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“25th wedding anniversary vow renewal - just beautiful !” 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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Ranked #8 of 201 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
ontario
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“25th wedding anniversary vow renewal - just beautiful !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2010

Travelled with two families with 5 Teens aged 15 - 20. Been to the carribean and Mexico many times, and have stayed at the Vallarta Palace on the Pacific side. So this was our 2nd experience with a Palace resort and we weren't disappointed. The Playacar is a place to hang your hat, eat & drink to your hearts content, very comfortable beds, good service throughout our stay, and if you want nightlife - although minimal to none at the resort, you've got it next door at 5th avenue. (

The drive to the hotel took about 45 min from the airport but with other hotel drop offs its in excess of an hour, but check in was a snap. Elroy is a star at the front desk)

The intent of the trip was to renew our vows and Gilberto the wedding planner did a fantastic job of taking care of everything. To sum up the day - it was absolutely "perfect" The photos we took of the beach location for the vows turned out beautiful. We were given multifple options for the location, but we chose the beach hands down. The Minister the hotel provided had us in tears, his words were wonderful. From the flowers to the vow renewal service to the beach & champagne served right afterwards for us all, the Playacar did a brilliant job, and I would recommend the hotel to anyone who is thinking about renewing their vows. They will take care of you and your requests.

Another bonus to the Playacar is the poximity to the other Palace resorts on the coast (there are more in Cancun but we didn't visit them) We travelled to Cozumel, Aventuras Cove, Xpu-ha, & the Moon Palaces during our stay (Payacar definately has the best beach). Moon palace shuttle was included, the others you have to hire a cab. Xpu-ha was an incredibly unique Palace resort, and I highly recommend a visit for a couple hours to see the lush jungle, animals, and get some kayaking/snorkeling in. Aventuras provided us with a complimentary room to shower up to dress for dinner, very nice touch, all we did was ask, and we heard the usual response "it is my pleasure"

Our teens participated in the beach volleyball, and the odd event in the pool, however they were content to just chill on the lawnchairs. They wanted to play tennis, but never did ask where they were located. (courts off site) They worked out in the gym at the Cozumel palace but not at the Playacar (again gym off site). Some of them brought laptops and there is free internet and wifi in the rooms, also free calls to North America - seriously !

Food was very good, enjoyed both the italian and the teens liked the Asian - they loved the deep fried ice-cream. They also ordered lots of room service throughout the trip, club sandwiches, fries and chocolate cake,. Us Adults often ordered shrimp coctails, and salmon/crackers with wine from room service , as we got ready for dinners - oh if life could only be like this everyday !

As all the reviews say, 5th avenue is a very cool sensory experience. Lights, sounds, music, marachi bands, food smells, people - where do they all come from ?? Lots of excitement. We went everynight to walk around. Buy a cold cervesa from one of the vendors on 5th and enjoy your stroll......very cool indeed. We always walked back to the hotel via the beach, very safe. One night we stopped at "Fusion" - live band on the beach with muskoka chairs, nice ambiance. Senior Frogs right next door was happening everynight too if that is your thing. The hotel unfortunately suffers for any nightime entertainment/action, but thats to be expected with competition like 5th avenue.

We did not take any free tours, as we have already done the ruins, ziplining, ATVing etc, and just travelling to the other resorts for the day was a good enough change for us. It allowed the kids to check out new sites, pools, games etc. & you always discover new "bar drinks" at each resort.

One thing PP needs to do is put some umbrellas or palapas on the beach. The newly restored beach is just beautiful but you need shade !

As you read other reviews, you can pretty much determine what to expect from PP. We try not to expect too much from the resorts we visit, We like a nice beach, good food, good drink & good service and we got all of the above. Palace resorts are great !

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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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New York, NY
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2010

Overall, my husband and I enjoyed our stay though I probably would not go back.

The PROS: Food is very good and the service in the buffet and main resturant is great.
Our room was to die for -- though it should be at $500/night.
Location is excellent because you can walk right to the beach, cozumel ferry, shops, etc.

Cons:
TOURS ARE HORRIBLE. They are organized poorly and because they for you to stop at their select tourist shops, the site that you could have seen in 1/2 day takes a full! If you are buying into the whole inclusive tour business - DON'T. They also do not let you book in advnace so chances are the you do not get the tours on the dates you want.
As good as the service is in the resturants, that how bad it is at reception and when booking spa and tours.
The place is full of KIDS - granted well behaved kids but if you are looking for a quiet adult getaway, this is not the place.

With all the said, it was a good vacation but for $500/night -- there are a number of other great places I could go that I would not have a short list of cons for....

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Boston, MA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2010

Ok so before we headed down to mexico i was terrified because of all the horrible reviews i read about this place. but it definitely exceeded my expectation. the hotel itself yes is smaller than the other palace resorts but i thought was a perfect size for us. we weren't overwhelmed or felt like we had to be apart of the activities, yet felt included enough. it was very clean and almost all the staff was very attentive, a few weren't but such is life. most knew our names by the time we left and always greeted us with a hello.
our room was promptly cleaned when we left our sign up and they came by every night for turn down service though we usually passed. we had an amazing view from our room as well.

the location couldn't get any better. we walked to 5th avenue almost every night which has great nightlife and shops. the locals trying to get you into their shops go old after the first night but i was used to dealing with that after traveling to europe a few times already. the ferry was also only a 5 min walk and a 45 min ride to cozumel which was definitely worth it. ( definitely rent a vw convertible when you arrive for an awesome ride around the island.. we did the scooters and got really sunburned..) it felt like we had all the bonuses of a resort but didn't feel trapped.

the pool was great, though they only had one, only one out of the seven days we were there did it feel crowded. and that mostly had to do with rude people who left their towels on their chairs under the umbrella all day and not even use it! i ended up moving them.. come people! But the rest of the time there were plenty of chairs and umbrellas. the only down fall was there were no umbrellas to use on the beach. i would have loved to hang out on the beach more but my skin couldn't handle all that sun. but the beach was nice and water warm.

i was definitely nervous about the food as well before i got there. but it was better than expected. the italian restaurant was really good as was the service there. the mexican buffet was good. we noticed the food was better if you got there closer to when it opened and your best bet was to get something that was made to order, like the fish fajitas, pasta, etc. the same was true for breakfast, i had wonderful omeletts every morning. the only real disappointment was the asian restaurant. it was just bad. and you could kinda tell because there was hardly ever anyone in there. it's kinda sad they would be better off just opening something new.

the chips and guac from the pool side bar were amazing and they were great about drinks. the waitresses were very attentive as well.

overall we had a good time. we are not picky travelers though. give us good drinks, a pool and some good food we are happy. its all what you make of it. it wasn't the best food in my life but not the worst.

oh i did use the spa as well, it was very nice and they were very attentive. it was only about a 5 minute shuttle ride from the hotel and i didnt wait more than 5 mins for each.

overall it was better than i expected and i would visit again.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Rockford, Michigan
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2010

Spent a week (May 2-8) at the Playacar with our son, his wife and her parents. This was the first time for all of us traveling to Cancun and we had a great time. We choose the Playacar based on the positive reviews and we were not disappointed. It was close to ferries to Cozumel and the 5th Avenue shopping. The hotel is quite small with just under 300 rooms but we felt this was a positive as we had heard some of the resorts were so large they were almost overwhelming. The beach and ocean view were very nice. The pool seemed to be just the right size for the resort and never was too crowded but I don’t think the resort was ever full during our stay. The rooms were spacious and comfortable, especially the beds. Room service was prompt and the maid service respected the do not disturb sign when it was displayed. All of the staff was very friendly and helpful. The entertainment staff poolside led by Super Eric were alot of fun. The music was not too loud and the mix was great. The pool was cleaned every morning and poolside area kept picked up and clean. The food was all very good, especially the Italian restaurant. The buffet always had a variety of prepared dishes, fresh fruit, breads, pastries and different deserts every day. The buffet staff was very attentive, almost to the point of overdoing it by re-folding your napkin again when you left to get something else from the buffet.

Our hotel package included several complementary tours and my only suggestion would be to plan your tours in advance and book them as soon as possible after you check in as they have limited space available and the tours are not offered for every day of the week. To book the complementary tours you will need to talk to the guest services staff who are also the timeshare people and they will eventually try to steer you into their presentation but we quickly would tell them we were not interested and they would back off.

The only complaint I guess we would have is that there is not any music at night in any of the lounges to dance to or just listen, but Senior Frogs is just 100 yards down the beach. They also advertise as serving “Top Shelf” liquor which one would assume is brand name stuff you would find in the US but the only names I recognized were Smirnoff Vodka, Bacardi Rum and Jack Daniels. Everything else was Mexican brands, but they were all lined up on the “Top Shelf” at the back of the bar. The only beer they served was Dosequis draft and Tecate in cans which was fine by me.

All in all it was a very enjoyable stay and we would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2010

It was the best vacation we 've had. This hotel was absolutely great. The service is outstanding! There are waiters on the beach and at the pool that make sure you never get up to get a drink. They work really hard and always have a smile! Thanks to Martha by the pool and Anabel at the beach!
Because this hotel is smaller than others, you get to have a more personal service. We never had problems finding any chairs. No stress concerning that compared to elsewhere. The food was good for an all inclusive. Not many choices though. We went to Playa del Carmen one night. They should add a restaurant. The wine was also the best I've had on vacation. Everything was included from the excursions to the free phone calls to the US and Canada. The room was beautiful, modern and the beds were very comfortable. We had an amazing ocean view room. We ordered room service for breakfast the first 3 days and it arrived exactly at the time we asked for it. They were a bit mixed up though in the order but I didn't mind eating what they brought me. It was still good. We never had to wait a long time for anything and everybody made sure at all times that we were satisfied. The beach is beautiful, not too crowded like most of the hotels on that stretch of beach. The pool is small but offers a magnificent view. The entertainment staff is great too. They don't bother you if you don't want to participate. The music is not too loud and well chosen. Relax music in the morning and around 11:00 the rhythm changes. The location was great too. It was close to everything. It was our 9th trip(we've been to Cuba 4 times ex: Melia las dunas, Dominican Republic 3 times ex: Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro and to Mexico 2 times) and it was the best. It's different than others and perfect for me. I'll be back!

  • Stayed April 2010, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockville Centre, New York
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2010

Our family of 4 thoroughly enjoyed this 4-night, 5-day vacation in Playa Del Carmen - $4,200, including direct AA flights from/to JFK. A bargain for the location, ambience, service, and amenities. Relax we did............

I spent time researching caribbean resorts, and then went to an agent for help - one in NYC who works with Classic Vacations. His associate in CA recommended Playacar Palace. There was a kids promotion, and my 2 teenagers stayed for free!

The Trip Advisor reviews were somewhat helpful, and one can dismiss most of the negative ones. Here are our remarks to add/confirm:
-Bring a $100 wad of $1 bills, and tip often.
-The restored beach is in great condition.
-Plenty of chaise lounges and chairs by the pool and beach, though you need to get there early if you want a good location. Staff run good activities for teenagers and adults.
-Buffet dining is very good, with short-order cooks at all meals. Meats are good and fresh. I especially liked the squid [calamari] fried by the cook.
-Liked the Italian restaurant, didn't try the Asian one.
-Dos Equis beer on tap. I'm a true beer fan, never had it on tap before, and enjoyed it with a wedge of lime.
-Mixed drinks, exotic shots, non-alcholic drinks, juices, sodas, etc. are good at all their bars. There's PLENTY of help regularly asking if you want another, and be sure to visit the bar and talk with the help. Nearly all speak english just fine. If you want more or less booze in your drink, just ask!
-Our ocean-view room had a jacuzzi, which we didn't use.
-2 double beds, would have preferred to have Queen.
-Spacious bath room area.
-Staff CLEAN the hotel and grounds ALL the time!
-We skipped the timeshare presentation, and I kept it short with the tour staff [they are not hotel employees].
-Take your own car service to/from hotel. There are many reputable companies, and be sure your travel agent books it.

Feel free to e-mail/submit questions.
Thanks for the helpful comments posted by many.

  • Stayed April 2010, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2010

We recently returned from Playa and staying at the Playacar Palace - two couples, no kids. All of us have had multiple trips to Mexico - both Mayan Riveria and west near Cabo - so we're not 'newbies' to Mexico. We were very happy with nearly everything.

SERVICE. Outstanding. I must say that my husband and brother are regular tippers - $2 left at the table at breakfast/lunch/dinners; $1 or $2 with poolside drink orders; $2 with inside bar drink orders. This goes a LONG way, folks! My brother got Crown Royal and my sister in law got her beloved Captain Morgans! My husband got his whiskey strong enough (not all watered down) and I got decent Chardonney ... after asking for a Chilean wine ... and my brother got a really good red at the Italian restaurant AFTER politely asking. The poolside service and restaurant service was outstanding every single day.

FOOD. It's all inclusive so by definition it won't be super top notch. But we were very happy. The buffet had lots of choices and AGAIN if you ask for something specific they were more than happy to accommodate. Food could have been hotter at the buffet. And while there was not chips, salsa & guac. outside available readily, again all you had to do was ask. I'd rather have my guac come from the fridge than sitting out all day in the sun anyway.

ROOMS. Perfect. We never had a problem with cleaning, staff, etc. Again, $2 left every morning when we left the room and put out the sign for 'please clean' made all the difference. Yes, the bathroom floors get wet. That's what extra towels are for. You're in Mexico. Have fun.

POOL AREA. I personally loved that it wasn't huge. The activities (which I normally don't love 'cause everything is so loud) weren't overbearing and Super Eric was awesome without being obnoxious as some activity people can be. Yes, there were remenants of the last night's trash, but isn't that more a reflexion of our bad habits in not picking up after ourselves (it's called good manners) rather than a staff that I KNOW worked til midnight at the pool?

We really enjoyed this resort. Go with a good attitude and a friendly smile. ENJOY. They really DO want you to have a good time and enjoy their country.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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
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:
#6 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#7 Top resorts 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
#13 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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