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“Wonderful, relaxing beautiful winter break” 5 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 #65 of 201 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Davison
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful, relaxing beautiful winter break”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Sando's Caracol Eco Resort and Spa with a group of friends from 2/11/13 through 2/16/13. There were eight of us. We have all travelled together for over a decade and have been to the Riviera Maya area several times. While we have never had a bad vacation and we always have a great time, this resort was, for me, was one of the best we have ever stayed at. From check in to check out everything went smoothly. We were in the adults only section. Our room was clean, quiet and comfortable. The jet tub was sweet. The grounds were beautiful. The beach was also beautiful. There are rocky areas and coral so you do need water shoes and unfortunately, the surf was more rough than usual while we were there so we didn't snorkel at the beach, but most of us played in the surf and enjoyed the waves. Our room was a ways from the beach, but I didn't mind the walk as I needed it to work off all the really good food I ate. The biggest reason this resort appealed to me so much was that there were many natural areas to explore. We rarely saw anyone else while we were exploring some of the trails. It was like you were walking in your own backyard, but your yard had mayan ruins and exotic birds, snakes, coatis and other wildlife. Even though it is the dry season, the vegetation and flowers were lush and green. The weather was perfect, hot and sunny each day.

Last, but not least, the staff at this resort was wonderful. Mariana, the guest service manager, was incredible. Somehow, she hooked up with us at least daily to make sure everything was going well and to see if we needed anything. She had even booked our dinner reservations before we got there. She met us as we arrived and saw us off as we left. The few requests we had, she addressed immediately.

We are getting together with our friends this weekend to go over pictures and relive our vacation. We have already made a decision regarding going back to this resort for a long weekend stay in the fall. That will be a first for us as we have never went back to the same resort twice as we like to check out different places. We are from Michigan so it is a pretty quick flight from Lansing direct to Cancun and about a 30 minute drive to the resort. We will contact Mariana and I am confident she will make our fall trip memorable too.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,253 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • 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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birmingham
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

Having been lucky enough to travel al round Europe and the Caribbean, we can honestly say this has been the best place we have ever stayed in... Nothing bad to report.
The food in all the restaurants was of a top quality. The staff were all very friendly and welcoming.
The hotel was wonderfully clean, the rooms were cleaned every day.
We loved all the animals running round freely,the Xalacoco trek is great, we even got to see a monkey.
The select club is a wonderful experience, well worth paying the extra. The beach area and club are wonderful.. Such luxury.. Computers, pool tables, library, computer consoles, showers, fresh food, bar and really lovely staff.
Also there is a jacuzzi area and private pool for select club.
The drinks are plentiful and will be given in a glass which is a nice change instead of plastic cups.
The only thing we didnt like was being coaxed into the time share as soon as we arrived. But as soon as we realised what was going on, we asked for our money back, which we got..so no problems...
On the whole the holiday was fantastic and we would definitely return and would definitely recommend the hotel to anyone..
PLEASE NOTE... if you are not aware of this, because we were not made aware of this until we were taking off from gatwick airport... You have to pay a £45 departure fee to leave Mexico. So be prepared.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We just returned from a week long vacation at Sandos Caracol and it was fantastic! We have two boys, age 4 and 7, and there was so much to do for everyone! We stayed in the Royal Elite section in the 1 bedroom suite and I would highly recommend that room to families who want room to spread out and have seperate sleeping areas for the kids and the adults! The Royal Elite rooms are decorated in a wonderful neutral and modern decor and were very well maintained and clean! I don't know if it is like this all the time, but we found we could only get luke warm water in the mornings, but plenty of hot water in the afternoon and evening. We assumed because it is an eco resort that they try to conserve some of the energy needed to heat the water 24 hours a day. Speaking of eco, you will notice all around the property that they have recycling bins and compost bins to put leftover food in and to recycle the paper and plastic products that are used. Mariana Urtaza is the Guest Services Manager at the resort and she went above and beyond to make sure our accomodations were perfect! I had a special request for the layout of room due to fact that our oldest child has special needs and she made sure that was taken care of before we arrived and she booked all of our al a carte restaurants for us before arrival as well. She even came to check on us at our table the first time we went out to one of the al a carte restaurants to make sure everything was to our satisfaction, and she called our room as well to make sure our trip was going smoothly! GREAT customer service, thank you Mariana! I would highly recommend contacting her at the resort prior to your arrival to pre-book your restaurant choices, as they do fill up fast! We went to both the steak restaurant (Los Lirios) and the asian restaurant, both were VERY good, I would recommend the sea bass at Los Lirios, it was delicious. The buffet restaurants were good as well, and if you are adventurous there is so much to try each day! They seem to offer themes at the international buffet, one night was more of an italian feel, one night was asian themed (I thougth that was the best), and of course there is always lots of Mexican food. If you or more likely your kids like pancakes or waffles for breakfast, there is quite a wait for those as they make them continuously but only turn out about 8 pancakes and 1 waffle at a time, so be prepared to wait in line for those items. Our kids loved the snack bar, they offer food 24 hours a day, and always had cheeseburgers, french fries, hot dogs, etc. and starting around noon each day that have 4-6 different flavors of soft serve ice cream. We had a "snack" there everyday and the neat thing is there are swings all around the snack bar to sit on instead of chairs. Be prepared to see a lot of animals especially around the snack bar, we had a racoon the last morning we were there, jump right up on the bar where we were sitting and grab one of our sons plates. They ask you not to feed the animals, but you see people do it all the time. Other than the occasional annoyance, it was great to see so much wild life around. We saw lizards, racoons, donkeys, peacocks, pelicans, turtles, and of course the fish in the cenote. Snokeling in the cenote right behind the lobby you must do, it was a great experience and we did it 3 times while we were there. The water park for the kids was so fun! It's meant for kids from around 2 years old to around 12 years old, it has about 10 different slides in the park and the water is only about 18 inches deep. There is a bar right there at the park and they even serve burgers and hot dogs in the afternoon. The main pool was also very nice and has a seperate kids section attached at the far end that is seperated by a short wall so that the kids can swim in shallow water on one side and the adults can swim on the other side. We were up really early in morning, so we were able to get down the pool to get a chair, mid day it seemed a little harder to get one, but by then we were off to do something else like the water park or beach. The beach had nice white sand and plenty of lounge chairs and tiki style umbrellas and palm trees for shade. The resort has created a natural reef of sorts by putting large sand bags out about 200 feet from shore to break up the large surf, making it nice to swim there. I would suggest water shoes for swimming though as there are rocks in the water. We also went kayaking and boogie boarding (that was free) and if the waves hadn't been so high we wanted to take out a hobie cat (that was only $10), so if you like to sail, it's pretty reasonable. You can also rent jet skis and go an snorkeling and diving adventures by booking those through the water sports center on the beach. The resort is quite large and you will get your exercise if you do some exploring. The trails throughout the property are like walking through a jungle, and they have trails that lead you back to actual Mayan ruins that have been there for thousands of years. The resort takes the Mayan theme seriously and they have 4 shows during the week that are held outdoors around different areas of the resort that represent the Mayan culture and those shows are definitely worth checking out. We did not attend any of the shows that were held in the theater at night, we were all too tired by the end of the day, so we went to bed fairly early, but were up bright and early each day to enjoy the resort to it's fullest! Great vacation! Great weather! Great service! We didn't want to leave!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Very clean. Staff is extremely courteous and VERY hard working. We enjoyed a very relaxing vacation. The food in the buffet restaurants was very good. Resort I consider to be very family friendly and less of a crazy party atmosphere. Awesome weather. We definitely plan on returning to this or their newer sister property, Sandos Playacar.

Room Tip: We found no need to stay in the adults section. We enjoy walking therefore, explored everything the...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

We just returned from a week's vacation at Sandos Caracol. The weather was absolute perfection 89-86 every day...low 70's at night. The food was very good. We have a 9, 6, and 3 year old and Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner they could find something to eat that they enjoyed. Make sure you book the Brazilian and Asian a la carte restaurants...they were a notch above the rest. The service was 1st Rate...sure...some are more friendly than others...but in aggregate it was some of the best service we have ever received. There is always something to do for kids. One thing I would mention is that the Kids Club and WaterPark are really geared toward the 8 and under crowd...my 9 year old was not really interested in either. We would definitely recommend this Resort to anyone...especially those with families. The staff did everything they could to make our stay as enjoyable and relaxing as possible.

Room Tip: Our room was away from the pool...our neighbors were a bit loud but my suggestion would be to try an...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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, New Hampshire
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

My wife and I just returned from Sandos and I have to say the place is paradise on earth! We stayed in the Royal elite rooms right in front of the pool and the rooms were amazing! we loved our porch just sitting out there and enjoying the breeze and the view. We loved the select club area and just sitting on the beautiful beach and listining to the waves roll in. Bernardo was the best bartender at the resort. He was at a couple different bars but we followed him around LOL he makes you feel at home here and pours great drinks! He also makes all kinds of different shots that are delicious. All of the staff was very friendly and helpful.
El Templo= is a japanese steak house where they cook in front of you. I have eaten at a lot of these in the states and as they go this one was pretty good. The portions were a little small but very tasty.
La Riviera= This is a nice restaurant on the beach and most seats have a nice view of the waves coming in, we were sat in the rear so we did not but the food was very good.
Fogo Du Brasil= is a brazilian steak house where they serve the meat to you from skewers and it was great the food was awsome and there is a ton of it! Take small portions trust me you will be full.
La Toscana= we did not eat dinner here but we got some pretty bad reviews from the people we went with. We did go for lunch which is buffett and it was okay, nothing special.
La Laguna= we only ate here for breakfast but it is a large buffett and they do a good job and the food was pretty good
Las Mascaras= this was our favorite buffett it is mexican food, we really liked making our own tortillas and it is fun to go when the mariachi are playing!
La Jungala= we never ate here
el nido= this is in the center of the main court area of the hotel and the food is terrible! Do not eat here plan out your time so you can get to a buffett or do what you have to, but this food is not fit for human consumption, I had a "hamburger" that must have been made from sewer rat lol. But if you need a quick coffee or drink or want to grab a muffin, they had fruit here too that was okay.
If you have the chance swim in the cenote by the main enetrance it was awsome,very refreshing and some cool fish to see. Also go for a walk out to the Xcalacoco area and find the ruins on the resort and go and catch the shows! We only got to see one because of our dinner reservations and time we were off the resort but next time I would plan ahead and book around the shows.We also went swimming in the royal elite pool and drank at the swim up bar it was nice there too. If you are Royal elite go and eat breakfast or lunch there too better than the buffett's but at a slower pace. On valentines day we ate at the steak house that is in the Royal elite building for dinner I would say this is a must do! Book all your dinners the day you arrive! That would be my only real complaint is that it is hard to book dinners, so do it as early as posssible there were times when we were told that the restaurants were booked and we would walk by and the place was almost empty I dont know if its a staffing issue or what but that was a little off putting.All in All I would say you have to go here! Bring water shoes the beach is a little rocky, or walk up the beach for a couple mins but dont let that stop you this place is amazing!!

Room Tip: If you can book Royal Elite the rooms are awsome, porch and jacuzzi make it worth it.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Chigwell, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

Just returned from 2 weeks at the Sandos with my fiancé we had the best time. The food in the main buffet was always really good plenty of choice always fresh fish, beef or chicken cooked on the hot plates and a huge choice of salad and vegetables. The al a carte restaurants are lovely the steak house is definitely the nicest the portions are small so just order a few side dishes each. The Japanese was my favourite the chef does a show as he cooks the food which was delicious. We tipped a few dollars here and there and the waiters and waitresses really appreciate it but every one was friendly regardless if you tipped them.
The shows every night are like mini productions they start at 8.30 so we would eat before or father so we could see the shows defiantly the best shows at any resort I have ever been to The beach was lovely we would get up early and get our beds, but that is normal at most holiday resorts.
The only 1 compliant was our room was a bit old and could do with a make over, we spoke to a few people who complained and were moved. We couldn't be bothered as we were close to the beach and how much time do you actually spend in he room ??? It was clean and spacious and the mini bar is filled up every day which is really nice. I honestly don't know why people give this resort bad reviews its not a 5 resort and you don't pay 5 star money but you defiantly receive 5 star
Service.

Room Tip: I stayed in room 211 these rooms need a little revamp
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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 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
Amenities:
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:
#11 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#37 Spa 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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