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“What an amazing wedding.”

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Sandos Caracol Eco Resort
Ranked #80 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Duncan, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“What an amazing wedding.”
Reviewed December 6, 2012

I just got back from spending a week at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort and Spa and had a fabulous time. I was a little leery because I have read some bad reviews about it, but it was amazing. I got married there and we were a group of 30. Check in was a breeze with no lines and an welcome drink (virgin for the kids) waiting for us when we arrived. I was worried that this resort would be to large for a big group, but it was easy to navigate (once you figured out the layout) and we were always running into people from our group. The beach volleyball at 3 each day was tonnes of fun and the nightly entertainment was good (The audio system is a bit dated so when they show projections during their show it is a bit fuzzy) The food was amazing, the buffets were huge and I loved the sports bar (they made great mocha's, as does the Italian buffet) for the location and drinks. Our group got put in buildings 22-27 which was close to the beach and right beside a pool. We literally had our own pool and bar to hang out beside during the day. This hotel was a full occupancy but it never felt overly crowded. You did need to plan ahead to book the al carte restaurants (but I have found this the case in most resorts).
The rooms were clean, we had the junior suite on the 3rd floor. My only complaint would be that the beds and pillows are hard as a rock (I know the beds are very nice in the select side) luckily for me, I can sleep on anything so I didn't mind them. However, my sister isn't as lucky and had horrible sleeps. As far as the mosquito complaint, I didn't see any. The romantic boat ride and eco-tours are definitely worth taking an advantage of and the cenote was beautiful.
Now to the best part....the wedding. Fernanda did an amazing job setting up our wedding, the location was absolutely breathtaking and the decorations (included in our free wedding package) were unbelievable. We had our dinner in the steak house, the food was amazing, Fernanda decorated out table beautifully and the location was right off the beach. Then we moved back outside for our reception (their was a cost for this but it was well worth it. We had our own private bar set up just for us). The wedding cake was the best dessert we had the whole time we were there (I don't think that Mexico is known for their desserts which worked out great because I am totally a dessert person and I was happy not to have them tempting me. Although the ice cream is really yummy. I found the spa very overpriced (I got my hair and makeup done,). I recommend getting massages on the beach just outside of the resort area ($35 for 1 hrs massage, which was great!) beside the adults only beach area. The select club was nice (we got a free upgrade because we were the bride an groom) but not worth the extra money if you had to pay for it (We didn't stay in the rooms because we have 4 kids, but I might have a thought it was worth it if I got to sleep in the comfy beds). We ordered a cot to our room and they brought a whole twin bed which was great. Oh one other thing, our balcony (which was three stories up) had nothing to prevent our 2 year old from climbing up the sides and potentially falling over the edge so we had to make sure the door was closed at all times. It was a little scary. All in all, for the price, this resort did not disappoint. I would be surprised to find a resort with a better wedding location, wedding package and wedding coordinator. Thanks again Fernanda for making my wedding amazing. Oh one last thing, the photo shop did an amazing job on our wedding pictures and was very affordable.

Room Tip: The select club definitely had better beds, pillows and linens. If you are staying in a standard ro...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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12 Thank blutters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
West Lafayette, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2012

We just stayed at the Sandos for a family vacation there were 8 adults and 7 children. Everyone enjoyed our stay. Wonderful service from the poolbar by the beach. Marcos was excellent bartender? The kids loved the Kids club. They really bonded with Noemi! The kids also had a great time at the aqua park. Every employee was friendly and helpful. Would have liked to have had more Mexican food as the mexican restaurant was closed? The international buffet was good. The Brazilian restaurant was excellent. We also had a great dinner at the grand royal club. Our rooms were cleaned evey day and our refrigerator was stocked regularly.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Funinmexico2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2012

We visited the resort from November 24-December 1, 2012. There were 6 of us, including a 16 month old and a 5 year old. It started off poorly with front desk staff that was less than helpful (when I asked some questions he said that I could find all of the info in the magazine in my room, which by the way has VERY little info) and with poor service in the main buffet restaurant. We had two regular rooms, and one junior suite. The great thing was that for the first time in many years we actually got adjoining rooms for the regular rooms. However, some of the downsides of the room - there is NO soundproofing. You can hear everything, including guests who yell at all hours of the night, and people on the floor above you moving furniture around at all hours of the night. Not much sleep to be had... The junior suite was VERY spatious, but it does not have a separate bedroom as we had hoped, and even the bathroom is not closed off. It is a nice room and is on the top floor, so much less noisy. Also, it had a huge balcony. In the regular rooms, the first floor has a small balcony, but on the second floor it is so small that you can't even sit outside, which was disappointing.

Pluses, though, are that the rooms are clean, if a little dated, and the housekeeping was great. Also, they were quick to respond to any little problems that we had.

The service in the buffet was much better once we discovered the Terrace, just a room off the large main room. The service in here was great and it was quieter than the main room. There was a decent selection of food at the buffet, but overall we food that the food was not usually hot, which concerns me as far as food poisoning is concerned. Happily, no one became ill.

Of the a la carte restaurants, we tried the Gaucho (amazing!), the Oriental (terrible!) and the Riviera (amazing!). And fabulous service at the Gaucho and Riviera.

The best parts of this resort: no towel cards; the fabulous aquapark for kids; the Sanditos kids club (Thank you so much to Amy, Noemi and Viviana, and all the others); the swing bar; how close the pool is to the beach, so you can move back and forth without having to move all of your stuff if just going for a bit. We didn't love the mini disco. My daughter really wanted to dance - so my suggestion to the hotel is that mini disco should be just DANCING, not playing games that lead to kids getting excluded.

Overall, this is a good hotel for the money. I would highly consider upgrading to a better room. If you like to walk, this resort is great because they don't use the golf carts a lot. And the mayan rituals and ceremonies are very cool.

Room Tip: Higher floors have less noise.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nicole J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
141 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2012

I am not sure where to start with the great things I could say about this resort. I am well traveled and have visited the area previously. This resort was a last minute change to our trip and I am delighted we chose to stay here! what a find! Excellent value for money too!

We stayed in the select club. the rooms were large and well appointed. very comfortable beds, bathrobes, slippers and so on. Good aircon, small balconies however. As an eco resort you were provided with a water cooler within the room which i found much more convenient that having little plastic bottles. It also offered hot water and coffee etc was provided along with a good selection of mini bar items.

Part of the select club offer is:
A dedicated adults only area with lovely pool and a large heated jacuzzi which stays open late into the evening.
A select club reception are with free wifi.
A dedicated a la carte breakfast and lunch offer next to the pool, much more civilized that the buffet.
A dedicated beach club, this was a real treat with double beds made up daily with fresh linens, a club house offering drinks and snacks all day, hot shower facilities for after swimming and snorkeling and a quiet evening venue serving drinks until 10pm.
increased a la carte reservations, 6 in total for our fortnight stay.

the resort was just the right size. The environment was lovely, lots of jungle areas, beautiful trees and walkways through the complex, wildlife galore and the cenote adds a really unique Eco resort experience. I would imagine anyone travelling with younger children would find the whole place enchanting.

There is good, free wifi available in public areas.

the Mayan shows held mon - thurs were like non I have seen before. Wonderful ceremonies carried out on site making the most of the natural surroundings and ambiance. the sacred tree ceremony was held just before sunset and the fire ceremony was incredible in the night time jungle setting. for this level of quality and professional show I would have expected to pay a great deal off site as an excursion or cultural attraction.
They painted peoples faces, offered traditional drinks and a whole market of food for the fire show which again I was staggered by. Again if you traveled with children i can not imagine they would not find these shows exciting and completely different to anything they may have seen before. The evening shows in the theatre were not to my liking and very dated, Micheal Jackson type shows and the music was too loud which overpowered the music to the lobby and cenote areas which was annoying.

I love my beaches and the beach at the Caracol has real charm. If you like a sterile beach with no life or interest this is not for you. There are rocks on the beach, but swim shoes are very easy to buy before arriving. The beach was very pretty and there was good snorkeling off the beach, I saw rays, puffer fish, many varieties of fish and sea life. Lovely. It offers a good walk in one direction with lovely vistas along the way.

There we're two buffet services, La laguna was as the name suggests was the main buffet over a small lagoon, this has turtles swimming round and often racoons hunting out tit bits. On occasions it did smell when walking into the dining areas as a result of the stagnant water and some guests didn't like this. However it didn't smell within the facility.

The variety of food was very good and I found the lunch offer to be the best daily. The steak house and brazillian a la cartes are a must. The Italian was not outstanding, similar to buffet food on offer and the Asian was poor due to the limited choice of one starter and one main, not really the Asian way! I understand that it was soon to move into a purpose built restaurant and become a Japanese. The Mexican was closed during our stay which was a shame as it looked like a lovely venue. The sea front Mediterranean has a romantic setting and good surf and turf.

The resort seemed to offer differing sets of guests great facilities. We were a couple seeking peace and time together, which was delivered well by booking the select area. family's were very well looked after, with a on site aqua park and indoor ball pool play area amongst other facilities I noticed. There is a lovely Spa (also free to visit for select club) for grown ups. The main pool was lively and would suit younger guests and those seeking a bit more noise and fun. The sports bar offered free pool and air hockey. there is also a daily cinema showing. eco tours, free bike hire, the list goes on. Overall you could bring the grand kids or your new husband and find it suited you well.

Lastly but not least are the staff at this resort. They go above and beyond in terms of service, they are mostly lovely, happy and friendly people and seem to work incredibly hard. Looking after such a wide variety of international guests very well.

I would recommend this resort to any one who like a bit of adventure and has a love of nature, and welcoming and comfortable environment.

Room Tip: Select club well worth the upgrade for couples. The rooms are however the furthest away from the bea...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank lovetoholiday11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Hills, California, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2012

Ice cream out of service.
Large boulder rocks 10 ft from shore (not it) .
Place is huge. Probably a little more than 2square miles. Hope you like walking (a lot).

You'll definitely be walking off your meals

No maps to carry around to guide you. (You'd think)

Villas are 2 and 3 stories. No elevators

If you get the standard room package and thinking about tipping the check-in clerk (wink wink.) For an upgrade. Your getting setup. He'll take your bribe $ and still give you a standard.
You want the JR suite at a minimum if traveling with a kid. But then again I won’t stay here again.

Life guard must have drowned. Was nowhere in sight and heavy waves were coming in.

Hope you don't get hungry while laying out at the beach or pool. No food service there. Gotta make the trip to the 24 hour buffet. Probably 1/4 mile. Hope your a hot dogs and burgers guy cause that's all your getting at the 24.

No premium alcohol. The artificial flavored fruit juices are terrible. Either really cheap or Extremely watered down. Not sure

Yea, little fridge in the room. Day 3. 4 bottles of water gone. fridge is empty, you would think the maid refill the water ( its humid as hell out here)

3rd night, Mattress and pillows like cardboard. OMG. Might as well sleep on the floor. I'm thinking they do this so you pay for a massage. You'll need it. I’m stiff as a board after sleeping here.

The Pool near building 22 has no towels. WTF. Gotta go to the kids pool. About 1/4 mile away to pick up a freagin towel.

There are raccoons everywhere, they are free to roam around anywhere they want, including the 24 hour buffet. Grabbing food right off your plate hissing at you OMG. My kid has permanent fear of raccoons now.

The jungle like environment is cute. But, this is a kids place you'd think there would be some lights on these Jungle like trails. Sandos, I hope you get to read this. Some of the trails are 300 yards long. No light, little lids, its a recipe for disaster.

Reception desk has no clue what’s going on.
I get an e-mail from Virgin America. To check-in for the flight back the next day. Well, I go to front desk so I can print my boarding pass, they tell me no internet no printer here, I must go to business office located about 1/4 mile away. So here I am . Business office aka internet room guess what. There's no printer. OMG vacation from hell.

All the vendors are con artists, especially the cigar salesman. That sets up his booth next to the sports bar. Total scammer. Here I am wanting to try a Cuban cigar, I ask him how much, he said how much u want to spend, I said $5.00. He said OK, lights me up, says "you like". I said yes, I take out 70. pesos a little more then $5. 00 He tells me this is a Cuban, he now wants $20.00 . I Flipped him off he went crazy. Guy is a wack job, stay away from him.

No WiFi in rooms, several areas. Lobby, a few restaurants, sports bar. Best download speed 0.25 mps download.

I can go on and on and on;



You've been warned!!!!!!! Stay away from this place.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Alex K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2012

The hotel is really nice, specially if you are traveling with children and if you are not latin-american person. You have all kind of amenities and attractions inside the hotel. I celebrated my wedding in Playa del Carmen and unfortunately I chose that hotel as the main concentration point. Some people booked through together with me in the as a group, other people booked direct with flight tickets, there were around 80 people that booked around the wedding day in that hotel (from 4 days to 3 weeks). My guest came from the Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Portugal, Venezuela, Colombia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Norway, Chile, Argentina and of course from Mexico. When you have such a group it is really easy to see the treatment for the Latin-american people. The concierge and the front desk really have bad service to the latin people. I could make a big list but I will give just some examples.

1.- all the people from Europe booked in Club Select (they came only with their couples) and my now my husband and I booked in the family area (due too all our family that was coming). We were passing on the beach and we wanted to sit a bit and have a drink on the beach with our guest but it was the Adults Area only or club select (how they call it). We were kicked out from the area. I send and email to the reservation group organizer if she could do something for us, it was not handy to have the half of the gust in that area and we could not share with them. Martina Mairhofer explicitly said that it was IMPOSSIBLE, that my group did not have so many people in that area (but all the people from Europe booked outside oif the group, they did it direct with their travel agencies). My husband just pass ed by the front desk and just because he is DUTCH, with a big smile they say that there was no problem and they changed our bracelets to have access, that they understand that we have to host our guests.

2.- the wedding day I went to ask in the reception at 7:30 am for bathrobe because I had my make up at 10:00 am. It was 10:20 and I had to go again to the front desk to ask. No response. The bathrobes arrived once the make up had started.

3.- The wedding day my sister went to ask in the reception for a bottle of champagne to make as toast during the make up and the preparations. The front desk said that it was not possible, that they did not have that service. My sister asked that it was ok if we have to pay, she wanted to have a nice preparations but it was not possible even paying for the service. My mother in low just went to ask in the front desk for the champagne (lower kind of room that mine) and of course for her was immediately a yes, the difference is that she is DUTCH and they did not even mentioned any payment, everything was for free.

I can mention so more examples but it is very sad, at the end I had to ask my husband or european guest to ask in the reception. It is really a shame to have be treated like that. The behaviour was repeated agains the Latin-american guests.

Definitely I do not recommend this hotel if you come from any spanish speaking country!!!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank MARGASCON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandos_Caracol, General Manager at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, responded to this review, December 5, 2012
Dear guest,

I am very sorry to see the wrong opinion you took with you as a result of what your personal impression of our staff and services was during your vacation at the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa..

I am the hotel manager of this resort and proudly, a Latin person. I, as most of our members, treat each single guest with the utmost respect and dedication. While I do respect your views and comments, I disagree with your overall statements about service being different to Latin guests.
If you go and check extensively this internet site in which you have expressed voiced your concerns, you will see that the vast majority of all Latin people putting reviews about their stay with us have left this hotel with the best impression.

I will not dispute that someone within our staff as it does happen in every country and hotel in the world, may have acted inappropriately, but from this, to suggesting that our staff in general treat Latin people differently than the rest of our visitors, is certainly something not reflective of the type of hotel we are, our principles and values and our commitment to customer satisfaction.

As I can see that you are a Latin person, I would be more than happy to call you, provided you send me your phone number to the mail address below so that you can share with me all the situations that you suggest that took place during your stay. If we would not care as you believe about our Latin guests, I do believe that I would not be devoting time to even respond to your comments, and please believe me, I am not responding because you expressed your views and comments in English rather than Spanish.

We have in records a conversation you had with our wedding coordinator on a specific day in which a couple was getting married in our hotel, you never commented or let her know of your impression or any of the issues you have detailed above and you never mentioned to any staff member that you wanted to speak to the Manager or any other manager to voice your discontent with any person or particular service..

I hope to be able to talk to you.


Kindet wishes,

Luís Ramírez
General Manager
Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa
Director.caracol@sandos.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolton, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2012

we stayed at the sandos select club for my husbands 40th birthday and enjoyed every minuet of it. The staff were fantastic and nothing was too much and Jose who served us ala carte breakfast and dinner always had a smile on his face. Pedro at the steak house bent over backwards to make our experience special. The ala carte restaurants are very good especially the brazillian, steak and mediteranian restaurant. We very rarely ate at the buffet restaurant only 3 times found the food very nice however sometimes not hot enough. The hotel drinks and cocktails were very nice and lots of choice. I would from our experience definately recommend this hotel but for couples would definately upgrade to select club! Thank you sandos for making our first holiday to Mexico an experience to remember and will definately stay here again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Karen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandos Caracol Eco Resort

Property: Sandos Caracol Eco Resort
Address: Carretera Chetumal Pto Juarez Km 295, Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#31 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#45 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#50 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#59 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#72 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sandos Caracol Eco Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 956
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Also Known As:
Caracol Beach
Sandos Caracol Eco Hotel
Sandos Caracol Beach Resort Spa
Sandos Select Club
Sandos Caracol Mexico
Hotel Sandos Caracol Eco
Caracol Village Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Sandos Caracol Beach & Spa Mayan Riviera
Sandos Caracol Resort
Sandos Caracol Riviera Maya

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