I thought I would share our family experience at the Sandos Playacar last summer at 'standard level' all inclusive accommodation. I submitted an 'honest' review last year via Travelrepublic, the company I used to book the hotel,, but it never got published for what reason I don't know.
I hope TR embrace honest reviews even where in parts they may be perceived as negative. Anyway:
Just to set the scene we stayed at the Sandos Caracol the previous year which we thought, as a family of 4 (2 adults two young children) was excellent! Very busy even in early September but we loved it, excellent variety and quality of food, entertainment and service all round.
We were sold the idea by one of the staff and indeed some of the great reviews we read, that the Playacar was a more classy and refined version of its sister hotel the Caracol and so of course we booked up.
We stayed in one of the Hacienda Suites with small shared pool which was a nice little luxury in theory but the first thing we realised that there was a lot of competition between families for use of the pool which is sort of inevitable but something to bear in mind If you are picturing that tranquil pool villa holiday scene...forget that. The room itself was nice though and kept very clean. ..Although, and I have to reiterate this as in other reviews, the Hacienda beds are airing on the side of a little too firm by anybody's standards.
The Main pool close to the beach is far too small for the amount of guests and hotel capacity as is the amount of sunbeds available. We witnessed an awful drunk German chap assault a defenceless young lady in front of everybody including her family in an argument over a bed that he decided was going to be his. Security did very little to help and we were aware of numerous 'raised tempers' due to lack of sunbeds and space both on the beach and at the pool.
Furthermore the Main Buffet is too small and overcrowded as is the central entertainment area and bar adjacent to it where much of the nightlife takes place.
Food ...Well the main buffet is limited in terms of variety and although fairly bland the quality was good. there is another buffet next door although that is even more limited. The speciality restaurants were a really very nice dining experience. It's just a shame you are only entitled to the three bookings per week to be fair though this seems to be the norm with other all inclusive hotels in most locations these days.
One of the real disappointments here is the lack of snack bars / in between snacks which was something that the Caracol has in abundance. As a standard all inclusive guest you have a limited scope for snacks with just one outlet by the main pool and apparently small selection way up my the reception area although we never used this.
Entertainment is good all round especially at the large theatre area where nightly shows took place we really enjoyed this part.
The Beach is beautiful, despite the aforementioned lack of beds and space in the shaded area. there are no nasty rocks to snag your feet on as is the case with a lot of the other nearby beaches. This is a really nice stretch indeed.
Conclusively: I will give the playacar an 'average' rating although I think it is definitely over priced considering what you get in return as an all inclusive hotel package..
--clean resort, good service, Good entertainment, beautiful beach. Excellent Gym
--Far too many guests for any of the facilities to support including beach / pool space, sunbeds, towels etc. You could literally find yourself 'fighting for space' which as a family is not attractive.
--Service: good but actually getting served can be a real issue, again the staff / guest ratio is too low.
--Main buffet food available is limited and in between snacks even more so.
If you want a lively, fun, exciting time with plenty of things to keep the whole family happy throughout the day and evening as we anticipated from our previous all inclusive experience at the Caracol...then you may well find the Playacar a bit dull and feeling a bit 'short-changed'....as we did
Would I return to the Sandos Playacar? Yes but only if the price was halved.
- 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