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“Headed back to the Playa Maya! ”
Review of Playa Maya

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Playa Maya
Ranked #101 of 217 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 February 2006

My husband and I are counting the days until we return to the Playa Maya (for the third time!) this April. We had a trip planned last year until Wilma decided to head that way. Unfortunately we had to detour to Puerto Vallarta. We re-booked for a trip in April and we're now bringing my father along. Our first trip to the Playa Maya was planned by someone else for their wedding. We loved everything about it. Our second trip the next year was our choosing. Again, we loved everything about it. We were very sad not being able to be there last year but we are so happy to be going back. Stephen and the whole staff are great. We love the coziness of the hotel; we love the restaurant right on the beach and the location is awesome. Can't imagine where else we would stay while in Playa Del Carmen . . .

  • Stayed: October 2004
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32  Thank wannabeprincess49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 22 February 2006

We stayed at the Playa-Maya May 2005.
The location and the service were top notch!
Great food, cute little pool to cool off in!
The rooms are simple but the air-conditioning worked wonderful and the shower always has hot water!
The beds were comfortable compared to other beds in Playa.
The beach-only access it SUCH a positive, you feel super safe when entering at night!
Perfect everything!

Cant wait to go back this May!

  • Stayed: May 2005
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34  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Bonanza, OR
Reviewed 22 February 2006

My husband and I stayed at the Playa Maya for 10 days and absolutely loved it. We own time shares and have been to Cancun and Playa a few times before this. I have to say I was looking for something a little more personal and found it there. The rooms are not elaborate, but functional and clean. The food in the onsite restaurant is very economical and good. The beds are far softer than any other hotel we have stayed at in Mexico. We had to leave and move into Cancun after our stay in P.D.C. for the last seven days. Cancun is still pretty torn up, although many are working to get it up and running again. I will definately return to Playa Maya ASAP. Thanks Steve and all of your hard working staff.

Stayed: February 2006
33  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2006

I've been putting off writing this review because I knew it would take many words to accurately portray the service I experienced at the Hotel Playa Maya. Here goes.

My new wife and I celebrated our engagement in 2004 with a trip to Playa del Carmen. After some conversations with managers Steve and Delmy, we decided to return in 2005 and have our wedding there as well. With our limited budget and short guest list (my wife is Japanese and many of her friends and family could not jump the pond), we really could not afford a wedding planner or a whole lot of bells and whistles. Steve and Delmy offered to help us as much as they could (within reason, of course).

Through the year Steve kept in contact with me and even put up with quite a few changes in schedule (two guests dropped out due to pregnancy. who said that planning a year and a half in advance was good?). He and his wife spoke to mariachis and fire dancers (who I've heard have since set fire to a nearby hotel and are now banned from performing on Mexican beaches. We were lucky on several levels!) to perform, both for very reasonable rates. When hurricane Wilma hit, I was able to monitor the hotel's cleanup on their website and Steve dropped me a line or two telling me the hotel would certainly be up and running by our wedding date, as well as reports as to how the rest of Playa del Carmen were faring.

Unfortunately, despite the quick recovery the airlines were cancelling flights to Cancun left and right. I'll leave that nightmare out of this review, since it has little to do with Playa Maya's service and more to do with Continental (@&%!#&!) and other airlines, but I will mention that Steve put me in touch with a very nice travel agent here in the States who helped us considerably with bringing my wife's (non-English-speaking)mother, sisters, brother-in-law and aunt and uncle to Cancun.

The weather was perfect. Playa del Carmen was great (aside from the pushy hawkers who always litter the streets). The great reception staff helped my family with their misc day trips and area questions. Delmy helped us order flowers and a cake from local merchants, who we never would have found on our own. Our wedding under the restaurant palapas was flawless. The mariachis lent a Mexican atmosphere without being too hokey. Steve plugged my iPod in and piped our wedding march and the soundtrack to our reception into a very good, and purportedly new, soundsystem nestled in the palapas rafters. A surprisingly FANTASTIC meal was served, the highlight being the much-raved-about-in-this-forum Coconut Shrimp.

After the dinner came the fire dancers, who were at once surreal and entertaining. It was a 20 minute event and afterward each member of my family came to me and confided that this was different than any wedding they had ever experienced. I took it as the compliment it was clearly meant to be.

The only negative thing anyone had to say about the hotel was that the pool was kind of dirty. I mentioned this to Steve after everyone had gone and he told me that he was aware of this. Their usual pool-cleaner had taken the holidays off and their handyman was taking care of it along with his other chores, and just hadn't kept on top of it well enough. I had used the pool many times during our previous trip and it had been very clean. I've read lots of negative reviews that centered around the size of the pool. It is a fine pool for puddling around in. If you want to practice your breaststroke, walk the 50 feet to the sea and swim in that, for crying out loud.

So, as you can see, I have nothing but praise for the Hotel Playa. The staff was exceptional for such a small "boutique" hotel. The management is clearly attentive and love their hotel. The surroundings are fantastic. If you want a small, friendly, loving wedding, have it at the Playa Maya.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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45  Thank imaginary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Dallas, TX
Reviewed 11 February 2006

Just returned from our first stay at Playa Maya hotel. We have previously stayed in Playa del Carmen at a top-rated all-inclusive (we hated the stuffiness and unhealthy food), the El Faro next door (which is now closed to be redeveloped as condos). We looked at the rooms at Playa Maya last year and booked there this year. The rooms were half the price of El Faro, and much cleaner than El Faro, although a little smaller. We would have moved to Playa Maya hotel even if El Faro hadn't shut down.

We were very happy with the hotel and staff. The rooms are a little sparse, but the price is incredible, the rooms and everywhere else in the hotel are spotlessly clean, and it is quiet even though it's in the middle of town. The fact that there is only one way in and out of the hotel is a positive --- security is really tight and you feel super-safe there. Nobody can "wander through" because there is no street access. You get the benefits of seclusion but you're just a block from everything happening on 5th.

A couple of staff members aren't quite as friendly, initially, as they might be. But we found if we were nice to them they warmed up after a day or two, and most of the wait staff and front desk people were very nice and certainly accomodating.

For some reason, the beds in every hotel we've ever stayed at in Mexico, including the big Cancun hotels, are hard as a rock --- I don't think you can even buy a bed as hard as they have there, in the United States. Thankfully, Playa Maya has really good "American style" matresses and for the first time, I didn't wake up with the terrible back ache every morning (and I'm not an old codger --- those beds at the other places were really terrible). Foam vs. feather pillows was also a huge plus, and the staff immediately brought us additional pillows when we requested them.

A big plus to this hotel is it's beach. The beach north and south is cluttered with moored fishing boats, and the beach down by the Royale and Blue Parrott stinks of sewer gas all the time. The beach directly in front of the hotel is great!

Another plus is the beach services. The guy who sets out all the chaise lounges AND CUSHIONS (the other hotels in the area don't have cushions on the chaises) is fabulous. You're sitting at the restaurant having breakfast and he sets up your chaises for the day, with or without an unbrella as you desire. He also serves food and drinks on the beach, as do the other waiters, which all but one of the nearby hotels do not have. The food is great (the ceviche is fantastic), and the food and drink prices are very reasonable --- our total bill for breakfast (only charges in excess of the gratis continental breakfast cost), lunch 7 days, and tons of drinks (we won't say how many but we were on the beach for 7 of the 8 days), was about $245, including tip. It doesn't get any better than that.

My wife and I have read some of the negative reviews of Playa Maya hotel on this forum and I think they all stem from people having unrealistic expectations of what this place is. Playa del Carmen is strange (by traditional American standarads) in that it really doesn't have any American style big resort hotels. It either has big all-inclusives mostly in Playacar, or it has small boutique hotels (non-chains) that are of the European small-hotel ilk. As with small European hotels, you're not going to get room service and a few of the other amenities that might be standard at a big American-style resort at any of the boutique hotels in Playa del Carmen. Anyone who's stayed in small hotels in Europe knows that you're also going to get relatively sparse rooms. One-time visitors to Playa Maya hotel who are expecting the American-style resort are going to be disappointed because that's just not what it is and, most importantly, you're not going to get that anywhere in the area unless you want to go all-inclusive. I don't think that unrealistic expectations that no hotel in the area can satisfy, should be held against Playa Maya hotel.

The owner is around and asks you how your visit is going. I've never seen that anywhere else in Playa.

And by the way, the bar has the best margarita on the rocks I've ever had --- and we live in Texas so we know a good Margarita when we get one.

We booked our rooms late so we had to change rooms for the last two nights of our 8 night stay. We did minor cleaning up but didn't really re-pack and the hotel staff moved everything for us while we were laying on the beach and then brought our new room key right out the beach to us. That's the kind of service I appreciate.

We've already booked our rooms for next year, and will be repeat guests for a long time.

  • Stayed: February 2006
    • Value
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43  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2006

My wife and I had the priviledge to stay at the Playa Maya for 7 nights over New Year's Eve and into January. We had a wonderful time and thought that the hotel was one of the best values anywhere.

We wanted an ocean view room, but due to the timing of our arrival, we booked into a room with a kitchenette for the first night and then moved to an ocean view for the last 6 nights. We really had no use for the small kitchen area, but it might be nice for others. The ocean view room was wonderful! I was amazed at how clean the rooms were, considering the only entrance to the hotel was from the beach (which was definitely a positive for us).

The staff made our room change easy and painless, and were always very helpful and friendly, including the owners, who make an effort to visit with us several times throughout our stay.

The beach area in front of the Playa Maya is as nice as anywhere in PDC, and there were always workers to help you get set up in a great spot, if all you want to do is relax on the beach.

Compared to other hotels, we loved the combination of the close proximity to 5th, with very little noise (again, thanks in part to the beach-only entrance). We always felt safe returning to the hotel late at night, and they even have a security guard stationed there to make sure only guests are entering.

The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch only, and both meals were very good. You can eat in the shade of the big palapa, or they are happy to bring you food right to your beach chair if you prefer. The coconut shrimp was our favorite.

Overall, Playa Maya is a laid back, clean, and very friendly little beach hotel. It had everything we wanted, and we will definitely return.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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38  Thank thomasdj11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2006

My wife and I stayed 10 days at Playa Maya and didn't want to leave. We chose this hotel based solely on TA reviews and price. We were familiar with Playa having stayed twice at AI's in Playacar just outside of town. Staying AI had grown old and last year we ate a few meals and hung out in town and were really taken with the atmosphere of Fifth Ave.
The rooms are great, very spacious and very clean with ocean side balconies for the most part. We also stayed four nights in a studio towards the front of the property only a few steps above beach level. I liked the studio a lot. There are two of them A and B and they're set up like studio apartments with everything needed to cook, make coffee, extra pull out sleeper, table with 4 chairs. My wife liked the first floor deluxe room the best which had a big terrace, full hammock and cafe table to sit and watch the ocean and other guest coming and going. The bathrooms are newish, tiled and clean. Plenty of hot water and water pressure went from adequate on the third floor to torrential in the studio. The matresses in all the rooms we stayed in were firm with some give and I was fine but my wife needed a little softer so I bought an egg crate foam at Wal-Mart. The beds are beds not slabs and the mattresses are of good quality which is a problem in even the 4 and 5 star places in Mexico.
The beach is really sweet. Plenty of sand, easy to walk in and a few steps from the bar. Stiff winds for a couple of days took some of the sand out but brought it back. The palapa is the place for breakfast with toes in the sand, drinks, lunch and the food was so good we ate an early dinner there twice. The coconut shrimp, sopa azteca, ceviche and fagitas were excellent. Ramon the chef even prepared red snapper which I caught and presented it beautifully. The waiters are attentive and engaging and Mauricio, the bartender is so nice. He made my wife a really cute grasshopper fashioned from a palm leaf. Juan Enrique and Enrique oversee the bar and food bills and do a great job of keeping track of everything around the bar. The hardest working person there has got to be Feliciano. He is in charge of the beach chairs and starts setting them out at 7 am. Get your fresh plush towel at the front desk and Feliciano will take them and set you up with loungers, cushions, table and umbrella. Then he's bussing tables, lugging suitcases, carrying buckets of beer; constant motion.
Pablo, Maite and Anna work at the front desk and do a great job. We just loved little Anna who has been at Playa Maya for almost a year and was very helpful. Steve and Delmy were a refreshing change from previous experiences with owner/managers. They are friendly and approachable and really made us feel welcomed and at home. They are really hands on and obviously take a lot of pride in the hotel.
We are planning to return to Playa Maya next year and hope we can stay even longer.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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39  Thank joemac
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
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 - £182 (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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