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“Perfect week, strange departure.”

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Sandos Playacar Beach Resort
Ranked #64 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Orange County, CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Perfect week, strange departure.”
Reviewed October 20, 2012

My husband & I booked October 13 - 20, 2012 and just returned today. We've stayed at the Moon Palace over Christmas a few years ago, and while October is the slow season, Sandos was a far better value, less than half the cost. I booked our flight, hotel and airport transportation through Travelocity in May. The flights were perfect, on time with no lost luggage. We used Olympus for the transport and highly recommend them. Check in was fast and we were offered drinks while we waited. There is the obligatory "vacation club" sales pitch, which initially we thought about attending, but decided against it as we work hard and value time over saving money so I can't speak to the possible benefits of the Elite membership. We had a junior suite in the adults only section, room 9337. It's a 3rd floor room facing the jungle. The only downside was the elevator was not operational the entire time we were there. While it wasn't a problem for us, anyone with physical limitations may not feel the same. The room was good sized, with a hard bed as many others have pointed out but we actually slept great and didn't find it uncomfortable at all. The shower had great water pressure and plenty of hot water, even after filling the jacuzzi tub. Our room was always cleaned perfectly, and while I didn't book a "romance package" we did have a fruit plate, bottle of champagne and a bubble bath with flowers as a nice surprise. We didn't have our mini bar (which includes only water, soda and beer btw, no liquor) refilled so we did have to call for refills almost every day. One day we asked for a pot of brewed coffee and bottled water but got only the coffee packets and an explanation that "water wasn't their job". Confusing as housekeeping said it wasn't theirs either. The buffet was great, fresh, lots of choices and always an open table. The omelette station was a favorite. We ate at the steak restaurant and if you like a good rare steak, the filet is the way to go. Reservations were easy and readily available. We ate at the asian and mediterranean and honestly would not recommend them. We used the gym and the equipment was great, never a wait to use anything, particularly in the early am. We only used the pool in the adult section and it was perfect; clean, warm, plenty of loungers and great wait staff and bar personnel. Strong drinks and super friendly staff. The beach is AMAZING!! Again, an adults only section with lots of loungers, shade and wait staff. The water was calm, warm and so relaxing. There is construction but it had little to no impact on our stay. There's so much wild life wandering the grounds and the coatis are hilarious beggars. There is an emphasis on Eco friendly practices and while they do discourage feeding or touching the animals it was hard not to hand feed a little banana when a coati is hanging on your leg ;). The grounds are maintained constantly and the staff goes out of their way to say hola and smile. They really are what makes Sandos a place we will put on our list of places we will return to. We went to 5th a few times and just pack your "no, gracias" and keep walking. It's only annoying if you want it to be. Great shops, boutique hotels and restaurants. Highly recommend "The Blue Lobster" at 5th & 12th. We did one tour, through Blue Caribe, and Maria was awesome. Snorkeled a cenote and Akumal, or turtle bay. Lots of turtles, rays, barracuda. Very professional and informational, she was great and the price was very reasonable. All in all a great trip with the exception of our check out, which turned weird and confusing. We had a very early flight and had a 3:20 am pick up. We scheduled a bag pick up, but no one came and the # for the bell desk rang busy. We brought our bags down ourselves (again, no working elevator) and were told by the concierge that "they sent a letter to our room on the 17th advising there was a problem with the payment". We received no such letter. He asked us to leave a credit card "until it was sorted out". Now, we booked through Travelocity and our credit card was charged the entire trip amount, including the hotel. I refused to leave a card as any payment issue was between the hotel, Travelocity and/or any third party. It took a half an hour of back and forth, with me emailing my paid email receipt three times. Finally, I gave him my cell # and told the, to call or email if it wasn't resolved. That's a first, and hopefully a last, experience with something that strange. Nonetheless, we will definitely go back to Playa del Carmen, and possibly Sandos although we like to try different resorts when we return anywhere. I would recommend Sandos for so many reasons and hope they get their payment/check out issues resolved in the future.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank namaste1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandos_Playacar, General Manager at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 21, 2012
Dear Guest.

I would like to thank you for taking your time to share your experience with our readers.

We are glad to here you had a great time at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa and take home a wonderful experience.
We apology's for the minor inconveniences you may of had. Please be sure we will take them in consideration to better our Guest Satisfaction.

We hope you would like to honor us once more with your visit, thus giving us the chance to demonstrate that our commitment towards your satisfaction goes beyond mere words. We'll do our maximum effort not only to accomplish, but exceed your expectations.

Warm regards.

Rubén M. Sánchez
Director Hotel
Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa
director.playacar@sandos.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Edmond, OK
Level Contributor
111 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2012 via mobile

We went to Sandos Playacar this time because we had a large group with varying ages. We usually go to adults only places (Secrets Maroma, Royal Hideaway) so I was a little nervous but it was really fine. The food was average but the drinks were strong. Good coffee and snack items also. We stayed in the Riviera section which was about a 6 min walk to the ocean. It wasn't bad using the stroller and there were lizards, coati, etc. to look at on the way. I liked the section we stayed in because it had a much quieter pool with a separate paddling pool that was nice and warm for the kiddos. Our room was really nice with new furnishings, etc. The fridge was always restocked and they gave us a lot of bottled water. It was pretty quiet too. The nightly entertainment was actually not too cheesy. They had a Disney show and a Michael Jackson one too. They have a kids club that my 3 y/o went to about 3 times but I don't think I would leave a kid younger than 3 there just because I am super paranoid about the little ones not being able to tell you what went on. In the evenings they had face painting for the kiddos also. We really did have a good time. My Mom and her siblings went on the free organized bike rides each day and we all did the water aerobics in the pool and ocean. I think the best part of all was the customer service. Everyone was super friendly and nice to us but also to my son. We had a great visit. Special thanks to Tommaso in guest services at Frankly at the Riviera pool bar.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank worleygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belize
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Thank you Trip Advisor! All of the reviews helped me choose this resort and was perfect for me. Riviera Suites were great, loved the location, easy to get to meeting place and other restaurants. Don't try to use Debit cards! That embarrassed me that I had to go jump into a taxi and find an ATM. They need to let people know this. Beds are hard but best my back has ever felt!!! French restaurant my favorite and service was spectacular. Activities were many and very fun. Will try to get back soon...real soon! Felt like a princess.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BelizeLinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandos_Playacar, General Manager at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 21, 2012
Dear Guest.

Thank you for taking your time to share your experience with our readers.
I'm sure your comments will help other viewers and take in consideration.

We hope you honor us with your next visit and enjoy some of our new renovated facilities and make your
vacations even better.

Please let us know if theirs anything we can do for you before arrival.

Warm regards.

Rubén M. Sánchez
Director Hotel
Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa
director.playacar@sandos.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2012

Second time that I have been to this Hotel! Just like in Paradise!!
People are friendly all the time and helping and caring so much about guest.
Food and Drinks are delicious and freshly made!
Big thank you als to Animation Team, the make very good Job. Especially Jahaziel is the best Animation Guy and an exzellent Host! Everytime he is Smiling and making Fun with the guest!! Thanks so much for an amazing Holiday!!

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Valeriasun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munsterbilzen
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2012

We stayed in a Riviera junior suite select class, for 12 nights. We are very statisfied about our stay. The people are very nice and friendly. The room was spacious with a jacuzzi, every morning nicely cleaned. The select class is highly recommendable. The pool of the adult selection is the best one of the hotel with a poolbar, Carlos the bartender makes the best cocktails and is superfriendly. If you're too lazy to go to the bar there is one person who brings around drinks constantly, I forgot his name. You never get bored around the pool, Leonel (the entertainer) is always trying to amuse you, thanks for that Leonel, you're the best.
Tips: the a la carte restaurants provide different styles of food with the Asian as our favourite and you should book a romantic diner on the beach, Roberto gives you the best service. He also makes nice pictures.

Ruth & Ward

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ward E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
springtown
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2012 via mobile

We stayed the week after Labor Day and I cannot say enough good things. We were in the Rivera section which was next to lobby. Great location for husband who has walking difficulties as we could walk a very short distance and were on the shuttle which took us back and forth to the common area. It was so quite in this section which has its own pool and buffet/bar. Room was nice and spacious.

The beach is unbelievably breath taking. Calm warm waters and sunny skies. The grounds were beautiful. There is a snack bar and bar on beach. They had buffets on the beach daily as well as music and activities.

The entertainment staff was awesome. They really tried to get people involved and had good participation rates. It was fun. These people work hard at it. You see them all day and thru the night.

Went to a couple of night shows which did not disappoint. A couple of nights we stayed and participated in the games after the shows. I got called on stage to play Deal or no Deal. I won a $250 trip to Xcarte for two. The next night husband played Minute to win it. Didn't win but was so fun.

Every bar tender was excellent and aimed to please. Drinks were GOOD.

The buffett restaurant never disappointed. We ate one night at the Brazilian restaurant. Its a must!

The service at this place from check in to check out was superb! No hassles. We took a private car from airport to hotel. We never encountered the time share people I hear so many complaining of on here. However, I did see a bus of people arriving and I think they were all being sucked into it.

We travel a bit and never return to same place just because we like to always see new places. But,,,, I don't know,,,, this is the first time we were so impressed, we're considering it. Maybe with kids and grandbabies? Very family friendly.

For the price this resort cannot be beat. It is in the process of being remolded and that is going to make it even better. Cheers!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Christy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
calgary
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2012

My family of 4 (kids aged 5 and 10) stayed for one week. The resort has excellent food at the buffet as there is such a huge variety along with different things added to the menu each night. The entertainment staff were excellent in making sure there is something to do for every age and were especially good with the kids. They were always ready to start a soccer match and had games set up for the kids and adults during the whole day.

I would skip the dinner bookings at the other restaurants (we went to the Asiana and Mediterranean). These were mediocre at best as the items tasted like they were out of a can. I think the items were probably prepared from a premixed canned sauce.

We also got suckered into what was presented originally to us as a information session on the amenities available at the hotel but turned out to be a couple hour sale on "weekly stay plan" - don't call it time share by the way. This also turned in my biggest grief as I was given a 30%discount coupon to their massage parlour which was a money grab. I did get one massage done but didn't think it was worth my time or money to go for more. During my checkout they tried to charge for other massages I had listed I'd like to try but didn't get done. I requested to talk to a manager but they didn't come forward and I was left to argue it out for half and hour during my check out. The whole run around left me not wanting to return due to the money grab on your way out.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank gillcalgary
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:
#35 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#44 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#45 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#49 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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