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.
- 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