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“Holidays in Playa” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Luna Blue Hotel

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Luna Blue Hotel
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle 26 Norte, between 5th & 10th Ave, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #38 of 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence 2014
NJ
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Holidays in Playa”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2009

We were able to spend the holidays in Playa and Luna Blue this year. We had a fantastic time! This is our third year in a row at Luna Blue..we enjoy the location, the rooms, the gardens, (now the swing bar), and the employees and owners are the best! On our second night, the owners, Cheri and Tony hosted a holiday party for guests of the hotel. We had a wonderful time enjoying the new swing bar and having a toast with all. In previous years we have done many of the local activities, this year we decided to take it easy and enjoy the beach. We loved the one tour we did, the Mayan Adventure with Alltournative Tours. We went to Coba and Mayan villages, along with other adventures, it was a whole day of fun! This trip, we visted many local great eateries, our favorite this time was La Caprichoza on 5th. We enjoyed the wonderful ceaser salad, flambee and Mayan coffee for dessert, yummy. Another favorite is the "lava bowl" at La Passion next store to Luna Blue. For drinks, we loved the new swing bar and bartender at Luna Blue, another fun place was the "Bad Boys Beach Club" on 4th and the beach. A great band plays on Thursday and Saturdays' at 5PM....Rock n' Roll, lots of fun! We finished our trip on New Years' Eve at the Luna Blue swing bar celebrating with new friends and Cheri and Tony...we will be back again next year!

  • Liked — Rooms, garden, location, friendly owners/employees
  • Disliked — LIke it all!
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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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813 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (89)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2009

As repeat visitors to the Luna Blue we are always pleased with everything they have to offer. The lush cool courtyard is a welcome relief after a hot day at the beach.We visited with 4 other couples so the courtyard also served as a great place to gather for happy hour...love the bar (great margaritas too!) It is conveniently located near 5th Ave for
restaurants ,cafes ,sportsbars,banks etc.
We tell everyone about this place and can't wait to go back!
Barry & Cari Chreptyk
Vancouver,B.C.

Stayed November 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2008

One of my friends that I was traveling with found the Luna Blue on Tripadvisor and booked us a room. We had three women in the room and each of us had our own bed. The air conditioning was a lifesavor! We actually cooked in the kitchen to save a few dollars and hung out on our porch and the roof. The beach was nearby and we had access to a great section as guests at the Luna Blue. While we didn't get to meet the owners, who were traveling, we recieved amazing attention and service from the manager, Genarro. He helped us figure out where to go, when to do it, and how to get there. He helped us find a taxi for a day that took us all over the nearby ruins - and the taxi driver was delightful too. Anytime we needed anything, Genarro took care of it imediately and with a great attitude. He also helped us practice our spanish, though he spoke excellent english. I would recommend this place to anyone trying to travel on a similar budget - great service, great location, and great people.

  • Liked — The staff!
  • Disliked — The tiny shower.
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 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.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2008

I have stayed in many types of hotels in many places and have had few serious complaints about any of them until this one. Yes, it's close to the (hyper-touristy) main drag and it's got a lot of nice foliage but I don't understand how it got to be so highly rated.

My room was tiny, dark and spartan. Unless the drapes were drawn -- making the room virtually pitch black -- I would have had no privacy from anyone walking along the main pathway of the property. It was raining when I arrived, and the only places to stay dry on the property besides my dark room were also dark and not what I would call comfortable. I had to beg to get into my room before 3pm even though the room was ready at 1pm. The desk clerk was polite but didn't seem well-trained.

Although I had already paid for three nights at Luna Blue, I left and stayed at CocoRio next door, where I got a giant newly remodelled room with lots of natural light, two double beds, a tv, a phone and friendly staff for less money. (In fact, within an hour of walking around I found rooms at six hotels that were nicer and cheaper than the one at Luna Blue).

When I complained to Luna Blue's owners about all of this, they responded that no one ever complains about their hotel and they didn't deceive me in any way, so it must be my problem. In fact, their email response was quite patronizing ("We suspect you had a long and difficult day, weren't feeling well, arrived to rainy weather..." -- yeah, but I arrived in Delhi in 110 degree heat after 30 hours of difficult travel and I loved my hotel). They also said my room was "plenty large enough for one person," and of course so is a refrigerator box but I wouldn't choose to stay in one on my vacation.

Most tripadvisor reviewers seem to love Luna Blue and I'm glad their experiences were not like mine. My recommendation to anyone who wants to stay there is to be sure to read the fine print before you go, because your hosts at Luna Blue will rely on it if you are ultimately unhappy about anything. And stay away from Room 3 if you are hoping for a room that reflects the sunny beach vacation you are probably there to enjoy.

  • Disliked — The room and the attitude of the owners
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
LunaBlue, Owners at Luna Blue Hotel, responded to this review, December 20, 2008
Unfortunately for everyone concerned, this guest's bad experience at our hotel was attributed solely to her attitude and expectations.

This guest booked one of our lowest priced (Standard) rooms. She was given room 4, not room 3 as she stated. According to our receptionist who was on duty when the guest arrived, she took one look in the room and said that it would "just not do" for her. She was clearly having a bad day and was not happy with anything. She described the room in her review as “virtually pitch black.” In all likelihood, the drapes were closed and most of the lights were turned off when she saw it. Had she taken the time to open the drapes on the two large windows and turn on the lights (two ceiling lights, one wall light over the large bed and a reading lamp on the nightstand - as well as two more lights in the bathroom) she would have seen that the room was actually quite bright, even despite the fact it was raining hard outside and the sky was dark. She also would have seen that it wasn't nearly as "tiny" as she claims - as it has two beds, a nightstand, a large wardrobe for clothing and a stand with a 20 liter bottle of drinking water. The bathroom has additional storage space and a large shower. We often have three guests in this room, so we feel pretty confident that it is plenty large enough for just one person.

The guest arrived at 11 am, four hours before check in, and was upset her room wasn't ready. The prior guest hadn't even vacated the room when this guest arrived, as checkout time is noon. We are always willing to let guests check in earlier than 3 pm, our guaranteed check in time, if their room is ready. In her case, she was allowed to check in as soon as her room was clean, which was still two hours early. Unfortunately we can't do much better than that.

She complained that there was no place to sit outside when it’s raining. Not only is there a completely covered terrace with tables and chairs just outside her door, but there are couches and chairs in the reception area as well as swings, tables and chairs in the palapa-covered bar. She could have relaxed in any of these dry and comfortable places, like our other guests frequently do.

She also complained that there was no privacy in the room. The room she reserved was on the ground floor—a fact that was stated in the first email she received as well as in the confirmation email. Any room on the ground floor of any building has the possibility of passersby looking in. However, of the two windows in this particular room, one is blocked by a tree and some plants, and the other is about 8 feet off the ground. It would be pretty difficult to look into this room without a ladder. Had she required an upper floor room, she shouldn’t have booked one on the ground floor.

In her email to us demanding a refund, this guest complained of other things as well (when she asked where she could find something good to eat, the staff recommended a restaurant that was too far away; the staff sent her too far when she asked for an ATM, etc.). It seems she wasn’t happy with anything at all—even some of the same things other guests truly appreciate. We know that travel days can be difficult, which is why we do everything possible to make sure that our guests have a good experience at the hotel. However there are some things (such as rain, travel delays, attitude, etc.) that are simply out of our control. This guest was just not to be pleased.

In her response to what she termed our "patronizing" email she said that we were "correct on the technicalities" but she still felt she deserved a refund. All we can do is provide honest information, clean, comfortable rooms and friendly advice--all of which we did. We cannot provide a positive outlook, nor can we change the weather, although we would certainly love to do both of those things if we could.

The room that the reviewer raves about at the hotel next door to us is an $80 room - a cost of $20 higher than the Standard room this guest booked with us. Understandably, our $80 rooms are of higher quality than our $60 (Standard) rooms, which is to be expected. If the reviewer had wanted a room of that caliber, one would think she’d have rented that room type to begin with. Curiously, she stayed only one night at the hotel next door, so despite her glowing comments in her review, it must not have met her needs, either, since she was in town for at least two more nights after that.

It is apparent that our hotel did not live up to this guest's expectations and wasn't what she had wanted. We're okay with that. Like all hotels, we can't be everything to everybody. However, when someone makes a reservation with us, we expect them to honor it. Some people feel they can make a "security" reservation so that when they arrive in Playa they can shop for a hotel but still have a reservation waiting if they can't find anything else to their liking. That's unfair to the hotel that has held and prepared a room for them. And we certainly don't feel that an individual cancelling a reservation on this basis is entitled to a return of his or her deposit.

Again, as we explained to the reviewer in our email, we are very sorry when someone doesn't like our hotel or has a bad experience. However, in this case we believe this guest was simply unhappy, had a long and difficult travel day, arrived to pouring rain, and expected something different--none of which we had any control over.

Tony & Cheri, Owners
Luna Blue Hotel & Bar
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2008

We booked our stay at the Luna Blue based on reviews from Trip Advisor and were not disappointed. We were looking for a smaller hotel with great service and that's what we found at the Luna Blue Hotel.

Our trip started with renting a car in Cancun and driving to Playa Del Carmen. This was an adventure all on it's own. Before we even got to the hotel we got lost and then stuck in a trench on the side of the road. Ok, so we got an early education in driving the streets of Playa del Carmen. Thank goodness for us the police and people are so friendly in Playa. We were ultimately pushed out of the trench by a police officer and two people off the street.

After that ordeal we finally arrived at the Luna Blue....exhausted and hungry. As soon as we arrived Maurice saw the look on our face and said it looked like we needed an upgrade. This was unexpected and very nice after a very long travel day. From that moment forward we continued to experience the same great, friendly service during our entire stay.

The hotel doesn't look like much from the street.....it is fairly decieving. Inside the gates though is a tropical oasis....pictures do not do it justice at all. The swing bar that's at the entrance is one of the best bars in Playa. Jorge is a riot and definitely made our stay memorable. We had a blast meeting other hotel guests and all the locals that frequent the bar.

Overall, the Luna Blue is a great hotel for the money. The service and staff are outstanding....I must admit the staff there are far better than many 5 star hotels I have ever stayed at. If you are looking for a great budget hotel....this one can't be beat.

Although we had a great time at the Luna, I must be fair and point out the negatives. There were very few. The Luna Blue is at the far end of 5th Ave. It is close to the beach, however, if you like to go dancing or to many of the hot spots...it's a bit of a walk. We found ourselves walking back and forth quite a bit between hanging out at the swing bar and going to some late night bars since Luna Blue closes it's gates at 11pm. This was not a huge deal, but it might be to some so I thought I would mention it.

The rooms at this hotel were nice, but the beds were very firm and made sleeping difficult and uncomfortable. Another thing about the rooms....there was no hair dryer or extra pillows kept in the room. I'm not sure if it was just our room, but I found it strange. If you ask at the front desk they are more than happy to supply these items for you. I just found it strange that they wouldn't already be in the rooms.

Other than the very minor room issues I mentioned....the hotel is wonderful and it is the fun, friendly atmosphere at this hotel that made our stay so great.

  • Liked — The staff, swing bar and overall value for the money.
  • Disliked — The beds
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayzata, MN
2 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2008

My boyfriend and I just returned from our best vacation yet in Playa del Carmen. It was our second time there and I spent A TON of time online trying to find the perfect hotel for us on a budget. Lucky for us, I stumbled across the Luna Blue! I almost didn't want to write a review about it because it's one of those things that's so amazing, you just want to keep to yourself!

2 blocks from the best beach in Playa and right of Quinta (5th Avenue - the hotspot for locals and tourists alike), this hotel was in a word - PERFECT! We booked a "standard" room off of their website. It included a full bed and a twin, along with a bathroom, air conditioner, AND a water cooler - which saved us a ton of money on purified water! The hotel is clean, friendly, charming, beautiful, wonderful... it was an all around perfect stay! Notice that there aren't any TV's in ANY of the rooms but my theory is, if you want to watch TV on your vacation, just stay home! The hotel also has the best bar in Playa, in our opinion, with a fantastic bartender named Jorge who provided laughs, songs, and the best margarita's you'll ever find. We spend almost every night here because the bar itself attracts the "right" people: locals, foreign locals, and everyone else at the hotel. Of all the people we met, one absolutely LOVED "all-inclusive" hotels and had stated after staying here, she would never go back!

The owners: well I can't say enough about them! Toni is probably the nicest guy you'll ever meet! Both him and Cheri give you the insider's tips on where to go, what to see, how to get there and anything else you want to know about Playa, Mexico, you name it!

A few tips on travelling to Playa on a budget:
1.) From the airport, don't take a taxi or a tourist bus. The ADO (city bus) takes travelers and locals alike to and from the airport. It only costs $8, it's just as nice as the $20 buses to Playa and makes less stops! We even bought our return ticket ahead of time when we arrived in Playa at the station.
2.) Don't eat on Quinta! It's pretty much "American" prices everywhere on 5th. Check out 30th which is a few blocks North of 5th and runs parallel to it. Our favorite was "Los Amigos" which was never busy and super cheap! Try the "Tacos al Pastor" - it's a local tradition, so cheap (Less than $2 American for 5 tacos), and is sooooo good! They also have beers for $1.80; it's hard to beat these prices! Plus, the owners of Los Amigos were always there so even if you don't speak Spanish, this is a great place to go!
3.) Take the collectivos to Akumal Bay. Collectivos are basically vans on 2nd and 20th that leave when they're full to a destination. It costs less than $3 dollars to go to Akumal where you can bring your own snorkel gear or rent it and see real, live sea turtles! This was the highlight of our trip and cost practically nothing! We swam out by ourselves and got to experience these awesome turtles. If you can't find them, there will be groups in the bay populating around the turtles.
4.) To save money on the beach, we'd bring our own chips and salsa in a bag and just order beers. We also went to a supermarket to get pre-toasted toast for breakfast and other snacks so we only ate one real meal a day which saved us a ton of money and we never went hungry!

Overall, the Luna Blue made our entire trip because we could afford everything else while staying in what felt like a 5-star hotel with built in neighbors and friends. The day we left, we felt like we were leaving home! So give the Luna Blue a try your next time around... you will love it!

Thanks Toni and Cheri and Jorge!

Lauren

  • Liked — Amazing friendly service.
  • Disliked — That we had to leave!
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2008

The best smallest hotel i have ever stayed at. The best staff, owners, service, atmosphere. This is from someone who only stay s at all inclusive resorts.

I am so done with all inclusive resorts. The feeling i got from staying at Cheri and Tony's hotel was like being a true paradis.

Himi, Junero, Jore the maids they are sooooooooooooo awesome. i cant wait to go back.

i have been to Playa De Carmen 6 times and this was the best vacation i ever had. i experienced the real culture and people in Playa

I was not sad when i left. Because i know I will soon return to the la Luna Bleu hotel to the beautiful and relaxing atmosphere of the Luna Blue

  • Liked — the staff hotel atmosphere everything, Swing Bar
  • Disliked — no Tv in room
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Luna Blue Hotel

Address: Calle 26 Norte, between 5th & 10th Ave, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#14 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#47 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Luna Blue Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luna Blue Hotel is located in Playa del Carmen's popular north end, three short blocks from the beach and half a block from the restaurants, shops and nightlife of 5th Avenue. This boutique hotel features palapa-covered balconies, a sunken tropical garden swimming pool, a lush garden, and one of the most popular bars in town. The hotel offers free use of four beach clubs and various local discounts. American owners and their bilingual staff offer you personal attention during your stay in paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Luna Blue Hotel Garden
Luna Blue Playa Del Carmen
Luna Blue Hotel Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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