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Mahekal Beach Resort
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Reviews (3,173)
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Reviewed February 23, 2013

My husband and I just celebrated our anniversary at Mahekal, and had another great visit to this property. The beach at Mahekal is perfect, and we love the cute casitas. The staff at Mahekal are top-notch. The location couldn't be better...the comfort of a resort with easy access to the fun shops and restaurants of 5th Avenue. We will be back!

Room Tip: The ocean view rooms are definitely worth the extra cost. Nothing beats being steps from the beach and hearing the ocean at night.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MrsCresswell
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 reviewResponded May 1, 2013

Greetings from Playa del Carmen, thanks for your short review. We are glad to read the days you spent at the Caribbean were good. Casitas is a must, they let you enjoy the little town feeling, that Playa once had.

Hope to have you at Mahekal sometime soon.

Social Media Team
MAHEKAL

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

From the calm ambience of the lobby (soaring thatched roof, stylish hanging rattan lamps, Enya piped in, soft lighting, attractive library/computer room in view across the space) to the Gilligan's-Island-meets-Martha-Stewart stylings of the accomodations, we were pleased. The property is meticulously maintained, the employees unfailingly friendly and thorough. We opted for the breakfast/dinner option. The former was always very nice, especially if you can get a table on the deck outdoors, facing the gorgeous Caribbean.

The room was simple and charming. We had a second level room, which allowed us to hear the local birds walking around on the roof from time to time. Morning birdsong there is really cool. Everything was clean, well-constructed and well-designed. Hot water was occasionally a little slow, but they are planning an upgrade after high season. No big thing.

The grounds were a pleasure to walk around. The proximity to the beach was super. Chaises were not hard to find, though they don't recline to a flat position. The beach is guarded, which I found actually works from firsthand experience when I accidentally took a chaise with a room towel vs. the official Mahekal beach towel. "Senor?" I produced a room key and all was well.

The beach can get a little crowded and busy at times, but it was never oppressively so. Raise the flag on the palapas table next to your chaise, and you can have a Corona-commercial moment promptly.

Back to the food--breakfast buffet was very nice. Lots of options and a menu of egg dishes cooked to order included. Service was fast and friendly. Dinner was in the larger lodge-type-palapas-dining room. Also softly lit. Several evenings featured live music which was generally good to very good. Meals varied from strictly buffet (watch out for rude guests now and then) to salad bar and several selections for the evening. They also have a separate menu of other dishes for a fee. The dinners varied from good to mediocre. The "Oriental Night" was kind of abysmal, while "Mexican Night" (live very talented mariachi band included, better than you'd imagine by far) was excellent. If they could upgrade dinner a bit, they'd have a real gem. Service friendly and generally prompt. They try hard.

We did not have lunch there, but found great options in Playa, Tulum, Cozumel.

Surprises? Lots of biting insects from dusk on into dark. Mosquitoes and what we in New England call "no-see-ums." Rooms come with complimentary spray, but we got something stronger in-town. Nevertheless, they were after us. Hard to control nature, we realize, but we had not read about this. Also, no ice machines...they charge 60 pesos ($5+) for ice at the bar and you must bring your bottle of wine to be opened by them if you don't have your own corkscrew. That ice fee was pretty ridiculous. Drink prices were okay, daily happy hour softens that blow. Nice atmosphere at the bar--stoools, swings, right by the pool.

Overall, we'd go back again, probably. For the region and the cost, we were quite pleased. Again, great staff. Very professional, including the very warm and funny concierge. Playa has a lot of options for food and entertainment (Cuban bistro with live salsa band recommended), but great to get out and snorkel, swim and explore. We've stayed in more secluded resorts, but Mahekal is an excellent choice if you want the blend of beach/sand/sun and nightllife and access to travel.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Greenjean777
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 reviewResponded February 25, 2013

Greetings to New England, USA.

We loved the introductory lines, what a combination to describe our property. We are glad to read you enjoyed to walk around our gardens, and the birds singing around in the morning.

Good you used the flag system at the beach, is certainly great to really enjoy every day laying at the beach.

Will take all your comments in consideration, and will continue having live music at dinner, since we've noticed that guests enjoy it.

We apologize for mosquitoes inconvenience, but like you said nature is hard to control. Anyways will continue trying, by keeping our gardens clean and trimmed.

Thanks for the good comments about the service, we love to serve you and have you at home. Hasta pronto amigos.

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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 your roof line in torrential rain. If you have problems climbing stairs, avoid the top floor rooms, but otherwise, no complaints. Oh and be considerate of others and dont slam your room door when exiting or entering.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank D C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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 reviewResponded 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.

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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 stay in a beach front cabana. The views are stunning.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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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 reviewResponded 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!

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