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“Elaine & Dave - England”
Review of The Reef Playacar

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The Reef Playacar
Ranked #99 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Elaine & Dave - England”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Got back 04/11 after a 2 week stay at The Reef, we loved it, the staff were so friendly always said ola, we tried all the restaurants and found the food very good and plentiful in all, the beach is fabulous and not crowded. The resort is self is lovely with all the greenery and walkways and when lit up at night looks almost magical. It is worth upgrading to include Nico's Bar, it makes a nice location to have a quite drink at night whilst watching the stars and both Israil and Miguel served us well - do try there Chocolate Martini. The location of the hotel is great 10 mins walk left and you reach the shopping plaza with a Starbucks - 10 mins walk to the right and there is a little gem of a bird sanctuary - 300 pasos to get in each but well worth it - it is also very easy to walk across the beach front to Playa Carman. Yes there is time share reps but just say no before they can say anything to you and they go away they only asked us twice - Yes the rooms are dated but are kept clean - would we go back - yes we would.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Elaine W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at The Reef Playacar, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
We would like to thank you for your fantastic review. We are very happy you enjoyed your vacations with us. We appreciate your observations regarding our beautiful beach, great location,the room and the cleanness and you enjoyed the upgrade to premium brazalet.
Thanks to reviews like yours we have been able to get the Certificate of Excellence 2012 from Tripadvisor.
We offer special rates to our returning guests, so if you plan to come back, let us know directly! We are looking forward to welcoming you once more!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Stone Lake, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2012

We stayed at this resort for our first time to PDC in April 2012, travelling with my husband and two daughters. It's a small resort in a beautiful jungle setting with teaklike board bridges and walkways. One of the congregation areas has tulle sweeping from the trees and is lit with lights hanging from the trees at night. Absolutely stunning. There were lots of what we called "Mexican Squirrels" running around (so cute!) and plenty of shapes and sizes of lizards and iguanas. There was even a cenote near the lobby. I can't say enough about how stunning this resort was, which I felt was the highlight of the resort.

BEACH - The beach was amazing and great for people watching of those going back and forth via beach from 5th Avenue (this resort is the closest on the beach to 5th Avenue). The water was shallow for quite a way and I felt totally comfortable letting my 9 and 11 year old girls play in the ocean within the ropes. Once outside of the ropes, it can get deeper depending on the tide, so be careful if going out beyond that point - nothing to worry about, just be conscientious and aware of the tide. My girls (and husband) loved the free boogie boards too. Seaweed washed in every morning, but the hotel staff cleaned it up promptly early each morning (like 6!). Grab an umbrella and set up your spot early if you are planning on hanging out on the beach for the day. We spoke with other travelers staying at different resorts and our beach seemed like one of the best in the area. We spent most of our time at the beach when at the resort, but the pools were nice also. Again, get your spot set up in the morning.

FOOD - we've been to a couple of different all-inclusives in MX and know what to expect. It's a buffet, you will find things that you like but make sure your expectations aren't too high. We are pretty easy to please, no picky eaters here - I am just happy not to have to cook every night. :)The restuarants were AMAZING - make sure you book at both. Keep in mind that there is a dress code - men should have closed toed shoes and pants; they are kind of fancy which is a nice break from the buffet. The snack bar next to the pool was good too, just keep in mind you have to wait for your food to be prepared, nothing is made ahead of time which is a good thing! So just make sure you don't go there starving! There is a self serve ice cream machine in the snack area, which was nice. There is also a ice cream parlor near the lobby, but the hours were specific and they were open hit and miss. More ice cream flavors there, but hard to catch open.

ENTERTAINMENT - the entertainment was 'entertaining' and a great way to spend a low key night after hanging on the beach all day, but not broadway. As long as you keep that in mind, sit back and enjoy the show. The staff work very hard. The gentlemen booking excursions outside of the lobby area were wonderful. Very knowledgeable and trustworthy. It was a little rainy after Easter, and one small wish was that there was more to do at the resort when it was raining.

ROOMS - the rooms were clean and nice. Not overly fancy, but we did not expect that or choose to pay for a resort that offered that. Who spends that much time in the room anyway? The beds were fine, pillows were great. Our housekeeper added nice little touches to our room each day, which we really appreciated. The rooms have fridges and are restocked with water - bonus since everyone knows you can't drink the water from tap!

DOWNFALL - The only bad point was the timeshare people.... Stay away! They are sales reps, and good at what they do! Very nice and outgoing. We got sucked in and ending up cancelling after getting home and doing some research. If you are interested in a timeshare, do your research first before learning all that you know about timeshares from someone who's job it is to sell them. :) Again, we were very happy with the resort, so were easy targets to own a timeshare there. Just be informed, as you would before making any purchase.

Bottom line is - GREAT resort, but just smile and politely avoid the timeshare reps. Can't wait to go back in a few years - would go back this year, but don't like to go to the same place two years in a row! :) Heading the Puerto Vallarta next, hope the RIU is as good as the Reef!

Room Tip: Avoid a room overlooking the kids play area, probably the only bad view in the resort :)
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
11 Thank Chelsea P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at The Reef Playacar, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your stay at our Resort. We are happy to know that you had a great vacation at our resort!

We appreciate your comments regarding the amazing beach, food, entertainment team, room and great location.

Thanks to reviews like yours we have been able to get the Certificate of Excellence 2012 from Tripadvisor.

We offer special rates to our returning guests, so if you plan to come back, let us know directly! We are looking forward to welcoming you once more!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blandon PA
Level Contributor
101 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2012

The Reef is a very friendly hotel. The service was great. The beach is wonderful and the water is aqua . Buffet food was good and service was great. Snack bar had good food when you needed a little something to hold you over. Coffee bar is excellent . It was the best relaxing time in the afternoon. Mexican night with buffet and show was also great. The staff worked very hard to serve everybody. Great job. Premium bar was great with Miguel serving great drinks and great service. Room was clean and maid service really great. Having the resort in a gated community was a great plus. 5 minute walk to playacar plaza for great gifts and no hassle. Also easy walk or taxi ride to Playa for a great time. The best beach around and very clean. Both pools were clean as well. Will return.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank snoopy21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at The Reef Playacar, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay at our Resort. We are very happy to know that you had a great vacation at our resort!

We appreciate your comments regarding the beach, food, rooms, our staff, the excellent service, great location and Mexican night. We will share your special thanks with Miguel.

We offer special rates to our returning guests, so if you plan to come back, let us know directly! We are looking forward to welcoming you once more!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
47 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2012

This was my second time in one year that I have enjoyed The Reef Playacar. I was welcomed back with friendly faces. They have remodeled 6 of the 12 buildings. Really updated but still authentic. I enjoyed going on the off season because it wasn't as busy but still was given attentive service. Some of the bartenders need to step it up though! Being a member had its benefits. The sales people left you alone, the tours were set up for you and I knew what to expect. I had 3 massages on the beach which were incredible. What a way to start the day. Very reasonable. Of course, it is still the most beautiful water and white sand I've ever seen and the sun shined everyday.

Room Tip: I enjoyed staying closer to the pools so if you needed to go back , it was easier!! This resort is...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Alikatt62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at The Reef Playacar, responded to this review, November 2, 2012
We would like to thank you for your very nice comments. We are happy you enjoyed your second stay at our resort. We appreciate you remarking great service and you enjoyed the massage on the beach.

We look forward to welcoming you for your third stay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2012

We returned Sat Oct 20th from a week at the reef playacar. We reached Diamond status on this stay andI will never stay anywhere else is playacar. The staff here treats us like family and we treat them like family as well. There were plenty of hugs upon arrival, we were zipped off to our room with quick check in and the room was perfect. Don't worry about the construction it didn't bother us a bit, didn't even hear them. Pools were spotless Jorge takes great care to make sure they are in tiptop condition Thanks Jorge. Bars and restaurants are tremendous always plenty to eat and drink, Irving, Eric, and the rest of the staff at Chula Vista are great. Try Erics mayan coffee after dinner you will be AMAZED! Many thanks to Zou and Claudia from the entertainment team- they kept us busy all week with stuff to do. The Terazza grill is great the guys up there took care to ensure our anniversary dinner was extra special, thanks to all including the chefs who make sure everything is perfecto! And I would be remiss if I didn't thank Roberta at guest services - she is simply one of the nicest persons I've ever had the pleasure to meet, she took care of everything from dinner reservations to our return shuttle and everything in between. We are already planning our trip back for next October. See YOU ALL there next year.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank LUVQROO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at The Reef Playacar, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
We would like to thank you for your fantastic review. We are very happy you enjoyed your Diamond status with us. We appreciate your observations regarding the great service, the bartenders and restaurant.
We will share your special thanks with Jorge, Irving Eric, Zouhaila, Claudia and Roberta.
Thanks to reviews like yours we have been able to get the Certificate of Excellence 2012 from Tripadvisor.
We look forward to welcoming you once again at your home away from home next Octuber.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2012

I recently returned from a week stay at The Reef Playacar October 10-17th. I had a wonderful time there with my 2 brothers. I like that it is low key, small, & has lots of vegetation giving the feeling that you are in the jungle. No mosquitoes! Beach was fabulous with soft sand and no rocks/seaweed. I never had to worry about hurting my feet in the ocean & even swam in it at night without fear. Was one of the best beaches I have ever found & the waves were just right. I spent lots of time in the surf and pools which were clean and uncrowded. I had good times late night at the bar socializing. Shows were okay. We made some great, new, fun friends.
Staff was nice and friendly especially at the front desk & Paulino with his great smile. Humberto and Chloe helped me out a lot. We were impressed with the SCUBA staff who were very professional and safe. Drinks were good, but I sometimes had to search around just to get a non-alcohol mango smoothie with my breakfast. The buffet bar area seemed to constantly turn me away even though I wasn't looking for alcohol drinks??? My room was nothing fancy but it was very clean and cool. The maids were hard workers and deserve better pay. I stayed in room 731 and I have only one complaint about it - The bottom of the bathtub was wierd, soft, and mushy. I felt that I might fall through it if I weighed more or if I jumped on it.
Food was hit or miss as far as taste goes, but there was a decent variety/selection to pick from. Some mornings I would have given anything for a nice cold glass of milk - but the only milk I could find was usually warm. If you don't like buffets you could always go to a sit down restaurant rather than the buffet for dinner. I was disappointed in the lack of seafood (my favorite) available to eat. I was annoyed (as were other guests that I spoke with) that the restaurants had the nerve to charge an extra $17 for some meals. In my past experience all-inclusive meant ALL- INCLUSIVE.
This resort has a good, relaxed vibe. It was the fun people that I met from all around the world and the good friendly staff that made it so memorable. I would return next week if the price was right and if they had more seafood dinners without extra charges applied.
The BEST DAYS travel staff did not have my name on their shuttle list when I arrived at Cancun's airport. I had to wait for them to make phone calls to sort it out. Once I was checked in at THE REEF all my stresses melted away. I left this vacation with a big smile on my face and feeling rejuvinated.
This resort has so much potential. With a little room/chair upgrading and beautification it could be one of the best. My recommendations to this resort would be to immediately replace the swim-up barstool seats because they are scratchy, uncomfortable, and put pulls in all of my bathingsuit bottoms. And nicer beach chairs that lay flat would be a plus. Thanks for a really good time.

Room Tip: I always prefer higher floors for balcony views and privacy.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TiniWiniBikini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at The Reef Playacar, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay. We are very happy to know that you and your brothers had a great vacation at our resort!

We appreciate your comments regarding the fabulous beach, the jungle, our staff and the Scuba staff. We will share your special thanks with Paulino, Humberto and Chloe and we will discuss your recommendations in our Management meeting.

We offer special rates to our returning guests, so if you plan to come back, please let us know directly! We are looking forward to welcoming you once more!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadephia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Nice hotel - very clean, excellent staff - so nice We were approached by Timeshare, said not interested, and that was that - no problems. Wonderful beach - calm beautiful water, plenty of chairs. Pool(s) were great too - and the bar staff worked hard there! Food was okay - there was always something you would like - don't expect gourmet at this price!! Room was clean, spacious enough - yes a little touch up here or there would be in order - but clean!! Thatched look of the ceiling/roof was very nice touch. Went into Playa - a nice walk in the evening either by beach or street - and a cheap taxi back. Take the ferry and explore Cozumel too. Really no complaints - some construction going on while we were there (Labor Day week) so some noise -but we were fine. Did not do the specailty restaurants, but heard good things about them from those that did. Would recommend to anyone wanting a clean, nice all inclusive at a great price.

Room Tip: Get as close to the beach and pool as you can - easy to get around though no matter what room you ha...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank lostresamigos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReefPlayacarResort, Director of Sales at The Reef Playacar, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
We would like to thank you for your fantastic review. We are very happy you enjoyed your vacations with us. We appreciate your observations regarding all Hotel, wonderful beach, pools, excellent staff and food.
Thanks to reviews like yours we have been able to get the Certificate of Excellence 2012 from Tripadvisor.
We offer special rates to our returning guests, so if you plan to come back, let us know directly! We are looking forward to welcoming you once more!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Reef Playacar

Property: The Reef Playacar
Address: Paseo Xaman-Ha, Ret. Sayil s/n | Fracc. Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#50 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#57 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#64 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#68 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#80 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Reef Playacar 3.5*
Number of rooms: 196
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This boutique style all-inclusive resort is located on a beautiful white sandy beach just steps away from the famous 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico. The hotel offers all food and domestic drinks, 1 buffet restaurant, 2 a la carte restaurants, Italian & Gourmet($), snack bar, ice cream parlor, various bars including a swim up bar, 2 pools, kids club, daily activities & nightly entertainment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reef Playacar Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Reef Club Playacar
Reef Playacar Mexico
Reef Playacar Playa Del Carmen
The Reef Playacar Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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