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“Playacar Palace - April 2014”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Playacar Palace

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Playacar Palace
Ranked #19 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Loch Arbour, NJ
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Playacar Palace - April 2014”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2014

This was our 2nd stay at Playacar Palace, and it did not leave us wanting for more. Not only was the weather perfect everyday, but the hotel and its staff were better than we remembered from last year.

First - the breakfast staff (Israel, Dionicio, Sotero, Guadelope and Edgar) are the best. There is nothing that you need that they don't try to provide in service. Once they get to know you and what you like, they have it there waiting for you, as soon as they see you coming in the door. They go out of their way, everyday.

Can't forget Perla, who provides for all your needs out by the pool and on the beach. She does not stop, and you are never without a drink or a snack. She tries to make sure you never have to get up from the lounge.

But if you do want to get up, Cesar is a fantastic Recreation/Activities Director. Whether he is leading the Water Aerobics class in the morning, getting kids out to have some fun or pulling together a game of beach volleyball, he tries to get you engaged if you have an interest. And if not, he's more than happy to just say hi and move on.

If you stay, make sure to take advantage of the spa. You can use up to $300 of your hotel credits for spa treatments, but that won't be enough, as it is a top rated facility. Better than most in the states and the staff also tries to make sure you have everything you need.

Hotel is right next to the Cozumel Ferry. We went to the Cozumel Palace for the day and get full access to the facility just by showing our Playacar bracelets. Great kids activities in the pool and you can go snorkeling off their property, since Playacar is just beach and Cozumel is on the reef.

Make sure to see the Vacation Planners to schedule use of your hotel credits. You can use them for swimming with dolphins and stingrays, spa treatments, upgraded wine, golf, etc... Look for Gustavo and his team, as they are very helpful in helping you to get everything you can out of the stay. Oh, and the nightly shows are great.

Anyway, in short... FANTASTIC place and we look forward to returning again.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Robert W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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East Sandwich
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2014

We just spent six days at the Playacar Palace (4/19/14 to 4/25/14). From check in to check out, our experience was tops. This year was our eighth or ninth visit to the Palace in ten years and we will return. No reason exists to look at another property; Playacar Palace is safe...we walked an ran in the morning before daylight, we walked the beach during the day and strolled Fifth Avenue in the evening, Playacar Palace is welcoming...the staff recognized us and checked in often to insure we had all we needed, Playacar Palace serves great food...the fish (mahi) was really tasty, Playacar Palace has a great beach...the water was cool and comfortable, life guards watched the water and insured that no interlopers gained access to the proberty, beach service was constant, Playacar Palace completed its mission with a smile and an offering of "we hope to see you again."
My wife and I are in our sixties, mobile and have a sense of humor that matches the atmosphere of the Palace...This is a great place to stay for those our age and those who want to play in the louder opportunities the PdC offers. Accessable to all aspects of the area, Playacar Palace is a winner.
We will be back.
To the staff at Playacar Palace, Thank you.
B

Room Tip: Facing the pool with a balcony on the upper levels
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bud S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2014

I was hesitant to write a review, but after some thought I couldn't consciously let others spend their hard earned money at the Playacar Palace without letting them know my thoughts regarding our vacation.

I did a lot of research prior to our trip and communicated with a few past guests via TripAdvisor. I was really looking forward to an amazing experience. The reality of Playacar Palace did not live up to the hype.

Some things I will share that I wish I had known:

- Four people cannot comfortably stay in one room. My husband and I and two teenager daughters stayed together. The jacuzzi tub taking up a decent portion of the room doesn't help. For storage there is one closet and about five drawers (not enough for 4 people). We had to live out of suitcases for the week. The rooms are suited for couples -- not families. The beds are full size beds at best, not King size for sure.

- The bathroom doors don't have locks or extreme privacy if that matters to you. The bathroom door is made of frosted glass.

- The bathroom shower is open and adjoins to the toilet area. This results in a giant indoor pool after someone showers. With the floors being marble, this can be extremely slippery and hazardous.

- Excursions & Resort Credits: If you are interested in using resort credits for excursions, make sure this is one of your first matters of business upon arrival. Some excursions are limited and only offered on certain days of the week.

There seems to be a disconnect in communication between guest services at the resort and the excursion companies. In both of the excursions we took to Tulum and Stingray Beach in Cozumel there was confusion and miscommunication. If you take the half day trip to Tulum and are told you will not have beach time, wear your swimsuit under your clothes anyways. We had nearly 1.5 hours of free time to swim and didn't have out suits as we were told there was "no beach time" - that we'd have to break away from the tour and get our own ride home! We were very hot and ended up going in our shorts anyways.

- Hibachi table: Yes, reservations are needed. The guests services representative said to make them one day in advance. Not true if you'd like to eat before 9 pm. It took us till the last day of of week long trip to get a reservation at 7 pm. After making your excursion reservations, make booking the hibachi table your second stop.

- Pants are required. Yes, long pants are required for men in the Italian restaurant. I've read many discussions about this on TripAdvisor. During our stay I saw numerous men turned away who were wearing shorts. There is even a sign posted outside the restaurant saying that long pants are required. Don't *hope* that you can get into the restaurant, just bring your pants already.

- Besides eating dinner from the buffet there are no outdoor evening restaurants. I found this to be very disappointing considering the beautiful location of the hotel. Since there are patios located right outside of both the Asian and Italian restaurants it seems like it would be easy to place some tables outside for those who would like to enjoy the sound of the waves and sea breeze. Seemed like a shame to be cooped up inside when we traveled all this way to enjoy the tropical weather.

- A pro of the resort is it's small size. You don't have to walk far to access the pool, restaurant, beach or your room. On the other hand the downside to a small all-inclusive resort was the limited selection of restaurants. For a week long stay, three restaurants to choose from wasn't enough especially when two of them were so specific in their menus (Italian and Asian cuisine). I would say that the food was AVERAGE at best, nothing special. Certainly not worth the money invested. We found many things to be "watered down" from drinks to the guacamole.

- Reserving pool chairs. Our stay was during spring break, granted a peak time, and we found it necessary to put towels on the poolside loungers by 6 am if we wanted a spot for the day. It appears the hotel reserves blocks of seats for VIP members with their names on them. Even if they don't come to the pool that day, the seats remain unoccupied. Seems a waste when other paying guests are wandering around waiting for seats to open.

- Transportation to/from the resort. I've read other reviews where people experienced trouble with their airport transfers. I can mention that we used Amstar and were very satisfied with their prompt service.

- Overserved guests. I guess this comes with the territory of unlimited alcohol, but the hotel needs to have a toleration policy for guests who have been overserved and are becoming disruptive. While at the pool we had to leave because of the language and subject matter. Another evening, there was a f-bomb screaming match poolside between bridesmaids.

- If you're looking for a relaxing poolside experience, this resort is not for you. All throughout the day there is dance music playing and there are event coordinators running water aerobics, bingo, trivia contests, etc. On a positive note, the wait staff around the pool is very attentive. Juana was our waitress for the week and she always answered our requests with a smile. She is an extremely hard worker.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for a room with a FULL balcony. Some rooms have small balconies or no balconies at al...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank TVLR792
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2014

My wife and I recently spent two weeks this April at the Playacar Palace in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The location was perfect and provided easy access to Cozumel and all the tours.

From the moment we arrived Alberto and Saskia made us feel welcome.

Our first dinner was in the Italian restaurant where the manager Jazz Perez and the hostess Marysol made us feel welcome. The waiters Rafael, Domingo, Antonio, Pedro, Ivan, Luis, Gilbert, Renan, and Cleiver made our dinners very special.

In the morning we enjoyed a buffet breakfast with servers Porfirio, Artemio, Francisco , Meyra, and Edgar attending to our every need. Anaceli made the very best omelet.

In the afternoon the pool bar was well attended by Alfredo, Gerardo, David, Ivan, Wilder, Juan, Carmen, and Francisco.

If you enjoy Asian food then the hostess, Micelia, and manager, Quetzal Vazquez, can arrange a superb evening. The waiters Victor, Raul, Oscar, Pedro, Marisela, Alejandro, and Juan Pablo will make you comfortable. The sushi chef, Juanito, and the teppanyaki chefs, Mario and Victor, will make the evening special.

You have shopping available on 5th Avenue, which runs parallel to the beach and consists of new and old stores, shops, and restaurants.

The ferry boat to Cozumel island is a few hundred feet from the hotel.

The ADT bus system, a few blocks down 5th Avenue, is available if you wish to travel to Cancun for 116 Pesos for a round trip ticket. The buses are air conditioned and provide a movie to entertain you during the hour and a half trip.

You will enjoy your stay at this resort.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Dennis R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2014

Location was perfect, can shop on 5th ave or catch the ferry to Cozumel. Beach is spectacular blue. The best part though was the service. The staff is so friendly and accommodating. Will be back next year.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HappyFireIslanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2014

I never write these letters,but I just couldn't let the opportunity pass to let anyone traveling to playa del Carmen know what a spectacular resort Playacar palace is.From the moment we arrived we were treated like kings and queens,the staff is unlike any staff I have experienced in the past,and I have travelled extensively.Nora,at poolside,Vivina,Gerardo the AMAZING bartender,also poolside,Angel,Gilbert in the Italian restaurant,Martha,Israel,Jesus,Martha the morning breakfast lady,who never stops smiling,Quetzal,the manager,Erick,Adelmira,Bernice the amazing beach server,Elvia,Sandra,Ana,Felipe and last but not least,Antonio,who was so kind to me in the Italian restaurant that I wll never forget....your wife and 2children are blesses with your presence in their lives.I am sorry if I have not mentioned some of the other fine staff,you were all so lovely and the day I arrived home I started planning my next trip to Playacar palace.Also the rooms were great,the beach fantastic,the pool area so much fun and the food was so great,I never left the resort property for 7 days!!! I enjoyed the spa so much and the ladies there took me to a level of 'zen ness' that I am still enjoying! I travelled to Playacar palace with 37 people for my daughter Kate's and son-in-law Brett's wedding,and NOT ONE PERSON had a complaint! WOW! Our wedding co-ordinator was perfect from beginning to the very end,so nice. Well I better stop as I have run out of superlatives to describe this place and the people who work there,all I have to say is GO THERE!!!

Room Tip: Choose the new part
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Debbie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2014

Where should I begin... Let's start at the beginning...

Room: my husband, 2 children and I arrived to our "oceanfront" room (105) to find a "feminine" wrapper in our coffee mug (my husband attempted to make me a quick drink from the bar and found it then) We complained to mgmt that the room was dirty and we'd like a room change. They had nothing to offer us. The next day they offered us a smaller, cramped room than we already had. We needed to use a cot for sleeping and this second room didn't offer the space for one, so we declined. They never offered us another room after that.
We had a constant sewage stench that came through our room at night. Usually when we were sleeping, it woke us up!!! We gave up on complaining, as management had no plans to move our room (and offering a smaller room with no cot WASN'T A VIABLE OPTION FOR US) after repeated requests. Also, there was a wedding reception in front of our room one night, dj music blaring until 11:00pm!! All we wanted to do was go to sleep after a long day out, but that wasn't happening. Management should plan accordingly and book those front rooms for guests of the wedding!! Simple planning on their part would have alleviated the anger and frustration we experienced.
Management kept telling us they were fully booked. Funny thing is they reserve a bunch of open "clean" rooms for all of their time-share viewings (which they push on you for the first 24 hours until you can't take it anymore and either tell them to get lost or give in) We refused their repeated offers to listen to their 90 minute schpiel. NO way were we buying into this "timeshare deal" and no way would we ever consider a Palace timeshare.
They were conveniently painting the front (ocean side) of the hotel which included our area, so there were constant painters, debris (they're sloppy), no use of our outdoor space and scaffolding in front of our room. It was filthy! I was embarrased to say we "chose" this hotel espcially knowing that there are TONS of other beautiful all-inclusive options in Playa.

Hotel: The hotel lobby and common areas are depressing. The furniture is old, beat up, not matching and not even welcoming. The fountain was "dirty brown" one day. I wished I had taken a picture but i was so mad at myself for chosing this place I was beyond words. Obviously management doesn't feel the need to update any of these things in order to compete with others. The outdoor space is the same...beach chairs and umbrellas are broken old and sad, I can't imagine why they would not update these for appearance alone!

Waitstaff: is EXCELLENT. They're attentive and beyond accomodating. I can't say enough good things about all of them.

Spa: one of the nicest spas I've ever been in (and I love a good spa) but it doesn't match the rest of the facilities!! They spent millions on this beautiful spa and NOTHING on the rest of the hotel. It's worth using your resort credits, for sure. Don't miss out on the spa experience.

Free Room Credits: What a joke. You have to pay a "tax" on every room credit you use, so that makes them NOT free in my book. We used only $500 of them, $300 on the spa and $200 on wine upgrades (one of the worst wine lists we've ever seen). The rest is a waste of time, IMO. They hustle you to use them and book day tours while it still costs tons of $ to go on the excursions. We chose to book excursions on our own.

Location: is great, if you want to spend time on 5th Ave and get off resort. If you love seeing (and smelling) the ferry boat exhaust all day everyday, this is your place. With that being said, the beach is beautiful. Clear water and beautiful sand---but that's most of the Peninsula anyway right?

Kids activities: This, spa and waitstaff is why I give it the 2 stars. Our 2 boys were entertained the majority of the time, the entertainment staff is great at keeping them busy and always playing games. It allowed my husband and I lots of free time to relax and enjoy ourselves--on the crappy beach chairs that are lined up in front of the volleyball court so you get a ball in the face almost every 5 minutes.

Food: food was good. Breakfast is the best of all meals served. Lots of fresh fruit and options. Waitstaff fantastic. Dinner at Japanese hibachi great (better than ordering off the menu) Italian not worth the "dress pants" required because you feel as if you're sitting in a cafeteria. We ate off property 2 nights to have a change of scenery and felt that all of the food was starting to taste alike.

Would we recommend this place to friends? Absolutely not. Would we recommend it to someone that isn't bothered by awful rooms, ugly interiors, old furniture, uncomfortable beach chairs and lack of ambience? Sure.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Susan4OM
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 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#17 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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