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.

“What a Wonderful week!” 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 9 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 #101 of 199 hotels in Playa del Carmen
Brown Deer, Wisconsin, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“What a Wonderful week!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2014

Returned from The Reef on 1/31....a lovely intimate setting for a great week. We were 6 adults in total, including mom and aunt in their 80s. This is not a "spring break" resort....quiet, restful and welcoming. Favorite part - the afternoon coffee service.

Room Tip: several small buildings of 12 rooms each. We were in building #12....minutes to the beach and and s...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 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, March 7, 2014
Thank you for your great review about your vacation here at the Reef hotel.

We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your vacation and that the mixed target group and more quiet atmosphere was a strong point for you. We are also gald to heat that you liked the afternoon coffee and tea service.

We hope that you are planning on visiting us again and if so please let us know, so we can arrange the repetitive guests program for you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,190 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    652
    829
    338
    211
    160
See reviews for
486
819
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 (305)
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
Port Coquitlam, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2014 via mobile

The Reef Playacar and STAFF were absolutely fantastic from start to finish.
When my wife and I arrived on January 22nd we were greeted by the resort front desk, within minutes of checking inn we were being take to our room by a bellman. When he opened the door there was a smell of mildew in the room. Right away he had us out of there and into another room even though this would only be for one night as we had put ourselves on the waiting list for a king size bed which we were told that they would be able to do for us after checkout time tomorrow . Our second room was somewhat better and we settled in for the night.
The next morning I was up early 7am Mexician time and wanted to start my day off with a tequila sunrise.
Even though the lobby bar wasn't open for service at that time of the day the bartender (who was cleaning the bar) with a very warm smile asked "what can I get for you Senior"? A tequila sunrise please..... He looked to see if he had some orange juice and the next thing I knew I had my first drink of my vacation.
I headed back to the room and collected my wife to go for breakfast..... We buzzed our inlaws and the four of us headed off to the buffet breakfast.
Once again we were greeted by very friendly welcoming smiles from the staff at restaurant. The breakfast buffet each and every day was nothing less than FANTASTIC!
From the great tasting orange juice, the choice of having a chef make you a omelette or maybe having a more traditional Mexician breakfast it was a great indication of what our week here was going to be like.
After some fantastic food we went back to our room to get ready for the beach. When we got to the room the bellman was ready to move us to our new room with the king size bed.
We relocated to room 523 which looked out on to the central garden seating area of the resort. This area has a very nice area to sit back and listen to the waterfall and just escape from the sun...... Oh ya Every day from 4 to 6 pm you can treat yourself to one of the best tasting Spanish coffees I've ever had, not to mention the bartender puts on a very good show while making the drinks in the garden.
So off to the beach.... Once again we were met with great staff and warm smiles. We were approached by Mario from the dive shop. He spent sometime with us informing us of the different tours that we might be interested in.( We booked the snorkelling tour which was awesome for $35us and found him to be more than willing to answer any questions we might have). When it came time for lunch we went to the "snack shack" great burgers & fries and the wings were very yummy.
After time on the beach it was time for a shower and get ready for some dinner.
The bathroom in our room was nice and clean.... big soaker tub and great water pressure coming out of the shower. I like taking long hot showers and at no time did I ever run out of hot water.
The dinner buffet was fantastic, great selection and they seemed to change it up a little each nite. I found myself heading for the mexician corner a lot as it was awesome . As for the a la cart restaurants they too were just fantastic! Those coconut ship in the mexician restaurant are to die for!
We also found that our house keeper was great, she kept our room spotless and always replenished our water. Our bed was always made up and inviting.
The staff at the Reef Playacar are FANTASTIC, so willing to do what it takes to make your stay there to be the BEST IT CAN BE, from the bellman, front desk, house keeping, snack shack staff, all restaurant staff, the Dancers at nite, BAR staff of course, the grounds keepers, The Resort Manager and yes I know that there are so many more staff that work behind the sceans that also deserve a BIG THANK YOU for making OUR STAY so FANTASTIC !
Hec on the morning that we were leaving January 29th (my birthday) the Buffet Staff sang "Happy Birthday " to me in English & Mexician it was very cool.

Thank You All!
We look forward to staying at The Reef Playacar again.

PS..... The only thing we would found missing at the Resort was a mariachi band. That would've been the Icing on the Resort!!!

Last but not least of all I would like to Thank Doris Monico from SunWing Vacations. When it comes to "CUSTOMER SERVICE" she could give seminars on HOW IT'S DONE!
She has left me feeling like SunWing vacations actually cares about their customers and not just making $$$
Without getting into into a big story here Doris fixed some wrong doings and then if that wasn't enough, I ended up leaving my wallet behind at the security X-RAY check point (long story) in Cancun, anyways it was once again Doris's willingness to help that I will be getting my wallet back.....

A HUGE "THANK YOU!" Doris.
Sincerely
Terry A.
Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
Canada

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
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, February 24, 2014
Wow. Thank you so much Terry for writing this astonishing review and taking all this time to write it down. Not only the hotel but also other future guests will profit from your effort.

We are more than happy to hear that you had a good all around vacation with us and it is really interesting to read your review like a little diary from your days here at the Reef. Reading your comment makes us really proud and we will make sure that we forward your compliments to all named staff members but to the rest of course as well.

Terry we would love to welcome you back at the Reef at any time. Please let us know via e-mail or phone if and when you are planning to come back so we can offer you the services for the repetitive guests which will hopefully make your vacation EVEN BETTER.

Nevertheless you mentioned a little wish or remark you would have on the hotel. We will definitely take this into account and try to do our best to meet this wish the next time you will stay here.

Thank you so much again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brandon, Minnesota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
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.
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.
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, Travelocity, Tingo, Priceline, HotelsClick, Expedia, BookingOdigeoWL, Agoda 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.