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“Another fantastic slice of Heaven ”

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Sandos Playacar Beach Resort
Ranked #61 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Reviewed August 16, 2014 via mobile

I visited the Sandos Playacar Beach Resort June 22-July 2. I cannot stress to you how much I love this resort.

My room was a standard one overlooking the main pool by the beach. Only complaint about the room is that the mattress is hard, but that is pretty common in hotels, so it wasn't much of an issue. Besides sleeping, I didn't spend much time in there.

I thought the food was better than average, huge selection. Definitely something for everyone. Asiana was absolutely fantastic. My waitress the 2 nights I was there was Maria and I loved her. Very attentive and remembered me on my second visit. The cupcake Cafe was fun to visit for a great strawberry smoothie.

I was in the gym almost every morning. Jose, the gentleman working, was super nice. By my second visit, he knew my name.

The beach is the most beautiful I've ever seen. I live in Michigan, home of the 5 great lakes, so I've seen my share of beaches. Nothing beats the aqua blue of the Caribbean Sea, it is breathtaking! You are able to lay in the sand, walk in the sand, walk into the water and kids can play in both. No rocky bottom. A huge piece of advice for you..... The under tow in the Caribbean Sea is ruthless. Do not underestimate it. It will take your life before you know it. There is only so much a life guard can do.

I was able to take advantage of the Royal Elite club through friends (love them). The RE pool was fantastic. I do wish there was a way to keep the pools cooler, at mid day they are like bathtubs. Vanessa Mex was my pool side waitress and she was wonderful! By the end of the second day, she knew what both my daughter and I were drinking. She deserves a huge raise!!

The RE members bar, near the gathering point, had the best Amaretto Sour. Good thing I didn't figure that out until my third to last day there! And beautiful inside, great place to sit in the air conditioning and relax.

Were there some things I didn't like, yes. But, I went in with an attitude that I was going to enjoy myself. I went with the flow and had an amazing vacation. I met some really nice people from New York, New Jersey and Missouri.

I also want to mention a few employees who made an impression on me while there. Every day I was there (10) I had a very small conversion in Spanish with 2 men I knew worked there in some capacity, but they didn't wear a uniform. They remembered me each day and almost seemed to search me out at the RE pool. On my last night, I realized they were the Director (Miguel) and Assistant Director (Juan, I think) and met them. What great guys!! Also, Victor Guzman, the Entertainment Director, remembered me from my visit 5 years ago! He can still dance as well as I remember, lol. Gustavo, who I emailed endlessly before my visit, was patient and understanding. He was greatly appreciated then and now in planning my next trip. My daughter thought Rafael, in the kids club, did an excellent job.

I am typing this from my phone, on the trip advisor app, but it won't let me add photos. Too bad, I have some great ones!

I have already booked my next stay at Sandos for next April. I can't wait to get back! I just hope my favorite employees are still there!!!

Stayed: June 2014, traveled with friends
2  Thank summerluvin
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 August 20, 2014

Dear summerluvin,

We are glad that you spent your vacations in Sandos Playacar and that we were able to meet your expectations. It is a pleasure for us to know that you had a delightful stay here in our resort and that you completely enjoyed our services.

We are glad to hear that the service of our staff was to your satisfaction and also thank you for your nice comments was really nice to meet you.

We are waiting for you in your next vacation in our little paradise.

Miguel Vargas
General Manager
Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (13,033)
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2,721 - 2,727 of 13,033 reviews

Reviewed August 16, 2014

1. Food: French a la carte, Asian a la carte, Adults only (Gaucho) breakfast buffet, Evening Festival buffet were all excellent. Would recommend and eat there again.
2. Adults only section pool - quiet, relaxed, not too packed.
3. Entertainment: theater talent was amazing. Beach party talent and product was bumping and a great time.
4. Dessert/cup cake shop was also excellent.
5. Room - clean, spacious, everything operational, drying racks on the balcony.
6. Entertainment staff was friendly, however too many people present to truly get to know them.
7. Gym: sizable, clean and reasonable hours.
8. Adult pool Bar staff friendly and always willing to serve (Luis!)
9. Check in/out staff was courteous and fast.

1. Due to the size of the resort: golf cart transportation from Adults only section to beach/meeting point either never came or was full of people.
2. Shuttle (chevy conversion van) is undersized for the size of the resort. There is only one, and it comes every 10 minutes, however, usually packed and you have to push to get you and your party on the shuttle.
3. Steak house a la carte restaurant: Major disappointment. Steaks were mostly fat/grissle, overcooked and lacking seasoning.
4. The reservations for the a la carte restaurants were not handled well. Could not even book the Brazilian steak house because it was booked for the next 10 days. However, you cannot book before you arrive, so we were out of luck. Other places (asian, french) had half of the tables empty for our entire two hours at their respective places, yet they told me that they only had 6 and 6 30 pm open for examples (yet we stayed well past 8 pm and half of the tables remained empty).
5. Some of the entertainment schedule during the day was not followed - perhaps this another effect of the large nature of the resort, just too many things going on. It was tough to understand if an activity was actually happening.
6. Festival Breakfast buffet: way too packed (have to stand in line behind 10 people to have an omelet made (~15/20 minutes). Advice: Go to the Gaucho breakfast buffet
7. Adults only section is the farthest from the beach. Large Negative.
8. Wifi was inconsistent around the resort. Sometimes worked great and other times could not connect at all.

Pro/Con depending on your preference:
No ocean waves: Due to the placement geographically (blocked by cozumel), if glass is your thing, then this resort is for you.

Overall - the size of the resort and the distance the Adults only section is from the beach would drive us to NOT stay here in the future.

  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank El Jefe M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2014

Let me tell you about the GOOD THINGS:
- The hotel is only about 40 minutes from Cancun Airport and only 5-8 minutes (in a taxi which is only $7.00 dollars)from 5ta ave. in Playa del Carmen.
- only 10.00 minutes from Xplor and Xcaret parks.
- The Resort is big and surrounded by a green forest where a variety of animals and colourful birds make this place a ecological experience.
- The employees are friendly and attentive and will help you if you need anything. Tip the good services ( 1-2 dollars ) like I did and everybody will be your friend.
- A lot of Argentinians travellers are the main tourist going to this hotels in Playa del Carmen, so Spanish language is mainly what you'll heard all over the places.
-The food is great everywhere . The main buffet is the best.
-The adult area is very tranquil if you go only with your couple and want to relax or just to get drunk by the pool and have a great time and is not that far from the beach. My wife and I will walk every time to exercise and to view the nature of the place.
-The ferry fare to Cozumel is only $25.00 dollars per person.
- Go and talk to Adonis Morales, a bartender at the La Bambola bar by the buffet. She will give you the best service in the area , she will keep you entertained with a variety of drinks she prepares and will keep them coming to your table till you hit the floor or the Disco .... DON'T FORGET TO TIP HER (1-2 DOLLARS) FOR HER GREAT SERVICE....
- One of the best beaches ever. The water is so clear .... Even more than a pool..... Beautiful turquoise colours and a variety of fishes swimming around you. Just marvellous .
- The night entertainment is poor.
- The night show by the buffet is only till 10.00 pm and people who wants to keep the fun going on (that's what vacations are for , between other things , right ?) will stay at the plaza without music .
Feels like everything that you where building up for the best part of the day , had just died....
The management of the resort needs to look in to that..... At least leave some DJ playing music till the Disco opens at 11:00 pm.

Overall this is a great place for vacationing with a great beach for every family member ,singles and couples.
I highly recommend it ......

Room Tip: - adults area is quite and newer , the a/c in the rooms is very good(very cold ).-don't be afrai...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Ezcuban
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Sandos Playacar hotel from August 6 thru August 13, 2014. We've stayed at various all inclusives during our 11 trips to Mexico. Without any doubt, Sandos was hands down the best!

We traveled without our son, and while this hotel is perfectly suited for children, they have a select adults program that truly makes your vacation special. It starts at check-in......select adults have their own check-in table apart from the rest of the hotel. This makes check-in and check-out a breeze. We were shown to our room in the adults only section of the hotel by Victor, who answered every question and made us feel so welcome. Great Job Victor! The adult section also has it's own pool (the largest on the entire property with a great swim up bar with lunch service)! And no kids.....a great place to relax!! The junior suite room is spacious and features a personal jacuzzi. Beds and pillows are awesome along with a free minibar stocked daily!

At other all inclusives we have noticed a distinct decline in overall service. While Sandos is a fairly large hotel it never feels crowded. We never once waited for a table, towels, or drinks. The grounds are beautifully maintained. The staff is friendly and there to help you. This brings me to Yasmin, the beach server. This woman works so hard, and never stops smiling. She adds so much to the hotel! By the way, select adult guests have their own section of the beach. You never need worry about getting a chair!! The sea is phenomenal, you swim constantly and can do some great snorkeling at a reef 6 minutes down the beach. Although the adults only section is furthest from the beach you have options to ride or walk. We did both. The walk is so enjoyable, it's shaded and immaculate. You look forward to walking thru the lush tropical hacienda section. It's breathtaking!

Food is certainly above average for all inclusives. Great selection and fresh fruits daily. Select adult guests get free room service! And......are so many restaurants to choose from!! Select adult guests also have access to 2 exclusive bars with really top shelf liquor....bartenders Rodrigo Santin and Gustavo Alvarez are truly amazing......they make your visit a pleasure. Almost forgot about the coffee and cupcake shop. You'll be there everyday for an iced frappucino or latte. This place will make you forget about Starbucks.

The only tiny con is that wifi in the adult section was spotty, but was excellent in the lobby, meeting point and coffee shop.

All in all, my wife and I can't wait to return to Sandos Playacar. I can't give this place anything but raves!!!!!

Room Tip: Adult only section
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  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Denis D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2014

We went here for 2 weeks at the beginning of June 2014 for a family holiday.

It was a very good a nice resort, however, the amount parts of the resort solely reserved for the "exclusive" guests let itself down.

Buffet restaurants were very good, especially the French and Brazilian. Book them as soon as they arrive though as they reserve a good majority of the tables for the exclusive guests (just in case they decide they want to got there that night!). Room service is free and has a pretty good selection.

Very nice beach, decent pool area. Both areas always had plenty of shade for when youbegin to sizzle!

The walk in Playa Del Carmen takes about 40 mins, or you can hire a bike in the resort which would make it a lot quicker!

The resort also has howling monkeys there! If you get up early (7am), take a walk into the apartment complex by the minigolf and you'll get an up and close and personal experience with them!

Room Tip: Ask to be put in a room by the mini-golf / nature walk so you can open your door in the morning and...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank britishpike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2014

We have just started our second week of an all inclusive holiday. Food, room, entertainment, pools and service are very good. We are in a family suite and share a small pool with 10 other rooms. It's pleasant to spend the morning in one of the main pools, have lunch and then spend the afternoon in the small pool by the room. There is also a private beach right in front of the hotel which has a range of activities many of which are included. The Caribbean sea is very warm and inviting.

Booked with Virgin Holidays and flew Virgin Atlantic, we used the V Room at Gatwick which gave a very nice start to the trip out here, the flight was good also with a short coach trip from Cancun airport to the resort. Cancun airport is small and efficient so we didn't spend much time getting through passport control and customs and collecting our bags. We were met outside by Jose, the Virgin rep, who speaks good English and is very entertaining and thorough.

My only negative is we can hear the family in the room above, it sounds like they are playing musical chairs twice a day, not sure if they are loud or better noise insulation is required.

Overall a very good holiday experience which I highly recommend.

  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2014

The Good: Great beach, very clean resort, a nice cupcake/coffee house
The Bad: The food is bland and extremely simple don't expect lobster tails or any fancy dishes-even in their "upscale" restaurants. If your hoping to savor tropical fruits such as mango. Forget about it. You will only see mango drinks. How weird is that for an island resort??!!!.

The ugly: Long lines at check in and even longer waits for your room. No welcoming drink and towel like most resorts give. Once they tell you your room is not ready you get pushed over to someone that will try to talk you into a "special" breakfast and a tour of the resort" this is a pitch so you will take advantage of their ELITE club. After a long plane trip and van ride to the resort a sales pitch is the last thing guests want or expect!. Also no air conditioning in the lobby OR BUFFETS! That's a killer!

The VERY ugly: After waiting over 45minutes in the non air conditioned and extremely hot lobby, and getting the looooong "special breakfast" talk we were told by a "manager" that because of the long wait our room will be upgraded. 15 minutes later the same manager comes to us with "good news" our original room is ready, so no upgrade. Really? that's the good news???. Do we have stupid written on our foreheads?. Too tired and hot to argue we follow them to our room which was fine. Then all hell broke loose: my 17 yr old son tried to use their gym. We were told he could use it between the hours of 11 and 12. Most places you could use the gym if your over 16 any time you want. But for some reason this resort treats it like its a temple. Long story short even though we were told by NOT ONE BUT TWO "MANAGERS" that he could use it, he kept being turned away. After many trips back and forth (mind you our room is not a short distance away) we were told to go back to our rooms to wait for the GENERAL MANAGERS decision. Really? over a GYM VISIT??!! Where is the hospitality? Don't expect it at this resort. There's not any. Just a lot of overworked and untrained employees.

I gave it 2stars because the beach was so nice. But I would never return to that resort. When I go on vacation there's not much that I ask for just good food (they don't have)and friendly and happy employees that cater to the guests (which they definitely do not have).


  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
12  Thank ileanaf50
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:
#32 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#41 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#43 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#45 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#53 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $211 - $564 (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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