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“Great honeymoon!!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mahekal Beach Resort

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Mahekal Beach Resort
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle 38, Entre Avenida 5a y Zona Federal Maritima, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Shangri-La Caribe)   |  
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Ranked #61 of 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great honeymoon!!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2011

We had a warm welcome by the staff, the hotel is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!. Since our arrival Boli (concierge) had everything prepared at our Ocean view villa, my husband planned a surprise for me and Boli was very helpful, he is indeed a great value for the resort, always smiling and willing to assist you with everything you may need.
Our room was very cute, it had a palapa, a couple of hammocks and the view to the ocean was just stunning and what we needed, Jose Luis the bellman was really nice to us and attentive all the time.
The food is delicious, real mexican flavors and the service is great, Manuel is so friendly as well as his cousin (sorry i forgot his name).
The location of the resort is SUPER, so close to 5th Ave. and to the dock so you can go to Cozumel.
There are few details about customer service from Front Desk that they need to work on, some maintenance in the areas, the shop or store is not well equiped, but everything can be fixed. Special thanks to housekeeping for having our room always clean and ready.

Overall we would love to go back and we hope we will, thank you for making our stay a memorable one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Room Tip: Choose 15 B
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Scottsdale, Arizona
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2011

My husband and I stayed here for 6 days in mid-August, upgrading to a beachfront room just a few days before we arrived (thanks to an unexpected raise at work!).

I'll start by saying, if you go to Playa del Carmen and want to be walking distance to 5th Avenue, this the best place to stay. And the only place I would go back to. I was not impressed at all by the other hotels in the area, even ones that ranked higher than this one on TA rankings.

The lobby is so charming upon arrival, with a great "reading room" where you can borrow books, leave books and flip through coffee table books. The resort is split into two sections with a public access walkway down the middle. This means there are ALOT of locals on the beach at all times, however, we did go when it was VERY hot weather so I imagine the locals were just trying to cool off.

Our beachfront palapa was beautiful from the outside, literally a 10 second walk to the shoreline. Great patio with hammocks. Really something not most get to enjoy ever in life=) The inside was in need of major updates, the A/C was probably stuck at about 78 degrees so my husband was constantly hot and trying to cool down, and some of the curtains had big stains on them. The bathroom has literally almost no lighting when the sun went down. We were in 34 P.

We were very happy with the food. Each morning with the half-board package we had, there was a huge buffet breakfast and then a menu you can order of off that features great Mexican breakfasts, omelettes and even pancakes. Lunch was also really great, we did this over dinner most days. There's a two-sided menu you can pick from with great Mexican dishes from tacos to ceviche to chicken sandwiches and burgers (the burger was actually pretty amazing!) Dinner was also great the two nights we did it.

The daily happy hour was a steal, with most drinks just $5 and offered at 2-for-1. The staff was not memorable really at all. I will say that we had originally booked a room in the Garden View Pueblita area and we would have not been happy there. There are a lot of rooms, stacked into one area and all the balconies open right up to your neighbors. It was really kind of weird and like a huge communal tree house.

The beaches were pretty beautiful and you could walk a decent distance both ways. There was some major seaweed at times, but that could just be due to currents.

I will say this about Playa, it's very touristy and not quite as charming and quaint as I had imagined. Most of the restaurants along 5th Ave. were really expensive, which was kind of surprising considering the hotels in town are not that nice. There was though ALOT of great Italian. We asked our waiter at Origenes, which is a great restaurant across the street from the resort, for his favorite spots in town and they were some dive Italian spots that had $2 wine and great pizzas!

I will also say this, we went in August and it was REALLY hot. And we were coming from Phoenix were it was 110-plus degrees. I think our stay would have been more enjoyable if it wasn't so hot, but beware, it was VERY warm and AC is almost non existent at local restaurants and stores.

Room Tip: Book a beachfront room early, so you get top pick!
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2011

my husband and I came here on a childless get away.it was fabulous. The rooms were comfortable right on the beach. Food was probably 4 out of 5 stars, but plentiful. Beautiful beach. Very helpful staff.

  • Stayed October 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Old Bridge, New Jersey
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2011

My wife and I spent one week at the Mahekal and it was like paradise. Whatever room you choose, you are steps from the beach. The beach is protected by Cozumel, so no enormous crashing waves.Good for young children. The most beautiful beach in the area. Locals add color and did not bother us. Plenty of beach chairs.
The rooms are polynesian style with thatched roofs. They are kept clean. Good air-conditioning. Occasional ant visitors. Hey, you're in nature. Breakfast is good and they'll make about anything you want. Dinner menu is mediocre, but in the one week we were there, they had four special nights, each featuring really delicious food. There was live music three nights. The bar is a nice place to meet other guests and have a drink. Try the Mojito! The wait staff and bartender all very friendly. Guests are from all over the world: Europe, the U.S. and Canada. Everybody speaks english. No problems with the front desk as other people complained about. Great place for the money. Two pools.
Although the resort is quiet, you are a five minute walk from fifth Ave., the main drag where there are tons of restaurants, shops and bars. Prices seemed fairly reasonable. Shopowners are aggressive which gets a little wearying but we learned to just say no. It is a lovely street. The town is much more charming than Cancun.
There is lots to do nearby, if you have the money. We drove to Tulum but did not tour the ruins as it was just too hot to do in July. We did have Cervezas in town in an outdoor restaurant and bought a blanket. Don't be afraid to negotiate.
All in all, a great vacation. Only complaint is the mosquitos which were bad. Bring repellant and bite meds, as you will get bit even with repellant on.
Also do not rent a car from Thrifty in Cancun. They rip you off on insurance.
This is a place we would definitely like to go back to.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2011

We visited Mahekal just recently and loved it. The environment is so awesome. It is few blocks away from 5th ave street. I think the end of the 5th ave street starts near Mahekal. We used to go to the 5th ave street once every day and the street is very good. In 20-30 min one can reach to Calle 1 which is where ferry terminal for Cozumel is located.

We are vegetarians. We were able to survive well here. The best part of breakfast is fresh fruit juices. My only complain is that they keep just one vegetarian item on menu for dinner. Same thing for warm breakfast - only one item Molleate (we do not eat eggs). I also wish that they would offer at least non-alcohol drinks inclusive. We found prices little high but everything on 5th ave street is also expensive. It is no cheaper than US.

There is not refrigerator in the room. In really warm days it is inconvenient not to have a refrigerator in the room. Also, there is no ice machine on the property so one has to go and ask for ice. They give only one water bottle a day. We used to walk outside and buy cold water bottles from OXXO - 1 L bottle costs 11 pesos. the same costs 25 pesos at the resort.

The beach is very good. They provide beach towels at the reception and everyday one has to exchange them with new ones. At first it seemed annoying but later I found that it is their way of the security guards to make sure your items are protected when you are enjoying the sea water and away from your chair. They do not let people use their beach amenities if they are not staying at the resort. They identify the guests by their beach towel :)

Their entire staff is very friendly. We were initially assigned a room which I did not like and they immediately changed to new one that I liked. They try to do everything to make sure you can enjoy the vacation time. Overall it is very nice place to take vacation and relax.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2011

it is a very nice hotel with bungalows. it is very close to the 5th avenue where you find a lot of stores and restaurants. the sea is also nice for swimming and the beach is clean

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 City, New York
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2011

I stayed here with my spouse for four nights in late July. The purpose of going to Mexico was purely to get away for some R&R and basically do nothing all day. I got what I wanted, and wish I could have stayed an extra day. This resort is a good value and I do recommend it. There are just a few quirks that prevent me from giving it five stars, but I would stay there again.

The pros:
-Beautiful decor. I really loved the atmosphere. It's very tasteful, and very Mexican.
-The staff is terrific. They speak English and they seem to genuinely love customers and guests. They are great with giving directions and recommendations and attending to problems very promptly and with a smile.
-I loved our room. We stayed in a garden view room, and the beach and pool were a short walk away. It was always spotless after a cleaning. The bed was comfortable, it had a fan and an AC unit, both of which really cooled things off. The bathroom was spacious. We had a spacious front porch with two wonderful hammocks. The hammocks are stored in the closet in the room, and they are very easy to assemble.
-The beach is beautiful. The beach chairs and umbrellas are plentiful, we never had a problem finding a spot for two. The water was fantastic.
-Pools. The resort has two pools, both of which have chairs and umbrellas aplenty. The water is great, and the pools are cleaned regularly. We enjoyed the pools and spent a lot of time there.
-Bar. The bar was great. Happy hour is from 5 to 6 pm daily and it's a two for one. The drinks are really good. They aren't watered down at all, and the pina colada was one of the best I've ever had.
-This resort is family friendly without antagonizing singles and couples. There were lots of children there, but also lots of couples with no kids. I have no kids and generally do not enjoy "kid-friendly" places. This place struck a perfect balance though.
-Location. Terrific location, as 5th Ave, the main drag of Playa del Carmen, is a five minute walk away. Shopping, restaurants, even a Starbucks is within very easy reach.

-The food options. I'm a total foodie, and when I visit Mexico, I want Mexican food. I researched a lot before booking this resort because I wanted one that would serve authentic regional fare. The website is a bit misleading. This resort is not all-inclusive, it's semi-inclusive, which means you get breakfast and either lunch or dinner included. But all alcohol and one meal a day is on you. The first night we ate dinner at the resort because the website indicated that dinner service included Mexican fare. It does not. Know that before you go if this kind of thing is important to you. However, their breakfast and lunch options do include Mexican food. So we were pretty happy eating breakfast and lunch at the resort and the venturing down to 5th Ave for dinner.
-Quality of food. Definitely not the worst I've tasted, but also not the best. The breakfast items are hit and miss, although the lunch is pretty good. Not outstanding, but good.
-Drinks are not included. I fully expected that alcohol would not be included but I was not expecting that things like cola or bottled water wouldn't be included. That seemed a bit cheap to me.

Overall, I enjoyed staying here and would do so again. If you go, say hi to Miguel the resort cat. :)

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Itzel_O, Public Relations Manager at Mahekal Beach Resort, responded to this review, August 31, 2011
Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you very much for taking this time to write and to share about your stay in Mahékal Beach Resort.

We appreciate your evaluation and kind comments about your impressions of the property and the service that you received from our team.

This friendly and familiar feeling that you, our guests experience in Mahékal, is due to the dedication and love that our employees put into their work. Many of them have been working in the property since many years ago, when it was recently open in the 80’s, which results in making our guests feel like home, and we can proudly see smiles on your face.

Again we would like to thank you; the opinion of our guests is very important; they help us aiming our efforts towards our ultimate goal, which is to offer the best services and facilities so our guests enjoy and spend the time of their lives.

That is why we will make sure to provide the accurate information, regarding our Plan of meals and prices about our Food & Beverage Department.

It’s been a pleasure to host you and we hope to see you back very soon in this

“Your second home in the heart of the Riviera Maya”.


Itzel Olvera
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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 Mahekal Beach Resort

Address: Calle 38, Entre Avenida 5a y Zona Federal Maritima, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Shangri-La Caribe)
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 Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#17 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#37 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mahekal Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 121
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Mahékal Beach Resort is a legendary resort village located on 800 feet of white sand beach in the heart of vibrant Playa del Carmen. It has 121 thatched roof, palapa-style bungalows within steps of Fifth Avenue, the celebrated entertainment, shopping, and restaurant district of Playa del Carmen.The thousands of loyal repeat guests at Mahékal Beach Resort describe it as magical, memorable, and authentically Yucatecan. Our style is friendly and relaxed, a unique Caribbean experience where you can rock gently in a hammock on your private terrace and enjoy undoubtedly the best beach in Playa. Our guests love the fact that we have never compromised our truly unique ambiance and style. In keeping with that style, our rooms do not offer television, radios or telephones. Instead, they feature original, brightly colored, Mexican tile bathrooms, private terraces with hammocks for siestas and star gazing, and locally-crafted Mexican wood furniture in an outdoor seating area where you can enjoy our magical sanctuary. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mahekal Beach Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Shangri La Caribe Hotel
Shangri La Caribe Playa Del Carmen
Mahekal Beach Resort Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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