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“A delightfully different resort.”

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Sandos Caracol Eco Resort
Ranked #78 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Oregon
Level Contributor
68 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“A delightfully different resort.”
Reviewed December 28, 2013

Two couples stayed here the last 2 nights of our trip in November. We Loved it! I believe this resort is pretty unique in having a beautiful cenote right off the main lobby, The paths through the jungle were also different and a very enjoyable activity. It was a treat to see the monkeys near the adult pool and the coatis throughout the property (but I really wish people wouldn't try to pet them and feed them). Our rooms in the Select Club area were excellent; clean, attractive, good shower, good air conditioner. Only negative was no chairs on the small balcony. There were several bottle of liquor in the room (rum, tequila, vodka, sparkling wine). Bartenders filled the ice bucket. Food decent. The entertainment/activity staff were wonderful. The zumba instructor was really excellent. Beach nice, but as others stated, beach crazy rocky! Very treacherous just walking out through the surf. I did fine but my husband has a bad hip and really had trouble staying on his feet. We saw very few mosquitos. Smelled very mild swampy odor at one end of adult pool by jungle. Not an issue.

Room Tip: Adult Select Club nice, has own check-in, good service.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Bonny B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2013

My husband and I stayed Dec 19 - 26 in the select club, building 68, room 6802. We loved our stay here. We have stayed in many A/C resorts - Occidental and Iberostar Tucan in the Mayan riviera and palladiums, Riu's, Royal decamerons, Bahia's, Barcelo's and others all over the caribbean so I feel we offer a very subjective and fair review of Sandos. This resort has some very big things going for it that make it an exceptional choice for the money.

The management here is doing something right. I have never had such consistently good service both in the select club and all over the resort in any other AC ever. Everyone was happy and doing their jobs. Tip or not. Adriana in the SC restaurant deserves special mention, what a superstar the resort has in her. It was clear everyone had a job to do and the resort ran like a well oiled machine. It is apparent maintenance is key and they are busy painting, fixing, trimming, upgrading various things all over the resort. The water coolers in the rooms and reusable cups are brilliant. I wish every resort everywhere adopted this. Although it's common now for resorts to provide bottled water in your rooms.......THINK of the volume of bottles this creates. THEN look around and see if they recycle. Most don't. It's enough to make me shudder.

The food is good overall. Some hits, some misses but you won't go hungry. I missed a full blown pasta bar at the Buffett but that is just me. The select club restaurant is very good and the Japanese and Italian were very good too. Select club room service options are surprisingly good and quick.

Select club rooms are fine, not great but fine. All needs are met, bed is comfy, bath is great and good water pressure. Wi-fi was awesome in our room. No major complaints, just a few minor ones. Rooms lacks a Mexican flare...or any flare for that matter. Very plain. Lighting is very bad. They have yellow shades in the bathroom and any woman knows that is not good for us, lol. Resort needs to replace yellow fixtures STAT. Balconies are painfully small. Almost un useable unfortunately. They need more shelves or drawers in closets. One side is huge....with one shelf. We could not really unpack all week because there is no place for all our your clothes. Lastly, the resort should consider room cleaning every other day. We purposely put up the DND sign so it's cleaned every other day. I do not need a clean towel and sheets daily and perhaps they should give guests that option to help preserve water. I'm sure most of us reuse towels at home too. Balconies are so very small, so small in fact I rarely saw anyone using them. It would have been really nice to have a small citronella lamp outside to keep the bugs away so I could read at night. The bugs are so bad it's virtually impossible to sit outside at night. That might be a massive fire hazard though, lol.

The cenote's at this resort are it's hidden gems. We loved them. Particularly the small little one out in the jungle. It's sent right from heaven, I swear. We loved the nature. We loved it overall. I prefer the jungle like atmosphere over a marble slab any day. Downside - bugs. Do not leave food of any kind open in your room for long. DO NOT bring your sticky mojito glass back to your room without rinsing it out. Bring bug spray, a lot of it. The beach isn't great either. It's not the rocks, I can live with that. The sand bags. I don't get them and they stink and take away from what would be a pretty landscape. I'm sure they perform some function....perhaps they have washed up in storms and we're meant to be much farther out to calm the surf?

My only final comments was regarding our other big disappointment. The swim up bar or lack of. We love us a swim up bar. You meet people there and it's just fun getting tipsy while sitting in the water. We stayed in the adults only and there is no swim up bar unfortunately. Day 2 we went out looking for it and we couldn't believe it when we found it. It literally made me twitch. There were more children at the swim up bar than adults. Screaming, splashing, spitting. Don't get me wrong, I love kids. But There is an entire other half to the activities pool not to mention a water park and the beach. It should not be too much to ask to sit at a swim up bar and not have a 4 year old use the bar stool as her own personal launch pad, splashing pool water in my drink. That said, I get it's a family resort and kids think it's fun to order 'drinks' from the bar and I also get that mommy and daddy might want a drink or two without having to leave the kids. Perhaps the resort could consider making 3pm - close adult time. I would not want my children subjected to what drunk people start yelling anyway, so personally I would steer them clear of the bar for the most part, but that is just me.

Overall, this is a fantastic resort for exceptional value and has something for everyone. Go for it, you won't regret it.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank LondonEnzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2013

Overall my experience at this hotel was great! The good was delicious and the staff were very friendly! Within the entertainment staff Dario was by far the most helpful and entertaining! In the afternoon on the beach there is Bootcamp training it's a great way to stay in shape while being on vacation! No other resort I have been too has this I can't wait to come back to this resort soon

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aysha C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 27, 2013

The natural and cultural aspects of the resort was unique! The beach is pretty good, the food is ok but the service was FANTASTIC! Go see Pedro at the main pool bar! He's great! Juana at the main pool bar will remember your name and always says hello! Rubicel, Sala and Elidan at The select club bar were fantastic!!! Claudia on the select club beach was also a great server! It was too bad she wasn't serving on the beach our entire trip. Our favourite had to be Emma! We first met her filling in for someone's break at the select club beach! She was the first server to do more than just take our drink order...she had personality! We followed her the next day to the pool bar, then to La Jungla and tried to visit her everyday because she is probably the best server we have ever had! It was nice to have the same staff each day for the last few days of our trip so we could get to know them a bit! It made those days much more enjoyable! My one complaint would be that the staff are shuttled around to different areas each day so you don't get the same people everyday.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gail P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
50 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2013

This is actually our third time coming back to this resort. Last year we were less than thrilled with some of the items here. Upon writing a review on Trip Advisor i was promptly contacted by the hotel general manager who offered me to come and discuss issues directly with him, which I did. One thing became very clear in that conversation. While not everything might be perfect it was obvious that Luis (the manager) is working very hard to make this hotel an enjoyable place. What started as a "I will never be back to this hotel" turned to more "It might be worth considering". Well now a year later we decided to come back and I am not sorry we did.

One thing that's important is to set your expectation right. This is a family oriented hotel. You will not find a turn down service or five start world class service. What you will find is a very friendly staff that works hard to help you in any way they can. You'll also find lots of programs specifically designed for kids and to give parents few minutes break.

There are two things here that I would say make this the hotel of choice of our family. Kid's Aqua Park. It's a huge pool with multiples slides, fountains, etc. all for kids going nuts. They are having a blast. The kids club at Sandos Caracol is the best I've seen in any all inclusive resort. First of all it's all indoor with lots of activities and games. From a climbing gym to video games - they got it all. Another factor for this kids club is that it's open until 10pm. Parents, you know what I mean when I say this is a blessing.

The beach is not perfect as it has lots of rocks, but it changes from year to year probably based on storms earlier in the season. Also this is not something I would hold against the hotel as they hardly have any control over sea.

Set your expectations right, come here because you want to spend time with the family, and you'll enjoy it tremendously. Come here with an attitude expecting perfection and you might as well stay home.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank zhenya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2013

From November 30 to December 6, our family of five, two parents, two boys aged 3 and 4 and one grandmother a.k.a. Grandar, returned to Sandos for a second time. Initially, we had a few issues with our room; however, once they were brought to the attention of the hotel, the problems were promptly rectified. Thanks Isobel! The rather chilly cenote was ameliorated by the warm welcome given to us by Rufo, Guardian of the Cenote. The food was very tasty and there were lots of choices, even for fussy eaters. We had notified the hotel in advance that my daughter would be celebrating her birthday there and they made it a night to remember! The hotel arranged a reservation at the steak house and had a mariachi band come to our table to serenade her. Much to the delight of the boys, their mother was provided with a goofy hat and a delicious slice of birthday cake; big enough to share. It was a wonderful birthday party for her and the rest of us! Each day we alternated between the pool, the Aqua Park for the kids and the ocean. The adults took turns using the spa on a daily basis; very relaxing. We found Sandos to be extremely family friendly. We all had a fabulous time and would definitely return. The only problem was our three year old who vehemently refused to leave Mexico. It took a lot of coaxing and cajoling to get him back on the plane bound for Winterpeg!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Grandar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2013

this is still despite problems the worlds best kept quality secret resort. The rooms are the problem ours was not checked for problems prior to occupation and it took a week to get items resolved.
It seems that they need a hotel manager responsible for the rooms as on a cruise ship. All other aspects of our stay was first class, however we will try somewhere else next christmas

Room Tip: you can not trust this company to provide you with a good room and fix problems quickly
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CarloEssex
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
#43 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#49 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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