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“Would live there if I could!!” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #103 of 199 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Cambridge, Canada
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Would live there if I could!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

To start off, a vacation is only as good as you make it and if your going in looking for things that are wrong with the resort you are in the wrong mind set for a vacation my friend lol. Anyways, best vacation ever! The staff was very welcoming and we were greeted with drinks right as we entered the resort! Always big smiles from all the staff and always greeted walking anywhere around the resort! Beautiful rooms and trustworthy maids!!! Left my phone and camera out on tables along with money and all was there when we returned everyday! Beach was beautiful but if you want a spot better get out there early!! The 'dive' shop was also right beside the resort so it made it easy to go sea-dooing and parasailing!! Also so fun! Beach was well kept and so was the resort. Always seen the maintenance working hard!! NOW the first night you stay, you must eat at the main buffet and order some tequila!! We did and we made an impression on all the staff which made for a better stay i believe! Buffet food is AWESOME and the staff is AMAZING!! a waiter named Sergio and Julio worked hard to make our stay pleasant! They were a main reason why we enjoyed it so much! The a la carte restaurants are very good as well! Pools are well maintained and the pool a bar is as well lol. Bartenders are very good and friendly! Must try the Miami vice!! Night life entertainment is very good! Great dancers! Smaller resort but a plus bc u know a lot of the people and its almost like a mini family! I will be returning for sure!! Go in with an open mind have fun and drink lots of tequila!!! You will not regret it trust me! And make friends with the staff it will make for a more pleasurable stay!!!

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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, January 20, 2014
Thank you for taking the time for writing this stunning review of you vacation here at the resort for us.

It is a pleasure for us that you enjoyed your stay completely here in the hotel. We would love to host you here any time soon.
We also want to thank you for your awesome comments about helpful staff the delicious food and the beautiful beach.

We will forward you special thanks to Sergio and Julio.

Please tell us directly when you decide to visit us again, so we can welcome you with all specials for returning guests.
Best wishes,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,219 reviews from our community

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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
Glenmont, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

First, let me state that the group that I have traveled with for the past ten years in April are all in their fifty's and we have cruised up until April 2013. We have been to various islands in the Caribbean and to both sides of Mexico. Last April we chose to try an all inclusive. My wife and I had been to an AI in the Dominican Republic in 2000. This is the first review that I have written due to my belief that you should have been there and done that a few times before you have the experience to judge.
The Reef Playacar is not a five star resort but I did not expect it to be. The cost of this trip was less than I would have paid for a cruise on some of the medium priced cruise lines. The resort grounds are beautiful and clean. The beach is one of the nicest beaches that I have been to, and I've been to quite a few. The rooms were a little dated and we did have a problem with the first room we were given, there was a musty odor in the bathroom, we calmly stated this and were moved the next day. The food in the buffet restaurant was good not great but breakfast and lunch are not my favorite meals anyway. For breakfast I would have eggs ( the freshest that I have had abroad} cooked to order by a little lady with a great smile and done just the way I like them each day a different way. A highlight of breakfast was Mexican Coffee, made with Cinnamin Fabulous. Lunch would be fruit or something light, there was always a good selection and the service there was prompt and friendly We ate dinner in the Mexican restaurant once and the Italian restaurant the rest of the week. As I said the food was good not great but I did not expect great. We had paid for the upgrade so that we did not get charged extra. One of the unique offerings was coffee in the cenote' each afternoon at four o'clock. This was special, I do not remember the names of the two gentlemen who made the Mayan Coffee for me each day but they were friendly and fun. I also chose to upgrade to Nico's, the top shelf bar on the beach, this was well worth it. Although they did not have my favorite brand of Irish Whiskey, the bartender Israel was helpful in broadening my tastes. I hope he is still there. We did visit Chichen Itza on a tour that we had booked before travelling, this is a must see for anyone going to this area, we also went to a lagoon and snorkeled.
I enjoyed this resort mainly due to the relaxed atmosphere and the lovely grounds and beach.
When it came time to plan the 2014 trip, the group agreed to return to the Reef Playacar and we are returning in April. I cannot wait. To all my friends at the Reef see you in ninety days.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
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, January 16, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your stay in our resort for us.
We are very happy to hear you nice words about the beautiful beach, the clean grounds the helpful staff and the small highlights you experienced during breakfast.
It is nice to hear that you had a very relaxing holiday and that it was a memorable experience for you.
We will forward you special thanks to Israel at the Nico’s bar.
It is a pleasure for us to welcome you here in the resort back in April.
As you already may know, we have some specials for returning guests, so please contact us directly before arrival.

See you back soon!
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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

We were down here for a wedding. It was my first trip so of course I loved everything!! The hotel is very small. Great place if you have children as everything is in one area. The wedding was nice and tropical. We went on trips to 5th street which is a must do. This is the closest hotel without being in Playacar.
I cant adjust the date on this website, we traveled in 2009.
All in all it was a great first time experience. I loved the food and the service was good as well.
Rooms were small but good enough as you don't need a big room.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 3 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, January 15, 2014
Thank you very much for writing this review for us. It is a pleasure for us that you enjoyed your stay in our resort and had a great wedding experience.

Thank you for your nice comments about our delicious food and the good service. We are really happy to hear that it was a memorable and fantastic first time experience in Playa del Carmen and that you shared it with us.

If you would like to come back, please contact us directly, due to our specials for returning guests!

Best wishes,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuttgart, Germany
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

The hotel us terrible.
Reasons:
1) too expensive for actually non-all-inclusive hotel ( too many extra-charges )
2) old rooms
3) safe was broken and still not free, telephone was broken, air-conditioner had no console
4) cleaning not every day or too late
5) food - not much choice
6) internet!! Goes off each 1-2 mins!!! And it's again not free!!
7) stealing in rooms, you can read abt it also in previous reviews. My husband was inside, one came in without knocking "to check how the card works".
We have no 5-star-taste and we don't tend to complain all the time. But you can get a really good all-inclusive hotel in the area for a better price.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2014

If you have ever had an all inclusive vacation this hotel does not follow those same rules. As mentioned in other reviews, an all-inclusive blue wrist band gets you bottom basics. You can't go to certain bars or order alcohol after certain hours,etc. or you will be charged. At one bar I tried to order coffee, just black coffee and they wanted to charge my room! To upgrade into anything other than rock bottom you have to pay $15 a day per person extra. This does not even include best seating on the beach and by the pool. If you want to sit on one of the outdoor lounge couches it's the black band, additional $$$. The one hotel manager was like a hawk watching our wrist bands like we were trying to shoplift or something. It was a very ackward experience and an additional expense we had not planned. There was also a horrible septic smell right around 6 p.m. every night at the one bar closest to the beach. It smelled like raw sewage was coming from somewhere. We've been to the area three times, first time at the Reef and there are by far, better places to stay for less money. It shouldn't be hard to find. This was not the vacation we had anticipated and we will not be going back.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yellowknife, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

My wife and I spent 2 weeks at the Reef Playacar from September 5th until the 18th and will not go back. We arrived late in the evening and were immediately ignored by teh front desk clerk for about 10 minutes. Appearently personal calls were more important than customer service. We asked to upgrade to a jacuzzi room but were told no. We upgraded to a superior room (no idea why they call it that) and the upgraded bracelet for premium drinks, and paid an additional $450. The safe in the room was an additional $2 a day. Internet was an additional charge as well. For an all-inclusive they didn't seem to include much.

The room, although overall clean but very dated, had paper thin walls and so we were wakened every night by loud noise coming from the hallway and other rooms. Apparently nobody knows how to close a door without slamming and the noise carries. Although it was all-inclusive, the water was never replaced in our room so we had to raid the housekeeping closet daily to get water.

Overall the grounds were very nice. The pictures seem to depict a more isolated hotel, but that is NOT the case. It is sandwiched between two other hotels. The pool is nice, and the beach was beautiful. We asked the front desk about places to snorkel, and they immediately tried to sell us a tour. Not interested. They didn't mention that after a 25 minute walk down the beach away from town you will get to an artificial reef made of concrete blocks. We snorkeled there and it was beautiful. Lots of fish and right off the shore, so not too deep. A shame the hotel didn't suggest it. You need a card to get a beach towel, yet another thing that wasn't mentioned when we arrived. Seriously, the night front desk clerk should be fired.

The food was OK, but after a few days of the same buffet for breakfast and lunch we got tired of it. Overall the buffet wasn't bad and ther service was overall good. The Italian restaurant was amazing the first night with impeccable service and fantastic food. The next night it was just OK. No consistancy. The Mexican restaurant was very good but we only went once. Service at the pool bar was unpleasant with very few smiles. We tip well for every drink but still no smiles. The service at the lobby bar was always very good, one of the few bright spots at the resort.

The weather was poor while we were there, as it rained most days and often for the entire day. We tried golfing at the course down the street from the resort but was rained out. We went back a few days later and was able to play the 18 holes. Beautiful course!! Saw more wildlife on the golf course than the entire trip. The tours we took to Chitchen Itza, Coba and Tulum were very good but crowded. Highly recommend. We found Playa Del Carmen to be very commercial and were hounded by menchants almost continuously while we were there. Didn't much like that but we did get some good souveniers.

Overall, If you like nightlife than this hotel might be for you. If you want to relax and expect to sleep at night you're better off to try somewhere else.

Room Tip: Best chance to get a good room is to stay somewhere else.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Calgary, Canada
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

The location is perfect and the jungle courtyard beautiful. The staff were very helpful and polite, upbeat and hard working. Jorge who books day trips just out side the main lobby, was exceptional! He helped me find a bank machine and did the peso conversion for me also. Then my nephew was having an allergic reaction and Jorge offered to take him to the hospital if he needed to go. Above and beyond the call of duty and a beautiful human being! A few things would upgrade this hotel. My biggest complaint was the over salted chicken and salsa. My kidneys were not happy and my ankles and feet were swollen the entire time. Bowls often sat empty at the buffet and it seemed to be the same fare every day. Juices were watered down and the pool bar used a lot of premixed crap instead of fresh. I would have loved to dance the night away, but if you want to do this you have to leave the resort, catch cabs and go with the kids. They could incorperate a disco/DJ after the nightly show. My sister and I had beds of rock, while the boys who stayed across the hall from us had thick mattress pads on theirs. I really need to be able to sleep. One night when the boys were at the bar, my sister noticed someone enter their room. She walked across the hall to see what was happening. The staff guy said he was there to fix the bar fridge, but he was on the opposite side of the room from where the fridge was. The fridge that needed fixing was at the next door. The ice cream bar should be opened all afternoon. By far, my most enjoyable experience was at the spa with Joesphine who magically whisked my aches away and I left feeling relaxed and centered. Don't miss the Mexican restraunt upstairs. The service, ambiance and food were impeccable,

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#44 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 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*
Number of rooms: 200
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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