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“among the best in Playa del carmen”

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Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #29 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
napoli
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“among the best in Playa del carmen”
Reviewed August 31, 2012

Nice Beach - Nice Restaurant - Nice breakfest - only dissappointed a bot about accomodation sometimes too far from the beach for Ocean Front but basic and nice inside and the extra we need to pay sometimes at restaurant over the half board. Very Central but at the sam time Very Calm.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank vichi17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2012

My husband and I just returned from our sister's wedding at the mahekal resort with a group of about 50 people. Upon arrival the resort staff was super friendly and most spoke English very well. The rooms are clean and really unique. If you are used to lavish rooms, don't expect that here. But they are really cool! You need to get a bellboy to take you to your room and they will setup hammacks on your porch! The beach is absolutely gorgeous - definitely the best section of playa. The pools are nice too. All the food was excellent. Breakfast restaurant has a phenomenal view over the pool and beach. Make sure you bring the bug spray to the dinner restaurant because you will get eaten alive. The resort is also in a really convenient location since you can actually walk into town. Overall I would definitely return to this resort again if I go back to playa.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ckraynak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 27, 2012

My friend and I just spent 10 days at Mahekal and - although generally we don't like repeating places as there is always somewhere new to discover - this is one place we plan to return to. The hotel is well designed, the layout means that the hotel feels intimate and private. We had ocean front rooms, which are right on the beach and it was great to sit on the porch at night, have a drink, feel the ocean breezes and fall asleep listening to the waves hit the beach. The hotel is super clean, someone is always sweeping, raking, ensuring there is no trash residue, and the beach is kept super clean as well - though this also has something to do with the great locals who are careful not to litter and take their trash with them at the end of the day. The staff were super sweet and friendly and Oswaldo, who was always super helpful and on duty when we checked in, gave us a room upgrade for the first couple of days because our rooms were not ready on check in. There is no internet in the rooms or TV - this is definitely the place to come go to unwind and unplug. This was the most relaxed, happy vacation I've ever had and I can't wait to come back. Finally, a shout out to the person who does the great towel animals - quirky and charming and imaginative.

Room Tip: It's worth springing for a room on the beach, and if it's available, I recommend 4C- best sl...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank 550AliD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrington, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2012

Mahekal has the pretties beach in Playa del Carmen. Every morning my boyfriend and I would run down to the ferry and back. The food was incredible. We had a meal plan of a breakfast and lunch or dinner option. We found that lunch on the beach was incredible and dinner was par. You could go downtown for a better dinner for a cheap price. The beach was clean and security was always present to make you feel safe and secure. Alberto was our beach server all week and was very friendly and attentive! The Coco Locos were amazing! The wedding and all the wedding staff were fabulous! Happy Hour with Vicente on the swings was another thing we enjoyed about Mahekal. He makes a great MANGO PASSION. Gabriel the bellhop was always there in assisting and helping us move everyone in. We had about 50 people in the resort with us. We never had so much fun. The rooms are very basic and clean. No TVs or phones-but what do you need that for on vacation!? There is Wi-Fi at the bar and in the lobby!

Room Tip: The rooms are basic. We never spent anytime in our room because we were always on the beach. We stay...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jaclyn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2012

My family of 5 (parents, three boys in late teens) stayed for 8 nights in mid-August. We stayed here 4 years ago and all loved it, and the boys wanted to return, always a good sign. We love the more casual atmosphere of this resort, great location on the nicest stretch of beach in the area, being able to quickly walk into lively PDC but feeling quiet and somewhat remote within the large resort grounds, great food and generally exceptionally friendly staff and service. The parents splurged on the new deluxe ocean front unit 4C which was spectacular and worth it, with private plunge pool, beautiful bathroom with large overhead walk-in shower, canopy bed, and literally steps from the ocean.

Breakfasts were huge and spectacularly good with fruit and cereal and pastry buffet, plus cook to order mexican and standard egg dishes. You can choose lunch or dinner on any given day, and we did about half and half, as we wanted to walk into PDC for dinner a few nights. Best dinner nights (each night different menu, usually a buffet) with the Mayan, Mexican, and BBQ nights. Often had live music.

Stand-out staff members included waiter Rogelio with his infectious enthusiasm and friendliness, and concierge Boli who provided a particularly warm greeting and exceptionally helpful advice and assistance. Boli arranged for a half-day fishing trip (great fun), leaving from the beach right in front of the hotel, for significantly less money than I had seen in my pre-trip research. 4-hour trip, just for our group of 5, for $200, and the restaurant cooked up our huge catch for a great lunch feast. He also works with a couple of drivers who are great - our driver Jose took us on an all-day (7 am to 5 pm) excursion to the spectacular ruins at Coba, the Gran Cenote, a remote mayan village, Akumal where we had lunch, then snorkeling at Yal-ku lagoon, in a private and very nice air conditioned van for a total of $155. Boli also had great advice on various other locations and attractions - based on his descriptions and recommendations given what we were looking for, we went to the Rio Secreto which was an extraordinary experience, and opted not to go to the recreational theme parks (e.g., Xplor or Xcaret) which accomodate thousands of visitors each day.

The only exception to the great service and friendliness was at the front desk. The front desk staff (particularly Oswaldo) was uniformly gruff, unfriendly, and generally not very welcoming. They would usually do what you asked, but often begrudgingly. And no acknowledgment that we were return guests, etc. The only time he perked up was when the Texas-based owner of the hotel - who was visiting when we were there - was sitting in the reception area lobby. Oswaldo put on quite a show, literally kissing babies and making overly smiley chit chat with guests. Maybe the owner was fooled, but we sure weren't!!

Anyways, great resort and we will return again, hopefully sooner than 4 years this time!

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank dmoser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria C, Director of Sales at Mahekal Beach Resort, responded to this review, August 28, 2012
Dear dmoser,

Thank you for posting your comments on Tripadvisor. We appreciate your return visit after four years and look forward to many more! We have shared your comments, particularly highlighting Rogelio and Boli for their attentiveness and friendliness in assisting you and your family, with our staff.

We were surprised, yet thank you for your comments, on the Front Desk staff, particularly about Oswaldo. He has received many positive reviews in the past, however on this occasion he did not meet your expectations, for which we apologize. We have addressed this situation with him so that he and the front desk staff improve serving our guests.

We look forward to your next visit, hopefully before four years time.

Sincerely,

Victoria Campos
Director of Sales & Marketing
Mahékal Beach Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviewed August 25, 2012

We loved our room (we took a large superior room with a perfect see view) and are glad we didn't chose the small bungalows. It looked like they were kind on top of each other, without any real privacy.
The beach is just a dream (lagoon like) and the Hotel provides a great service with drink / food delivered directly to your sun bed.

Breakfast was OK, just don't like the idea of the buffet.
Same for the evening (buffet) eventhough you could tell the ingredients used for cooking were tasty and looked truly local.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ParisSuperbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuttgart, Germany
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2012

Location.
The hotel is ideally located at the northern part of the coast of Playa del Carmen. Which is quite good because the closer to downtown, the more crowded the beaches, thus its beaches are not so crowded (mexican beaches are public) additionally, it is just next of the northern start point of the "Quinta Avenida" which means that there are some stores there but as it is starting, the touristic concentration is rather low.

Concept
The concept of the hotel is maybe its most attractive feature. Each room consists of 3 parts, the main room which is modest but enough, its bathroom which is nicely decorated and a terrace where you get a table with chairs and "hamacas" which is the best feature as you can relax there as well. You won't expect tall buildings, rather at most 2 rooms per building, one on top.

Internet can be bound at the lobby and at the bar (which has a happy hour from 5 to 6). They are great places to hang around.

Our Room.
Our room was 11B, which is an Ocean View Room. The room was just behind the Beach Front rooms which are the best ones as they are basically part of the beach, our room was behind and we could see the beach and the ocean. I enjoyed sleeping with the sound of the sea every night. Other rooms are nice as well, but without a view, or a view to the garden.

A very nice thing was that we were surprised with lovely towel figures made by the maid (after all it was a honeymoon).

The Food
We got breakfasts and dinners (which could be excanged for lunch at will). The breakfast was always the same, yet quite complete with cereals, ham, warm mexican plates, juice, coffee, etc. Additionally you get to order one of 4 or 5 dishes that they prepare for you and they were tasty. Oh, and the breakfast is served in a restaurant that is close to a pool and to the beach.

Dinner is served at a place farther from the beach, yet nicer I guess. The food varies every day switching between buffet and menu. When it is a menu, you get to choose between some 3 - 4 options and for desert there was always ice cream and something else. When we got a buffet, we got Tacos one night, Seafood and Grill. I liked the buffet more than the menu even though I usually don't like buffet. Beverages are not included as expected.

There were sometimes mosquitoes bothering at dinner (being an open restaurant, they are exected), yet the hotel provides mosquito repellent spray, so be sure to apply some before getting seated.

Sometimes I got the impression that there were to few waiters for the amount of people. Especially in the nights that there was a menu, as they had to bring the dishes and the beverages as well.

The beach
The beach is nice, yet I remember the beach in Cancun to be nicer (I went there 10 years ago and my memory might be not objective). But it is great anyway, and being just a step from it at room 11B was greater. We always found a place to be. There are some flags on the poles of the palapas that you raise and the waiter comes and takes your order. I drank a Michelada (beer with sauces) almost every day we were there.

The beach will be empty from foreign people in the morning and then get some people in the afternoon due to the heat, but way less than on the other beaches closer to downtown.

For the Tacky Ones
I myself have my Tacky moments where my vacations start to get bitter the more they want to exploit my wallet. And this hotel is one of those where when it comes to beverages, you even have to pay for the extra ice. If you want to save a bit of money, I have a great recommendation. About 3 blocks from the hotel entrance, over the 38 Nte crossing with 10 Nte street, you can find a store called OXXO, there, you can buy beverages, snacks, very importantly sun blocker, and other things at a relatively good price, way better than trying to buy something at the quinta avenida. We bought snacks and water (we drink lots of water and paying 25 pesos for water at the hotel every time was just unrealistic).

Tours
Boli is a guy that organizes tours, he is really friendly and helpful. The tours are obviously quite expensive, but that is what there is. The alternative is to do it by yourself.

Room service
Non existent, there is no telephone at the rooms, and they don't offer room service. We missed that feature.

Fitness
Why do you need a fitness when you can go outside and do sport at the beach or at the pools?

Why not 5 stars?
We got a pair of bad impressions.
First, we sent the wedding dress to the dry cleaner (which is obviously not cheap), and had many problems with them. At first, they did not return the travel bag (which they did eventually, but not without we putting pressure), and they lost a ribbon and never showed any sense of responsibility, shame or try to fix the issue. They told us that if they ever find it, they will ship it to us (that will neeever happen).

Second, a woman was complaining about cockroaches in her room. The receptionist was just offering to spray the room again (they had it sprayed the night before), and she did not want to sleep there anymore so she wanted another room. Well they were supposedly full booked and were not offering any other alternative. I would have been pissed as well if I find a cockroach in my room, and sleeping after insecticide would be sprayed is a no no. Well, It did not happen to me, but I found that unfair.

Third, we ordered a service to take us to the airport, which costs 55 dollars one way (a super high price for such a transport). Well that morning they told us that another guest needed the transportation as well, yet his cab did not arrive so he drove with us. Well he paid the 55 dollars as well, which we had already paid. I contacted the hotel to ask for the return of my 50% and they just haven't replied my emails.

Summary
It is a great great hotel to be as long as you don't have any problems. As soon as something happens, the hotel personal is not in a position to be very helpful. It is not one of those hotels where you can ask to speak to the manager and he will apologize and try to make you happy by at least doing something for you or buying you a drink. It is as if the owners / managers lived 100s of kilometers away and the guys that you find there have no power to solve things. So if you have any problem there, you will surely be frustrated.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JCGarza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria C, Director of Sales at Mahekal Beach Resort, responded to this review, August 28, 2012
Dear JCGarza,
Thank you for posting your comments on Tripadvisor. We appreciate the time dedicated to describing all the positive aspects of the resort particularly our staff and our great location and beach, one of Playa’s finest. We have remained true to our original concept in offering a unique place to disconnect and connect with your loved ones, partner, family and/or friends which is why we do not have tv’s, telephones, clocks, radios in the rooms, connecting only to the authentic beauty of nature, quiet and peace.

We also appreciate knowing about the problems you encountered.

We apologize for the inconveniences with your wedding dress. We are very careful in the selection of our external services and have had no problems with our dry cleaning provider. In your case we were able to recover your travel bag and are still working with them to find your dress ribbon. We have reviewed our internal procedure in handling this service to avoid any possible problems in the future and will continue to pursue the finding of your ribbon.

We appreciate your concern for the other guest who presented a problem while you were at the front desk and we can ensure her situation was taken care of to her satisfaction.

Our roundtrip transportation is exclusive to Mahékal guests should our guests requests it, but is not a private service. We have found that sharing transportation with other Mahékal guests and no intermediate stops on the way to the hotel or back to the airport, provides an opportunity for guests to share their experiences. Each guest is responsible for their own payment.

Our staff is empowered to make decisions in any situation they may have with any of our guests. We are constantly reviewing with our staff how to make better decisions and best look after each and every one of our guests.

Thank you for all of your valuable comments. We welcome knowing about our guests experiences, good or bad so we can address any area that may need to be improved.

We do hope we will see you again soon.

Sincerely,

Victoria Campos
Director of Sales & Marketing
Mahékal Beach Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mahekal Beach Resort

Property: Mahekal Beach Resort
Address: Calle 38, Entre Avenida 5a y Zona Federal Maritima, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Shangri-La Caribe)
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 Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#17 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#24 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Mahekal Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 196
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Mahekal Beach Resort is a legendary resort village located on 800 feet of white sand beach in the heart of vibrant Playa del Carmen. It has 198 thatched roof, palapa-style bungalows within steps of Fifth Avenue, the celebrated entertainment, shopping, and restaurant district of Playa del Carmen. The thousands of loyal repeat guests at Mahekal Beach Resort describe it as magical, memorable, and authentically Yucatecan. Our style is friendly and relaxed, a unique Caribbean experience where you can rock gently in a hammock on your private terrace and enjoy undoubtedly the best beach in Playa. Our guests love the fact that we have never compromised our truly unique ambiance and style. In keeping with that style, our rooms do not offer televisions. Instead, they feature original, brightly colored, Mexican tile bathrooms, private terraces with hammocks for siestas and star gazing, and locally-crafted Mexican wood furniture in an outdoor seating area where you can enjoy our magical sanctuary. The Resort offers meal plans that include breakfast daily and lunch or dinner. This choice gives our guests the opportunity to explore the many dining options in Playa del Carmen. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mahekal Beach Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Shangri La Caribe Hotel
Shangri La Caribe Playa Del Carmen
Mahekal Beach Resort Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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