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“well, maybe a bit above average...”
Review of Luna Blue Hotel

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Luna Blue Hotel
Ranked #89 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“well, maybe a bit above average...”
Reviewed 12 May 2009

My boyfriend and I spent 3 nights at Luna Blue at the start of our vacation in March. We had initially planned on a week there, but changed our plans at the last minute and went to Isla Holbox for 4 nights instead (a wise choice for us - we loved it).

I'm finally getting around to reviewing this place - very clever of the management to send out an email saying thank you for your visit and asking you to do so!

Luna Blue is a lovely hotel but I must agree with previous reviewers that for us, it was nothing overly special, especially when it came to the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. It was just, well, average. We also had a similar experience with the towels and beach club passes, and when we asked for a breakfast recommendation we were directed to one of the worst, cheeziest places for breakfasts we had on our entire trip (La Vagabunda?) Maybe we just ordered the wrong things! I also have to agree with the other reviewer about Mamita's, which was PACKED solid with no hope of an umbrella if you got there any time after 9 am, not to mention the grumpy wrist band dudes that sullenly took our passes as if we weren't really welcome there...

We're glad we came to Playa del Carmen (although I doubt we would return) and I definitely recommend Luna Blue in terms of a clean, cute, funky little hotel. The beach club was an experience but in no way shape or form he kind of beach holiday that we were looking for! But isn't that why you go places, to check it out, and then learn what you enjoy and don't enjoy?

Isla Holbox (Mawimbi Hotel to be exact) was definitely more like it for us, and the friendly, warm family-like atmosphere that I'd been expecting at Luna Blue was much more evident here.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank blue000sky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2009

Due to the flu swine were are unable to go to Mexico, this has come from the Foriegn Office and we have been advised to not fly and no travel insurance will cover us due to circumstances at the moment. We contacted all the hotels we had booked in Mexico in several areas and had given them 3 weeks notice to this. The only hotel that came back to us and said they couldn't do anything was the Luna Blue Hotel and we have to pay for all the nights we had booked even though we can not fly there from the UK. We asked if we could maybe change the date to next year due to the fact we wouldn't be able to go any other time this year and this was refused. We totally understand that the situation isn't their fault but it isn't our's either and we are paying for a service we will never have and every other hotel has been very accommodating due to the amount of notice we gave, so just be aware of the 30 day cancellation policy as most hotels do not have this.

Can't really describe what the hotel is like as we can't go but when we do re-book to go to Mexico we will not be going to the Luna Blue in Playa Del Carmen

Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
17 Thank wakey90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LunaBlue, Owners at Luna Blue Hotel, responded to this review, 13 May 2009
We think we were very reasonable and quite fair.

Our normal policy is that deposits will not be returned for cancellations less than 30 days before arrival, regardless of the reason. This policy is on our website and is contained in all of our correspondence to prospective guests and is stated again on all email confirmations. We have this policy because we are a small hotel, and last minute cancellations can be financially devastating for us. We receive 99% of all of our bookings from internet reservations. We have almost no “walk-in” business. So, if a reservation is cancelled without adequate notice, that room will sit empty and we will have lost the opportunity to offer it to someone else. Most small hotels have similar policies.

Some people see this policy as not applying to them as they see their circumstances as “special.” The truth is, anyone wishing to cancel on short notice always has a “special” reason such as an illness, a job demand, family problems, weather issues or, in this case, swine flu scares. However, none of these issues are of our making or our responsibility. We can not guarantee people’s vacations against circumstances beyond our control. This is why we recommend on our website and in all of our correspondence that people obtain trip insurance…to avoid loss of deposits when these “special” circumstances arise.

However, in the case of the swine flu scare, we decided to amend our policy for those who were caught up in this situation, as we were. We notified our guests that if they wished they could change any reservation booked in April, May or June of this year to any other time during the months of May, June, July, August, September or October of this year without penalty. The response from our guests was overwhelmingly positive.

The vast majority of our guests (indeed all but two) were extremely grateful and realized we were under no obligation to make such a change but that we did so as an attempt to help our guests. As it is, any canceled reservation causes us a financial loss greater than that of the canceling guest, through no fault of our own. Not only do we have the loss of the entire reservation (not just the amount covered by the deposit), but we continue to have our normal expenses, including the salaries and benefits of our 10 person staff who have been guaranteed there will be no layoffs despite the current drop in tourism. Unfortunately, unlike guests, we cannot buy insurance to cover cancellations.

This reviewer however would not accept even our modified policy. His first correspondence to us made his view clear…unless we returned all of his deposit he would write a bad review on TripAdvisor…which of course he did. However we believe we treated this guest fairly, as we did all others in this trying time, and felt we should not be forced into changing our policy by threats. Further, this guest’s rationale was that he and his companion had only one specific week they could use for vacation. Our thought is if such were the case, why did they not buy trip insurance since their vacation time was so specifically set? They failed to plan for a possible interruption of their vacation and now want someone else—us—to bear the burden. That hardly seems fair to us. Travel insurance, properly purchased in advance, will generally cover official travel restrictions. (And many of our guests have told us they were reimbursed by their travel insurance carriers.)

The swine flu scare upset many people’s travel plans. Some found a way to go on with their vacation anyway, ignoring the media hype and even finding other ways to get here in the face of airline limitations. Some accepted the necessity of changing plans and have already rescheduled. And some saw the entire circumstance solely as to how it affected them. We are all struggling to find how to deal with this situation; some seem to be doing better than others.

Again, in an effort to make a bad situation better for our guests, we made a modification of our policy so our guests could use their credit for six months into the future, something we were not required to do. But that wasn’t good enough for this reviewer, who instead resorted to threats against our business. In our opinion, the only person being “really unreasonable” here is this reviewer.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Juneau
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2009

My wife said, " Take me on vacation, surprise me!" I could have opted for an all inclusive resort but instead found Luna Blue. With the money we saved we were able to experience all the area has to offer from the eco-parks to the ruins- to the adventure tours-to Cozumel fun-to all the restaurants on Fifth Avenue. Just one block from all the evening and night fun on Fifth, it was a great choice for a hotel. THe passes to Mamitas Beach club added to the deal! It is a very nice beach, and the food and service were perfect. We went to Xel-Ha, and Xcaret, and on an Alltournative tour, and on the ferry to Cozumel and went scootering, and when we returned, we had a quiet place to relax, get cleaned up, and even take a siesta before trying one of the myriad of restaurants on Fifth. We were so busy we missed the Thursday night bar party at Luna Blue. When we got back to the hotel at 10:30 things were hopping at the swing bar there.
We have really no criticisms of the Hotel except our room, though clean and cool, had no chairs to sit on, only the bed. As in many other reviews for all hotels, it seems that firms beds are the norm in Playa, as is the low pressure of the shower head. My wife didn't like that - made it hard to wash out the hair care products.
All in all we would choose Luna Blue again if returning- Tony was very helpful with suggesting activities and beautiful beaches. Also, while we were there we had the fun of playing with a new litter of hotel kittens! Very adorable!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank JuneauWhalestail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Regina, SK. Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2009

My complaints are minor, but it is only fair for someone trying to decide where to stay to know our experiences as well as the other, more positive ones. We backpacked through the Yucatan for almost a month, and were looking forward to a home away from home here for 6 nights. After reading other reviews, I guess I expected a warm friendly welcome, helpful staff, and wonderful, cozy rooms. The welcome was cordial, but not friendly - same as any other place we have stayed, but he made sure to get the rest of our week's payment up front. We carried our own bags up uneven outdoor wooden stairs to our second floor room ... my husband said it reminded him of the treehouse in Swiss Family Robinson. We had upgraded to a superior room at one reviewer's recommendation. It was OK, not really different than any other place, but there were no table or chairs to set luggage, extra gear, cups, etc...all the things you need when snacking and mixing drinks in your room to save a bit of money. It was supposed to have a balcony, which turned out to be a narrow corridor outside our room with two plastic chairs. We asked if we could see some of the other, larger rooms at some time during our 6 days there, and the fellow at the desk said yes, he would let us know when that would be possible, but even though we saw people come and go, we were never offered a glimpse at the other rooms. So, maybe the "romance suite" would be better, but for the extra price, I think you could stay at a much nicer place. Helpfulness of staff was minimal. We asked for directions to Mamita's Beach Club, but the passes were not offered. Luckily I knew about them - we had to ask for them each day. Towels were not offered either, and once we got to the beach without them, we realized we had to go back to get them. They take a deposit for loaning the towels (more than you could buy them for!), and give you a towel card when you return them instead of your money back each day. When we checked out, we asked if he needed anything else from us, and he said no. We forgot about the towel card, and so didn't get our deposit back. We made a special trip on our way back a week later to get our deposit back. (And just so you know, if you aren't down at the beach club early in the morning, you won't get any shade. The chairs are packed together like sardines, and if you choose to have a watered down drink on the beach, they are 65 pesos (about $6.50 CDN)). We tried to be friendly and said hi to the desk clerk each day as we came and went, and he said hi back, but that was all. The hotel states that it is in a quiet area away from the noise of 5th Avenue. Actually, it is one block off of 5th, and the noise from the bars does carry to the hotel. We would have preferred to sleep with the windows open, but instead slept with the windows shut and the air conditioner on to block it out. Also, the bar on the hotel site is outdoors in the courtyard, and the noise from it carries right into the rooms too. Nothing bad, as long as the sound of noisy drunks doesn't bother you, or if you are here to party. Thankfully it closed down at 11, and was quiet by 11:30 or so. All in all, our opinion of the Luna Blue is that it is no better or worse than any other place we stayed at - probably worth the $75 or $80 (or more) that you will pay for it, but not as special as we had expected based on other reviews.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank dawn_one_north
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LunaBlue, Owners at Luna Blue Hotel, responded to this review, 8 May 2009
We are very sorry we did not meet your expectations. However, in some instances we feel that was beyond our control.

First of all, we and our staff do pride ourselves on our friendly and welcoming manner. However we recognize that not everyone wants to chat while on vacation, and some people want to be left alone. For that reason we remain available to our guests but try not to intrude. If a guest comes to the front desk with a request, questions or just wanting to talk we are more than happy to give our time. However we don’t seek the guests out to talk their ears off. After all, it’s their vacation.

As for your disappointment with the room, we wish you had said something while visiting us. Perhaps we could have offered an alternative accommodation. However, we disagree that there is no space for clothing in the room. There is a custom-made bureau with drawers, a shelf and hanging rod. In addition there are two night stands with storage in each one. There is a custom-made shelf in the room for the drink mixing and other needs you mentioned. And there is a table and two chairs just outside the door which can be placed in the room if a guest wishes. We have other tables available if a guest requests one. And of course there are photographs of our rooms on our website. We always recommend people look at those when making a room choice rather than just relying on an expectation.

We are also sorry you felt the balcony was too small. Each of our rooms is unique as are the terraces and balconies. Some are smaller than others. However, all guests are free to use the community rooftop sundeck with reclining lounge chairs, the wooden deck beside our waterfall with custom Adirondack chairs or our stone garden terrace if they wish for a larger outdoor setting.

Regarding the comments on noise, we completely disagree. Yes, the hotel is about a half a block from 5th Avenue. However it is set back from the street and the three concrete buildings between our hotel and 5th Avenue buffer almost all noise, as witnessed by the many reviews we have received from other guests praising our quiet setting. And yes, we have a bar. It is not in our garden or courtyard, but is on the street at the front of our property at the farthest point from the hotel rooms. Most nights it has only hotel guests enjoying cocktails. On Tuesdays and Fridays we have music in the form of a single person singing and playing guitar. Even then the bar closes promptly at 11 except on special holiday events. Most guests seem to enjoy the atmosphere and the chance to mingle with other visitors to the hotel. We’re sorry you felt differently.

We feel bad that we did not meet your expectations; however we feel that many of those expectations were not realistic and were not created by us. We are not a “home away from home.” We are a clean, quiet, well-priced hotel with friendly and efficient service. We do not claim to be anything more. We have found that is enough for most people.

Tony & Cheri, Owners
Luna Blue Hotel & Garden
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2009

The Luna Blue is the best! We had a great time and everyone was helpful. I would recommend this hotel to my best friend and already have. No problems that I can think of the room was great (we had 31 & 32) and the hotel beautiful. Luna Blue is a "boutique" hotel and not an all inclusive. You get the best of both worlds at Luna Blue, personal service and close to everything.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank caribbeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wyoming
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2009

We've been to PDC several times and Luna Blue twice already. Just in the process of making reservations again. It's hard to improve upon the experience. Location is great. The beach club privledges invaluable. Service, Staff and Owners are the best!

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LaloinMexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2009

Me and my partner stayed at Luna Blue for over a week at the end of April. The location is pretty good, close to 5th Ave. and short walk to Mamita's beach (the nicest in Playa) and Mega (for groceries). The hotel has a nice, lush courtyard, but no swimming pool. Room we stayed in (Garden view Deluxe) is pretty big, but sparsely furnished and the balcony is adjacent to the stairwell, so not very private. We paid 112USD/pn which in our opinion was a bit much for the mentioned room. Our room was kept very clean all the time. The hotel would be pretty quiet, but the whole time we stayed there, there was construction going on from 8am to 6pm 6 days a week, right next to our room. The hotel bar has a pretty loud music starting around 7 pm until 11pm few times a week, so on many days there was no peace and quiet from 8am till 11pm. The hotel staff and the owners are nice and helpful, but I would expect that from anyone working in hospitality industry.
We took the ADO bus from Cancun airport, very cheap and great way to get to PDC. When we got outside the arrivals, there are many taxi and shuttle drivers offering a ride for over 80USD. There were many buses parked there, but non of them ADO and there wasn't really anyone to ask, unless you wanted to get hassled. We waited about 20 minutes and ADO bus pulled in the first stall to our relief. The bus dropped us off at PDC bus station right downtown, from there we took taxi to the hotel. The same way we got to the airport on our way back.
We went for few trips.
Xcaret (basic admission). We had a big breakfast and bought a meal at the "beach" cafe with a pop for about 30usd for both of us. The snorkeling is not that great in Xcaret and none in the underground river, so we didn't bother renting snorkeling equipment. We seen many people with it in the underground river, which we thought was funny as there is nothing to see under water there. We paid extra for the Sea Trek, it was a bit scary, but exiting at the same time, we enjoyed it. The night show was great, really liked it.
Coba, cenote, mayan village. Coba is very interesting, got to climb the pyramid (very exiting) but VERY hot! Loved the swim in the cenote afterward. Mayan village was a visit to one family dwelling (very humbling experience).
Cozumel. The ferry ride was VERY rough, many people felt uneasy afterward. The dock is right downtown with lots of same souvenir stores as in Playa and there are no nice beaches within walking distance. You either rent a scooter for a day (25usd) or take a taxi to a beach.
Tulum and Akumal. My favorite. Took colectivo from PDC to Tulum and a tram from the highway to the ruins. The ruins are more complete then Coba and in a beautiful spot right next to the Caribbean Sea. Then we took colectivo to Akumal. The walk from highway to the beach is about 5 min. The beach is beautiful and snorkeling is great.
All in all we had a great time in PDC. We have been to PVR, Mazatlan and Acapulco and PDC is our favorite so far.
PS: Didn't come back with the swine flu and we think it got blown way out of proportion in the media.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank smileyvtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Luna Blue Hotel

Property: Luna Blue Hotel
Address: Calle 26 Norte, between 5th & 10th Ave, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#15 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 Best Value Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#61 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Luna Blue Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luna Blue Hotel is located in Playa del Carmen's popular north end, three short blocks from the beach and half a block from the restaurants, shops and nightlife of 5th Avenue. This boutique hotel features palapa-covered balconies, a sunken tropical garden swimming pool, a lush garden, and one of the most popular bars in town. The hotel offers free use of four beach clubs and various local discounts. American owners and their bilingual staff offer you personal attention during your stay in paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Luna Blue Hotel Garden
Luna Blue Playa Del Carmen
Luna Blue Hotel Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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