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“Reef Playacar is a wonderful hotel”
Review of The Reef Playacar

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The Reef Playacar
Ranked #98 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Greenville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Reef Playacar is a wonderful hotel”
Reviewed January 24, 2011

I stayed at the Reef Jan 15-19. There were six of us, all women, travelling together. The Reef is so quiet and private. The grounds are beautiful and so well tended. One never knew what kind of little critters might scurry across the path. Rooms were clean and adequate. The room next door was sealed up with duct tape and stickers. The smell was horrible...we were told there were termites and the room had been sprayed. Needless to say, we're both still coughing... food was okay, if you're not picky. Never got to the Italian Restaurant it was always closed.
Resort personnel were so nice except last Tuesday morning I asked the bartender for a Coke. He YELLED at me that he was closed. The cooler was open and full of Cokes. REsort is a quick walk into Playa. Would definitely return to the Reef and hope to do so soon. Oh, mini-bar was never restocked after the first day. We had 1 Sprite and a Coke when we arrived. Was told it would be stocked but never was.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank cancunmama327
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
witesandybeach, Owner at The Reef Playacar, responded to this review, January 31, 2011
We appreciate you took the time to write this feedback and we can assure you that this information is very useful to improve service and quality of our resort.
We would like to stress out that the Italian Restaurant opens6 nights a week and we did not have any additional closures during your stay. We do not open the a la carte restaurants for lunch.
We are doing a follow up on your comments regarding the bartender with the involved departments. This should not happen and we would like to express our most sincere apologize for this.
We would like to mention that our hotel does not offer a minibar as part of the All Inclusive package. We have a mini fridge in every room. We stock it with sodas for the day of arrival, but do not refill as part of the all inclusive.
Once again, we appreciate your comments and we look forward to welcoming you and your party once again
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Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2011

This was our third time into the Playa area and our first at this resort. This is also the first time i've chosen to write a review and it has compelled me to write a review on our resort from last year as well as it was far superior and this hotel left me nostalgic for it.

I'll start with the positive:
The grounds are incredible, beyond beautiful. The beach is perfect, the location is ideal an made getting around very easy. We got out quite often to do some deep sea fishing, Xplore and lots of trips into town (town itself is becoming quite annoying due to the constant pestering. It can be charming your first time there but it really does take away from the vibe of the town. I was asked every 5 minutes if I wanted coke or weed and twice called expletives for not accepting.)
Some of the staff are very nice and do a great job. Felix at the bar closest to the Marina and the sweet lady that makes omlettes at breakfast were a few of the stand outs.
The food is decent for this type of resort. what we've come to expect.
I tried scuba diving for the first time through the reef marina and couldn't begin to say enough great things about the staff there. Bert (my instructor) was calming and patient which made my first dive and experience I will NEVER forget.

The drawbacks.
The beds are horrible, had some of the worst sleeps of my life. We woke up many times during the night with back/neck pain. This would be something very simple for them to fix that would make a huge difference. Some of the staff is quite rude and selective on who they cater too. ie. spanish speaking guests. (we always try to speak spanish when we are in mexico and this is the first time I felt talked down to for not being fluent.)
The time share people are liars and can be very very aggressive. We booked a presentation with another hotel just to be able to see the grounds and out of curiosity. When that rep came to pick us up we were "intercepted" on the front grounds by three of the reef reps in an intimidating fashion. The one rep Eric made an offer to us to come to their presentation. Wishing to avoid further conflict on our holiday we accepted. None of the promises were met and we ended up getting way less for our time than if we had gone to the other presentation. Eric became more and more fake and obnoxious as the days went by always calling out "hey buddies, you guys are awesome , my best clients, I love you." I've never met such an annoying person.
Needless to say we didn't buy a time share.

All in all we had a great holiday mainly because of what we made of it. It's really too bad this hotel is so lacking in some key areas because it really could be the perfect place with a little tweaking.
I would not recommend this hotel to friends nor would we return ourselves as we have been to other resorts that are far superior in key areas.
However next time we are in mexico I will be booking a Dive through the reef marina.

Cheers/

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank rayne1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 23, 2011

My husband and I honeymooned here and really enjoyed our time. The highlight was the great service throughout all the restaurants, bars, etc. The food was much better than we expected and the drinks were generous! The scenery is beautiful and the close proximity to downtown Playa del Carmen made getting around really easy and fun. The only slightly negative points would be the super thin walls and loud slamming hotel room doors. If you are near loud neighbors, you will hear everything. We moved our room to a more quiet area, and were fine - we also understood that people want to party on their vacation, so it was hard to be annoyed at people having fun, that said, it was still frustrating to hear talking and partying all night long. The rooms are arranged around a stairwell, 4 rooms per floor, and each door is really close the other. You can hear neighbors walking up and down stairs and especially in front of all the doors. Another point worth mentioning was the time-share and tour booking touters at the lobby - they don't work for the hotel, they work for other companies within the hotel. They can be helpful at times, but some are extremely pushy- one called our room two separate times. Unless you are stern, they can run you over and even if you don't purchase a tour, they can monopolize your time while in the front lobby. Overall we loved our time and plan to return in a few years!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MissMegsNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
witesandybeach, Owner at The Reef Playacar, responded to this review, February 2, 2011
Thank you for writing this review. We are happy we were able to exceed your restaurant expectations & you enjoyed our service, location & scenery.
Regarding your comments about the room walls and doors, we will discuss your experience with the involved department in order to follow up on this and we are happy we were able to move you to a more comfortable area for you.
We would like to apologize for the inconvenience you experienced with the Vacation Club Department. We are doing an immediate follow up on this important matter to get this resolved, since we do not want clients experiencing this type of inconveniences.
We are happy to hear you enjoyed your honeymoon at the hotel and look forward to welcoming you back in a few years or earlier if would like.
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Savage, Minnesota, USA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2011

Service - Everyone we came in contact with was always VERY nice. We went to the Time share sales pitch and when we were finished we were promised $100 Cash- However when we got done the manager was gone and we were told to come back.. When we came back she was then in a meeting. I mentioned to my husband that I was going to Tea Time (Not to be missed by the way) and the bell boy came to find us to let us know she was back and we should go get our money. Also Eric the Concierge was so very nice to us and spent time with our 12 yr old son as there was not alot of kids his age. Showed him how to make paper flowers and open coconuts and so forth.

Bars: All though I wish they would be open more - when they were open the drinks were always good! sometimes a little too good. if you didn't know what you wanted they would come up with something for you. Which I really liked.

Beach/Pools- My son went in the pools for Scuba lessons and swimming laps but most of our time was spent on the beach - The beach is WONDERFUL! We would always move chairs as close as we could to the beach every morning. as for saving a chair - I really didn't see a need. We enjoyed the morning and late afternoon... around lunch time it was just Hot - Kept having to go in the ocean to cool off.. There is some sea shells on the beach - but not soo much that you need water shoes. 20 minute walk down the beach to Playa! This was nice as well

Food - The restaurants weren't that great- We tried them booth but decided the buffet was just as good and didn't take quite so long. One night they had a mariachi band in the restaurant for a bit that was nice.

Shows - Very nice. They do a good job. One show -- the Reef Mix - I would not recommend for kids - it is more of a Vegas style show but they still did a great job. The Traditional Mexican show... This you had to pay for $20 a person. I thought that was insane. It was dinner on the beach with a show. We ate at the buffet that night and we could see the show from the pool - or you could walk around and sit on the sand- I just thought it was rude to say we couldn't watch the show without doing the dinner. but they didn't really kick us out.

Rooms - Beds are hard.. and it is only the basics Towels aren't that great and neither is the TP but this isn't a 5 star resort.. It is a basic resort with 5 star service and to me that is AWESOME.

Two years ago we stayed at a 5 star resort and we were very impressed. This time we brought our son so we went to a cheaper resort and hoped for the best. I have to say we paid 50% less this time and I was just as impressed. Yes the food could be better and the rooms BUT we were here to be at the beach and get away from 25 below weather soooo I was very happy!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sunnynikki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
witesandybeach, Owner at The Reef Playacar, responded to this review, February 2, 2011
Thank you very much for your positive comments about our Resort. We are really happy to hear that you felt so satisfied at the hotel & appreciate you emphasize the great value for money. In order to improve our guest’s comfort we recently renewed all our room mattresses. It is challenging to find a mattress that is comfortable to all our guests, since this is different for everybody. We are sorry that we were not able to satisfy your needs. We look forward to welcoming you soon and please contact us directly if you decide to come back in order to explain you about our Repeat Customer Program.
Thank you for your time.
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PA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2011

We went with few expectations, given that we had never been to an all inclusive before and some of the negative reviews. It's hard to believe that they even went to the same resort!

We loved the Reef! The atmosphere is quiet and private, the grounds are incredible, the view tremendous. Neighboring resorts are huge and noisy in comparison. We went with friends and they loved it as well. The Reef met our request for rooms near each other. The rooms were smallish but renovated so others might not be as nicely equipped. Food and drinks were very good, especially check out the chicken wings by the pool, the ice cream and tea time. Staff do make the time share pitch but you can tune that out. Playa del Carmen is a nice 15 minute walk on the beach or a quick bike ride; it was very touristy and we were happy to lounge about the resort.

Only one negative to report, and it is significant: Mayaland Tours/Grey Line, the tour office located on the property is to be avoided. We got a day trip for four (Tulum and Xel Ha) and it was a disaster. No one showed up to pick us up, after waiting an hour they got us a taxi but with unclear directions. It got complicated, but we wasted hours trying to undo their mess and they refused to compensate either the taxi driver or us. It was a classic case of passing the buck. It would have been funny if it hadn't been so contemptible. No reflection on the Reef except that Mayaland/Grey Line are located on the property. Find another vendor!

As for the Reef, we'd love to go back!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank yoda220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Squamish, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2011

First of all this hotel is a 2 star! I have travelled to Mexico over 10 times and have stayed in numerous resorts and I have to say this one was awful! The room was dirty, the sink was plugged and had to have a worker pull out a foot long hair ball, the food was a huge disappointment, I had to call a doctor in to give me a shot because I had an allergic reaction to the MSG that coated the fruit and veggies! The bartenders were miserable even when we through them huge tips! They made virgin drinks many times without us figuring out until our third or fourth drink! We are in our 40's we do not look like children! When we checked out they took half our luggage and left the other half in the room. We asked for a shower before we flew out because we had a midnight flight and they directed us into a room that the maid was cleaning! We were given another persons dirty room and bathroom to get ready in! We are one couple out of a group of 30 people with all the same experiences! Don't go here!

  • Stayed November 2010
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Helpful?
2 Thank TotallyHonestChic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
witesandybeach, Owner at The Reef Playacar, responded to this review, February 5, 2011
The Reef Playacar would like to thank you for sending in this review. All feedback is important in order to keep improving our overall service. We are sorry to experience that your stay with us was not as satisfying as expected and we would like to express our most sincere apologies.
All your comments y have been reviewed by our team. We hope you will give us a second change to make sure you will have a great stay in Playa del Carmen and please contact the hotel personally, so we can take care of you and make sure you will be happy with our services.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denmark
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2011

Its funny to read all the different reviews good and bad, but most of them in the middle section. I would like to put The Reef Hotel in the top, why?. We have been in almost every corner of the world, lived in zero star hotels and five stars hotels. In our mind the most importent thing to evaluate is the atmosphere in a hotel. We found the atmosphere, food, activities, rooms, pools etc. great. But what made our stay ekstra great was the staff. The great guy in the reception (cant remember his name), changed 3 small rooms to at suite, that could take all eight of us, Kids, parents, and grandparents. First great impression of flexibility. Pedro, Jesus, Elvis, the staff at the divecenter etc. gave us a great time, and treated our kids with great patience, eventhough we would have believed that they would tired of these noisy kids. The hotel is very cozy and we felt like in paradis. But the best of all is the price. We stayed the week before christmas, and got 50% off, and the kids for free. Comparing what we payed and what we got, this was the best choice we have ever made. For a family this is so much recommendable. If you are looking for relaxation and fun for the kids, go there. You can buy your way in to much more luxury and much better food, and other exclusive stuff at other hotels. But if you want a good atmosphere and flexible solutionseeking employes, go to The Reef. If your looking for errors you would always find them, but we were 8 happy family members aged 4 to 70, and we would go again. Thats the way. The only thing to complain about is that we all got to fat and to lazy after one week of playing kings and queens. A special thanks to Jesus in the pool bar who took so good care of our little blond Martin and his sister Maria. When people treat our kids well, you automatically treat the parents well. Kenneth & Family from Denmark.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank hoejlund
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:
#50 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#57 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#64 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#67 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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