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“Excellent Resort, Relaxing Vacation”

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Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #32 of 217 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 21, 2012

The Mahekal is wonderful! Oswaldo at the front desk was great. We were greeted with a cool hand towel and a bottle of water. Very nice touch. We stayed in the Garden View Caribe and I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again. The walk to the beach is short, along well manicured paths. The pool area by the bar is nice and was mostly deserted as most guests went to the beach area. Getting chairs under palapas was never a problem.
The breakfast was delicious with enough variety. We ate lunch twice and dinner three times while we were there. We didn't have a problem with any of the food. The buffet style dinners had plenty of variety and was good. The lunches were also very good. The lunch and breakfast areas are different than dinner location. It was nice to sit by the pool right next to the beach and eat breakfast or lunch.
I was encouraged by the Tripadvisor reviews prior to booking this vacation. Glad to confirm that this is really a wonderful facility and we are already planning a return trip.

Room Tip: Don't be concerned about the rooms farther away from the beach being "too far" from th...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JanCatDiamond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,638 - 1,644 of 2,981 reviews

Reviewed November 18, 2012

The Mahekal is all the good things that are said in the other reviews. Stayed mid November and had a great time, as mentioned in other reviews not fancy but totally unique, quiet and relaxing. We booked and stayed in the Garden View Puebito. We were offered an upgrade to the Garden view Caribe - no thanks much better in the Puebito section - 2nd floor - wonderful and a little more private. Half board is great - gives you a chance to try other very good restaurants in Playa. Food at the Mahekal is good (would be nice if they gave you water or non-alcoholic drinks with your lunch or dinner option - we paid drinks as we consumed. It is really nice to get out and walk around on 5th, although can get a little busy. Beach was very nice, however, there was a bad smell every now and then. Not sure what it was but smelt a little like sewage; if not for the smell I give the Mahekal an 8/10. Staff are great and friendly; special thanks to ground and garden maintenance very clean and beautiful. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who does not like the overcrowded all inclusive chain resorts. Also, if you want a tv in your room go next door, looks like a nice resort similar to the Mahekal but with a little more amenities. Hopefully the Mahekal will stay the way it is and it will not turn into one of those monstrous hotels. We would definitely return to the Mahekal.

Room Tip: Garden view Puebito relaxing, quiet and a little more private than the others. Ocean fronts are rea...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank funinthesun182199
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 reviewResponded November 27, 2012

Dear funinthesun182199,

Thank you for posting your comments on Tripadvisor. We appreciate the fact that your visit was a pleasant one. Our meal plan is a Modified American Plan which includes breakfast and dinner or lunch, with no beverages included. The plan allows our guests the flexibility to also enjoy other dining options on the famous Quinta Avenue which is only steps away from the resort.

Please allow me to explain the cause of the bad odor you experienced and to assure you it was not caused by sewage. The sulfur smell is caused by a plant species called Mangrove. As you may know, this region's ground is very porous and has many underground caverns and openings called "Cenotes". Much of the water collected in the Cenotes eventually reaches the Caribbean Sea. In areas where the mangroves thrives, the Cenotes can fill with rain water and decomposed Mangrove matter. This decomposed matter is what causes the odor you experienced. The presence of this odor is rare and most commonly ocurrs when there have been heavy rains. Usually the odor only lasts a few days.

Our guests can take comfort knowing that we hire biological experts to periodically test the water to make sure there are no contaminants. The result of these analyses have always demonstrated the water to be free of any contamination. The Caribbean Sea in front of our beach is very clean and safe to swim in.

Thank you for all your valuable feedback and your comments on our staff, we pride ourselves on their friendly and caring service for our guests.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Victoria Campos
Director of Sales & Marketing
Mahekal Beach Resort

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Reviewed November 17, 2012

I enjoyed my stay here. You should know there is no TV, phone or refrigerator. It is peaceful until about 2 PM then the resort next door starts playing there techno music. If you are on the beach it is not noticeable. Only if you are attempting a nap in your room.
The customer service is unbelievable!!!! Everyone at this place is friendly and goes out of their way to make sure you are happy.
The food is OK. The breakfast offers fruit, bread, pastries and yogurt. You can also order off a made to order breakfast. I personally enjoyed both. Dinner on the other hand is just OK. Luckily the hotel is conviently located to some very good restaurants as well as shopping.
I would recommend the french bakery about 4 blocks away and 5 Avenue right next door.
They were both delicious!
Overall I highly recommend this resort.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank ApeyWapey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2012

We stayed at Mahekal the end of October and it is now our favorite place in Playa del Carmen. We've visited the area several times and have always stayed in wonderful boutique hotels but Mahekal beats all of them. The beach is perfect, the rooms are simple but beautiful and clean, and the grounds are beautiful. Add great service and surprisingly good food and you can't go wrong. We stayed in the Pueblito section which was peaceful and lovely. I was sure once I arrived at the resort I would want to upgrade my room to ocean front but there was no need to do that. I was very satisfied with the beautiful garden view room. We had a wonderful experience at Mahekal and cannot wait to return!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cancunm0m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2012

We visited Mahekal 11/6 to 11/13 and had a great and relaxing vacation. The entire staff exhibited great attitude and work ethic. Boli (the concierge) dealt with our limousine company and confirmed our return trip to the airport so that we didn’t have to worry about being picked up on time, or sitting through a “tour” sales pitch; thanks Boli!
We stayed in room 6P, which is a 3rd floor unit with a huge balcony. The balcony is 50% covered and 50% open to the sunshine, has two hammocks, two comfortable chairs for reading or hanging out, and a nice lounger for soaking up the sun. Costs a few extra bucks but was worth it to us.
We ate dinner here 2 times, both buffets, Italian night and Mayan night. Both were excellent. When originally booking the trip over three months ago, my wife mentioned that we were celebrating our 10th anniversary. The resort surprised us with a bottle of Champagne the first night that we had dinner. The other days we opted for lunch either at the pool or on the beach. For lunch you order off a pretty large menu with lots of great choices. Breakfast was a combination of buffet and menu. You can order eggs and omelets prepared any way you desire, as well as French toast, pancakes, and a few Mayan style dishes.

The beach area is beautiful, great palapas, plenty of lounges. There are some rocky areas, but also plenty of sandy areas for entering the water. Just one “beach” negative; there was intermittent sulfur like odor, apparently caused by mangrove or rotting seaweed north of the resort. It did not have a major impact on our trip. Many other reviews state that they never had any odor at all, but I felt I should mention it.

We recommend!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bluewater1357
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Ahhh, Mahekal... My girlfriend and I LOVED this hotel. The standout aspect was the service - Boli as concierge, Luis in the restaurant and Gabriel as the all around all-star were particularly helpful and bent over backwards to make our stay great. Want to switch rooms to get a better view? No problem. Want to plan an all day excursion to Chichen Itza with no notice until the night before? No problem. Want a made to order omelette to go along with an already impressive buffet at breakfast? You can guess the answer. We could tell the staff really enjoyed working at Mahekal and took great pride in making guests like us happy - we miss them!

As for the property, it's right on the beach (fairly quiet without too much foot traffic), which makes it great for early morning reading or afternoon tanning. There are two pools (one with a great ocean view) and our room was spacious and comfortable.

We'd come back in a heartbeat. It was wonderful.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Aroundtheworld121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

We stayed at Mahekal for 4 nights and we didn't want to leave. From the moment we arrived the service was fantastic and the whole place had a lovely relaxed vibe (we also met a couple at check-in who were on their third trip there this year!). Our first room was an Ocean View (36B) which was fine if a little close to the small driveway next to the resort - there was some noise from the condo block across the way but not a major issue. The next morning we were offered a much better room for the rest of our stay (13 Playa on the Aventura side). The room was spacious and immaculate with a beautiful tiled walk-in shower and private balcony with loungers and hammocks. It was bliss to wake up to the sound of the ocean and watch the sunrise from bed and I never missed not having a TV or wifi (there is wifi in the open-plan lobby and bar for those that need it).

The breakfast was delicious - a huge selection of fresh fruits, pastries, cereals and hot dishes (the banana pancakes were divine!). We had dinner on our first night (since it's included) and I agree with some of the other reviews that it wasn't anything special, but most other days we swapped dinner for lunch and the Mexican dishes served then were great. The bar has a 2 for 1 happy hour with strong margaritas and very reasonably priced beer. All in all, incredible value when you figure that 2/3 meals are included in the room rate.

What set this hotel apart and what makes me want to return as soon as was the outstanding service. Gabriel was always on hand to answer all of our (numerous) questions, to arrange transport or just for a friendly hola at any time of day. He is a true asset to the hotel. We booked a day trip to Chichen Itza through Boli the concierge for $60USD/person which was very reasonable compared to other tour operators - the day included a guided tour and free time at the ruins, lunch, a swim in a cenote (fantastic experience!) and an hour to explore charming Vallodolid. The rest of the hotel and restaurant staff were extremely friendly and accommodating.

Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to come back to Mahekal. It never felt like a crowded or anonymous resort and it is a very easy stroll into the main town for dinner or shopping. The beach is beautiful and fairly quiet, the rooms are charming and you feel like you're actually in Mexico (rather than a chain hotel that could be anywhere). One of the best hotel experiences I've ever had.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms seemed plenty close to the beach and are a little more private than the ocean front...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nevin B
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 reviewResponded November 27, 2012

Dear B Nevin,

Thank you for positing your review on Tripadvisor. We thank you for all your valuable feedback and your praise for our staff on their level of service. We are very proud of our staff and their friendly yet caring attention provided to our guests. We thank you for mentioning both Gabriel and Boli, two outstanding team members.

Your description of our intimate nature yet unrivaled location with one of Playa's finest beaches and your experience will surely be enjoyed by other readers. We are delighted we were able to fulfill your expectations and look forward to your next visit.

Victoria Campos
Director of Sales & Marketing
Mahekal Beach Resort

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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

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:
#12 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $226 - $538 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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