service during the week. However, the Select club pool wait staff were wonderful. I liked that the resort had a lot of different options for a lot of people and activities for the kids. I really wish the pools stayed open until at least 11pm, 8 is just way too early. I know it sounds like I have complained a lot, but there are a lot of positives to the resort and we would consider going back with our kids for the right price, but I want others to also be prepared for the negatives.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank OkcTraveler-75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 August 2014

My family came (all 12 of us) for a vacation of sun, beautiful beaches, relaxation, and, most importantly... no dishes or laundry. The grounds and facilities are lovely, the rooms serviceable, and the staff pleasant. But, by far, our biggest surprise and memories come from the daily yoga class taught by Juan Carlos Morales. I've been practicing yoga, fairly regularly, for over a year. But Juan Carlos, who had to blend a multilingual class from different yoga levels, was exceptional. He made the classes challenging but inspiring. He worked us, but was always available for good corrections to form and displayed amazing patience. By doing yoga with him five days in a row, I felt like I made huge strides and have been dedicated even more to my practice since the return. This was a vacation that rested and gave more than what we bargained for... a wonderful time. I'll return simply for the yoga but will stay for the ocean.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank ArchieBorders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandos_Caracol, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2014

Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing your experiences with the Trip advisor community; it was a pleasure to read your review and we are sure this has helped many travelers confirm that Sandos Caracol is the perfect hotel for their vacation.

We are so glad that you enjoyed the Yoga programme that we lay on here. We also appreciate you taking the time to praise Carlos, our yoga teacher, that helped make your stay so memorable.

We are pleased that you loved it here; we will share your positive comments with our staff; it encourages them to continue working hard.

Please do not forget that we will be pleased to welcome you back at any time.

Best regards,

Fatima Medina
Web Relations Manager
Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort,
webrelations.caracol@sandos.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2014 via mobile

Overall

We had a great stay, I do recommend this hotel.

Staff

The staff is great, They are always willing to help you, and with a smile, they go the extra mile to give you their best. They all seem to be working at their limit capacity, but I think waiters at the restaurants surpass their capacity, they look like they overwork, for one hand they would very much appreciate your tips, but also, in my opinion the hotel should place more people in this position. By this I don't mean any lack of service from them, not at all... I only want to point out they look like they are working at 150%. Of course this is with full occupancy.
The only people that weren't so friendly were the bell boys, they are the people that drive the golf carts all around the hotel grounds. If you happen to find them with an empty cart, they never ask you if you need a ride, although they often see you carrying lots of stuff, beach bags, etc. They seem to be only interested in the guests that are checking in, maybe because of the tips... Not so much on people walking back and forth the beach who don't usually carry any cash, I considered this as a lack of attention from them. Also, at night this small trucks used to be passing just beside the rooms making noise. I think they were transporting washed towels and linens to the buildings. One time one of these almost runs over my husband who was pushing my baby's stroller with baby inside, Very rude driving.

Grounds and fauna

The grounds are very pretty, you can find coatis and raccoons, cats, iguanas and turtles near the mangler areas. Be prepared to walk a lot! The cenote is beautiful!

They also have some enclosed animals, like guacamayas, donkeys, two xoloitzcuintles (Mayan dogs), etc.

The beach is so beautiful and very tranquil water, it's like being in a pool, very kid friendly. The rocks in the bottom everyone talks about I didn't find annoying at all. Sometimes I would go in with water shoes and sometimes would go in barefoot.

Kids

This resort is totally focused on families, if you are traveling as a family you will love it, lots of activities for all ages, all of the restaurants (even reservations at night) admit children.
The kids club is a total hit with the little ones; our three year old was really happy playing there in the A/C when the heat was just too much for him.

Food and drinks

If you like sweet and fruity alcoholic drinks, the best ones you can find are at the theater bar, not the main one, but the small wooden cart on the left side of the main bar.
Elsewhere the cocktails were delicious too, though I mainly sticked to the "ojo rojo" which is clamato with lemon, salsas and beer, delicious!
You can find great food in every place, the snack is open 24/7. The best restaurant for lunch was the Toscana buffet. In the afternoon I used to get a hot cappuccino made with coffee from Chiapas from the sports bar.

Stayed: August 2014
4  Thank Marissa-san
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandos_Caracol, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2014

Dear guest,

Your comments regarding your recent stay in the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa are very much appreciated by the entire team of workers you recently met during your holidays.

Thanks to the time you have invested in leaving your experience on the tripadvisor travel site, lots of other people who are thinking about the Riviera Maya will read how beautiful the Mexican attention to the guests is in our resort.

All of our staff endeavour to deliver that personal touch to all guests in the hotel, and we are delighted that you experienced this customised service.

In the hope we will see you soon again in the Sandos resorts, we invite you to write us a mail before your visit to help you with any requests you may have.

Kindest regards,

Fatima Medina
Web Relations Manager
Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2014 via mobile

I had a Hindu wedding at sandos, it was 85 people and everything was fantastic!!! The venues were breathtaking, decoration was done by an offsite contractor the hotel recommended and it was spectacular, all the details were handled without any glitches! I will say the standard room is very basic, spend the extra and go for a deluxe or jr suite like we did, totally worth it! Thank you marine and your team!

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank NindiyaR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandos_Caracol, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2014

Dear guest,

Thank you very much for choosing our Resort as your new regular vacation spot. Every time we hear that we are chose for such a special ocassion as a wedding it feels nothing but rewarding and encouraging for the hard and sincere effort made every day by our 900 staff in the hotel that works every day to make our guest happy and comfortable.

We want to thank you for your detailed review, and the time you have invested in leaving your experience on the tripadvisor travel site, lots of other people who are thinking about the Riviera Maya will read how beautiful the Mexican attention to the guests is in our resort.

I will pass on the nice comments to our staff specially, Marine who will be thrilled to hear that you have arrived home safe and you remember her in your review.

With nothing but gratefulness and a warm greetings from everyone in Sandos Caracol I invite you to contact us next time you visit us with all your personal request so we can revive this amazing experience you already had, or if possible make it better!

Best regards,

Fatima Medina
Web Relations Manager
Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort,
webrelations.caracol@sandos.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

My husband and I booked this resort for a two week holiday. The hotel is very family orientated, water park, night entrainment, games area etc. We decided on the second day to pay a little extra to be able to go into the adult only areas, private beach area, swimming pool and a couple of extra restaurants. It was nice to have the option to be able to have these as we found the main pool very loud with lots of children and the entrainment guys organising aqua aerobics, bingo etc.
Every morning my husband who is training for a marathon would run on the treadmill in the hotel gym and I went to yoga.
I have only done yoga a few times in the past so I was a little nervous to start with. However the teacher was so passionate and explained everything in detail both in English and Spanish. Over the two weeks he would often correct my posture and made myself feel good when I improved.
I would return to this hotel especially for the yoga. It helped to make my holiday one of the best holidays I have ever been on.
Our room was spacious and clean, I loved all the animals that lived in the hotel, raccoons, monkeys, donkeys to name just a few.
The only down side was that the hotel was a 5-7 minute taxi ride into the town of playa del Carmen. It doesn't sound to far but with the price of the taxi being about $14 we only went a couple of times. If we had been able to walk into town we probably would have gone in most evenings after dinner as the entrainment at the hotel was more suitable for children and families.
All in all, an amazing holiday. I would recommend the hotel for any family, couples and everyone who loves yoga.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
4  Thank r0sie350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandos_Caracol, Director de Recepción at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2014

Dear guest,

Your comments regarding your recent stay in the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa are very much appreciated by the entire team of workers you recently met during your holidays.

Thanks to the time you have invested in leaving your experience on the tripadvisor travel site, lots of other people who are thinking about the Riviera Maya will read how beautiful the Mexican attention to the guests is in our resort.

All of our staff endeavour to deliver that personal touch to all guests in the hotel, and we are delighted that you experienced this customised service with our Yoga teacher who puts his whole soul and heart into this mission he takes on taking our guests to another level of relaxation and peace.

In the hope we will see you soon again in the Sandos resorts, we invite you to write us a mail before your visit to help you with any requests you may have.

Kindest regards,

Fatima Medina
Web Relations Manager
Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014

I can not begin to describe what an amazing unique experience this resort provided me during my 8 day stay. This eco-friendly property had a rich history of the culture residing in a tropical jungle paradise. Expect to run into the local wildlife on a regular basis, racoons, coati, iguanas, etc. As a fan I thought it provided for great pictures, though please do not feed the animals!! The animals do tend to stay in their own habitat however, if you are not animal friendly then you may want to check out Sandos Playacar.

As for the accommodations, the room was very clean. We found they do come in and spray for bugs so just be aware. I personally did not see any bugs in my room with the exception of a very small lizard who ran under the mini bar and spent the second to last night with us but he didn't drink much :)

Restaurants were overall pretty good. RESERVE IN ADVANCE ("prior to arrival" early!) as the restaurants are booked. Of course there are buffet options - The international buffet, despite having a variety of food was always crowded and chaotic. Mexican was good ate their quite often but again I suggest dining early. The Brazilian Rodizio and Mediterranean Restaurants were my favorite. The service was outstanding and the food was great!!! Los Liros had good food, but expect to wait awhile for your meal. Other restaurants I didn't get to dine at were the Italian Buffet and Hibachi both requiring reservations in advance. The snack shack always served traditional American hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, for a quick bite on the go.

Activities, there are quite a number for both families as well as those traveling with friends. I was staying as a ROYAL ELITE member and had access to the ADULTS ONLY section of the beach as well as private pool. The beach front Royal Elite Infinity pool is beautiful but small and crowded. I suggest a visit in the early morning to grab a chair. I spent most of my days under a canopy beach bed as the sun was quite hot or poolside in the ADULTS only section where it was fairly quite. Main Pool= Chaos but if that is for you go for it! I didn't even make it to the water park to be honest. After seeing the main pool I was a bit afraid of what I may encounter so my apologies for the lack of review.

Bike Tour - Mayolo was outstanding!!! A friend and I toured the property on bike our guide helped us identify trees that were poisonous as well as the tree that provides the antidote. Without that lesson I may have rubbed up against the wrong tree on my excursion to the ruins!! There are also a few ruins on property, suspension foot bridge, and a few cenotes.

YOGA< YOGA< YOGA!!!!! JUAN CARLOS has changed my life! I have always been very active, with weightlifting/circuit training being my latest fitness program of choice. I have chronic back problems diagnosed with sciatica/performis syndrome causing me to drastically change my regime. After finding Yoga on the schedule, we decided to check it out and I am so happy we did. I was never a big fan of Yoga finding it to be "boring" and more of a "stretching" activity but I WAS SO WRONG. The class was 1.5 hours of pure workout my friends, I have never sweat so much in my life! My back and legs felt better after each class, the stretching and lengthening did wonders for me. Not to mention, the setting overlooking the lagoon in the early morning listening to the sounds of nature, total zen. The instructor was also simply amazing to watch how graceful and in control of his movements as he demonstrated "how to float". I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS CLASS!!! Be sure to RESERVE IN ADVANCE (at the Spa) because the class will fill.

Excursions, My group chose to do one full day excursion. I highly suggest you purchase from a beach vendor if you are looking for a great deal. We were able to negotiate the "Adrenaline Tour" for $90 includes transportation to atv's (singles) 45 min, Rappelling, Zip Line, Temzacal, Cenote (cave), transportation (beverages) to buffet Lunch and a bike your through Coba. We chose Coba as it is one of the last ruins you can actually climb. However, be careful it is treacherous hike as well as decent instructed to be done by clinging to rope but first.

My ROYAL ELITE stay was outstanding providing everything I was hoping to find and much more. The only down side would be the rocky beach, so I may check out Sandos Playacar next trip which is just a few miles away as I the beaches are nicer and I can conveniently still practice YOGA with Juan Carlos there :) As a ROYAL ELITE member you have access to services at both locations. Counting the days until my return visit.

Tips
Make dinner reservations prior to arrival
Pack water shoes for the beach/rocks
Bug spray is provided on premises but you may want to bring the bracelets (considering the surroundings the bugs were not that bad)

Room Tip: The "noise level" is really what you choose. If you book early as you can select a room in...
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Service
3  Thank justajayne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandos_Caracol, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2014

Dear guest,

Thank you very much for choosing our Resort as your new regular vacation spot. Every time we hear that we have a new member of the Sandos family it feels nothing but rewarding and encouraging for the hard and sincere effort made every day by our 900 staff in the hotel that works every day to make our guest happy and comfortable.

We want to thank you for your detailed review, and the time you have invested in leaving your experience on the tripadvisor travel site, lots of other people who are thinking about the Riviera Maya will read how beautiful the Mexican attention to the guests is in our resort.

I will pass on the nice comments to our staff specially, Juan Carlos, and Mayolo, . They will be thrilled to hear that you have arrived home safe and you remember them in your review.

With nothing but gratefulness and a warm greetings from everyone in Sandos Caracol I invite you to contact us next time you visit us with all your personal request so we can revive this amazing experience you already had, or if possible make it better!

Best regards,

Fatima Medina
Web Relations Manager
Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort,
webrelations.caracol@sandos.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014

If you are an "eco" person who doesn't like a/c, then this a resort for you. Wifi is only in a few places, and a/c is in fewer than that. Little kids will like it - and it does have a cool ater cenote. If you go, do not go in late July or Aug.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank willcamjr
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

Address: Carretera Chetumal Pto Juarez Km 295, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
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:
#30 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#44 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: £126 - £328 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sandos Caracol Eco Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 956
Reservation Options:
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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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