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“Great Location and Layout!”
Review of The Reef Playacar

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The Reef Playacar
Ranked #95 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Reviewed April 8, 2013

My wife and I just spent 4 great days at the Reef. The layout of the property is fabulous with the pools and pool bars located right next to the beach. This makes it easy to hang at the beach and get drinks or jump in the pool very convenient. The view of the beach is also spectacular from the pool area. Food was excellent. Buffet was good and quick and Boticeli's has great quality and taste. The waiter at Boticeli's, Abraham, gave great service and has a funny personality. We ate dinner at Boticeli's twice and made sure we requested Abraham. For the most part, the whole staff at the Reef was very good. Always smiling and happy to say hello to you. Hector, at front desk, did a fantastic job when we had a minor issue with our room; he was very quick to make sure we were taken care of. Overall, we will come back to stay at the Reef and we highly recommend it to others. With only 200 rooms, you get the resort amenaties without the hassle of staying at a Big resort. A few things we would suggest the Reef do to improve: Offer a little higher quality beer, eliminate the sales pitch by the concierge (annoying when we're on vacation to get away from a that garbage) and improve/include wi-fi service.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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1  Thank kschayltz
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 reviewResponded April 12, 2013

We would like to thank you for your fantastic review. We are very happy you and your wife enjoyed your vacation with us. We appreciate your comments regarding the hotel, the pools, the food, the restaurants and wonderful staff. We will share your special thanks with Abraham and Hector
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.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 6, 2013

If you can get past needed any help this is a great hotel. The location, size and facilities are perfect. And we had some great experiences with a few of the people in the restaurants . . but other than that the staff is very poor. If you are fine waiting on yourself and don't want to be bothered by anyone asking to help you this is a great place.

The rooms were nice, the pool good and the beach fantastic. But probably the best part was the dive shop. They are on the hotel property, but not really affiliated with the hotel. It shows because the team there is absolutely fantastic and really care about ensuring you have fun.

Room Tip: I would buy the second level of the all inclusive package. It gets better food and the newer remold...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank robbp826
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 reviewResponded April 23, 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 good vacation at our resort!

We appreciate your comments regarding the good location, the beach, the pool and the dive shop.

We would like to apologize on behalf of the hotel for the inconveniences you experienced with our staff and we discuss this matter with the involved departments.

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.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

I was staying in a home rental next door to Reef Playacar that included access to the Reef as part of the cost of our stay. So I was not a guest of the resort, but spent time there over the course of a week and wanted to review what I experienced.

First of all, because the quality of the gym facilities are so important to me when I travel and I often have a hard time finding information on them when I search reviews, I want to write about this gym. In a word, TERRIBLE. It is tiny, with only two treadmills from the stone age, one elliptical, and one weight center with one barbell. No room or mats for floor exercises, core work or stretching. Adding insult to injury, much of the precious little room is taken up by some sort of indoor jungle that is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. It was definitely a new problem to have – trying to avoid getting multiple mosquito bites as I worked out – they were everywhere! The only good thing is that the road around the Playacar neighborhood is on is exactly 3.5 mile loop, so you can run on that or the beach. Because the gym is worthless.

Otherwise, every time we came to attempt to use the facilities as we had the right to, we alternately encountered unfriendly desk staff who would only allow four of us to enter despite the fact that there are 6 of us in the family, a really aggressive timeshare pitch (that they of course insisted was NOT a timeshare pitch) wherein they repeatedly tried to get us to give them our credit cards, the more the better, and one time made us wait 25 minutes in the lobby for the gym to open at 9 AM (obviously before I’d been there and knew better than to go again), and when I pointed out that their literature showed the hours as being 7 AM open, they told us “no that’s wrong” but when we went to the gym at 9, it had indeed been open since 7.

Finally, the tiki hut bar at the front of the hotel blasts music into the wee hours of the morning making it difficult for anyone in the vicinity to get any sleep.

So again, I did not stay there, maybe the staff treats you better as a full-fledged guest, but I would certainly not recommend it based on my experience.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank charchar399
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

This was our fourth trip to the Reef, so we must like it. We will be returning next year. I will not repeat all the good thing people say about the staff , food and rooms. We find the Reef a small pleasant resort with good service .
A couple of notes: My wife slipped near the pool bar and couldn't walk for a few days (not the Reefs fault) Wilbert was great setting us up with a wheelchair and crutches.
I would suggest small felt or rubber bumpers in the door jamb so the doors would close quietly. I think everyone mentions the noise when doors close at the Reef. You will be sleeping and wham a door will shut and through you out of bed.
Now for the shoe policy at the Botticelli restaurant. I had a pair of leather shoes ($200) with little slits in them.I was also well dressed. The head waiter made an incredible fuss about the shoes and sent me home. I returned with crocks and that I guess was OK. I noticed many men were wearing sneakers and tee shirts to this High Class restaurant. I was not happy!!! The point of nice shoes is lost in the rules. BTW flip flops are OK for women. The head waiter lost a Big tip.

Other than that we had a great time.
See you next year

Room Tip: We had room 424 . It faced a street , not very pleseant . There were LOUD parties that ran into the...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank 618MikeM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

This was our first trip to Mexico and it couldn't have been greater! We loved this resort. It was very clean, the staff is hardworking and very friendly. The beach is spectacular. We walked for an hour every morning. The location is awesome as we could take a nice walk to town either by beach or road. We also visited Xel-Ha which was only about a 45 minute trip away. I was never worried about our safety, even outside the resort. The rooms have a safe to keep valuables so you don't have to worry. Housekeeping was always very pleasant, hardworking and did a great job cleaning the room. The grounds are plush and jungle-like so it was very relaxing. Two staff members made our stay great, Wilberth and Armando. Willy is so personable and cute! Everytime he sees you he has a smile, greets you and talks. He just draws you in with his charisma. Armando was our bartender in the lobby. He is also hardworking and funny and gives great service at the bar. He cracked us up! We got pictures with both of them before we left. Food overall was very good. We plan to come back someday and we will stay right here again!! Thank you to all the staff for a great stay! Scott & Suzy

Room Tip: Second and third floors offer more privacy.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Suzy4343
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 reviewResponded April 2, 2013

We would like to thank you for your fantastic review. We are very happy you enjoyed your vacation with us. We appreciate your comments regarding the foods, rooms and cleanliness, the jungle and and wonderful staff. We will share your special thanks with Armando and Willy.
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 with the kids.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

I read reviews for a month before booking the Reef Playacar. As with all reviews everyone has a different opinion on good and bad and in between. We have been to Mexico 12 times staying a different resort all but once. The Reef Playacar was as good as many we have stayed at. The rooms were a little old, beds a little hard, good pillows, balcony, good air con. , large bathroom, mini fridge, T.V.room safe $ was an antique but was fine once we got onto it., and kept clean by our girl Liz. Food was better than most all inclusives, some meals were excellent. The bars and banos accessible, snack bar at the beach was easy, ice cream parlour delicious. Staff we met were all fun, helpful, pleasant and happy. The beach is a 6 star.The grounds are very jungle like, easy to navigate, very well kept; a nice property if youre looking for Mexico on a small scale. I do not like the mega hotels with 1000 rooms spread out like a small city. We chose this place because it was small and user friendly. We took 3 young adults ( girls) and there was not really much for them to do. The night life is dead. None of us cared as we used the hotel and facilities, beach, bars, pools ,day beds and loungers all day, and had wonderful meals together at night. My only complaint , and I am a die hard red wine person, the house wine was undrinkable. The worst I have ever had. Had to buy wine if you wanted something quaffable. Upon returning home I have since found out you could buy wine in town and take it to the restaurants. Did not like having a bar tab at all inclusive. Also no reservations required for the al a carte restaurants, but closed shoes for men enforced. Lots of excursions available, many of them close by. A great place overall, unless you are looking for glitzy and fancy. A nice Mexican experience. Would return to this hotel.

Room Tip: We stayed on the second floor, in the older section. We loved it. Only noisy when early morning depa...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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8  Thank GILLANDERS41
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 reviewResponded April 2, 2013

We would like to thank you for your fantastic review. We are very happy you enjoyed your vacation with us. We appreciate your comments regarding the hotel, the food, the amazing beach, the good location and a good service.
We will consider your complaint regarding wine and inform to our food and beverage departament.
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

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

We were there from March 2nd to the 16th. We like smaller resorts. The ground are really beautiful with a jungle like atmosphere. Everything was really good, food, beach, room as well as cleanliness all over. They are always cleaning. Now for the staff, everyone tries to please us to make our stay a better place. They are hard working happy staff members. We spoke with other people that had stayed at other next door resorts as well as at the "Riu" in Dec 2012 which is rated 5* and found the service and the staff to be nowhere as friendly and accommodating as the staff at the "Reef" . THE STAFF:I agree with the other reviews. The staff is AMAZING! Each last one of them aim to make you feel comfortable & welcome, like a good friend! Wilberth or Willy, this hilarious young man is a source of information. He is everywhere on the resort at once. Ask him anything and he will be more than happy to get you what you need. At the buffet area, Roxanna was always pleasant as well as the servers, Eric (Mario Lopez) Irving, Mary Rodriguez were always fast to serve us. We would always try to sit in their area. Now for Victoria, excellent with omellettes.
The 4 to 6 pm special coffee everyday was a delight with Guillermo in the middle of the resort by the small cenote,Flambée coffee's with brandy or whatever you like. NOW for the activity staff. What can I say but WOW!! We developped a friendship with them. Ana, Nayoly (Coo-Coo...BEACH VOLLEYBALL!!!!), ITZEL so sweet, and Claudia. We looked forward to seeing them around everyday. the night before leaving, we wnt to a local Mexican restaurant in Playa with several staff members and they paid the bill. We were very surprised since they insisted we were their guest. The food and company was excellent. Thank you to all the Staff at the Reef for making our stay so special The snack bar offered very good nachos, burgers (with guacomole & salsa), fries, chicken wings, pizza.
PLAYA beach in one word. "Spectacular"
Because of it's small size, this resort offers a very personal service to it's visitors. We've met other couples and developped friendships. The staff recognises you making the stay all that more special. We loved the ambiance of The Reef. WeI have come to appreciate the advantages of a smaller resort. The closeness to Playa Del Carmen is a definite bonus.Playa Del Carmen is a 15 minute walk from The Reef and can be accessed by the road or the beach.
The area of Playacar is a gated community making it totally safe to exit the resort for walks or shopping at the flea market. There is also a Starbucks. THE ROOMS: The rooms were kept very clean throughout our stay. We got the upgrated room, so we had a coffee machine, a king size bed,and access to the Mexican grill restaurant for free.The rooms are in 3 story buildings. Thank you to all the Staff at the Reef for making our stay so special!!!
The big question is: Would we go back? The answer: We would definitely go back!
Janet and Rosanne

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Janet A
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 reviewResponded April 4, 2013

We would like to thank you for your fantastic review. We are very happy you enjoyed your vacation with us. We appreciate your comments regarding the food, rooms and cleanliness, the wonderful beach, the good location and the amazing staff.

We will share your special thanks with Willy, Roxana, Eric, Irving, Mary, Victoria and Guillermo
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

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 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#64 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#80 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $159 - $429 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Reef Playacar 3.5*
Number of rooms: 196
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This boutique style all-inclusive resort is located on a beautiful white sandy beach just steps away from the famous 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico. The hotel offers all food and domestic drinks, 1 buffet restaurant, 2 a la carte restaurants, Italian & Gourmet($), 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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