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“Good Vacation, but not sure about going back”

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Sandos Caracol Eco Resort
Ranked #78 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Louisville, KY
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good Vacation, but not sure about going back”
Reviewed April 1, 2014

We just returned from a 4 night stay at Sandos. To give perspective, we are 31 and 32, we traveled alone BUT we have a 2 year old and a 4 year old. This is our 5th trip to an all inclusive Mexico vacation. We had a good time for sure, but there was nothing about this resort that made me not want to leave (except, who wants to leave a vacation?) or come right back. Here are some points...
ROOM - we were "upgraded" to the adults only area, which was nice since we were without our kids. We had a jacuzzi room with a king bed. Bed is uncomfortable. This room has probably been my least favorite I've had in Mexico. It's very dark, several of the lights weren't working. I'm not sure how to explain it, just didn't like the feel. We were in building 70, which probably has the least scenic view on the property. Maybe that was it. :) Rooms were pretty clean, though!!! No problem there.
RESORT - it's big. We've been at bigger, but this seemed very spread out. We got tired of walking so much. With kids, this would get very very old, but then again you would probably have a more centrally located room if you had traveled with children. Anyway, this resort has so many different feels, it's confusing. One part is very modern and themepark-ish with colored lights, then you've got the xcalacoo (nature) parts, then you've got the beach, then you've got the different pools. It was kind of odd. It wasn't cohesive. BUT if you like different experiences and feels, this would be a plus for you! What I found the most different is that most of the resort is off the beach. Most of our experience wasn't on the beach, and I really missed that. There are a couple places to eat on the beach but we couldn't get in.
NATURE - very neat part. We swan in the cenote, got to watch monkeys, walked the many trails though, rode bikes on the bike trail, etc. The nature part was probably our favorite part.
DRINKS - before we left I read a review that said the drinks were made with syrups and pre-made stuff. I thought "no big deal", but then when I get there, I was kind of bothered by that too. They don't use any fresh ingredients, which I really did miss. Everything was so fake sweet.
STAFF - THEY ARE PROBABLY THE BEST STAFF I've encountered in Mexico. Very prompt, very nice, and not a fake nice. They are sincere and seem to love their job.
TRAVELING WITH KIDS - as you can see, they have won awards for a family resort. And although we didn't have our kids with us, we did talk about returning JUST for the kids part. The "aqua park" for kids was neat, and the kid's club was neat, too. Everything was convenient and helpful for kids, including food and drinks available in an outdoor area if you just needed snacks or something and not a sit-down experience.
FOOD - if you stay 1-4 nights, you can have one reservation. We were able to get two. We ate the Fogo de Brazil and the Italian restaurant. Ate at the buffets most of the time. The food was okay. Nothing to write home about. We wanted to get into different ala carte restaurants, but did not book ahead and the "good" ones were already booked. :( Anyway the food was fine, but again nothing memorable. It definitely wasn't bad, either.

Overall, we had a good vacation for sure. There is just not anything about this resort that has us dying to come back.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MrsSnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandos_Caracol, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, responded to this review, April 6, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to comment about your experience at our hotel through Trip Advisor!

We are always grateful for recommendations made on our facilities, activities, service and others. Be sure that all of your comments will be taken into consideration since we work hard every day to make our resort the best option available, not only for families, although it is our prime market, but also for couples and adults travelling with out kids.

It was thanks to guest advises that had come up with the Selec Club only adults idea and many other highlights of our resort.

Thank you for your praise regarding the high quality of service and the wide range of activities on offer. Every staff member makes it their special mission to make sure all guests are well entertained and well looked after from start to finish.

We hope that when the right time comes you will give the resort a second chance, maybe with the whole family this time, so we hope to have you back soon with us to show you how your insights on the hotel has helped us improve!

Kindest regards,
Fatima Medina
Social Concierge
Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2014

We stayed her for 6 days March 20-26, 2014. The resort is very large and there is a lot of walking. We stayed in a standard room and I would HIGHLY recommend upgrading to a better room. Our room was very small and basic. The bed was very uncomfortable.

The food at both the buffets and ala cartes was very good. The activities at the pool for the kids were great!
The drinks were strong and the service very good!

The beach was incredibly rocky and very tough to walk out to the sandbars.

We really enjoyed our time here and would consider going back.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Eliza O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandos_Caracol, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, responded to this review, April 2, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your time spent here with us at Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort.

It is great to read that you have enjoyed the commitment of all our workers to make every guests` stay special, regarding the beaches I have to admit that we have the luck to have many beautiful things in our hotel like incredible nature, the ruins, but the regulations do not allow us to remove rocks or other beach enviroments since they work as habitat for fauna and this makes part of an amazing environment that no other hotel in the Riviera Maya shares.

Im glad to hear you enjoyed our drinks, all of our bartenders endeavour to deliver that personal touch to all guests in the hotel, and we are delighted that you experienced this customised service.

We hope to see you back soon at the hotel and experience once again this natural paradise,


Kind regards,
Fatima Medina
Social Concierge
Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edmonton
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2014

We had such a wonderful vacation and I want to share my holiday experience with a parents perspective to all of you. We are a family of 4 (6 year old &3 year old) and have stayed at other 5 star resorts. I would say Sandos is a 4 star resort but the family experience made this a 5 star vacation.

Let me start with check in. It was a breeze!! Before the holiday, I was able to ask for specific requests for my room and prebook my a la carte restaurants with Nora the chief concierge. She's so great and helpful and I recommend to anyone to contact her. I was able to make changes to reservations and book a canoe ride for my in-laws through email while I was at the resort. She invited us to a special BBQ while we were there and the experience was amazing. Nora certainly goes out of her way to help out the guests at this resort.

We stayed in the royal elite superior room. To be honest, the room was very small, but is what is shown in the picture on the website. I just thought there would be more for the extra costs we payed as the room is actually smaller (no tub-no seating area) than some of the other cheaper rooms at the resort. If you want a bigger royal elite room, you have to get the suite or penthouse. They look amazing and we will consider one next trip. The main perks for us of being royal elite were unlimited a la carte, free wifi, no towel cards and being really close to main pool and beach.

The main pool and kids pool area was awesome, we were served drinks regularly at the pool and there were plenty of activities for the kids to do. The evening shows - super hero and Disney were awesome for the kids - again the focus on attention for kids having fun were a goal for this hotel, something that is missed out at other resorts. Make sure to watch the Michael Jackson and fire show as well!!

Restaurants were great....our favourite were Los lirious(steak and fish), tappanyaki, Brazilian and Italian a la carte. The service is superior and they treat you like royalty.

We were also able to get family photos done here. For 300 dollars we got 32 images, a photo book, 12 8by10 prints. Our photographer Jose was excellent and Danillo at guest services was great to work with too. They saved my images on a disc and on an extra memory card that I brought to the hotel.

We will definitely consider coming back to this resort and consider this resort the best we been to for families.

Room Tip: book a la carte reservations online before you go
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank goonda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandos_Caracol, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, responded to this review, April 2, 2014
Dear Guest,

Your comments regarding your recent stay in the Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort are very much appreciated by the entire team of workers you recently met during your holidays. Nora is a star among our staff, I will make sure she gets your comments and Im sure she will be thrilled to know that she made your stay so wonderful.

Thanks to the time you have invested in leaving your experience on the tripadvisor travel site, lots of other people who are thinking about the Riviera Maya will read how beautiful the Mexican attention to the guests is in our resort.

We hope that you will be back to see us again in the future, write us before and we repeat this fantastic experience once again!

Fatima Medina
Social Concierge
Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Leandro, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 30, 2014 via mobile

We really enjoy our stay, all of the staff where really friedly and helpful, the food Was great the weather very nice, we really like to eat at la máscara, la laguna, all excellent as well many bars for adult drinks and aquapark for my kids it Was excellent the beach Was a bit rocky but overral pretty good the main pool Was great this resort it is big, we got loss and got to walk the resort lol, we did see many animals and everything it is close tops 10 mnts walk. The only thing that needs some work it is the rooms they need to be upgraded but overral our experience at this resort Was excellent . Bring your family and have fun

Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Eliud S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2014

Excellent resort - our family (3 kids, 17,15, and 12) just returned from this resort and I cannot say enough good things about it!
Thank you to Alonso from the entertainment staff who made my family feel special, he was so genuine, kind and always had a smile.
The hotel is spread out (as other reviewers have said) but we did not mind this one bit and with all the eating it was a great way to burn off some calories. The hotel and grounds are kept clean with the hard working staff who always acknowledged us with an "Hola". Resort had a jungle feel to it and loved seeing the spider monkeys, raccoons and other animals. Eco tours were great as was the bike trail around the resort.
The 3 buffet restaurants for breakfast and lunch were great with lots of variety and we especially enjoyed the Italian one for lunch as it had made to order pasta! We really enjoyed the Brazilian and Japanese a la carts restaurants but would not recommend the steak and fish one. There was no air conditioning or fans and as the dress code was long pants for men, my husband and two sons wore long pants only to get to the restaurant to see many men in shorts and one even wearing tight bicycle shorts! They clearly were not enforcing the dress code so next time they would just wear shorts! The food at this a la carte was okay but I would try one of the other a la carts next time.
Sports bar was great for the kids with the pool tables, air hockey and fuse ball. Kid movies at 5:30, teen/adult movies at 7:30. Entertainment staff were happy to step in and play pool or fuse ball if one of our kids needed an opponent. Our 15 and 12 year old loved playing soccer daily at 4:00 - thank you Alonso - we will miss you!!
Pool was big and never had a problem finding a chair around the pool or on the beach. I thought maybe the hotel was not at full capacity but when I asked I learned it was actually 92% full but because the hotel and grounds are spread out it never felt crowded.
Evening shows were great, our 12 yr old daughter got to be Beauty for the Disney evening show and was thrilled.
Kids loved the smoothies and I loved enjoying a cappuccino (so yummy) every morning out on the deck where the cenote is. Ice cream was also a big hit….
A suggestion to the Sandos Caracol - we were happy to reuse our towels but why are there no hooks in the bathroom (or anywhere) to hang our towels or clothes?? We can't be the first people to think of this and there was a wide open space next to the shower (for what we weren't sure) where hooks would be perfect to hang towels and clothes.
The beds were firm but I felt the pillows were worse so that would be my one lonely complaint…
We would return to this resort in a heart beat and would definitely recommend it as a family resort. Thank you Sandos Caracol for a fantastic spring break away!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Angela B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed March 30, 2014 via mobile

Friendly staff and nice evening entertainment. Would recommend this place for family specially with small kids. Eco friendly place. F
For the beach would recommend having water shoes as there are rocks to go inside the water.
Will definitely visit next time.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Mustafa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2014 via mobile

Amazing experience! A truly unique all-inclusive. Nice resort with a conscience. Environmentally responsible with a focus on sustainability and respect for the ecology and culture of the area. Take advantage of included on-site Eco-experiences (NOEMI's tours, photo safari, and tree-planting experience made our trip! Our five-year-old LOVED it all and wanted to do all of the tours!). There is an opportunity to really feel and understand the Mayan culture if you choose. This was not your "same old all-inclusive". Thank you Sandos Caracol!

Highlights
*excellent staff from check-in, personal orientation, porters, cleaning staff, severs, bar staff
*nice quiet clean rooms (farthest from beach but we chose the peace and enjoyed the walking)
*watching wild spider monkey families, coatis and birds throughout the resort
*biking to on-site Mayan ruins
*sunset walks on beautiful white sand beach (water is rocky but fine for a dip - pools are lovely)
*tree planting to support future monkey habitat (thank you NOEMI!)
*visiting 5 on-site cenotes, mangroves, bird sanctuary, Mayan sites (thank you NOEMI!)
*gaining an intimate insight into the natural balance of this beautiful area and culture (thank you for sharing Xcalacoco with us NOEMI!)

For management consideration
*some restaurants are dark noisy or stuffy (open air sections were perfect but not always accessible)
*we missed the atmosphere of a post-dinner "piano bar"
*restricting the accessible section of the ocean to Select guests limited our enjoyment of the ocean

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Lorsworld
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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