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“An enjoyable stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Petit Lafitte

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Petit Lafitte
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Carretera Cancun - Chetumal km 296 + 2.1 | Xcalacoco, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #14 of 199 hotels in Playa del Carmen
belfast
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“An enjoyable stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

We enjoyed 5 nights after Christmas here. The bungalow was spacious with a great loft sleeping area for the children and a spacious veranda.
The food was good and the service very friendly and attentive.
Pleasant pool which we pretty much had to ourselves as a lot of guest seemed to spend the day on trips.
Theres a slight retro feel to the place that, while it wont be for everyone, particularly if you are looking for an 'all singing all dancing 5 star property', but in a way that adds to the appeal!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, March 9, 2013
Dear wanderlustbelfast,

We hope your return to North Ireland, was a pleasant journey.
Thank you very much for your company even if it was only for 5 days, it seems to us that you enjoyed it! We appreciate your comments for the food and the service.
You are right to note that a lot of our guests go out on excursions to see a lot of the main attractions of Riviera Maya, first of course the Mayan Archeological sites, the cenotes, jungle tours and of course, why not…some shopping for gifts.
That is one of the reason why we prefer our meal plan to the all inclusive dynamic where a lot of people feel like they have to stay at the hotel in order to take advantage of the meals. Missing out on all the beauty of Riviera Maya's history, nature and culture.
Thank you for noticing the things that make Petit Lafitte simply different!

Sincerely

Iván Fuentes
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753 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (224)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Francisco, California, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

was at petit lafitte for a wedding. so awesome! hotel was right on the beach, away from playa del carmen, lots of privacy and everything needed was there. among the many things that made this stay terrific was the outstanding service by teh hotel crew as well as the constant attentive, open and friendly nature of david, the resort manager. literally everything was taken care of. it is a great value. stay in the individual bungalows. an easy ride into playa del carmen if you want the party/bar scene.

Room Tip: stay in the bungalows.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Dear Steven G,

Thank you so much for your brief, yet rewarding review for Petit Lafitte.
We enjoyed meeting all the friends and family of J&G and had a lot of fun putting their wedding together, It is funny how what wedding guests see is actually the result of months and many hours of preparation…It was so cool to have such mixture of persons and personalities for the wedding, very nice, open and generous people.

Until we meet again,

Iván Fuentes
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Swarthmore
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

My family just spent 10 days at Petite Lafitte. We are experienced travelers and have stayed in many accommodations of many types in many places around the world. I can honestly say that our stay at PL was as positive as any experience we’ve ever had. Lafitte is a magical place full of delights and wonders (for example, the adjacent animal sanctuary is run by the prior manager, whose son now runs the hotel).

And while the gardens, beaches, rooms, services (including free Internet, which is very unusual in that area), and food are all superb, what really distinguishes PL is the spirit of the place as embodied in the people, their manifest pride in what they’re a part of, and the hotel’s rich legacy. We met several employees who had worked at PL for decades. Likewise, we met many guests who had been coming to PL for years, including a lovely group of at least a dozen that was enjoying their 17th visit! That sort of loyalty speaks far more loudly than any website, brochure, or review.

There’s a simple reason that PL has gotten so many awards and accolades for its service: The employees are treated with unusual respect by the management and are therefore deeply invested themselves. Employees, in turn, deeply attached and unconstrained by typical work dynamics, are empowered to go the extra mile for guests--sometimes in creative and wonderful ways.

If you are seeking a big, all inclusive, super-sized experience then Lafitte is probably not for you. But if you are seeking something rare and unforgettable, your quest is at an end.

  • Stayed January 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear Robin Swarthmore,

How rewarding to read your review.
Thank you for your time, both while visiting our property and for writing the review of your experience.
We are honored by your praise, specially because you are experienced travelers and still you managed to perceive what we are after here :

Creating memorable experiences, providing service with pride in a frame of camaraderie and feeling really connected and committed to our roles in the hotel.
Petit Lafitte, provides us with an environment in which we can explore our talents, an atmosphere in which good attitude is highly valued. Several of our employees, are loyal and proud because simply, they were given the opportunity to grow and shine, most of us learned what we do here and we are thankful for that.
It is so great to hear your words, they are so affirming of our efforts. We promise to maintain that standard.
One last note, we loved your poetic style at writing…
Wishing you many, many happy travels an a possible revisit…

Ivan Fuentes
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Winston Salem, North Carolina
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

We had the opportunity to spend Christmas and welcome the New Year at what turned out to be a wonderful little resort. This was our first stay at Petit and we were there from 12/23 until 1/1. We were looking for an alternative to the mega all-inclusives and Petit did not disappoint.

PROS:
Room - We stayed in Bungalow #9, which is the first ocean-front bungalow on the right (with your back to the water). If you have the means and are willing to spend a little more, we highly recommend choosing this option. The breezes coming in through the door and windows were wonderful and going to sleep with the sound of the ocean right outside was pure heaven. The rooms are a bit "rustic", but we'd describe them more as "simple".

Food - We didn't really know what to expect, but breakfasts, lunches, and dinners were all very good. We, too, were there for the now infamous "no tortilla" Mexican night, but its something we could easily overlook. We can honestly say that that was the biggest issue (if it even was one) we encountered during our nine day stay.

Service - As many reviews have stated, what sets Petit apart are the people. Petit's staff are top-notch and will do everything in their power to make sure all the guests needs and wants are met. We felt we got to know many of the staff (Jesus, David, etc.), but we have to say that Javier is one of the most precious men we have come into contact with.

Location - Easy cab ride (USD $18) into Playa Del Carmen. Location on the beach is perfect. Serene but activities are readily available if one is so inclined.

CONS:
Internet - As has been stated before, if the hotel is at capacity, guests will have issues accessing the wifi. It's a limited bandwidth issue, but can be a bit frustrating at times. Just realize you're on vacation, and put away the phone or iPad.

Pocha & Monito

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, February 18, 2013
Dear Pocha & Monito.
Thank you so much for trying Petit Lafitte for the first time. We really enjoyed reading your review, evidently you liked our style and understood that we focus on service, and good quality food. Most of our produce is bought fresh as we do not have a cold room, we just have some fridges, and storing big amounts is, (thank God) an issue.
Definitely Bungalow number 9, is the best room in the house, specially if travelling as a couple. We are very happy you discover that, thank you for sharing with other readers that even though the bungalows cost a bit more, they are worth the price.
You saw the explanation about the tortillas missing on the buffet on Mexican night. Readers will know what to expect if they come our way. It takes just a quick exchange of words to get them nice and warm in a basket at your table.
Your opinion about our staff (top notch) and Javier in particular is how us managers view our place a lot of effort goes into recruiting our staff and getting them to understand our philosophy, once they do, they stay a long, long time with us. Javier is just one example. He has been with us for a long, long time, Jesús, David, Víctor, Martín….the list goes on.
We are so happy that you noticed that.
It is fair that you comment on the internet issues. As I have posted before, we are working on improving the service, we are working on getting a dedicated internet line.
Fiber optics, broad band. This is a bit harder here in the woods, but we found that that it is possible.
Right now we double our band width capacity and the situation has improved greatly.
We wish that guests would understand your point, “disconnect” forget about your phone, be free…
New generations are definitely into technology and seem to enjoy to be connected all the time. We have to play with those new environments, we will and we will offer solutions.

Thank you so much for your input and your encouraging words.
Be well, and yes….before I forget…today I saw your comment on our FB page, yes that was Javier on the picture. So sweet of you that you expressed so much “cariño” for one of our staff members.

Best Regards

Iván A. Fuentes
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Philly
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

We were looking for a rest in a warm and beautiful beachfront setting. That is just what we got. As former patrons of Kailuum, a simpler eco-type spot that has since blown away in too many storms, we found a similar vibe at Petit Lafitte. The staff are warm, friendly, and attentive. The bungalows are comfortable and simple. If you want fancy, and organized entertainment, and emphasis on drinking and partying, don't go to Lafitte. If you want quiet and beautiful, and laid back, and restful, you might love it as much as we did.

  • Stayed January 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, February 15, 2013
Dear LSW Philly,

We are very happy to read a lovely review, specially coming from an old Kailuumer. Believe me, I personally devoted 11 years on my life to KaiLuum and know exactly what you are talking about. I am pleased that you found your experience at Petit Lafitte enjoyable, non pretentious, quiet, relaxed and the staff to be kind, attentive and cordial.
Thanks for recommending us and for emphasizing what people can expect of us, as much as what they should not expect from us.
We wish you many more happy vacations and a great year 2013.
Hoping to see you again, maybe next time, we’ll have a beer together and share old time stories.

Sincerely,

Iván A. Fuentes
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Encinitas, CA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Just returned from a 5 night stay after Christmas, and we loved this place, largely because of the people. Most have worked there for quite some time and they really go out of their way to do everything they can for you. Very warm, very interesting, very helpful people. You cannot help but enjoy the cast of characters. They really take exceptional care of you in every aspect - serving your meals, arranging for your drivers, fixing your drinks, cleaning your rooms, providing advice on activities in the area, etc.
The Petit Lafitte may be right for you if you don't want the huge crowds of the giant all inclusive resorts. The location is a bit north of Playa; so it takes a $25US round trip taxi to go back and forth to 5th avenue. There is very little within walking distance, but your primary needs can be taken care of right at the hotel. The slice of beach is very nice, with hammocks, palapas, and lounge chairs. The full service bar is a few steps from your room and open till 10 or 11 nightly. Great place for drinks and meeting your fellow visitors; fun spot to hang out. Many guests with children of all ages. Interesting animal sanctuary adjacent - be sure to check out the birds. Our room was super clean every day, our bed inviting, and our linens of great quality. We slept extremely well.
The Petit may not be the place for you if you need to be in the middle of the action, expect the finest gourmet food every meal, or need the extensive facilities of a larger hotel.
We found the breakfast to be very good (fresh juices that changed every day, pastries, yogurt, fruit, eggs)(coffee a bit weak) and the dinners good as well. For dinner on New Years Eve there was an impressive spread that was quite delicious. The high point of our stay was the 3 piece Bolivian Band playing up to midnight to bring in the new year, dancing in the sand with the waves crashing in the background; all the staff and hotel guests mixed in one very friendly party.
I have to agree with the reviewer below who stated the WIFI was extremely slow and at times unusable. But the management explained this happens when the hotel is at peak capacity as it was during Christmas week when we were there, but also that they would be looking into improving it.
We hired a driver for the day and toured Tulum, the Gran Cenote, and snorkeled with the turtles and rays at Akumal; each place was outstanding.
We have the highest of opinions of Guillermo, David, the drivers, and the rest of the Petit Lafitte staff. You provided a perfectly restful, fun, and enjoyable home away from home and we really appreciated everything you did for us.

Room Tip: For a rustic experience consider the bungalows; our ocean view room 504 was superb!
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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
    • 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.
Captainlafitte, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Dear coastaleddie,

We hope your trip back to Encinitas was a pleasant one, I mean, yes it is difficult to leave a quiet, beautiful beach with a small family operated resort with great food and service, no matter what you go back to, but, hey...
Anyway, thank you very much for writing a review for us. Your points of view and comments are sincere and talk more about our character, atmosphere, feeling, experience and how you felt while visitng our home, now your home-away-from-home.
Your insightful advice about being sure Petit Lafitte is for you before booking is appreciated and welcomed, we know we are designed for a specific group of travelers, and you are right, being well ranked doesn't make the place right or wrong for you.
We are delighted to hear that your vacation with your spouse was a very happy one and that you got to explore the area a bit, everytime with pleasurable experiences that are now treasured.
We are happy to hear you enjoyed our New years eve dinner, music and dance,...crashing waves in the back ground? I can almost hear them right now.
Thanks for being part of that experience with us, and feel free to visit this new-found home-away-from home spot.
We will be honored to have you again.

Yours truly,

Iván Fuentes
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Santiago, Chile
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

We stayed 4 nights at Petit Lafitte in a ocean view bungalow just at the beach. The bungalows are small wooden cabins with just one large room with two double beds and bathroom. There is also a smaller sleeping alcove accessible with a ladder. The hotel has some 15 bungalows and maybe around 30 hotel rooms which seem much less interesting. The bungalows has a nice location at the beach but need some updating of furniture, bathrooms inside. The place is very good for visiting with kids to also enjoyed the small endangered animal farm which is part of the hotel. The staff really went the extra mile to keep our kids happy organising a separate "pinata" Mexican tradition of breaking a doll full of candy which they missed on christmas eve. Recommended for families with kids but the bungalow is a must to enjoy the place.

Room Tip: Ocean view Bungalow is a bit more expensive but this is a must to really enjoy this place
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Captainlafitte, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, February 13, 2013
Dear RRC_12,

Thank you so much for your nice review, we are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your Christmas family vacation, even when you only stayed 4 nights with us. We don’t have a lot of guests from Chile and it is nice to see that you traveled all the way from South America to give us a try and more so because you liked us!
Even though or rooms are nice, clean and comfortable, it is fair to admit that the Bungalows have a special character, as you point out. That is why they are a bit preferred over the rooms by travelers and reasonably priced a bit higher. Just for the sake of precision, I’d like to say that we actually have 20 Bungalows and yes, 30 rooms.
The animal refuge has been a project that started some 20 years ago and is ran by one of the partners here who has a passion for animals and conservation. Thanks for pointing that out. We are also glad that your children enjoyed the "Posadas," which is a Christian, Mexican tradition a few centuries old. The recreation of the procession of Joseph and Mary looking for room for Mary to give birth to Jesus Christ. A very nice holiday tradition even for children of different religious backgrounds.

Once again thank you for your visit and for taking your valuable time to write a review for us.
We hope your fun, happy memories of your time with us last a long, long time.

Kind Regards

I.F.
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Additional Information about Petit Lafitte

Address: Carretera Cancun - Chetumal km 296 + 2.1 | Xcalacoco, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Petit Lafitte 3*
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Also Known As:
Petit Lafitte Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Petit Lafitte Playa Del Carmen
Petit Lafitte Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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