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“Decent location, but highly overrated hotel.”
Review of Luna Blue Hotel

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Luna Blue Hotel
Ranked #89 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Idaho
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Decent location, but highly overrated hotel.”
Reviewed 16 February 2010

My wife and I spent five nights here after seeing the Trip Advisor ratings and photos of this hotel. To our disappointment, we found the Luna Blue to be average in every regard except price, which was expensive for the area and for the quality of the room and service.

We booked a Treetop Terrace with a private balcony. If you decide to stay here, don't bother with the Treetop Terrace. Your balcony view is meager and nearby construction is loud and constant. Plus, the stairs to your room are many and steep -- we're in our early 30's and very athletic; I can't imagine an older (or out-of-shape) couple hiking these steps multiple times a day.

The room itself had a hard bed and several hangers in an small, open wardrobe, which was infested with termites or small ants. The safe was tiny, and the lock on the room's door was not going to keep anyone but the mosquitoes out. Bring earplugs if you like to sleep-in, because construction is on-going.

The bathroom was minimalist, which is fine, but the water pressure was weak and shower curtain too small -- we mopped up puddles after each shower. The free water is from a 5-gallon jug, so be sure you have your own water bottles to fill for the beach. The air conditioner was small and loud, but it worked.

The artwork in the room was just plain creepy. I know the owners defend it as local artwork, but we didn't appreciate how the eyes of the freaky looking lady followed us throughout the room.

Luna Blue does have pretty "oasis" grounds. Though when I sat in the garden with my laptop, since the free wi-fi signal didn't reach our room, I quickly left due to the abundance of mosquitoes. The shady, wet "oasis" area is an obvious breeding ground.

The swing bar in the lobby is cute, but drinks are over-priced and seating is limited. We enjoyed the novelty of it, but there are many better bar options nearby.

Maid service was good, so no complaints there. Front desk service was not helpful nor interested, but they did offer basic information when we asked.

The Mamitas beach club was crowded, even though our visit was during the off season. Beach chairs were limited, and we found the people there to be largely unhelpful -- even though we had the Luna Blue partner coupons.

Overall, the Luna Blue is an average hotel in every way, and I'm amazed it gets such high marks on Trip Advisor. There are MANY other options nearby that are just as good, if not better, and much cheaper.

Based on our experience, I do not recommend the Luna Blue to folks visiting Playa Del Carmen.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank bishopsRobes
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, 25 February 2010
First let us say we are very sorry you did not enjoy your stay with us. We try very hard to provide guests exactly what we promise in our website and are always concerned when that seems not to happen. We want to assure you we have given serious consideration to the issues you raise.

With regards the stairway to the Treetop Terrace room you rented: we call them the Treetop Terrace rooms because they are, as it says on the website, on our top floors at treetop level. One is on the fourth floor and one is on the third floor of separate buildings. We have always assumed that people understand that elevators in small buildings in Playa are a rarity. However your review made us think we need to indicate on our website that stairs are involved. Thank you for that idea.

The comment that the wardrobe was infested with insects is puzzlement to us. We examined the wardrobe and found no insects. No other person has made such a complaint despite the fact that room has been 100% occupied for several months (it is our most popular room), including the times directly before and after your stay. Perhaps insects attached to your luggage at some other location. Regardless, they appear not to have been in the room after you left.

The lock on the door is of a standard type that one would find here or in the US, and the free safety deposit box is also of a standard size. We're surprised that you found issues with either of these items and sorry they weren't to your liking.

Construction noise is a problem all over Playa we know. We wish that was not the case. However most of the heavy construction next door has been completed, and we make sure to enforce noise regulations which prohibit any work before 8:30 am and after 6:00 pm, when most people are out enjoying the beach or our beautiful city. We sincerely regret if noise during the day disturbed you.

You are mistaken in thinking our garden is a breeding area for mosquitoes. We have no standing water in which mosquitoes can breed. In fact the city regularly inspects both residential and commercial properties for such breeding areas. None exist on our grounds. In addition we spray for mosquitoes and insects weekly. Of course mosquitoes are a flying insect common all over Playa del Carmen, particularly when it rains, so it is likely any visitor to Playa will experience them at some point regardless of where they stay. We don’t think the insects single out specific hotels.

Our swing bar is limited in the same way any bar has a limited number of seats. We have never seen a bar with unlimited seating around it. Yet, even if all the 11 swings and 2 stools around the bar are taken we still have table and counter seating for 25 more people. We have never seen the bar 100% occupied except during special events. However we are sorry if you were unable to get a swing when you wanted one. As for cost, our bar prices are substantially less than one finds either on the beach or on Fifth Avenue. That could be why so many locals drink there and why the swing seats are so often occupied.

As for Mamita’s, we agree that it can sometimes be very crowded, as it is on a beautiful stretch of beach. However we are not the owners or partners of Mamita’s but simply purchase tickets for chairs and umbrellas which we then give free to our guests. We have no control over the availability of such chairs or umbrellas. That is one of the reasons we also offer free chairs and umbrellas at Blucacao, Wicky’s and Canibal Royal beach clubs to our guests. Given the availability of four different beach clubs we feel certain that every guest has an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful beach. We are sorry you chose not to try one of the other clubs when you found Mamita's full.

Finally we don’t understand the idea that we need to somehow defend the painting in your room which you found “creepy” and had eyes which you thought “followed” you. To our knowledge only one other review ever commented on the painting, implying that it had supernatural powers. We disputed that as a possibility then and continue to do so. It is an oil painting done by a popular local artist. It is actually a stylized self portrait of her in a bikini emerging from the ocean. One either likes it or doesn’t. We understand people can have different ideas of what they like or dislike in art, but we still fail to see it as so emotionally threatening as to make someone fearful. It is simply a painting--nothing more, nothing less. We are sorry it caused you so much distress as to interfere with your vacation. Had you told us it was frightening you we would have removed it for the duration of your stay.

Again, we thank you for your candid comments and we are sorry you did not enjoy your stay with us.

Tony & Cheri
Luna Blue Hotel & Bar
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Winnipeg
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2010

After a short cab ride from the Cancun airport, we were dropped off at the entrance to The Luna Blue. As soon as we walked through the front gte, it was obvious that we were in for a fantastic week! The grounds are unique, lush and beautiful, and we were greeted with a very friendly hello from Edgar...although we expected to find a place to change and have them store our stuff until check in time, we were happy to be told that we could go to our room right away.

The room is quaint, small, charming, very clean and the water and fridge were put to good use...many evenings were spent on the balcony with a glass of wine before heading out for dinner and fun for the evening.

On a few occasions we asked Tony for some advice on some restaurants and were never disappointed!! We were able to walk to all of the restaurants for dinner, and had some incredible meals at Casa De Mediterana (thanks for the recommendation!), That's Amore and many more.

We spent many a morning and some afternoon at Mamita's - very close, very beautiful beach...We finally took the time to take a cab to Blue Caocao, and it was soooo very worth it! The views were incredible, and the food and service spectacular!!!

The location of Luna Blue is ideal - close to the shops and restaurants of 5th, but far enough form the noise and bustle of the night life end...we'd stay again in a heartbeat!!!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank WpgCda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Falls Church, Virginia
Level Contributor
72 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2010

We are so glad we chose the Luna Blue for our first visit to Playa del Carmen. The hotel has a great location. It is at the end of 5th Avenue, but that just gave us an excuse to get exercise and have to walk a few blocks to get anywhere. It was not a problem at all. Plus, it is at the quieter end of the action which is nice. Also, very easy walk to the beach. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful, especially when hauling my suitcase up to one of the treetop rooms.

Our room was basic and just fine for our stay. It was great having a fridge and water. I loved the open shower too. We also enjoyed the balcony and the view of all of the trees and birds. Very relaxing to sit and play cards. The room was very clean and neat. Yes, the beds were hard, but I actually liked that and after a long day, i hardly noticed. Also, the AC and the fan kept the room very cool. The only thing I wished is that there was more room to store clothes. Maybe we just packed too much!

The grounds of the Luna Blue are quite lovely and very well kept. If you like cats, there are a couple of very cute ones hanging around and they don't bother you at all. The bar was always a happening place and had live music two of the nights we stayed there which was a great addition.

There are tons of restaurants around the the hotel, with about every type of food you could imagine. Also, convenience stores are nearby and it is not a far walk up to the Walmart or bigger grocery store if you need supplies. There are always taxis available right near the hotel if you need transportation. A couple of recommendations, we loved 100% natural for breakfast and I picked up a business card of Yaxche at the hotel and it was wonderful, one of the best meals we had and we got free margaritas.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this hotel to others. I thought for the price it was a great value, especially if you are not into the all inclusive resorts, which we are not.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank zoecatva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2010

Snowing here in New Jersey so finally, Cherie, writing a review. Luna Blue was an absolutely wonderful place to stay; convenient to everything. The staff was courteous and helpful, amazing bartender and drinks, and the owners made my partner and I feel right at home. The courtyard/gardens are absolutely beautiful and serene to look at and or sit in. The rooms and grounds are immaculately kept. Room rates are very reasonable for a boutique hotel of this type. Many good places to eat within walking distance, especially right across the street where there is a wonderful little restaurant serving tapas and larger plates for a very reasonable price - the owner and servers of this restaurant couldnt do enough for us.

But , back to Luna Blue--if you want a peaceful, restful place to stay, that has a great bar, and provides beach passes to Mamitas, one half block off the main drag but north enough to not be in the heart of the "tourist" area, then we highly recoomend this hotel - you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank crossmen1021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoboken, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2010

Luna Blue Hotel & Garden is a little oasis in wonderful Playa Del Carmen. This hotel is ideal because it is tucked away on the quieter end of 5th Avenue, so you don't have the madness, the noise, the swarms of tourists, and the inability to find good cheap food outside your door. At the same time, it is right on 5th Avenue (the quieter / better end), so you have plenty of places to eat, drink, shop, and relax right nearby, and within a 5-10 minute walk you are in the heart of the bustling, touristy part of 5th Avenue.

After exploring much of downtown Playa, including the cheap eats off the beaten path, all parts of 5th Avenue, most of the highest rated restaurants on TripAdvisor, a snorkeling trip, the Playa beaches, and a day trip to Tulum, my boyfriend and I were in total agreement that we had lucked out and chosen THE best place to stay in Playa.

As for the hotel itself, it is small and quaint. You must arrive expecting a little bungalow environment - a small but totally adequate room with a small but totally adequate bathroom, a lovely and relaxing balcony overlooking a green lush garden, and a purified water bottle in your room so you always have free drinking water (and face-washing water, and tooth brushing water, and hand-washing water, if you're paranoid about the local water like we were!). There is no TV, but why would you want to spoil a tropical vacation in paradise with a TV?

Luna Blue does offer free wi-fi if you bring your laptop. We did, and we got a lot of use out of it, though the reception in our room was pretty poor so we did most of our internet surfing on the balcony. While we did this we enjoyed the beautiful garden, the sound of running water in the little pond, we watched bats fly through the trees at dusk, and we heard birds nesting and chirping in the thatch roof above our heads.

As for the birds, they're loud. I don't think this is unique to Luna Blue, but since there is a garden with tons of trees, you also get tons of birds. BRING EARPLUGS if you want to sleep in quietly in the morning! You may also consider a sleep mask if you like it dark in the morning. Still, the sound of birds is a lot better than the sound of techno music and drunken tourists, which is what you'll get if you stay anywhere near the main part of the strip.

Oh, and Luna Blue also has a few of its own local cats cutely sleeping at reception. The owners are cat lovers and are helping to support local strays. We loved it.

The hotel staff were great. The maids came every day, but never before 11:00 a.m., cleaned the place well, and left fun and lovely sculptures made of clean towels on our bed. Edgar at the front desk was extremely helpful and sent us in the right direction for good cheap food, good cheap international calling, and just about everything else we asked him about. The other front desk man was not quite as helpful - he didn't speak English as well and he didn't know any of the places we asked him about - but Edgar was at the front desk most of the time.

With your stay at Luna Blue you get two-for-one margaritas at the Luna Blue bar and free access (including chairs and umbrellas) to two nearby beaches. One beach - Mamitas, I believe, is right near the hotel, and is lovely. However, on the weekends you must get there before 10:00 a.m. if you want an umbrella. We did not, so we sat at the restaurant instead. We are too white for total sun exposure!

We cannot recommend Luna Blue Hotel enough. The value, the location, the staff, the atmosphere - we couldn't have had a better experience.

If you do take advantage of this great spot, let us recommend our favorite nearby eateries: Nativo (good, cheap, authentic, lots of vegetarian options), El Fogon (good, cheap, authentic, but you have to speak Spanish or have a good dictionary to order food here), La Cueva Del Chango (great atmosphere, decent prices, good-to-great food, vegetarian options), 100% Natural (decent prices, great food, tons of options, lots of vegetarian options), and Las Cazuelas De Espana (right across from Luna Blue, with one of the best Spanish Tortilla / omelets I've ever had). May we also recommend an amazing dive shop: Mexico Blue Dream, located a few short blocks from Luna Blue. Ask for Elliot, he's a great guide.

OK, we hope you take our advice, avoid tourist pitfalls, and enjoy Luna Blue Hotel and Garden as much as we did!!!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank sivan_br
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, BC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2010

My sister and I stayed in a Garden View Deluxe room from Jan. 13-27, 2010. We did not want an all-inclusive resort and Luna Blue fit the bill perfectly. Our room had a kitchenette and we discovered the Mega store on 30th Ave. and stocked the fridge and freezer. The Mega has a fabulous bakery dept. and with the coffee maker in the room (we brought our own coffee) we had wonderful breakfasts each morning on our deck.
The garden is beautiful and it is so peaceful it is hard to believe that the Luna Blue is just steps off 5th Ave. There were so many restaurants we wanted to try, but we ran out of time. Our favourite lunch was at La Route des Vines, just a block away. The best brushetta we had was at the little lasagna place around the corner on 10th Ave, and the best authentic Mexican we had was across the street from the Mega, next door to HC Monterrey Steak House (where we also had a fabulous steak dinner).
Our room was very comfortable and exceptionally clean. There was plenty of hot water and water pressure in the shower. There is no phone, no TV, and no swimming pool. This suited us perfectly as we were on vacation and wanted none of the above. Apparently there is Internet access (but not in the rooms), but we did not need it as we left the laptop at home.
Each day we were given vouchers for a beach chair each and a palapa umbrella for Mamita's Beach Club. We also took advantage of the beach towels available from the hotel for a $10 deposit. The beach was wonderful for swimming although we had a few windy days when it got a little rough.
The highlight of our trip was taking the taxi and going to the Blu Cacao Beach Club. Mamita's was busy and quite crowded, but we virtually had the Blu Cacao to ourselves.
Lying on a big beach bed staring out at the Caribbean Sea with a beach in front of us with no one on it - we had to pinch ourselves to make sure we were not dreaming. If you like peace and quiet this is the place to go. Food and drink a little more expensive than Mamita's, and of course there is the cost of the taxi, but well worth it in our opinion.
There is live music at the bar about 4 nights a week. Sometimes we chose to enjoy the entertainment, but on nights we chose not to, we found that the sound of the air conditioner muffled it, and as it only lasted til 11 p.m. this was not an issue for us.
The staff was very helpful in suggesting restaurants and helping us with anything we asked for or about.
If you are looking for a reasonable hotel, close to the action and the beach this is a great choice.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Cyclepei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level Contributor
63 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2010

If you are looking for a great priced little hotel that is super clean near the beach and all the action, Luna Blue is just the place. Located just off 5th Avenue and minutes away from Mamita's Beach Club, all the shops and restaurants, Veronica's Massage (BTW $36 with tip for 1 hour), coffe shops and gifts stores are just a stones throw away. Most importantly, you get a very clean and comfortable room. No fancy stuff, but it is a fresh smelling complex and clean good-sized rooms with a fresh drinking water dispenser. They have good showers and our room had plenty of space. We got the garden deluxe room which had a double and a single bed with trundle and a kitchen. We really didn't need the kitchen and extra beds, but we really like all the extra space. They have a fun swing bar with music that is terrific with a wonderfully warm and entertaining bartender, Jorge! Be sure to get one or two of his Margaritas - they delicious! If you have any questions or need recommendations, look for Tony and Cheri for tips on where to go and restaurants to try. As long as they don't raise the rates too high, this is a nice hidden gem. Note: a restaurant for a more American breakfast that we found on our own that was pretty good was Jaguar way down on 5th Ave; we enjoyed the eggs and bacon! If you want traditional Mexican food, Carboncitos was really delicious; the best steak fajita I ever had. We got a Mojito there - huge and absolutely delicious and priced right. There is another very traditional Taqueria, El Fogon, which was good, but for my taste, was not worth going that far off 5th Avenue and dealing with crossing streets at night. Even the Fajitas at Mamitas Beach club were really good! Albeit, maybe a couple of dollars more, but who cares, you are on the beach and they bring it to you! PS -Stay away from La Parilla restaurant - gross. We ate there our first night because it looked crowded - figured it must be good - NOT - a tourist hangout and bad food. Other good people watching, albeit touristy places - are Cafe Adela, I only get Margaritas and Guacamole, and Karen's.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DonnamarieBoston_MA
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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