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“A priceless gem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Acuario Hotel

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El Acuario Hotel
Av. 25 Norte entre 2 y 4 Norte Col. Centro, Playa del Carmen, Mexico   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #57 of 199 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“A priceless gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

I just loved this hotel from the very minute our stay began. The rooms are so clean and the surroundings very peaceful. For the first couple of days there was no hair-dryer in my room and I asked the staff but due to the language barrier he couldn't help much. On the very next day the manager Diane made sure that we had a brand new 'Revlon' blow-dryer in our room and that was such a lovely gesture(we needed it all the time since we kept going in and out of the water). You will never find this kind of personalised service in big resorts which will cost you almost twice the price for your stay.
Most of the other points have been covered by other reviewers below. Just one drawback of this hotel - there's no breakfast available and there's no restaurant at all inside for any meals. But you can find the most reasonable Mexican food at 'El Fogon' two blocks away. We had dinner there 4 or 5 times and each time we loved it.
Regarding supermarkets - megastore was too good, very neat, vareity of items and competent staff. AVOID WALMART!! It was more like a zoo and the staff there need to get a lesson or two on speed and good service from the supermarkt staff in the UK who are twenty times busier on any given day!! Nobody could speak English and it's a nightmare if you get billed incorrectly!!

Thanks Diane for the warm hospitality. We had a wonderful stay at this most reasonably priced hotel and I give it a 10/10 in all the categories. We also met some very friendly people from across the Atlantic and had a lovely time chatting away. CERTAINLY RECOMMEND IT!!

Room Tip: All rooms are equally lovely and peaceful
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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153 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    88
    49
    14
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, England
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Stayed here for a week for our first trip to Mexico. What a great, laid back place. It's easy to find, and is only four or five blocks from the beach, the main touristy strip (5th Avenue), and the bus terminal. It has a very friendly atmosphere; you get to know all the staff and many other residents, and there's always a friendly face. The room was always spotlessly clean, with refrigerator, TV, kitchenette, large bed, large bathroom, balcony with hammock, and a/c. The pool area is lovely.

Being a few blocks away from 'tourist central' is absolutely fantastic. You feel part of the town itself, and can explore some great restaurants (all much cheaper, better, and more authentic than down on 5th!) and food carts within a couple of blocks. If it's the 'real Mexico' that you've come for then you won't be disappointed.

If you'd prefer to cater for yourselves, there are numerous convenience stores nearby, as well as huge Walmart, Aki and Mega supermarkets just a few blocks away. The hotel is also very well placed for catching the colectivo (local minibus, ultra-cheap and fast) up and down the highway - the colectivo depot is only one block away.

Many thanks to the management and staff for making our stay so memorable. We'd recommend El Acuario to anyone!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

This was my third stay in Playa del Carmen and first time at El Acuario. I loved every minute of it. The hotel is charming and the rooms and the grounds are immaculate. The staff was very friendly and makes me want to learn Spanish so I can communicate with them next time!
Diane, thank you for a wonderful week. I can't wait to be back.t

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sonoma county, ca
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013 via mobile

A sweet little spot, darling courtyard with clean pool and lovely gardens. Room is super clean and comfortable with lots of space for our belongings and nice little frig to boot. Love not being in a resorty feeling hotel, this feel like real Mexico.
From
Maureen and Dave
Sonoma co., CA

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Upon a sudden change of plans, we needed a place to stay for a one night stopover on our way from Mérida to the Cancún Airport. We found El Acuario at the very last moment on Tripadvisor. This hotel is small, quaint, clean, and inexpensive. The beds were a bit firm, the pillows were a bit insubstantial, and the room decor was spartan, but we knew what we were getting, and this place was an excellent value for the price. The pool is very nice, the location is just perfect, parking on the street was easy, the towels were big and soft, we all enjoyed the hammock on the patio, and the staff was excellent. Kudos to Diane in reservations for making arrangements for our family of two parents and three teenage daughters and for doing it on such short notice--and at a GREAT price!!

Room Tip: I believe every room in the hotel has a patio that opens up to the pool and central courtyard.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Granbury, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

Stayed three nights with my Son. Can't wait to come back. Enjoyed it all, especially the hammock. I needed to feel I was in Mexico, which you can't get at a mega resort in cancun. clean rooms and a friendly atmosphere. 3 blocks from walmart for supplies.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merida, Mexico
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

We stayed 9 days with a disciunt for staying the week!, and we had a great time! bed sheets spankin' clean, Pool was crystal clear, even the courtesy coffe was great!

The AC was pretty decent, considering the heat there, it was a welcoming experience to have some good AC!
The fridge was great, we didnt have to use the microwaev which was furnished to us!

We strugled a bit with WIFI, but we just had to put the cpu near the window and problem solved!

We made great friends, including Mike, and COCO the household cat who greeted us and would visit our room when we called Her!

Diane really told us where to go the good and worth-while places and warned us of the toursit traps and everybody was always friendly and helped us with everything!

It was overall a great stay and want to thanks Diane, Mike, Fabys Vannessa and her mom for a wonderfull stay!! Watch out for us next year!
Playa, here we go!! THanks alot you guys!!

Room Tip: Choose upstairs I think it is more spacious,
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Acuario Hotel

Address: Av. 25 Norte entre 2 y 4 Norte Col. Centro, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#52 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#53 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Acuario Hotel is a charming Caribbean hotel with only 12 rooms and one Suite. Located downtown Playa del Carmen, just a few minutes walk from the beach and the pedestrian shopping avenue. Beautiful, calm, relaxing, we offer an ideal environment for your family vacation or business trip! All our rooms are equipped with air conditioning, ceiling fan, cable TV, fridge (or kitchenette), table and chairs, private bathroom with shower, and a spacious terrace with hammock and view to the tropical garden and swimming-pool. The Suite is available for mid- to long-term rentals (minimum one month), and has one bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms, living room with sofa bed, dining room, fully equipped kitchen and large terrace with view to the pool. Common areas: large tropical garden, swimming-pool, barbecue and palapa area. Services: free coffee, wireless Internet, 24-hours front desk, laundry, concierge, massages. We look forward to receiving you!!! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Acuario Hotel Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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