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Just back from Sandos Gala

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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68 posts
4 reviews
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Just back from Sandos Gala

Just got back from vacation at the Sandos Gala Playacar resort.

If you have any questions, I'd be glad to answer them.

Eagle, Colorado
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28 posts
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1. Re: Just back from Sandos Gala

I want to hear all about it! So many questions - where to begin? Did you use the kids club? What did you think of the ala carte restaurants? Did you tip the maids every day? How much and pesos or dollars? Was the water at the beach calm enough for little kiddos to play in? Did you go into town or try xel-ha? What were the highlights and low points of your trip?

Sorry I'm asking so much but I'm very anxious for our trip in June. We've got 2 girls ages 4 & 6 and I want them to have a good time.

Thanks!

Fort Wayne, Indiana
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68 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: Just back from Sandos Gala

Hi

My kids are older, so we didn't use the kids club, but we could see all the activities they did with the kids and they all seemed to be having a lot of fun. They really cater to the kids and I am sure your kids will love it there. It is very kid friendly.

The water can be pretty wavy at times. One day it was calm, but there were big waves the other days, but many kids still played in the water. It is very windy which is great though because then it doesn't seem quite as hot.

We did not do the ala carte restaurants, so I can't answer that. We just ate at the buffets and went into Playa del Carmen a couple times for dinner. The food was not as bad as many people say. There is plenty of good selection each day/night.

We did tip the maid a couple US dollars each day, but I don't think it made a difference either way. If you don't, I think you would still get the same service.

Low point - we had ants in our room a couple of nights. We called the front desk and they had a maid spray OFF. It wasn't that big of a deal really. It is the tropics after all.

We went to Zel-Ha. It was a huge park. My kids loved the snorkeling. I don't know how well the really small kids would do there since a lot of the park is mainly snorkeling. There are plenty of other things also, but someone with small kids might be a better source for you on that one.

There is a small shopping center about a five minute walk from our resort with some shops. Playa del Carmen was about a half hour walk for adults or a 5 minute cab ride. It costs $5 dollars for the cab one way. Playa has a ton of shops and it is worth going there. Lots of restaurants also.

You will really love this resort. I posted a review but it won't be on here for a couple of days.

Have a great time and if you have any other questions, just ask.

Eagle, Colorado
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28 posts
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3. Re: Just back from Sandos Gala

Lorgirl,

I'm so glad to have read your post! Finally someone who doesn't think the food was horrendous, it's a relief. I can handle a few ants, are those the only bothersome bugs you found? I wasnt sure if mosquitos (sp?) were a problem or not.

did you have any favorite restaurants in PDC? My hubby is a big seafood eater (I'm not so much) and I doubt there would be much in the buffets.

Did you have problems getting chairs in the shade by the pool or on the beach? I'm not an early riser but we'll probably want to get out before it gets too hot anyway.

I'm not sure we'll go to Xel-ha with our girls being so young but I'm always looking for info from people who may have brought little ones there. It sound like an amazing place.

How was the transfer from the airport? Is it a long trip? My package includes transportation to and from but I'm not sure if we'll be making stops at every hotel along the way.

Any suggestion on things we don't want to miss or should try to avoid?

Fort Wayne, Indiana
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68 posts
4 reviews
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4. Re: Just back from Sandos Gala

I did write a review and it hasn't been posted yet. I wrote in there about the palapas (shaded areas on the beach). My first day I got up at 7:30 to put towels down to reserve a palapa and they were ALL taken at that time. So, from then on, I never went down past 7:00 a.m. It does suck to get up so early, but to be honest, once you are up, it is very nice to start enjoying the day so early. There are a lot of people up and around at that time.

We did not have seafood in PDC, but there were restaurants that served seafood. I think there was seafood (crab legs) one night at the buffet.

The transfer from the airport to the hotel took about an hour because traffic was heavy. We were the first stop. But on the way home, we had to be picked up by 8:00 am and stopped at about four other places. It took an hour and a half to get to the airport. Our plane didn't leave until noon. It was a LONG day.

I did see a large cockroach type thing in my room also during the day, but I just killed it. No big deal.

We took insulated mugs for drinks on the beach. It helped keep things cold. It is even good for water/ice water.

No one in my family had any intestinal issues on the trip either.

Ohio
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87 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: Just back from Sandos Gala

I can comment on the ala carte restaurants. We were at the Gala last week. We ate at the Mexican and Italian restaurants, and we thought both were great. They each have a self-serve appetizer buffet which was nice. In my opinion, the buffet for dinner was not very good and I would much rather eat in an ala carte for dinner every night. There was a good selection though, so you'll find something in the buffet if that's what you choose. You can make all of your dinner reservations when you arrive at the concierge desk. There's no limit to the number of nights you dine ala carte. They have some menu's at the concierge desk for you to look at and help make your decisions. Have fun!

Erie, Pennsylvania
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24 posts
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6. Re: Just back from Sandos Gala

We were at the Gala from the 6th-12. We absolutely loved it. Great service, clean room, (no bugs), very friendly staff. I, agree, that the food in the restaurants are probably better than the buffets, but it's much easier to just eat whenever you feel like it. Make sure you reserve the first night there, as the restaurants are very small and book up fast. The beach was the best you will see. Pristine, beautiful. The waves could be very high some days. We did the Dolphin Encounter, my kids, 18, 16, 12 & 10 loved it!, the ATV Jungle Tour and the Mayan River Snorkeling Tour. All three were great. Every night we took the taxi into 5th Avenue for shopping and fun. We ate at Carlos Charlies, Senior Frogs, and Johnny Rockets Burgers. We tipped the maid a few times and the service was great. We stayed in Building Two, Rooms 2239 & 2240. No view, but that's okay, we were exhausted at night and couldn't even stay up for the adult shows at 9:30. My kids did not participate in the kids club, but they had fun games and the counselors were great at the pool with everyone. Always something going on! Have Fun!

colorado
13 posts
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7. Re: Just back from Sandos Gala

I was there with my 7 year old daughter the last week of March. We had a great time. She kept telling me it was the "best" vacation she has ever had!! She didn't do kids club but she did join in on a lot of the kids activities at the pool and beach. She REALLY enjoyed the kids disco each night. I had to make her take a cat nap every day around 5 for an hour so she could stay up for it. Otherwise, she fell asleep at dinner. We went to Xel Ha with another family we met there. They had two girls (5 and 8) We had a great day with the kids. Honestly we didn't snorkel that much but they really enjoyed the walk up to the river tubes (we spent a couple of hours exploring along the way, swimming in different places, etc and then coming down on the tubes). Food at the Gala was not great but definitely edible. My daughter loved it - she could get pasta at every meal, breakfast buffet was fine. I got tired of fighting my way through the buffet line in the evening so the ala carte restaurants gave me a break from that. We went into town for Dinner one night and ate at Media Luna. It was fabulous and I thought very reasonable.

Best suggestion I got before we went was to bring covered insulated mugs for the beach.

My daughter and I spent a lot of time swimming together in the ocean. We did some boogie boarding and just played in the waves.

Pottery painting by the pool (you pay extra for that) was good. They "touch up" your pieces so they really come out looking nice. It was good way to take a little break from the sun.

Came home really relaxed. I am a single mom so was alone with my daughter but we found a good mix of together time and time for her to play with LOTS of other kids.

colorado
13 posts
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8. Re: Just back from Sandos Gala

one other thing on the transfer from the airport: I had that included in our package but ended up booking separate transportation through Cancun Valet. That was a really good decision. They quickly whisked us out of the craziness of the airport and got us directly to our hotel. We were in charge of our pick up time vs. having to go at the scheduled time. I talked to people who had 5pm flights but had to get picked up at noon to go to the airport because they weren't in control of the pick up time. Very reliable, and low hassle.

Jerzee
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336 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: Just back from Sandos Gala

This is my 2nd trip there. I have booked the 1 bedroom Oceanfront Suite. It states in the description VIP Treatment- Does this mean Royal Club Privileges?

As in Private Beach area, A/C Lounge for drinks?

We have stayed at the Gala before, so we are familair with the property but wanted to go Royal Club when we returned. But apparently all the Royal Club rooms only accomadate 2 pp. We are going with 6 Total 2 Adults 2 4 Teens, 16, 18, 18, 19. (My children and 2 of there friends)

The descriptions of Royal Club Rooms & Oceanfront both say "VIP Treatment" = Royal Club, I dunno?

So if anyone has stayed in this 1 Bedroom Oceanfront what was your experience with this?

Also they say Oceanfront, do these rooms provide a good view of the Ocean?

We had to book 2 rooms 1 Oceanfront Suite 1 Bedroom and 1 ROH suite because they accomadate 3 adults and all my children/friends are between ages 16-19 are considered Adults.

Also If as I assume Me my husband and my 1 daughter will be staying in the Oceanfront 1 bedroom with Royal Privileges, Im HOPING we can just purchase 3 wristbands (Royal Club) for my additional 3 children, or they wont be able to sit on the same area of beach by me! that would stick!

I tried booking them also an Oceanfront Royal Club room but TA said 2 pp Max, but when calling Hotel they informed me they do have Double bed Royal Club Rooms?, but apparently they arent released to the Travel Agencies? very strange..any insight on 1 Bdrm Oceanfront Suite room description and does this room w/ Royal Club would be helpful. Thank you

pittsburgh
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305 posts
3 reviews
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10. Re: Just back from Sandos Gala

How is this resort for teenagers. We are looking into booking and have two teenage boys, ages 14 and 16. Do they have a teen disco???