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“great stay”
Review of Playacar Palace

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Playacar Palace
Ranked #27 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 23, 2013

My wife and I just returned from five nights at the Playacar palace. It was our first trip to PDC, we totally enjoyed the hotel and the associates are amazing - friendly, always professional in appearance and demeanor, and very hard working. We highly recommend the hotel and the area. We booked through Costco Vacations, and the local tour company was called Best Day Vacations.

Couple of tips-
Read the posts about the airport- you have to run a gauntlet of various people trying to sell you tours etc. It was very confusing and aggravating after a long flight. But once we found our Best Day tour rep, it went smoothly. In the future I would not hesitate to save the money and take the ADO bus to PDC.

We had the 1500 point resort credit, we blew off our scheduled appointment to meet the hotel rep. Went down our second morning and found a very nice guest service manager, who explained the points and how to use them without any kind of sales pitch. If you like wine, use the points and buy a good bottle of wine from the wine list. Otherwise the wine selections are a little rough. We also used points on individual spa treatments that were incredibly enjoyable. I had never had a real massage before, and was amazed at how skillful and professional the masseuse was. Make your appointments on your first day, to ensure you get in. I would have done another treatment if I had time. The hydrotherapy is amazing also, but I think you can only use the area if you have a massage scheduled. If you do use it, make sure to take the ice water plunge. The attendant strongly encouraged me to do it, - glad I did. Thye should make it easier to understand how to use the hydrotherapy area. The spa itself is first class, brand new they are still working a few kinks out. .

We do not use all of our points, we were gone most every day so it was our choice- but it is kind of a marketing gimmick. The romantic dinner at the beach did look nice, and we saw couples enjoying it. Just did not work into the schedule.

Food and Beverage

Italian restaurant- very good, but be prepared to make an evening out of it. Took a long time, but enjoyable. Saw family's with young kids really struggling. I would not go there if you had kids and wanted to eat in an hour. They do a flaming Mayan coffee that is quite a show. But most restaurants in the US no longer do that kind of table side preparation due to some unfortunate accidents that have occurred. When you put Sterno, a couple of kinds of alcohol,and a public dining room, anything can happen. That's just my comment, but I am in the F&B business and had not seen a table side flaming preparation like that in a long long time. That said, the table next to us ordered them, the preparation was very professional and the couple enjoyed the coffees.

Cafe del Mer- incredibly good- breakfast and dinner. Everything you could ever want, freshly prepared and served. I loved the yogurt (something about the dairy products n Mexico are wonderful)- probably loaded with butterfat. A sampling of different and authentic Mexican dishes were there every day, kind of fun to experiment, since at home I am a cereal and banana guy 365 mornings a year. The dinner selections were very good, they will saute shrimp chicken etc to order, so you don't have to have prepared food. One tip, there is a chef outside by the pool with an outdoor grill, if you get the chicken or fish from the inside cook, and bring it to him, he will grill it. I had the best dinner of grilled grouper on just some salad greens a couple of nights.

They have great desserts- there is coconut ice cream every night.

Japanese steakhouse- we were very pleased with our one visit.

Pool, bar- great staff, try one of the wood fired pizzas.I have forgotten the bartenders name there, Short gentleman- tremendously friendly and professional.

Really we did not intend to eat at the hotel as often as we did, but the food and service was so good, it was so much better then the two places we tried in town.We gave up on town.

The hotel is spotlessly clean- there is a veratable army of people cleaning the public spaces. Our room was very clean, but the stay over housekeeping could have been better. (more attention to details). But I am picky.

They will bring room service in the morning very quickly, nothing like a pot of hot coffee watching the sun come up. They also have coffee in the lobby bar 24- 7, a couple of mornings my wife was asleep so I just went down there. Unfortunately they also put out a tray of homemade Mexican breakfast breads and pastries, that are impossible to resist.

The beach was great, we walked for miles to the south.

We took the ADO bus to Tulum to visit friends, very simple. Two blocks from hotel, buy your tickets in advance though. The 8 am bus was sold out so we had to wait an hour. Lots of people took the same bus to go snorkeling. The bus stopped halfway to Tulum and most people got off there. Its a full motorcoach, with comfortable seats, and movies.

Took the ferry to Cozumel to scuba one day- had two amazing reef dives and then used the Palaces; sister hotel there and ate lunch and laid by the pool.

If you are interested in Scuba we also used Scuba playa in PDC, I highly recommend them.

My wife did get the stomach crud the last night we where there. Never figured out what was the cause as we tend to food share, luckily I was spared .Might have been the cut oranges we had on the dive boat in Cozumel. God only knows what they used to cut the oranges! She was deathly ill for about eight hours, but luckily it passed as fast it came on.

All in all great stay, highly recommended. I just read a review from a guest who had a wedding there last summer. Mr. Rubio appears to have the hotel running much better now.

Room Tip: we stayed on the 3rd floor south side. It was not a great ocean view, but a nice view to the North...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KCjoe_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayacarPalaceGM, Director General at Playacar Palace, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Dear KCJoe

I truly appreciate your comments and suport to our hard work during the last months.
All the Playacar family is really glad to see from your review that your stay was exceptional and relaxing. Our main goal day by day is to provide the best quality of service to our guests and it is very rewarding to know that our goal was achieved during your stay. It will be a privilege for us to welcome you back and make your return even more comfortable.

Recently “The Grill” and “The Pizzas” were opened by our pool terrace to complete our Restaurants offer and we appreciate your review about the dinner at "The Grill"

Please, do not hesitate to contact me for your next visit, and my best wishes for you and your wife.

Hasta Pronto

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M.

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2,688 - 2,694 of 4,636 reviews

Reviewed February 23, 2013

My husband and I just got back from a great week at Playacar Palace. We stayed from February 4 -February 10, 2013.

Room: We booked through Carey from Beach Bum Vacation. To save money we booked a deluxe room but were given an oceanfront upgrade when we arrived (and we did not have to use any of the $1500 hotel credits to do so). It was a great start to our vacation! Each room also has a Jacuzzi.

Location: Walk out of the resort and you're minutes away from 5th Avenue. My husband and I went to 5th Avenue at least 4 times to get a drink and people watch. Lots of music, shopping, bars, and restaurants.

Staff: All of the staff were super friendly (always with a smile on their faces) and would go out of their way to make sure we had a drink in our hand whether on the beach, at the pool, or just sitting in the lounge. We were never hassled for timeshares.

Food: We ate at all of the restaurants (Japanese, Hibachi, Italian, and Buffet) and never had a bad meal. The Hibachi restaurant (which was the only one that we had to make a reservation for) was just as delicious as Benihani. It was a nice change from other resorts we've been to to just walk into a restaurant without a reservation and get seated right away. Each restaurant has a lot to choose from, too. Italian has seafood, steak, pasta, etc. so it's not like you're just limited to Italian dishes. We did not do the Romantic dinner on the beach, but it looked nice and private.

Credits: We knew a few people who said resort credits are not easy to use. We had a completely different experience. The credits were very easy to use. They did try to start talking about wanting us to attend a timeshare presentation at the end of our discussion, but we just said we weren't interested and they didn't bug us again the whole trip. We had $1500 resort credits but chose only to use them at the spa and to buy some tequila at the gift shop. If you're interested in visiting Tulum or Chichen Itza you can do so with these credits, but we didn't want to. There is a $300 resort credit limit for the spa, so we chose to do a couples massage that was $385. Our only fee was $85. Any amount you spend on the $1500 resort credit you do have to pay an 11% tax, so it's worth it if it's tours or merchandise that you want. Credits can also be used at Moon Palace in Cancun to purchase jewelry. We bought a box of three different tequila bottles for $100 credits and only had to pay $11 for them.
Cozumel: We took the ferry over to Cozumel one day to check out the Cozumel Palace and walk around. The Cozumel Palace is nice, but there isn't a beach. It felt like a cruise ship where there are glass rails around the edges, and then nothing but ocean. There is a dock there where you can snorkel. We like beaches so it wasn’t our favorite place.

Room Tip: Request a room with a true balcony, half the rooms have a sliding glass door that opens up without a...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank T_Cristina_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayacarPalaceGM, Director General at Playacar Palace, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Thank you so much for write your review on Tripadvisor. All the Playacar family is really glad to see from your review that your stay was exceptional and relaxing. Our main goal day by day is to provide the best quality of service to our guests and it is very rewarding to know that our goal was achieved during your stay. It will be a privilege for us to welcome you back and make your return even more comfortable

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

My husband and I traveled here to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. We booked for a week but due to the East coast of the US snowstorm, our flight for Saturday am was cancelled. We hurried and rebooked a flight for the next day, arriving late on Sunday. We had requested a room with a king size bed, but were given one with 2 doubles. It did have an ocean view with a small balcony but also a view of the next door hotels roof. The room was very clean, and to agree with some others could have been a bit more updated, but it was fine. We were exhausted and just ordered room service which came very quickly.

The next day we stayed at the hotel and used the beach and pool which were great. Cesar led a great pool aerobics class. The large beach had nice sand and plenty of seats and umbrellas.

The Italian restaurant food was fabulous. We also ate at the tepanyaki hibachi (reservation needed) and the asian restaurant. The food was very good throughout the hotel. We did not have a chance to try the grill area on the beach, but it smelled good. On Valentines day they served a special meal on the beach with tables in a huge heart formation which was lit up with tiny lights. The sandwiches and snacks at the pool bar were good. Breakfast and lunch buffets had a large selection of choices. Room service was fast and there was a good selection of items to choose from.

The service was great in all areas of the hotel. We were never without a beverage at the pool or on the beach. Our room was cleaned daily and the refrigerator was stocked every day. The employees could not do enough for you and no request was too much.

The spa was incredible. I opted for the special package with the skin exfoliation, massage and facial. My husband chose an excursion to Tulum. We also were able to fit in an excursion where you could do zip-lining, repelling, snorkeling in a cenote (fresh water with "Mayan healing waters"), BBQ lunch and more snorkeling in the ocean. A short stroll down 5th avenue provided us with a chance for a little shopping and a stop at the "fish spa" in Wayans shop.

We did not have a chance to get to Cozumel on the ferry since our vacation was cut short, but this too is available right near the hotel. My husband was ready to sky dive on our last day, but it rained. We had been watching the tandem skydivers land on the beach all week. The shop for this is between the hotel and Senor Frogs on the beach.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank pathbunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayacarPalaceGM, Director General at Playacar Palace, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Dear LadyRose

Thank you so much for write your review on Tripadvisor. All the Playacar family is really glad to see from your review that your stay was exceptional and relaxing. Our main goal day by day is to provide the best quality of service to our guests and it is very rewarding to know that our goal was achieved during your stay. It will be a privilege for us to welcome you back and make your return even more comfortable

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

I returned to Playacar palace this year with 7 other women ranging from 50 yrs old to 83 years old. We were all treated with excellent service - smiles everywhere. The staff are so attentive and make us feel so very special. I loved the Japanese restaurant with the humourous chef and delicious food. The Italian restaurant was superb - the service was way beyond our expectations. The tomato basil soup and beef tenderloin were superb. I enjoyed the spa -it was really nice to have it in the resort this year. The hot stone massage was to die for.
All of us gave this hotel 5 star and the food was exceptional. Thank you to all the kitchen staff who went out of their way to serve us a special meal. I would not hesitate for a minute to recomend this resort to anyone.

Room Tip: Make sure to try the pineapple flambe and the mayan coffee.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Ladyrose1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayacarPalaceGM, General Manager at Playacar Palace, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2013

Dear Ladyrose1

I would like to thank you for share your experience with us. All the Playacar family truly appreciate your kind words and is very glad to know that you enjoyed the facilities, food and the service provided .

Looking forward to welcome you back at Playacar Palace, feel free to contact me anytime

Hasta Pronto!

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

We traveled here for our honeymoon. This all inclusive resort was perfect for us because of the amenities offered on the premises and it's location to downtown Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and the Cozumel ferry.

Employees and staff are so friendly that it is easy to see why so many members return year after year. I have never been so pampered and cared for in my life. From making dinner reservations to delivering late night room service - the staff was always so kind. By day two, the bartender at the pool knew our favorite drinks and would have one waiting for us when we came down to the pool in the morning (yes, we were drinking by the pool before noon - we were on vacation!). We loved exploring downtown Playa del Carmen. We felt completely safe as we walked from the resort to the nearby shops and restaurants.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayacarPalaceGM, General Manager at Playacar Palace, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2013

Dear JenniferB

I would like to thank you for share your experience with us. All the Playacar Palace truly appreciate your kind words and is very glad to know that you enjoyed the facilities, food and the service provided by all of. We also send you our best wishes to Hartbord hoping to see you back soon.

Looking forward to welcome you back at Playacar Palace, feel free to contact me anytime

Hasta Pronto!

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

Overall our return stay was wonderful. Angel remembered us from last year and all the staff made us feel welcome. We enjoyed the fire show, circus and Michael Jackson. The entertainment staff works hard and we laughed alot at the fun they were having with the guests. Water aeorbics with Victor was a fun workout. Ailene and her hats made us laugh everyday. The new Hibachi grill at Mono is a definite plus and the sushi bar is excellent.

Two areas need improvement. One is the length of time it took to book with the Vacation Planners. We spent over an hour trying to book three spa appointments, the romantic dinner, and a tour. This was the same level of service as we had the previous year. The second is housekeeping. We always put the please clean tag in the door lock when we left in the mornings. However, on several days we would come back to our room around 3/3:30 from the pool to find the room had not been cleaned. One day I had to call housekeeping to have them come clean the room.

We were disappointed that the Palaycar Golf Course is now Hard Rock and that we could not use either our Resort Credits or our Cash Out credits to play plus that it requires a taxi ride to the course now.

The new spa is lovely. However, I was disappointed in the limited services. Last year I had the Kuklakan massage and was looking forward to having it again. On the other hand, the aromatherapy massage was wonderful. My husband enjoyed his 25 minute back massage. The inability to use the hydotherapy facilities unless we had an appointment was also disappointing.

Room Tip: Try to avoid rooms above the pool bar if you go to bed early. The bar closes around 1000 PM; howeve...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Cathjim822
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayacarPalaceGM, General Manager at Playacar Palace, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2013

Dear Cathjim822

Thank you so much for write your review on Tripadvisor.Our location, our activities, our SPA, and the most important our SPA are our main difference. Our goal is to know our guests by name and not by wrist band or room number. We feel proud you enjoyed your service and remember that Playacar will always be your warm home away from home.

Please, feel free to contact me anytime at your next visit in order to make all the arrangements about your room and special details.Our best to Pensilvania.

Hasta Pronto

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Wonderful location. Excellent staff. My only complaint is double check your bill to make sure you weren't double charged or charged incorrectly. The Asian restaurant is the best...some of the best sushi I have ever had. The bartender at the swim up bar makes the best mojitos!

Room Tip: Stayed in room 409, no balcony, but didn't miss it. Great view!
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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3  Thank csshufelt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayacarPalaceGM, General Manager at Playacar Palace, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2013

Dear Csshulfet

Thank you so much for write your review on Tripadvisor. We feel proud you enjoyed your service and remember that Playacar will always be your warm home away from home.

Please, feel free to contact me anytime at your next visit

Hasta Pronto

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Playacar Palace

Address: Bahia del Espiritu Santo | Esq. Abraira de Arriva, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $416 - $842 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Playacar Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 201
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playacar Palace, a trendy beachfront resort located steps away from Playa del Carmen's famous 5th Avenue and the Cozumel Ferry Dock. Our all-inclusive, luxury resort features 201 appointed rooms, 3 restaurants and 4 bars. This resort is considered the perfect spot to relax during the day and enjoy the nightlife and charms of "Playa" at night. Playacar Palace is perfect for families, couples, and group getaways. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playacar Palace Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Playacar Palace Mexico
Playacar Palace Resort
Playacar Palace Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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