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“Nearly perfect” 4 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   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #51 of 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Portland OR
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Nearly perfect”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

I stayed here from May 17 to June 14 while taking a Spanish language immersion class in a school 4-6 blocks away. I was a bit anxious during the planning stage because of so many uncertainties, but TA's reviews and e-mail exchanges with the hotel's manager assured me all would be well. And it was. I was in a room on the second floor that gave me a view of the palm tree from my bed and balcony, which was a nice touch. The rooms are modest but very clean and quiet. I liked the large refrigerator for storing left-over dinners and for my fruit and vegetable purchases from the local shops. A previous reviewer recommended getting the large water cooler for the room and filling water bottles from that, which I did and highly recommend to all guests staying more than a week. It saves money and, perhaps more important, on garbage. There is no recycling in this part of the world, so all those millions of plastic bottles go to the dump someplace. The hotel pool is small but large enough for a few guests at a time. I liked being able to cool down after walking back from my classes or after dinner in the evening. The bed was firm but definitely comfortable. The shower had hot water, but I hardly ever used it because the heat and humidity during my stay led to cold showers for me! My only mild complaints are that reading in bed or doing homework at the table was slightly inconvenient because of the lighting, and the hotel's WiFi (which is free) did not always extend to the rooms. If I placed the table right next to the sliding glass door, I usually could get a connection, but not from the bed. Staff was friendly and efficient; there was always someone on site doing chores or at the desk. Would happily stay here again any time.

Room Tip: I liked being on the second floor for the view of the trees and avoiding general walking traffic tha...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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175 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    103
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    15
    1
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

We planned to stay there for two days, we stayed there for 5! This place is amazing!! The staff is great and takes care of the place and also very helpful. The room was very clean and equipped, we had a t.v, fridge,stove,air conditioner, ventilator and a separated room with toilet and shower that has hot water all the time. We enjoyed free wi-fi everywhere! Plus you can hangout at the swimming pool that is sunny and clean. We will definitely come back!!!

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2014

Our first stay in the hotel was 2 years ago, when we were thinking about moving to Playa. We stayed for 5 months in the suite.
When we decided to finally make the move, we came back to the hotel. As usual the service was excellent, Diane was more then helpful, and it was great to see everyone again (housekeeping, maintenance and of course Coco). We stayed for 2 months before we found a home.
While we were there, they started renovating and replacing the mattresses in some of the guest rooms. Again we were in the suite, so we did get a new mattress. Much more comfy than the old one.

Room Tip: We love the suite, it is just like an apartment and perfect for an extended stay.
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  • Stayed October 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.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014

Great spot for a traveler on a budget. Great location, near the beach and 5th Ave. Nice little pool. Rooms were OK. We had a bug problem in our room and our AC went out on the 2nd day, but was quickly repaired. Diane was great and very helpful. Would stay here again. Perfect location and nice little oasis.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014

We were so happy to find this wonderful little hotel.

All we needed was provided either in the room or upon request. We also appreciated the money saved buying our own groceries for simple meals with the availability of the kitchenette in the room. Room was very plain, but everything worked fine. A number of the mattresses were changed out when we were there, ours being one of them (although we did not have a problem with the old one!). We stayed on the second floor and did not find the stairs a problem as others seemed to by way of their review; they are not steep.

We used the water service and had the large 20 L jug with dispenser in the room (basically $5 Cdn for first one which included deposit and $3 Cdn for refill. We kind of did not understand why others kept carting in small bottles of water when a small fortune can be saved this way! We just kept refilling 2 small bottles to take when we were away from the hotel).

There is 24-hour reception, so someone is always on duty at the desk. Coffee service was always available in reception; nice to have available in the morning without really having to do much except go fetch it! We thought that any of the rooms would be equally fine to stay in; they all face the garden/pool area. We requested a second floor room that had a "great view" and were given this of course directly overlooking the pool area but realized when we saw the set-up that any one would have fit the bill!

The management of this hotel has been well thought out, and the routines to take care of the hotel and guests run very smoothly. Staff is kind and patient and try to use their English as best they can.

The only thing that had us grimacing a bit was actually the children of a few guests whose parents allowed them to run around the pool and jump into the water, something clearly posted as not acceptable/safe.

El Acuario helped us to have a peaceful, relaxing holiday and there is not really much more that we could have asked for. We would definitely return.

Room Tip: We thought all of the rooms would be equally acceptable for quality and location. Those who experien...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

This is the 2nd year we stayed at the El Acuraio. We have always stayed at a different place every year. Always looking for the last minute good deal. We stayed at El Acuario last year and enjoyed it so much that we did the unthinkable. We booked a year in advance for the whole month of March 2014. And it was Great!!!! We love the people who are regulars there. We love Diane the manager. She is extremely helpful and speaks English which makes a huge difference. The location is perfect for us. Close to walmart for shopping, great restaurants, collectivo right around the corner for excursions. The beach and 5 th ave also 5 mins away. We love that the hotel is small, clean and very affordable. We are already booked for March 2015. Thanks Diane and staff for being such great hosts. 11 more months and we will be back!

  • Stayed March 2014, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vernon, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

I seriously considered not writing this review as it's definitely not in my best interests to "let the word out"! After a hot day on the busy streets of Playa it was so nice to come back to this "haven" and cool off in the wonderful clean pool and have a cervesa on the chaisse lounge or hammock. The rooms are perfect for the price, comfortable bed, clean, everything works (air, fridge, tv, wifi, hot water shower) and they even provide kitchen gear and a hot plate (not that we used any of it). There is an outdoor bbq (mexican style) and covered eating area. Whoever runs this place has thought of everything the traveller needs, but for us the pool was the finishing touch! All this at a very reasonable price and within easy walking distance of 5th Ave and the bus depot and collectivos.

  • Stayed February 2014, 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 1
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 ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#52 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#53 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 13
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, kitchenette (sink, fridge, electric grill, microwave oven, kitchenware and dishes), 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, bicycle and car rentals. 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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