First of all, this place is not for every vacationer. Many Europeans stay there and they tend to like the way that this hotel offers the essentials and a great deal of flexibility. We met wonderful people from Germany, Sweden, some folks from France, the US and Canada. So if you want all-inclusive luxury, you will likely look someplace else first. The sad thing is that you will likely miss one great hidden gem!! We stayed only 3 days while we waited on our reservation at the Dreams Cancun Riviera in Puerto Morelas. In many ways, the 3 days spent at Las Palapas in Playa del Carmen was much more enjoyable. The highlights include rooms with large decks and personal hammocks. Big beds, beautiful gardens, a handy swimming pool for the kids and parents, plus the most relaxing stretch of white powder beach I'd ever seen. You can rent either palapas near the beach, near the pool, close to the main garden, or the very secluded ones near the fitness center at the back of the resort.
The restaurant is very rarely busy, because of the hotel's close proximity to the tourist core and to the larger beach clubs and restaurants nearby. The noise won't bother you though - we were there 2 days before we realized just how close everything was. (We were surprised that we needed a cab for nothing, unless we wanted to go to Wal Mart perhaps.)
We dined twice at the restaurant for supper and I am glad that I did. The blackened rib steak was perhaps THE best steak I have had in my life. (That is no empty boast, as my In-Laws come from cattle country in Alberta and I've had a lot of great steaks over the years.) Miguel, the waiter was perhaps the best waiter I can recall meeting in Mexico as well. He recommended a local beer to go with the steak instead of a wine, and the combination was perfect!
The only things that should change at this hotel are simple things that would truly make this a 5 star experience.
Firstly, the rooms need newer mattresses and some updating on the furnishings. I found the bed comfortable, but my wife found it to be a dead mattress, possibly gone beyond its expected life.
Secondly, a small fridge would be great to store bottled water or drinks. The bar prices here are a bit of a mystery to me only because I didn't notice much, however on the beach, beer was about $6 - $7 a bottle/can. This served to keep drunken behavior to a minimum, and it was actually a good relaxing stretch of beach.
Thirdly with such a fine restaurant, they ought to offer a variation of the normal meal plan. Perhaps offering guests vouchers or a free meal for every 3 nights booked. The meals were a cut above the places that we dined in (near the hotel), and if we returned, I'd love an option to prepurchase a few meals (to be included at a discount as a part of my stay).
With just a few cheap meals added to the guest's options, I think they would gain significantly from people staying on-site to spend more money.
The charm of this hotel is undeniable and you really do feel very relaxed in this great little corner of Playa del Carmen. If they announced new mattresses and a cool place to store your beverages, then I'd love to stay here for a long visit. Right now they walk a fine line between being frugal and being a spot that is cheap. Staying in a cheap hotel is sometimes bad because people feel like they are being charged for too many little things. The perception ends up being that there are lots of hidden costs. I'm not sure that is true, because there is a lot of competition from downtown Playa del Carmen - just around the corner.
The staff here were great and very helpful. It really did feel like home after a day or so.
Truly, It was a miracle each night to leave the hustle and bustle of the entertainment and shopping zone, and down a long driveway surrounded by trees to a private oasis of relaxation.
NOTE: Be advised though that the beach in this area, though great for families, also saw a little bit of nude sun-bathing. ( Something that a few of the Europeans seemed to bring with them from home.) We had no problem with it, but some families might be offended more easily.
Bring some mosquito repellent for your ankles on the beach. Near sunset, watch for the bats that com...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hello, greetings from Las Palapas!
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Thanks so much for your descriptive review. We are happy to read you had a good time in Playa del Carmen and enjoyed our location.
Will share your comments with the rest of the team and certainly congratulate Miguel! We are happy to hear you enjoyed the pairing.
We appreciate your suggestions and recommendations. The hotel is going under renovations now and some of the things you mentioned are being change. Anyways will take all into consideration.
We hope you come and stay with us again, our "private oasis of relaxation" as you called it will always be waiting for you.
Hasta pronto amigos,
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.