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“Did not live up to expectations set by other reviewers”
Review of Petit Lafitte

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Petit Lafitte
Ranked #6 of 217 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 August 2013

We stayed at this hotel for 3 nights during mid July this year. We had a room in the main building. The room was clean and comfortable with a safe, tv which we never turned on, small fridge with purified water. The bathroom was very clean, everything worked, the shower had plenty of hot water and pressure, no issues there at all. Adequate supply of towels. Aircon was rather noisy but we do not have it on all night anyway, as it gets too cold.
Breakfast was included in the room rate, it was perfectly adequate with various options available for eggs and French toast, waffles etc and the usual offerings as part of the buffet.
The welcome at reception was unexpectedly mediocre, reception was manned by two young women who were not very efficient or welcoming. They did not inform us of very important things eg to only use the bottled water for brushing teeth. Thankfully David found us later and filled in the gaps in what we should have been told. He was very good and the only person at the hotel who made us feel welcome. Javier at breakfast was also very nice but the other staff were not that friendly. The barman was quite busy surfing the net when we wanted a drink, looks as if he was shopping for a car, If a barman has his back to you while you wait to order a drink and surfs the net, it is does not make you feel very welcome. When we did get our drink, it was very good. There is a daily happy hour.

The hotel grounds are lovely, the swimming pool is really nice, the hammocks are a delight to sit on, the gardens are well kept with beautiful plants. The proximity to the beach is wonderful and the seating area near the sea is a lovely spot to have your cocktail.
Getting to the hotel from Playa del Carmen was easy although we were surprised at the unmade road section, which was not nice to drive through, but it is only a very small part of the road, the rest is fine. We thought we would never find the hotel in the dark but in fact we had no problems.
Wifi was an issue, we reported that we could not get connection in the main areas of the hotel nor our room. It was fixed by the next morning though.
The beach itself is average I would say. I am not saying that because there are a few rocks in front of the hotel, this is not an issue at all. It is because the sea water is not clear and was not inviting. It could have been the time of year as other photos make the water seem much bluer and nicer than it was when we were there.
The biggest disappointment was the food. We only ate one evening meal there and it was the most expensive we had whilst in Playa and the most disappointing. It was billed as a Mexican barbecue. It was not nice at all; guacamole served at the buffet in a big pyrex dish with an ice cream scoop so you can help yourself and other salsas with nachos, followed by things that had been cooked in foil and piled up on the barbecue. I had the grouper which is a fantastic fish which had been obliterated by this cooking method. How can this be done to a grouper? I just didnt know what to have with it since the accompaniments were so few, a grilled spring onion, boiled corn on the cob. I can make a better barbecue at home. Why serve food in pyrex dishes when Mexico is full of beautiful ceramics? The menus the previous evenings were not inspiring at all, things like mushroom soup followed by spaghetti bolognese. I make spaghetti bolognese after work when I can't think what else to cook and do not expect it in Mexico as the main course in a hotel restaurant.
If the food issue could be sorted, this could be a fantastic place. The small niggly issues like aircon and unfriendly reception staff can all be overlooked, but not the food. With the stiff competitiion from AI hotels, they really need to step up to the mark.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank fru_sorteravn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Dear fru_sorteravn,

We always appreciate when we receive seasoned travelers like you, who have developed a tasteful and a bit more demanding standpoint than the majority of the guests. It is easy to become overconfident with raving reviews and every now and then a review like yours serves us a great deal in the humility department.
With that said, I am glad to inform that your observation on the two women who were covering the reception is so valid that they are no longer with us. One went back to her true calling as a writer and the other left after she got married. They were meant to be temporary solutions for us at the front desk after our front man took a job offer he couldn’t refuse. Yes, we were aware of their shortcomings, and accepted the situation while we looked for more permanent solutions. The situation there has been corrected.
We also can see the situation you report about the bartender. Both our bartenders have been with us for a long, long time. And again a little overconfidence surfaces from time to time. A long time ago, we had removed internet from their computer but apparently with the arrival of a new one, the internet surf engine came back. We are suggesting to our management that the internet is removed from both restaurant and bar computers and BTW on the same note, we have made mandatory the restriction for staff use of cell phones during work hours this is something that more and more has become a problem pretty much everywhere you go. We have taken measures.
Food issues, wow, we are very sorry to hear that you thought one of our favorite house meals was not at all pleasant for you. We have spoken with our Cheff to moderate the use of condiments especially on the fish. And we are adding zucchini and potatoes to the BBQ menu.
Spaghetti Bolognese, will be removed from the menu. We will keep a pasta dinner once a week but not spaghetti Bolognese.
About the water not being as clear as you see in pictures, well there are times when the weather, affects the clarity in the water. Stirring the sand from the bottom, it is a temporary condition and it doesn’t last more than 2-3 days.
We appreciate that you think that taking care of food issues and a glitch here and ther would make Petit Lafitte a fantastic place.

Thanks a lot for your visit and for your comments.

Sincerely,

I.F.

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Reviewed 1 August 2013

We found Petit Lafitte on Trip Advisor and that was our luck!
We are Alex and Yana, we stayed at PL during march 2013. This place made our vacation unforgettable. We spent 2 amazing weeks with lovely Maya-Mexican family! The people who is working there is the main treasure of this hotel!

David and Javier are simply amazing!!! We were in love with them! They do their work two hundred percent and what is most important, they put life into their work! They are always sprightly, smiling and ready to help. Thanks to them our every single morning started wonderful and every evening finished unforgettable! Baldemaro is the funniest waiter and bartender, he is a king of the bar=))) He always amused us and elicited our smiles just with his appearance!
Altogether all the staff is incredible: the receptionists, the cooks, the waiters and even room attendants! It is so hard to find such comfortable and family atmosphere like in PL! all our requests were performed right away, our every single question was answered entirely clear. David’s advice and tips always were very useful and helpful.

We liked the whole hotel so much! The housekeeping was regular and clean. The rooms are not luxury but very cozy and well equipped. Every room has a terrance or balcony. Next time we will take a beach front bungalow. The beach is beautiful and you can easily find vacant sun loungers there. The hotel also have a small lovely Zoo!!! We even fed the birds with special papaya=)
We also liked live music. It was two times a week in the evenings. Wish it was every evening! The music was perfect!
My husband liked the massage so much! It is on the beach with all these beautiful sounds and views of the Caribbean Sea…
At the breakfast there was always a good variety of fresh fruit, some fresh juices, good buffet and a big menu for hot dishes. At the dinner there was always a choice and sometimes we had a hot buffet with some traditional Mexican food.
The hotel is situated in the distance from the town of Playa del Carmen, but we were driving, so its quiet location suited us very well.
In-room wifi was not very good, but at the reception it was always perfect.

We liked Mexico and Yucatan so much. But the main point of interest was our hotel!!!
We miss you!!!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Yana M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2013

Dear Yana and Alex,

We don’t have a lot of Russian guests at Petit Lafitte, but so far, the ones we’ve had seemed to have liked the peaceful, un-crowded atmosphere and the laid back approach of our staff. We agree that David and Javier, stand out among a group of solid, well mannered and attentive employees, David has started his career with us back in the late 70s. and so did Javier, after a few walkabouts in the area, they both have returned to their home where they now shine. The same happens with most of the other workers who have devoted their life’s work to Petit Lafitte. That is why they feel like a family and show that closeness between them. You seem to have enjoyed about every aspect of Petit Lafitte, the simple yet comfortable and cozy rooms, the food, the beach, the “zoo” (let me clarify that it is an animal refuge center) and even the distance from the hotel to the center of town.

Once again, thank you very much for your visit and for writing about it, we hope that we start creating an increasing русский clientele.

Kind Regards
I.F.

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Reviewed 30 July 2013

We were lucky to find this place at the last minute. The extremely professional and good humored staff took in our family group of 13 and made us feel at home in this small but extremely clean, airy and organized hotel. The pristine white sand beach and the turquoise sea of Playa del Carmen was a perfect place for both our 11 year old boys and 80 year old parents. We opted for the apartments over the cabins, but both are good options. There are some rocks or reef right in front of the hotel, but just a few meters away there is pure sand. After 3 days we wanted to stay another week.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Mark L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2013

Muito Obrigado MarkL,

We hope your return to Sao Paulo was a pleasant trip. We to enjoyed seeing your family have such a good time at Petit Lafitte. It is very nice to see three generations of family traveling together and for us to see satisfaction painted on the faces of all of you. As I was saying on my last response, we put a lot of thought on the design of the spaces, It has to be so, with dimensions as ours. You senses “airy” spaces, Yeah! We are honored to hear that you were thinking of staying one more week after your third day with us! That is exactly what we aim for in our daily efforts in creating Petit Lafitte.

Obrigado novamente,

Ivan F.

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Reviewed 9 July 2013

...you are going to chill whether you like it or not.
The people are very nice and attentive to their guests. The grounds are well maintained and clean, which includes the beachfront. You will never fight to get a lounger by the pool, the beach or a hammock. It is a quiet Oasis in a sea of huge resorts. Very little night life after dinner, unless you make your own at the bar, game room (pool or ping pong) or in your room.
Please note that their main building is older and basic. It has larger frigerators, more closet space and smaller patio/porches than the bungalows..which have no TV's or true closet.
I would now go for 503 and 504 vs the two above as the top floor patio's have no cover and could not be used when it was raining. Plus the palms block the view from the upper patios.
In reality, you have so much public access to the beach front, I might stay in the 400 or 300 building next time and save a few pesos. ( it had 3 rooms and a bungalow for my family)
Bunglow #9 is the best-Period. Great view of ocean, large shade tree out front and does not back up to the pool, bar or bathrooms like #1 and 2....However, again there is so much easy access from any part of this property to the beach front and pool., It has plenty of shade areas for chairs, tables and hammocks, I would not find #9 a necessity to enjoy this property.
All the bedding is firm, which I prefer and furniture is rustic or plastic.
The food is good, not great or fancy. I found breakfast to be consistent. Good Coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice and all the bottled water you want (all day). Lots of fruit/ceral/pastries and very good made to order omlettes, breakfast tacos, banana pancakes.
Dinner was less consistent. Seafood and chicken was very good. Pork and Beef, not so much. Lots of salt and tough. They did have a "filet of beef" which was good.
Also, no public ice machines so if you pick up some duty free liquor, be sure to tip Victor or Javier early on and they will keep the ice coming as needed during you stay. If not, they may "run out" of ice. They make excellent drinks of all kind and are fairly priced for their captive audience plus 2-1 at happy hour. They also had some entertainment before and during dinner that was very enjoyable on 3 of the 7 nights we were there.
Luis, Eduardo, David and Sandy will insure that your stay is pleasant and address any concerns or questions you may have in a prompt, professional manner. The staff has been there for years and does a great job keeping your room clean and are very trustworthy. Several times mucho dinero and valuables were left around the rooms (even though they have a safe in each room) and not a peso was missing upon our return.
I think it is a very good value, if you are looking for this type of chillax experience with you family or someone special.
If you want lots of people to see and be seen, nightlife, 5 star restaurants and premier accomdations, go somewhere else as you will be disappointed.
One side note...They do good lunches on the bar and patio, but every now and then you may want a change, definately check out the Pizza place-Coco's- behind the jet ski building...don't worry, you'll find it.
Nacho does a great wood grilled pizza and grilled fresh fish... another great value!!
Safe Travels!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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8  Thank Chilidogtraveler823
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2013

Dear Chilidogtraveler823,

Thank you so very much for bringing your whole family for a vacation at Petit Lafitte. We concur with you about the no gray areas, we aim to be well defined in our character and style, we understand we are not for everyone, but we appeal to people like you looking for the prefect relaxation spot (even against your own will, ha,ha,ha). We are, as our name say “petit” but a lot of thought went to the design of apace usage. We carefully have placed facilities in the precise spot in order to create in a small space, a feel of “spaciousness.” You seem to have gathered and enjoyed that. The beach access is easy from pretty much every spot. My advice on little nicks, on the food or the ice situation you mention, is that you contact our concierge, Mr. David Herrera, who is available 6 out of 7 days of the week and is your advocate here. He makes just about anything happen.
Thank you for your comments about our trustworthy staff, we are proud of our collaborators and whenever (very seldom) we need to recruit somebody new, we are very careful to find someone with good values and the right attitude then we train them to get the right skills. That has been so for 4 decades now.
Cocos cabañas neighbors, besides being excellent neighbors, they have the best brick oven pizza, perfect if for some reason you miss lunch at our bar grill, we’re glad you found them.

Once again, thank you for your detailed review and for your family visit, hope to see you again in 2014..

Iván Fuentes

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Reviewed 4 July 2013

This hotel consists of a regular building with rooms and 10 separate cabins off to one side of the property. I stayed at cabin No.9 with my family including two small children. While we were there, there were only 10 other people in the whole place so it was very secluded and quiet (we were the noisy ones I guess...). The cabins are quite close to one another and there are shared spaces, such as hammocks, so it could get a little crowded if the place was full. Amenities are no frills but adequate. Among the cons: it is quite far from everything so going anywhere requires a cab or long walk (this could be a pro for many, including ourselves); I think it is a little overpriced for what you get; beach is a bit rocky right in front so you have to walk a few meters away to have a sandy bottom for bathing, there also tends to be lots of algae so for snorkeling it is better to hire a diving tour (right at the hotel). Pros: staff, extremely friendly and eager to please. The waiters at the restaurant and front desk people were super nice. Food was a fixed menu with a couple of choices (included in the price of the room were breakfast and dinner) but it was always excellent. We complimented the chef many times. The outside bar and restaurant (which we used for lunches) was also a very nice place to sit at, right on the beach, though drinks were only average. There are plenty of lounge chairs and some hammocks for lying on the beach. The pool is small but good enough. If I were to come back to the Mexican riviera I would do what I did last time: rent a house or villa on the beach, probably a little farther south towards Tulum.

Room Tip: Cabins 9 or 10 are closest to the beach and farthest from the pool and bar.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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8  Thank 2010-Urbi-et-Orbi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this reviewResponded 31 October 2013

Dear Urbi-et-Orbi,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share with others your opinion on Petit Lafitte. It seems that over all, you had a nice vacation and enjoyed most of it, except for a couple of minor aspects.
We take your comment of being atypical as a compliment. This is a family owned and operated business and both the personality and ideology of the partners permeated in the “genes” of Petit Lafitte. The eclectic combination of standard rooms and comfortably-rustic cabins for example. BTW, you had what we call the honeymoon suite, with a spectacular view of the ocean and next to the coconut grove and the hammock garden. You see I bet even though you had a King size bed, your kids enjoyed the additional loft and the double bed inside the Bungalow. As you well mention, being far from town, it is something we consider a blessing, as being in the middle of town, would result in noise from the clubs and restaurants and about three times the traffic or people on the beach. The good news is that you can (if you will) go to the noise, but if you were staying in a hotel there, there would be nothing you could do to get peace and quiet. Sure, I understand that some people love the action, the agitation of beach clubs and those hotels in the vicinity of them, have that. As you hint, “different strokes for different folks” Right?
Now, regarding your perception of Petit Lafitte being a little overpriced, please consider, small businesses depend on different economics, for example, where hotels with 500+ rooms have many walk-in-freezing chambers where they store 1,500 chickens per week, purchased at 20 pesos each, we have two medium size fridges and buy, daily an amount of say…20 chickens at 30 pesos each. The good news is that what we overpay by buying small amount we gain in freshness and quality. (No hard rock chickens to be defrosted) From your comments on the food, we can see that you preceived and appreciated that quality. Thank you! Similar stories transpire in other fields, like maintenance or buying other supplies. So our prices follow influences determined by our cost. In the end, it seems to work out Ok with most guests who have tried both worlds, that of the huge hotels where you take a golf cart for a 5-7 minute ride to the beach versus that of the people who walk 40 steps from their Bungalow to the edge of the water and maybe 20 more steps to the sandy area adjacent to the rocky area.
Well, I felt compelled to offered the perspective from this side, as it may serve readers and potential guests choose wisely. Definitely your input is welcomed and offers a veryvalid perspective and we value it so.

We wish you many happy travels and lovely family vacations!

And once again…
Thank you for trying Petit Lafitte.

Kind Regards

I.F.

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Reviewed 26 June 2013

Not commercial. Classy place. Gourmet meals with a low key atmosphere, beautifully attended to garden feel that is right on the beach. We stayed in the main building room 502 with a view of the ocean and the necessities: air conditioning, fridge, and coffee maker with gourmet coffee in the room. All the rooms are a few steps out to the beach or pool. Great roomy Mexican tile shower. If you are older and don't want to traverse a large all-inclusive but rather go from the pool to the beach to the bar to your room in a matter of steps, this is the place for you. I loved the ease of it and how immaculate it was. At night you can look up at the stars from a hammock on the beach and be a few steps away to your room. Book your massage when you get there. One night we heard lovely violin/guitar duo play at dinner. Staff was warm and professional. Yes, they knew my name and eventually I knew theirs. North of Playa proper. We had a car which helped as we wanted to do day trips. This is a getting away from it all place. If you want action, stay in downtown Playa.

Room Tip: Bungalows and regular hotel rooms both looked great. Upper floors of hotel may have better ocean vi...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Margaret H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this reviewResponded 29 October 2013

RESPUESTA:

Dear Margaret H.

We hope your return to the big apple was a pleasant one. After what seems to have been a delightful stay with your husband at Petit Lafitte. Yes room 502 is probably the most conveniently located a few steps from everything. Yes we are a good alternative for those who don’t want to take the golf cart to the beach, just walk a few steps and you’re there. It seems to be that what you enjoyed the most is the “ergonomic” design, as well as the hammock star gazing, little things that enhance a Mexico’s Caribbean coast vacation.

Thank you for choosing Petit Lafitte and thank you for your lovely review.

Warm Regards

I.F.

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Reviewed 24 June 2013 via mobile

We stayed here only one night, as our near-by large resort charged waaay too much for one extra night. So we booked the bargain room, two double beds and only garden view. Well, we still saw the ocean from our balcony. The terracota floor tiles were smooth and soothing against our bare feet. The beach was lovely. The service were attentive, and we hated to admit to them that we had to leave to go somewhere else. I felt comfortable to leave the window and slider open when we went to bed, which meant we had a nice airflow through the room and I got to listen to the surf as I fell asleep. The food was excellent. We had beachside fish tacos and chicken tacos with yummy guacamole. We would be pleased to come here again.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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3  Thank all-in-balance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2013

Dear Allinbalance,

How nice to see that even while your stay was a “one nighter” you decided to write a review for us. More so because that was the first night of your vacation. That indicates we left a good impression on you. I am sure you got a taste of very different vacation styles, going to a large hotel in our neighborhood after staying with us, Your hinted intention to try us again is taken as a compliment. Thank you for trying us and for taking the time to share your experience with the reader of this forum.

Until we meet again!

I.F.

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Additional Information about Petit Lafitte

Address: Carretera Cancun - Chetumal km 296 + 2.1 | Xcalacoco, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#4 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#13 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £138 - £238 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Petit Lafitte 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Petit Lafitte Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Petit Lafitte Playa Del Carmen
Petit Lafitte Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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