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“The best all-inclusive we have ever stayed in” 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 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“The best all-inclusive we have ever stayed in”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2011

We chose the Playacar Palace based on reviews in Trip Advisor and everything people are saying about the place is true. The service was over-the-top and amazing. Several waiters and servers actually remembered our names and preference for where we wanted to sit.

Here are a few tips:
1. When you arrive, ask for the room upgrade. Don't wait till the next day. Ask if you can use extra points for the honeymoon suite. That's what we did and it was worth it to have a HUGE balcony over-looking the ocean. Not to mention, there is family room with another refrigerator.

2. The Italian restaurant is the best. Don't order the Grouper, stick with Salmon. At the Asian restaurant, my wife liked the sushi but I preferred the stir-fried.

3. If you go to Cozumel, book only a one-way trip. It gives you flexibility on when you want to return. They take U.S. dollars, never use a credit card. The Cozumel Palace is only a 17 minute walk to the right of the pier. Bring your snorkel gear and have lunch, it's the best.

4. If you don't want to hear the music and games go to the far left of the pool. It's nice and fairly quiet there.

5. Use your points for the massage. When you go to the spa/golf make sure you walk and take the side road that runs along the beach. It's much nicer than the main road. Lotsa cool homes and things to look at. It's about a 15 minute walk.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
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2,679 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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Leeds
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2011

Six of us stayed here from 22 Jan to 5 Feb. We had booked rooms with partial sea view but when we arrived we had a full sea view right on the beach. It was wonderful watching the world go by. The one downside was we did not have a balcony but with the full length sliding windows open we hardly noticed. The rooms are very spacious and the beds are extremely comfortable.

The staff are very attentive, especially at breakfast, and they always have a smile and are willing to do anything for you. Lovely people. Breakfast was the usual buffet but very good quality. Lunches too in the main restaurant were excellent. Evening meals did get a little boring after a couple of weeks of a choice of only 3 restaurants, but like all other reviewers we found the Italian restaurant the best, although the quality fluctuated from being outstanding to average. The lamb chops and steak are by far the best thing on the menu. The Oriental restaurant is not that good. With regard to the main restaurant, it's necessary to eat there early on (around 7pm) to get the best. We tended to go there after 8pm when everything had been sitting around for a couple of hours going cold.
The bar service was good, but that was no surprise as there was never anyone in there! The quality of drinks leave something to be desired. They certainly do NOT serve top shelf spirits etc. Gin and tonic tasted more like water and the beer is very weak tasting The best drinks were cocktails or brandy/coke. Wine with the meal was acceptable. We always plumped for the Chilean red which was really pretty good.
This hotel is on a lovely beach, but if you want lots of water sports, forget it. There are jet skis on the beach to hire and you can parasail but that's about it. There are other hotels in the group which offer snorkelling and kayaking but not here, but these hotels don't have such a lovely beach. The hotel is literally a stone's throw from 5th Avenue shopping area with bars, restaurants and tourist paraphernalia on sale, so if you like to walk out at night and see some life, it is very close by, whereas the other hotels are quite isolated.

The golf course is a 5 minute shuttle away and it is the most difficult course we have ever played. The course at Moon Palace nearer Cancun is much more player friendly, but the hotel there is enormous compared to Playacar Palace.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2011

We had our first vacation at Playacar in March 2010 and had a fabulous time. We stayed again this year January 4-13. We had more than a fabulous stay this time. A lot of the staff remembered us and it was like having a family reunion; hugs from everyone and we were all so happy to see each other again.

We had intended this trip to enjoy some tours and perhaps visit Cozumel Palace and Moon Palace. However, we were enjoying the sun and relaxation so much we were only able to tear ourselves away for one day at Adventura Spa for pampering and dinner. It is also a beautiful resort and for anyone looking for the week of pampering this would be the place. The only drawback is the lack of outdoor heated pool and beach. However, there is a 20 minute shuttle between the resorts so it’s not difficult to include a beach day at Playacar.

There are a number of things and numerous people who made this trip special to us. First and foremost, my husband and I spent nine days of quality time together. We laughed, we danced, we ate, we drank tequila and cognac, we basked in the sun, and we swam in the ocean. Nothing could have been better with perfect weather.
We also had the pleasure of meeting several people who made our trip memorable like Cynthia and Keith from Ottawa. Not only did we enjoy two Italian dinners together and each other’s company around the pool but we danced together at the Luna Lounge. Peter and I love to dance and although Playacar does not have an official disco the Luna Lounge became ours. Peter also loves music and has an incredible collection of all types including the latest dance music and we always travel with his iPod and portable speakers. So after dinner we would head to the Luna, set up our music and dance. It was a pleasure that so many other guests joined us. We also met a remarkable family from Chile. It did take a few nights to get them dancing but when they finally did we had a wonderful time together. From Ohio we met Joan and Scott at the pool and had a fun day sipping “milkshakes”.

We would like to recognize the following staff members. Juanita, whose warm, beautiful smile greeted us every morning for breakfast. Jazz who brought my special carrot juice, remembering every morning and always asking if there was something special I wanted. Sebastian, our waiter in the Mexican restaurant, who on our first evening, brought small plates of tasty Mexican morsels to our table. It was a pleasure. Santos, warm, wonderful Santos, who brought us special mimosas at breakfast. Guatelope, our waiter in the Italian Restaurant, who amazed us by remembering us from two years ago at Palace Vallarta. Fanny, Perla and Juana for their lovely smiles and poolside service. The bartenders, Gaspar (always happy) and Manuel (always smiling). Our special recognition to Carlo Moises Vicas Canche who served us every evening in the Luna Lounge. Our special thanks to Carlo Palma and Alfredo for arranging the Disco night at the Luna. You know we all had lots of fun that night. Thank you all so much for your exceptional service, friendship and for making us feel so special. There is a saying…it is the little things in life that matter.

It is our pleasure to share our vacation memories. We highly recommend this resort and hope that you too will return home with as many fond memories. We will be visiting our friends (staff ) at Playacar again this year.

P.S. We have not a single complaint about this resort, its services or staff. We found everything to be exceptional. One suggestion we have for anyone who feels they too have received exceptional service is to recognize those staff members by name.

  • Stayed January 2011, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2011

Good all inclusive with attentive service, good beach, nice facilities and friendly staff. However there is no spa or fitness center on site, and this is not clearly stated on the website which is misleading. For both - a shuttle to the nearby golf resort leaves every 15 minutes (5 minute drive). The hotel is right next to the ferry to Cozumel and a walk from shops and touristy but nice downtown area.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carmichael, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2011

We thoroughly enjoyed our week long stay. Sevice was excellent. Italian dinners were great! The beach was fabulous! We were right next to 5th Ave. and the ferry to Cozumel and Senior Frog's. The only glitch we had was we thought we had reserved a partial ocean view for both our sons/wifes with king size beds. Neither room had any kind of view and the one couple got 2 regular beds. We tried to change but couldn't do it w/o upgrading. We booked thru AAA. Very dissappointing but we didn't allow it to ruin our vacation. My wife and I had a honeymoon suite and the room was great and the large balcony view of beach, etc. was fantastic! It was our family party room with a view! Thank God for that! Would like to have seen more dancing at resort. There was none!

  • Stayed January 2011, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Idaho
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2011

I have read on this website that all rooms have at least some peak at the ocean. I have to say that our room (254) had a 'peak' at the ocean, if you leaned all the way over the railing and turned your head just right as the waves rolled in! I would refute the claim that All rooms here have at least some ocean view.

Checked in the first night and found the room to be very quiet and more than adequate (except in the view department). We got cleaned up and went down to the buffet for dinner. I am not really a buffet for dinner type person, but this one was quite good. The Mexican food was very tasty and the service was top notch. This being our first 'All Inclusive' we did not really know what to expect, but were very pleasantly surprised by how attentive the staff was to our every need.
Buffet breakfast was good, but I do not think I would want it for more than 4 or 5 days in a row, pretty much the same thing in different places each day. The made to order omelets were my favorite thing every day. I also got more than my fill on all of the fresh fruits and vegetables as well as fabulous cheeses.
After breakfast, I discovered that my room key didn't work, so off to the front desk I went. Of course while I was there I had to at least price a room upgrade, and found that it would just about finish off my Palace Credits ( we had already booked our tour and spa), leaving with a key to room 522, only about the best view in the place. This room is directly above the pool with a full on Caribbean view (as well as Cozumel, Ferry Pier and beach to Playacar), FABULOUS! Upgrade was well worth it because we would have had to work hard to spend that $370 on pictures, etc.
The only drawback to changing rooms was it took FOREVER to get a bellman to come and help us move our luggage. We were told it would take 15 minutes, and it was well over an hour. I know this is not life or death, but it was an hour of my husband’s birthday spent inside the 'resort view room' and not laying by the pool.
Dinner was at MoMoHana for my husband’s birthday, and it was fabulous. The cream cheese in the sushi takes some getting used to, but somehow I think we managed. Our waiter, Enrique even picked up on the birthday and brought my husband birthday cake, a shot of (don't even ask) and a chorus of Happy Birthday from the waiters, pretty much a memorable 40th for him.
We did eat at the Italian restaurant one night and although we managed to walk away very full, we chose a repeat of MoMoHana for our last meal. Our waiter this night was Jorge and I have to say he makes the best Mayan coffee and Banana Flambé.

We only did none tour of Tulum/Xel-ha. We enjoyed Tulum, although it felt a little rushed and there are a lot of people there!! Then we stopped at a 'Mayan Market'. This felt very much like a hard sell and I would much rather have had that time at the ruins. We then went to Xel-Ha Palace which was a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT! I think the only people in the whole resort were in our tour, service was not good, food was cold and the pool was dirty. All in All I was more than ready to go back to the Playacar Palace at the end of the day.
As for a few other details:
*Kids club- Daughter only went one evening. It was OK, but not really enough kids to make it worthwhile.
*Pool entertainment fell short, but it wasn't for a lack of trying on the part of the staff.
*Room service- Limited menu if you are not in Concierge level, but still good and seemed to be very quick.
*Evening entertainment- Not to the level of the big resorts, but a lot of fun and very inclusive. I think my daughter and I participated every night but the Michael Jackson review. We did the Shakira dance lessons, and danced with the dance troop as well as tried our hands at Karaoke.
*Time share sales- for us it was non-existent. The tour planner mentioned it once and said we could decide the next day, and it was never mentioned again.

All-in-All, I would defiantly stay here again. The beach is fantastic, the location cannot be duplicated and the staff makes you feel as if you are the most important guest they have.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Alamitos, California
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2011

We have stayed at this location several times; mainly at the request of my son. The last time we were there, they remembered him. He enjoys the pool, the pool games, and the kids club. No problems w/ him eating as he enjoys both the Italian and Chinese restaurant. The beach is fabulous and he spent most of the day playing in the sand and building a trench from rinse off to the ocean.

I have seen several families w/ young children there and haven't heard any complaints. I guess it really depends upon the family and their preferences.

I personally think that you won't be disappointed by staying here!

  • Stayed March 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 1
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Luxury 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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