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“Lovely hotel” 4 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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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
Free WIFI
Ranked #98 of 197 hotels in Playa del Carmen
england
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

My husband and i stayed here for our honeymoon for 2 weeks in June.Hotel room was very nice,good size and very clean with fridge.The pools were both nice and plenty of food to choose from and more than you could possibly eat. The alcohol choice was great especially if you upgraded to the gold band which meant you could go in nicos which was the beach bar with the jacuzzi.About a twenty minute walk into playa del carmen which was nice.Would recommend this hotel

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 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 7, 2013
We would like to thank you for your fantastic review. We are very happy you and your husband enjoyed your honeymoon with us. We appreciate your observations regarding our location, the Nico’S Lounge,the rooms and the food in our resort.
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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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (294)
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English first
Austin, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

What we wanted - an inexpensive / all-inclusive / jungle-view experience.

What we got - an inexpensive / limited bar times / poor food choices / no activities experience.

If you want to go to Playacar to hang out in a crowded pool drinking watered down drinks all day, with no desire to have a private balcony romantic experience with good food at the one included restaurant or enjoy non-motorized water sports, then this is your kind of hotel!

Here are some tips. First - make sure you get "towel cards" and the time sheet for the limited bar hours at check in (we didn't and had to go back to the front desk to get them). Second - make sure you get a room with a safe, since the first night someone tried to use a room key to break into ours (luckily it was 10PM and we were attempting sleep, so I got to answer the door and scare the guy off). Third - after your room robbery attempt, you must report this attempt to the "Manager" because otherwise everyone at the Front Desk will blow you off (we had to wait a day for the Manager to come back to work). Fourth - when the "Manager" tries to keep you from posting this sort of comment on TripAdvisor by giving you the "best room in the resort", try not to be disappointed at how this room has 2 Double beds (very interesting for our Honeymoon), and do not expect any sort of room cleaning or fridge filling or other special services, since it's just not gonna happen!

Oh, and the walk to Playa Del Carmen was 30 minutes past some of the most amazing hotels! I know where we are staying next time!

We gave it a 2 for the efforts of the staff, and for SO MUCH POTENTIAL, but the allure of "free drinks and free food" was just not enough to compensate for all of the problems we had on this trip.

Room Tip: Get a third floor room away from the main walkway. Get towel cards at checkin. Pay for the superio...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
South Bend, Indiana
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

Stayed there March 28th to april 4th 2013.Stayed on the 3rd floor facing the inside of the resort Room 1732. Very clean resort and room was just okay. Needs updated.But I did not go on vacation to stay in my room. I loved the jungle feel of this resort. The resort is compact which I like because you get more personial service. This is not like a luxury resort where you have waiter service at the beach or the pool. I would stay here again if they had that service.I like that they had bikes to use.The bike guard Daneil was very nice.And a long list of names that made my vacation stay wonderful.Bar Orlando, Feleix, Wilberth Bellman and Oliver,Front desk Fernando,Roxana, Mary R,Mario, Santiago,Manuel, lopez, Angel, Marcos, Paulino.Thats all the names I could remember. All the entertainment staff also did a wonerful job. The food was good. I loved the fillet mignon very tender and the coconut ice cream. The buffet was just okay they ran out of food alot.Snack bar was good. The Italian was the best!!! The mexican was not that good. The restaurant did not have a spanish feel to it. was very modern look.It needed more mexican food.The beach was wonderful.lots of breathing 2nd hand smoke at this resort. Lots of europeans stay here.The location is a long walk to playadelcarmen so we used the bikes.The drinks would be better if they used more fresh fruit, like strawberrys, banans, pinapple.The timeshare sharks left us alone. The first few days the phone rang. I did not answer.The beach Bathroom was always dirty.Thats the only one. The rest were kept clean.Not enough workers for the number of guest.The swimming pools were cold.The Tv in the room needs to be mounted higher on the wall for a better veiw.They need to offer 24 hour room service would be great. The last five resorts I stayed at offer that was great.The beach beds were very nice touch to this resort.The last day I was there.I found out we had exchange privleges with the Grand Coco Bay which is a plus.Overall if the price was cheap and I need a budget vacation I would return because of the workers took very good care of us. And I Love playadelcarmen Mexico!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I I also enjoyed the pottery painting.Also the beach you can walk forever which is a plus!!!!!There are alot of mayan ruins close to the resort.The weather was perfect!!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

I purchased a deal via Living social for 5 nights and have been trying for 2 weeks to book a room with zero success. Their US number does not work,and I've had to call international several times to a constantly busy dial tone. After emailing every possible email on their website, I finally got their director to respond. She forwarded me the name, email, and phone number of the person in charge of reservation, and once I FINALLY got her on the phone, she casually brushed me off telling me she didn't see my emails and would send confirmation of my room by next day. Naturally, she didn't. I'm sure this place is beautiful and all sorts of wonderful, but it looks like I will never find out! Perhaps it doesn't even really exist? I hope the rest of you hopeful vacationers magically stumble on someone who will take your reservation, I will be getting a refund for sure.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

Arrived on June 1st late in the evening in a horrible rain storm. When we arrived at the resort they gave us towels to put over our heads to take us to our room in the pouring rain.The resort is not on flat grounds so it is not like a golf cart can pick you up that can drive you to your room you have to walk no big deal. 1st room they brought us to the ceiling was leaking not the resorts fault it was due to the horrible rain that they were getting. So off we were again to another room in the rain, this room was actually in building 11 we were a couple and the bed was a full size we laughed and we were told the room was temporary for the night until they find us another room with a king size in the morning. The room with the full size bed was actually a living room to a suite that belongs to members who have time shares the room was completely updated modern, jacuzzi on the balcony our room faced the pool and the ocean although would of been nice had they had thrown a queen size or king in there BTW the full size bed was like sleeping on the hard floor the worst bed I have ever slept on. So the next day they took us to our king size room and we hated it compared to what we had and the view we had. So we spoke to Hector at the front desk, we drove him crazy but he was great and we requested the room with the full size bed back and he gave it to us so we just dealt with the small bed situation.
The resort is really nice, walking through the jungle is so different from an open air flat ground resort. The pool was small but always clean and lots of fun great swim up bar and plenty of beds and lounge chairs. They have an ice cream parlor loved my afternoon ice cream.
The beach is beautiful plenty of chairs soft sand and beautiful clear blue water loved the beach.
Buffet was nice food was okay not a big dessert selection for dinner. Something for everyone you will not go hungry. Breakfast was good but bacon only at the omelet station you had to ask for it and it seems like they always ran out of it. they had had a snack bar open till 2am by the pool came in handy for the late night munchies.
The staff were very friendly and hard working we always tipped them a couple of dollars for their hard work and they were very appreciative.
The shows were not great no big deal if you miss them. I Have been to other resorts where the shows were incredible not the case at this one.
We took a $7 car ride to 5th ave which is like a 5 minute drive where we did our shopping had a good time there cute town.
So besides the rain we encountered everyday we had a really good time and enjoyed the resort although we were spoiled with the room we ended up with if I had to stay in a regular room do not think we would of enjoyed the room at all since we had something else much better to compare it to. We were in room 1123 best location incredible view.

Room Tip: Room 1123 faced the ocean and the pool.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

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!!!

Room Tip: Upper floor rooms help limit noise
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Frederick, Maryland
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

First, I can't believe this hotel is not higher in the rankings.

My parents and 6 month old baby and I went for 5 days Memorial Day week and can't say enough kind words about this place. We come to the Riviera Maya for the water and we pick a hotel and come back over and over because of the staff. I can definitely say we will come back to this hotel many more times. The grounds are just beautiful, in a nice jungle-like setting (bring your bug spray, I was bitten by mosquitoes a lot). This resort is small, small enough for my elderly father to get around with no assistance. I like a small hotel, everyone (the staff) remembers you, remembers your name, what you drink, what you like, etc. Even the nightly shows were excellent! For a small hotel, I was not expecting nightly shows. Wow, I was impressed.

The beach was amazing, it was very wide and there were many lounge chairs laid out there. Although there was a red flag flying for most of the days we were there, we still soaked up some rays on the beach and put our feet in the water.

There were many international guests and that was very nice to have a mix of nationalities.

The bars were great, although we only checked out Nico's once because nobody was there (there was a storm approaching). Our favorite bar was Papo's above the lobby and favorite bartender was Eric, who was very personable and funny!

The check in was fine, I didn't expect our room to be ready earlier than check-in time and it wasn't. One minor thing was that my key stopped working twice during the week. No problem. The bell boy Willy was excellent, he was one of our favorite staff, such a nice and pleasant guy with a smile on his face always.

Rooms were smallish but sufficient with a mini-bar. Depending on what color your wristband is (how much you paid for your room - whether it be with premium drinks, etc.) the minifridge was supposed to be stocked every day for us but by day 3 I had to ask them to restock it because it wasn't done. No big deal.

The meals in Chulavista buffet restaurant were pretty good, nothing wonderful, but we definitely found something we liked each time we ate there. Breakfast was my favorite meal because I loved the omelets they make. Paulino was our server all the time and we thought he did an excellent job.

The snack bar had some really good food too.

I didn't eat at the specialty restaurants so I can't comment on them.

There were professional photographers onsite and they had parrots you could get your picture taken with and also do regular professional photos, which we took advantage of for my daughter's 1st photos. They snapped her in the grass and on the beach and they really turned out beautifully.

Additional staff other than Willy, Eric and Paulino who made our stay so wonderful are: Claudia and Nayeli from the Animation team, Adonis, Roxana and the security guards. Thank you so much to all of you, we will see you again soon.

Room Tip: The closer to the beach you are, the further from the lobby you are, but you will get a nice ocean b...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 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 12, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay at our Resort. We are very happy to know that you had a good vacation at our resort!

We appreciate your comments regarding the hotel, the amazing beach, the bars, the snack, the shows and the excellent service.

We will share your special thanks with Willy, Eric, Paulino, Claudia, Nayeli and Roxana.

We would like to apologize on behalf of the hotel for the inconveniences you experienced with your minifridge and we discuss this matter with the involved departments.

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