First off, we really loved this resort. I enjoyed all the animals - as cheeky as they were. People have complained about the animals wandering around and begging for food but that is a learned behaviour from being fed by humans. It's only my opinion but the animals aren't the issue - it's the well-meaning people who constantly feed these critters; whereby creating bad habits in the little guys. If you're not fond of animals...or children for that matter....this resort will NOT be the one for you.
Our check in was a breeze - we were immediately brought to the Select Club reception, given some cold drinks, room keys and off we went. Our room was nice - yep - it smelled musty but I don't think that's terribly unusual in such a humid climate. We got the building, bed, extra pillows and amenities that I had pre-requested prior to arrival. We stayed in 6311 and had free wifi the whole time and the bonus of monkeys vistiting our balcony each day. One even came into the room when we left the screen open! I guess it saw the plate of fruit on the table.
We only used the adult pool a couple of times because pools aren't really our thing. We come for the sand, ocean and sealife. I heard lots of complaining about the rocky beach and the adult area became crowded with families because that's were the sandy parts were. However, security was on top of removing any families with kids or those who didn't have the correct wrist bands and were trying to use the adult beach beds. This was appreciated for those of us paid extra for these small perks. The waitress in this area (often only one for the ENTIRE area) worked tirelessly and with a smile on her face. She works so hard - please tip her well.
If you want sand and are a decent swimmer just swim past the sand whales in the adult section to where you see the turquiose waters. This is a sand bar about waist to chest deep that is beautiful on calm days and fun on windy ones - loved playing in the waves. For those who aren't big on swimming but like to wade or have kids who like to play in the water - 2 minutes past the Elite section is a vast expanse of beautiful sand and turqiouse waters. We always bring water shoes when we travel and our own snorkel gear and both proved useful at this resort.
Where this resort could use improvement is to provide more entertainment for the adult-only guests. They offer the pool, restaraunt and beach section but nothing as far as night time entertainment. We thought some later parties at the Select Club Beachhouse would have been fun...some good music and a late closing time would have provided a nice way to meet people, have some drinks and have something to do (past 10pm) without kids around. My husband and I found ourselves wandering around aimlessly and often going to our rooms by 9:45pm because we couldn't find any real entertainment for grownups. To compensate, we travelled into PDC several times. Funnny enough, we ran into a couple from the resort there and had a fun time with them there!
We loved Jesus from the Italian buffet as he was always accomodating, smiling and helpful. We ended up eating there far more than the International buffet as that one was completely lacking in service. Each time we tried the International we would rarely have our drink order taken. When we got fed up, and got our own drinks from the fountain machines, the wait staff glared at us. But what was the alternative? Even when our drink orders were taken they rarely arrived before our meal was finished. However, we did notice that people seemed to rarely tip at this resort. We tip everyone - bartenders, waiters, maids...everyone and several times a day. We always count on tipping at least $20 per day. But, like I said we rarely saw anyone tipping. So, maybe this is part of the reason for the lack of good service - the International buffet is massive and seems understaffed...so that, being run off their feet without any compensation may have made some of the wait staff bitter. Or maybe we just caught them in a bad week - we'll never know.
Our maid was named Dalia and she came around 10am each day. Our room was spotless and we believed she earned every penny we gave her...awesome job Dalia!
We never got any mosquito bites. We saw people who were bit to bits but these bugs never bothered us at all...not while walking nor while sleeping at night. And we never had to use any repellent, even though we brought some.
All in all we really loved this trip and believe that it is what YOU make it. If you have a tendency to sweat the little things and those little things feel massive in your mind and might make or break your trip then you'll probably find plenty to complain about anywhere you go. But if you're the type to let the little things add character to your trip then you will love your vacation here. As I mentioned - there are areas that Sandos could improve upon but it didn't prevent us from loving every second of being at this resort...it just enabled us to make choices on how to better it for ourselves.
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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