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“Great Anniversary Trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Playacar Palace

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Playacar Palace
Ranked #18 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
SLC, UT
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Anniversary Trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2013

We were so excited to visit this area again to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary. We had not stayed at this resort but had stayed up the beach a ways and liked the area. This resort got good reviews when we were doing our research and have to say in some ways we were disappointed and in others it was more than we expected. Overall we were very happy with the place and would stay here again.

Upon arrival we had an issue with our room and had to stay in a room that we did not want and did not reserve but it was the only room for the night which we thought was weird it's not like they didn't know we were coming we had booked several months prior but Nancy at the desk assured us that if we would stay in this room that night she would guarantee us that the next day we would get our room and she kept her word which was wonderful.

After we got over that inital disappointment we had a marvelous time. Most of the staff was extremely nice, helpful, friendly and went above and beyond to make us have a great time. The resort from the front side was not much to look at but when you get to the other side overlooking the beach and pool it was much better. For getting such high ratings it was a little run down, older than we expected and needs some upgrades and a little work in areas but for the most part it was nice and clean. The bed in our room was really comfortable. We did not use the Jacuzzi tub and the shower was different we ended up flooding everything but the shower head and water pressure were good. We loved the balcony and setting out there watching the water. Had a big TV in room but we never turned it on. Fridge was stocked nicely and liquor dispenser was nice it had Tequilla, Rum, Vodka and Skotch. We were however not impressed with the maid service. The made the bed everyday and gave us some towels but 6 out of the 8 nights we were there I had to call down to get more towels mostly handtowels and washclothes. If we were lucky they would give us one of each but several days we didn't get any washclothes which makes it a little hard to wash your face but they would bring them up shortly after we would call. They did not clean much mostly just did the bare minimum and most days did not wipe off the sink in bathroom.

The pool was great. Clean and temp was good. The wait staff around the pool and at the bars by the pool did a great job making sure that we had everything that we needed. The loungers were nice and comfortable and the towels were nicely sized as well. Loved the umbrellas and was impressed that they seemed to have a lot of them not just a few.

The beach itself was wonderful the sand was great the water was great it was some of the nicest beach along there we know because we took a walk and well we were really impressed with the beach at the resort and how well kept it was. The chairs and umbrellas out there were great as well.

The food at the resort was great compared to a couple other places we stayed and you only needed a reservation for the Tempanyaki place not all of them which was wonderful you could eat where you felt like that night. They did have a dress code for the Italian and the Asian but not too stuffy which was nice because you want to relax on vacation not have to get super dressed up. We loved the food at the Asian restaurnat and the Italian place ate at both of those places twice. We ate at the Tempanyaki place once and it was good but not super great flavor to the food but the guys at the table were nice and fun so more about the experience than the food. The Cafe or buffet had good food and a great selection for Breakfast and Dinner we did not make it for lunch and the staff was great.

Bars and drinks were good they had a good selection and did a great job. Also the staff was extremely friendly and attentive. We went to a couple of the nightly events and that was fun and the shows were good. The activites around the pool were fun we did not participate in many but observed and seemed like people were having a good time.

Spa was beautiful and was the newest and nicest place at the resort it was amazing. We had massages and we were treated like royalty and they were really good.

Close to 5th Ave which is nice so you can take a little walk and you are close to stores, bars and restaurants if you are so inclined. Close to the ferry dock to Cozumel which was nice we did take the ferry over and do some snorkling was a nice little day trip.

As always with all Inclusive places they attack you about the time shares which is major annoying but just tell them you are not interested and they leave you alone which was nice.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dorks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayacarPalaceGM, General Manager at Playacar Palace, responded to this review, May 29, 2013
We truly appreciate your review, it is lovely! Thank you so much! Our top priority is to offer an exceptional service to each of our guest and it is very satisfying to read that this was your case.
Thank you for your kind words about our staff, this motivates them to keep putting their best effort in their daily job. All the Playacar Family will really proud and happy to see this review.
Thank you again and we hope to see you again very soon!


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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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2013

We had a nice stay here, the property could use a little sprucing up as it is looking a little worn out. Our room was nice and the staff was great. They have a beautiful large beach, wish we could have stayed longer.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tammlt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayacarPalaceGM, General Manager at Playacar Palace, responded to this review, May 29, 2013
We truly appreciate your review, it is lovely! Thank you so much! Our top priority is to offer an exceptional service to each of our guest and it is very satisfying to read that this was your case.
Thank you for your kind words about our staff, this motivates them to keep putting their best effort in their daily job. All the Playacar Family will really proud and happy to see this review.
Thank you again and we hope to see you again very soon!


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.
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2013

We stayed at Playacar for my wedding on April 20th, 2013. It was really a perfect stay. We had a total of 47 guests (well, 43 stayed at the resort) and not one of them had a complaint! I'd say that is a success! We were very focused on making sure that everyone would have a good time and enjoy their vacations that we asked them to take on our behalf....and we feel very satisfied with the results!

The bellmen and house cleaning staff were wonderful and very attentive. The staff at all the restaurants were also very attentive and friendly. The bar and wait staff at the pool were great and very fun (I can only imagine how tiring their jobs must be sometimes). Bernice was wonderful, she took care of us all 4 days and was very quick and attentive. The bartenders at the pool bar were awesome and always smiling.

Yazmin, was on our onsite wedding coordinator (Dulce was off site and equally as wonderful and detail oriented). She and her team were excellent. She was so friendly and sweet and made sure she had our every need and wish taken care of. Her team really exceeded our expectations. The wedding was gorgeous and of course I was a little nervous planning from afar. Our DJ and photographer (Marco) were awesome. Everyone that I spoke to to coordinate these details were extremely attentive and efficient. I can honestly say I have no complaints!

The only problem we encountered was that the spa scheduling was a bit off, but I think it was more of a computer glitch than the Spa's fault. They worked very hard to make sure everything was fixed. The spa is gorgeous and Nidia was wonderful. I was a bit stressed and she made me feel calm and my hair and makeup were just as I asked for.

This resort was the perfect location for a destination wedding. We were blown away by the service and so happy with our decision to stay here.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Emily C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayacarPalaceGM, General Manager at Playacar Palace, responded to this review, May 29, 2013
We truly appreciate your review, was lovely o receive you at Playacar Palace for such an unforgetable day like your wedding's! Thank you so much! Our top priority is to offer an exceptional service to each of our guest and it is very satisfying to read that this was your case.

Thank you for your kind words about our staff, this motivates them to keep putting their best effort in their daily job.

All the Playacar Family will really proud and happy to see this review.
Thank you again and we hope to see you again very soon!


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.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

This hotel is fantastic! Leonardo took care of us by the pool all week and he was the most attentive and on-the-ball server I have ever had!!!! Everyone there was super friendly and the place was great all around!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lindsaygreen916
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayacarPalaceGM, General Manager at Playacar Palace, responded to this review, May 29, 2013
We truly appreciate your review, it is lovely! Thank you so much! Our top priority is to offer an exceptional service to each of our guest and it is very satisfying to read that this was your case.
Thank you for your kind words about our staff, this motivates them to keep putting their best effort in their daily job. All the Playacar Family will really proud and happy to see this review.
Thank you again and we hope to see you again very soon!


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.
Marion, Ohio
Level Contributor
45 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

Location is the main feature of this resort. Within a couple of blocks of the ferry to Cozumel and the fun of Playa del Carmen. White power sand beach with enough chairs and umbrellas. We come for the ocean, so didn't use the pool, but it looked nice.

The resort itself is smaller and older. Everything was clean and worked okay, but there was a bit of shabbiness; portions of walls closed with painted rough plywood panels, service area doors left open all day, abandoned air conditioning equipment on clearly visible roof tops. We've stayed in several resorts in the general area and this was the least well kept. Likewise, the staff was friendly and helpful, but again, didn't go the extra mile as experienced elsewhere.

The rooms were nice, sort of medium sized, and the beds were good.

The food was good, but not exceptional. I read rave reviews of the Italian restaurant, but I found it pretentious and mediocre. It doesn't take reservations and if you are not there at 6:00 pm in-person to sign-up, you will be waiting until 8 or 9 to eat. The buffet is at least as good, and the Asian restaurant takes reservations and is also good.

The nightly entertainment was fine, but they really don't have a good venue to present it. It was done at the pool or in an open area in the lobby.

I would go back just because of the location.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sadiedad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

We just got back from attending a friends wedding at the Playacar Palace, from 4/17-4/24 and had one of the best trips to Mexico! We have been to the area and Cancun 8 other times, but this was really great from start to finish. We booked through a Palace member, and got Diamond/VIP treatment from start to finish.....


The Good: amazing Honeymoon suite, staff that was genuine and went above an beyond, perfect location.

The Bad: Sometimes inconsistent room service delivery...


Arrival/Departure:
On arrival, we were given cold towels and flowers for my wife. Check in is small and personal so we waited minutes for one of the people to finish with someone else which was no problem. Check out was equally smooth, although we waited a bit longer as there were less people on duty. As we stood their, other staff came over and offered us to sit, and have a drink which was nice. We did change larger peso bills from the ATM for smaller so that we could give tips twice during our stay, and it was done quickly with humor! Also left some champagne and a personal note to on check out, which was delivered to the newlyweds as we asked, after we left.

Transfers:
We had airport transfers included, and had no trouble finding the rep outside. We waited about 15 minutes and then had a van all to ourselves....driver was nice and van was clean.

Room:
What can I say other then WOW!! We had a honeymoon suite on the outer edge of the building with a large balcony that wrapped around. The room was sparkling clean the whole stay, and in perfect condition....no repairs needed. Décor was minimalistic and to our liking for a beach vacation. In room liquor did not include Gin, but was brought a full bottle soon after I requested it. The shower was huge and also clean, and we used the Jacuzzi as it was located right against a window next to the balcony doors. The separate living room was great as the other couples we traveled with could come and meet us all before heading to dinner for cocktails and some light snacks (from the free room service).
** We did find the first nite we woke up every 20 minutes, and figured out the next day while trying to nap it was from the A/C fan kicking on. We switched it to "On" from "Auto" when going to sleep the second nite and it took care of the issue.

Spa:
We booked a couple massage before arrival, and the spa was new, clean and nicely done....much better then the one at Le Blanc. Therapy room was equally brand new as was the hydrotherapy area. Also had manicure/pedicures included in our room which were done very well by Innocenta. On the final day we used our included 25 minute back massage each with Margarita the therapist were soooo good, actually better then the 80 minutes couples massage.

Food:
-The breakfast buffet was always fresh, and we ate outside every morning. Our waiter was always Ucenceo (sorry cannot spell it) who was from the South of Mexico and so beyond friendly! He always had my iced coffee on the way. The woman making the omelets was so nice everyday and made us smile, as did the hostess who was there every morning to greet us. It's not a huge buffet, but had enough choices for us.
-the Italian Restaurant was excellent the first time we ate there. One thing was better then the next, presentation was always thought out and the service was perfect. We ate again there for the rehearsal dinner a few nites later with a large group and had some issues. The waiter forgot some of the orders so not everyone had an entrée come out....we had to ask a few times for other missing things, and then I had balsamic vinaigrette spill on (and ruin) my brand new shirt when they were clearing the table. I think they had a tough time dealing with a larger group (18 people), but we all rolled with it as they seemed to be trying very hard.
-The Benny Hanna-esque Japanese steakhouse was the sleeper of the place! You had to walk outside to get to it, but the food was incredible. Our waiter was also top notch, and my wife loved the sushi rolls she ordered as well as the menu items. We didn't choose to sit a the chefs table, and enjoyed seeing some of it in the background, but preferred a more romantic table in the back.
-The Pool Bar was excellent to have everyday. They had fast and fresh choices as well as little pizzas made in a wood oven right there. I am a NY-er, and while it is not NY pizza, it was more then appealing to me. We ate food from here on the beach one day, in the swim up bar many days, and top side of the pool bar also. Each time it hit the spot.

Drinks:
What can I say? The bartenders are really the stars of the show here! Javier in the pool bar was a rock star with excellent drinks, Cesar, Victor, Leonardo and crew really made us have a great time. We most often used the pool bar, but also used the Luna Lounge and the lobby bar all with great success. They had plenty of liquor choices and tended to remember what you asked for and how......I don't just mean when you ordered another round, I mean days later too! Never an issue to get Grey Goose, Don Julio Reposado, Bombay Saphire Gin, Cuban Club rum or any other top shelf item. We do wish they had some cachaca for my Brazilian wife, but I did bring some so she was able to have caipirinha's in the room with limes I called down to room service for. I don't think I ever had an empty glass or a bad drink the entire 8 days we were there!

Espresso:
They had a decent quality machine in the lobby bar, and made above average espresso/espresso drinks. I was able to get iced lattes and cappuccinos' without an issue. The espresso in the breakfast buffet was basically undrinkable, and the best I was served was after dinner in the Benny Hanna style Japanese steak house. Not sure if it was a newer machine or skill of the server, but it was top notch. It was nice not to have to walk into town for my daily espresso fix as I thought I may have to before arriving.

Entertainment:
We are not usually looking for much entertainment, but man, you couldn't help but be pulled in by Victor! He and Aline did a great job every day with salsa lessons, water aerobics, music, bingo, etc. Also, at night Victor kept the party going in the lobby bar along with the Micheal Jackson show, Samba show etc. When he found out my wife was Brazilian, he even downloaded some Brazilian music and played it whenever he saw us the rest of the week....I cannot tell you how welcome this made my wife feel, and for that I am grateful!!! Also attended the Chef's Dinner and had a great time with exciting food presented to us.

**Also, Senor Frogs had a huge reggae concert one nite and as our suite was on the other corner of the building facing the pool and ocean, we had people over to our huge balcony to enjoy the show at no charge! It was a nice bonus...

Trips:
-We did swimming with the dolphins which was included at no charge, and just took a taxi down instead of spending all day on a bus going to other hotels. One of the guys at the bellhop station got us a taxi who for $500 pesos (less then $50 USD) took us down, waited for us and took us back when we were done! It was a great experience.
-As a group the day after the wedding, we all took the ferry to Cozumel. The trip was fast and we enjoyed life music on board. Once in Cozumel we ended up at the Cozumel Palace for lunch, drinks and pool volleyball but were happy to get back to the Playacar.
-5th Ave was also a destination for us for dinner one nite, morning walks a few other times, and a group outing for drinks on the roof bar at Deseo after the rehearsal dinner. It was so nice to have it right there to stroll into.....

Photoshoot:
We used some of our resort credits to do the Romantic Photoshoot with Javier and had such a fun time. He used a few different locations and ended with some photos of us lying in the surf together. We thought it was a good use of time and they came out so nice!

Tipping:
We are big believers in tipping for good service, even at an "All Inclusive" property and found ourselves doing it during the entire trip. Each time we did, the response was almost surprise in the humble way they thanked us.....it was not the attitude we have had other places were it is expected. PLEASE BE SURE TO TIP THIS EXCELLENT STAFF WHEN THEY PROVIDE GREAT SERVICE TO YOU. We want to ensure they stay there so we can see them all on our next trip.

Overall, we cannot say how pleased we were with our time at the Playacar Palace. We have no real complaints and cannot wait to go back again. We were asked once about the time share and it was never mentioned again. The options of having beach days and pool days, combing with the small boutique hotel vibe, makes it such a winning choice for us and enjoyed it so much more then Le Blanc were went for 3 days after checking out. In our well traveled opinion, the management team from Le Blanc should spend a few days at the Playacar Palace to learn how to treat a guest.....


Thank you to all of the staff, and we look forward to seeing you again!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank EuroStyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

This was my wife and I's anniversary vacation and it was my first all-inclusive resort. We arrived at the height of wedding season, which was romantic, if a little more festive than we'd imagined. After all, this was supposed to be the off-season. Regardless, the staff almost never said the word, "No" to any request. The three restaurants -- Asian fusion, Italian and Cafe -- we're all excellent. The staff were all very polite with an "it's my pleasure" attitude.

We did the sales presentation in exchange for a couple of freebies (free roundtrip ferry to Cozumel and free Jeep rental on the island). The sales staff is not too pushy. Just be patient and, if you're not interested, firmly but politely say "No." After about 3-5 times of saying "No", they will give up, but not before they do a sales hand-off. If you'd rather not do the presentation, they will not push you into it.

We will definitely go back, either to this resort, or another Palace resort. They have their service down to a science.

Room Tip: Try for a higher floor to avoid the lobby, spa, and gym and restaurant traffic.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ryan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Playacar Palace

Property: 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 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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