It’s taken me a little while to write this review party due to the fact there was an issue upon checkout that really ticked me off and I had to shake it off first in order to give a fair review, and partly because writing reviews seems like a daunting task to me, so here goes!
Stayed from 9/20 - 9/27
Check In: Fast, but we always travel during low season. Friendly. Did receive a map that needs to be updated as Nico’s bar is not listed.
Resort Layout: I love the layout of this resort and the fact that it’s small. We go off property a lot and do a lot of walking around Playa, so it’s nice to have a small resort that is easy to navigate while there. It has a very tropical atmosphere, which I love.
Rooms: I loved our room, the hubby thought it a bit sparse. We both loved the bed! Some say the beds in Mexico are hard, but we must love that because we've never had a bad bed. All of the linens were of good quality and nothing was worn, including the towels. The bathrooms could use an upgrade I suppose. Didn’t bother me, but caulking was cracked and worn. Only issue here was it was a large drop to step out of the shower, which was odd, and the first time we almost slipped. After that we were more careful. Water pressure was very low, but water was always very hot and plenty of it.
Buffet: The buffet was excellent, as long as your expectations are in check. I didn’t find it to be better or worse than buffets at Dreams, Barcelo, or Secrets. We tried the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with breakfast being the best, as you would expect. Oh, and they did advertise an al-a-cart breakfast at Botticelli's but we never tried it out.
Grill: The pool grill was surprisingly very good. Especially considering what we paid. You always have to consider what you paid. Hubby loved the grill at Secrets much better, but we also paid twice as much for Secrets than Reef. I thought the grill was more than adequate. I’m a guacamole snob, and it was almost as good as mine. Only tried guac, fries, and burger, all were good to great.
Botticelli: This restaurant could have been a bit better. They serve you bruschetta as an appetizer, and it’s the best I’ve ever had. The main dishes fall short a bit. I ordered a ravioli dish, which was good, seemed of high quality, but had a taste that was different than what I’ve ever experienced. The hubby ordered the Alfredo, which I thought was great and I’m an Alfredo snob, but it was just pasta and sauce, so I thought it could have used chicken or spinach for some color or something. The hubby ended up mixing both our pastas together, and that was good. LOL! Service was a bit slow. Also, there’s an extra charge for premium cuts of steak and lobster in both al-a-cart restaurants. The house wine is a matter of opinion. I’d say it’s equivalent to about a $5 or $6 bottle you’d get from your local grocery store. Some people can’t drink that stuff, I can if properly chilled. One night it was slightly chilled, just perfect, the next night it was warm and definitely undrinkable.
Terazza: The first night I ordered the coconut shrimp. It was the absolute best coconut shrimp I’ve ever had. And I had coconut shrimp all over Playa, as well as Cozumel, and Terraza wins on this one! It was phenomenal. I don’t think it had any breading on it, I love it like that, just some toasted coconut in a coconut cream sauce. It was great. Runner up was Rasta’s on Cozumel for $16. The second night at this restaurant the hubby upgraded to the Ribeye for $20, which is too much money to ask for in my opinion and it was over cooked. My steak, the filet that was on the menu, was also over cooked. We both ordered them medium, and they were both well done. Bummer.
Theatre: We saw the Street Dance show and the Michael Jackson show. They were both fantastic, especially the Michael Jackson show. I am such a sucker for choreographed dance! This guy really looked a lot more like MJ than even the impersonators I’ve seen in Vegas for $75 a pop!
Bars: Lobby bar is great, nice atmosphere, friendly service. Bar Papo’s, up by the theater is a great little spot, there is a beach bar by the grill with seats nearby, and it’s a great little asset. Never used the pool bar, but we LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Nico’s!!! This place was heaven! We were normally the only one’s there, maybe because of low season, but the bartenders were GREAT! And Soheila really kept an eye on those young boys running the bar and they all provided top notch service. I think their names were Herlindo and Gerardo. We REALLY had a ball hanging out there!
Beach: Fantastic! Walk for miles, soft sand, warm water. Never used any of the kayaks or hobie cats though. Bummer.
Overall, we LOVED the Reef. I would recommend it highly and I would go back in a heartbeat. When considering overall value for price paid, the Reef really shines!
However, whoever was running the front desk when we checked out really ticked me off. We had a 20% discount for massages at the spa. This is a coupon that is attached to the map that the hotel gives you upon check in. Because I didn’t present this coupon to the spa at the time of my massage, they refused to honor it upon checkout. Okay, but here’s the kicker. I asked the guy TWICE if my discount was on there and TWICE he said “yes”. It wasn’t until I did the pesos to dollars conversion that I realized it wasn’t. When I brought it back to him it turned into an exchange of him making phone calls, bringing the spa manager to the front desk, I don’t know, it was a bunch of confusion just because I asked them to honor the coupon THEY gave me. What’s the big deal that I didn’t physically hand it to the ladies in the spa? I still have the coupon, I still paid for a $100 massage, I still tipped a LOT to EVERYONE that served us, I still never complained about my overcooked, overpriced steak, and yet I’m not worthy of my $20 discount. Whatever! I don’t know why, but that just made me so mad. I guess because I felt like they thought I was trying to get one over on them, when they are really getting one over on me.
Couple of other mentions: The coffee there is the best ever, a wonderfully rich flavor. The specialty coffees set up by the cenotes from 4 – 6 are delicious. The ice cream at the ice cream parlor is great. Oh, and one more complaint too before I close out. We paid for the Superior Premium upgrade and one of the “perks” is a free safe. They give you a lock that goes into your safe, okay fine, but then they tell you if you lose the lock or key they will charge you $100!! Really Reef? $100 dollars? So now I get to stress about that stupid thing all week!! Thanks a lot! But other than that, overall, I LOVE THE REEF!!!
Forgot to mention that the A/C unit in the room worked wonderfully. On the things that really count...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.