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“No watered down drinks here!!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandos Playacar Beach Resort

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Sandos Playacar Beach Resort
Ranked #59 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“No watered down drinks here!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2011

First of all I would like to say that I have been to many all- inclusives in Mexico and Cuba and I can definetly say that this is the ONLY one that I would recommend to my friends and family. As you read other reviews you will see that the negative comments are usually about check- in which I definetly disregard as I think there are other more important things. I think your treatment by the staff could be a reflection of how you treat them. I had absolutely no problem checking- in, and sure there were some saff that were more serious than others but no rude staff at all.

Great things about Sandos:

- the DRINKS are generously fortified with booze, they do not hold back on alcohol for your drinks like other resorts do, the Mojito will make your relax wonders! Sure, probably not the best quality booze, but decent enough

-CLEANLINESS, i read in one of the reviews before I went that wherever you look there is someone cleaning. Very true, this resort is very clean, well maintained and wherever you look there are people sweaping, picking up garbage, wiping, you name it!

-FOOD: great quality for an all-inclusive. There is good variety and mostly everything is good. If you want gourmet or Michelin star restaurants you should not be going to an all-inclusive. There is constant food turnover, there is always staff cleaning the buffet and cleaning up spilled stuff and changing serving spoons. I stayed fo 14 days with my mom and sister and we did not get sick (very important!)

- SERVICE: sure some staff were friendlier than others, but absolutely nobody was rude. There is always a manager overseeing their service. One thing that I find nice is that there are hostess to seat you down at the buffet, I think is nice to have someone to direct you to a clean table instead of you having to go walking around. Everyone greets you when they walk by you and most of all (this is for the ladies) the male workers were respectful towards women (I have stayed at places in Mexico where male staff were flirty beyond boundaries, not pleasant).

- ANIMALS!!!! the best part! The resort is so nicely landscaped and so green that you will see a variety of animals. There are small capybaras, Coatis (from raccoon family),and even Monkeys!

-GYM- beautiful, large, equipped with new machines, if you like to workout, it is worth bringing you gear.

-SPA- here is where the jacuzzis are. On contrary to other hotels, there are no jacuzzis by the pools, so you have to come here. It is a relaxation area, so you can truly enjoy a whirlpool massage without screaming children and drunk people around. There is also a steam room. I think not many people know about the SPA because is not very busy. You can go for free to enjoy the jacuzzi, no minors allowed.

- ROOMS; the room I stayed was in one of the buildings by the beach, would definetly choose those ones again. The room was great, ok decor, the bathrooms were very modern. Everything worked fine, but this was not the focus of my vacation so for me was good enough, clean, with a good bed.

- The bathrooms throughout the resort are clean and very modern! there are staff checking it every 30 min.

- ECO friendly. The resort is commited to being an eco resort. The plastic cups are reusable, they avoid giving out straws to reduce waste. And there are recycling bins all over the resort (paper, plastic, aluminum)

-Live shows and animation; There are bands playing at the plaza almost every night very nice! I liked that the animation staff are not pushy they invite you to play stuff and when you say no they leave you alone.Frenquetly there are mariachis singing around the hotel and they don't pressure you for tips or to buy CDs.

This is a pretty organized resort.It seems like they actually care about the well being of the guests. There are paper plates and all the things you need to cary food out of the restaurant. Everything works. Sure maybe the stores open a bit later than they say, but you need to remember that this is Mexico and it is part of the culture to be late and a bit disorganized. If you want to be treated exactly like you are at home (wherever there is), then stay home.

Some things that I didn't like so much (nothing major):

- the reservation restaurants. The Brazilian BBQ (fogo de Janeiro): I am from Brazil and what they serve there doesn't resemble brazilian bbq by anything except for the presentation, the meat was really bad. Asiana: good for someone that is not familiar at all with this type of food. I actually thought the sushi was the only thing that was good. I know that this is a very personal choice so it is good to go for a change. El Gaucho (steak house) was good, but order your steak one level less than you would like (i.e: you like medium order rare), mine was so done that I had a hard time swallowing. In summary: the service is very slow, and the food not worth the wait. It amazed me the amount of plates going back untouched to the kitchen at Asiana, wouldn't the chef suspect that something needs to be changed? Gourmet food definetly not their forte. Nice for a change of scene but keep your expectations low.

- BIRDS at the beach- this is something that bothered me, people feed the seagulls french fries all the time. I think as an eco hotel ther should be a huge sign at the beach for people to not feed that crap to the birds, it is not bird food ! they gather above others and poop all over the place (this happens all the time). There should be a bit more focus on how guests treat animals. I saw a man chasing an iguana and a child trowing rocks at a coati, maybe a bit more investment in educating ignorant guests. There are some signs but maybe not enough.

-Smokers; Oh boy! There are a looooot of smokers at this hotel. I think there could be sections outside as well for smokers and non smokers as a non smoker trying to relax at the beach surrounded by people blowing smoke on my face is not pleasant. It could be half for smokers and half for non smokers. Same for the plaza.

- HAVING to save a chair; i actually didn't mind having to be up at 7 to put my stuff at the beach because that actually pushed me to go enjoy the beach earlier, but if you don't get a spot early, you are left without shade, there are still plenty of chairs but no shade left. So if you like shade, no sleeping in for you.

Hopefuly this review will help you decide, but I think Sandos is a great quality hotel for your buck. You need to remember that you get what you pay.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank curiousbugVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Hayward, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2011

I was in Playa 15 years ago and loved the sleepy little village. Today it is a huge behemoth of resorts that sadly disappointed one who wanted the peace and beauty of the solitary beach. We first arrived to a receptionist (Lana) who talked on the phone the whole check-in and was rather dismissive (no worries we got used to it). Okay, I said the staff was excellent, but this rating is relegated to the housekeeping, wait staff, grounds crew--basically the folks who were Mexican. The upper echelon staff; reception, guest services were buffoons who looked for ways to get rid of your questions without actually answering the question. We needed to get a coupon and schedule a ride back to the airport for our stay and they sent us first to the lobby and then to the meeting place and here were told that they had gone home for the day. Had to go back the next day and still didn't get our question answered even when we left and came back half an hour later. I have to say that amongst these Joaquin and Max were the best and most helpful.

We were "banded" with a blue band which meant that we were common guests. Yellow means you are select and black means you are preferred. All this seemed to perpetuate the notion that you should be sneered at if you greet anyone. To elaborate, there are three kinds of guests you would come across if you even tried to smile in their direction; women who looked like they bit a sour grape (50% possibility), people who looked away because they were avoiding the people with the sour grape look (35% possibility), and the staff who tried to greet everyone nicely (15% possibility). I felt sorry for the staff who were treated the worst of all by the sour grape eaters.

i don't usually pay attention to this kind of behavior, but it was so prevalent that it is difficult to miss. Even the sales staff admitted to having to remind people that they were on vacation and to stop looking so angry.

The place is visually beautiful, but the underlying stress made me wish I was at home.

I miss the old Playa...

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Coffae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Meridian, Idaho
Level Contributor
36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2011

I rely heavily on TA reviews when I choose my hotel, so I hope this review is helpful for those who are thinking of staying at Sandos Playacar.

My stay was from May 6-13th on a very great deal from a travel website. This was my second stay in the PDC area at an all inclusive. My other experience was at the Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya, so that is what I have to compare this trip to.

Grounds etc:
Grounds were very pretty and well maintained. There was never trash lying around or old food service trays in the hallways. I even noticed somebody painstakingly scrubbing the pools tiles one morning. I read a lot of varied reports before our trip on exactly how far the Riviera section was to the beach-anywhere from 5 minutes to 20, so here is an exact number: The Riviera section (newer section) lobby was a 12 minute walk from the meeting point (old Beach section)- that included a couple minutes stopping to watch the monkey family that lives in the trees between the last Hacienda building and the first Riviera building. My husband counted 630 steps exactly (he is 6'7" so take that into consideration).
There are many iguana, coati, those weird large rat things, and monkeys living in the resort. Very cool!

Room:
We stayed in the 1000 room building with a partial ocean view on the top (4th) floor, room 1440 to be exact. Our a/c worked great-bring an old library card etc to stick in the censor so you’re a/c doesn't shut off when you leave the room. We kept the room at a consistent 20 C when we were in the room and when we left would raise the temp as to not waste energy.
I had heard many complaints about the bed, so I was pleasantly surprised. I did not find it too hard and in fact slept great. I also appreciated the nice fluffy pillows, versus the "pancake" pillows you can sometimes find. Our king bed came with 4 pillows, for those who sometimes take extras.
The bathroom looked updated, although we were in one of the "old" rooms. Nice vessel sink, large shower with a huge seat for shaving. Also, there was a blow dryer (really weak-I had to use my own) and a large makeup mirror. The shower had body wash and a shampoo/conditioner blend attached to the wall. There was also a lotion dispenser attached to the wall near the sink. Lotion and body wash smelled very masculine, but nice. Shampoo/conditioner mix smelled terrible-like a de-lousing shampoo.
Very large closet with 10 hangers or so, with iron and ironing board, plus a large safe big enough for our laptop with plenty of room to spare. They also offer dry cleaning-I think a shirt was $4.
TIP: The only outlet (other than the standard two outlet one in the bathroom) was on the left hand bedside table-and it was a single plug used for the alarm clock. We found ourselves every day wishing we had brought a power strip to we could plug in more than 2 things at night without having to unplug the clock. Definitely bring a cheapy power strip.
Our room had a balcony with a small table and two chairs. Every room also had a rack attached to the wall to hang wet swimsuits on-great idea.
Our t.v. was an old style box t.v. with quite a few channels (30?). There were several in English, and some that were sometimes English, sometimes Spanish (MTV). There was a coffee pot and mini fridge with beers, sodas, and waters.

Beach:
This, for me, was the shining star of the resort. This beach was the best I have been to so far (other than Tulum, but hey, that’s hard to beat). The waves were gentle, the sand was soft, and rocks…what rocks? There were none, just a sandy sea floor for miles! There was very little seaweed and the water was crystal clear. Fabulous fantastic beach! Very wide and south of the resort was deserted beach (no resorts) and apparently you can walk for miles. (I hurt my foot the first day, so I didn't get to do this).
There are two main areas to the beach that have palapas-the Select Club area, and the "regular" area. The regular area has a smoothie bar, and a regular bar. No drink service, but the bar was close by. I noticed the towel game pretty fierce, but we upgraded to Select Club, (more on that later) so I do not have any first hand experience with this.
They also offer kite boarding lessons (I think they were several hundred dollars and from what my husband said, seemed very intensive and thorough). They also offer catamarans to take out, but you have to take a lesson first-the lesson was $40. My husband did this and then took me out on the ocean. Not fun for me-I hate getting splashed with water in the face-but my husband thought it was a blast. After you take the lesson, you just need to schedule a time to take it out. You can do so for free and as many times as you want, but they will only give you a 1 hr blocks of time.

The Select Club:
Sandos offers an upgrade to the "Select Club" which gives you extra perks. We had gotten such a good deal on the resort that we decided to go ahead and do this.

The Select Club Perks:
Access to the Select Club/Elite bar and lounge in the meeting point. There are two computers here with internet access and 2 TVs. There is also a small bar with a private bartender that makes by far the best drinks in the resort. It is air conditioned and very relaxing. They make the best frapuccinos here!
Access to the private roped off beach area. I never, even on the weekends, had to worry about a palapa-even at peak times.
Drink service in the select club beach- I felt so spoiled.
Access to the Elite pool-very small with beds. No real shade (except the slats above the bed) so I never used this.
Priority in ala carte restaurants. Instead of only getting 3 dinners for our 7 days, we were given 5. We tried the Steakhouse, Mediterranean, Asian, Brazilian, and French. The Mexican was closed for the week, as was the Italian Buffet.
Slipper and robes in the room.
Fruit basket in the room.
A bottle of red wine, Bacardi, Vodka, and Tequila in the room.
A "special" room service menu (wasn't very different than the regular, but there were a few differences).
Supposed access to a private beach bathroom and dressing room. I never saw this or was able to find this. I did ask a couple other guests and they didn't know where this was either.
Supposed late check out-We called the night before our departure (flight didn't leave until 5pm). We were told late check out was not possible, but they would hold our luggage in the lobby until we left.
Access to reserved area in the Riviera pool. Again, just like the small private pool in the Beach section, there were no palapas, just beds which only offered partial shade from the slats above the bed, so we did not use these.
The cost to upgrade to select was $22/pp per night. I thought overall it was worth it just for the reserved area on the beach. The other perks I could have gone without, except maybe the lounge in the meeting point-that was nice.

Pools:
The main pool was just what the reviews had me expecting: loud with lots of kids. There was a shallow (like 6 inch) deep section for kids, then two other deeper areas (4.5 feet?). One area had a section for water polo and games. They had games throughout the day. Lots of covered areas and plenty of chairs. Our balcony overlooked the pool and I noticed still plenty of chairs at 0800. Too loud for me, but it would be great for those with children-a lot of kids to play with. No swim up bar here. There is also a great bar and buffet just steps away. Grab a paper plate and eat poolside.
The Riviera pools were much quieter. The large pool had a swim up bar at one end and the above mentioned select club area. No problem getting a shaded palapa here. They also around lunch time brought over a cart with hamburgers and hot dogs.
There was also another small pool outside the other Riviera building. It was the so-called adult's only pool. I saw several kids here though, LOL. There is a little buffet here. Limited selection of food but convenient not to have to walk all the way to the Beach section.

Food:
Food was....sorry to say...pretty bad at the buffets. Like, pretty dang bad. For example, all the breads were so dry they crumbled in your mouth. Omelet station omelets are made from an omelet mixture (water, eggs, and milk), not eggs. The syrup for pancakes seemed to have water added to it, guacamole is just mashed avocados, with no spices added. The fries were very good, though, as were the fresh fruits. They have ice cream in the buffet by the main beach area pool as well as the main buffet at the meeting point. It has the consistency of more of an ice milk than the American soft serve I am used to. It was still very refreshing during the hot day.
I had heard the Riviera side breakfast buffet was better than the main buffet. We tried going to it twice, but both times it was closed and we were re-directed to the outside tiny buffet by the adult's only pool.
All I have to compare the food to is my one other AI (Valentin) and my Norwegian cruise line cruise. I would have to say the buffet's food ranks below Norwegian.
I was looking forward to the Italian Buffet-I had heard it was great-but it was closed the entire week we were there. The Guest Services gal told me that this time of year they always close down one buffet. :(
The ala carte's food is pretty good. We tried them all (except the Mexican-that was closed for the week too). They were above average. And the service at the ala carte's is exceptional!
The French restaurant has a great atmosphere, but a lot of the meats were uncooked-just not our taste. The steak restaurant was pretty good, meat was not the best quality. I ordered my steak medium well and it came out raw. As in, still purple and cold on the inside. I asked for it to be cooked longer and it came back with a hot pink center-just perfect. The waiter made sure to have me cut into it before he left to make sure I was satisfied-great service. And all of our steaks were HUGE, absolutely massive. I won't go on about every restaurant, but for the most part the ala cartes were average to above average.

Service/employees:
I thought the restaurant and bar employees were fantastic. Always willing to do whatever it took to make you happy. One lady brought us pina coladas, even though only beer and champagne is available at the buffet. Housekeeping did a great job, making up our room twice a day, and leaving chocolates on the bed at night. Great beach side waiters. Friendly grounds crew. Just fabulous people.
Only concern I had was the young kid (early 20s) with a mohawk type hair cut who was working the rec room-where the pool tables and ping pong tables are. Every day we went in there, he was just sitting at the table playing video games. Was not helping anyone or offering assistance. He was glued to the video game. We had to ask for the ping pong ball and interrupt his sweet game playing skills. He made us feel a little like a nuisance. It just seemed unprofessional that an employee was taking part in the guest's activity center while he was supposedly working. Other than that, I thought the service was flawless.

Summary:
Sorry so long. Overall, I thought we got a fabulous deal at a pretty good resort. The food was the only major let down. Would I return? Yes, if I had kids. We don't have any yet, so unless I find another screaming deal, we will stick to adults only. Also, I like smaller resorts. However, the beach was amazing, so let's never say never. 

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
22 Thank NurseLovesVacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sussexwasp
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2011

Just returned this morning following a week there.
Went this time last year too and it was every bit as good. Staff, food, basically everything in and around the resort areas is excellent. I will go for a third time. Food highlights. Le Gourmet and El Gaucho. Both are on a par with each other in terms of the quality and service.
Eight in our party and they all liked the resort.
Great golf course next door too if you're into it.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ralph C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2011

Me and my family went here for two weeks. I am fourteen years old, and I have two younger brothers. We stayed here from December 11th to the 25th. I must admit that it was torture leaving the resort after acquiring so many wonderful memories, especially on Christmas. I cannot wait for the next Christmas season to begin. Anyways, here is my opinion on the resort. We usually stay at 4-5 star resorts, mainly family-friendly ones. Upon arrival, on Saturday, we were quickly located by our Best Day representative after our flight with WestJet. We were placed in two Riviera suites, one for me and my mother, and one for my father and two brothers. I must say that the rooms were very hospitable, with modern accents and touches, and an excellent ensuite bathroom with a deluxe shower and jetted tub, and plasma TV (not in HD, however) WARNING: do not push the jet button without the water running! My brothers did just this, and they started gushing with no relent, flooding their room. It was quite funny for me and my mother to return from the beach party and hear about this. Speaking of the beach party, there is one that takes place every Saturday, featuring a hired DJ playing excellent house music, an upbeat club-like atmosphere, and a show with professional fire dancers. On the first Saturday when we arrived, it took place on the beach, but on the second Saturday, this did not happen and it took place in the dancing area. Anyways, the Riviera rooms were pleasant, but they are located in the newer section that extends farther from the beach. My family prefers to be in the central area near the commotion and beach, and Juan at the front desk was wonderful, moving us to a Double Standard Garden View room (the rooms right by the beach) the next morning. We stayed in the 1101 block, with a view of the gardens and the neighbouring Iberostar resort.These rooms are slightly older, lacking the touches such as the plasma TV of the Riviera room, but they were indeed very adorable, and they are decorated in a sky blue-yellow oceanic theme.
FOOD:
The food was fantastic, and we mainly frequented the Festival buffet. The Festival buffet had mainly the same items daily, but there was a fair variety, with a special table with Mexican delicacies. The Iztapalapa buffet was our choice during the day time for lunch, and this one had a dominant selection of various meats and salads. There are several a la carte restaurants situated there. The Asiana restaurant was a fairly decent experience, although service was a bit sluggish, although the restaurant was fairly depopulated. The "El Gaucho" steakhouse was not my favorite, as I found the steaks very bland and dry and courses plain. The "Il Piemonte" Italian buffet was elegantly decorated, but the selection was fairly limited, but the food was excellent and the desserts were wonderful. However, the Fogo de Janeiro Brazilian restaurant was my preferred experience, partially due to the fact that we dined there with our new friends, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. We also did not experience any stomach related problems (yes, you know what I mean).
BEACH:
The beach was gorgeous, with fine white sand. There seemed to occasionally be a shortage of palapas. There is a smoothie bar serving nutritious concoctions, although it looked a bit unsanitary. The glasses in which the beverages were served in, often water for me, often had a mild aftertaste of detergent inside. Anyways, the water was wonderful, although the first few days there were powerful waves, and there were a few blustery days with mild winds, and occasionally there seemed to be The Animacion staff kept you well entertained, with beach volleyball, soccer, etc. Mika and Felicity led the water aerobics activities, which my mother urged me to join. There is another bar offering drinks and hamburgers and French fries, as well as a soft-serve ice cream machine out in the back. There is a dive center offering snorkeling, diving and parasailing excursions, but my father found a man with a parasailing company walking along the beach, and we went parasailing for cheaper.
ENTERTAINMENT
When I was not on the beach, I was sometimes in the Game Room. It is a lively area, with pool tables, mega chess, air hockey, ping-pong, foosball, darts, and PS3, as well as Wii in the evenings. It is a sports themed area, and there is a bar located inside that also served alcoholic drinks (which I found to be strange, considering there was an excellent liquor-orientated bar right outside). It can get quite loud inside, and crowded. The Kids Club was okay, and my parents preferred to take my brothers to the beach, due to the fact that it is mainly a dark, but child-friendly room, and they often watched TV or made crafts. However, the leaders were wonderful, and my brother Viktor loved Vicky, as many other children did too. Some kids even tried to copy her signature hairstyle. The theatre shows in the evening were great, with many hired acts coming in, including Mayan culture dancers, but the highlight for all was the Michael Jackson impersonator Lev Jackson. There were often live interactive activities hosted by the staff, including games, and a "decades" themed show with the staff dressing up and lip-synching to songs from the decades. However, some of them were a bit racy for younger children. There were several themed nights, corresponding with the buffet's themed nights, and there is one night where vendors come in with various items and souvenirs to buy.
SERVICE:
The service was excellent, and the workers always smiled at you, and most of the time felt happy to help. We did not encounter any issues with time-share sellers, and they were not present during our stay. Tips were very much appreciated.
GROUNDS AND GENERAL:
The grounds were very neat, with workers often spotted trimming the grass. However, one or two days a man with an insecticide blowing machine went around the complex, spreading insecticide powder around, so it is recommended to go inside and shut the balcony door. It is also very loud, so you will know when it happens. During our vacation, halfway in we booked a tour to Chichen Itza and Valladolid, although the Chichen Itza experience was exhausting and left me with a headache due to the persistent and loud vendors everywhere. I read some recent reports complaining of rowdy drunks, but we did not encounter that, even though we stayed during a busy area. The resort was festively decorated for the Christmas season, with illuminated reindeer and moose decorations in unexpected areas, and there were Christmas lights everywhere, as well as a large Nativity in the meeting point (the closer lobby), as well as much more. Christmas Eve was very loud, with a contemporary band, and much dancing and Vicky shooting out confetti, and it was very upbeat and exciting. The Christmas Eve dinner was a universal event. You booked a table, and you were placed in a restaurant, all hosting the same courses, including lobster (although I don't like lobster) and many other things that were not found normally, and every thing was very fancy. Christmas Day was quite interesting. Santa Claus arrived on a jet ski, even though the kids were told he would be parachuting down. He ended up sitting in a big throne set up on the stage in the dancing/patio area, with throngs of children lining up to sit on his lap and receive a small gift bag. Unfortunately, we had to pack up and depart soon after that. A notice with instructions for check-out is sent to your door the night before, but most of you probably know that already.

CONCLUSION: the experience was wonderful, and my family will return this winter again. We are recommending it to friends. I was very sad when we left.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank djsandra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2011

good point:
big lobby.
well treated garden.
buffet has many choices.

bad point:
Push and push for sales activity.

very unfriendly reception staff.
at the reception the staff is unfriendly and talks
like machine-gun.
During sleeping (2 a.m.) We got telephone call
from the reception and we were requested to turn off TV volume.
We did not use TV, because we were deeply sleeping.
Why they do not come to check, which one is loud room?
It is easiest way for them to call every room and wake customers up,
but educated hotel staff would never ever do at 2 a.m.!!

You can book the restaurant once in 3 days.
You should go customer service desk for the reservation,
here again unfriendly staff told us, -all restaurant is
full-booked for 2 days. and 3rd day reservation can not be done now,
have to come next week.- complicated...

Hacienda Junior Suites is old room.
water was leaking in our room, and the floor was wet.
It is really not worth to what you pay.

No internet connection in a room.
you can buy ticket and surf in the lobby, but not stable.
often bad connection. 5$/30 min!! or 50$/1week


recommendation:
there are some good points, but bad points totally over beat them.
I had a bad experience and would never ever go back to this hotel.
There are many other hotels, go somewhere else. Not Sandos!
If you are going, do not join their sales activity and do not sign any contract.
Can not write detail, because tripadvisor does not accept 90 min presentation and
time-share topic here in hotel feedback.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank ldv777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ferron
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2011

the location etc is great. However the service is awful several of the employees rude and I got really tired of being lied to about hours for the shops, reservations etc. everything closes at 5:00 p.m. just as its cooling down and would be a great time to bike etc. but its all closed. The bike shop was closed apparently so the attendant could get in some tennis.
They seemed to switch name tags so it does no good to complain about anyone specifically.
They would not allow my daughter to get a late check out and while their luggage wasunder their care her cell phone was stolen, and this is all fenced in guards etc. so it had to be an employee or guest. We asked everyday for our safe in the room to be fixed but they brought an old one but no lock for it. I also got tired of the sales pressure to get a time share see their plans etc.

Room Tip: probably go elsewhere
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank hlemon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandos Playacar Beach Resort

Property: Sandos Playacar Beach Resort
Address: Paseo Xaman-Ha | Manzana 1, Lote 1 Fracc.Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#33 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#42 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#43 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#44 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#53 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandos Playacar Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 819
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa is an all-Inclusive hotel in Playa del Carmen with both family and adult sections. We are ideally located on a magnificent white sandy beach in the gated community of Playacar, within walking distance to downtown Playa and Fifth Avenue. Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa is located only forty-five minutes from the Cancun International Airport, and the pier serving ferries to Cozumel is a short distance from our property.Playacar is a private, master-planned community situated on the southern edge of downtown Playa del Carmen. Guests at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa enjoy this exclusive community’s impressive infrastructure, including an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Von Hagge, the Xaman-Ha Aviary, pristine biking paths, and Mayan ruins, accessible to the public for hiking.Riviera Maya is a protected region where many remaining artifacts from the fascinating Mayan civilization can be found. Surrounded by Mayan archeological zones, such as those at Tulum, Coba, and Chicen-Itza, this Playa del Carmen hotel successfully preserves a strong sense of Mayan culture onsite, adding an authentic feel and flavor to the vacation experience in Playacar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandos Playacar Beach Hotel
Hotel Sandos Playacar Beach
Beach Playacar Resort Sandos
Sandos Playacar Resort
Sandos Playa Del Carmen
Gala Resort Playacar
Sandos Gala Playacar
Sandos Playacar Mexico
Sandos Resort
Playacar Sandos

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