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“Great for families with kids. We will definitely go back next year!!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort

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Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Chetumal Pto Juarez Km 295, Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #71 of 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Monterrey, Mexico
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Great for families with kids. We will definitely go back next year!!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2011

My husband, 2.5 year-old daughter and I visited this resort back in May 2011 (sorry for the late review) and stayed for 7 nights. We spent about 3 months monitoring the reviews in trip advisor before deciding to finally make reservations here.

There are a lot of mixed reviews but I can tell you according to my experience that this resort has more than enough amenities and entertainment to keep a family busy and happy.

Our daughter spent almost all the time between the Aquapark and the Kids Club. You can take your kids to the Kids Club and leave them there while you take advantage of your solo time, but this is only for children over 3 years old. For younger children a parent must be in the area watching for him or her, I must say that I would´nt leave my child there unsupervised. The girls that work there do their best to watch the kids but there´s really not enough personnel to watch and take care of all the children. Specially children under 6 years old need a lot of supervision and 2 or 3 girls are just not enough.

The Aquapark is amazing for children under 8 years old (it´s supposed to be for children under 12, I believe, but I think they will get bored very soon). It has slides for children all ages.

The resort is pretty big but not that bad, you can walk all across it in less than 10 minutes. It has a lot of restaurants. It has 3 buffets and about 6 a-la-carts. We didn´t try any a-la-cart because we needed variety and quick service because of our daughter. From the buffet restaurants definitely our very least favorite was the Mexican. It´s understaffed and the staff doesn´t have very good attitude. It was only open 2 nights during our stay and we only ate there once. Wouldn´t have eaten there even if it was open. The food was cold or overcooked and the ice cream was all soft and melted.

The Italian restaurant and the main buffet were very good options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are food options for everybody and there´s even a Mexican night on Wednesdays that serves pretty typical Mexican food. There´s a waiter in the Main Buffet called Manuel that really goes beyond your expectations. Besides, he loved our daughter so he very well earned every tip.

We stayed in the Select Club area. The rooms are indeed away from the main attractions but it´s also a quite area. We didn´t experience any noise from construction because I think they were barely starting when we stayed there. We didn´t really use all the benefits from the Select Club because our daughter was the owner of our time... haha.. so we did´t have any chance to use the beds on the beach, or even the Select Club building on the beach area. The pool in the Select Club is too deep for small children and the small pool aside is too shallow.

Rooms are cleaned every day, fridge restocked daily (fridge doesn´t keep beverages cold though) and we didn´t experience any problem with hot water. It´s a shame that rooms don´t have tubs, they only have showers. This was bad for our daughter but we managed it. There are safes in every room and you can use them for free.

Oh and one think that I would really like to highlight is that during our stay, one night, there was a couple fighting in one of the rooms in our building (I think even our same floor). We could hear yelling, furniture moving and even hitting and no one from security came to handle the problem. I was scared.

There are shows every night in the theater and definitely our favorite was the Disney Show. They also have the Michael Jackson show, one called Fantasia and some more that I can´t remember right now.

The main highlight of the trip and the hotel FOR ME were the photographers. There are photographers in the resort taking spontaneous pictures all over the place. They even have some animals like parrots, iguanas and a toucan to take pics with. You can also schedule a photo shoot on the beach that is definitely worth it. The prices of the photos are REALLY expensive, but at least for me, it´s worth every penny because they are the memories of your vacations and they are professional pictures, very different from any you can take with you own camera. Greetings to all the guys working there, specially Giovanni and the girl that I never knew her name.

Being an Eco-resort, the hotel has animals all over the place, you can see deers, racoons, coaties, donkies, guacamayas and even monkeys I´ve heard. Didn´t really get to see them. Our daughter was amazed.

Drinks can be as strong or soft as you want. And yes, the taste varies from bar to bar. We loved Micheladas from the Aquapark bar.

Timeshare people won´t bother if you know how to handle them. If you tell them politely from the beginning that you´re not interested and will never be.. hehehe

I think I can go on and on talking about our experience here, but I can tell you overall that we had a great time, we could rest, we had fun, we enjoyed each other, we felt spoiled, we had great food and drinks, we had more than enough to feel happy and would definitely go back.

Room Tip: You can use ANY card for the light slot, not only the cards provided by the hotel.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2011

Good points: EVERYTHING

Bad points: Coming home

If your an average person who just wants a nice holiday in paradise then you can't go wrong with this resort. From the day we arrived to the day we left the staff were polite, respectful and always had a smile for you.

The resort is built in the middle of the jungle which means there is plenty of local wildlife around such as Monkeys, Bats, Lizards, Turtles and numerous bird species, there are plenty of Mosquitos as well so bug repellant is essential but the hotel provides dispensers around the grounds if you forget. The imported wildlife is amazing too, there are Parrots, Coatis and Racoons wandering around looking for food.

There are three buffet style restaurants and four a la carte restaurants, you do need a reservation for the a la carte but we never had a problem making one. The buffet restaurants are not like the typical Mediterranean resorts because the food is actually tasty and incredibly varied, we spent two weeks there and didn't eat the same thing twice.
We didn't try the Brazilian a la carte so can't review that but out of the three we did try El Gaucho and La Riviera are the best. Both the food and the service are excellent and it's hard to believe it's included in your holiday. El Templo, the oriental a la carte, was a bit disappointing, the menu is limited and not that authentic.

All the bars have table service which is great after a hard day on the beach, the waitresses always have a smile and don't expect tipping in fact they looked surprised if you give them one. We have read some reviews saying that the drinks are watered down but we didn't see or taste any evidence of it. The range of drinks is extensive but if you want the premium brands you'll have to ask otherwise you'll get cheaper stuff. If you're a beer drinker forget it, all they have is Mexican brands which taste like flavoured water, even in cans.

Our room was far better than expected as we got a free upgrade to a deluxe room with jacuzzi and a view over one of the many cenotes. The fridge was restocked everyday with Beer, Soft drinks and water. The cleanliness of the room was of a good standard but not perfect and the bed could have been more comfortable.

The best thing of all is the beach. With clean soft sand and crystal clear waters it looks just like the perfect picture postcard and never any problem getting a sunlounger even late on. Don't forget your snorkel, the fishes are brilliant, they'll even take bread or fruit from your hands. There are giant sandbags about 30 or 40 metres offshore, these create a safe wave free environment for kids to swim in but you'll probably find they just jump off them and make a big splash like kids do. The sandbags also help to create an artificial reef for the corals and sponges to grow on, you will need water shoes if you want to paddle around the bags as there are a lot of sea urchins hiding in the cracks and you don't want to risk getting stung.

You have probably read some bad reviews, as have we, but to be honest it seems to be mainly North Americans complaining. Of all the nationalities at the resort the only miserable people we saw were Americans, everyone else was having an excellent time, or at least appeared to be. If you're European and know how to enjoy your holiday then we would highly recommend this resort.

No it's not 5 star but most travel companies only give it 4 stars anyway which in our opinion is all you need if you want a fabulous holiday.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2011

This hotel is absolute quality Check in took 15 mins and we were given room 4421
and we stayed 2 weeks from 3rd Aug 2011 until 17th Aug 2011 on all inclusive basis.
Room was spacious and cleaned daily with new towels. Jacuzzi on balcony a nice
touch and refreshing.Food was excellent and with a choice of restaurants always
plenty of choice and something for everybody.Numerous bars with excellent
service.Swimming pools very clean and kid friendly one with a swim up
bar.Beautiful white sandy beach and very clean clear sea so clear the fish swim
around your feet and can be seen.
Kids club open from 10:00 until 22:00 and children can even have thier lunch
with the girls who run it.Naomi and Gabriella are two of the girls and nothing
is too much trouble for them and they have a great affinity with the children.
Entertainment is very good and plentiful with a good entertainment team.Jackson
is the leader and is an infectious person who gets everyone going,
Also Jose Carlos who takes time out with the children and parents alike and is
an absolute credit to the hotel.
Plenty of animals on the hotel grounds including Monkeys,Raccons,Parrots and
Lizards.Only 30 minute transfer from Cancun Airport and I fully recommend it and
you will not get better value for your Money.Previous reviews stae about
timeshare people being a pest but we never had any trouble at all and were never
pestered once.
Another big plus is in the sports bar you get all premiership football live even
the Saturday 1500 kick offs which are shown at 09:00 Sat mornings due to time

Room Tip: All rooms are central to everything although around the pool could be a little noisy
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2011

large complex with twisting and turning corners, plenty of wild life to see, racoons, anteaters, iguanas and unfortunately a snake in our bathroom!!! TIP Get an upstairs room just in case!! Excellent choice of food with several restaurnents dotted around the complex. Book ahead for the a la carte, well worth it. Took a trip to Coba which is an ancient mayan village, very interesting. Need to lose alot of weight before we go again in preparation for the feast.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2011

Just a quick review from me...

If your planning a wedding and this place is in the 'maybe pile' take my word that it is perfect! I've just got married, there were 14 of us Brits altogether and everyone had an amazing time, just perfect!

Fernanda is the wedding co-ordinator and we didnt want for anything, she was so friendly and made sure everything ran smoothly on the big day!

The food is fantastic, the steak house is very good, but the brazillian is EXCELLENT they bring round 7 different meats cooked on skewers and you help yourself! Fabulous!

You gotta go to coco bongo's, i have never seen anything like it in my life... it left us all speechless it was pure adrenaline and excitement! So worth the money, we wanted to go again! And if you book with Omar by the pool you get free souvenir cups and t shirts!

Eeeeeerm, what else can i tell you... the snorkelling trip was fab, although i got a little scared when i saw we were swimming over a STING RAY!!!! But the guys were very knowledgable and guided us through the tropical fish and reefs!

The staff are all very friendly, even more if you tip... say hi to martha and casper and zalatiel... very good staff!!

I read a couple of bad reviews before we came but honestly those people are just moaners and i bet wouldnt be pleased in a 10 star... there is not one bad word against this place, it is beautiful, clean, peaceful, fun, friendly... the list could go on and on... perfect!!

Room Tip: upgrade to selet club for 18 US dollars per person per night!
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Porto, Portugal
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2011

This resort is constituted by about 75 buildings with about 12 rooms each one. There are many restaurants and bars distributed by the resort area. The central bar is open permanently, providing beverages (coctails inclusive), fruit and some fast food (hamburgers, nuggets and so on). The food is really good in any restaurant. Thera are two kinds of restaurants: the restaurants-buffet, open for lunch and dinner, and the restaurants "a la carte", open only for dinner and subject to booking. In the last ones, I recommend the RESTAURANT GAUCHO (near the beach), where the staeks are very, very good cooked and served. The rooms are very comfortable and spacious, providing WC, shower, "jacuzi", king size bed, double sofa and balcony. The views from the room are not amazing (room 3921). Only the rooms turned up to the main swimming pool and sea have good views. The service is very good and the room is always extremely clean. The beach is amazing: the height of water is reduced during 60 or 100m (depending on the tide) but there are some stones (be careful). The colour is beatiful due to the sun reflection and I measured 30,5ºC in the water: very warm for european people. There are many water sports activities, like jet sky (I love it, 100USD per 1h, 60USD per half an hour) and so on. The swiming pools are fun, both for adults and for kids. There are swimming pools with 40cm heigh water to 130cm. The water is very warm in the main swimming pool (central) and a little bit cold in the swimming pool near the Select Club (Restaurant FOGO DE BRAZIL). The animation is not very fun by the evening. During the day, kids must do some activities with the animation teams of the resort, related with the nature and the environment. Furthermore, these are the main golas of this resort: we can contact with some free specimens of animals like iguanas, parrots, tucanos, cats, crabs, monkies, water turtles and so on. The sea is full of several species of fish (blues, yellow and black, gray and black, etc.). We can do snorkel in the beach, seeing a lot of fishes. Thera are GYM (Free) and SPA (subject to booking and payement) but I do not try these services. The resort is extremelly safe and the staff people is very friendly. I strongly recommend this resort .

Room Tip: Please select rooms turned up to the main swimming pool. They are the best. Some rooms have external
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
2 reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2011

Will not return to this resort. This was supposed to be a family vacation, however, there were many pitfalls along the way. Please read Family Vacation Nightmare for the rest of the story.

We had no A/C in the bathrooms which was a killer. The our shower smelled like sewer when you opened the door. Running the water helped some but it ran out on to the bathroom floor and we had to use a towel to mop it up. The toliet paper and kleenex was not ever replenished nor was the lotion or bath gel.

The guest services people were also very rude when we talked to them about the spa and the 10% off couple. We were told we only needed one ticket and could group everyone together and pay at the end - nope!!!! We were told no way by the Spa!!!! We insisted on using the single tickets and the Spa needed every one of them.

We tried to get pool towels at the pool by the beach and was told we didn't belong there only at the Select Club pool and he was very nasty with his tone and told us to go somewhere else.

This place is a joke. Do not go! Spend your money elsewhere.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandos_Caracol, Manager at Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort, responded to this review, August 21, 2011
Dear Guest,

First and for most we would like to deeply thank you for your constructive criticism related to your recent vacation experience at the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa. We are very sorry to see that base on the issues you describe, you left our hotel with a negative note.

In the interest of clarifying some of the particulars you describe which were very instrumental in your current view and impressions of our hotel, particularly in order to provide with objective information to the hundreds of readers that day to day use the tripadvisor pages in order to assess hotels prior to deciding or to stay on their next vacation trip, we feel compelled to make some observations.

Indeed as you stated, the bathroom in our rooms have not air conditioning just like in every hotel around the world, however we do have like most hotels, an extraction of heat and odors which creates a temperature of comfort. I have personally used myself many of our rooms on a number of occasions and bad temperature in the bathrooms has never been something of a problem and I have certainly never received any similar complain of the nature of yours. I assume base upon the way it seems to have inconvenienced you, that the extraction system was just not working, something which could have been easily corrected. I would hope that you make us aware of the room you had in order to review this.

If any of our customers reports to our front desk or housekeeping departments that they ran out of any amenity, just a simple call is necessary and we will replenish it within minutes. When having your room number, we will be able to check our records and review the reports you may have brought to our attention in order to determine where the mistakes were made and how so that we can take corrective actions where necessary. Also I should stress that it is not normal at all that we would have any sewer odor in any of our rooms even when the customers take a shower. We have neither found any reports of any of such complain prior to your critic.

The guest service that you refer to, seems to be the one assisting our members of the Vacation Club rather than the one section within the front desk. If you provide me with your name or vacation dates, I will most likely find you of the information regarding the event you describe and review this with the director of that particular division. Some customers depending on the type of package they purchased have access to some services and have some preferential discounts. Probably they did confirm to you what was right, if the manner or tone was inappropriate; I express my apologies to you.

Finally I would like to stress that most hotels nowadays have particular clubs or sections within their premises which due to the different supplements some customers pay, entitles them to some exclusive services such as restaurants, pools, club houses, and others. I assume that when you were denied the service you mention, it is because you accessed one club we have as well in our hotel. In order to avoid any similar situations to future guests, we will immediately place more information placates indicating when someone is accessing an area of exclusive use for some particular segments.

Once again we thank you for your comments and if you may want to contact us and add any further comments or observations, we are at your disposal at: webrelations.caracol@sandos.com .

Kindest regards,

The management
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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 Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort

Address: Carretera Chetumal Pto Juarez Km 295, Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#34 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#60 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#76 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 956
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Also Known As:
Caracol Beach
Sandos Caracol Eco Hotel
Sandos Caracol Beach Resort Spa
Sandos Select Club
Sandos Caracol Mexico
Hotel Sandos Caracol Eco
Caracol Village Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Sandos Caracol Beach & Spa Mayan Riviera
Sandos Caracol Resort
Sandos Caracol Riviera Maya

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