We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“My first time in Playa”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #27 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“My first time in Playa”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

I had only stopped off in Cancun and Cozumel during a cruise years ago and vowed to come back one day to take a closer look and from recommendations of some Italian friends who come year after year, I decided to book a holiday to Playa.

After contemplating staying in Tulum, I am so glad I decided not to, as Playa is comfortably situated and you can choose to do as little or as much as you like. Im sure that in 10 yrs time it will be a different story, but for now, at the end of January, it was not too busy and not too hot.

Mahekal is the right combination of authentic Mexican and laid back luxury. Its affordable and does not feel like you are staying in a "chain" hotel. The staff are wonderful and helpful and made me feel welcomed. The food was fine, if your a big eater, its perfect, if you are fussy or a foodie, then it can be a little repetative... but trust me, there are hundreds of restaurants and bars within a 5 min walk where you can have just about any kind of food your heart desires.

In the 10 days I was there, it rained for 3 and it was a little tedious as there wasnt a lot to do, but I planned excursions on those days and it worked out fine. I was also secretly pleased there were no small children or families whilst I was there as I liked the more mature mix of guests I encoutered...it seems more set up for "adults" at least at this time of the year.

Accommodation, the resort, the facilities etc etc was all fine as per the comments other tourists have posted, but as I mentioned in my departing "survey" at Mahekal, I would suggest the Resort invest in some new sun lounges as some have passed their use-by-date and are cracked and/or sagging, and offer "sparkling mineral water" on the drinks menu as Club Soda is soda water and not very nice.

The only other minor thing I would add (which I dont think Hotel Management can do anything about as they dont OWN the beach) is that on those lovely sunny days, when you are on your sunlounge, front row under the palm umbrella, with the sun beaming on you and the gentle breeze caressing your face..... it would be great not to have some guy poking his metal detector under your chair looking for valuables or for large groups of locals gathering a your feet drinking a dozen bottles of beer and doing backflips into the water.

As a woman travelling there alone, I felt completely safe and found enough to entertain myself and I recharged the batteries sufficiently. Oh and I came back to Sydney with a kick-**** tan to boot. Would I go again? Yep.

Room Tip: Any room, and above all be realistic, and dont throw a tantrum if a few drops of water penetrate you...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank D C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,532 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,617
    628
    163
    73
    51
See reviews for
716
1,250
34
9
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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (658)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Guadalajara, Mexico
Level Contributor
37 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2013

My wife and I stayed at this hotel located in a beachfront lot two blocks from 5a avenida where everything happens in Playa del Carmen. Layout is a good idea : two rooms bungalows (one above the other) spread in the property, each one sorrounded by a small garden and sand between them. We had a Deluxe Ocean View Room; ocean view? a little ; deluxe, nothing.
Rooms are a sample of bad design that does not match with it´s prices: two double beds too big
for the room; AC control on-off only, no fan speed control; grainy concrete floor in room, pebble stones in bathroom which is too small; washer pressure high but low in shower. No TV neither fridge. You do not really need the terrace in you room since you are so close to the beach but there are clothes hanger for your swimwear and towels. These you have to exchange at the registration desk which is in the opposite side of the beach (??). Since you are forced to pay for two meals (breakfast and lunch or dinner) in the room price you should know that there is nothing "to write home about" the food. And the Chef has like an obsession with lime; ceviche,
prepared with excellent fish and shrimps was swimming in lime that overpowered the rest. Pico de gallo, always served at lunch to nibble is drenched in lime; margaritas acidity makes them undrinkable. Beach and location are excellent! Value ? you have to judge by yourself.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alejandro P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SocialMahekal, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Mahekal Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Thanks for your review. We will share your comments with the rest of the team, and will try to solve/change as many of them as possible.

It's true that sometimes the terrace is not needed when you have the beach so close, but some people like to have this private open area to read and chill.

Will talk about the idea of having a towel station closer to the beach and pool, and will share your comments about the use of lime on food and drinks with our chef, since ceviche and margaritas are always one of the favorites of our guests.

We hope that if you come back to Playa del Carmen anytime soon you give us the chance to welcome you again.

Gracias, hasta pronto.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Formerly the Shangri La, Mahekal is a quaint throw back to simpler times in Playa Del Carmen. Consisting of cabana's scattered along a breathtaking stretch of beach, the Mahekal is simple but still maintains a sense of luxury. Since changing hands--I believe some Texans own the place nowadays and, are intending to tear it down and build condos someday--some things have gotten better, others worse. As an example, the food is pretty good but, inconsistent from night to night. Moreover, they now include a menu on "non buffet" nights wherein you can order some very price dishes or you can settle for the all inclusive meal. It's a small shift but one that had an impact on me. In typical fashion, the front desk is disorganized and, despite having the best room they offer (Ocean front), the made service never seemed to arrive until about 3pm. Again, typical Mexican organization. All these little quirks aside, the place still has a charm and beauty about it that is timeless and somehow washes away any worries or stress that may have followed you on your vacation! Finally, there is an excellent dive operation onsite and, it's oh so convenient to roll out of bed, grab some coffee and go diving! Enjoy the place, it won't be there forever!

Room Tip: If you're going to Mexico to relax on the beach, I highly recommend spending the extra money to...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PShankel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SocialMahekal, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Mahekal Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
We read your review, thank you for sharing your opinion with other travelers.

We appreciate your comments and will review them with the Manager, team coordination is in our hands, and issues mentioned can be fixed. Will check with cleaning service if maids can get to ocean front rooms early in the morning and move towards reception over the day.

We are glad to read our atmosphere washed away all worries and stress and we hope you enjoyed your vacation. Come back soon amigos.

Cheers for more mornings with coffe and diving at the Mexican Caribbean!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
100 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2013

This resort is the former Shangri-La. The resort sits right on the beach which is sandy, with clean clear water.

The rooms: they vary but overall are nicely decorated in a Mexican theme, we had an oceanview room on the first floor, which means you are close to the beach, but then even the garden view rooms which are larger are very close, this is not a huge resort, smaller more cozy... basically most of them are two story small little independant cottages. The top floors have palapas cielings but basically otherwise they are the same. Some rooms had issues with hot water a bit... we switched rooms to have more warm water, they accommodated us without any fuss. If you have an issue, they get on it promptly.

Cleanliness: the rooms and the resort is spotless, it is very well maintained, grounds are groomed every day.

Quiet resort with very little activity except a bar... thus if it rains, bring a good book!

It is however very near the main road for cafes, restaurants and local pubs/bars... all within easy walking distance. Some restaurants were particularly good... nice service, great food and nice atmosphere at affordable prices. 5th avenue is the street name.

The restaurants of this hotel offer very good food... they have a two meal package, thus you can either have breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner. This allows you to explore the activities and eateries on 5th avenue which are definitely worth you seeking them out.

For the price, this place was hard to beat... but bring a good book, it is quiet in the evening, no internet in the rooms and no tv or radio. Crowd was quite laid back and multinational.

We had a great time and it is only a bit more than one hour from Cancun airport. You should book a airport to resort and return package with a local shuttle service in advance, much less expensive than taxis. A word about taxis, most do not have a meter, so ask the price in advance... and negotiate down, they usually will try to get a couple of pesos more.

Great place, great location and very good service... always with a smile.

Room Tip: If you like to hear the waves at night, ask for an ocean view near the sea... if you want a larger r...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Summerchill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
57 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Mahekal in January 2013 for one week. We are fortunate that we are able to travel at least once or twice every year to Mexico or the Caribbean. We have stayed at many different hotels in the Mayan Riviera and Mahekal is a great, solid choice for the Playa del Carmen area.
We loved that it was to the north of all the larger all-inclusive resorts, yet we were within a 5 minute walk to the main street of Playa del Carmen and all of its restaurants and shops. We also loved that the room was on the large size and also the bathroom. Mahekal has done a great job of spacing the rooms so that you are not too close to the other guests. The food was good, but it got a little boring toward the end of a one-week stay. Mahekal did have lunch specials every day which took a little of the monotony away from your lunch choices.
What I did not like was the set-up for drinks. Even though the resort has a great meal plan where you are able to choose between breakfast/lunch, or breakfast/dinner as part of the cost of your room package, you have to pay for all your drinks (non-alcoholic and alcoholic). I knew this before I came to the hotel, but it really started getting to me toward the end of the week. I really wish they would rethink this policy. My husband and I are not huge binge drinkers, but we do like to have a couple of drinks every day while on vacation. It is not a dealbreaker, because I highly recommend this hotel, it is just the only negative for us.
What really separates Mahekal from other resorts are the staff. We were impressed at the level of professionalism from all the staff, and loved how friendly and genuine they were in ensuring that you were happy.
We will definitely return to Mahekal.

Room Tip: Beachfront suites are spectacular value for the money.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lchandler4285
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jensen Beah, FL
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2013

We had gone to Mahekal Beach Resort when it was called ShangriLa. We wanted to go back and are glad we did. We were fine with the “half board” plan which meant either lunch or dinner and the sumptuous breakfast buffet and made to order egg dishes. We were somewhat shocked to hear that half board meant no drinks, except coffee/tea and juices for breakfast. And no other drinks meant that. One of our foursome had a coughing/choking bout at a meal and we asked for water. As soon as the fit subsided, a waiter was there with a check to sign for the water.

The room, a beach bungalow, was excellent. The staff were always friendly and helpful. The meals were fine. The buffet dinners for a couple nights offered a good selection.

We enjoyed the happy hour specials, and supplemented them with supplies from Walmart about a 20 minute walk through town. Town was actually a convenient 2 minute walk away. The sales pitches on the street were in good spirit from “we bargain” to “how about free”.

The beach was always busy. We expected that in the January, high season. We were glad to see the guards at the end of the property where we stayed. The only TV we saw was in the bar. Wifi was good in the bar and in the lobby.

We had booked the trip with AA Vacations and, all-in-all, it was an enjoyable stay. The limo part of the package worked well both ways. The water seemed a little rough for snorkeling, and there weren’t many people in the water. Still, people watching on the beach did not disappoint.

Room Tip: We paid about 100 extra per night for the bungalow on the beach and enjoyed it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank buttonpunky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
1 review
Reviewed February 7, 2013

Amazing resort, staff and town.

My husband and I have been back 4 times now and we're going again in April. Hands down, our favorite place in Mexico.

Mahekal is a very short distance to the main street, avenida 5 where you can go shopping, eat out or just walk around (wear comfy shoes!).

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kathidral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Playa del Carmen hotels
0.6 mi away
El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel
El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Co...
#32 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
1,321 reviews
4.4 mi away
Fairmont Mayakoba
Fairmont Mayakoba
#7 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
3,563 reviews
0.3 mi away
Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort
Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Res...
#41 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
1,537 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.8 mi away
The Palm at Playa
The Palm at Playa
#24 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
1,297 reviews
0.6 mi away
Thompson Playa Del Carmen
Thompson Playa Del Carmen
#11 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
605 reviews
0.5 mi away
Porto Playa Condo Hotel & Beachclub
Porto Playa Condo Hotel & Beachc...
#16 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
599 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Mahekal Beach Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, BookIt.com, Hotwire, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Cheap Tickets, Jetsetter, getaroom.com, Cancelon, Evoline ltd, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly 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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing