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“Great for groups who want to party and not break the bank” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Playacar Palace

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Playacar Palace
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Bahia del Espiritu Santo | Esq. Abraira de Arriva, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
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Special Offer
$1500 Resort Credit
Ranked #5 of 201 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great for groups who want to party and not break the bank”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

Beautiful resort, nice rooms (with an ocean view), excellent food options, and a great all-inclusive deal. I went here for a wedding in April of 2012 and had an amazing time with a group of about 30. The level of service was top-notch and the beach was beautiful! It's close (walking distance) to a lot of other things to do (shopping, dining, golf) and you can use resort credit to golf. The golf course is also all-inclusive while you play! To top it all off, the price is very reasonable so you don't have to go broke for an amazing experience. Highly recommend this resort.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
PlayacarPalaceGM, General Manager at Playacar Palace, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
Thank you very much for your review, and for taking the time to write your experience at Playacar Palace.

In fact, we are not a "party hotel", but we feel happy you enjoyed you stay with us

I hope to be able to welcome you back at your home again.

Hasta Pronto

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,447 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
211 helpful votes 211 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

We first stayed at the Playacar Palace some five years ago and loved it; when I decided to end our June 2013 twentieth anniversary trip with two nights in Playa del Carmen, the Palace was high on my list. Honestly, after our two nights there in June, I'm torn about how to rate this hotel. Parts of our stay were absolutely lovely, while others left something greatly to be desired.

We booked through Travelocity and requested two double beds, as we were traveling with our two children (ages 12 and 14, one boy and one girl). Yes, it was our wedding anniversary. While we had booked two rooms at the hotel that kicked off our trip (Grand Riviera Princess platinum suites), we booked just one here because, frankly, the rates were too high to allow us to book two (it was already over $1000 USD for the two nights). We booked the highest room category available on Travelocity: the deluxe ocean view room (so a two category upgrade from the resort view or partial ocean view rooms, but not a concierge level or honeymoon suite room). From reading Travelocity's descriptions and those on the hotel website, I was under the strong impression that this guaranteed us a full ocean view with a balcony or patio. Unfortunately, when we checked in, this proved not to be true. Our first issue was that our request for two beds apparently did not make it from Travelocity to the hotel; I'd tried to reconfirm via email the week preceding our trip, but received no response from the hotel at all. Peter, the gentleman checking us in, claimed we'd been "upgraded" to a sand suite. I should have insisted on the room we'd booked at that point but, as we'd already been waiting three hours instead of the promised one for the room (although the beepers the Palace provides are fantastic--no need to stalk the desk!), I just went with it. This was a mistake. We were shown to a first floor room (107) that opened directly onto the main walkway that runs along the front of the hotel. There was no balcony or patio--just a shared bench with some cushions. Worse, the lock on the door didn't work and our door was immediately opposite the stairs up from the beach. This means that everyone coming up from the beach looked directly into our room. Plus, the pool was mere yards away, blasting happy, loud pool noise, and the hotel was in the process of setting up a rehearsal dinner and their bar was about fifteen feet from our door. While I can imagine that this room might be desirable for some people (perhaps if you have small children and need to be back and forth to the pool lots?), it was a nightmare for us. There was no privacy without pulling all of the curtains (and thus negating the ocean view for which we'd paid) and I had a fourteen year old daughter. The idea of trying to change in the bathroom and keeping the curtains closed for the next two days wasn't acceptable--so back to reception I went. Unfortunately, this time, Peter claimed I'd been given the room I booked and not an upgrade. He also said the resort was completely full and there was nothing he could do. He refused to get the manager. We then had a long conversation, with him emphasizing that we'd got the ocean view we paid for and me emphasizing that the view was arguably lovely… but there was zero privacy in the room and I did not feel safe with my kids and a broken door lock! Eventually, a new room (339) was found for us. Unfortunately, this room only had one bed (a king) and Peter could only give us one rollaway because all the others were in use so… we had to put our 12 year old son in the bed with us. Hardly romantic, although the view and the privacy were excellent. Plus, we were left sitting in our original room for two hours waiting for the hotel to transfer us. Ironically, although it was never mentioned to us, that new room might in fact have been an upgrade to the concierge level as it had the concierge room amenities mentioned on the Palace website.

This really started our trip on a sour note. After that, it was fantastic except for housekeeping (who seemed to like to take away all of our towels and replace none of them--fortunately, we were able to get replacement towels during the evening). The pool has a lovely vibe and the drinks and food service are outstanding there (Martha certainly took care of us!). We also had no problem getting shaded loungers whenever we needed them. If there's a towel game at this resort, it certainly didn't affect us.

We ate at both the Oriental and the Italian restaurants and loved them, although the Oriental won hands down. We ate at the regular (non-teppanyaki) table and they had a huge fusion menu, along with a fairly extensive selection of suishi. We had no problem getting seated right away. The Italian place also had an absolutely fantastic violinist and a slightly strange magician (I would have preferred to enjoy the violinist, but my husband was amused by the magician's spoon-bending trick). The breakfast buffet was also more than sufficient--they even had fresh doughnuts our first day, and some of the best waffles we've ever had. Definitely try the mango margaritas!

The beach was absolutely gorgeous and the location to Fifth Avenue certainly can't be beat. Would we return? Only if we could swing two connecting rooms. For a family of four with pre-teen/teenage children, the rooms are too small for comfort, plus, since the toilet and shower share a room, there are some logistical issues in getting ready. Next time, we'll look at the loft suites at the Cozumel Palace. It would be fantastic, however, if the Playacar Palace added some family suites to their offerings.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
PlayacarPalaceGM, General Manager at Playacar Palace, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
Dear amf1

I want to thank you for your review and offer you my apologies if the room was not according to your expectations. The room given was a Sand Suite, the next category over a Full Ocean View. The direct access to the beach trough your balcony, or de sitting area outside of it are their main difference.

I feel happy to know you enjoy our restaurants and service, and It will be an honor for us to receive you back in a near future.

Our best wishes for you and your family from Mexico

Hasta Pronto

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonoma, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

We recently spent a week at the Playacar Palace for a family vacation. After spending many days agonizing over which resort to choose, and reading many reviews we choose Playacar Palace. It was as expected, a very nice all inclusive resort. Here's the breakdown from our perspective:

The service is outstanding throughout the hotel. Whether front desk, pool bar, beach staff or restaurant. There was not one request that was not addressed with a smile and professionalism. These people make the hotel what it is, a warm, welcoming, and relaxing environment.

The credit system: The hotel issues credits you can use for day trips or upgrades. We found the trips offered limited and did not interest us. You can only spend $300 at the spa. This does not leave much to spend credit points on. We opt'd for a room upgrade, and although a room was offered to us, it did not have two beds. We should have requested room upgrade before arriving. We used some for upgraded bottles of wine, which was very nice. If you do upgrade and get to the concierge floor you have reserved beach chairs around both the bar and beach, highly recommended.

The pool/beach: Pool although not as large as other resorts was quite big enough and enjoyable to lounge around, swim up bar, good wait service and tasty little outside restaurant for burgers, pizza, nachos etc. The beach is nice & quiet. The waters pretty calm. No body surfing or snorkeling from this area. The beach is also right next to the ferry pier. Good and bad, when the ferries come in diesel fuel drifts thru the air, yet we walked over, jumped on the ferry and spent the day in Cozumel at the Palace's sister property. Snorkeled, ate & drank there for the afternoon(all inclusive). It was a great little day trip and very convenient. We rented Jet skis from the little shop next to the hotel. We also hired same company to take us on an afternoon snorkeling down the coast a bit ($45 pp). Worked out perfect for short afternoon excursions. There is also a Senior Frogs next door, good fun for a more lively time.

The rooms were fine. Clean & in good order. There was some painting in the hallways going on when we were there, so it seems the hotel keeping up with maintenance. We did not find anything in disrepair. The Spa worth visiting.

The Italian Restaurant was superb. They have two different menus they switch out, if you don't like one go back and try the other. Order a Mayan Coffee and watch the fire show! The Sushi was great, however the Teppanyaki grill was less then par. The food over cooked, lacked flavor and although different types of meat was ordered we all received the same. The Cafe, main buffet restaurant was above average buffet food.

Day trips: We paid for two tours. Rio Secrecto Natural Reserve, swimming thru caves. And Mayan Adventure Snorkeling Tour, where you go to three different locations to snorkel; cenote, open cave and then snorkel thru a lagoon to ocean reef. Both of these tours I HIGHLY recommend. The tour guides were educated & informative, it felt more like a national geographic tour then a tourist trap. Both offered lunch and got you back to your hotel mid-afternoon.

A few overall cons: The hotel needs more umbrellas. The weddings; although it can be lovely to watch a bride & groom married on the beach at sunset one of the wedding parties (there were 3 in the week we were there) arrived with 20 plus very loud and obnoxious guests. They overran the hotel with no regard for others. There was no getting away from them. Certainly not the hotel's fault but something to consider when planning day trips, which is what we did to get away from them.

We would go back. The location a plus. Maya Rivera is quite awesome, I'm not sure there is a bad place to stay just one that works best for you. We enjoyed that this was a "smaller" resort with a mostly quieter vibe. The Cozemul Palace was a younger crowd, hopping parting environment around the pool...very fun to visit for the day.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayacarPalaceGM, Director General at Playacar Palace, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
I want to thank you for your kind words on TRIPADVISOR. Was an honor to have you and your entire family at Playacar Palace, your warm home away from home.

Myself and all the Playacar Family members are waiting for your next visit, and you know you can contact me for questions or request for your next visit as you did it before.

Our best wishes for you and your family from Mexico

Hasta Pronto

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TX
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

We spent 3 nights at the Playacar Palace for a wedding and were not disappointed. Given we were there for a wedding, the layout of the resort was very nice for finding friends and other people from the wedding. It has a centralized layout with 2 wings of guest rooms with all of the bars, pools, restaurants, etc. in a central area.

We ate one night at the Hibachi Grille and the food was really good. The staff within the restaurant kept bringing our group out an abundance of sushi, appetizers and entrees, and everything we had was delicious. The casual/buffet style restaurant was okay with a decent mix of different foods at each meal. Some things were better than others, but everything was overall average to good quality.

As far as our room, we had a guest suite with a beach view and the sun-rise did not disappoint. The Jacuzzi tub overlooking the beach was a nice touch, and the fridge and mini-bar was well stocked. The housekeeping came twice a day and did a good job.

The beach was nice. Although the beach equipment was not as elegant as some of the other resorts in the area, it was functional and kept very clean. Overall, the beach was great for swimming.

Location wise the resort is close to the market in Playa Del Carmen where you can walk through and buy your random assortment of trinkets. From the beach, you can also walk directly over to the Senor Frogs bar which is directly north of the resort. We enjoyed a night of drunken trampoline jumping on the beach outside of the bar. Additionally, the resort is next to the ferry to Cozumel.

As far as the resort credit goes, there are limitations to what it can be used for as well as when it can be used for various tours. We ended up spending most of ours on the Tulum Express Tour on a Friday (which was a great side trip to one of the prettiest beaches and Mayan ruins we have ever seen) and a massage at the spa.

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay for a weekend away at a friend's destination wedding. The staff was very accommodating and helpful throughout all of our stay. We would consider returning again following our experience at this resort.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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PlayacarPalaceGM, Director General at Playacar Palace, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Dear Checo446

Thank you for your review on TRIPADVISOR. You can consider yourseld already member of the Playacar Family and we will feel honor to receive you again.

We really hope to see you back soon, and please, do not forget to write me in order to make all the arrangments

Hasta Pronto

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M
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Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

My husband I got married at the Playacar Palace this past April. When we decided to do a destination wedding I was very nervous. Planning a wedding from so far away, to a place we had never even been before?? We had a lot of grumpy people tell us that Mexico is dirty and dangerous and that we shouldn't have it there. WELL they missed out on a great time is all I can say! This resort is 5 star Period.

The wedding:
We arrived a few days before the wedding. A few of our family arrived early and had been sending out texts about how amazing it was so our nerves were a little better by the time we arrived. We had 41 people at the resort for the wedding. Our wedding coordinator Carolina was amazing. We met with her a few days before the wedding and went through the logistics. We made several changes including the time and location of the actual ceremony! It was very stress free and any changes she said "not a problem." We also brought a TON of stuff with us that I gave to Carolina - place cards, seating chart, gift bags for guests etc. She handled everything perfectly. Our wedding day was seamless. From the flowers - which were BEAUTIFUL, to the staff, DJ (recommended by the resort), and mariachi band. I can honestly say that everything exceeded my expectations. The food was great and our glasses were full the entire night. All of the guests really enjoyed themselves. We even hit a piñata at the end of the night which was hilarious and fun.

The spa:
Amazing. All of our wedding guests took advantage of the credits and enjoyed the spa. I must say the service was great. They did my practice hair and wedding hairstyle and it was exactly what I wanted. This spa is better than most I have been to in the US.

The food:
The Italian restaurant was our favorite. Flaming Spanish coffees were a huge hit. We had a rehearsal dinner there and it was magnificent!

The drinks:
They don't stop flowing. There is always someone there to refresh your beverage. The liquor is top shelf. Something you do not get at a LOT of other all inclusive resorts.

The beach and location:
Perfect. Steps from 5th avenue. We went into town many times. We probably would not have bothered to take a taxi if we were at another resort farther away.

My husband and I will definitely be back. We hope to return on our first anniversary. We stayed in Mexico 2 weeks - 1 week at the Playacar Palace and then left for another resort for our honeymoon. The first few days of our honeymoon we wished we had just stayed the entire 2 weeks at the Palace because the service at our honeymoon resort paled in comparison.

We truly had a spectacular time and the wedding of our dreams. I can't thank Carolina and the staff at the resort enough for making our big day so memorable and special. Thank you and hope to see you again soon!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
PlayacarPalaceGM, General Manager at Playacar Palace, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
We truly appreciate your review, was lovely o receive you at Playacar Palace for such an unforgetable day like your wedding's! Thank you so much! Our top priority is to offer an exceptional service to each of our guest and it is very satisfying to read that this was your case.

Thank you for your kind words about our staff, this motivates them to keep putting their best effort in their daily job.

All the Playacar Family will really proud and happy to see this review.
Thank you again and we hope to see you again very soon!


Hasta Pronto

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

We had a great time at our recent trip to Playacar Palace! The hotel had fantastic service, excellent food, great vacation planners who helped us to get the best deals and had great suggestions. Overall we would recommend this place to anyone looking into all-inclusive resorts in Mexico. This site is not adults only, so you can check out one of the other Palace Resorts that might be adults only. Regardless, we weren't bothered by the kids around.

Room Tip: We booked the deluxe ocean view room- it comes with a double jacuzzi, balcony, and beautiful view of...
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  • Stayed June 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.
PlayacarPalaceGM, Director General at Playacar Palace, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to give us and other travelers your impressions at Playacar Palace.

Is an honor to receive guests who become family during their stay. To pamper ir what we do.

I hope to be able to welcome you back at out home again.

Hasta Pronto

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brusly
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

Fantastic week!! Beautiful resort-great room and view,thanks to Mr. Rubio.Mara in PR was great-very friendly-sent sweets and champagne to room.Mr. Rubio greeted us upon arrival.Outstanding staff-Leonardo-pool area,Margarita-Spa,Anna-pool area,Alma-Lobby bar,Gerarldo-Lobby bar,Pedro and Antonio-La Terraza,Sandra-Lobby bar

Room Tip: Room 536 was great! Great view.
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  • Stayed June 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayacarPalaceGM, Director General at Playacar Palace, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Mr. & Mrs. Whaley,

This is your home, and we miss you already. The best whishes from EVERYBODY,you know the names.

Please, back soon, you are part of the Playacar Family, and you know it

Nothing more need to be said.

D. Rubio
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Playacar Palace

Address: Bahia del Espiritu Santo | Esq. Abraira de Arriva, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#5 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#10 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#13 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Playacar Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playacar Palace, a trendy beachfront Resort located steps away from Playa del Carmen’s famous 5th Avenue and the Cozumel Ferry Dock. Our amazing Resort features 200 appointed rooms, 3 restaurants and 4 bars. This Resort is considered the perfect spot to relax during the day and enjoy the nightlife and charms of “Playa” at night. Playacar Palace it’s all inclusive, all incredible and all yours… ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playacar Palace Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Playacar Palace Mexico
Playacar Palace Resort
Playacar Palace Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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