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.
- 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