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“We are cooming back!” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #99 of 199 hotels in Playa del Carmen
Brandon, Minnesota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“We are cooming back!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

This place is great/ No it is not a 5 star, but the staff make up for it. They go above and beyond to please. We do miss Jesus and would love to find out where he works so on our visit this winter we can stop in and say hello. See you in February!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at Reef Playacar, responded to this review, October 2, 2012
We would like to thank you for your very nice comments. We are happy you enjoyed your stay at our Resort.

We look forward to welcoming you once again in February.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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English first
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

Arrived 8/25, (7 day stay) check in was quick although we didnt get a "king" as we requested. We were told the resort was full so nothing could be done about it that day. Rooms are in need of updating, there was construction while we were there, could be that they are updating the rooms. The folks at Nicos bar are amazing (Noelia, Israel, Victor, Alexjandra)!!! Without Nico's we would have never made it there 7 days. (Use of Nico's requires upgraded arm band). We upgraded prior to our arrival and it WAS worth it. The entertainment staff was also amazing!! Food got old after the 3rd day, same food every day:( We did enjoy the mexican restaurant, the wait staff was wonderful. You must try the corn chowder, awesome! I thought it odd that the kiddie pool was right beside the swim up bar, needless to say we spent no time at the swim up bar and pool. Thankfully there are 2 pools. The beach was beautiful. We enjoyed bike riding every morning, the resort has bikes to use. We will go back to playa del carmen, but we wont return to the Reef.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Worcester, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

We just got back from Mexico on 8-30-12. We stayed at the Reef for an entire week. Check in was quick and easy. Had an option to upgrade to premium liquor but we were told it wasn't worth it and we didn't do it. Did pay extra $2 per day for safe. Getting to the room was easy and all the sections of the hotel were spaced out very well and all hidden from one another with foliage. It does seem like you are walking through a jungle. The first pool has a swim up bar. Usually the adults were there. There was a lot of construction going on. The section of the Reef closest to the swim up bar pool was being converted into timeshare. They didn't work all day long so it wasn't too bad. The second pool is in front of the eating are and used mainly by the kids. It has basketball hoops in the water and many of the hotel activities are done there. The beach is very nice. We took a walk the entire length of the beach from the pier to the RIU and all the beaches are similar. There were not many people on vacation during my stay in any of the resorts but it may be due to the hurricane Isaac? Except for the waves we would have never known there was a hurricane that was going by. It was impossible to snorkel due to the waves but there was a nice section of beach that had some dead coral, just north of the resort, so this may be a good area on calm days. The activities were very boring and very few people participated. The resort staff didn't attempt to pull in people into activities. I didn't see much going on in the other resorts either. The food was good. We only did the buffet and there was always something good to eat. If you plan on going to the Italian or Mexican restaurants then make sure you have long pants, a collar shirt and shoes if you are a man, otherwise you cannot enter the restaurants. They are also $5 but from what I had heard they are worth it. The drinks were excellent. They would make whatever you wanted. The beer was also very good. Nothing was watered down unless you wanted it that way. The ice cream parlor is in the back section of the resort just behind the lobby. It was good ice cream but not great. It was always good to eat one during the hot days, which was every single day. Coffee in the lobby cost like $3 and we never tried it. It was a special coffee machine and we didn't think it was worth it. There is a bar on the side of the activities pool that has a special section for those that paid extra for premium liquor. I only saw 2 people in there the entire time so I guess if you want some personal attention that is the way to go. The entire staff was friendly and did their best to speak English. Rooms were cleaned very well each and every day. Do not do the Chichen itza public tour. It wastes the entire day. You will leave at 7:30am and not be back till 8:30pm and you only spend 90min in chichen itza. They basically take you to a cenote where there are vendors, then to a market place, then for lunch with more vendors, then to chichen itza where there are many vendors and even on the way home another stop with more vendors. You can get to chichen itza from the resort in 2 hours so rent a car. A walk to 5th avenue is only 15 minutes. Overall the resort was everything I had hoped for; a value for the money we paid and a quiet atmosphere.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

My fiance and I stayed at the Reef from Aug 17th to the 21st. Beach was amazing! The food was good. We mostly ate at the cafateria which had alot of American food. Was disappointed there were no Mexican dishes at all!!!. The snack bar was good, close to the beach! They have pizza, cheese fries! I suggest eating at the Italian resturaunt!. The swim up bar had good beer but the mixed drinks were not to my liking. The first night they said we could stay in our room but not to unpack anything because they were going to move us. The second night we packed up our stuff only for them to tell us that we were staying in the same room but to have everything packed up because they were going ot move us the next night.!! On our last day they eneded up moving us to a suit that smelled like smoke. Upon entering our room after being on the beach all day there were 3 CREEPY men in our room just stading there looking at all of our stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They handed us a paper without saying anything. The paper staed that The Reef was not responsible for anything that was stolen........ Then they just walked out. Creepy if you ask me! Nothing of ours was taken but really weird... Room service doesn't knock they just come in whenever they feel like it!!! Staff was nice but watch out for the gal with the hot pink sunglasses! We were at the swim up bar and she literally forced us to take shots!!!!!! They were gross shots too! You could tell that it was really really cheap tequila. Yes we might come back someday but there are WAY better places out there. And no, if you are looking for a place that serves you drinks on the beach this is not one of them. Also, the room we stayed in the first night had baby roaches in the tub, the hair dryer didn't work and there was no shampoo and there was a loud bellowing sound that was coming from the airconditioner the whole night!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Tampa, Florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

Just came back from The Reef Playacar August 17th. The resort is very nice and uniqe. The beach is beautiful. The staff was very helpful and didn't have any issues. The bartenders were curtious and friendly. My only problem with this resort was the food at the buffet. The food was always cold. The selection was ok. The italian restaurant was excellent.
I would go back to this resort if they worked on getting their food issue resolved.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
athens gr
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

Stayed here for 6 nights in August 2012.

This is an all inclusive hotel that has a character.

The rooms were big and clean, the bed quality very good. The only down turn the rather noisy air-conditioning.
There is a little jungle and a cenote in the middle of the premises, nothing too big but a nice touch for the overall atmosphere...

The food was excellent, which is not the case with so many all inclusive hotels.

The pool was ok, and the beach good.

The staff was hard working and helpful, in the restaurants, the pool, the security, the room cleaning.... everywhere except the reception.
The reception staff were ironic in several occasions (check in - check out). Some of them did not even speak English!!!!

The hotel provides wifi only at the lobby for a charge. People, this is the 21st century, i had wifi in my room from the hotel next door and u can not install a rooter anywhere else apart the lobby and you charge for it?

They also charged the key for the room safe.

Overall a positive experience.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, PA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

We booked our trip through Hotels.com Vacations six months prior to departure and got an amazing deal. We chose this place specifically because of its small size and jungle theme. It was unique and different from any other resort we have stayed at before in the Caribbean. We used Best Day for airport transfers and were very happy with the service they provided. We waited less than 10 minutes after exiting the Cancun airport and we were on our way to our resort in Playa del Carmen in a super air conditioned van. The ride took 1.5 hours which we expected, especially given that the van was dropping off two other couples on the way. We arrived at the resort at 2:30 and check-in was a breeze. The lobby is airy and spacious and for the rest of our stay we spent many hours there playing cards, getting drunk, and yelling at the TV during the Olympics coverage.

Room –
We were in 623 which was at the back of the resort. The room had a very strong musty smell which took some getting used to… The bathtub had definitely seen better days –it looked like the bottom of the tub caved through at some point and was then repatched. It just felt “hollow” when we stood in it and my husband was joking how one day he’s just gonna fall through it down in to someone else’s tub. There were ants in the bathroom and in one of the corners of the room. The bedspread needed replacing badly – there were sketchy stains in several spots. There were 4 ashtrays in the room and 1 in the bathroom!! It was funny to see given that we are so used to smoking being banned pretty much everywhere indoors in the US. We didn’t bother calling the front desk about any of this because it just wasn’t worth the hassle. The other couple we were traveling with had a better room overall in a location that overlooked the pool/beach. It was their 4th time at this particular resort so I’m guessing that had something to do with it as they give certain perks to repeat guests.

Staff –
Everyone at this resort is so hardworking, and truly tries their hardest to make your stay memorable. We loved the bartenders Jose and Luis who introduced us to some wicked tequila drinks. Guillermo at the Botticelli restaurant was wonderful accommodating our special requests. Our group of 4 went to this restaurant for dinner several nights in a row and loved it every time – especially the filet mignon and the cute little mozzarella/tomato appetizers. But our favorite staff member by far was Asbel whom we saw just about everywhere throughout the resort during our week stay. He was so kind, helpful and constantly made us laugh – we all just wanted to give him a big hug before we left but we thought it might make him feel uncomfortable. We miss you Asbel!

Food –
What can I say? Like most all inclusive resorts, the food is hit or miss. We usually had breakfast and lunch at the buffet because it was right by the pool. The omelet bar is awesome and we had that every morning. They always had a nice selection of fresh fruits too. For lunch they had a pasta bar where you pick from 2-3 different pastas, add your own toppings and then the chef would sauté everything on the grill. Yummy! I can’t live without pasta so this was definitely my personal favorite. The guys in our group raved about some glazed pork dish and I also enjoyed having chicken that was grilled right in front of me. I liked this because I am usually wary about meat that has been sitting out. We only ate dinner at the buffet once and it seemed like a lot of the food was exactly the same as lunch. The rest of the time we ate either at the Boticcelli restaurant or in town on 5th Avenue. There was a cute little snack bar near the pool that served burgers, pizza & chips/guacamole throughout the day and late into the night (I believe till 2am). The pizza was baked fresh in a brick oven and was very yummy! Overall, we didn’t get sick from any of the food and never went hungry – so we were happy!

Entertainment –
We spent most of our nights at 5th Avenue where entertainment is endless until the morning hours.
On our first day, the resort had a casino night – they gave everyone fake money and had different table games set up. And then at the end of the night, you could buy different prizes, auction style, with the fake money you collected. Our group of 4 put our winnings together so we could get one of the bigger prizes (I believe the biggest one was a good quality bottle of tequila) but lots of other people did the same and it got out of control, so we just gave our winnings to a group of kids from Holland. Another night, they had a Broadway dance show and that was… interesting. The girls in that show were dressed extremely provocatively but they looked good, so more power to them! The best and our favorite show was an Elvis Presley tribute. The guy looked somewhat like Elvis but sounded JUST LIKE HIM and we were just amazed! He did all the big hits, including a synchronized one where he did parts of one song and the real Elvis did the other parts on a screen, and they were both dressed the same, and moved exactly the same way. Wow, just beautiful. He closed with “I Can’t Help Falling In Love” and walked through the audience holding different women’s hands and singing to them and putting pink sashes around their necks. The resort does more or less shut down after 10pm so if you need entertainment until the morning hours, go to Coco Bongo or one of the many bars on 5th Avenue.

Location –
A+++ all around. This resort is in a gated community and 5th Avenue is about a 15 minute walk or a $5 cab ride. Cozumel is directly across the water and looks spectacular at night with all the lights lit up. We felt extremely safe in this resort and in the surrounding area. The beach is simply beautiful and very clean. During our stay, Hurricane Ernesto came through and it was rainy/windy for 2 days, causing a lot of seaweed and debris to wash up but the staff took care of everything in no time. For being so small, the resort never felt crowded. There were plenty of beach chairs and bali beds for everyone. Our group spent most of the time near the pool. They had various aquatic activities in both pools and music throughout the day but it wasn’t the ear-splitting techno/rap you get at bigger resorts that is usually accompanied by obnoxious Jersey Shore type groups. Although we did see a couple from (where else!) New Jersey who were fighting viciously for hours before she spit in his face in front of everyone! Haha just wow.

Last thoughts –
Take advantage of the free aquatic activities offered by the resort! We took the catamaran out one day and it was a blast – once we figured out how to work the catamaran, the leftover winds from the hurricane literally had us flying toward Cozumel! Take professional photos on the beach – you can take photos with parrots, toucans, or iguanas. They charge $12 for 1 photo but the price goes down if you buy more and you can always bargain with them if that’s your thing. And for God’s sake, don’t forget your Bubba kegs! They will keep your drinks cold for up to 12 hours in the 100 degree heat. Need I say more? Walmart has them for about $10. Bring lots of sunscreen and basic meds like Advil and Immodium. All three are very, very expensive at the resort gift shop and anywhere else for that matter. If you are taking the ferry to Cozumel, it’s probably a good idea to bring a pack of Dramamine tablets. Even if you think you don’t get sea sick, just in case! However, the most important thing you can bring is an open mind. Enjoy the beauty of Mexico, have fun, and don’t sweat the small stuff!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.

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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:
#44 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#45 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#62 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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