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“Beautiful place”
Review of The Reef Playacar

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The Reef Playacar
Ranked #96 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Bloomington, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful place”
Reviewed February 23, 2013

My husband and I, along with two friends stayed at The Reef Feb 7-11. It was one of the best vacations we've had! Our check-in was a little long but went well and we got a very comfortable king size bed, with nice pillows. Our friends however, did not get the king bed they requested. They got two doubles. It's the first hotel we've been to that doesn't guarantee you get the bed you requested. They were disappointed, but the fun time we had at the Reef well made up for it! Another thing to note is that the Reef has wifi, but it costs $15 a day. The jungle grounds are gorgeous and have interesting animals and birds. I love the tropical feel of the resort. The resort photographers bring in different animals and you may get a picture taken with them. The resort is beautiful at night with soft lightening in the trees and colorful fun lighting in the bars. I think because it's a smaller place, we had fun meeting people and making friends. You run into each other at various places like the resort ice cream parlor, afternoon coffee in the garden area next to a waterfall- (beautiful), the pool etc. Food was plentiful, good variety, and we always hit the snack bar for their chicken tacos (delicious) late night. sooooo convenient! We really enjoyed the pool but it was a little annoying seeing loungers and beds around pool area claimed but not used all day. But somehow we'd luck into a few and brought up an extra one or two from the beach area. We paid for the premium wrist band which gives you top shelf liquor, but doesn't get you better wine. That was unfortunate because I enjoy a nice glass of wine but the house wine was not very appealing. We were able to purchase a better bottle. Small crowds were at the resort bars, but that made it fun and intimate. Pool bar had good music, but the late night bar Pappos had a limited selection and could used some fun dance music. However, we still had fun! We loved our vacation. I've been home a week now and still reminisce about the beauty and fun we had at the Reef. I'd love to return!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Barb U
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, March 5, 2013
We would like to thank you for your nice review. We are very happy you, your husband and your friends enjoyed your vacations with us. We appreciate your observations regarding the food and variety, the beautiful beach and our gardens.
We would like to explain that the hotel has more rooms with two double beds than 1 king size bed. We always check the special requests regarding bedding, but unfortunately we cannot confirm till the day of arrival since all rooms are run of the house. We always do our utmost to meet all requests, but unfortunately we are not always able to. We can offer room changes when a room get available with a king size bed, but it depends on the client if they feel like changing after being installed in the previous room.
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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bonnyville
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2013

We had a one day stay at this resort on Jan. 22nd,2013.it this day has given us nothing but grief since the day we spent there. The charge was supposed to be $40.00 per person or $1016.78 pesos. We were overcharged: $101,678.00 pesos. They admitted their mistake before we left but told us it was too large an amount to be refunded to our MasterCard. They were wire the amount to our bank account. So far nothing has been received by our bank. We are left with an amount of $8,190.67 to our MasterCard account.
Needless to say we have had a few sleepless nights.
EXPERIENCE, TERRIBLE!!!

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Solange L
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, March 7, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your comments. We apologize for the inconveniences you have experienced with your credit card payment. We have had a miscommunication. The hotel has tried to wire you the money, but it did not go through and the payment has not been taken out our bank accont. We have sent you a personal email, so we can check out together why it did not go through. We will await your reply, so we can get this situation solved as soon as possible. We understand this is important for you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2013

We have been to 3 all inclusives, and have always got them last minute, sell off prices. we have always been to Puerto Vallarta(5x) when we have been to Mexico partly because we love the culture and proximity of the town, but also because it is what we know, and feel safe and comfortable there. We wanted to experience the Caribbean side this time as well as booking a hotel for the appeal rather than the price. Admittidley we were still on a budget so didn't go wild but didn't get the cheapest as per usual. I don't know whether I can go back to the sell of hotels after this one. I felt like I was in a tropical rainforest rather than a sterile, huge resort meant to facilitate a gazillion peoples vacations. The trees, the wildlife, the beach, wide and long and covered in fine white sand that you could mistake for flour (after a few tequilas), and the gorgeous crystal blue ocean, it truly is paradise. The hotel itself was set inside a forest of tropical trees and waterfalls and each building houses only a few stories of rooms. The rooms were always well kept from day to day and stocked with beer and pop. The rooms were a little bit noisy but an all tile room doesn't really lend its self well to sound dampening, bring earplugs I didn't wear them the first night but the second night slept great. Our room had a bit of a mildew problem in the closet but my Mothers who's was next door was fine, I actually only discovered the problem on the day we left because I didn't understand why our room smelt so bad compared to my moms and when I investigated further found some badness in our closet on the ceiling. We have 3 kids and there wasn't the water slides and over the top kids club like some other hotels had, but hey they have a pool with a shallow end and a massive beach free from pedlars, and the shear excitement of being somewhere new that you can swim all day and eat what ever you want and rush to nothing was enough for them. The kids club was actually under construction when we went (FEB 06- 13 2013) but the ladies, who were super nice and entertaining asked us every day whether the kids would like to come hang out, they always had a different agenda every day. My 2 eldest went one day to make bracelets for a couple hours, but my eldest (7) is really the only one who would be into kids club so it was no real loss to us. The food was good way better then the other all inclusives we have been to, I was very scared after the last place we went, as I had a really hard time and ate street food just to get some Mexican. I am a vegetarian and my mother is a vegetarian and gluten free and we were never without. Also my husband is a meatamaniac and was also never at a loss. Not a ton of Mexican, but never felt the need to eat else where, and I am a freak about Mexican food. The cheese empanadas are to die for. Also we never took advantage of the al a carte restaurants because there was always choice, and it was so easy with the kids. The staff were great, really nice and felt as though they really cared whether you were happy about your service. There is a gym, I had a hard time finding info about it before I left and wasn't sure if there was one because there are no pictures, but it is there. Elliptical, treadmill, weights, bike, a little stinky and mildewy could use an update and a bottle to spray the equipment, but gets the job done. Taco bar at night was super fantastic. Really I am not sure what else you could ask for... I felt like I was in paradise, I couldn't have asked for better service or location. I would for sure return. With the long trek from the Airport the travel is a whole day next time 10 days rather than 7.

Room Tip: The bikes were awesome great way to see the town.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Krustybee
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, March 5, 2013
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, the beautiful garden, the food and the great staff.

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.
Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2013

beach is beautiful have the option of biking or walkingor cabbing in to town food okay nobody got sick great place for nature close to attractions BIG thanks to the sunwing tour rep arturo ortizide he was awsome good holiday even though resort was on the quiet side but one can always make there own fun would like to return someday

Room Tip: room 924 close to the beach
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank cricket941
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, February 24, 2013
We would like to thank you for your nice comments. We are very happy you enjoyed your stay at our Resort. We really appreciate your kind observations regarding the hotel.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2013

My husband and I, and sister and husband, stayed at the Reef Playacar Feb 5 thru Feb 12. We will definitely return!!! We have been on several cruises and the food at the Reef was sooo much better! The grounds were absolutely beautiful, a lush jungle type setting constantly being tended to by groundskeepers. It is not a huge place, so no night life, but we weren't looking for that. From the front office to the beach, with all the rooms in between, is about a 2 minute walk. The beach is breathtaking! Some people left reviews complaining about steps...I loved it! I was in a lush jungle setting, not a boring hotel. It is about a 20 minute walk on the beach to 5th St in Playa, and a beautiful walk at that. The servers in the buffet restaurant are excellent! The Mexican restaurant (Boticellis I think it was), was amazing food and staff. The Italian restaurant was so-so in food and service. The snack stand that is open til 2:00 am was also awesome! If you tip a couple dollars here and there to the bartenders, you get faster service. Humberto at the swim-up pool bar was our favorite! Our only disappointment, which I heard from several people besides ourselves, was to not count on getting the room you signed up for. We were given two double beds, which doesn't work for me. I paid for and reserved a queen bed and expected that. So after sort of throwing a fit, I had to go back the next morning to see if one was available, as did my sister. We got one the next day. My sister got one two days later. Several people just dealt with it. They said "we don't guarantee rooms." I was never told that in advance. Anyhow, that and the hard beds is our only complaint. As for the cabanas on the beach and pool area...if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. You have to go down about 5:00 am to put your towel on a bed, and some sort of bag or book, and go back to bed. It will be there all day. You can come and go to it as you please. I agree it's not right, but it's the only way to get one. I cannot wait to go back!!!

Room Tip: requesting a room doesn't help much, or at least it didn't when we went. They were full to...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Kelli J
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, February 21, 2013
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, your husband and your sister and her husband had a great vacation at our resort!

We appreciate your comments regarding the food and restaurants, the good location and the staff. We will share your special thanks with Humberto

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.
Marquette
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2013

My wife and I stayed at the Reef Playacar from January 27 through February 3. It was our 11th visit to this very beautiful resort. We were greeted by Vita and Daniel at the front desk with open arms and they remembered us from previous years. Then they introduced us to Wilberth (Willy) who showed us to our room. Willy is the nicest young man and should be commended for his friendliness and attention to the guests needs.

Our room was 1424, a second floor room with recent updates, and it was lovely. We had a great view of both the jungle in the center of the resort and also the ocean. Our maid kept the room spotless.

The entertainment staff is our favorite part of the resort. Nayeli is now our "adopted" Mexican daughter and we love how she interacts with the guests and tries very hard to get people to join in for volleyball, water aerobics, Spanish lessons, stretching, etc. Zouhaila is a really fun gal and helped me learn to salsa dance. Leo is friendly, always smiling, and was into my practical jokes with fake rats and snakes. Humberto is a hard worker, handing out towels, leading aerobics and volleyball. Claudia is so sweet and does an excellent job with the kids. She also takes time to chat with guests, teaching them Spanish words for things.

The food at the Reef was the best we have ever had. In eleven years, the food has always been good, but this time it was so widely varied from day to day, with an array of food to tempt every palate. Everything is well seasoned and my wife especially liked the vegetables that were steamed to perfection. I loved the omelets Victoria made for me every morning. Paulino, Lucy, Mary, and all the wait staff treated us like royalty. They always smiled, no matter what. Unfortunately, we witnessed many guests who were extremely rude and did not treat the staff very well, But, the amazing staff treated even the most rude guest with respect and good service. My hat is off to the staff.

Bar service is excellent at the Reef. I never waited more than a couple of minutes at any bar for a drink. Nico's is a nice place to relax away from the hustle and bustle in the rest of the resort. It is well worth the upgrade to this premium service.

After all these years, my wife and I have never grown tired of the Reef, finding new experiences each time, meeting old friends and making new ones, and relaxing in our Mexican home away from home. We are already talking about returning to the Reef in November to celebrate our anniversary. We did go to one other resort just a few resorts away from the Reef, and although it was nice, we just couldn't fall in love with it like we did the Reef. This will always be our favorite place because of the staff, the small and cozy atmosphere, the wonderful food, and the utmost hospitality.

Thank you to all our friends in sales and guest services - Corinna, Marja and Roberta. You did it again...met and exceeded our expectations. We want everyone who is considering a visit to Mexico to stay at the best resort in Playacar...The Reef!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank William D
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, February 21, 2013
Dear Bill & Denise,
We would like to thank you for your fantastic review. We are very happy you enjoyed your 11th time in your Mexican Home with us.
We will share your special thanks with Nayeli, Zouhaila, Leo, Humberto, Claudia, Paulino, Mary, Lucy, Corinna, Marja and Roberta
Thanks to reviews like yours we have been able to get the Certificate of Excellence 2012 from Tripadvisor.

We see you soon and we will make sure you will enjoy your 12sd stay with us
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2013 via mobile

Needs to have a policy that if a person has not used the public area cabanas for an hour or so their personal items will be removed. We witnessed people placing books, etc on them the night before so they could use them the next afternoon. Most days all cabanas had personal items on them with no one there for hours. The staff was friendly & helpful in most areas. The buffet breakfast was always good. Lunch & dinner were great or just so/so. Other 2 restaurants were great!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DammannC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
#55 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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