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“A week in PARADISE!”

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Sandos Playacar Beach Resort
Ranked #70 of 217 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Reviewed February 14, 2014

We stayed at Sandos Playacar from Feb 6-13, 2014.

This was the most wonderful vacation I have ever had! We were a group of 4 couples and we were all so sad to leave!

Everything was extra clean. The staff was so friendly and helpful. Our room (Room 2442) was awesome!

I love the way this hotel is layed out. The Royal Elite is up at the front near the lobby and there are, I think, three restaurants on that end that you have to make reservations for. There is a wonderful adult only pool on that end with a swim up bar. Most everything else is down on the other end, a short walk or shuttle ride away. There is a second lobby on that end with an excellent guest services that will help you with everything from restaurant reservations and taxi's to questions about where to find a church or anything else you might want.

When you walk out of that second lobby, there is an open courtyard with a stage on one end with two more reservation-required restaurants, two buffet restaurants, a huge bar with pool tables, computers, etc. and mini-golf. Walk through that to get to the huge pool. There is a pool bar there and then you can walk on out to the beach where there are LOTS of chairs both in and out of the shade. There is a bar on the beach as well.

Oh, and between the Royal Elite section and the second lobby, there is another family pool.

Awesome food!!! This is the best food we have ever had at an all-inclusive! I am allergic to gluten and I could always find something to eat at the buffets. And, when we ate at the ala carte restaurants, the waiters/waitresses were EXCELLENT at helping me choose options that were safe for me to eat. I was really surprised at how great they were at that!

The buffets always had a very good selection with staff manning grills, cooking fish, chicken, beef, pork, etc. Awesome!!! There was always a nice selection of fruits and fresh veggies, yogurt. I couldn't eat most of the sides due to my food allergies, but my husband said they were good.

The ala carte restaurants we ate at were Mexican, steak and Brazillian. Mexican Ala Carte was very good. I had the chicken nachos and they were very good. Everyone in our group loved what they got. The steak place was excellent. The ribeye was excellent! Others in my group ordered the filet mignon and it was very thick and juicy looking! The Brazillian was excellent also. They kept bringing meat until you were full!!! Excellent tastes of a variety of meats.

We went to all three pools. My absolute favorite was the adult only! We were totally entertained by Edgar! Ask Fabian at the swim up bar to make you a "See You MF" and grab a lounge chair and chill out! Totally relaxing, wonderful music, really awesome experience! They make awesome Riveria Maya's and Dirty Monkey's...and they will even make them without alcohol....or with extra alcohol. ;-)

You can play pool games or just hang out. They bring food around lunch time and cook hamburgers and hot dogs and have salads and other sides. They have awesome guacamole and chips!

The middle pool was loud with screaming kids and teenagers so we didn't stay there long. The big pool near the beach was also crowded with kids and people hogged the chairs by putting their towels on them and never using them. Why do people do that? It happens at any hotel I've ever been to...people rush out early in the morning and put their towels out and then go to the beach and never use their chair.

Make sure you go in there to use the pool and hot tub and gym!!! There is a sauna and spa services which we didn't use, but we used the hot tub the first night and it felt great after all that traveling to get there. I would have liked to get a massage at the beach, but I thought the prices were extremely high!!!

Our room was in one of the buildings near the buffets, around on the back side of the the ones by the pool. It was a little further to walk and the elevator was broken the whole week, so every time we went to our room, we walked four flights of stairs. Not a big deal to us, but if that is a thing for you, make sure you get a room in a different building.

I loved the soft, white sand that you could walk and walk and walk on! I rarely used a beach chair, but there were lots and lots of them.

Be sure to stop at the little booth on the beach by the showers and talk to Obed about an excursion to Isla Mujeres! We spent a whole day on this excursion: transportation to Cancun, catamaran trip to Isla Mujeres, snorkeling at a coral reef, got to pet and hold a shark, shop at a quaint village, had a wonderful Mexican food buffet, hung out on the beach and in the ocean, and could do a kite off the back of the boat (kind of like parasailing) and transportation back to the hotel...all for $99! That was a wonderful day!

Wonderfully clean! We had a king size bed, a little table with chairs, a nice tv (we never watched it), and a nice balcony with a pull-out drying rack to dry swimsuits on. The bathroom was clean, nice shower. The maid always shaped towels into some little creature and had them laying on the bed.

Free flowing, good drinks. Make sure you do a Mexican Flag shot, which they set on fire! Tequila shots, Dirty Monkey, Riveria Maya, Miami Vice, Grasshopper, Sex on the Beach, See You Mother F****er, Cerveza, etc. And, they will do all the icy drinks without alcohol too.

Be sure to go back behind the mini-golf area where the monkeys are. If you take some banana and hold it up, the monkeys will come over and hang down from the trees and take the banana right out of your hand!

If I had to be really picky, I would say that the beds could be softer. And, the elevator wasn't working. But, my number one complaint is that the vacation didn't last long enough!!!!

Room Tip: Make sure the building you are in has a working elevator.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank SHarrisonKansas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 14, 2014

My husband and I had our wedding at Sandos on January 21, 2014. It was the best experience we could have ask for and more! I am doing this review purely based on the wedding becuase Lupita Aquino, the wedding coordinator was so fantastic she deserves her own review!! (will do a separate review for the general resort and vacation). Honestly, I would recommend this place to anyone planning a destination wedding based on the wedding coordinator alone.

Right away Lupita was very good at communicating with us via email, answering our questions, and letting us know what decisions she needed from us. She even took care of booking group dinners for some events we planned leading up the the wedding. Once we arrived she met with us to finalize the details and show us the wedding facilities where the ceremony and dinner would happen.

We were a group of 49 so we did purchase a weddign package, but it was flexible so we were able to adjust some of the details so it suited our preferences better. I am also gluten intolerant and my dad is seriously allergic and they were very accomodating of this, even making a small gluten free wedding cake! The food overall was really good! Also, the staff who worked our event (DJ, bartender, wait staff) were all very nice and did an excellent job! Lupita was also very attentive throughout and I never had to worry about anything! Very stress free!

Also, the beach here is so beautiful you just can't go wrong. The setting was spectacular! We got married at the garden gazebo overlooking the beach and had our dinner right beside it at the royal elite palapas building. We had a number of guests tell us it was the best wedding they had been to.

My best advice is don't stress too much on the details becuase they're not what's important in the end. Just go with the flow and relax. Lupita knows what she is doing, enjoy yourself!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Tally_C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2014

Sandos Playacar is a BEAUTIFUL RESORT!!! Not to mention you don't need snorkeling gear to see the fish swim around in the clear blue ocean!!! First I'll speak on my stay there which was 2/4-2/11/14. I've been to many resorts and this one is great for couples or families as they have the all adult section which has there one pool, swim up bar, suites, and one a la carte restaurant that is for 18 and up ( the French one, which is tasty, the others have no age limits but all require reservations). The bars were all unique to their own with swings, game, and computers in the sports bar. Each bar had there own drink menu which I orrery has many as I could and made them virgin as I'm pregnant, each bar tender was accommodating! The buffets were good, and the bagel bar was ok, I never saw bagels but I ate hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries (which were delish to me). Our room was grand in the all adult section with jacuzzi in the middle and stocked fridge everyday with sodas and beers. Not to mention the 24/7 room service that is included!!! Now on to my wedding at Sandos!!! Lupita was my WC and she was AWESOME/FABULOUS/FANTASTIC, all the above! I had sent her emails probably daily before my wedding and upon our first meeting with her she had everything laid out with all details I had requested through email. So then when I walked down the stairs to my beach aisle I was in shock at how perfect my orange and fuchsia wedding set up was! She nailed it with the pictures I gave her and honestly I don't think she needed my input she is just a pro at what she does! My reception was great also and she even used the decorative flowers from my wedding as centerpiece for the reception (saved us $). I did use the resort photography and they did a good job until they did not show up to my reception as they told me after the fact it was not included (if getting married there clarify this with Andre-manager). There videography was great also. Overall I give my stay at this Sandos A+ and I'll be back ( we even did the 90min timeshare meeting for a free 7day stay within a year!!!). If your going to Mexico and looking for all inclusive this is your resort!!!!!

Room Tip: The adult only section has newer rooms, but if you want to be by the monkeys those are the rooms in...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank DivaD G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2014

I’ve been to quite a few AI’s – and luckily for me, probably because I do so much TripAdvisor research beforehand (thanks everyone!), I’ve always had pretty darn good experiences. Of course, some have to be better than others and Sandos Beach Playacar is top notch in my book!

Myself and my friend are both in our 40’s and we also met up with my parents around the 70 age range. We stayed Feb3-10. In the Adults-Only Select section. I’m glad we did – I feel we got value for the extra $.

Select Perks I valued: I liked the newer rooms (nice and clean and new – we had a pool view which I’d request if you go for the adults only section), I liked the adults only swimming pool, I liked having access to the Select Premium Bars (one in each lobby - they have some premium liquors that other bars won’t, coffees, etc. as well as a very small snack selection like some finger sandwiches, chips, and peanuts), I liked the breakfast buffet on our side, I liked the adults only section on the beach....

Now, it is true that the adults-only room section (I think it’s in what’s called the Riviera Side so that’s how I’ll refer to this section going forward) is as far away from the beach as you can get – but honestly I quite enjoyed the 5 minute walk it took to get there – each time we went we got to stroll by the Cat Cafe where the resort feeds and cares for stray cats (after spaying/neutering them and health checks/vaccines, of course) and we got to say “heehaw” to the donkeys. The shuttle minivan at the Riviera front lobby and the golf cart shuttles on the walkways were only ever a few minutes wait but I quite looked forward to the walks. My elderly Dad did almost always use the shuttles.

On your way to the beach, after you’ve made your way through the Hacienda Villas, your first stop will be the lobby area for the rest of the resort – called the Meeting Point. In the general Meeting Point area you’ll find the Cupcake Cafe which is a good stop for coffee or tea and a bite to eat, the Gift Shop, the Kids Zone, and the theatre. Just inside the Meeting Point lobby is a Select Premium Bar.

Next on your way to the beach and just past the Meeting Point Lobby, you’ll come to the heart of the Beach Side of the resort. There’s an open air sports bar, a creperie, the main buffet, and the courtyard where they have evening entertainment after the theatre show. Keep walking and you’ll come across the Beach Side pool, to the right is the towel hut, another restaurant that was having its roof repaired while we were there (although the bar was open), and then ...... ahhhhh the beautiful beach.

As you walk towards the beach, to your left is the general guest beach area and a smoothie hut, to the right there’s a small private pool for the Elite guests, the Bagel Beach bar/cafe (drinks, burgers, hotdogs, great fries, ice cream cones) and then further right is the adults only beach section. There’s smoking and non-smoking sections in both beach sections.

I won’t say much about the beach itself as it’s well covered already with lots of photos and comments, but it is glorious. As you face the water, there doesn’t seem to be any resorts to the right so it would make for a nice walk along the soft sand. We had a few days of waves – not too big but not the beautiful calm blue water I had hoped for. But on our last day – there it was – calm, clear, blue – amazing.

Regarding the food, we all really enjoyed it. The food at the breakfast and dinner buffets was plentiful and we always found yummy things to eat. We went to 3 a la cartes – Mediterranean was OK, Brazilian Meat Extravaganza was OK (oh my, so much meat!), but the Mexican was really great. I also found what I think is somewhat of a hidden treasure – and I’m not sure if it’s just Select that can access it – but Riviere Bleu (open 12-5) is a menu restaurant over on the Riviera Side that I ate at almost every day for a late lunch.

Few other tidbits:
-staff was super friendly and always said hello
-grounds were beautiful and clean
-only went to the Michael Jackson show and it was pretty good
-loved the live bands they had every night in the Beach Side courtyard from 9:30-11:00pm although seats/tables were hard to come by
-bicycle rentals stop at 5pm
-90 peso cab ride into town
-wifi was good in the lobby, spotty in the room and at the adult pool, and none at all on the beach

Here’s a few other things that crossed my mind that I’d maybe bring with me if I go back (and I would go back in a heartbeat!):
-Straws – hard to come by – seems it’s part of their efforts to be eco-friendly (what I actually did bring with me was an insulated plastic cup with a permanent straw).
-Plug in night light for the room to make your way to the bathroom – with the thick curtains it’s so dark in the rooms at night (really great for sleeping but not so much for avoiding toe stubbing).
-Plug in air freshener – our room was fine but I might bring one next time as a just-in-case.

Absolutely fantastic trip and great resort!!!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: The Riviera Side is much quieter (both the family section and the adults section) - if you want to b...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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10  Thank luvmypuppy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2014

My trip was from Feb 5-12th, for my wedding... :)

To start we had 23 guests booked with us almost all guests were on the "adult" side.

beaches were clean, never felt over crowded.
My room was clean and no major bug sightings anywhere.
the pools clean, never to cold, and plenty of chairs on the adult side, nice a quite most of the time.
Each room outside has a drying rack attached great to help dry beach wear for the night.
Michael jackson in the theater was fun.
lots of activities on the resort if you chose to not do excursions or visit the city (safe if you go to 5th street, or take the ferry to Cozumel!)
Staff was great always friendly
variety of drink choices alcoholic and non-alcoholic
HORRIBLE HORRIBLE beds, so hard...
Not enough entertainment at night for just adults, to many kids running around at 10pm still.
No coffee shop on the adult side
Need more frequency of golf carts of more then they have, lots of walking.
To many tries to get you to take a 90min tour of the resort my parents ended up being close to 4hours... how about letting us enjoy the vacation we paid for ?

food was average to just ok in the buffets but the rest. you can make reservations at were great. (the italian buffet was the best) or the food by the adult pool at lunch time :)
Room service takes a while plan ahead if your hungry.
wedding set up was easy and turned out GREAT! multiple options
Wifi is only available in the lobby, meeting place or cupcake place (coffee is the best here, cafe mocha,cappuccino, frappes)

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Belinda A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2014

Very good food in all restaurants. The cleanness in the toilets was perfect. The Zimmerservis was very good. The service at the pool bar is especially good.
Jose Luis, Fabian and Vanessa Mey.
The garden and all ways are maintained very well

Room Tip: for pairs area only for adults
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Roland K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

We stayed here in January with some friends to celebrate a 50th birthday. I have stayed at many all-inclusives and I have to say that this is one of the best beaches I have been on. There were no rocks or seaweed, just turquoise water and beautiful white sand. This hotel is the last one on the Playa Car beach so it feels much more private that hotels further up. Beside the hotel the jungle stretches on as far as you can see or walk along the ocean.
The room we had in the adults only section was fine. Clean and comfortable. We were at the very end of the resort, though, and it was a long walk to the beach. We didn't mind, it was good to get some exercise. There is a golf cart that comes around to pick you up if you don't want to walk.
The food was great in all the restaurants. Get your a la carte reservations in early because they book up fast. The drinks were good and strong. Not watered down. Take advantage of the premium bars. The mojitos were amazing.
The cupcake place makes very good Chai Tea Lattes.
The rep guy told us it was only about a 25 minute walk down the beach to Playa del Carmen. It took us 50 minutes. A $7 taxi will get you there in a few minutes. It is a great place to do some shopping. Make sure you only pay about half of what the vendors are asking, unless you go into some of the big stores, they don't budge on the price.
We took the Maya Jungle Adventure Tour for $139 US which included Tulum, zip-lining, repelling, and snorkeling in the underground cenotes, with lunch at the ranch. It was a lot of fun, and a great experience!
We loved this resort and highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank 16Margaret
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

Address: Paseo Xaman-Ha | Manzana 1, Lote 1 Fracc.Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
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:
#25 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#45 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#49 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#53 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $214 - $492 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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