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“Just as good as last time”
Review of Playa Maya

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Playa Maya
Ranked #101 of 217 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 July 2014

We stayed at Playa Maya for the second time this past May. Our stay this time was for 12 nights. We loved it for the first time last year, and loved it just as much this year.

The location is perfect for us. It is directly on the beach and within walking distance of everything we enjoy in town. Yes, you can only get to the hotel via the beach but its not an issue as the workers from Playa Maya are close at hand to carry your luggage through the sand and to your room.

As far as the beach goes, our first day there was not much beach at all, in fact we had only a small strip of sand to walk on to get to the hotel, however, by noon the next day the beach had been restored and the rocks had been covered. The beach at that point was fantastic and stayed that way our entire vacation. It just goes to show that the beach comes and goes and thats just mother nature so not sure how someone can complain about it.

The staff at Playa Maya is amazing. Juan and Carlos were our waiters most days, and they were as attentive as you wanted them to be. The rest of the staff is just as great from the front desk crew, to the cleaning people, to the gentlemen that carried suitcases and put the loungers out each day. We were lucky enough to be there when one of the owners was in town, and she made a point of finding every guest and introducing herself to them and making sure their stay was satisfactory. In fact, she made a point to stop by and say hi every day she was in town. Little things like that make a big difference.

We eat a lot of our meals out as there are so many great restaurants in Playa, but the few meals we did eat there were all very good; especially the coconut shrimp.

The rooms might be considered basic but they are spotless, big, and bright. We have stayed in the deluxe and superior rooms. The air conditioning works great too. We also enjoyed sitting on our balcony.

There was some construction at the hotel next door that had been going on before we got there but we didn't see or hear anything going on there until our last two days of vacation and even then it wasn't anything noisy at all.

Yes, the pool is small but big enough to cool off in if you wish.

I also really appreciate the night guard to make sure only guests are coming in at night, however it is very safe around the hotel. There are a few locals and vacationers that might be sitting on the beach enjoying the evening or around the lifeguard station enjoying the beach, but thats it.

All in all, it was another great stay at Playa Maya and will most certainly return again.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Linda H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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119 - 125 of 670 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2014

My wife and I returned home last night from our second stay at Playa Maya. I made a previous review for our stay last year and just wanted to get this out while our vacation was still fresh in my mind.
While I hate to contaminate my review with anything negative, I have to say it grieves me to see even unscrupulous reviewers are allowed to weigh in with what I hope is obvious, inconsistent blather.
As stated in my review of our 2013 visit to Playa Maya this property continues to be an excellent value. I find the staff disciplined in the art of customer service and able to manage these skills without being overbearing or intrusive on your personal space. The rooms are basic but clean, safe and appropriate. The air conditioning is more than adequate and a welcome feature after a long hot day of surveying the beach action.
We stayed 10 nights again and spent the majority of our time seated in front of the hotel on the beach in cushioned lounge chairs where every need was seen to by the staff. The beef nachos and beef fajitas are excellent and fairly priced. I was very "needy" on occasion with buckets of ice requested for their drinks and mine and this was never a problem. Umbrella over the lounger repositioned, no problem. We walked the beach daily, searched for sea life on the rocks and thoroughly enjoyed the variance offered by the area. Our personal stuff was left at our loungers daily and there was never a problem with theft.
We are not night club people, so retire early to our room and the surrounding club noises were not an issue to us.
Free coffee and breakfast on the beach is an excellent touch (free coffee all day). Free bottled water daily, also greatly appreciated.
The overall business model is right and it's nice to see someone doing customer service well.
In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, "I'll be Back"

Room Tip: The basic room should be adequate and certainly is the best value. I would love to try the kitchene...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
5  Thank stevenson911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2014

Our stay at Playa Maya totally exceeded our expectations. It is right on the beach. We took the ADO bus (very nice) from the airport to the bus station on 5th and hired a bike with seats to take us to our hotel, a few blocks away to 8th street. That was fun. It was an exceptional 10 days with an awesome and friendly staff, including Juan, Jorge, Fidel and Carla. They were fantastic and many of them spoke English. They were very attentive without hovering over us and treated us like good friends. The coconut shrimp was better than any shrimp we have ever eaten. We also appreciated the night guard, who very courteously requested our room number and name, since we were coming back to our room after hours. That made us feel that much more secure. The pool and hot tub were very clean and the pool has both sun and shade with padded lounge chairs. We enjoyed the fact that we had a spacious room with a kitchenette equipped with all the necessary utensils including a coffeemaker and coffee. We saved money on lunches and ate out for dinner. There's a DAC veggie/fruit market you can take a taxi to plus a very nice sized grocery fairly close as well. We had constant hot water, great A/C, nice beach chairs with 2 beach towels provided and delicious breakfast choices that were included with our stay each day. They also have a long list of mixed drinks available, yet they will make whatever you want, if it is not on the list. All we had to do was walk around the corner of the hotel along the beach and we were on 8th street. We were one block from 5th street, which has most of the stores and restaurants. Mi Pueblo is on the corner of 5th and 8th with delicious food and great people who speak English. Say hi to Juan Carlos for us. We always enjoyed coming back to the room every day to a different towel sculpture with flowers on it. The sculptures took quite a bit of talent. We also could have brought less clothes because they have an excellent and expedient laundry service. We didn't ask for our clothes to be ironed so we can't rate that. We cannot say enough good about our stay. We would not consider going anywhere else on our next stay to Playa del Carmen. We highly recommend Playa Maya to everyone we know. Great job Playa Maya.
Karen B.

Room Tip: If you want a kitchenette, you need a first floor room. You eat breakfast on the beach and sea the...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Kaypasa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

This is a good value for playa del carmen. The hotel rooms are basic but clean and the staff was very helpful. The location is convenient to the nightlife, shopping and restaurants. This is not a great hotel if you expect to swim or hang out on the hotel grounds. You will have to walk to get to a nicer stretch of beach. You also will have to enter and exit the hotel every day/night via the beach. It wasn't a big problem for us but know that you will have extra sand on your feet. Overall, if you want a clean, friendly hotel in a central location- this is a great option. I found Playa del Carmen too crowded and commercial but I suppose that is why some people like it.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank St_LouisMoFFGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2014

This review is long overdue… however, noting some recent comments… I believe that I should also chime in about Playa Maya!

In an attempt to keep this short (and for full disclosure), my family and friends have been staying at the hotel for the past decade… one to two times a year… when rooms are available! There are three key areas that have continued to attract us to this location… service, room cleanliness/comfort, and value. Our children (now adults) have joined us on trips to Playa del Carmen before the upper part of 5th Avenue were built up…

SERVICE… the fact that many of the same employees are still working at Playa Maya over the many years is a testament to the management there. (It’s difficult to find locations in Playa/Cancun where that can be said!) We’ve seen some of them “grow up” at the property… and can always count on receiving great service in the restaurant and hotel areas. The management there has always been VERY responsive when contacted… and processing of all aspects of our stays, as well as any other questions, has continued to be excellent!

ROOM CLEANLINESS/COMFORT… These rooms are CLEAN! The service staff have been with the property for a long time… and they know what needs to be done… making for a safe and comfortable environment. The beds are very comfortable (of course, some will probably like more firm/more soft… but that’s not uncommon). Each day, we would return “home” from long days out… to our base camp… secure… and the right temperature… cool!

VALUE… For the price, for the location, and for the quality of service and food… you would be hard-pressed to find a similar offer. We have stayed at several large properties in Cancun in early days… and they are quite nice… but much more expensive… much less personal… and much more “sanitized” (from the perspective of experiencing more of Mexico vs. Miami Beack South). The full breakfasts are included in the room price… and the lunch menu offers some quality items at reasonable prices! The drink menu is just as compelling...

For the layout of the property… yes… there is only one way to access it… via the beach. This is well-documented on the Playa Maya website… and the general staff are usually on top of things… having a spotter on the lookout for your arrival. They come out to transport your luggage, and lead you in… if necessary. Walking on the sand has never been a problem… and it actually is a nice differentiator for us that the hotel is sandlocked! 

The pool is small (relatively speaking)… but there are only 20+ rooms in this hotel… which makes it kind of a “boutique”. The grounds are well-maintained… building painted on a regular basis… so always appears clean. The restaurant is fun… inside and out under the palapas… and again, service has always been attentive and quick! Food quality is up there… to the point that many of our colleagues have come to Playa Maya just for the fish tacos and coconut shrimp… in addition to the fairly potent drinks!

Also included in the room rate are the beach loungers… for those that would like to chill on the nice days… or after breakfast. The front desk staff has always been helpful, courteous, and informative… sometimes acting as the concierge, when it comes to ideas of new things to do! (We know most names of Playa Maya’s personnel… unfortunately, I would probably overlook a name or two… and that would be unfair… since they all contribute to the experience!)

The team there will also accommodate special events… i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, etc… and they do make it special.

Location… on the beach with access to many clubs/restaurants)… but one block from 5th avenue (shopping/restaurants)… and a short walk to the bus station for excursions to Tulum, Cancun, Isla Mujeres… with the ferry to Cozumel across the local plaza.

I’ll stop here… only because, we have many great memories and experiences basing at Playa Maya… and plan on having more!

Room Tip: If hall noise (i.e. people talking) might be a problem... best bet to not take a room off the recept...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank gkhicks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2014

We booked this hotel mainly because of the beach front location AND the numerous glorious reviews. Unfortunately, the only truthful review about this hotel is the "beach front" location. And even that, the "beach" is too rocky to the point that it is unsafe for adults, let alone kids. So, I wonder about the family friendly reviews that this hotel has received. This is not a good, safe, beach front hotel for families with younger kids. Sure, you could go slightly to the right or to the left of the hotel's beach front to be on a non-rocky beach to get to the water; but for the price you pay for the hotel, why do that? You might as well book at the nearby hotels with less rocky locations. The hotel is also very difficult to find. It has no entrance from any of the main or side streets. You have to go to the beach itself between 6th and 8th and tow your luggage on and through the sand to get to the hotel.

I have to say though that the cleaning crew did an awesome job cleaning our room daily. The room itself is basic and nothing to write about. There is an almost non-existent swimming pool. It is almost a "kiddie" pool, so maybe that's why the good reviews from families. Other than that, I really can't see any reason why this is family friendly.

During our visit in June 2014, the next-door building has been gutted out and it looks like it is primed for demolition. I'm sure a new hotel is about to be built on top of it. Playa Maya might as well be leveled and rebuilt. It is outdated and needs major overhaul.

Overall, the $160/night cost of staying at the hotel is sky high, considering the rocky beach, non-existent swimming pool, bad entrance to the hotel, expensive food, outdated appearance, and other similar factors. The only good thing about it is that it is located in front of the water and close to 5th Avenue. Then again, a good number of other better hotels are too.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank jerillis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PlayaMaya, Public Relations Manager at Playa Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 10 July 2014

Hello, and thanks for posting your comments here, although of course we were sorry to hear that apparently our property was not a good match for your personal preferences! This was additionally quite a surprise for us, as you didn't mention any issues or concerns to us on site, and Pablo & Fernando in our reception report having asked you how things were and you saying that everything was fine. Our restaurant/beach staff also reported no issues that came up during your stay, except for our man Sergio having found and returned to you some sunglasses that you inadvertently left behind at the beach one day. We were even able to meet your specific room assignment request for a top-floor unit with the best ocean view in its class...

But in any event, I'm happy to respond here re a number of the points you mention. You start off with the question, "Why all the great reviews...?", but of course the answer to that varies depending on the reviewer in question. Many of those answers can, however, be seen here in those very reviews here, including almost 400 that rate us "excellent" and almost another 100 that rate us "very good" according to TripAdvisor's system. These comprise 93% of our reviews overall. We invite anyone to look through them for the many specific answers to that question, but given your comments, we wonder if perhaps you didn't actually do that as much, but tended more just to take the sheer number of positive reviews and ranking as your guide? If so, well that is always a risky approach, as it's not only the sheer thumbs up/down aspect but the particular _type_ of offering that usually better predicts whether guests will be happy with a particular property. A quick look through the top 10 or 20 here on TripAdvisor will immediately reveal that they include very different types of properties, at very different price ranges, all mixed in together, in a situation where one might not suit any particular party of guests at all, while the next one would be great.

But to begin addressing your points, many of those reviews are from families with children who enjoyed the beach, the pool, the restaurant, the rooms, etc, and in particular I cannot recall any which complain that things are somehow not safe, as you suggest here. But then we're not sure why you mention concerns along those lines, anyway, as you did not have children along with you on this stay...

And with regard to the beach, many will also point out what regular visitors to Playa know very well: that beach conditions change regularly, for better or worse, in this area or that, and at the whim of Mother Nature. For this reason, we make it a point _not_ to include pictures of the beach on our web site (through which you booked), as we don't want people to think we're promising any particular conditions and then be disappointed if it's not as nice upon their arrival. It appears that you may not have been aware of this ever-changing nature, however, based on your reaction and your comments re nearby properties, which also undergo the same unpredictable variation. And all that said, we do post photos of the beach from time to time on the forum here and on our Twitter account, and one posted just a few days prior to your arrival shows much better conditions than you describe. Unfortunately it seems you just hit a less pleasing patch for your specific dates, much as if you'd hit inclement weather...

As for the arrival issues you mentioned, well it appears you may not have read the information in this regard on your confirmation, where we highlight under an all caps, bold, color heading that the hotel does in fact offer a beach-only entrance (a point actually appreciated by guests and travel publications for the additional privacy, security and quiet it brings to the property), and that one simply needs to go down to where 8th Street dead ends at the beach and then around to the right some 15 yards to our entrance. We included instructions in Spanish to show to your driver in this regard, and also point out that if someone in your party will just come around to let us know you've arrived (in cases where we haven't seen you already), our staff members are more than happy to come out and carry your bags over the sand for you, as we very often do (and as is often mentioned in positive reviews here). So it's unfortunate that much of your arrival difficulty could have been avoided, if that information had been put to use.

Moving along to other points, the pool is 45 ft long by 10 ft wide, not including the additional kids' area you mention. While not overly large, it is hard to see how that might be accurately described as "non-existent". :-) Also the hotel next door is not being leveled but rather retained and only remodeled in the interior, even though it is many years older than our structure. That said, you may be happy to hear that we are in fact closing for some 6 weeks this Aug/Sep for some remodeling work of our own, in the hope of making guests feel even more satisfied in the future.

Now as for cost and value, well you reference a rate of $160 per night, but that's about 25% more than what you paid. Your 7-night stay came to a total, after all charges & taxes were figured in, of $904, meaning you paid only $129 per night, significantly less than you mention here (about $215 less for the week). This price was of course laid out in our correspondence with you during the booking process and is also spelled out on your confirmation, for your reference. We can certainly imagine that some guests might well have an unfairly negative impression of us in terms of cost/value if they mistakenly believed they were paying 25% more than they actually were! And so we wonder if this mistake is partly why you awarded us only 2/5 ("poor") in the value rating.

We also wonder if the latter point might be related to the fact that your breakfast each morning was included with the above cost, but you skipped breakfast with us on 5 out of your 7 days. It certainly seems like a free, full meal every day would naturally increase the value aspect... As for your comment that our food is expensive, well our system shows you only ordered one non-included food item during your stay, our well-known coconut shrimp, which is indeed the most expensive single platter item on our menu, but which only runs $13.50. Many people find this platter sufficient for 2 people, making it even more economical, and in fact you also shared this between the 2 of you at that meal. With 5 drinks added in, your entire check for that meal came to a total of $38. Another check for a total of 10 beers came to the total $26, or $2.60 per beer, and your only other check during the week, for a margarita and a smoothie, came to about $9.50. We are sorry you found these prices to be expensive, although it does not seem that many people do, and an objective comparison with local businesses (and especially with other beachfront operations) would show them on the contrary to be more on the affordable end of the scale for the area.

Finally, we cannot help but respectfully take issue with a couple of points about your review that seem strangely inconsistent with your ratings, and suggest that the latter (and thus the overall rating) here may be too low. For example, in your conclusion, you note our location on the beach and near 5th Ave as a _good_ thing, and yet in your ratings for the aspect of location, you award the lowest possible rating, and one lower than any other aspect: just 1/5 ("terrible"). That seems rather self-contradictory. Also, in what appears to be a clear exception to your overall view of your stay, you really go rather out of your way to compliment our cleaning staff, describing their work as "awesome". We're glad to hear that! Which makes us even more confused when we look at the individual aspect ratings and see that you assigned only a 3/5 ("average") score for cleanliness. So something you describe as good is then rated "terrible", and something to which you apply the word "awesome" is then rated only average...

Well this is plenty long enough and I think we have now rather thoroughly gone through all the points you mentioned here. When all is said and done, we hope you find a property better suited to your personal preferences on your next trip, and hope that this response may be helpful to others, as well.

Stephen Ryberg
Playa Maya

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2014

This is a just right spot for us. Tremendous staff, laid back and friendly, Pablo is awesome, Fernando is excellent, Angelina is a cool lady, Raffi is so cool! You have a great team Good spot. I guess the owners treat their staff very well...........................See you next time

Room Tip: 3rd and 2nd floors were a great view
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Pearlieman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Playa Maya

Address: | Zona FMT entre calle 6 y 8 Norte, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#72 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £108 - £185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Playa Maya 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playa Maya is right on the beach and centrally located, just 1 block from 5th Avenue, the heart of activity in Playa del Carmen. Our unusual off-street location and beach-only entrance make us a very tranquil base from which our guests can easily explore all the shopping & nightlife of Playa, along with the other wonders of the Riviera Maya. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Playa Maya Del Carmen
Playa Maya Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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