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“Relaxing chilled out fantastic hotel - definately recommend” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mahekal Beach Resort

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Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #28 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Relaxing chilled out fantastic hotel - definately recommend”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2012

After booking this hotel using expedia I wasn't convinced before going if I was going to be delighted with our choice but I was definately proved wrong. The hotel is only about 40 mins drive from Cancun airport and we hired a car and were able to park for free on the street in front of the hotel
Located within 10 minutes walk of the centre of Playa the hotel is in a fantastic location and is in the nicer quieterpart of town with non stop bars and restaurants onr after another on the main street - Fifth Avenue
Hotel is right on the beach which is amazing - no shortage of sunloungers - and service for food/drinks as needed. Rooms were basic but very rustic with lovely pointed wooden roofs and little porches with hammocks. Had AC and fans as very hot day and night. Went H/B had breakfast every day in Lomo restaurant - second restaurant was closed for duration of our stay? Basic buffet and menu options in addition for free - only complaint is the water for tea/coffee was not boiling but luke warm.

Never had dinner in hotel as fun to try different restaurants/bars downtown - never had a bad meal and good value. Great selection of great quality restaurants. The only negative about the resort is the swimming pools - neither are really long enough to swim lengths - ok to cool off but normally this is one of my prerequisites when choosing hotel. It is not critical when the beach is so close however this was disappointing.

Bar area is nice with happy hour daily 5-6pm. Good selection of cocktails but difficult to know whats in each one as no description. Also nice hotel lobby and library area for reading with wireless access

All in all very positive experience, fab beach, great location in Playa, relaxing ambience and exactly the place to stay especially if you don't like the big impersonal resorts that lack character and are too far out of town

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank RiaDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
124 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2012

My Mom and I checked into Mahekal this past Sunday afternoon. We had many Ups and many Downs during our stay. Overall we had a great time but we're unsure whether we will stay at Mahekal when we return.

We arranged transport from the airport with the resort and were slightly disappointed in this service. There was suppose to be someone from STP Transfers at the airport with our names on a sign...no one was there. They had to call someone to come get us. We waited about 15 minutes for this. Then when our driver showed up he seemed very stressed and hurried. We were in the van 15-20 minutes when our driver said he needed to return to the airport for two other people who were staying at Mahekal. He returned to the airport, and we waited another 15 minutes while he searched for the other passengers. Needless to say, we were almost ready to get out of the van and search out other transport. It was really unacceptable. Our driver finally came back and guess what!? There were NO OTHER PEOPLE with him! Ugh. At any rater, we decided not to start off the trip wrong so we started to talk with him, trying to lighten up the situation.

Our entrance to Mahekal was terrific. We were greeted with wet towels and bottled water. The front desk staff is terrific. The bell staff is also terrific. We were staying in a garden view caribe. The first look at the room was lovely. The only thing that lacked was the bathroom. It was very small and very HOT. Anyway, we left the room almost right away to go to the pool and the beach, which was a very short walk away. We also stopped at the bar/lunch-restaurant to have a late lunch. We ordered fresh grilled fish, salads and they gave chips and salsa. We had really good margaritas as well! Everything was very tasty and fresh.

After a swim and a walk around the property we stopped at the front desk to use their phones to call our tour company for the next days plans. The front desk offered us the opportunity to use their drivers or their tour companies instead. I was pretty set with the tour company I had choosen, based on the fact that I don't like big tour companies and I wanted to see the 'real Mexico' and not with 10 to 100 other people. Afterwards, we returned to our room to get showered and dressed for dinner. Upon returning to the room we found small ants all over the walls, beds and counters in the room. I tried to brush it off but didn't feel like it was ok to share my bed with ants for 3 nights. I really hate to complain but I'm not a great fan of bugs in my living spaces. We informed the front desk and they proceeded to get another room ready for us. I have to say, it was not fun to repack all our belongings, and we would've been totally great with the room we had been in, but Edwardo upgraded us to a bigger, nicer room on the other side of the resort (near the other pool and beach) saying that the rooms with no palapa roof have no ants due to the difference of roofs. We were very grateful even though it was a pain to move everything and Gabriel, one of the very gracious bell men, helped us take our things to the new room, with a smile. Gabriel was really wonderful and his service always comes with a smile. He is terrific.

Our new room did have ants. They were not as bad, and at the very least they were not on the beds! The bathroom in this room was bigger but in sore need of a new toilet. Seriously, we liked the 'old style' mexican tile, and could even tolerate the showers with no tub, but the toilet was old and needs to be replaced, minimally.

Everyone you pass will greet you. On the surface, everyone is very, very friendly and helpul. Our first day at the restaurant was terrific. That night we had a Mexican theme buffet. I'm not much into buffet food, but it was ok since we had a bigger lunch that day. We left $10 tip for dinner service. The next morning we were going on a tour early so we took a 'take out box' for the road. That evening we had fresh fish and a nice salad type buffet bar. We left a $10 tip again for the servers, even though the service was incredibly slow. It felt awkward sitting there after you took your last bite and waiting for your bill. Very awkward! The next morning we had a breakfast buffet...which includes things like yogurts, fruit, pastries, cereals, milks, juices, coffee, tea...and yummy Mexican breakfast nachos that are VERY tasty. Sausage, hash browns. Then you can also order an omelete or Meixcan style egg dish in ADDITION to the breakfast bar, all included. For anyone to say that the food is not good here, it is really not true. At dinner, you can get steak, seafood, very yummy grilled fresh fish with a nice salad bar all included....yes, you can pay to 'upgrade' to lobster or fancier fare, but it's not like the 'free' food is not good. I'm a picky eater so I can say there is plenty of choices for everyone. My only complaint about the food/restaurant is the slow service, even when you are tipping them $10 for dinner.

I had read somewhere on TA that it was a nice touch to leave a post card, with a small thank you note and a tip for the maids everyday, in the room. So, prior to going to Mexico, I had purchased some postcards from Chicago to leave in the room with a thank you message from my Mom and I. In addition we left $5 (not pesos) for the maid. Upon returning the first day, we had elephants made from the towels on the bed. The second day, we had two swans and flowers on the bed. It was a nice touch. However, our final day at Mahekal, we were missing a very large 12 ounce bottle of honey massage oil that we had purchased at the Honey Store in Tulum. We had not thought to put EVERYTHING in the safe, not that it was even possible, given the size of the safe, but the oil was taken out of our shopping bags, which were sitting under the safe, in the closet. We felt VERY let down by this experience.

At check out the next morning, we informed the front desk manager of the theft. They called security and had them 'look into it'. What was most disappointing is that not only did the desk manager tell me to call him if I found it amongst our luggage when we returned home, but the general manager, Emilio, was at the property and did not even address this issue with us. We are home now, we our 2 pieces of luggage, all unpacked and realized that not only were we missing the bottle of oil (I mean really, how can you mistake a 12 ounce bottle!?) but also a 12 ounce of the honey shampoo we had purchased. I don't know, I suppose the hotel may think that since they upgraded our room the first night, it was ok that their staff took some of our personal belongings, but for us, it ruined our good feeling about Mahekal.

Mahekal. A resort I wanted to fall in love with, and with some small changes, I could've. Small upgrades to the rooms could pay off, big time. The theft...it could've been handled so much better. They could have offered to have a driver take us back to the store in Tulum, or could've sent someone to get more. They could've offered to give us some shampoo's/lotions from their own stock, since they use the same brand in their rooms! It wouldn't have been the massage oil, but it would've shown they cared and that they accepted that one of their staff took something from us. Instead, they let us leave with a dark cloud hanging over Mahekal Beach Resort.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Greeneyedgirl373
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, September 10, 2012
Dear Greeneyedgirl373,

Thank you for posting your comments on Trip Advisor. We appreciate your words of praise for Gabriel and other staff and will share your comments with them as they will be pleased another guest appreciated their efforts.

We regret to know about your incident with our transportation company. We select our external providers for their high level of service so that we may meet our guest expectations and regret that in your case STP failed to do so. Their record has been excellent and our guests are very complimentary of their service, but we have informed them of your experience to ensure this type of situation does not happen again.

We understand your displeasure with the presence of ants in your room and have reviewed our fumigation schedules to ensure their presence is controlled in a more effective manner. However, being in the tropics, ants and other insects, such as mosquitos, are practically impossible to eliminate. We have also noted your comment regarding the bathroom. Our hotel offers no bathtubs and have no plans to include them as showers are preferred by most guests, but we will certainly look into your complaint about the toilet.

We appreciate your comments on the food. Many of our guests share your liking of our meal variety and overall meal plan. We appreciate your tipping our staff, but that should not be necessary to receive good service. All of our staff and particularly our servers receive many positive comments from our guests so your complaint comes as a surprise to us. We will certainly let them know you were not satisfied with their slow service.

Your comment about the possibility of someone in our staff taking your bottle of shampoo has certainly distraught us. Our room attendants and most of our staff have been working for us for years and we have never experienced a situation like this. Our room attendants have proven to be very honest and many of our repeat guests praise their service and feel comfortable enough to leave all of their belongings throughout the rooms. One thing is certain, we failed in our internal communication, as our General Manager would have addressed you while you were at the hotel, but he does not recall having been told you wanted to speak with him. This lack in our internal communication has been addressed so that this does not occur again.

Once again thank you for all of your comments, these are always valuable to us as they help us improve every day.

Victoria Campos
Direcor 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.
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2012

We stayed at this resort from August 1-8th. The accomodation was basic...the best part of the room was the hammocks on the deck which we used at least 2-3 hours per day. As well, the proximity to the beach is amazing...a 2 minute walk from the farthest part of the resort.

The food however, was very below what I was hoping for. We PAID for 2 meals to be included and it appeared that the 'good food' was an UPGRADE in price. This really irritated me. The breakfast was pastry and coffee with old tortilla chips in some type of casserole which was gross. We ended up eating out every day after the first one due to the disgusting meals.

The bar was ok...very mild and boring. Drinks are not cheap so we brought our own beverages. Keep track of what you drink!!! We mainly paid cash which was not looked upon favorably.

I would go back ONLY for the accomodation. This resort had a superior location and beach.

Room Tip: Pay a little extra and get closer to the beach.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank geterdonegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria C, General Manager at Mahekal Beach Resort, responded to this review, September 9, 2012
Dear geterdonegirl,

Thank you for posting your comments on Trip Advisor. We are happy you enjoyed our authentic Mexican style which includes the traditional Mayan hammocks in the terraces and decks of all of our rooms for the enjoyment of all of our guests, as well as our beach and location, which are among the best in Playa del Carmen.
We were very disappointed to hear our food was not up to your liking as many of our guests comment so positively about it. Our breakfast is a combination of a buffet with a wide variety of local fruits, homemade pastries and bread, the two hot meals which were not to your liking. It also includes an assortment of egg dishes and other breakfast specialties which are prepared by our cooks when ordered. All this is included in our breakfast at no additional cost. Our dinner selection also has a variety of options and the only additional costs are for upgrades specialty selections such as lobster, shrimp, and meat cuts. Lunch is famous for its fresh dishes and all-time favorites are guacamole, fish and shrimp ceviche and the Chef Tacos, all very highly praised by our guests.
Our bar is fun yet not a noisy one, as the hotel is in general as you may have perceived. We offer a tranquil an peaceful environment for our guests to relax and allow our friendly staff to take care of them. Some enjoy making friends, others enjoy quality time with their loved ones or simply reading a book, but a boisterous place we are not indeed. However there are many options like that on La Quinta Avenue, only steps away.

Again, thank you for your comments. We appreciate hearing back from all our guests.

Emilio Palazuelos
General Manager
Mahékal Beach Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
napoli
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank vichi17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
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
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
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
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jaclyn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Luxury 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Cheap Tickets, Despegar.com, Hotels.com, BookIt.com and Jetsetter so you can book your Mahekal Beach Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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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