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Review of Playacar Palace

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Playacar Palace
Ranked #26 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 23, 2009

Me and my husband went to Mexico for our honeymoon last September. We stayed one week in Moon Palace 5star and one week in Playacar Palace 4star...
Al I can say is Moon palace is no where near as nice as this hotel.

The location is perfect right in the centre of Playacar, its really safe and lots of things to do. Stunning beach and great staff.

If your going to Playacar then this is the hotel to stay at.

Food was strange - Italian was really good and so was the Oriental, Mexican on the other hand was terrible and I mean terrible! We had to order room service as the food was so poor. Dont let this put you off. Just dont eat there! Eat elsewhere.

Roms are really clean and are very modern. I will defo go back and visit again.
They have a Wii Fit in the kids games room which we played on one night. Great place great staff, great beach.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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2  Thank soulsis6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,448 - 3,454 of 4,619 reviews

Reviewed March 8, 2009

My husband and I just got back from our Honeymoon at the Playacar Palace. We loved it! The location is the best....steps away from 5th Avenue - Playa del Carmen.....steps away from the ferry to Cozumel. The service was incredible and the food was delicious!! We took the ferry over to Cozumel and went to the Cozumel Palace (another great resort) for the day! We had a great time there......the water was gorgeous...great for snorkeling. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone! We truly had an wonderful Honeymoon! Best all-inclusive I've ever stayed at!!

Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
3  Thank lfdonato1144
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2009

As a travel agent who has been all over, no one is more surprised than I am. Playacar Palace is an excellent resort. I felt as if we checked into the Ritz or an Oriental Mandrain resort. Totally Top Notch on everything. Excellent location within walking distance to Playa del Carmen and the ferry to Cozumel. Enough going on to keep anyone entertained. You are not confined to the resort. But I wouldn't mind that because this place is GREAT. Service is wonderful. The night before we checked out, the front desk called and wanted to know when we would like the bell boy to come and get the luggage. No resort does that anymore! We always have to lug the bags down ourselves or make a call to the front desk.
The Itailan Restaurant is the BEST. Perfect food and service.
They used to have a beach but it doesn't exist anymore. Anyone looking for sand can go to the Playa del Carmen beach on the other side of the pier. Since we are not beach people this didn't bother us a bit. No business center, but they loan you a laptop.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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2  Thank Joann B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2009

I wrote a daily blog:

Sunday: Sunday Morning has dawned partly sunny and warm at the Playacar Palace. Yesterday we had a good beach morning at Le Blanc, including sand volleyball, then a lunch on the terrace. At 2pm Palace had a driver shuttle us about an hour and ten minutes south to Playa Del Carmen, and the Playacar Palace. This resort reminds us of Le Blanc, the same designer for the rooms, Italian Restaurant, etc. It is a notch below Le Blanc, the robes are not as plush, you need a towel card to get pool towels, the liquors are not as top notch. It is a lovely resort, just south of 5th Avenida and the touristy area of PDC. Dinner was outside last night, where they did a tasty BBQ. Today we'll take a short shuttle to the Playacar Golf & Spa, and check out the facility. Time for coffee on the terrace.

Sunday - Continued: We 'discovered' the Playacar Golf and Spa, another Palace facility only a few minutes ride from Playacar Palace. My DW loves it! A lovely spa, 18 hole course, and small pool. In addition, a really nice looking sit down restaurant for breakfast and lunch. We're going tomorrow morning. We caught the 1:00pm ferry to Cozumel. About a 40 minute trip for $20 round trip per person. We grabbed a cab and had lunch at the Cozumel Palace. Another great facility with Palace. We stayed long enough to see the kickoff of Carnaval activities, and ferried home at 6:00pm. Now some leisurely drinks, and a light dinner.

Monday: Monday dawned overcast,but we had a spa morning planned. I used the well equipped small gym at the Playacar Golf & Spa, before using the men's spa facilities. In succession I took a steam, sauna, hot tub, and foot bath massage, intersperced with short, bracing showers. Finally, I used the facilities showers and men's dressing room. My wife had a Total Body Scrub, followed by 'taking the waters' on the ladies side of the facility. We had a wonderful sit down lunch at the small restaurant onsite before returning to the Playacar Palce. In the afternoon we walked 5th Avenue in PDC, shopped, and enjoyed a freshly made hand rolled cigar with a drink. The asian restaurant had good sushi, and some interesting main dishes. We chose a table by the window and watched the fire show staged by the pool from the comfort of the restaurant.

Tuesday: Tuesday was again overcast, with a few drops of rain in the am. By noon, mostly sunny and beautiful. I swam at the beach just on the south side of the hotel, nice sand, reasonable surf.

The pool is beckoning...

Wednesday: Another outside BBQ last night here at the Playacar Palace. Really good ribs, nicely seasoned roasted chicken. We'll try the Italian tonight. Wednesday is beautiful, partly sunny and 84 degrees. The first real glitch here this morning. The spa admin staff screwed up my DW's carefully laid plans, she spent 1/2 hour straightening them out. We both had 50 minute massages, then 'took the waters' in hydrotherapy before another 'country club' at the restaurant at the Playacar Spa & Golf. THis afternoon I had another great swim in the ocean while my DW napped. Service levels, cleanliness, food quality all remain high.

Thursday/Friday: Last day at Playacar, mostly sunny, mid - 80's, PERFECT! Started off at the Playacar Golf & Spa - sauna, steam, hot tub, foot massage whirlpool, and a lazy shower. DW had some hydrotherapy and a manicure. After a wonderful 'al fresco' lunch facing the beautiful blue and green ocean, I took a swim off of the beach next to the resort. Followed with a cigar, and the wish to stay forever, or another week if possible. We'll reluctantly pack tonight, for an 11am flight tomorrow back to the 'great white north'.

Lo siento mucho - how sad to leave.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DougViages
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2009

Just returned from a four day jaunt to Mexico and stayed at Playacar Palace. This was a first trip to Mexico and decided on Playacar after reading the reviews on Tripadvisor. Driving into Playa del Carmen I was starting to regret not staying at one of the grand entrance resorts into Puerto Morales but I was quickly relieved when we pulled into the hotel. The hotel was beautiful, contemporary and extraordinarily well maintained.
I give strong kudos to the service staff at the resort since they we are quick to respond and follow up.
As for the design of the hotel, the hotel reflects a monotone contemporary feel that abandons that gaudy tropical colors of other resorts. The one theme that carries throughout the resort is a contemporary casualness with soothing brownscale colors. The resort offers clean lines with steel, white cement and glass. Very soothing and appealing to us.
The oceanfront room was very nice with a large king bed with cushioned backboard, flat screen TV, elegant lighting, wonderful views and a jacuzzi in the room (which we did not use). The room has a liquor dispensor with Cuervo Tequilla, Smirnoff Vodka, Bacardi Rum and a whiskey. The mini bar is stocked with several varieties of soda, apple and orange juice, waters, and Dos Equis and Tecate beer. They also offer a low grade bottle of wine.
Maid service was superb and they also offer a turndown service around 8PM with chocolates.
The pool was nice with multiple shelfs to place a chair in shallow water or to sit and take in the scene. Service is relatively attentive around the pool area and the unliimited free drinks is a nice feature.
IMPORTANT: There is NO beach in front of the resort. You will need to walk next door for a small but suitable beach.
So our family was quite impressed with the hotel, room, service, amenities and view. Now the bad part. I truly wish this wasn't an all inclusive because the food was disappointing. After 2-3 days, the food is monotonous, fried and nausea inducing. I don't think it was a problem specifically with the resort but the whole riviera. We did not have one good meal that I would saw wow and that includes are multiple day trips and outings. The food at the resort was so/so and the room service food was quite bad. The shrimp cocktail was unedible as well as many other things we tried. The food was not fresh and all seem to taste the same. I will give them credit for having a decent array of food available at the buffets but everything really tasted the same and cooked in the same old oil.
TIP: Men should pack a pair of slacks because the Italian restaurant and the Oriental restaurant require slacks.

To end this on a positive note, the location was great. You can walk to the ferry to Cozumel (about 100 meters away), check out Quintada Avenue for dining and shopping and casual strolls. The wildly popular XCaret eco park is about a 10-15 minute drive away. The hotel offers golf and spa services at the nearby Playacar enclave.

I would highly recommend going to Xel Ha eco park further south on 307 as opposed to Xcaret. Less crowded and more bang for the buck.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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4  Thank Tylerkad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2009

Our Playacar Palace stay, January 14 to the 21, 2009

First I must start with that we are Palace members and have stayed at other Palace resorts many times and this was our first stay at Playacar. We usually travel the winter holiday break in February and are used to large crowds. As Palace members we never feel we get the best rooms or special treatment as we rarely get what we request, we have always assumed it was because the resort was full so we would just grin and bare it.

This year we traveled with our college aged son and a full month earlier then we normally do.

Airport pickup was there and ready, new company “Traffic” in red shirts put us in a van by ourselves and sent us off quickly.

Arrived at Playacar which has a lovely open-air lobby and reception area went right to check in, we had made our reservations 10 months in advance and requested a king bed with a rollaway for our son. I also emailed two weeks before to remind them.

Sat down at desk and started check in process and commented on how quiet the resort seemed and the gentleman responded with they were less then 50% full. He then hands us our keys and says “room 422 two double beds”, we said no we requested a king and my reservation slip from Palace stated a king. He responded with the typical Palace statement “I have none available now, come back tomorrow!” This we have heard at Moon 5 or 6 times now and for him to tell us they were only 50% full and no king bed available just about drove me crazy. Oh well, I was in Mexico with no snow so I told myself to be happy about it.

So we just took the two double bed room which had a great view and balcony and the Jacuzzi tubs are much smaller at Playacar then at Moon so we ended up having plenty of room for the roll-away. We could open the sliders and hear the ocean waves all night long! We did not bother asking about a different room the next day as it is a pain to pack and move.

The bathrooms are very nice, plenty of room, I love the beds and pillows at Palace resorts and of course the Biosilk products. Mini frig which was stocked daily, a bottle of red wine on the table, flat screen TV, small table and two chairs on the patio. Wireless internet worked just fine so we never used the free phone calls to the US. Safe was big enough for a laptop but we never locked it up and had no problems.

The food was very good; ate lunch several times at the buffet, fresh grilled meats and fish, lots of veggies and fruits, a different soup everyday. Breakfast everyday was great, omelets station with fresh items to add to your eggs, again fruit and veggies and the great little Mexican treats like tacos, beans and tamales with fresh salsas.

We ate at both the Italian and the Japanese, which was our favorite and is also our favorite at Moon. One night a magician came to our table and showed us some tricks, very entertaining. Try the Mayan coffees, a nice show to watch them make it. A few nights we just did the buffet for dinner which was very good, plenty of choices to be had.

One nice little touch is the hostess writes your name on a place card and sets it on your table so the servers can call you by your name and many servers remembered us day to day.

It rained the first few days so on the first day we headed to the Spa at the Golf club for our spa treatments! I usually don’t bother because I want as much sun and warmth as I can get but because of the weather we decided to go. A very nice spa with wonderful service, nice changing room with lockers, showers, soaking tubs, bathrobes and slippers to use.

Great massage and nice mani/ pedi’s with lovely views of the golf course, they offered us flavored teas and little cookies. A very nice time.

The spa and golf course are about a 25 minute walk from the resort in the gated community of “Playacar” but they have shuttles running all day long. Our son jogged there everyday, we walked one day and it was very nice.

Once the sun came out the pool and bar staff were wonderful, every morning they walked around with cups of ice water. Then around 11 am they would walk around with margaritas and at noon walked around with hamburgers and fries! One day fresh tacos were prepared pool side, yum!

There is a small beach, to the left not much but to the right it was lovely and you could easily walk to the next several condos and public beach areas. The ocean water was warm and lovely! Great sea shells here, I walked it several times.

The only evening entertainment we watched was the “Fire Show” and karaoke, fire show was great, karaoke was lame but my husband and son both partook!

The activities are not posted anywhere to know what is going on, on the last day we found a small sign on the spa desk with the list of events. If it was advertised better maybe people would know and attend.

We visited Aventura Spa for the day and did the members update then relaxed by the pool afterwards. Nice and quiet resort, we walked around and looked at the lagoon and thought it was nice.

Another day we took the public ferry to Cozumel Palace who were very friendly and helpful. We stopped there to rent a jeep and get some lunch before we headed out to explore the island. When we returned they had a hospitality suite available for us to shower and change before our ferry ride back to Playacar.

Playacar Palace is just a one block walk to 5th Ave and the shopping, bars and people watching we wanted to experience. We choose Playacar Palace for this reason and did not regret it. We went out most every night, walked the avenue, shopped, listened to the Mariachis, had a drink in the open air bars and had some tacos, lots of fun.

We will return to Playacar Palace!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
8  Thank mcmomny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2009

A friend and I spent Jan. 4-11, 2009 at the wonderful Playacar Palace and it is one of the most wonderful trips we have enjoyed in years, if not the best.. The staff is to be one of the best of all the resorts we have visited and believe me, this is what makes the trip so enjoyable. They treat you like family and call you by your first names after your first day there and remember what you like to drink and in some cases the food at breakfast, we loved the made to order omelets. Perfect, and the fresh squeezed juices each morning. Although the free tours were included, we opted to just enjoy the pool and shopping on 5th ave. right around the corner,,no need for a taxi... I enjoyed the free phone calls to US from our room, since i had my Dad and grandmother both with health problems, so it was easy to call and check on them daily. We truly enjoyed the buffet dining, not your typical boring foods, but a variety each day... The first night for desert, i enjoyed the homemade ice creams, but the next night i witnessed a family there with three children, who did not care if the children licked from the ice cream scoop, and put it back in the container, then one of the children proceeded to pick up a cone and lick it and then put it back up on the bar with the fresh ones... I almost went to the parents and said something to them, but from the looks of them, their children could no wrong,so i thought it would just cause a big scene. I did however, go the the dining room manager and tell him, and he apologized and watched the children... We went ahead a left, and decided i didn't need the ice cream anyway,, I just hated it for everyone after us that dined and enjoyed their homemade ice cream....Parents,,, please watch your children....they were climbing over everything....
As for the entertainment staff, they were remarkable.. I remember Claudia, she waited on us in the dining room ,and then after a couple of nights, she moved up to the lobby bar... and then helped in the Apollo lounge with Kareoke night, and was great...We had a group of Canadian friends, who made the show and was such a blast... The Mexican show along with the fire show was highly professional....don't miss this.. I did however miss seeing the circus and heard we had missed a great show....oh, well, next year.... We will definitely be there next year Good Lord Willing.. I miss it so bad,,,,,, i am so glad i have my pictures to take me back each time i look at them.....
There was a liquor dispenser in our room , but we never took advantage of it, but the drinks made for us at the bar were great....Mojito was great ....along with a BBC, which is a pina colada with a banana and some baileys in it.....mmmmmm.....We had to try one or two the morning we left and before we had to turn in our all inclusive wrist band.... as we were loading into the van,,,, we heard a "Maam?? and i turned around and there was our sweet lobby bartender with a tray of two BBC's and he said one more for the road.... i could have cried,,, i didn't want to leave........
We picked a room on the bottom floor,,, 115, and it was perfect......the view of the ocean and the pool and was so handy,, out our door and down around the corner we were at the pool and also the restaurant.....what more could you ask for......
Treat yourself,,, your not promised tomorrow.......
I wish i could remember more names, i wrote them down ,and now i can't find my notes,,,,,,,but you won't regret this Palace... oh, one more thing,,, we took the free shuttle over the golf course and ate at the restaurant there and it was wonderful, and one of the best Margaritas i have ever had .....ask for top shelf with a splash of sprite and orange juice......simply the best.........

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
7  Thank cruznut712
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
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
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $411 - $860 (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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