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“Great family/group vacation”

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Sandos Caracol Eco Resort
Ranked #78 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
barrie
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Great family/group vacation”
Reviewed February 24, 2014

Family vacation at this resort jan 23 to 30th. There were 17 of us all together including three little ones. During our stay we were celebrating a 1st birthday, 2-30th birthdays and a 60th birthday.

I'm not going to go into great detail about everything at the resort. I will say that my husband and i stayed in the select club section and found the room to be very nice, updated and comfortable. The rest of our group stayed in the family section and the rooms were acceptable however some were in need of updating.

The resort is huge! If you like walking there are pleanty of paths to explore. The grounds are well maintained. There is pleanty to do and see right on the resort. We were there for a week and didn't see everything!

All the reviews on trip advisor we found to be pretty accurate so i have chosen to comment on the customer service. I feel we received exceptional customer service at this resort. From check-in at the front desk(one particular young gentleman who helped us locate our other group members) sorry i can't remember your name:(. Everyone in our group had their requests looked after and if there was a problem it was rectified right away - not an easy task with agroup of 17.

Unfortunately i lost a list of names that i had wanted to thank. Nora, the chief conceirge was absolutely amazing. Our groups dinner reservations, birthday parties, room decorating etc was all looked after before we arrived. We brought down baking supplies for vegan cupcakes and she made sure they were looked after for the birthday parties. Louise at the concierge desk was also very helpful in making sure our holiday was going as planned.

Antonia at the main buffet, a big thank you for the wonderful service you provided each day to the 17 of us and remembering the soy milk! Jose and julia at the mexican buffet for our grandsons 1st birthday, another big thankyou for such a wonderful celebration. Fernando at the select club restaurant, keep up the great service - much appreciated. I am sorry that i lost my list as i really wanted to thank the two main gentlemen at the vegetarian restauran jan 28th who put on such a beautiful 3oth birthday for our daughter (glowing champagne buckets and all).

I think the sandos is a great family resort. For those wanting an all adult vacation this probably would not be the resort for you. Thanks again for making our vacation enjoyable.

Room Tip: We were with a group. Some had children, we did not therefore we chose to stay in the select club a...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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3 Thank mgbarrie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 24, 2014

Booked one week's stay with my husband and had an idyllic time. The cherry on the cake (haha) was the amazing yoga classes we attended everyone morning (except sun) with instructor Juan Carlos. I have practised yoga over a number of years with numerous teachers and Juan Carlos exceeds them all. He is passionate, dedicated and lives and breathes his yoga. His english was exemplary and he explained (and demonstrated) all the positions, how to breathe properly, would correct your posture and give amazing neck and head massage's during relaxation! He has inspired both my husband and I to keep on practising the yoga as the benefits in just one week are amazing. He also did an hours meditation on the beach at 7am one day and this was magical with the sun coming up, the sand and the waves.

The resort itself was also great. Extremely clean, the staff are so friendly and the food was very good (A La Carte was slightly disappointing), but the buffets were very good. Our room was clean and spacious and very quiet (we were in the adults only section). The free roaming animals were lovely - no rummaged through bins are any sign of mess caused by the animals. I wasn't too happy about the animals which were taken onto the beach for photo's - they all looked very well looked after, but not really sure this is a cool thing to do particularly when its so hot.

We do have two children and would definitely consider bringing them here. I want to come back soon and do more yoga as I am hooked!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank TasheyB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 24, 2014

We just had a great family vacation and really enjoyed this resort. We have three kids (aged 7,5, and 2) and this resort could not have been more child friendly. There was plenty to do without ever leaving the resort. From the pools, water park, beaches, kids clubs, cenotes, Mayan ruins, nightly shows and the incredible eco-tours, we never had a dull moment.

Noemi was the most fabulous eco-tour guide and our children said she was the best part of their trip. We all learned so much about the environment, Mayan culture, and the local animals. Her daily tours were always a big highlight of our day. Her friendly smile, love for the environment, animals, and guests was contagious. Noemi's knowledge and ability to answer questions and engage children (in multiple languages!) was very impressive. Noemi truly made our holiday fantastic!

If you are looking for a place to spend time with your kids while enjoying the Mexican climate and learning about the local environment and culture this place is where you want to be.

Room Tip: Rooms in the 17 block are close to everything. Great for kids who have to walk everywhere.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nowell5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2014

We stayed in the family section with a 4 and 6 year old. The hotel and rooms were very clean, the staff very friendly. When there was an incident with the hottub in the room above us we were moved with no hassle. And when I left something in the old room it was returned promptly. I would recommend this resort to any family that would like to swim in the pools, visit the splash park and ocean. There was a small section of ocean that was protected from the waves for the kiddies. The resort was very quiet and we were able to nap and get to bed early with the kids. The a la carte restaurants were also very good with the kids. On the family section there wasn`t much night life after the 830pm family show, but that was perfect for those of us up early with kids. Only complaints were general lack of benches around the walking paths, ice cream didn`t start until noon, bars not open until 1030 and having to carry our own towels around the resort instead of having them available at each pool.

Room Tip: Our room near the main pool was noisy on the Saturday night, but otherwise quiet. Our second room n...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank melissacass7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maine
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2014

If you have stayed at other all inclusive resorts you will find the Sandos Caracol lacking in customer service. We booked our room directly with the resort and were given a room confirmation for connecting rooms at the deluxe level one with a king and one with 2 doubles. When we checked in, they tried to give my children a room that was 2 floors away from us and with only one bed instead of two. We were told the resort was full and that this was all they had. We eventually found out that the rooms on our confirmation do not exist. We were told we could drop a level to get the connecting room but that we would have to pay the higher price of our original reservation. When we asked to speak with a manager we were told they would not be available for 6 hours and that we needed to sign off on paying the higher price for the room right away or they would give it to someone else. After over an hour of going back and forth and refusing, we finally were able to speak with a manager when we threatened to make a scene in the lobby. During our week there, we heard many people complaining that their reservation was not honored and that the manager is never available to meet. Once we were finally given our rooms, we found the standard rooms to be very acceptable. The rooms were spacious and housekeeping kept them very clean. We found the food to be average but then on two occasions found mold on the rolls for dinner. When we pointed it out to the wait staff they just threw the one roll away with no apology or checking to see if the rest of the bread on the buffet also had mold. The activities staff of the resort do nothing to engage anyone in participating in the activities and spent most of the time walking around in pairs talking only to each other. They advertise teen activities but do no try to engage the teens or do anything teen focused activities to encourage interaction. We have found the staff at other resorts engaging and focused on making sure your stay is enjoyable and your needs are being met and this is certainly not the case at Sandos Caracol. When you check in they have someone greet you and tell you about the resort. The real purpose of this orientation is to get you to join their elite club and once you say you are not interested, the customer service stops there.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank blancha1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbotsford
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2014

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.

Room Tip: 6311 - always had wifi, no issues with the AC, toilet, shower pressure or anything else. Monkeys vi...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sony72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arvada, Colorado
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2014 via mobile

We have stayed at Sandos 4 times now and it never gets old. We always leave with things we didn't have time to do, but there's always next time. This property is very big and there is a lot of walking. If you have a hard time walking you can get the golf cart to pick you up and I would suggest asking for a room closer to restaurants and ocean. Food is good we LOVE the Italian restaurant. There is always food at the snack bar right in the middle of the town. This time we ate at the Japanese restaurant the kids loved it because they cook right in front of you. My 12year old even tried sushi The ocean is a little rocky water shoes are a good idea.
If you have kids this is the place for you.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank nailgal
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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