My friend and I went to the Mahekal Beach Resort from Feb 9-16. 2013. My first contact was with the Oana at the hotel. I emailed her beforehand with details of our trip and special requests. Mainly that this was a celebration of life for my dear friend who has been battling cancer, and we were hoping for a peaceful, calm and restorative vacation. Also that we are both vegetarians. She assured me that would be no problem and that she and already told the kitchen. She appreciated having the information before we got there so they could be ready for us.
When we arrived we were greeted by the sweetest front desk person I can ever remember meeting. Not only was she welcoming with a big smile, she was efficient and knew her job too. Her name is Rosalio and she's fantastic. Every time we asked her a question or went to the front desk she was the same sweet, helpful person. Much appreciated by us.
Our room was 30b. On the second floor. The room was exactly like the photos show on their website. No tvs and it was lovely! We loved the hammocks outside on our private deck. We asked for 2 queen beds and they were very comfortable. (My friend is used to memory foam and was a little more "princess" like for the 1st night)! We loved the palapa roof, (which you would not have if you were on the ground floor), and really appreciated the air conditioning.
The beach was beautiful. We walked up and down the beach and were very glad we were at our resort. The others seemed full of singles drinking all day- and all that follows from that- but our place was mainly couples and very low key in comparison. We walked northwards along the beach- away from the pier where the ferry comes in- and just past the few small boats moored in view was a really calm stretch of water. It was beautiful and not as crowded. We headed there most days. We didn't use the resort pool. The ocean right at the resort can get really rough but like I said , just walk up the beach a little (5 mins), and it's a lot calmer.
The grounds of the resort are really beautiful- sandy paths with palm trees heading to the beach.
Ruben, El Capitan de Restaurante, checked in with us each and every time we went for breakfast or dinner. He was amazing. There was a vegetarian option on the menu every time with the offer to make us many other dishes not on the menu. There was always a buffet with salad options too. We felt special and as if nothing was too much trouble for us. Drinks are not included- not even water with dinner- so take the bottles of water from your room with you. The food was tasty and fresh. The bar by the lobby has a Happy Hour from 5-6- a real happy hour! We experimented and ended up liking the mojitos most of all. The good thing about only one hour for happy hour is that it doesn't encourage that "belly up to the bar for the night" mentality. Everyone pretty much disappeared at 6.02!
We walked to 5th Avenue- 1 minute walk up the street- every night after dinner. We found a couple of nice places for an after dinner drink- the cuban restaurant and the little place opposite the hotel had amazing music! I will review the restaurants we went to separately. There were some great places! We didn't fear for our safety in the area.
All in all this is a great resort and I will definitely go back. The location, the beach and the staff were all fantastic.
The only reason I didn't give it Excellent is because on our last day a large, rowdy wedding party arrived, broke the spell and shattered our peace and quiet. It started the moment they got there with woo hoos and talking like they all had a hearing problem. We talked to the front desk almost immediately as experience tells us that this behavior doesn't get quieter as the night wears on. They told us that they would remind them about the other guests but that also they were here for a wedding... They have weddings twice a month apparently. We could still hear them when we got back to our hotel around 11.30pm as they were still at the bar and still woo hooing. We talked to the front desk again- really we knew it was in vain but we needed to make our feelings known. And THAT'S why Excellent is not awarded - because even though there was a wedding party there, they should have been told right away that at THIS resort there is an expectation to be respectful. Nipped it in the bud. On the other hand 2 weddings a month is a lot of revenue for the Mahekal - I get it.
- 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