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“You cannot go wrong with this resort choice!”

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Sandos Caracol Eco Resort
Ranked #82 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed February 23, 2013

We just returned from a nine day stay at the resort. After 20 plus years of going to Puerto Vallarta this was a huge leap for our group of 6, but I'm afraid Vallarta has lost us for good. With a myriad of restaurants and bars you are never at a loss for things to do or places to go. The rooms are clean and modern, but what did it for us was the service. From Katrin at the front desk to Benito at the bellboy stand, everyone went out of their way to be sure we were having the best vacation ever. We even made use of the medical services available at the resort and he too was awesome. We were in the "select" area which I would highly recommend for those traveling without children. The only "downer" had nothing to do with the resort. I would like to appeal to the French and French-speaking Canadians....please bring your manners when you go on vacation. We are not in a starving refugee camp where you have to fight for food. Very, very rude people.

Give this resort a look folks, you'll leave while planning next year's return!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Karen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,553 - 4,559 of 12,860 reviews

Reviewed February 23, 2013

We travelled to this resort from December 26th-January 2nd 2013 as a Canadian family group of 15. The eldest in our group was 80 and the youngest was 7- with every age group in between.

Room: We stayed half of us in building 27 and half in building 28. They were not able to have us all together in the same building but this wasn't really an issue. Our room was very basic. Needed an upgrade. A bit stuffy but the ceiling fan and air conditioner worked well. Mini bar stocked with a lot of cold bottled water which was great. Shower always hot and great pressure. Rooms were cleaned very well every day. One annoyance was we arrived with absolutely no towels in our room, and the telephone had no directory on it so we had to knock on someone else's room to find out any in-hotel phone numbers. Room service was a little hard to get a hold of, but the problem was fixed.

Wifi: NO INTERNET IN THE FAMILY SECTION ROOMS. You have to go to the lobby or sports bar (and the snack bar I think) to get wifi. Occasionally you can get wifi on the beach if you are close to the select club.

Bars: 10 bars around the resort. Drinks were great. Oh, and the DRINKING AGE is 18 in case anyone else was confused by the website (I sure was!) They advertise that the Select Club (which is adults only) has a minimum age of 21...which led me to think that 21 was also the drinking age in the resort. Seeing as I am 19, I was very relieved to learn otherwise. Phew!

Night: Not much to do at night. Very very quiet. The entertainment is apparently very good- but our dinners were always booked during the time shows were on so we always missed them unfortunately. There is NO CLUB/DISCO ON THE RESORT. Bummer. I suggest going into Playa Del Carmen to have any nightlife. You can always make your own fun of course but it helps if you're old enough to drink...my 15 year old brother found the resort boring for his age group.

Food: I would say our family enjoyed La Laguna buffet the most. Lots of great selection there! The Italian and Mexican were also pretty good. We were not WOWED though. Be careful if you have nut allergies like myself (or especially seafood allergies like my cousin). Sometimes in the a la carte restaurants you will order one thing and it will come to you completely altered with substituted ingredients. This is esepcially problematic if you have FOOD ALLERGIES. The worst was La Riviera. Hot @ss mess. example: ordered a salad that was supposed to have: arugula, fior di latte mozzarella, figs, prosciutto as well as some other things. When we got it- the arugula was dry, there were no figs, and no prosciutto. Same thing happened with my pasta which was supposed to be stuffed with cheese and spinach and instead came stuffed with pesto (which has pine nuts).

Beach: Very ROCKY all over in the water. My cousin cut his stomach pretty badly. Lots of stubbed toes too. We still went swimming though. On a nice day the beach got busy fast so you will need to reserve chairs early. Beach volleyball everyday was the best part of the beach!! A lot of fun and a great way to make friends. Make sure to rent a catamaran. I also got a massage by the beach but found it to be very disappointing. I was very sore from the gym and looked forward to a nice massage but I did not feel even slightly less stiff afterwards. If you like being rubbed with oil as opposed to a nice deep massage then go for it! But anyway make sure to go for a long walk along the beach (towards the left) you will not be disappointed.

Pools: I will never understand pool people. You're coming all the way to a beautiful tropical destination and you choose to lay by concrete and chlorine?? That being said..the pool areas seemed nice from what I saw.

Resort grounds: Fairly big resort. It was very confusing to find our way at first. That being said, the grounds were beautiful!! Lots of wildlife. My 7 year old brother loved the coati, they were so cute! There were also raccoons, cats, monkeys (if you can spot them!), macaws, donkeys, and peacocks. Nature trails were really cool. The cenote by the lobby is beautiful! I highly reccomend snorkeling there. Pharmacy was ridiculously expensive. Sports bar area was fun- they had one of those giant chess sets, foosball tables, pool tables, tvs, wifi, etc.

The resort is very KID FRIENDLY. Families with young children will LOVE this place. I enjoyed my time because I was with my whole family and we made it fun for ourselves. But in general- not much to do for teens and young adults.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank cda213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

We (me, my husband and our 3 year old) just spent 3 nights at the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa in Feb. We had a nice a time - I really found the employees so friendly and helpful - they seemed happy to work there and it wasn't from customer service training. I loved the cultural piece! We rented bikes and went to the ruins.

i thought the food was so so - depends on what you like to eat. Depending on how many nights you stay determines who how many a la carte dinners you get. We ate at the Japanese restaurant and it was really so so. Usually the cook gets into it and has the kids laughing. Our cook wasn't that fun.

I loved the breakfast at the Italian restaurant the most (they had green juice which I drink at home!) and the best buffet dinner was the Mexican restaurant. La Laguna kind of reminded me of a college cafeteria. But again - it depends on what you like to eat - I am more into salads and vegetarian choices. It was pretty meat heavy. But I always found something to eat!

Our son loved the kids pool. A bit of a cold front came through and I found the pools pretty chilly. Oh also - the chill pool (I think that is the name) was great - barely anyone there. But it was cold! Had a massage which nice - there is a hot tub at the massage and outdoor pool that is adults only.

Our son did the kids club for a couple of hours - they seemed great and nice, but he was into hanging with us.

All in all - a nice trip. it was not $$ and I felt we definitely got our money's worth!

Room Tip: We stayed at 123 which was AWESOME! I was so happy - I feel like we lucked out. There are no elevat...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank wilsonidaho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

I will start off by saying that I have much experience in the all inclusive area - having stayed in Mexico 2x previously,Cuba 3x,Jamaica 2x, Samana,DR, Costa Rica.So I have quite a few places to compare my recent trip.

I surprised my daughter during reading week with some time in the Mayan Riviera. Because we both had time constraints it was a short 4 days.Leaving Tuesday Feb 19 and returning last night.

I choose the Sandos based on price & availibility. Reading reviews I was comfortable with my choice.Booking very last minute 1 week previously.

Our tour company was Sunwing it is what it is a tour company depositing plane loads of pasty tourists getting away for some sun therapy !

Flight no delays -The weather here cooperated so we left 10 30 am from YYZ(Toronto)

Arrived to the end of an overcast day - travel day so no problems.

Had no idea what to expect of our resort although I had read reviews so had a heads up .

We had stayed at the Iberostar property Lindo 2x back 10 years at least ,so after many other island experiences we were back in Mayan .

Good 1st impression . I would rate it a high 4* no it does not have the grandness of the Lindo but still pleasantly surprised.

4 days before we left I decided to try and prebook our dinners was not even sure if we qualified but if you don't ask you don't get .I also thought I would include asking for an ocean view.I have done this before but have never got such a welcoming quick reply all was honoured.I do know this is not always possible but WOW what service !!!Every e mail had a quick response(same day)So thank you Alex you do your job well !

Check in went smoothly and we were wisked away in minutes welcome drink in hand.

Our room was exactly as ordered could not believe it. We have paid much more to be miles from the action ie beach ,food stations ,pools.Rm 114 basic room 2 doubles,rm next 112 was a large suite room 111 not sure what class but also in the area. We were on the second floor so 121,122,123 would also have the same amazing view but higher up probably jacuzzi suites .Bed hard as a rock knew that going in not too many pillow tops at all inclusives,pillows very cosy. It overlooked the main pool & beach ,it was in a U shape of buildings all new construction.The best location IMO,close to everything.
We had 4 beautiful hot sunny days one morning at around 10 small showers then hot hot hot.

Meals-1st night at The Main Buffet-This part of the resort is geared to families so many crying tired babies toddlers ...no complaint just steered clear as I of course was with my 21 year old who has no patience for this...wait untill she is a mother !!We tended to eat at the smaller section of the Buffet for our 1st dinner and all brekkies so as you walk in turn right .

2nd night was at the Brazillian Fogo De Janeirio(?)...we unfortunately had too much sun and were not feeling great so can't comment. We started at the Salad section made our own Ceasar which was good.Wait staff very attentive. They then proceed with the meat selection and plate of sides...Our waiter brought out the chicken started to cut and then realized it was not cooked...we were not really hungry and the thought of uncooked meat fianlized our decision to pass on the rest. Our waiter apoigized and returned to go get cooked .Totally not the ala cartes fault our self induced sun exposure.

3rd Night -Japanese- excellant sat with a group of people from Germany-had a nice dinner.Our cook was good but I have had this at other resorts and if you really pull the dinners in(lots of personality)it will reflect on your tips .

We also grabbed quick bites at the snack bar fries,hamburgs ,hotdogs.

Loved the guac and chips at the main buffet as an afternoon filler.

Tried a few cocktails Mojitos,Pinas, etc all quite good.

If you want cappucinnos they are at the Elephant bar which is not open early ,after dinner they make the most amazing speciality coffees.

I am a Vino Blanca girl it was ok I spritzed it and it was fine. Did not try the red.

I was not approached at all by the time share folks so can't comment but did see them at work.

Pools quick jump in and out.swim up bar but tiny and lots of children. They also hold a water aroebics class there.Childrens Water Park and all child care there from what I saw looked wonderful for ages 7-8 and under.If you are a young family you will LOVE this place !

Beach ok if you like long walks yes ...The beach(water) at Sandos is rocky but not so bad you can't go in they have two manmade sandbars that were fun to wade out to the second I had to swim because way too many rocks but fun once you got there.Vendors but not pushy.

They had a staff photog who took beautiful family portraits .

We only went to one night show . It was a Mayan themed show and it was very good .

Zumba on the beach was fun an instructor from Portland, Org. was a guest and she did a great job actully probably gave the regular intstructor some tips .Also participated in the morning strecth (YogA) again loved this !

Checked out the Spa it looked wonderful ! another pool for adults quiet.

Vendors come in at least once a week this was our sun exposure night so did not get to really look.

Resort store had many things if you are looking for something you will find it !!They have a jewelry store there but did not tempt myself.

We decided to return by Taxi as we did not feel like stopping at other resorts and eating up our short time so just left 2 hours later.Our flight home at 9ish.arrived TO 3:30 ?

My daughter bought a handmade Sombrero pink really cute 35.00 US as we were getting into our taxi with all our bags she left it at the Taxi (bellboy) stand .

I contacted the resort this am and got an email back in less than an hour SERVICE.so they are looking into it even if they have found it I will have to ship it back I am guessing.

If you are reading through the reviews as I did you will love your vacation at Sandos Caracol ECO Resort & Spa ...ENJOY !

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank Cher79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Great place for kids ,staff are wonderful,always smiling and polite very clean resort ,our favorite is Franklin Zapata have become friends .nice beach north end of resort great for snorkelling ,restaurants are varied from buffet to ala carte

Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Colin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013 via mobile

We had an amazing fortnight stay at the hotel could not of asked for anything more. The staff were brilliant the food amazing and the hotel was spotless!! Room cleaned everyday to an amazing standard!! Roberto in the Mexican restaurant was an excellent Waiter and nothing was ever to much trouble.. Brilliant two week stay would defiantly recommend anyone wanting a holiday to remember..

  • Stayed: February 2013
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6  Thank Simon378
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Sando's Caracol Eco Resort and Spa with a group of friends from 2/11/13 through 2/16/13. There were eight of us. We have all travelled together for over a decade and have been to the Riviera Maya area several times. While we have never had a bad vacation and we always have a great time, this resort was, for me, was one of the best we have ever stayed at. From check in to check out everything went smoothly. We were in the adults only section. Our room was clean, quiet and comfortable. The jet tub was sweet. The grounds were beautiful. The beach was also beautiful. There are rocky areas and coral so you do need water shoes and unfortunately, the surf was more rough than usual while we were there so we didn't snorkel at the beach, but most of us played in the surf and enjoyed the waves. Our room was a ways from the beach, but I didn't mind the walk as I needed it to work off all the really good food I ate. The biggest reason this resort appealed to me so much was that there were many natural areas to explore. We rarely saw anyone else while we were exploring some of the trails. It was like you were walking in your own backyard, but your yard had mayan ruins and exotic birds, snakes, coatis and other wildlife. Even though it is the dry season, the vegetation and flowers were lush and green. The weather was perfect, hot and sunny each day.

Last, but not least, the staff at this resort was wonderful. Mariana, the guest service manager, was incredible. Somehow, she hooked up with us at least daily to make sure everything was going well and to see if we needed anything. She had even booked our dinner reservations before we got there. She met us as we arrived and saw us off as we left. The few requests we had, she addressed immediately.

We are getting together with our friends this weekend to go over pictures and relive our vacation. We have already made a decision regarding going back to this resort for a long weekend stay in the fall. That will be a first for us as we have never went back to the same resort twice as we like to check out different places. We are from Michigan so it is a pretty quick flight from Lansing direct to Cancun and about a 30 minute drive to the resort. We will contact Mariana and I am confident she will make our fall trip memorable too.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Lili L
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

Address: Carretera Chetumal Pto Juarez Km 295, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
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
#46 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#52 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#59 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#72 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $165 - $440 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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