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“Amazing service” 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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$1500 Resort Credit
Ranked #8 of 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Boulder, Colorado
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Amazing service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

My wife, teenage son and I are spending spring break here, and we all agree this place is wonderful. Top notch service, excellent food, clean pool, free responsive wifi. The waiter at our table surprised me by knowing our names when we arrived for dinner, and was attentive without overdoing it. My only want is a bigger gym. We have stayed at many high end all inclusives in Cancun, Cozumel and now Playa del Carmen, and we will definitely come back.

Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,615 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (705)
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English first
Huntsville, Alabama, United States
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Just got back from a 5 night/6 day stay at Playacar Palace. Overall, we had a great time and thought the resort was excellent. Rooms and hallways show a little wear but were always clean. The size and location of Playacar Palace are perfect. It was so easy to walk down the sidewalk and immediately be in an outdoor shopping plaza of high end stores or walk another direction and be in a traditional Mexican market. We always felt safe and never hassled when walking around Playacar. Here's my highlights of the resort:

Room - always clean, house keeping did a great job. We had double beds, partial ocean view. We were toward the Sr. Frogs side and we were initially concerned with noise. Not a problem at all. Our family of four could have used more drawer space. There were 4 drawers and they were about 2 1/4 feet wide. The closet helped some with a couple of extra shelves and a shoe shelf at the bottom. We did not have CHI products as we had understood but rather Spa Awe products. They seemed to be fine for us all. We could have also used more counter space in the sink area. The sink bowl while very pretty, took up a lot of space on the counter. We plan to go back and our only change will be to upgrade our room for more space.

Food - Always very good. We ate nearly every meal at resort. Plenty of variety and themes. Our kids are picky eaters and they ate pizza at least once per day. BTW, the pizza was very good. They had a brick oven at the pool bar. One night, we all had pizza at the pool for an easy meal. Our best meal was at the Asian restaurant. We didn't try the hibachi grill and one night there was a 40 minute wait for seats at the Asian restaurant. The next night, we came earlier and walked right in. That was the only time we encountered a wait of any kind.

Spa - We used resort credits for a facial for me and a massage for hubby. We both went early for our appointments to take advantage of the hydrotherapy. The hydrotherapy in itself is a wonderful spa treatment. If you partake in any of the spa treatments, make sure and go an hour early and enjoy the hydrotherapy. I've been to many spas and this spa experience ranks as one of my best experiences. Highly recommend! The fact that we used resort credits was just icing on the cake.

Beach/Pool - Sadly for us, seaweed had taken over the beach during our trip. It only began to clear the day before we were to go home. :-( Still it was a beautiful wide beach. It was hard to gauge the crowd level (the beach portion is public) because of the seaweed issue. The pool area was lovely. Pool service was always good. As many have stated before, the only frustration was the reserving of chairs with pool towels. We found 2 or 3 chairs together each day (without umbrellas) without reserving them. It was very frustrating to share a chair with my 9 year old son, while there were two unoccupied chairs next to us "reserved" with a pool towel that never had an occupant for the hours that we were at the pool. In my opinion, if the hotel would not allow this, there would not be a chair shortage. Too many chairs were "reserved" without ever seeing occupants. I always enjoyed the pool music. Not too loud and a nice vacation vibe. No spring breaking teens/college students and while there were lots of families, there never seemed to be out of control kids running around the pool area.

Resort Credits/Excursions - Because we were curious about the use of resort credits while planning the trip, I'll mention what we used ours for. 1) $300 towards spa treatments, and 2) Dolphin Discovery for 4 people. We didn't use all the credits but they are good to use for another Palace vacation. I would highly recommend both of these for resort credits. We also booked an additional excursion to Xel-Ha. I'll review Xel-Ha and DD in separate entries. We also took the ferry over to Cozumel. This was our one misstep of the trip. Our thought was to go to Cozumel Palace, make that our home base for the day and snorkel and see the sights of Cozumel. From the ferry, Cozumel Palace is walkable (about 15 minutes). There is no beach anywhere walkable. You will have to rent a car, get a taxi, or join an excursion to get to any beach. We had thought we might at least snorkel from Cozumel Palace but no one else seemed to be doing that and there were no life vests available. So, we nixed that idea. If you plan to do this, have your transportation in mind. We didn't want to invest more time/money into that trip and decided to take first ferry back to Playacar.

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgrade, Serbia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

of all previous trips, hotels and places this is the best so far. The hotel is right on the beautiful sandy beach. The staff is incredibly friendly. This is the only hotel (so far) in which our rooms checked / cleaned 3 times a day !!! The food is incredibly tasty and various. Three different restaurants ... ... phenomenal beautiful spa ... clean swimming pools ... very clean and maintained private sandy beach ... proximity to the main promenade with numerous restaurants, bars, shops etc ... the only thing that very, very slightly spoils the overall impression is the proximity to the ferry port (Consumel island)

Room Tip: main building (middle), top 2 flors
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Katy, Texas, United States
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

We booked this vacation through Costco and we booked Oceanview room. After checking I figured out that it was partial Oceanview room. We told reception several times and they were keep saying that it's a Oceanview room.
Room service and in general staff welcomed us nicely. Their concierge helped to book several activities and tours. We were really pleased with the services. Staff was extra ordinary and super helpful.

I thought that they have limited food options on site. Only 3 restaurants? We were fed up with their onsite food choice after 3 days.

Our room jacuzzi never worked. We asked their service staff to fix this problem but it wasn't fixed till last day.

Onsite public relation told us to book their hotel directly with Playacar palace and not to use Costco. They give more preference to their vacation club members than Costco travel booking.

Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

We just returned from a one week vacation (2 adults, 2 kids)
Pros and Cons:
Our room was huge, plenty of room. 2 double beds, plus plenty of space for a spare bed brought in after we asked for it. Still adequate space for the couch, 2 armchairs, desk, hot tub...
Our balcony was also huge! Table/chairs/2sunbeds right on the beach next to the water.
Maid service was fantastic... Room was super clean every day.
Our room was very close to Señor Frogs, which initially we were concerned about.. It was not noisy at all.
3 restaurants...loved not having to make reservations for anything other than the Habachi table (which was very easy).
Breakfast at the buffet was great as was lunch and dinner. There was always plenty of choice.
The Asian restaurant was fabulous, especially the sushi selection.
Room service was very quick, but quality was mediocre.
For a smaller hotel the entertainment team works hard to get everyone involved... And everyone does which makes it fun. Volleyball, soccer, Zumba, a bunch of crazy games, bingo... Something for everyone!
Evening entertainment was also good. 3 tenors show was fabulous.
Mostly good, never really bad, tipping raised the service level for sure (especially at the pool). It always annoys me when this is the case... Good service should always be there. It was never 5 star service.
Spa and Gym:
Pool Area and Beach:
You have to reserve chairs early if you want an umbrella. There is NO shade on the beach if you don't have an umbrella. Unlike the rest of the beach in playa del carmen.... There are no palm trees.
The hotel needs to make use of outdoor areas more... Little outdoor seating for dinner/cocktails/after dinner.
Credit system:
Ugh... It was a little painful. To book anything as simple as a pedicure takes a long time. 16% tax is added to everything.
The only golf option is the Moon Palace which is 40 mins away (and a bit of a goat ranch according to my husband who went). When he tried to make reservations at mayakoba and other nearby golf courses through the hotel he was told the line was busy .... Though when he called himself he got straight through?
Kids club:
Great! My daughter had a blast the day she was there... She is 8 and wandered in and out without supervision. I'd certainly make sure what the rules are with smaller kids.
We really liked the hotel.. Some areas could do with a facelift, but I would certainly visit again.

Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

From the moment we arrived, every employee went out of their way to make sure we were happy and had everything we needed. I felt like I knew these people for years - like family. The food was excellent and the service beyond exceptional. Rafael, who was our server in the Italian restaurant, went above and beyond to make sure our glasses were always full and our appetites satisfied. His smile and personality were heartwarming. Special mention to Christian who served on the beach and pool area and Aline, the entertainment leader. Thank you for making my vacation relaxing and fun!! I will miss you all!

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Shoreview, MN
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We went as a family of four over spring break.The hotel was very clean though showing signs of needing a facelift. The staff were courteous but did not speak as much English as their counterparts at other Palace resorts in the Cancun area. The food was fantastic! We enjoyed every meal we had at this resort. We have stayed in several different Palace resorts as members and found the food at this one to be exceptional. We enjoyed the Chef's dinner presentation and the romantic dinner on the beach. I would highly recommend the hotel consider moving where they host the romantic dinner because it's on the beach right next to Senior Frogs and the music and drinking crowd at the bar are really a distraction from a romantic dinner that costs $300 or more per couple. Several people drunkenly walked through the tables of the romantic dinner on their way to/from Senior Frogs. Perhaps a roped-off area for the dinner would have been better at the very least. I would also suggest they have a violin player or a least some romantic music playing during the dinner. The waiters who staffed the dinner were exceptional!

We had a presidential suite which was more room than we were accustomed to. It was nice to have a separate room for our teenage sons though, so I'm not complaining. The boys enjoyed 24-hr room service. The pillows were pretty flat and I called for firmer pillows and was only given one that would fit a child's bed. It was really disappointing that they had only one small firm foam pillow available during my stay. I ended up stealing a few pillows from our sons' room. We also had a problem with our room keys not working a few times and had to have them rekeyed.

My husband and I have been members of Palace resorts since 2007. We did not feel that we were given any different treatment than someone who purchase their room via the internet. As the years go by, we see less and less value in our membership. We wouldn't recommend becoming members of the Palace resorts because of this. Unless you are a Diamond member, you do not get any more special treatment than a nonmember. Sure, you get a 25-minute back massage, mani/pedi for each visit, but technically you are already paying for that when you buy your membership and you still have to pay the all inclusive fee every time you travel. I was really disappointed in the treatment as members at this resort because I had spent an hour with a vacation planner booking spa appointments, dinners and excursions. I had to go to my room for a spa card for my spa appointment to be confirmed. When I went to my room, my room key didn't work so I had to go to the front desk to get it rekeyed, During that time, the vacation planner started helping another family. I figured it was a quick question and they would be gone a few minutes later, especially since I had left my stuff at the desk with the vacation planner. When I returned less than three minutes later, the vacation planner told me he was helping the other family and I should come back in an hour. I was gone a total of five minutes. My husband was very upset and went to talk to the vacation planner who still had me come back in an hour. The vacation planner apologized but that was it. Every time we walked past the vacation planners after that, none of them said hello or good morning or barely acknowledged our existence thereafter. We decided after this trip that we will not be upgrading our membership with this resort chain. I don't know what is going on with the supervision or management of this particular resort but it's definitely not how we expected to be treated as members.

I recommend you bring a ton of cash for tips because it seemed like we only got decent service when we pulled out the cash. Don't get me wrong, we are big tippers and believe that tips should be given for excellent service but there was a definite vibe from the staff that tips were expected.

We liked the short walk to 5th avenue to see the local shops. Though keep in mind that pesos are king instead of the US $ as in Cancun area. At the bars in the evening, you should be careful to carry pesos as some of the bars have a ridiculous 11 pesos/1USD$ conversion to pesos despite having currency exchanges up the street that are 14.35 pesos/1 USD$.

The spa is fantastic! We went almost every day to use the steam room, sauna, and whirlpool. We also got a few massages, pedicures and manicures.

The beach is pretty calm and is not as beautiful as Cancun beaches. Its still very nice though. There is a major seaweed problem in Mexico right now though. They work really hard to keep the beach cleaned up but it's not perfect. The hotel has nice beach chairs, though some were in disrepair. They have a separate Diamond members only beach area. They also have another area for VIP (Black Band) members and Diamond Members. We were VIP members so we sat in this area when we got down to the beach early enough to reserve a seat. You have to get there by 7 a.m. or you will not get a seat. I did notice that anyone could walk up on the the beach and sit in the area. I even saw a couple walk up from the beach without any wristband, sit in the VIP area, order food and drinks from the waitress and then go get in the hotel pool for a swim. This made me think what am I doing as a member when you can just walk up in this place for free?

Also, they have a strict one towel person per day rule and even lock the towel cabana so you cannot get a towel except between certain hours which are not posted for guests to know. One of the guests mentioned while I was waiting for a towel one morning that he witnessed a couple climb over the counter of the towel cabana and grab about 25 towels which they smuggled to their room. A bit absurd if you ask me. Towel restrictions are not something I'm paying for when I spend the kind of money I do for a presidential suite at a 5-star resort.

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
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:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#7 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#10 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 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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