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“A Perfect Escape!” 5 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
Kansas City, MO
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“A Perfect Escape!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2006

I was looking for a perfect place to take my boyfriend for his 30th birthday and found it at the Shangri La Caribe. We were there three nights and we have returned completely refreshed! We had an amazing time and this place could not have been better! I found and picked Shangri La from the glowing reviews on TripAdvisor and I was not disappointed at all. Everything in the reviews were right on - from the friendly staff to the great beach and the laid back, stress-free ambiance.

We had room 31B which is a second story room in the Caribe section with an ocean and pool view. It was also steps from the bar. It was a little noisy at times from the kids playing in the pool but it was never an annoyance. The rooms were basic, not fancy, but they were terrific. Beds were hard like other people have said but we did not find them uncomfortable at all. The pillows were great. Turning in your beach towel every day was a non-issue. Breakfasts were very good. Even though dinner is included, we went in to town every night for dinner which was fun. Had great dinners at Babes Noodle House (hip and fun) and Yaxche (elegant Mayan) and had not great sushi at Sushi Tlan. I would stay away from there. All restaurants were on 5th Avenue.

We really enjoyed an afternoon horse back riding and snorkeling at Punto Venado. The horses were very well taken care of and the guides could not have been nicer.

We were there over Easter weekend and I think it's worth mentioning that it is Sagrada Santa a.k.a. Mexican Holiday Weekend and there were many locals on the beach. The new road does lead right on to the beach which is a little crazy. It didn't make much of a difference to us at all but on Monday when they all went back to work, the beach was super quiet.

I have travelled extensively in the Caribbean and have stayed at some of the nicest hotels in the world and will say that this was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable times I have ever had. I just hope that they don't try to change anything. It's absolutely perfect the way it is!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,431 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (329)
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2006

Returned from a six night and five day stay at Shangri-la Caribe from April 2-8. We had bunglow 24P - penthouse. This room had a beautiful view. All of the penthouses have a great view. For an extra $85 a night compared to the garden view Caribe section it is well worth it. Even though it was hot outside our room got such a breeze - sometimes a little too breezy, that we never needed the air conditioner. The garden view section is in the back of the resort and the rooms with no view of the ocean are EXTREMELY small, including the patios and the walkways are just feet from the patios so there is no privacy. These little rooms are good for teenagers only.

Breakfast is very good - something for everyone. Lunch is Ok but VERY expensive and not included in price. Dinner was good to very good but I'm not a real picky eater as long as they had seafood and veggies I was happy.

It really is amazing how the resort can be completely full and yet it seems empty and at night the pool area was completely deserted. It is a very quite place very unlike the beachfronts in town which were piled one on top of the other with everyone crowded for a decent spot on the beach. It was just very trashy. Almost ended up at the blue parrot when i was researching for a place to stay - Dodged that bullet!!

My Husband and I thought that this resort is by far the most beautiful in Playa, Even the locals will tell you that.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Chicago, IL
2 reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2006

Gave Shangri La Caribe a try in after 5 visits to an upscale IA (RP) in Playacar. Overall a great stay. Rooms are super clean, comfortable but sparce. Porches and hammocks are fantastic. We loved leaving the shutters open for the breeze to blow in all night long. Ran AC only 1 night of 7, it worked fine. Did not miss the TV or phone even once, glad they are not included!

Even with some condo construction going on next door, the place was quiet and tranquil. I would expect that the resort would be too quiet for some, but that is what we loved about it. Overall service was above average, with a couple of outstanding wait staff members that worked their tails off. Tip the staff everyday, and they will work hard to make your stay enjoyable.

Breakfast is as everyone describes, and very good. Dinners were hit and miss. Mexican night was great, others so-so. Check with the front desk daily to see the menu and make your decision. 5th street is very close, we walked to town everyday, and walked into town for dinner 4 of 7 nights. Taxi back for 3 dollars or so.

Beach is fantastic, always a palapa and loungers available even when the resort was full. Beach was not as groomed as in Playacar, but just as pretty and we enjoyed the variety of people and the locals who walked up and down the beach in front of us.

Never felt uncomfortable, beach and resort security was outstanding. Lots of kids at the resort, including ours (9,10)

Shangri La is a departure from the crowds, noise and organized activities of the all inclusives, which was exactly what we were looking for. We'll return.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2006

We arrived March 18--two adults with two boys 6 and 10--for four nights. Our room was on the Aventura side, room 11P. As we approached across a very sandy walkway, it looked to be the room absolutely closest to a sizeable four-story office/retail building going up probably 30 feet behind it. Hammers, beeping front loaders, falling wood--pretty much a total bummer based on what I had anticipated from this hotel. HOWEVER, the back wall of our room muffled the noise almost totally, and the second floor (15' x 15') balcony was super pleasant because of the constant breeze and the sound of the sea. What I thought was going to be a disaster ended up not mattering much at all. In fact, for the second leg of our stay (after a three-day trip to Chichen Itza), we requested the same room! The balcony was just lovely, with two hammocks and chairs.

Our room was very clean, with tile floors and (blissfully) no TV. It was hot--so the AC was a welcome thing at certain times. Open windows were lovely, most of the time. The lack of telephone was an actual inconvenience because we had friends staying next door at Las Palapas and had to hike over to communicate with them. And restaurant reservations had to be made at the front desk phone. The staff were universally friendly and helpful with any request we made.

Breakfast: great. Dinner: felt like we were on the Love Boat. Not terrible, but after a insanely tasty dinner in Playa at Yaxche, we knew there was much better food to be found elsewhere.

Our two boys loved the beach, the pool, the sweet woman at the pottery-painting stall, the ping pong, and the billiard tables. Apparently the (beautiful) beach got a lot deeper after hurricane Wilma, because I watched four guys thatching a new second row of palapas one day. Fascinating to see how they do it. Lounge chairs were always available, and you could easily spend all week gazing at the spectacular blue water.

The dive shop on the beach was extremely friendly and actually steered us AWAY from a snorkeling trip with the boys because the surf was too choppy. Very impressed at their honesty.

My advice is to stay away from the Aventura side for the next months because of the construction. But if you do end up there, it really isn't the disaster you think it will be. In general, second floor rooms seemed to have more privacy--at least ours did.

This is a great place to stay--and after we walked south on the beach to see what other hotels looked like, we realized that Shangri-la Caribe really is the loveliest beach in town. Low key and well run. Wish I were there right now.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2006

Just returned from a 5-day stay at Shangri-la with my sister. This was our second stay at the hotel, and I can't think of a reason to go anywhere else for a beach vacation. The hotel offers a perfect balance of great service, absolutely gorgeous beach, all-you-need in a room, delicious food options, privacy and reasonable price. There are always seats available on the beach (and this is during a relatively high season), and the clarity of water and fine sand are exactly as from a Caribbean vacation poster.

The place may be romantic for couples but also very friendly to families with kids, and is a short walking distance from downtown where there are numerous going-out options. It has much more of an authentic Mexican feel than you would get in a large all-inclusive in Riviera Maya.

The food was quite good. The breakfast may seem repetitive if you stay for a longer period but you can alternate between several hot options, fruit, cereal and bakery. My favorite was the fruit and the variety was probably as good as you can get anywhere in Mexico. The dinner was generally outstanding, our favorite was parrillada buffet (grilled meat), however the Mexican buffet night was just good (the choices seem to have gotten simpler since last year). Overall, I would say the quality of food is superior to what you find in a normal all-inclusive hotel. And definitely, the quality of drinks is superior since these are not included in the dinner price and you can order quite good wine from the list.

All things considered, it was another perfect vacation on the beach. My compliments to the Shangri-la staff for making it possible.

Stayed March 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Switzerland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2006

very romantic hotel, nice and spacious rooms, clean with nice balcony. Breakfast was very nice, healty with plenty of fruits and musli, dinner was just ok, vegetabels a bit missing. Beach very nice. Pool area quiet and nice. Staff friendly and helpful and efficent. Unfortunately they were working on a new building accros the road and the noice was a bit bottering in the evening. If you look for a quiet and romantic vacation you will not be disappointed! It was a wonderful place and I would love to go back some times.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2006

The location of this resort is truly beautiful. When we first got there we noticed how quiet it was. The long stretch of beach was amazing. There were always chairs available throughout the day, not like all-inclusives where you need to reserve your chair at 6am. Every morning birds would wake us up when their neat little calls. We traveled with our 3 year old toddler and this was the perfect place for him. He knew the layout of the place within a day and called the bungalow, "our little house" For children it would be nice if they had an in-room fridge and we brought a portable DVD player to play movies for him during down times and at night. As in some of the other postings remember to secure food away or in ziploc baggies because there are those tiny bugs which were inevitable with a toddler. Easy to clean up though. Would not recommend this place to people looking for lots of activity and night life. Truly a very romantic place for couples and great place for kids. Many families were there when we were. There are still many sand piles yet to clear away but they are working diligently each day to make this place nice. Alot of the area was still removing large fallen trees and rebuilding hotels.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
Amenities:
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
#30 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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