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“I would return to Reef Playacar in an instant!”
Review of The Reef Playacar

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The Reef Playacar
Ranked #96 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
43 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“I would return to Reef Playacar in an instant!”
Reviewed November 8, 2012

I have been on several all-inclusive vacations... this is the best one yet. Small resort, but still with great amenities and the proximity to Playa del Carmen and Cozumel can't be beat. The beach is absolutely beautiful, and you can walk hours in either direction. The only negative thing is that in trying to book here again for this December it's all booked up! One of the downsides of a small resort, I guess.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank sats36
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
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 and great location.

We are looking forward to welcoming you once more! We do have some dates fully booked for December, but we still have rooms available during the upcoming winter season. Also if you are flexible on dates in December, please let us know, since we do still have some dates available.
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Killarney, Ireland
Level Contributor
80 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2012

beautiful serting on the beach superb hotel with delightful accomadation the best i have seen in mexico. better than home from home, if this was home i would never travel again. stunning sea views. balconies with hot tub who could want more, perfect location on beachfront.

Room Tip: beach views are the best and can be very tranquil in the evenings.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank june g
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
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, room and great location.

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.
canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2012

My friend and i have just returned from a one week stay at the Reef (Oct 28- Nov 4)

Let me start by saying this is small hotel and that is why we chose it... we wanted a chill, relaxed vacation and that what we got. It was a nice mix of nationalities, with few singles, more than a few families, some larger groups, and some honeymooners. Nice mix.

Check in was easy, friendly (despite previous posts about the reception staff) and quick. We had emailed the resort to request second floor rooms and they had them ready early- so we were able to get into our rooms at 12:30pm.... nice!
The rooms are clean, beds were good for Mexico, closets are large and had tons of hangers. The bathroom was clean with a nice soaker tub... my fave!
Rooms have a ceiling fan and AC which worked really well to cool the room quickly... so you don't have to waste energy keeping it on all day or night.
The beach is beautiful, one of the best I've seen in this area... clean and sandy- don't bother to bring water shoes- you won't need them here.
The buffet was good for breakfast and dinner... at dinner, it seemed most people ate off the resort or in the a la cart restaurants, so it seemed that dinner at the buffet was an after thought for the chefs... I love Mexican food, so I could always find something good to eat... lots of fresh fruit and salads, and when we didn't like the choices for dinner, we went to the snack bar for good tacos.
We upgraded our wristband on the second day for $18 a day, in order to have access to the beach bar and the top shelf alcohol resort wide. We have experienced gut rot/ heartburn in the past drinking Mexican all inclusive alcohol, and this combined with the convenience of beach access to drinks, made the extra cost well worth it (about an extra $105 for the week)
The beach bar had really nice lounge furniture, great bartenders, and the above mentioned top- shelf alcohol. We were really surprised to hear a really good, down tempo house, lounge mix tape in the beach bar.... it was really nice until we realized it was the only mix tape they had... it got to be that we could tell what time it was by the song playing.... 1st world problem I know, but it would have been so much nicer for them to switch it up every couple of days, and not hard to execute either....
The rest of the staff at the resort were friendly, efficient and really hard working.
Overall, this was a great vacation at a really beautiful, lush location.
The only complaint I have is that the food was a bit repetitive (but liking Mexican cuisine this wasn't much of a problem for me)
The one other complaint I have is that because the resort is built from stucco covered cement, voices carry in the hallways and bounce off the hard surfaces... we had some issues with families on other floors, waking up early and letting their kids/ teenagers yell to each other from floor to floor.... this is not the resorts fault and was easily dealt with by asking them to SHUT UP BEFORE 8 am (!)... sorry French people staying upstairs... deal with your kids and teach them some indoor voices :)

Would I stay here again.... absolutely!

Room Tip: Sleep with your AC on and pillow over your head to prevent being wakened by jet-lagged European kid...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank rator
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 12, 2012
We would like to thank you for your fantastic review. We are very happy you and your friends enjoyed your vacations with us. We appreciate your observations regarding the easy check in, the room and the cleanness, the beautiful beach the food 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.
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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.
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
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
107 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 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.
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:
#49 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#56 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#64 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#65 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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