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The Reef Coco Beach
Ranked #103 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Reviewed 3 August 2014

What a Title?, but that is exactly what I mean! Sure there are downsides, like Wi-Fi not being free, limited (like almost none) pre-mixed salad offerings, and only conventional fruit on the buffet, but whatever floats your boat.
As soon as you walk out of the Front Office Bldg., you enter a mangrove forest. Your room is in one of the buildings they erected without destroying the eco-system. Besides the lizards and birds, there are also Agouti and Coatimundy around the grounds.
On the other side of the jungle are the pools and restaurants, and then the cabanas, umbrellas, sand and sea. Cozumel Island lies on the horizon, and I think that barrier island helps control the beach water for this part of the coast. We have stayed in Cancun and you cannot get in the water safely as there is always a rip tide effect, even when they don't display the Red Flags. Not so at this resort and in this area. There were no flags up or down the beach. My wife enjoyed the peacefulness of it. I managed to get a little body-surfing in, but it was only for about 20' max as the waves were so small. The beach is very deep. There must have been 6 or more rows of umbrellas lined up at least 15 across.
We tried the Specialty Restaurants and the food was good, but you end up spending the whole evening on just finishing the meal. There is a lot of dead time between everything. If you drink, you could be drunk before your entree arrives. They are very strict on their dress code - NO SANDALS for men. Shorts were accepted even though I had been told long pants only.
The Buffet restaurant's offerings are just as good and you serve yourself, so time is your own responsibility, and sandals are good enough for everyone.
The wait-staff help any way they can. All the staff are courteous and helpful. Of course, they know they can get more $ for being so. The wait-staff and bartenders were exceptional. We chose one waiter, Isidoro, who took care of us for breakfast and lunch, and gave him a Trip Advisor pin. All the staff were familiar with Trip Advisor.
We went Premium and got the gold colored wrist bands. I really didn't see that it made that much of a difference. From what I personally saw, the bartenders at the Premium bar never hesitated to serve any color wrist band, and the completed drinks were made exactly the same regardless. I did not see any big difference in rooms either. My wife just reminded me that there was an added charge to go to the Specialty Restaurants without the gold band.
Kayaks and twin-hulled-sailboats were free to use by all guests. Just sign them out for a half hour and have fun. There were other beach services available at cost.
The Buffet set out a coffee service by 6am, for us early risers.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank zellnerje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,092 - 1,098 of 4,089 reviews

Reviewed 29 July 2014

Arrived 11 a.m., they said our hotel room wouldn't be ready until at least 2~ so they gave us our wristbands and we headed to the beach...With that being said beach is pretty small but serves its purpose...It is quite rocky about the first 10 feet into the water so if you have some water shoes bring them, if you plan to spend some time in the ocean. There are beach beds, which are pretty cool, there is a sign on each one stating to reserve at front desk~ we just asked security if we could use one (they were deserted at the time) and he said that was fine.

Room~ we had reserved a pool view room on a upper floor, we went to check about 1:45 p.m. to see if room was ready, it wasn't, we went to lobby bar, and about 2:20 p.m he hollered at us, that our room was ready~ he said we have your ground floor room ready, I stated that we had asked for our room to be on a upper floor, he said no problem, he put us in 2406, its on the 4th floor of the north side of resort~ we did have a great pool view, but our ocean view was blocked by the roof of the restaurant. We paid extra for a pool view and don't really think that was necessary~ almost all of the rooms would have a pool view, however the rooms closest to the lobby wouldn't have the closest view. He offered to upgrade us to ocean front, we declined. The rooms were quite nice, but the beds were very firm, the elevator only goes up to the 3rd floor and it wasn't close to our room or the amenities, so we got a workout. Our balcony had hammock chairs, they are quite delightful....All in all, the best possible rooms are probably the 2nd floor rooms on the south side~ think you would get the best view from here! Also you can rent the safe for 2.50 per night, its worth it.

Internet~ they charge an outrageous $15 per day for wifi services, we went shopping one day and ended up at 30th ave and Calle 40 and found an internet store with internet for .50 per hour, yep that's 50 cents per hour!

Food~ The buffet was really good, of course it gets old after several days, just like anywhere else. I had some of the best turkey, I have ever ate in my life... The beef was really good there as well. The buffet is open for lunch and at dinner I think the hours are 6:30 to 10:00, one night we didn't go till like 9 p.m. and it wasn't the best, there weren't a lot of people there at that time and the food was old. If you go at prime time, you would be getting the best quality food. The Mexican restaurant, there is a $6 charge per person to eat there~ it was good~ I had chicken fajitas. They also have some huge steaks, that you can order for $20 and also some HUGE lobster tails, but I do not know how much the lobster was. I would recommend going~ maybe not if you had to pay for a large family, but $6 per person is not that much. They do draw it out forever, plan to be there 1.5 hours. The Italian restaurant was good as well, I wouldn't say fabulous, it was above average.. The snack bar had pizza and sandwiches, fries, nachos and it was good as well. They are open in the afternoon and from like 10 p.m to 2 a.m.

Staff was great, never had any problems.

Shows~ we went and watched part of the show a couple nights~ it was ok~ nothing to get excited about~ we only lasted about 15 min max.

Did yoga one day and would have done it more~ but they changed locations with no notice. Yoga instructor was very good!

Pool was great and clean and a swim up bar as well, there always seemed to be plenty of chairs if you were there anytime in the morning. In the afternoon it was kind of few and far between~ but that is partially from people saving chairs and not using them. They also have free scuba lessons each day, I didn't do it, but it's a cool option.

There was a lady on the north side of hotel that had ceramic items for sale or you could paint them, they were a little pricey but well worth it, we did this 2 different days~ her name is Margarita and she touches up your painted items and adds little details~ and we brought home some souvenirs that are absolutely priceless=) If you are going to do this don't wait till the last day, because they have to fire it up in a kiln and you cannot pick them up till the next day.

We walked to fifth Ave. one day for shopping, the street signs are few and far between, and we went several blocks to far before we figured it out, its just a few blocks west of the hotel and then to the south~ when you see blockers preventing cars from driving on the street,, then you know its the correct one! You can find super cheap stuff here, you just have to barter and everyone is asking you to come into their shops. We even had one guy pretending he knew us from our hotel as a waiter to get us in his shop off 5th Ave., only for another vendor to tell us he don't work in any hotel! We also had a massage while we were downtown. It was on the east side of street and had a yellow massage sign. We got such a great price, we had to take it. It was about $15-25 dollars less than any "public beach masseuse" had quoted us!

All in all, it was a great relaxing trip~ we mostly chose this hotel because of its proximity to 5th Ave. and shopping being within walking distance and of course the price. If we went to Playa again, I would probably choose somewhere else, just to experience something different!
Any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Room Tip: 2nd floor on south side would be best view!
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
10  Thank 7asprinter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementGCB, Manager at The Reef Coco Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 2 August 2014

Dear Mrs. 7asprinte,

Thank you very much for your very detailed and positive comment. We are very pleased to hear, that you enjoyed your vacations here in our “The Reef Coco Beach Resort” and have been content with our staff and the location. Besides it´s a pleasure that you visit and enjoyed so many of our activities, like the evening shows of the animation, yoga, painting and that you liked our Mexican and Italian Restaurant. With reference to our charge for Wi-fi, we are happy to inform you that we are implementing shortly to have the wifi included in the premium room category.
We really appreciate your nice words about our hotel and would be very happy to welcome you here once again.
We also have special offers for all our returning guest, so if you decide to come back to visit us any time please contact us directly!

Warmest regards

Guest Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2014

Initially picked this resort due to proximity to downtown Playa and attractions. Boy was I disappointed. I always try to look for positives, and remember that these places deal with thousands of people each week, however, there aren't many positives to be found! The bartenders were very good, and our waiter at the Italian restaurant was fantastic. Other than that, the staff was rude, could not answer any questions, and always said "the person you need isn't in yet."
The Mexican restaurant was not included in the "all-inclusive", wi-fi was extra, and after 3 days I was literally "hunted down" to find out why I did not attend the info session so I could be scheduled for a time share presentation.
The money exchange did not allow you to change pesos back to dollars.... time after time, they stated they did not have any $ available.
I was hasseled at Check out because I did not bring the pool towels to the front desk with me, they were not going to give me a check out certificate for security unless I went back to the room and brought them to the desk (and my transport van to the airport was waiting outside)

We have stayed in many All-Inclusive resorts, but we will NEVER recommend this to anyone (or any other Reef location)

One positive is the on-site Dive Shop. Jose arranged for my son to go to Cozumel on a scuba diving excursion. My son absolutely loved it, and their customer service was excellent.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
13  Thank armagh_princess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementGCB, Manager at The Reef Coco Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 11 August 2014

Dear Mrs. armargh_princess,

We are really sorry to hear you were not satisfied with your stay at “The Reef Coco Beach Resort” and we would like to express our most sincere apology for this.

We usually receive lots of positive comments regarding our employees treating our guests very friendly and respectful. Please send us an email with name and departments and we will definitely follow up on this, to make sure it won´t happen to new clients. Thank you for mentioning you received good service from the bartenders, the staff in the Italian restaurant and at the Reef Marina.

Referring to the extra cost of Wifi in our hotel, we are happy to inform you that we are implementing shortly to have the wifi included in the premium room category.

The hotel offers different room categories. We would like to explain for future clients the differences between the different room categories, so they will not be unhappy, because of the lack of information.

The standard room category includes
• Full service breakfast lunch and dinner buffet
• 1 A la carte Dinner option in Italian a la carte restaurant
• Snackbar & tea time
• Choice of various bars , domestic alcohol and non alcoholic drinks
• Kids club, bikes, gym, aerobics
• Day and night activities
• Non motorized watersports including kayaks, boogie boards, snorkel equipment & scuba dive demo.
• Room: with either one king size bed or two double beds, air conditioning, private bath room, hair dryer, make up mirror, TV, telephone, mini fridge (not stocked), alarm clock, iron & iron board, safety deposit box ($) and a private balcony or terrace.
• Note: second a la carte restaurant available at a surcharge per person.
The Superior room category includes the standard room package plus:
• Coffee maker in room
• Bathrobe and upgraded amenities in room
• Safety deposit box without charge
• Minibar filled with beer and soft drinks daily
• Choice of 2 a la carte restaurants without surcharge
• 25% Discount on any spa service in the Reef Spa
• Bottle of wine upon arrival in room

The Premium room category includes the superior services plus extra:
• Premium alcoholic beverages offered at all bars, (wine´s and champagne not included), international brands selected by the hotel.
• Access to our private Beach Lounge Bar directly at the beach with personalized service VIP
• Wifi ( as of November 01, 2014)
Due to the new Mexican law, the hotel is not allowed to change Mexican pesos into dollars. This can be done only in a bank or at the airport or at an official exchange office. We are very sorry that this information was not provided to you properly at our front desk.

The hotel provides the client with two towel cards upon check in and the client signs for these cards that they must return either the towels or the cards at check out. Unfortunately we had to implement this policy, due to the high disappearance rate of beach towels.
Once again, we want to apologize we were not able to meet your expectations and we wish you happy future travels.

Kind regards,

Guest Service Manager

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Reviewed 25 July 2014 via mobile

From the moment we walked into resort we were treated with kindness and respect. All staff very accomodating. Rooms were clean with beautiful tile floors. Furniture was a little dated...but the cleanliness was the most important. Food was great....served with a smile. Beach was a little small but fabulous beach a few yards away. Walking distance to great shopping and local food. I would definitely book this resort again.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank juliev412002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementGCB, Manager at The Reef Coco Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Dear Mrs. Juliev412,

Thank you very much for your nice comment and for sharing your experience at the Reef Coco Beach Resort. We are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed your vacation and have been content with our service, location and our food. It will be a great pleasure to welcome you once again at our resort and we offer our repetitive guests some special welcome presents.

Kind regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2014 via mobile

Hi everyone, first and foremost I want to say that I am a 44 year old female who is well travelled ( in fact I have travelled three times per year since I was a baby)/and I am now a part time travel agent. I gave you that background just so you would get an idea of how much I have to compare against this resort.

My husband and I wanted a relaxing vacation so we researched and researched and because our budget was on the low side it took us some time. We have been to Cuba seven times but cannot get over how bad the food is there!

This resort was so clean (staff constantly cleaning)!

The room was beautiful. We were on the second floor facing the pool and ocean. All rooms face this way! The room was huge and had a king size bed and a nice size balcony. The cleaning staff were very attentive and provided us with all essentials needed all the time.

The walking distance from our room to anywhere we wanted to go is what sold us the most about this lovely resort. We walked out of our room to the pool, to the beach and to the restaurants within two minutes!

The main town, Playa del Carmen was a five minute taxi ride or 15 minute walk.
Five Avenue is the main street where you'll find amazing and unique restaurants and pubs and great shopping (loved, loved)this place . Nighttime was the best time to go ( beautiful lite up and much cooler).

Food at this restaurant was 4+. The Italian restaurant is included and authentic,delicious!! The main buffet always has an abundance of fresh fruit, beautiful breads etc. The snack bar by the pool had the very best ribs I have ever had!!!

The staff were friendly and smiling all the time!!

The checking in was quick and easy.

The beach is cute , unique with the boats moated nearby and the beach is about 4 km long for those that love to walk ( like us)...

I would give this resort a 5 *rating ( even though it is rated at a 3 1/2 or 4)!

See you soon.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank lauratravelbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementGCB, Manager at The Reef Coco Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Dear lauratrav,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your vacation in our resort. We are very happy and pleased to hear that you had a wonderful time here at The Reef Coco Beach and we could fulfill your expectations.

We really appreciate your nice comments about the clean and nice room, the beach, the good size of the resort, the good food, fresh fruit, delicious food at the Italian restaurant and more.

We will be waiting for your visit us again anytime soon, please let us know directly, so you can enjoy our special extras for our returning guests.

Our Best Wishes for you
Guest Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

We booked our girls getaway through Groupon for The Reef Coco Beach. Knowing it was through Groupon I didn't expect excellent service or goods but I expected average at best. Our initial hotel room was very outdated and musty. We were upgraded to a suite after my friend sat through a six-hour timeshare meeting where she did end up purchasing the timeshare. My first warning - beware of the timeshare push. If you can say no and waste two hours do it for the $100. If you can't put your foot down or don't have a lot of time pass!

We had to ask multiple times for extra towels and coffee. The service was poor and I was surprised, I have traveled to Mexico many times and the service is always amazing. Not at this resort. I felt like a burden calling down over and over.

The worst was the food. I had read some reviews on The Reef Coco Beach and people said the food was ok. Let me tell you I love food and I'm really not picky, I will eat junky hot dogs from 7/11. The food was inedible. I literally lost four pounds while at this resort. The buffet is American and so not good. A lot of it scared me that I would get food poisoning. There is a Mexican restaurant that you can eat at for an extra $6.00. Pay the $6.00, it is well worth it, but it's only open for dinner.

I would really recommend not staying at this resort. It was not awesome.

Room Tip: Try to get a suite
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Raych41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2014

This was our third and last stay at this hotel. We booked 4 rooms through hoteltravel.com. It was meant to be a family affair and turned out to be a headache affair. Knowing that unfortunately in my country (México) is hard to honor reservations, we visited the hotel one week before the reservation was due as booked and prepaid. We discussed our reservations and needs with what we think was the front desk manager (Javier?). He promised to do his best to have the rooms either adjacent or as close to each other as possible. We paid an extra fee since we booked a "Superior" level room (physically challenged facilities) for an elderly person. Everything was apparently taken care until our arrival date. The guards at the entrance asked me "where are you going?" I saw myself in my car´s rear view mirror thinking that I looked like a "mugger", but I sure wasn´t. Why was he so rude? I had to show him all the paperwork showing we were booked to stay there. Surprise!!! No empty spaces in the hotel parking area. Everyone was parking across the street in an empty lot full of sand and dust, then cross the street to check-in. Upon checking in we tried talking again with the front desk person and he kind of slipped away from the desk. I knew right there and then something wrong was going on. We got our room, our family got their room and another "Surprise" no "Superior" room for no one. No close together rooms, no amenities available as offered for the "Superior" room. No one seemed to know nothing about it. There was our "Superior" room offer sitting in the bottom of the trash can.
This hotel used to have the best Italian food in the whole city. Nowadays, this restaurant leaves a lot to be desired. Food was bland, cool/warm, slow service,... I mean SLOW service and no AC (what happened? Such a nice restaurant going down?) no explanation given. The whole all-inclusive program really is going down the tubes. How can a hotel go down so fast in one year?
To close this review, we were disturbed the night before our departure by the guests above our room. It was 11:45 p.m and we could hear furniture moving from one side to the other, ball bouncing, laughs, slamming doors, etc. We called the desk asking for help, and it took more than one hour to get a response from the neighbors above. Next morning, upon checking-out. We complained about the noise the night before and a front desk girl simply smiled and said "Oh, that must have been the people from last night wedding". Should I give for granted that such is life in the Tropics? Sure enough the hotel had organized a wedding and it was noisy. Ah, last but not least, one of our family members booked his room in London through Expedia and upon checking-out he had to pay again, since the hotel was not showing such room prepaid. A total mess we will and are not ready to go through it again. Good Luck for all of you booking this hotel.

Room Tip: No tips. No matter what you try the honest way, $50.00 US folded in your hand will get you places.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank HectorRodriguez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Reef Coco Beach

Address: Costera Norte S.N. Lte. 1 Mza. 7, 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) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#52 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#59 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#70 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £123 - £335 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Reef Coco Beach 3.5*
Number of rooms: 196
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 30 miles south of Cancun, The Reef Cococbeach is the perfect compliment to the white sandy beaches and turquoise waters of this world renowned tropical paradise. Just a short walk from the picturesque town of Playa del Carmen, you will enjoy our personalized service, the privacy you desire in a resort destination and the entertainment of one of the best night life's the Mayan Riviera has to offer.Our location provides easy access to the many attractions the Mayan Riviera has to offer such as Playa del Carmen's famous 5th avenue, Playacar's Bird Sanctuary, Playacar Golf Club, Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Tulum and much, much more.The hotel offers 196 comfortable rooms Caribbean style, our pleasant rooms consist of one king size bed or two double beds, terrace or balcony, air conditioning, ceiling fan, mini fridge, TV,hair dryer, vanity mirror, telephone and bath room with bahttub and shower combination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Coco Bay Mexico
Grand Coco Bay Playa Del Carmen
Grand Coco Bay Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Grand Coco Bay Riviera Maya
The Reef Coco Beach Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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