Over two days ago I submitted a review for the Playacar Palace which has not appeared yet. The following is what I submitted:
My wife and I spent two weeks (February 4th until February 18, 2006) at the Playacar Palace. We had a very enjoyable stay and the resort is a true five star facility working very hard to be the best in the region. We highly recommend staying at the resort and will not hesitate to return or suggest it to friends.
Resort: The Palace Resorts have done a fantastic job of totally remodeling the old Continental Plaza Playacar (yes, we have stayed there) into a new facility with a stunning new look. When arriving at the resorts main entrance we were slightly dismayed at the pure white and sterile (even drab) look the resort presented as the first impression. However, once you go into the resort and take in the whole picture (especially the ocean side with the pool area and view of the rooms with the balcony’s) you want to say “wow.” I asked about the pure white color scheme and was told this represents the status (superior) of the resort and this was the “new” look of Mexico.
The resort probably has one of the best locations in Playa. It is about 100 yards from the start of 5th and very close to the ferry pier. During the day you can watch, from the pool area, all the activities going on at the pier and watch the cruise ships off shore. At night you can stroll 5th with all their shops or even try one of the restaurants if you get tired of the food at the resort.
The pool is rather small, but then again this resort only has 210 rooms and the pool was large enough with a nice design. There are plenty of places for the lounge chairs and a nice section on the north side of the pool that is away from the noise of the music and activities. The resort was full when we were there and there were always some empty lounge chairs. The best part of the pool area is they have sitting chairs you can use and not just loungers. They currently have only 29 large umbrellas for shade but they have more on order.
Rooms: We stayed in room 243 (they upgraded us), which was the honeymoon suite, and it was near perfect. It had a separate living room and a very large balcony that was situated right by the ocean. The two person Jacuzzi was huge (same as all the rooms) and was a nice treat for the two evenings that were cool. We did look into a couple of the standard rooms and they seemed very nice. Every room has a small refrigerator that they keep well stocked plus a liquor cabinet. Great shower with plenty of pressure and hot water.
The bed we had was very comfortable and not too hard. Now, if they could only make the towels a little softer. They supply you with robes and slippers.
In some of the posts, there have been reports of falling plaster. The only falling plaster we saw was around some of the doors to the rooms. This is caused by the slamming of the door if the sliding glass door is open to the balcony and the wind blows it shut. The resort is trying different types of plaster to solve this problem and might go to a resin like substance.
Staff: The staff is a mix of local people and temporary assignments from some of the other resorts closed in Cancun. However, they are all good and trying their hardest. Special kudos go to:
Rosa: She is a waitress at the pool who lives in Playa Del Carmen and is one of the hardest workers I have seen. Her English is limited (she is self taught) but trying to learn more. She is also very shy but try to get to know her a little and she will open up.
David: Works in the restaurant and not shy at all. Very hard worker who never stops smiling. He also has an impish personality and likes to have fun.
Leo (“Skinny Boy” from the Beach Palace) and Mercedes are activity staff that was great. Sorry I forget the other girls’ name or I would mention her. They work very hard to keep the people entertained but are not pushy about it.
Alicia: Is with guest services and has a great personality. Her challenge was to get my wife and I to go on a VIP tour. My challenge was to avoid the tour and still find out the information I wanted. It was a great game the two of us had (we never did the tour) and she was always great about it. Not pushy at all.
Sandor: Last, but not least, was Sandor who is the resorts Public Relations Manager. Sandor seemed to spend most of his time making sure your stay was the best it could be. The best part was you did not have to try to find him, he would find you. We were at breakfast one morning and he was going through the restaurant asking people how their stay was and if there were any problems he could help with. If there were problems he would start immediately trying to resolve it (if it could be resolved). Throughout our stay I had several opportunities to visit with him.
All in all, all the staff were very nice. They make it a point to meet you (including the chiefs and management) and try to make you feel welcome. We were walking down 5th one night and passed one of the chiefs and she went out of her way to say Hola to us.
Restaurants: There were three main restaurants at the resort (OK – only one open nearly all the time) and the food was very good for an All Inclusive. They work very, very, hard to make your dinning experience excellent. Of course, like all buffet food (at the Mexican/International Restaurant), I wish they could make it hotter. Very good selections with high quality throughout and excellent presentation.
Nit Picking: There is no beach. Of course, there is a small beach right next to the resort (and a big beach about 100 yards away) but I would like to see the beach back. As part of the Cancun beach reconstruction they are going to pump in a new beach for the Playacar Palace and widen the beach next door at the Xaman-Ha. This should be done in the next 24 to 36 weeks (according to Sandor and he stressed 36weeks).
There could be better signage around the resort to help you find things (yes I know, only 210 rooms). I got lost with all the white and finding were I was after walking up the stairs the first day. Of course my wife says I am lost a lot of the time anyway.
Finally, like all new homes, there are little things that either need to be fixed or replaced. I am not going to talk about the little things (well, maybe they could tell me why they move the butter to a new location every day at the buffet when they do not change the location of the bread) since no place is perfect. They are trying very hard, but not perfect yet.