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Sandos Playacar Beach Resort
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Reviewed June 12, 2014

We just got back from a week at Sandos Playacar. We stayed in the Royal Elite Hacienda rooms, which are in the middle of the resort. It is about a 3 minute walk to the beach, no big deal at all. The rooms are great, you get more perks as a royal elite guest. You can rent through a member.

The beach is gorgeous, one of the prettiest I've been to throughout the Caribbean. The grounds are kept meticulous, the grounds crew does an amazing job. Everywhere you went, there was care taken to ensure that everything was neat and clean. I am an early riser, and I would go the beach each morning @ 5 in the morning to enjoy the peace and rise the sunrise. Each day, there was a man raking the beach and cleaning up everything, he did a great job. I wish that I got his name.

Housekeeping did a great job. We had towel art, shapes, etc that make it just a bit nicer. Our room was clean and comfortable. I heard that the beds were hard, but I found it comfortable. Our son ordered a pillow from the pillow menu (I think this is another one of the Royal Elite perks), and he thought that was really cool. On one occasion, my son's friend left his wallet on the bed, and it was placed in an empty safe and we needed to call security to have it unlocked. On another occasion, a friend left his wallet at dinner and it was returned to my room the next day because the dinner reservations were in my name. I think this goes to show the integrity of the resort and employees.

I thought the food was good. As Royal Elite guests, you get unlimited access to ala carte restaurants, which was a nice bonus. We tried the Brazilian, Gaucho steak house, and the Mexican restaurants. I liked them all, my favorite was the Brazilian, followed closely by the Italian buffet. Some like the Asiana restaurant the best, but I skipped that meal. Gustava at the Hacienda pool is absolutely amazing. He always had a smile on his face, remembered what I was drinking, and taught me a little Spanish. My husband had the same service in the Royal bar across from the Mexican restaurant, but I can't remember the server's name or the bartenders name, but he was impressed with both.

The Entertainment staff does a great job. They work very hard to ensure that all guests are having a great time. The shows are great and fun. We have stayed at other resorts, and the Entertainment team at Sandos did a much better job. My husband and I played the "Perfect Couple" game which was a blast. The beach party was nice, Michael Jackson show great. Zoomba on the beach was fun to watch and participate in. We had 12 kids in our group (ages 12-17), and the Entertainment Team always had something for them to do and even took the time to introduce them to other teenagers from the United States that were there.

We took a few tours through the resort people at the beginning of the beach. We took a catamaran on a snorkeling and shopping trip to Isles Mujeres. That was fun, it ended up being only our group, so I think that we paid more for privacy, but it was $125 person. Others in the group also took an ATV tour. They rode ATVs into the jungle and then snorkeled at a Cenote, and lagoon. Everyone that went seemed to like this trip as well and it was $90 a person.

Daniela in webrelations was great. She went above and beyond to try to make sure that we had everything we needed. Please reach out and contact her before you arrive, she will guide you through any questions. One of the guests in our group was having a birthday and she arranged for special stuff in her room for her, which was a nice touch. Even made a call to the airport for me because my husband thought he left his wallet in the Cancun airport and we don't speak Spanish well enough. That is certainly not something she needed to do, but she was kind enough and we recovered his wallet!

All in all, Sandos Playacar is highly recommended. Every staff member I came across worked hard to ensure that guests were happy.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Royal Elite haciendas and they were perfect. Rooms were huge, clean, and I thought the location was great. I cannot speak to the oceanfront rooms, or adults only section. But, I would stay in Royal Elite haciendas again before I would choose another room.
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with friends
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4  Thank cbusalyb
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 reviewResponded June 14, 2014

Dear cbusalyb,

We appreciate the time you have taken to write this positive feedback about your stay in Sandos Playacar

It is a pleasure for us to hear that we were able to provide you a delightful stay in our resort and that we fulfilled your expectations. We are glad that our beautiful beach, your room as well as the service of our friendly staff was to your liking.

We would be glad to welcome you for the next time in our little paradise.

Sincerely,
Miguel Vargas
General Manager
Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa
webrelations.playacar@sandos.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2014

My husband and I chose to stay at Sandos Playacar for our honeymoon. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay! Daniela Delgado helped us out so much. She was helpful and friendly, scheduled our dinner reservations, and was available for answering any questions that we had as well. The staff was friendly and reliable, the food was excellent and abundant (we especially loved the Brazilian and Asian restaurants), and there was a great variety of activities and entertainment. We had a great visit and would highly recommend it!

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Hannah K
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 reviewResponded June 14, 2014

Dear Hanna K,

While extending cordial regards from this “Su Casa” Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa, I would like to thank you for posting this kind review, and sharing the wonderful experience you had during your stay.

We are glad to know that our services exceeded your holiday expectations, thank you for recognizing our hard working staff. I am filled with pride knowing their hospitality and service made your stay the more pleasurable.

Rest assured that your review is valuable to us and the further development of our hotel, by the time you visit us again you will be able to admire many positive changes that have come from our guest comments, with the sole objective of heightening your experiences. We thank you for highlighting our attributes as well as your recommendations.

We hope to have the honor of serving you in the future.

Kindest Wishes,
Miguel Vargas
General Manager
Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa
webrelations.playacar@sandos.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2014

This was our first all inclusive resort experience; we traveled May 3 - 7 through a deal on CheapCaribbean.com. The resort itself was ok (we did not get the upgrade or adult only package), though quite large... some pros first:
- Service: overall service was good. Most of the bar tenders were good (though the drinks were VERY weak, see below under cons), the gentlemen by the beach worked so hard to find us two chairs one day at the crowded beach which was very much appreciated, and upon arrival we we were greeted in the lobby and offered adult beverages while we waited to check in (after a long day of traveling - um yes please!).
- Nice lobby: golf carts will take you from the main lobby if you're staying on the other end of the result in the general family/beach section, which was nice (especially with bags).
- BEACH: seriously one of the nicest beaches I've seen/been to. Beautiful blue water, nice white sand, and it wasn't rocky like other parts of Mexico tend to be (great for swimming!). The beach itself is a selling point for the resort, enough said.
- Bagel bar: This restaurant/bar on the beach is a snack bar/hut in the afternoons and a bagel bar at night - the bagel sandwiches were yummy, but service was HORRIBLE... if you want a good bagel sandwich just pack your patience and be prepared to wait.
- Grounds: the hotel is large, like many others in that region, but the grounds were really pretty. We walked from end to end one day just to explore and it was very nice and seemed well kept.
- Spa pool: This seemed like one of the best kept secrets of the resort. It's free, adults only, and had a hot tub in addition to the separate pool . We ended up coming to this pool a few times while we were there, it was more relaxing and way less crowded.

Cons:
- Rooms: We stayed in the family/beach section, which was in a GREAT location (we were right in the middle of everything, centrally located to the buffet restaurants, the pool, beach, bars, and Meeting Point (guest services)), but the elevators were out and we were on the 4th floor. Not that big a deal, just a bit of an inconvenience. HOWEVER, the rooms themselves needed SERIOUS upgrades. The beds were impossibly hard and the pillows were like rocks, did not make for the best sleep experience. The bathrooms were old and actually had mold. We had a nice balcony that overlooked the pool, but we asked for 1 King bed and instead got 2 queens. When I called to try and switch to a room with a King bed, they said they didn't have anything available until the next day. Seemed pointless at that point since we were only there for a few days and we liked the room location, so we just dealt with it.
- Food: overall, food was average at best. Our favorite meal offered every day was the breakfast buffet (which isn't typical for either of us), but it seemed they had a good variety of breakfast items (the quesadilla station was yummy, and yes, that was during breakfast... not complaining). Lunches at the buffets were just ok, and the birds kept flying in and landing on the tables, picking at people's plates, it was bizarre but nothing the hotel can do about birds I suppose. We ate at one a la carte restaurant - the Mexican place... it was AWFUL. Don't waste your time. The service was terrible and I couldn't even finish my main course (I can't remember what it was called but it had mole sauce, and was not good at all). After that experience, we stuck with the buffet restaurants and were fine. The only other downside with food, is that there is nothing open past like 10:30/11:00 pm; you're limited to room service after that, and you might as well go hungry because the options are seriously limited at that point.
- Drinks: Weak. I know it's an all inclusive resort, and apparently serving too sweet or too watered down drinks is typical for these places; it still stinks though.
- We only got one morning wake up call to meet the CheapCaribbean rep (which was super annoying, but at least they only called once) for what was presumably a sales pitch for a time share... needless to say we skipped that little presentation, and went down the following morning to schedule/confirm our return transportation back to the airport for departure, which worked out fine.
- The resort is quite far from Cancun airport and is definitely more low key (not party central like Cancun, which was fine by us), so just be prepared for the long drive and try and book flights that leave late enough on the day you go back home (we ended up having to leave the resort at 5:30 am to make it to the airport in time to fly home.. not the best way to end a vacation, but it is what it is).
- This is not the resorts fault at all, but just a warning - when we first arrived at Cancun airport we were shuttled to a little kiosk stand type thing at the airport, thinking we were checking in for our transportation to the hotel... um no. These people held us captive for what felt like an hour (we were also hungry and anxious to get in the car for our hour long journey to the resort), as they proceeded to sell us on some tour package thing (another time share) with discounted excursion tickets... bottom line, we lost out on $40 (they did NOT tell us the excursion we wanted to do was 3 HOURS EACH WAY from the resort! We were only there for a few days and spending 6 hours in a car didn't seem worth it) and our precious vacation time - do not let these people at the airport sucker you into anything! Proceed straight outside to get your transportation to the resort!

Bottom line, for the amount we paid and the value (minus the weak drinks), this place was ok. I've stayed at WAAAY nicer places, but the beach at this resort made up for some of the troubles. If you can get a good deal, manage with the poor quality rooms (how much time do you spend in the room on vacation anyway) and average food, go for it. I would absolutely go back to Playa del Carmen/Riviera Maya, but would likely pay a little more and stay somewhere else instead.

Room Tip: The rooms might be better/more recently upgraded in the adults only section, but that seemed so much farther from everything else. Our room wasn't great but we loved the location of the Beach section.
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Rachel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2014

We celebrated our wedding at Sandos this spring (2014) and had a wonderful time. The wedding coordinator Lupita and her assistant Maria treated us like family. I was very nervous planning our wedding through emails, however Lupita was always quick to respond and was able to accommodate my every request! They made a special cake that I requested and our private dinner on the beach was amazing! Lupita is a great wedding coordinator and really made my wedding celebration go very smoothly and everything I imagined come true!

The reason I only gave 4 out of 5 was that the adults only "gold bracelet" section is SO far from all the action. It was an inconvenience to go back to our room from the beach or the main area. The "gold bracelet" was worth the additional cost as you are in an adult only section and the food is much better than at the other part. Also you have access to premium liquors.

24 hour room service is AMAZING and the a la cart restaurants are ok. The Mexican restaurant is the best but I really didn't like the Brazilian.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Tyna B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2014

I had been planning a surprsie birthday get away for my wife for some time. I knew I wanted to go some place tropical that we had never seen before so I began to investigate. I came across sandos while searching late night on the internet. I really liked the hotel and how it was all inclusive I was just a little skepitcal because I have never been to a foreign country before. So I started chatting in the sandos forum and came in contact with one of there concierges Daniela Delgado. She explained everything to me from the things there offered in the hotel to what type of rooms they had, she even keep me up to date on how the weather was in playa del carmen. I explained to her that it was a very special birthday for my wife and she told not to stress out she would take care of everything. As we arrived to the hotel I could not believe how beautiful it was and how big it was in person. I have to say that my favorite part had to be the beach it was amazing crystal clear water and white white sand it remined me of looking at a picture in a magazine I couldnt believe how clean it was. The night of my wifes birthday Daniela had setup reservations at the steak house restaraunt we had nice private table to ourselves little bit of wine and steak my wife was in shock to see such a romantic side of me, the only complaint I had was it was a little bit warm in the restaraunt I could have used a little bit of AC. Daniela had told me she had organized a surprise for us, as I opened the door to our room there was rose pedals leading towards our jacuzzi with a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries I felt like newlyweds again what a night. I have to say with all honesty it was the best vacation we had together it was like taking a 2nd honeymoon and thanks Daniela you really helped make our 1st vacation to mexico a memorable one, we will for sure becoming back again and its no surprsie where will be staying Sandos Playacar.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank walker55846
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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