I read reviews for over a month so I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect when I arrived. However at first sight the resort left me wondering if I made a bad choice. Not because it was dirty or run down because the staff there really does an amazing job keeping it clean. We have stayed at larger even the mega resort before so the wow factor was definitely missing. We upgraded on arrival and got a room on the second floor and full drink menu and access to Nico’s bar on the beach!! Nico’s is the best spot here at the resort with a lounge/club feel right on the beach with Jacuzzi and full bar steps away. After just a day we both starting warming up to the place and by the end of the week loved the small size and simplicity of the resort. There were not long lines at the buffets for breakfast and no large crowds to fight through to get a drink at any off the bars.
The beach is amazing with powdery white sand and turquoise water it was hard to take your eyes off it. There are also sand bars which allow you to be in knee high water 20 feet off shore. How long those are there and how often they change I have now idea. We also never had any trouble finding chairs under an umbrella or even the occasional cabana open around 7:30 in the morning. The really good ones were gone but with the views being good from almost any of them it wasn’t even a concern of ours all week long.
Noise! As many of the reviews state it is a problem. From hearing your neighbors door slam shut at 3 am to hearing what’s going on in the room next to you only if they are loud. All the rooms doors are right next to each other in a small open stairwell for that building. These door are not thick unfortunately but they are heavy. You will hear everything that goes on outside your door and when anybody lets the door slam shut!! We had to get ear plugs which another reviewer recommended but I forgot to get before I got here. The ear plugs worked for me but my girlfriend could not sleep with them on so she was woken up on occasion depending on how late our neighbors partied. Now to be fair we spoke with other couples who had noise issues only in the morning when families were leaving. We had a room on the second floor which was not renovated yet. It was small but nice enough because I’m not here for the room!! So Bring ear plugs if you are not a heavy sleeper.
We ate breakfast only at the buffet and the food was ok nothing great, but the service from Mary was excellent! She remembered our drink order after only our first visit. They do occasionally have bacon but you have to ask the lady who makes the omelets if she has any. She hides it behind the counter so be sure to ask nicely ha! You could also sit on a patio overlooking the pool and beach!! Now the two restaurants at the Reef were much better then the buffet and we only ate dinner there, unless we were in town. Each one in our opinion was equally great. Again another bonus for the Reefs small size was you don’t have to make reservations and could just walk in and get a table with a great view. It was great not to have to worry about making reservations and knowing we could get a great table no problem. We sat out on the balconies of each restaurant and had good food with even better views of the water every time. The snack bar is a great place to eat while parting at the pool bar or coming back from a night on the town. It really hit’s the spot with either pizza, quesadillas, wings, fries or burgers which we didn’t try but everything else was great! The drinks were good with plenty and plenty of choices, the even had Jagermiester! Pool bar was fun with Humberto making drinks non stop. The drinks didn’t taste watered down and after a few you could tell the were not!! Nico’s Again is the best kept secret here, never a crowd, great lounge style set up on the beach and Armando who made great drinks and had a bubbly personality.
The location to town is great we walked there several times and it only took less then 15 min on the beach. We walked back along the beach at dusk too which was great and felt safe the whole time. A Taxi ride to town if needed is about 6 dollars. If you want to somewhere further use the collectivo, it’s small vans that carpool people to different locations in and more importantly out of town and was informed that was the best way to travel if not going on a tour. You can pick one up in town ask the front desk for the station location. We took some tours and overall had a great vacation at the Reef. If it was quieter and we got better sleep we would of gave this a 4 star really easy. I picked the Reef for the beach and location most importantly! Also because the reviews on service were so good. I can agree the service is great and want management to know they make the small resort feel like home. Special thanks to Humberto and Avimael and Azul 48(pool bar), Armando at Nicos, Felix at Chiquita, Mary at Chula Vista, The Guys at Terraza Daniel, Rubicel, Julio, Fer, Valerio! Thank you hasta pronto!!!
- 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