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“Amazing Destimation Wedding Event”
Review of Playacar Palace

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Playacar Palace
Ranked #23 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 21, 2013

My new husband and I held our destination wedding at the Playacar Palace. It was simply amazing! The location (near 5th Ave, and the Cozumel ferry), amenities, event coordination and execution, and staff were all stellar! Originally we didn't intend to have a "real" wedding, mostly due to cost. The Palace changed our minds. In the planning stages I worked primarily with Dulce on details. She was very helpful, knowledgeable, and patient (especially when I asked for the same information numerous different times) Once there, the event was coordinated by Wilma. She was also fantastic, thorough, and conspicuously present to ensure all went well at all times. The amount of work and cost for the caliber of event we received was nothing compared to what would have been necessary domestically. We had roughly 50+ people to come share in our celebration. The hotel provided a number of different deals based on attendance (measured in room nights), so we were able to have a rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception all complimentary. We spent our budget on photography, a few decorations (above what they provide as compliments) an upgraded cake (not quite like the picture we had requested, but a valiant effort) and the reception dance floor and music system (our own iPod mix, and whatever friends had on their phones). We definitely didn't need a DJ! These things were provided by hotel recommended vendors. All worked out wonderfully. Our event food (at all events) was better than what was provided in the hotel restaurants. This is not to say the all inclusive options weren't good. They were, and via the reports of my friends that do the all-inclusive thing often, it was better than most. The spa was great, with many options. Although, it could be hard to get an appointment on the spot. Nonetheless, it was well worth the wait. I was even told that if you sit through a 1.5 hr. pitch you can even get another $250 that can all be used at the spa. During my stay I had a pedicure (they do need more color options), hydrotherapy (everyone gets this with massage type services), a 60 min massage, complimentary 25 min massage, and body scrub. Most of this was obtained with resort credits, leaving only taxes to pay. Our room was great, Concierge level. Room layout and size are all roughly the same. The level, from what I can tell, reflects the view and in room amenities (espresso coffee, bottomless liquor, whirlpool tub, etc.). Our wedding package, with our size of group, included our stay at the Concierge level for a week FOR FREE (minus tip, etc). We're waiting on the reimbursement, but the catch is that you have to book everyone through the same source. If through the hotel, the hotel reimburses. If through a travel agent (our option) you have to check with the travel company. We weren't aware of this distinction which was the singular hiccup. After a little sorting this should be resolved. It was this piece that allowed us to have a killer time, and spend our money on things we really wanted. The entire premise of a destination wedding requires a couple to be comfortable shifting wedding costs to guests, but for about $4000 we lived it up, and made amazing memories with people who loved us enough to travel far and spend a chunk of change. The Palace isn't the cheapest option on the Playa del Carmen strip, but it was far from the most expensive. The balance was perfect. Our guests had an amazing time and are still talking about it! The cherry on top may have been the promptly delivered cash of warm towels for all of us who jumped into the pool at the end of the reception! We can't have been the first crew to do this, but at all times the Palace made us feel special! Thanks for everything!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Hilary W
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 March 28, 2013

Dear Hilary,

Thank you for your review on TripAdvisor and thank you for choosing us in such a special day for every couple and family as your wedding day. All the Playacar Family feel glad of been part of your life for a week that you and you group will always remember. We consider you already part of our family so we hope to see you again soon, for your first anniversary, the first baby or both!

Greetings to Vancouver and please, feel free to contact me for any questions or request for your next visit.

Hasta Pronto

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 21, 2013

Resort itself was pretty nice and the service was above normal. Showed a few signs of getting tired. Needed some fresh paint here and there. We had an ant problem one night which the hotel promptly sprayed for. They were full and couldnt move rooms immediately. They promised to move us the next day (multiple times) and never did. The restaurants and food were good, but a bit disorganized. The buffet had cook to order breakfast and the meat for lunch. When it comes to lunch/dinner, it would have been nice for them to cook several burgers/steaks at a time. They knew the demand was there, but since they cooked each one as it was ordered it caused long lines. Overall a nice place. Beautiful beach and convenient to shopping.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank bhutchison1
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 April 2, 2013

Dear Bhutchinson

All the Playacar Family truly appreciates your comments about our service, and I want to thank you for the time to write your review on Trip advisor. Every comment we take it in a very constructive way as same as yours, to improve our service daily.

We hope to receive you back soon to confirn that your feedback is taking in considaration

Hasta Pronto

D. Rubio
Playacar Palace G.M.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2013

Our transfers from the Cancun airport were well coordinated by Playacar Palace and we arrived within an hour's drive. The hotel itself is lovely, with a palatial feel - large off white tile floors everywhere and tropical breezes blowing through the lobby area. It is right on the beach near the terminal (really just a dock) for the Cozumel ferry. That is hardly noticeable except when the ferry arrives and departs a couple times a day, and even then not obtrusive.

This.is an all inclusive hotel and the food is good quality with excellent wait staff. Breakfast buffets include made to order omelettes and a wide variety of meats, some Mexican dishes. The Italian restaurant on the grounds is also excellent. My stepdaughter's wedding events were all a success although we were a bit disappointed with the food at the reception given the cost. However, the food was better than many weddings I've attended at upscale venues. They put on a great cocktail reception after the beach ceremony up on the patio overlooking the ocean.

Our room was very spacious with an ocean view and we were content with that. The hotel offers credits to spend in a variety of ways but limits the amount you can spend on one service such as the spa. I had a delightfully relaxing pedicure which included aromatherapy and massage. I would recommend that for the ladies. The technician was charming.

Overall, it was a good adventure - we only wish there was snorkeling off the beach. Playa del Carmen's 5th Avenue is only minutes away by foot and the shopping is fun.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank CoastalSunCary_NC
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 March 21, 2013

Dear Coastal

Thank you CoastalSunCary for your review on TripAdvisor and thank you for choosing us in such a special day for every couple as your wedding day. All the Playacar Family feel glad of been part of your life for the week you and you group will always remember.

We already consider you part of our family so we hope to see you again soon, for your first anniversary, the first baby or both!

Greetings to Vancouver and please, feel free to contact me for any questions or request for 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.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

I wish I had written this sooner ad I want to remember the names of all the fabulous people who welcomed us to this hotel from February 16 - 23rd. Travelled with our teen daughter and 10 year old son mostly because they do not charge my 14 yr old the adult price. This is a huge deal as everywhere else i was quoted adult price. Plus free wi-fi you cab put your phone in airplane mode and imessage or facetime to stay connected I will start with the rooms, which are not especially large when you count in the hot tub in the room. Personally I prefer the tub in the bathroom but the kids liked it. Everything was clean and you never had to ask twice for anything. We had room service several times and it was hot and really good. Club sandwich is excellent. Our room was 5th floor facing away from the pier so we had a wide expanse of beach to sit out and admire.

The location is awesome you just have to walk over to the ferry they are coming and going every day. It was windy most days but sunny except one day. Used the resort credits for a few excursions and the spa plus a tequila gift set. There is a Chinese food/teppanyaki restaurant which is amazing (do the warm chocolate cake for dessert mmmmmm) and the Italian restaurant we went to a few times enjoyed that alot. The buffet was where we spent most of our dining time and around the pizza bar. Javier was our favorite such a sweetie always looked after us with the special chilled tequila. I asked once for orange wedges but settled for a shot of OJ to chase it and within like 10 mins someone brought him oranges from the buffet so I could shoot more tequila. Little details. Gilbert in the main buffet was just the sweetest person ever. My kids just loved him he would find them ketchup or peanut butter or whatever they wanted would appear. Just a doll and completely genuine. Juana at the sports bar - amazing. We found some WpgJets fans who brought their laptop to watch the game in these little lounge coves that line one side of thr bar She brought us popcorn, peanuts various drinks - we were never out before she was bringing us more. Then a few nights later there was another game and she remembered our names, what we drink, where we were from. The little things that make you feel special.

The circus show is very well done and Michael Jackson was pretty good but other than that we didn't really partake of the entertainment. Spent most of our time on the beach or overlooking the beach. The hotel is right in Playa so just a few steps and you're in town but you would not know it on the resort. Oh, it's rare these days to have bar service on the beach. It was fantastic here again you are never empty for long.

Wonderful visit. Would return definitely.

Room Tip: 4th or 5th floor can't go wrong
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank JCCTKub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

We just returned from the Playacar Palace March 8th to 12th with our two daughters ten and twelve year old. As a family we have been doing our spring vacations in "non-all inclusives" for the past few years and thought we might check out an all inclusive option again and see what we think. After much research we decided on Playacar Palace based on the reviews.

Prior to our stay I called down to Mexico and spoke with the concierge a couple times and asked if could request a upgraded room and if we had to use the resort credits that would not be a problem. The person I spoke with got me very excited about getting one of the main floor walk out rooms and even told me the which one she would have us placed in. I then got our kids all excited about the fact that we would have a main floor room and able able to walk out directly to the beach and they couldn't wait. Well.....when we showed up the front desk had no recollection of this request and placed us on the second floor, there was NO room for discussion about getting any room on the main floor at all. It was actually very weird because I asked him to show me on the hotel map where the room they were placing us in was located and he refused and told me I would be taken to our room by someone else and then I will see. (I must point out here though that they did give us an upgrade from partial ocean view to full ocean view for no charge so it wasn't a complete appointment).

Another experience we had was with the Japanese restaurant. We went there the first night and had a good time, our waiter was great. We decided that we would like to try the "Habachi" table and we were instructed to make a reservation so we did for 2 days later. We were told that the reservation choices were either 6:30 or 9:30 and we picked 6:30. Two days later we returned to the restaurant at 5:30 by mistake (clock was wrong in the room) and we were told to return at 6:30. We then took our impatient kids up to the lobby and had a drink and returned at 6:30. When we walked in at 6:30 the chef was working away at the Hibachi table with another family there but I assumed that they cooked what you requested and that was the other families order. There were 4 chairs still open so we proceeded to them assuming they were ours. The hostess then told us that we could not sit there because our reservation was at 6:00 and if we wanted to sit there that would be fine "but the show is over". We then stood there for 15 minutes waiting for various managers to come and sort it out and eventually were told they could not serve us and we had to return another day. Really disappointing, I really don't understand what the big deal would have been for us to sit down and have our dinner for 4 people, it would have taken less energy than all the hassle this caused everyone. We then left and complained to the front desk only to be told that they were sorry that happened. Later that night we retreated to the buffet and the manager (or someone) from the Japanese restaurant approached us that we could then come to the restaurant at 5:30 the next day but we passed, what is the fun being the only ones in the restaurant that early in the evening and quite frankly we had lost interest - too much stress for a holiday.

Pros:
- very friendly and helpful staff (in general) always greeting us with a smile
- location is great
- food is quite good but not amazing (need better salad options)
- we used our resort credits for swimming with the dolphins which was great
- nightly entertainment is good (our kids especially liked the circus and fire show)

Cons:
- building getting old, needs some upgrades
- Japanese restaurant
- slow service at the Italian restaurant so don't be in a rush, otherwise good
- beach was nice but the water was not 100% clean, not like the Cancun beach
- if you have smaller kids there are not many others for them to meet - mostly adults
- crazy front desk issues (see below)

One last thing - on the second night we thought we might extend our visit by a night or two so I went to the front desk to inquire about cost and availability. The front desk told me that as of that day there was availability but he could not give me the cost and someone would have to call our room and tell us. Two days later there was no call or message so I returned to the desk and inquired again only to be told that they were 99.5% full and there was no room?? I then asked him what the cost would be if one became available and he quoted me a price $250 over what we paid for our current stay. I told him that was too high and then asked if I should look on line and see if there are any options and he told me that there would be none available at all since they have told they agencies there is no room and they were sending the overflow to other hotels but if i found a better price and a room we should book it and they would honor it (all very complicated and confusing). Curious I returned to my room and checked on line and there were several rooms available and not $250 more....unfortunately at this point I was losing my momentum on booking another night so we didn't.

In general it was not a terrible experience but I would have to say that we would not return. Too many little issues that started off our vacation on a bad note.

Room Tip: Most of them are good - try for room 100 if you can get it! It's very nice and on the main floor...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Zedthecat G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

We have stayed at Palace properties on 4 occasions and the service is always very good to excellent. The staff is consistently helpful and polite! Unfortunately the Playacar Palace is a very dated and tired facility. Our room (101) which is a premium priced location had a consistent septic order. The internet was very intermittent at best and quite disappointing.

All in all, this was a very average property at a bit of a premium price.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Steve C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

My husband and I stayed at this hotel from the 5th -16th march.we are well travelled and stayed in lots of lovely hotels all over the world.
The hotel restaurants were fantastic,lovely food and wine.The beach is absolutely gorgeous really wide and icing sugar white sand.the sea is beautiful and really clear water.
The staff at this hotel are absolutely amazing,they really can not do enough for you and work so hard,just to name a few of my favourites,Nora on the beach even remembered what you drank.leonardo at the pool bar.and Sara in the lobby.
I used the gym 4 times this was fine and had all you needed .
The spa was amazing we had a joint massage,which was wonderful.and the facility's were amazing,again with amazing staff.
The rooms were fine,and kept beautifully clean.and ladies you do not need to take your hair dryer and straighteners.im a hairdresser so very fussy,they were fantastic.so one thing less to pack.lots of Americans and Canadians,we were the only Europeans .all in all we had a fantastic holiday and would recommend this to anyone.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Carla2176
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
#11 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $411 - $809 (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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