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“I loved this hotel!” 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
Sudbury, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“I loved this hotel!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2013

I have been to many hotels in the Carribean and Mexico and I thought this hotel was really nice if you look at everything it has. Beautiful beach, friendly staff, good food, close to Playa del Carmen, great classes, fun activites, good shows and a new beautiful cafe. The only negative was that there were not enough computers in the lobby area. They were taken by children most of the time. Otherwise; thumbs up!!! I want to go back already! :-)

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Marie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11,949 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Green Bay, WI
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2013

We had a group of 25 meet here from Canada and the US for my son & his fiance's wedding. The wedding portion of the trip was lovely as was meeting all their friends and her family. The resort definitely needs to make some serious improvements. The food was very inconsistent and for the most part horrible. The wedding dinner was at El Gaucho steakhouse and my steak was so overdone/tough I could hardly cut. They saw my husband try to cut his and they rushed to bring him a new steak but never paid attention to me and at that point I did not want another. My daughter got very sick (diarrhea, vomiting, severe stomach pains) from dinner that night (food poisoning?) and missed the next day excursion of a catamaran ride/snorkeling. She was still weak for the next few days after that. Beach was nice but as a blue bracelet person we were not allowed in all the areas. Drinks were inconsistent-the disco bar had the best margaritas and the Mexican restaurant had the worst. Breakfast buffet was the best choice- a lot of fresh fruit, eggs, sausage, omelets, etc. The best part of the resort was the morning yoga-the instructor was amazing (sorry I forgot his name). He was probably the best instructor I have ever had! All in all I would be really disappointed if I had just come here for a vacation but since it included the wedding that made it worth while. I would definitely not come back here again. Much prefer cruising-better food, entertainment, service and I would rather pay for my drinks and get what I wanted. I do not drink that much so what I drink I had better like!

Room Tip: We were closer to the beach which was ok. The adults only section is probably an 5-10 minute walk f...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank L A Garot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wapakoneta, Ohio
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2013

This was our second time to Sandos, the first was two years ago and we were in the Select Club, they have changed how they do that so we were worried about how this trip would go but ...our room was fine, beautiful ocean front view and balcony. The beach is gorgeous and you can walk a very long distance if you like and we did. The place is clean, everyday our room was cleaned to perfection by Amelia (housekeeper). The food and drinks are good and plentiful. My filet at the El goucho was good but my husbands T bone was not so good. If you have any problems just go to the guest services and they really do take care of it. Tommasso is one great person who seems to work at least 18 out of 24 hours, he is everywhere and is very helpful. They do want to push their vacation plan but they also take No for the answer. The weather was great, the sandy beach white and it was a great time.

Room Tip: Ask for ocean front rooms, the view is remarkable.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Julesb49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sayreville, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

This is the first time that I have ever written a review but I felt inclined to do so. My husband and I stayed at Sandos for 6 days. As soon as we arrived at the hotel, we were approached by a hotel representative in regards to buying timeshares or as they called it, a vacation package...down payment only $40,000....LOL.
Thereafter, we were brought to our room which was located in the adults section which smelled like a musty basement. The room also looked old and in need of some work. We did advise the front desk of this and was upgraded to better room although the jacuzzi outside of our room did not work. Also, there was a plate of chocolate strawberries on the floor outside of our room for 2 days.
As far as the food was concerned....it was awful, especially the buffets. The restaurants were excellent for dinner however we were only permitted to eat there twice out of the 5 nights that we were there. The day before we left, my husband got sick and had to see doctor who said that his illness stemmed from the change in food since Mexican food is made differently.
The beach was great however depending on what color bracelet you have, you are only allowed in certain spots. For example, we had a gold bracelet so we were not allowed to sit at the beach where the "elite were only allowed" meaning that we were not permitted to lay on the beds....only the chairs which of course were all taken.
I do have to say that the staff was excellent and friendly. It's a shame because the resort itself is very pretty....wish the food and the amenities were better.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Stefanie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hutto, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

This was our first all-inclusive. Upon check-in we were told that we could have the Hacienda we paid for but would have to move halfway through our stay due to renovations. uh, no. After quite a while debating with management, who were courteous and understanding, we got a room much closer to the beach and all was well. the room was nice enough, standard hotel kind of fare but these are the oldest rooms at the resort. AC worked well for which i was thankful. We like firm beds and these were ok. not too hard to sleep.

Food was mostly ok, (don't drink the milk, it tasted like reconstituted dry milk) there was good variety and we enjoyed the local flavors. The food was not fantastic in the main dining hall. El Gauchos steak was awesome, really good. none of us got sick, all our food stayed down. it was just a little bland.

The beach at this resort was exactly what we needed. it stretches for some distance south and there was, i thought, an excellent snorkeling spot a couple hundred yards south and 50 yards or so out. you'll find a bunch of submerged mooring blocks or some such and it's crawling with fish. just on the seaward side is a significant drop. be careful though, the waves care be merciless.

i can't recommend the dive shop. heard a scary story from someone who was staying there at the same time about them.

the nightly entertainment was ok. cruise ship quality for the most part but it was a great way to spend some time in the evenings.

the gaming room was rundown and in need of attention as well as very warm.

we didn't have any trouble getting beach chairs/palapas in the morning. drinks were easy to get although we didn't drink alcohol.

i highly recommend hitting the bus station in downtown playa then head south to playa del akumal. snorkel into the bay there and you'll be swimming with nice big turtles.

i would stay again for the right price. We stayed in Mid August. It was hot but not unbearably so. We are from Texas.

Room Tip: if you like to walk to the beach and don't mind an average room, get the closest to the beach. t...
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TexasRandall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland
Level Contributor
29 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013

My husband and I went to Puerto Vallerta for our honeymoon and I was sick most of the time. So we took our second honeymoon to Playacar. The resort was super nice! Never ran out of things to see and do. The beach was beautiful and clear with snorkeling just down the beach. You can get gear from the resort, we brought our own so I am not sure if it is free or not. We enjoyed the Michael Jackson night, the food was ok. My husband liked it though, he loved the carne asada. We liked the buffets more than the restaurants you had to book. The drinks were well mixed and aplenty, top shelf on request. I loved the mojitos.

Our room was nice, clean and we had a pool and hot tub between four other rooms. We had monkeys we could see from just outside our balcony. We had wonderful weather, loved the location, and if we ever make it back to Playacar we will be booking the Sandos again for sure.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank spanishtraveler15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013

I'm going to post a few quick comments about Sandos Riviera Select Club. I got home this morning from staying there and I'm glad I can now make myself a meal that will stay down. We stayed from Jan 14-19th in a 3rd floor pool view room.

Pros:

-excellent air conditioning! Was actually too cold most of the time, so we left the patio door open.
-great maid service. The rooms were spotless, and we always had more than enough towels.
-minibar service; though only filled every 2nd day, they kept the note we had left with our requests, and honored it. We were more than happy with service :)
-nice pillows. I slept well on the fluffy king size pillows they supplied on the beds.
-Very zen, relaxed resort. I've never stayed anywhere so restful, and we thoroughly enjoyed the Adults Only section.
-good bar service, even if the drinks were watered down and somewhat yucky. We loved the pool/beach wait service, and the fact they're environmentally friendly. The reusable plastic cups they give you were a good size. Straws were hard to find though-should have brought my own.
-nicely kept grounds. The resort is very clean, has music popping up in unexpected places through mysterious speakers, and it is a walkable distance everywhere.
-FANTASTIC stretch of beach. Wide, clean and sandy. Gorgeous.

Cons:

-FOOD. Omg, seriously horrible. We tried 3 Ala-cartes, and all the buffets. Not only were the portions dinky, they looked awful, and tasted worse. Truly stomach turning menus on offer here. Our first morning, we had breakfast at the AO buffet (which is the Brazillian and Steakhouse in the evenings). After almost gagging looking at the gross looking scraps left in the pans, I settled for fruit and cereal. The fruit was tasty, the cereal was stale. Not an auspicious start.
Next up was the beach bar for lunch. My husband (not a picky eater by any means), took a quick look at their dried up burgers, chicken and seafood salads, and decided to skip eating. Yikes. The next 4 days were much the same. Room service was the worst of all. WHEN and IF they actually showed up (2.5 hrs the 2nd attempt we made), they brought what we though might be a quesodilla and salad, but I wasn't tempting fate by eating it.
-We never ate a single decent meal there. Everything we tried was on par with airplane or hospital food. We paid $300 a day for this? Jesus, Such a shame too, since everything else was so nice :(.

-Checkin: if they want to impress people with their Select Club, offer a separate check-in counter! We stood in a huge lineup with throngs of guests that were staying at the family side. Disappointing system-unlike the lovely, quick service offered at our favorite Royal Suites Yucatan. Thumbs down here.
-Wifi: so sketchy most of the time. We purchased our stay here based on the benefit of free in-room wifi-which doesn't really exist. If you're lucky, you'll catch a few bars of service on the balcony, and occasionally in the lobby or Meeting Point. Most of the time it wouldn't connect.


Sadly, because of the poor food quality and offerings, we wouldn't return, despite enjoying everything else. They really need to focus more on taste and less on making it look "pretty".

Room Tip: 3rd floor near the rear of the pool area. Very private, and has elevators.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Mamasmurf99
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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