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“Playacar Palace is Gorgeous and First Class!!”
Review of Playacar Palace

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Playacar Palace
Ranked #27 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 24, 2007

We just returned from another trip to the Cancun/Mayan Riviera area that has now become our most favorite spot to travel. We have stayed at the Aventura Spa Palace in the past and absolutely loved it but wanted to try something new. Our TA recommended that we give the Playacar Palace a try. While they do allow children at the resort, it is not really set up to provide kids with lots of entertainment so there aren't really very many ever there. Unlike the Moon Palace where kids are EVERYWHERE.

The Playacar Palace is much smaller than those other 2 mega resorts and we enjoyed the intimate feeling. It has 3 restaurants that were more than enough to provide lots of variety and the service was exceptional as usualy. The pool is stunning and appears as if it hangs right over the ocean. It has a great swim up bar where we seemed to spend quite a bit of time! There is a beach and it is very pretty. It is not super wide but there is plenty of room. Plus, this resort is right next to Playa del Carmen with all of their lovely beaches and it is so convenient to walk a few steps into town to go shopping or check out the nightlife.

If you want to see Cozumle, or visit the Cozumel Palace resort, there is a ferry right there that can take you over. It is easy and fast and you can have a great day trip and not even spend any money on food and drinks since you can eat at Cozumel Palace for free.

The rooms at this hotel are stunning. The same huge grecian marble jacuzzi that appears to be a standard for a palace resort, plus large, comfy beds in light, neutral colors. We even had a sitting area with a couch, coffee table, and 2 chairs. The bathrooms are large with double vanities and a big walk in shower. They have the stocked bar and mini fridge in the room and we had an awesome balcony
with an incredible view of the ocean.

The only downside is that the gym and spa are located off property. But they do provide shuttle service every few minutes and it is within easy walking distance. Our TA got us free massage, manicures, and pedicures with your package so we wanted to take advantage of those and they were fabulous.

This is one that goes on the list of places to return. Our TA was Normanne Gibson with [----]. I got her name from some of the girls on [----] who seem to do lots of research. She was great and not only got us the best price but also lots of extra stuff. We really appreciate her and will use her again too.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank SerenaJames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,582 - 3,588 of 4,632 reviews

Reviewed March 23, 2007

We stayed at Playacar Palace from March 3 - March 9th. It is true they will stick you in a room first that has no view except of buildings - the check in staff tried to say it had an ocean view - you would have to hang off the end of the balcony and twist to see the ocean. They did switch our room the next day to an Ocean View which was wonderful. The staff is extremely courteous - Diana who is in charge of guest services is wonderful I recommend doing the water aerobics in the Ocean it's a lot of fun. Yadira who is a cocktail waitress will take care of you also and is a delight to talk with. The food was fine to my husband - I'm a bit pickier. I could not eat the meat I'm not sure what exactly it was. For the week I pretty much lived off the chips and salsa. Did manage to get some pasta at lunch one day with cheese sauce on it. As my husband says I have a childlike palate and this does not cater to children. Everyone has raved about the Italian restaurant I thought it was terrible. The Asian restaurant had great spring rolls and this was probably my favorite one.

I also don't recommend the ferry ride to Cozumel. When they begin by handing out barf bags you know it's going to be rough. Many people were using them. Cozumel was pretty much the same thing as Playa was so don't waste the money for the ferry ride unless you just want to say you went to Cozumel.

The fire show is fantastic! The circus show was spectacular and the Mexican Show was very good also.

If you are on time constraints at all do not rely on the times that you are going to be transferred. We took the ride to Moon Palace one day - the van picked up 15 people and this was probably a 10 passenger van - they stuffed 5 kids in the back cargo area. Picking up at Moon Palace they were true to Mexican time about 1/2 hour late. Crazy drivers!

Would I go back - probably not - wish they had offered an American light beer even for a charge - I got tired of the Dos Eques and limes.

The resort is very small and made me think I was on a cruise ship - if you are wanting to go and meet people great place but if you are trying to be alone - it's too small for that.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled on business
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5  Thank Kjoeradio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2007

If you enjoy good food, or any food for that matter, simply do not come to this resort. I have never experienced such poor cuisine in my life as the week I stayed at the Playacar Palace. Undercooked meat, cold soggy fries, melted ice cream, grey chicken, raw tempura, fetuccini noodles in asian dishes and even chemical-tasting water. If you chose to stay here...pack the imodium. The cook staff simply does not have a clue what they are doing.

That said, the resort is absolutly well-kept and the service is perfect. Had it not been for the utterly disgusting food I would give the resort a top rating.

Staying somewhere else near that location would be a good option. There are many many fantastic restaurants on the calle 5, which is only a short walk away.

I would love to come back to this resort, but only if they made the all-inclusive bit obtional.

Stayed: March 2007
3  Thank windsurf13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2007

I rate this a 3 because of the All-inclusive option.

The food is HORRIBLE. I am shocked by many of the reviews on this website as I read them all before going. The buffet is your best choice. The Italian food place is OK, but the oriental place is down right HORRIBLE. We tried to eat there twice, the first time was OK, the second was a Joke. They try to pass off italian noodles as chinese noodles. The "fried" ice cream had a goey outer shell and the ice cream inside was completely melted. I highly doubt they even have an oriental cookbook at this place.

The reason the All-Inclusive option is so bad, is because you are right next to the 5th Ave. area of Playa Del Carmen, which is has AMAZING food options. ( I will get to my recommendations later). Needless to say, we ditched the all-inclusive meals after the 2nd day.

The resort is BEAUFITUL and very well maintained. We booked a Honeymoon suite (which was only $300 more over a 6 day trip. I believe it is well worth it as you are gaurenteed a ocean view. The pool is very nice and the staff is nice. There is a VERY small beach, but that didn't affect our trip as we sat at the pool and overlooked the ocean. Overall, I would give the hotel a 4 1/2. If they would just get a trained food staff, this could be a 5 star hotel easily. For the money, book at trip at the Eldorado Royale, I went there last year and it was amazing.

Food in town:
We are Foodies and found some great places to eat if you find the All-inclusive option to be as bad as we did.

Babes Noodle House: A Fresh Twist on Thai/Japanese noodle house. Try the Fresh Fruit Margs for only $3.50, they are HUGE and very good. This place is AMAZING for the price, you will not be disappointed.

Media Luna: Amazing eclectic Italian. Very affordable (wine list is what you pay in the states at a liquor store). This may have been the best meal we had.

100% Natural: This is a mexican food place that uses only natural ingredients. It was VERY good. We ate there for lunch. It also has a great atmousphere. Would Highly Recommend.

All these places are within walking distance of the hotel.

Don't be discouraged by this review if you have already booked your trip. The hotel is AMAZING, but know when to call it quites with the All-inclusive food. The town has some great restaurants that won't break the bank. What is $30-$40 more dollars when you have already spent $3000 on a trip for two. It will make you day to have a great meal with a bottle of wine.

Also DON'T GO TO COZUMEL. It was a waste of time, the playacar palace is much better than the cozumel palace.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY GO TO XEL-HA FOR ONE DAY IF YOU ARE YOUNG (OR OLD) AND ADVENTUROUS) THIS WAS THE MOST AMAZING DAY OF OUR TRIP.

Happy Traveling.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank cd21419
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2007

This was our first trip to this side of Mexico; I was a little hesitant because I had heard about all the partying and carrying on. I was very pleased with our week long stay. The hotel, employees and sites were fantastic. We were very impressed with how the employees went out of their way to make us feel at home.

The food and restaurants were excellent. My favorite started out as the Italian restaurant until we ate at the Asian one...the food was incredible. The Mexican (buffet) restaurant offered quite the variety of foods for just about any palate. The deserts that were offered every meal were out of this world. I also enjoyed the breads and baked goods provided each morning.

Our room was very nicely done...the only thing that I would suggest is make sure the wine is replaced after it is gone and the same would apply for some of the toiletries. The toiletries that were provided were the best I have had at any other resort location. We would have liked to have one Queen or King bed for our stay but instead had two full size beds...not very romantic. The jacuzzi tub in the room made up for the two beds.

I would highly recommend the Playacar Palace and would like to remind others planning on staying there that tipping is something you should do...the employees benefit from the tips and they earn them with all the attention they provide the guests.

Stayed: March 2007
5  Thank SilverFox53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2007

Recently speant a week at the Palace (don't confuse with similarly named places in Playa and don't say it in Spanish: the Palacio is a different place!). I thought it was great. An upscale all-inclusive at a reasonable price (you can easily spend twice as much elsewhere) the food is way above average; the alcohol is not the cheap stuff, the rooms, especially those with sea views are upscale and modern and the hotel staff is warm and helpful.
There are no doubt similar places in Playcar but the best thing about this place is that it is literally steps away from Playa del Carmen itself but also isolated, right on the Beach in the very Northernmost spot in Playacar. No cabs or bikes needed. It's hard for me to see how you could do better, especially since good deals seem to be commonly available on Orbitz, etc. I'm going back.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Whaleguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2007

We were surprised on how nice the staff was and how clean it was. We liked the all-inclusive package, it made it very easy to eat/drink whenever we wanted and we did not feel pressured to tip everyone. We had 4 tours included with our stay and did not feel pressured to go to their timeshare seminar (they offered it once when we were booking our tours).

Our room was on the first floor at the north end and was very close to the water. No balcony with our room but we didn't mind much because we didn't have to look over the pool area.

We were impressed with the food and were never without a drink (water or other). We were careful about only drinking the bottled water, but did drink iced beverages. We did both get sick (intestinal) about the 3rd day, so bring Imodium! Also, if you buy a calling card you need to use it from one of their pay phones, not from your room.

If you want to really relax, try the Tulum Palace property -it was quiet and had a great beach (we had lunch there on one of our tours). This place (Playacar) was a block from shopping and the ferry to Cozumel, so more for an active vacation (no beach at hotel).

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank cherc
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:
#10 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $415 - $843 (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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