We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“This place is the BEST” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Reef Playacar

Save Saved
You added Reef Playacar to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
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 #100 of 200 hotels in Playa del Carmen
Brandon, Minnesota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“This place is the BEST”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

If you are planning a trip to the Playa del Carmen area, don't let these bad review about The Reef Playacar hold you back. This resort is the BEST ever. From check in to check out, first class all the way! The ones that have the complaints are people that are never satisfied! Who brings valuables on a trip, for gosh sakes leave them at home! The first year we went to the Reef, there were 16 of us! We were treated like royalty and we had a blast. This is a small resort with so much to offer, they are in the midst of doing room upgrades! Can't wait to go back.....hey Hinkley have fun and greet the staff from us!

Room Tip: they are all good!
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,179 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    647
    828
    336
    209
    159
See reviews for
482
817
35
11
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 (303)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
White Lake, Michigan
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

Positives: I have never been to an all-inclusive, so just the fact that it included all drinks, food (except 1 restaurant), snorkeling equipment, kayak and body board made it at least a very good place to go. Staff greeting us at the reception desk with a glass of beer at our arrival. Could get photos taken professionally with animals or family/self/significant other. Has nightly shows.

Negatives: Our door wouldn't lock for a while and we didn't realize at first and during that time our hotel room had items stolen from it. Our bathtub wouldn't plug, light bulbs were burned out and the alarm clock didn't work (replaced for us). The alcohol was cheap. I believe they refilled bottles with cheaper alcohol, as I have had enough Bacardi to recognize that it didn't seem to be Bacardi coming out of the Bacardi bottle. I am not a picky eater, but the buffet food wasn't good. Topless women (most of which were unattractive) laying on the beach. Rooms by the receptionist desk hear music til 10-11:30pm from their nightly shows.

Room Tip: Rooms by the receptionist desk hear music til 10-11:30pm from their nightly shows.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Winnipeg, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

The Reef is a small resort, but close to everything; the rooms are clean and comfortable; beds changed daily; each room has a balcony. The food is quite good, good variety. There are 3 restaurants, 2 ala-cart and one buffet, one snack bar that is open when the others are closed. There are 5 bars that can make almost any drink you want. There is entertainment every night in the theater. The 2 pools are cool as is expected for January but ocean is warm and beach sandy. The Reef is a 15 minute wak to Playa del Carmen, 5 minute walk to the local mall. The staff are all friendly and ready to help you.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Hinckley, Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

We actually stayed at the Reef in February of 2012 but we can't wait to go back in a few short weeks. The grounds are beautiful in an exotic, jungle sort of way. The staff is hardworking and friendly - always a smile and an "hola". We felt very safe the whole time we were there and the proximity to Playa del Carmen is a huge bonus - we walked there on the road and back on the beach after dark and it's a great walk.. The beach is absolutely beautiful. I loved starting each day with a mimosa or bloody mary at the buffet overlooking the pool and beach. The rooms are pretty basic and the variety of restaurants is limited but that's because of the intimate size of the resort itself. We met so many wonderful, down to earth people while we were there. It has a small town/friendly atmosphere.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

I just returned from a 2 week stay at the Reef Playacar.
First - I knew what I was getting into. It's not a five star, and there are a lot of bad food reviews.
I opted for 2 weeks at a less expensive resort, rather than 1 at some of the more expensive places I have stayed.

The upside:
Great location in Playacar, a lovely 15 minute walk into town. Travelling solo, I always felt safe.
One of the best stretches of beach in PDC.
Excellent, very friendly staff. Gilberto (lobby bar), Wilberth (front desk) Gladys, Mario all stupendous. The Bar Nicco staff are also superb. (Spread a few Pesos around folks. People who don't tip at "all inclusives" are ignorant cheapskates! The average wage of hotel workers is $7 a day. Yes, really.)
The grounds are very well kept and quite pretty, and the property is small, something I was looking for this trip. A tropical jungle sort of feel.
Rooms are decent, nothing grand, commensurate with the budget price. I wasn't expecting a palace. Clean and serviceable.

The downside:
As others here have alluded to, the food is atrocious. Now, I am pickier than most (in the catering business), but this was a common theme in cocktail hour chats, not just my opinion. I never ate dinner at the buffet. I alternated between the a la carte restaurants and going into town. I also ate lunch in town several times.For lunch at the buffet I stuck to the "Mexican" fare where there was a bit of variety and a load of condiments to spice things up. The a la carte restaurants are mediocre at best, but both have pleasant atmospheres and great service. And a wine list:)
So, I was prepared for kind of lousy food, so budgeted accordingly and ate off-site quite a few times. PDC is chock full of good restaurants and you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to have a great meal. Just stay off Fifth Ave.! Explore, live a little.

Obviously, given the business I am in, food is a biggie for me. I knew what I was getting into staying at the Reef, so I am actually torn about the "average" rating I am giving them. If it weren't for the food, I'd give them an "excellent". The value, location and staff really are excellent.

A couple of suggestions to the Reef, if I may.

Do not nickel and dime up-graded guests with room safe and WiFi charges. Charge $100 more per week and include them. The additional charges, when a guest has already paid for the premium service seems petty. It's a perception thing. I have not stayed in a hotel for many years that charges for a room safe (in Mexico, ha ha!!!), let alone WiFi. Also, the WiFi kind of sucks. Not horrible, but cuts in and out a bit.

Fix the food. I'm not talking about Michelin Star food. Even a modest improvement to the quality and variety would be good. I understand margins and minimizing wastage. In 2 weeks, I never saw a strip of bacon at breakfast!!! Weird miniature cocktail weenies masquerading as sausage. There is great sausage to be had in Mexico and it's inexpensive. Prefab tortillas?? Come on! There was only one day at lunch where the tortillas were made fresh at the station by a chef. Too much recycling of food without creativity and imagination. There was a $20USD surcharge option for steak in one of the restaurants. No way I was forking out for something I thought would be not very good. I would happily have paid if I thought there was a chance it would be delicious.



Reef -I make these comments in earnest, because overall I really did enjoy my stay.

So. Overall, I had a great stay and if it weren't for the food, I would give the hotel an "excellent", relative to the cost.

There you go. I had a wonderful vacation in PDC. Will I be back to the Reef? Depends on how much money I can budge t next time:) One week at the Royal is the same price as 2 at the Reef.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, Illinois
2 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

very friendly staff ,food was great,pool was awesome,lots of activities day and night. for the price you will not find a better resort to stay at.above and beyond a great place and will be going back next trip !

Room Tip: our room was great as far as location on the east side of main walkway
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 9
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 of writing a review of our resort. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay and we appreciate your great comments about the pools, food and friendly staff.

We offer special rates to our returning guests, so if you plan to come back, please let us know directly! We would love to see you here again anytime soon
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Canada
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
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,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Reef Playacar? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
#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*
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with BookIt.com, Orbitz, Booking.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Agoda, Tingo, Priceline, BookingOdigeoWL and Venere so you can book your Reef Playacar reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Reef Playacar, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.