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“LOVED WHOLE EXPERIENCE..property unique” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Reef Playacar

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Reef Playacar
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Paseo Xaman-Ha, Ret. Sayil s/n | Fracc. Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
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Free WIFI
Ranked #98 of 197 hotels in Playa del Carmen
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
167 helpful votes 167 helpful votes
“LOVED WHOLE EXPERIENCE..property unique”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

Stayed here in November 2011 for the first time and currently have November 2012 booked. I've been hearing about this little piece of paradise for a number of years but was still extrememly excited and surprised when I arrived. I am a nature and scenic person and enjoy all of the beauty in the world. If there is a pretty view...secluded beach, gorgeous waterfall, unique/small resort with good reviews, I'm all for that. I loved all of the characture that this resort holds. Our checkin was easy and quick. The main lobby area was spacious and neat. Once you leave the lobby and begin heading to your room, the whole scenery changes. You're met with jungle type trees, meandering wooden pathways, a natural cenote with man-made waterfall creating pleasant sound and lovely sounding birds. It was hard to believe we were at a resort. Each of the rooms had a balcony...we were lucky and ours was overlooking the inner jungle area where the coffee bar was. Yes, the coffee bar was a relaxing and neat place to wind down after a fun day at the pool and beach. We took advantage of this four of our five nights at the resort. The way that the resort has their 'beach beds' and loungers set up near the pool and overlooking the ocean/beach was very nice. You could really always find a place with a peak of the beach and ocean. There was palms willowing in the pool area and near the beach. I know that the beach has had some additional sand hauled in post hurricane (at least a past guest believed this to be so since she said the beach wasn't as massive as what I said is was). I couldn't believe how massive it was. It was sooooooooo deep from stepping off the resort part to the sand. There was tons and tons of beach beds and lounge chairs and ample umbrellas. It was awesome!!! All of the staff was amazing. The food was good and more than enough choices to keep most picky eaters happy. Some people no one can keep happy. The drinks were very good. We ate at all areas and also had drinks from each area. All were wonderful. We enjoyed every second of our stay at the Reef. I'm so looking forward to spending seven nights here this year. What I enjoyed most probably is the landscaping. Like I said, I love scenery and uniqueness and this most definitely is not your typical beach resort....I feel it is a step above the rest for those who enjoy a smaller, non hi-rise beach destination. Also, one note is that we had issues with our air conditioner one night...no sleep as it was probably cooler outside than in our room. They sent someone to try and fix it but were unable to. So, the next day we were moved to a different room. Things happen and all was good. They were more than accommodating.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at Reef Playacar, responded to this review, August 6, 2012
We would like to thank you for your nice and extensive review. We are very happy you enjoyed your stay with us last year. We appreciate your observations regarding the jungle, the beach and drinks.
We have a program for our Repeat Customers. You will have the bronze status for your next stay. This means you get welcome presents in the room, such as The Reef Playacar T-shirts, Strawberries covered with chocolate, as well as some discounts for The Reef Marina, our Spa and our Jewelry Store. Please make sure to contact the hotel previously to your arrival, so we can make sure the Bronze Status is mentioned on your reservation (our system unfortunately does not recognize Repeat Customers automatically)

We see you an a few month. Best Regards
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Brownsville, Texas, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

Loved Reef PlayaCar , for the price everything was exceptional. Food was great especially at Bottacelli ( loved the service Guillermo & Estela) Guillermo also makes the most delicious coffee during Tea Time ,,,, YUM !!! Everything is so close to the beach you have a great view from all the restarants. This is the first hotel in the Playa Car area ( which is a gated area extremly safe) which makes it the closest to the 5th avenue. Location perfect , size of hotel is great ,service wonderful !! the only suggestions I would make is free wifi - just the idea of paying extra for internet seems wrong to me. Even if the the price of the hotel is increased by a couple of dollars , no one will feel the diffrence and they can provide free internet for anyone. (Hotel is gorgeous more people having internet acess is just more free publicity with facebook ). I was not expecting bikes to be included which I loved the idea so i do not really want to complain , but maybe a few newer bikes would be so much better. I have never been the type to go back to the same place, always have been of the idea is that I want to see new places all the time. But here I will really want to come back.

Room Tip: My room was right in the middle area of the hotel , which was great everything was exremly close.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at Reef Playacar, responded to this review, August 6, 2012
Thank your for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay at our Resort. It is a pleasure for us to know that you enjoyed your vacation!

We appreciate your very kind notes regarding the great location, food, service, staff and our tea time and we will share your special thanks with Guillermo and Estella.

We offer special rates to our returning guests, so if you plan to come back, let us know directly! We are looking forward to welcoming you once more!
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SC
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

The Reef reviews really are right on, and we too loved the most beautiful beach and the jungle setting of the rooms. We were prepared for the hard beds, but slept like babies every night, maybe those Mexicans are onto something. The AC worked, and we had great hot water and water pressure. Each day, the place "grew on us" we really and truly loved being there.
PROS: (besides the obvious extremely great location, beach, water, and with a view of Cozumel across the sea, lit up at night)
1.The staff are extremely hard working and pleasant. They work so hard cleaning and sweeping the walkways, and serving you drinks, food, coffee, etc. (I would encourage you to bring 50+ dollar bills for tips, even though it's an all inclusive, it is money well spent on their attention to your needs.They took our experience to the next level) Remember their names, you have a chance to give them kudos on checkout and we were happy to do this! (Gladys at breakfast, Miguel and his coffee bar, the man in the ice cream shop, Orlando the bartender, the snack bar guys, the pool bar guys, Felix, and the early crew who clean up and the detailed maid service, etc.)
2.What we loved the most was swimming in ocean, laying out on the lounge chairs, the afternoon ice cream and coffee. Also the Papas bar at night for pool and a few drinks, and we met people from all over Europe as well as North and South America. We brought our teen, and she enjoyed her new friends as well. (Some called the pool table balls half and full, not stripes and solid, and our daughter found this very interesting.)
3. Size: The resort is perfect for a family, as it is small enough for you to let your children explore within it's boundaries. I did enjoy the town of Playacar shops down the road, an easy walk in the gated community. We had daughter's hair braided in Playacar for 55$, not cheap but fair, as they wanted 79!
4. Activities. You can participate as much or as little as you want, but I would encourage you to get familiar with the daily schedule and try to do something. We did water aerobics, and went to the nightly shows. My daughter painted the small 10$ pottery pieces and they made great souveniers. I had a pedicure. We kayaked for free, and took the boat to the reef for snorkling from the dive shop, 33$ each and worth it.
4. Dining Options: really the buffet each meal is fine, but to vary things, we tried the Grill, and it was delicious with superb service.(flank steak) Boticellos was nice, but we preferred the grill for it's menu. The snack bar was awesome for pizza, fries, nachos, and ice cream cones. The service in all areas was wonderful. We really enjoyed Mexican night, up in the dinner theatre. I discovered on my last day how delicious Mexican coffee is, with a cinnamon and citrus flavor.
Cons:
1.Loud music you can hear until 2am if your room is near lobby, but we still fell asleep after our day in the sun, so it was fine. Just know this. The noise from outside is an issue, the rooms are not soundproofed. In spite of this, I would go back and enjoy the same room again. It was not a deal breaker for us.
2. Time share: you will get early phone call from your "concierge" for a free gift. If you want to do a day with their sales pitch, fine. We politely said no thanks, and unplugged the phone.
TRIP TIPS:
1.take more money than you think you will need and pay for safe or upgraded room that includes it. ATMS charge $$$ to use, and front desk never has enough change if you need to break a 20.
2.the Playacar plaza strip is a safe easy walk or bike ride. Starbucks has wifi and restroom. Re:the 5th avenue shops further up into Playa Del Carmen: we took 7$ taxi to, and walked back. We did not like the intense sales pitch of the shop keepers there, but I did get earrings, a bracelet, and necklace. We did not shuttle into Cozumel or go to Tulum. I would do that next time for sure.

Room Tip: Upgrade if possible to use the pool bar- and safe is included.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 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.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at Reef Playacar, responded to this review, August 6, 2012
We appreciate your nice comments regarding our resort. It is a pleasure for us to know that you enjoyed your vacation!We will share your special thanks with Gladis, Miguel, Orlando Felix and the other employees. We hope to welcome you again in the near future.
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Chicago, Illinois
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

We recently traveled to Playa del Carmen over the 4th of July. We stayed at this resort last September for a wedding and had such a great experience that we returned this year. Upon arriving to the hotel and getting our transportation back to the airport organized we were greeted by Ernesto Zeledon. He was so friendly and had great advice regarding where to visit outside the resort. The rest of the staff at the resort was also very friendly and did an excellent job. We did have a problem with our hotel room this time. The AC was not working properly and was leaking water. Someone did come to try to fix it every time we called, but the problem persisted. We demanded a room change and they moved us right away. The only problem was the noise from the construction going on was very noisy and made it difficult to sleep in or try to take a nap. The food and drinks were good. The beach was excellent. It was so beautiful. Overall it was a great resort thanks to the lovely staff. We would definitely return to this resort in the future and recommend to others.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 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.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at Reef Playacar, responded to this review, July 30, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write your review and for recommending our hotel. We are happy you enjoyed your second stay at our resort and we appreciate you remarking the food and drinks, the staff and our beautiful beach We would like to apologize for the inconvenience you experienced with the room. We offer special rates to our returning guest, so if you plan to come back, let us know! We are looking forward to welcoming you once more!
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Chesaning, Michigan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

We visited the Reef Playacar from June 16, 2012 thru the 21st. I was with my husband and our 3 kids who are between the ages of 19-17. This was our second time here and we love it. It is small and charming .In fact we brought some good friends with us who have 3 children between the ages of 11 and 9 who now " LOVE" The Reef as well.
The snack bar is great. We could not get enough of the soft serve ice cream in the snack bar along with the chips and cheese loaded with avocados, don't forget the cheese quesadillas yummmm..... Our kids were very happy eating at the buffet every day. Breakfast is our favorite meal there. Mary our server was spectacular and had a smile every single day. Erving was awesome as well. Most of the reviews you read about this resort are true, you have to give and take on some of the reviews knowing there are just some people who will never be happy, when people describe the property lay out it is right on. They also serve ice cream everyday from 4-6 up by the lobby, what a nice extra for the kids. This resort is small and very well maintained, It is the perfect place if you are looking a nice relaxing time with the family or for a nice quite romantic get away for you and that someone special. We love the Reef and we will be back!!

Room Tip: We always ask for a room by the cenote. It is beautiful in the morning and at night. Always quiet to...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at Reef Playacar, responded to this review, August 6, 2012
We would like to thank you for your very nice comments. We are happy you enjoyed your second stay at our resort and your friends too. We appreciate you remarking the snack bar, ice cream and the small size our hotel and of course we will share your special mention with Mary.
We look forward to welcoming you for your third stay.
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Fairfield, CT
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

This was our second visit this year after discovering this place in February. The first thing we noticed was most of the same staff were still working at the resort. I don't care what business your in-a happy staff makes for happy guests and if the same staff is present after six months, it must be a pretty good place to work. Once again, hats off to Guillermo, Humberto, Enrique(I think), Viktor, hector, All the staff at the buffet, all the staff at the front desk,and my wife especially wanted to mention Victoria at the buffet who made her an egg white omelet every morning. Even the snack bar guys were great! Once again, every member of the staff bombards you with Holas! The Italian restaurant was even better than the last time The filet was delicious! Once again, Guillermo was awesome!!!! I even won at poolside bingo. The girls who run all the poolside activities were great. I even noticed someone had complained about a couple of planks on the walkway- well guess what? They were fixed. We did a little more gift shop shopping this trip and noticed the Reef's shop was more than reasonably priced. Can't say enough! Already booking for next february. Now I just have to find out about their repeat customer program, I think three times in a year may qulaify!. Oh, almost forgot, the resort signs out bikes with locks so you can save the $7 cab ride downtown! Rooms were clean and well stocked. Can't wait to go back! Thanks again Reef Club!
Dan and Sara Camarro

Room Tip: We liked the buildings arount the courtyard!
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  • Stayed July 2012, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at Reef Playacar, responded to this review, July 30, 2012
We would like to thank you for your review. We are very happy you enjoyed your second stay with us. We appreciate your observations regarding the reception, our staff and food.
We will share your special thanks with Victoria, Guillermo, Humberto, Enrique, Victor, and Hector.
We look forward to welcoming you for your third stay. Please make sure to contact the hotel previously to get your amenities.
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Napa, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

I stayed at The Reef with two friends in early July for four nights. It was overall a great place and we were all happy with the decision to stay there. The resort is small and intimate, very easy to get around and feels very safe. Location was perfect - an easy walk to the town and nicely situated on the beach. We were surprised at how good the food was - though we weren't too fond of the Italian restaurant. Despite a small snafu with our room upon check-in, we were happy with our rooms - they were clean and comfortable. Not sure it's worth the upgrade as you really only get a few amenities over the standard room. However, the beverage upgrade is certainly worth the use of the premium beach bar. Don't miss Guillermo and his flaming Mayan coffees on the jungle island - one of the best parts of the resort! We participated in beach yoga, water aerobics, used the gym and watched the evening entertainment - all was pleasantly enjoyable (though the performance of Mamma Mia made absolutely no sense... it still gave us a good laugh).

The staff was friendly and accommodating for the most part (especially Jonathan who took good care of us the whole time). The check-in process could definitely be improved. There is very little information provided about the hotel - most you have to figure out on your own. Though, we were pleasantly surprised that we were never confronted by any time-share reps.

My only complaint about the resort is that it's almost too family-friendly. We avoided the pools altogether as they were always overrun with kids - even the swim-up bar was difficult to get to as it was usually occupied by kids. It would be really great if one of the pools was adult-only, at least in the afternoon. One other complaint... having to pay for WiFi and only having it in the lobby. If you're just going to offer it in the lobby - why charge people?

If you want a good day-trip, I'd suggest booking a cab through the front desk. It was $120 for six hours and we had an amazing trip to Tulum with no constraints of a large tour group.

Still dreaming of the white sand beach, turquoise water and Victoria's omelette bar every morning. Definitely plan to return!

Room Tip: Rooms can be musty when you first arrive - let them air out a bit and it's not a problem.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 4 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.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at Reef Playacar, responded to this review, July 30, 2012
Thank your for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay at our Resort. It is a pleasure for us to know that you and your friends had a great vacation!

We appreciate your very kind notes regarding the safety of the area, food, room, staff and our tea time and we will share your special thanks with Jonathan, Guillermo and Victoria.
We offer special rates to our returning guests, so if you plan to come back, let us know directly! We are looking forward to welcoming you once more!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Reef Playacar

Address: Paseo Xaman-Ha, Ret. Sayil s/n | Fracc. Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#43 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#44 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#61 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#64 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#85 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Reef Playacar 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This boutique style all-inclusive resort is located on a beautiful white sandy beach just steps away from the famous 5th avenue in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico. The hotel offers all food, domestic drinks and a variety of international drinks included, 1 buffet restaurant, 2 a la carte restaurants, Italian & Gourmet($), snack bar, ice cream parlor, various bars including a swim up bar, 2 pools, kids club, daily activities & nightly entertainment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reef Playacar Hotel Playa Del Carmen
The Reef Playacar
Reef Club Playacar
Reef Playacar Mexico
Reef Playacar Playa Del Carmen
Reef Playacar Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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