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“Good but not great” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa

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Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Paseo Xaman-Ha | Manzana 1, Lote 1 Fracc.Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #59 of 199 hotels in Playa del Carmen
Vancouver, BC
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Good but not great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012 via mobile

This is our second time to Sandos Playacar. We stayed two weeks and have mixed reviews about the resort. The entertainment at the theatre is really not very good. We went to one show in the entire two weeks we stayed there.
The rooms are not in great shape. The beds and pillows are rock hard. I used the pillows from the couch at night. There are little black bugs all over the room. Don't know if there is anything the resort can do about that, maybe spray. The lighting in the bathroom is quite low. Hard for me to shave. My entire family got very sick from either the food or a virus. Was not impressed that there is no food for children we can order from room service for our 8 year old daughter when my wife and I were sick.

We walked over to the Iberostar next door and thought it was a much nicer looking resort. There swimming pool is huge compared to the one at Sandos.

The food could use a little bit of an improvement.

Don't like how they segregated timeshare people from others.

They need more than one bar to order drinks from in the evening. The lineups for drinks can be terrible. One bar for that many people?

What we did enjoy is the beach. Incredible. The staff are outstanding and work very hard. The resort grounds and rooms are very clean. Lots of animals on the resort grounds.

We will probably try a different resort next time. One without timeshares.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (975)
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English first
Owensboro, Kentucky
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

From the friendly, helpful staff at the check-in, to the helpful bell boy at departure. This is a dream vacation spot. The staff goes out of it's way to make your stay as positive as possible. The food is EXCELLENT. The rooms spacious and very clean. The beach is loaded with chairs and very clean. I can't say enough about the awesome resort.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

I was in this hotel about 4 years ago after many vacations on the caribbean I'm going back in a week and cant wait. The facilities are great, the service is great, the food is great and Playacar is a must if you go to Playa del Carmen. Also this hotel is the last one in the Playacar area so you are next to the virgin forest.

  • Stayed December 2011, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

Wow. We stayed here in 2005 and it was an incredible resort. In 2012 not so much. My husband and I went with another couple and all four of us were disappointed. First the rooms, the smell of mold is terrible, it was bad in our room, so bad in our friends room they moved rooms and the second room they were in was not a lot better. The shower/bathroom situation was just not well planned, no amount of caulking seems to stop the showers from leaking, either into the bathroom or into the toilet area. The lighting in the bathroom is horrific, if ladies want to do any makeup, beware you will probably come out looking like a clown. Bed were terribly hard and the topper they sent to our room was pretty much useless. Pillows are hard and we requested softer ones, two requests later, some real chap foam pillows were sent to our room.
The food was edible, buffet nothing special. We were told we could make reservations for the ala carte restaurant between 7:00a.m. and 3:30 same day, wrong. You need to make reservations for them the day before during those hours and the earlier the better. I was on hold to make a reservation for the mediterranean restaurant for about 45minutes and then just set forget it and we went into town the following night for a wonderful meal. I did not pay the all inclusive prices to go eat in town. We tried the Mexican restaurant one night as you do not need reservations for this one, it was awful. We usually tip really well, but service and food was so bad we walked out in the middle of our meal.
Unfortunately this will be our last time at Sandos, they are spending a lot of time and money to add more to the resort, yet they need to spend some money fixing the rooms they already have. They were only 70% full yet the amount of people was overwhelming you could barely get a seat at the show or in the courtyard for the entertainment.
I was really sad that I brought my best friend and her husband for their first experience of the Riviera Maya and an all inclusive resort.

Room Tip: Stay at a different resort.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Sandos_Playacar, General Manager at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
First of all I appreciate you are taking your time to share with us your feedback. Please accept our most sincere apologies for the inconvenience you had during your stay. I deeply regret that we have not met your expectations in this second stay.

Let me tell you that all your comments about the room are very important because of this comments maintenance staff are immediately in the prompt solution of this.

About the comments from delimited reservations at restaurants, we have implemented a new booking system so you can enjoy your dinner in our various specialty restaurants.

I reiterate once again our sincere apologies for any inconvenience we cause and hope you will give us the opportunity to welcome you again in this home.

I kindly remain at your total disposal for any further comments.

Best Regards

Ivan Tapia
Director Hotel
Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa
director.playacar@sandos.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012 via mobile

We stayed for one week at this wonderful hotel and will come back when there's a chance. Mostly would like to note very friendly staff, there was impression that everyone knows what to do and it is all very well managed. Very clean too, in rooms, the territory overall. A lot of activities offered, good animation team..good choice of food! Thanks for this experience to Sandos.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

We were at Sandos Playacar for a wedding between Nov 4 to Nov 11 for a wedding. The resort is quite large and not all the sections are on the beach. It's easier to get a junior suite at the Riviera section at the back of the hotel close to the adult only section but it's a long walk (5 min) if you have a toddler (which makes 5 min walk 10 - 15 min). The rooms are nice and large but smells musty (from air conditioning). We actually found that in November, it's comfortable room temprature not having the air-con on at all.

The hall way outside of the room are typical open style which I don't like at as you can hear anybody walking and talking out side. Although some guests may not be aware of the noise, the hotel staff should have their radio turned down while working in the hall ways.

There are pools at Riviera section but rarely used (maybe because of the time of the year when the pool is very cool). This section is also close to the road therefore sitting by the pool you can hear cars on the road which makes the whole experience more like a motel setting. The main pool by the beach is much nicer. We were at Gran Bahia Principe in Punta Cana the previous year where they have the family exclusive section along the beach and have swim-up bar and zero-entry pool which are nice features we miss here (I hear there's a swim up bar at adult only section).

The beach is very nice and easy to find space. I also like the yoga/stretchiing activities at the beach. The weather is a bit windy and there are days with high waves. There's suppose to be a sign that tells you if it's save but the hotel never bothers to updates it. We found all the signages around the hotel are updated late (i.e. movie night poster, theme night if any at the buffet). All the staff we've met are very friendly but I think the details like signage should be taken care of more attentively.

I used the spa and had a great massage session with Andres. I pull muscles on my back and after the massage session, my back didn't bother me anymore. It's money well spent. I like the Sauna at the spa but the steam room smells and looks bad and I don't think anyone wants to go there. The pool again is quite cool at this time of the year but the hot tub is nice. I wish they have it in the general section.

Kids club is a disppointment. The person running it is not ver attentive to kids. Kids are expected to play by themselves. My son started crying after 5 min and we had to take him away. However, we like the mini-disco they have every two days from 7:30 - 8pm but thought the volumn could be tuned down a bit for the little ears. We also liked movie nights (especially with family friendly shows) - something for family to do at an earlier time.

My husband enjoyed the buffet but I think food in general is not as good as some of the other resorts. The bacon's always burnt and the chef's station are not very good either. One day they had whole grilled fish and it's excellent. Mexican restaurant is ok. We like the steak house (though the house wine is terrible). Being Asian, I looked forward to our Asiana restuarant but found it very disappointing. None of the food I had is authantic Asian food. Tom Yum Goon soup suppose to have a sweet and sour gingery taste with shrimp and tomato but came not nothing like it. The duck currie is too spicy and the we never eat ducks cooked that way in China (taste like pulled pork). Duck should be a bit fatty and in big chunks. Spring rolls are not very good either. Perhpas people will enjoy it if they don't have any idea what Asian food is. Another thing that really bothers me is that they have cheese in sushis at the main buffett (yeww).

We do enjoy the location of the resort which is in a gated community within Playa Del Carmen. It's easy to go to town. We had to bike to Walmart and the hotel has bikes with child seats. The bikes are not maintained well and are all designed for shorter people than us so the bike trip weren't as enjoyable. Suggest the hotel to get some cruiser bikes instead (more comfortable) with racks so if people want to bring things back they have somewhere to put them.

Last but not the least, the wifi is not good. Only in the lobby and meeting point area where you have to login everytime.

We will not return to this resort for our next holiday.

Room Tip: Rooms in the Riviera Sections are quieter, larger and newer but far away from the beach
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012 via mobile

Stayed at sandos 4 a week and loved it,food was out of this world,free room service!Beech was the best i have ever seen and had lots of watersports etc,stayed in a standerd room and it was fantastic,grounds were beautiful and kept very clean,swam with dolphins! Will be back nxt year 4 my 1st ever 2week holiday as cud never get bored there

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Paseo Xaman-Ha | Manzana 1, Lote 1 Fracc.Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#29 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#34 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#37 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#40 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#55 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa is an all-Inclusive hotel in Playa del Carmen with both family and adult sections. We are ideally located on a magnificent white sandy beach in the gated community of Playacar, within walking distance to downtown Playa and Fifth Avenue. Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa is located only forty-five minutes from the Cancun International Airport, and the pier serving ferries to Cozumel is a short distance from our property.Playacar is a private, master-planned community situated on the southern edge of downtown Playa del Carmen. Guests at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa enjoy this exclusive community’s impressive infrastructure, including an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Von Hagge, the Xaman-Ha Aviary, pristine biking paths, and Mayan ruins, accessible to the public for hiking.Riviera Maya is a protected region where many remaining artifacts from the fascinating Mayan civilization can be found. Surrounded by Mayan archeological zones, such as those at Tulum, Coba, and Chicen-Itza, this Playa del Carmen hotel successfully preserves a strong sense of Mayan culture onsite, adding an authentic feel and flavor to the vacation experience in Playacar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandos Playacar Beach Hotel
Hotel Sandos Playacar Beach
Beach Playacar Resort Sandos
Sandos Playacar Resort
Sandos Playa Del Carmen
Gala Resort Playacar
Sandos Gala Playacar
Sandos Playacar Mexico
Sandos Resort
Playacar Sandos

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