Firstly, if you have read negative reviews you should look up the definition of Resort - "a place that is popular for recreation and holidays and provides accommodation and entertainment".
Thats exactly what Sandos Playacar Offers, along with all the other resorts on this stretch of Coast no doubt.
Our first time in Mexico and well pleased. Let's face it, not everything is perfect in a Resort because they have to cater for all ages and types of visitors.Young, old, families, quiet romantic getaway, adults only etc....
RECEPTION - Booking In and Out was easy, although when booking in you can get info overload as they are keen to try and explain all. Let the bell boys sort your cases, they will also tell you bits as you walk with them. Well organised.
WRISTBAND - You need to find out what your particular colour or wristband entitles you to. I think they were light blue, dark blue, black, purple, silver and gold.
LOCATION - Sandos sits at the end of a row of Resort Hotels and has nothing but beach, jungle and sea on one side - good. Each hotel has its own slot of beach but Sandos enjoys opens views to one side.
Our group consisted of 4 adults and 1 'almost adult' - which was slightly frustrating because the 'almost adult' could not access the adult only facilities - but our exectations were not diminished by this in any way, we just adapted. With this in mind, the Gym is do-able but you have to be accompanied by an adult and sign a responsibility form - fair enough.
The ladies used the Spa which they said was lovely.
Yes the site is large - surely this is a good thing - it gives you space and in our opinion it never felt too crowded. One or two more battery buggies would be useful. But the walking was good to be honest, 10 - 15mins to the beach.
Whatever floats your holiday boat you can probably find it here.
A point for SANDOS. Sandos do have a booklet in most Rooms with a site layout plan - this would serve well displayed on their website as it would make choosing accomodation easier and you could familiarise yourself with the layout prior to arrival, hence making your first day easier and save you some valuable holiday time.
THE MEETING POINT - the central thatched building - a good idea - most excursion pick ups and drop offs are from here, Guest Services very helpful, Holiday Rep info in here too.
HOWEVER, watch out for the Beige dressed people from the Royal Elite Club, they swoop on newby arrivals meandering through the meeting point and mention that you are a VIP and you will get a tour and a VIP breakfast. If you just want to enjoy your holiday and are not interested in joining The Elite Club you have to be politely firm and say NO thankyou. I was pre-warned about this and still got collared - I had to be firm and say "I'm going for my breakfast thankyou". They were charming but very persistent. Could have done without that.
FOOD - the Festival is the Main buffet - we are quite fussy and we couldn't fault it - get to know the Staff - they are brilliant - a little tip here and there. Carlos - great man.
You get the odd bird flying in looking for scraps but no problem. Breakfast, something to suit all tastes, fresh fruit, yoghurt, waffles, pancakes, omlettes, fry up...its all there. Adults Only can also have breakfast in the Snack Bar Buffet near the family pool but we didn't try it.
There are themed buffet nights in The Festival - i.e Chinese, USA, Mexican
See comment below under Entertainment.....(can get noisy in Festival at Evening Ent time)
Italian - this is a buffet so no need to book, again no complaints decent food.
The Al La Cartes are OK, not top notch but still good.
Book any of the following Al la Carte's when you arrive with the concierge in the lobby - we did and got our 3 choices. Casual dress.
French - Need to book, didnt try but its the only one the men need long trousers for.
Mexican - Need to book - good night - great waiters (again good to build some rapport with them)
Brazilian - Need to book didnt try.
Mediterranean - Need to book - food was good.
Steak House - Need to Book - good but one chewy T-bone out of 5 steaks. We were in a rush so let it go.
Asian - didn't try.
CUP CAKE CAFE - Great coffees and baguettes - not sure if the Cup Cakes tasted best from the chiller cabinet though, probably got abit dry.
BEACH AREA - Great. Sea and beach lovely. We had no problem getting loungers on the beach, we just had to look for some affording us some shade. Waitress up and down all day on the beach but its only 50 - 100m to fetch your own food / drink should you wish - no problem.
We hired Jet Ski's for 30mins - just read the disclaimer before you sign and check the machine for damage -no problems but could be expensive if you cause damage.
Snorkels free for 30mins? or was it an hour??. The Water Sports people are not Sandos people, I think they operate along the whole beach but they were fine - Pedro was very helpful.
Edwins cocktails in the Beach Bar at night were excellent - we found it a great place to sit, relax and enjoy the evening and get away from it all.
ENTERTAINMENT - Always something going on in various places within the Resort, pool ent, beach ent, some involve loud music, but generally you can escape it on the beach, apart from aerobics which is good to watch! Evening entertainment looked OK but not really our thing.
Some decent local Arty stalls were set up one evening.
Entertainment team seemed to be good at what they do.
CAUTION - the Evening Ents are very close to the Festival Buffet and it can get very loud as the sides are open with netting. Either eat early or ask for a table away from the Speakers.
MOZZIES - not too bad but latterly developed a taste for the English flesh, just use plenty of repellent outside at night.
Overall, the staff make this place what it is - they appeared to be mostly very happy and helpful. Great people.
EXCURSONS - We went to Chichen Itza with a bonus of a swim in the Cenote at Ik Kill. Long day but worth it. Good Tour with Es Skill - a great guide Beto (Alberto).
IMPORTANT - Suggest using one of the hired bouyancy aids at Ik Kill Cenote, as you can be a long time treading water, it's deep and if there are a few people in you can struggle to get to the ladders or the side. Im a decent swimmer, didn't use one but wish I had. Could have laid back and enjoyed it abit more.
Half Day with the Dolphins - only half an hour away from Sandos - worth doing, even for those who 'aren't really bothered' or are maybe apprehensive.....do it.
- 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