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“Great Family Time!!” 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 #71 of 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Royal Oak, Michigan
1 review
“Great Family Time!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We just came home from a week spent at this family friendly resort. When we arrived we were greeted quite nicely by some fancy iced drink that was sweet as could be but nice and refreshing. I had made some inquiries before arriving and spoke with Mariana(sp?) back and forth via email. Upon arrival it happened to be Mariana was our checker inner!! She saw my name and reminded me of our previous conversations and that it was a pleasure to now meet in person. I decided before we came to upgrade to the Royal Elite area (which turned out to be a great decision). Mariana was very friendly as was everyone else at check in. Mariana because she could not accommodate a request I made before arrival took it upon herself to select our rooms. She outdid herself and we were very pleased with her choice for our family. The food is weird for the first couple of days and takes some getting used too. We ended up liking the Mexican Buffet as it seemed the freshest and least threatening. There are many choices so after a couple of days you figure out what works for you and stick with that. Our family used the pool and the beach both. The beach was great and the snorkeling was fun for the novice snorkeler and kids right on the beach. The pool was nice and we enjoyed very much but busy at times with a overly active game of water polo. The kids enjoy that game even more because the ball tends to quickly leave the pool area often ending up in someones lap! Other than that the pool was great and refreshing from the hot sun. I also used the spa/gym area and want to make sure i mention the gentleman who runs the fitness area. I cannot remember his name but he was very friendly and greeted me with a smile and fresh towel each morning I went. The equipment is a bit dated but works just fine. Try the chlorophyll water it was good. We had a great family experience at this resort. It is spread out and you could be in for a bit of a walk to get to a pool so i cant comment on that frustration for some. What i say when all else fails is upgrade to Royal Elite!! Its worth the extra $$$

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,322)
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Langdon Alberta
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We returned last week from our week holiday to the Sandos Caracol in Playa del Carmen. We didn't mind walking - and you do walk a lot because it kept us moving and able to "eat what we wanted" for a week.
The resort is spectacular. Such friendly staff and hospitality. We enjoyed different activities daily.
The Xcalacoco show was amazing, the beach was hoppin' and the pool was nice - even on the far west end is an area for tykes.
The room we stayed in had a jacuzzi outside and the room layout was L shaped so it gave my husband and I some privacy from our kids.
We didn't use the kids club much - only for our romantic boat ride and our adults only dinner.
The kids liked it for the whole 3 hours they were there.
I was surprised the hotel shops weren't too terribly over priced like where we were last year.
We bought a lot right at the hotel.
The theatre and shows were nice and when we were asked on the first day if we would be interested in a timeshare presentation - we said no and were not bothered again.
I loved the lobby bar for coffee in the mornings and watching the turtles and fish swim in the cenote.
I also enjoyed that adults could use the spa without paying a price.
The only downsides to the resort and there are not many are:
1) We got bitten by bugs in our bed on the last few nights repeatedly and our legs were red dotted and itchy the last few days - we came home itching and scratching a few days after our trip - bugs normally don't bug me....lol but, coming home with bites and itching them after our trip sucked!
2) The bikes at the bike shop were in terrible shape. My husband and I both had bikes that were low of air in the tires and his had no brakes - when we asked if they could be pumped up, the man said there was no pump???? Weird. Ok - but we still enjoyed it. Our kids had good bikes to ride on and we managed. The scenery was nice.
3) We didn't even have a chance to get into the Steak a la carte restaurant. It was completely booked until our trip was over. Its too bad people can book all their a la cartes for a week at the same restaurant. We still ate good at the Mediterrannian (adults only) and Brazilian twice.
4) I wanted to book my husband and I a 50 minute massage on the beach - until they priced it at $320 canadian.
5) The rooms don't have any drawers for you to put your clothes in. We managed, but found that odd.
I couldn't do it - that would give us 6 massages back home. If you want a massage that badly - pay the $20 bucks cab fare to Mamitas beach in Playa del Carmen and get a 70 minute massage for 30 bucks on the beach - they will even babysit your kids.
We went Feb 13-20 - it was quite windy two days where sitting by the pool you would be cold getting out of the water until you dried. This was definitely our coldest trip to Mexico, but I won't complain too much - its' not too dry.
We were happy to go but happy to come home. All in all - I would give this hotel 81/2 stars out of 10. Great price, great food, great service and lots to do.
Juan Carlos did yoga - he sure knows his stuff, but he is too advanced for most of the people. Most people were inexperienced and ended up just watching him. He is good though. He had a few that could keep up to him. But honestly - most people would have been best with a level 1 or 2 Ingeyer style of class - an overall body stretch from head to toe - gentle flow yoga.
I never saw any monkeys - but we enjoyed seeing the donkeys, raccoons and parrots.
Heather from Canada

Room Tip: Jr. Suites are great. It was nice to see the stars while having a jacuzzi. We stayed in 4524 and it...
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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
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Franklin, Wisconsin
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

I have twenty plus years experience as a manager in the hospitality industry. And, I have been traveling twice a year for the past fifteen years to the Playa/Cancun area.
This resort has beautiful grounds but whoever laid out the buildings really did a poor job. Be prepared to walk and make sure you have a map. But, even with a map, expect to get lost. The signage throughout this resort is horrible.
Rooms are average at best. The balcony is very small and if at ground level, the natural environment is discouraging to sitting outside unless you have a lot of bug spray on. The furnishing in the rooms is minimal. Maintenance of the rooms is so so. Think Motel 6 type rooms and you get an accurate picture.
Food is below average compared to other hotels in this region. The International buffet was horrendous. Crowded, noisy, the roof leaked, and the food wasn't served or displayed in an appealing manner. The mariachi band in the Mexican resurant was way too loud. Couldn't tell you if the food was good because we were driven from this resurant by the loud music ... don't get me wrong, the band was okay, just way too loud. The seafood and Italian resturants were average.
Reception/check in. Thank god we did not come at a "busy" time. It took 45 minutes to check in and this was only with one other couple in front of us. Then we were given our keys, no map, and told to wait for the shuttle. After a half hour, still no shuttle. We went back and got a map (that took another five minutes) and finally walked to our room --- yes, we got lost. It took over an hour after we got to our room for our luggage to arrive.
I read one review about the staff making rude comments in Spanish abou guests. True, true, true. If you ask any questions or in our case for the map, boy does the staff grumble to each other!
The time share presentation. If you are offered this --- RUN! Whatever freebie is offered is not worth it. First of all, the 90 minutes is a lie. It is more like 3 or more hours. Yes, the rooms shown are fabulous compared to what isoffered in the standard rooms, but after crunching the numbers, no way worth what the cost of buying into this is. And when you start voicing what you have paid in the past and present for vacations to this area and how the numbers they give you just doesn't add up for you --- be prepared for snide remarks. When the guy called me stupid, I walked out.
I also walked right up to reception, canceled the remaining days of my stay, called for a taxi, and left the resort.
Finished my remaining seven days at a small resort nearer to Playa. While the "rating" wasn't as high, I found the service at the smaller resort to be way superior, the room the same quality, and the beach area much better. Oh yeah, the price, even losing $$ for canceling the remainder of my days a Sandos, was still less.

Room Tip: There is so many resorts to choose from. Avoid this one.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

We just had a week ( Feb 11 - 16 - lost 2 days because of a storm) at this resort and it was truly amazing. As a Royal Elite member we get treated like Royalty. The new member section was amazing - beds on the beach - beds by the pool - amazing meals and liquor - what more could you ask for. Only down side are the sand fleas that seem to only bite me - so if your walking on the sand off the resort - I would try some bug repellent.
We used Cancun Cab which is alot cheaper and better service than what Royal Elite offer.

Room Tip: If you don't enjoy kids around upgrade to adults only.
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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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, Nebraska
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We just returned from a nine day stay at the resort. After 20 plus years of going to Puerto Vallarta this was a huge leap for our group of 6, but I'm afraid Vallarta has lost us for good. With a myriad of restaurants and bars you are never at a loss for things to do or places to go. The rooms are clean and modern, but what did it for us was the service. From Katrin at the front desk to Benito at the bellboy stand, everyone went out of their way to be sure we were having the best vacation ever. We even made use of the medical services available at the resort and he too was awesome. We were in the "select" area which I would highly recommend for those traveling without children. The only "downer" had nothing to do with the resort. I would like to appeal to the French and French-speaking Canadians....please bring your manners when you go on vacation. We are not in a starving refugee camp where you have to fight for food. Very, very rude people.

Give this resort a look folks, you'll leave while planning next year's return!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We travelled to this resort from December 26th-January 2nd 2013 as a Canadian family group of 15. The eldest in our group was 80 and the youngest was 7- with every age group in between.

Room: We stayed half of us in building 27 and half in building 28. They were not able to have us all together in the same building but this wasn't really an issue. Our room was very basic. Needed an upgrade. A bit stuffy but the ceiling fan and air conditioner worked well. Mini bar stocked with a lot of cold bottled water which was great. Shower always hot and great pressure. Rooms were cleaned very well every day. One annoyance was we arrived with absolutely no towels in our room, and the telephone had no directory on it so we had to knock on someone else's room to find out any in-hotel phone numbers. Room service was a little hard to get a hold of, but the problem was fixed.

Wifi: NO INTERNET IN THE FAMILY SECTION ROOMS. You have to go to the lobby or sports bar (and the snack bar I think) to get wifi. Occasionally you can get wifi on the beach if you are close to the select club.

Bars: 10 bars around the resort. Drinks were great. Oh, and the DRINKING AGE is 18 in case anyone else was confused by the website (I sure was!) They advertise that the Select Club (which is adults only) has a minimum age of 21...which led me to think that 21 was also the drinking age in the resort. Seeing as I am 19, I was very relieved to learn otherwise. Phew!

Night: Not much to do at night. Very very quiet. The entertainment is apparently very good- but our dinners were always booked during the time shows were on so we always missed them unfortunately. There is NO CLUB/DISCO ON THE RESORT. Bummer. I suggest going into Playa Del Carmen to have any nightlife. You can always make your own fun of course but it helps if you're old enough to drink...my 15 year old brother found the resort boring for his age group.

Food: I would say our family enjoyed La Laguna buffet the most. Lots of great selection there! The Italian and Mexican were also pretty good. We were not WOWED though. Be careful if you have nut allergies like myself (or especially seafood allergies like my cousin). Sometimes in the a la carte restaurants you will order one thing and it will come to you completely altered with substituted ingredients. This is esepcially problematic if you have FOOD ALLERGIES. The worst was La Riviera. Hot @ss mess. example: ordered a salad that was supposed to have: arugula, fior di latte mozzarella, figs, prosciutto as well as some other things. When we got it- the arugula was dry, there were no figs, and no prosciutto. Same thing happened with my pasta which was supposed to be stuffed with cheese and spinach and instead came stuffed with pesto (which has pine nuts).

Beach: Very ROCKY all over in the water. My cousin cut his stomach pretty badly. Lots of stubbed toes too. We still went swimming though. On a nice day the beach got busy fast so you will need to reserve chairs early. Beach volleyball everyday was the best part of the beach!! A lot of fun and a great way to make friends. Make sure to rent a catamaran. I also got a massage by the beach but found it to be very disappointing. I was very sore from the gym and looked forward to a nice massage but I did not feel even slightly less stiff afterwards. If you like being rubbed with oil as opposed to a nice deep massage then go for it! But anyway make sure to go for a long walk along the beach (towards the left) you will not be disappointed.

Pools: I will never understand pool people. You're coming all the way to a beautiful tropical destination and you choose to lay by concrete and chlorine?? That being said..the pool areas seemed nice from what I saw.

Resort grounds: Fairly big resort. It was very confusing to find our way at first. That being said, the grounds were beautiful!! Lots of wildlife. My 7 year old brother loved the coati, they were so cute! There were also raccoons, cats, monkeys (if you can spot them!), macaws, donkeys, and peacocks. Nature trails were really cool. The cenote by the lobby is beautiful! I highly reccomend snorkeling there. Pharmacy was ridiculously expensive. Sports bar area was fun- they had one of those giant chess sets, foosball tables, pool tables, tvs, wifi, etc.

The resort is very KID FRIENDLY. Families with young children will LOVE this place. I enjoyed my time because I was with my whole family and we made it fun for ourselves. But in general- not much to do for teens and young adults.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Idaho Falls, Idaho
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We (me, my husband and our 3 year old) just spent 3 nights at the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa in Feb. We had a nice a time - I really found the employees so friendly and helpful - they seemed happy to work there and it wasn't from customer service training. I loved the cultural piece! We rented bikes and went to the ruins.

i thought the food was so so - depends on what you like to eat. Depending on how many nights you stay determines who how many a la carte dinners you get. We ate at the Japanese restaurant and it was really so so. Usually the cook gets into it and has the kids laughing. Our cook wasn't that fun.

I loved the breakfast at the Italian restaurant the most (they had green juice which I drink at home!) and the best buffet dinner was the Mexican restaurant. La Laguna kind of reminded me of a college cafeteria. But again - it depends on what you like to eat - I am more into salads and vegetarian choices. It was pretty meat heavy. But I always found something to eat!

Our son loved the kids pool. A bit of a cold front came through and I found the pools pretty chilly. Oh also - the chill pool (I think that is the name) was great - barely anyone there. But it was cold! Had a massage which nice - there is a hot tub at the massage and outdoor pool that is adults only.

Our son did the kids club for a couple of hours - they seemed great and nice, but he was into hanging with us.

All in all - a nice trip. it was not $$ and I felt we definitely got our money's worth!

Room Tip: We stayed at 123 which was AWESOME! I was so happy - I feel like we lucked out. There are no elevat...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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 2
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:
#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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