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“Another perfect vacation!”
Review of Playa Maya

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Playa Maya
Ranked #101 of 217 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 March 2006

We returned one week ago from our second two-week stay at Hotel Playa Maya. As is our usual routine, we chose the best room class and could not have been happier!

We arrived at Hotel Playa Maya just before noon and certainly didn't expect our room to be ready before 3:00 p.m. so we oversaw the transport of our luggage from the beach end of Calle 8 around the corner into the hotel and hit the restaurant. Yes, Hotel Playa Maya is beach-access only, and we consider this a terrific feature. The staff are quick to respond when you arrive and our luggage has always appeared in the lobby while we made our arrival know to Reception. I can't describe how excited we were peeling off the sandals on Calle 8 for the walk to the entrance. You're on vacation! Take your shoes off, relax and enjoy that warm sand between your toes!

Everything was ready for our arrival and the front desk staff went to great efforts to have our room prepared and get us into it as quickly as possible. Where else would the reception person walk down to the beach with your keys and find you under the Palapa sipping a cold beverage and tell you your bags were already in your room? And that was before 1:30 p.m. You begin to feel the 'personal service' at Hotel Playa Maya almost immediately!

The room was spacious and sported a mini-fridge so powerful it could freeze my cans of beer overnight! Be careful with that! Housekeeping was prompt and efficient every day. This is the cleanest hotel you will ever stay in. There were no odors other than cleaning supplies in our room. The bathroom is basic, but top-quality by Caribbean standards. This is our 10th Caribbean vacation so we have sampled a few bathrooms in our time. The plumbing works and the shower is excellent! What more do you need? Learn how to manage your per-room hot water supply and you will love it.

The pool is definitely 'wading' more than 'swimming', but that should be obvious to anyone who reviews the pictures on the web site. The pictures show the pool from several perspectives, including various other features which help to gauge size, so we weren't surprised at all. The sundeck above the pool proved to be a popular hangout for the 'morning coffee' crowd during our stay as the rising sun quickly warms the area. And it was also popular towards later afternoon as it became a shady spot to cool down.

The beach was positively huge during our stay. Hurricane Wilma clearly moved a lot of sand around and a very generous amount of it is now in front of Hotel Playa Maya. This year we had space for 4 rows of chairs, where last year it was 2 or 3 rows most days. And not a single rock in sight.

We sampled the restaurant on several occasions and found the food to be excellent! Try the Burgers, Shrimp Tacos, Coconut Shrimp and Chicken Brochette!

Last, but not least, everything that makes Hotel Playa Maya great in terms of location, facilities and amenities, would be nothing without the staff! The staff seems to 'know you' from the moment you arrive and goes to any lengths to make your stay personal and special. They are the best!

  • Stayed: February 2006
    • Value
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36  Thank YWGDon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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524 - 530 of 670 reviews

Reviewed 28 February 2006

We just came back from the Playa Maya, and just loved it. Everyone was kind, smiling, and helpful. The hotel is in a perfect spot--right on the beach in the middle of town, but quiet (not so easy to find in PDC!) I chose Playa Maya after reading the reviews on this forum and am so glad I did. I can't think that the most expensive AI could do any better-- a clean, simple room, comfortable bed, nice hot shower, a friendly face at the desk, someone to set out a beach chair for you and bring you margaritas all day if you like, and all of Playa del Carmen right up the street! My daughter (age 11) loved it too, even without the margaritas. Everything at Playa Maya is well thought out and planned for comfort. It was the best vacation we've ever had.

  • Stayed: February 2006
    • Value
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35  Thank deepbluesea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
A TripAdvisor Member
Minneapolis
134
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
133
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
143
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
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
43  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 - £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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