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“Tilo "Bell boy"--Say hi to him, he has a great smile and attitude :)”

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Real Playa del Carmen
Ranked #148 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Reviewed September 18, 2012

We went to my sisters wedding in May2012. Tilo the bell boy was of great help. I didn't like the room we had been assigned to as it was not what i had requested, so I paid extra and got a better room. Tilo helped us move and showed us various styles. I thank-you Tilo for making our trip better. Your hospitality and kindness and eagerness to ensure our customer satisfaction is admirable. I hope your employer recognizes what you have to offer. :) We will come and visit again... Maybe we will see you at the Royal.. as that is hopefully our next trip.. Justin and Trina

Room Tip: We went to my sisters wedding in May2012. Tilo the bell boy was of great help. I didn't like t...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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Thank trinatrixy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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127 - 133 of 973 reviews

Reviewed September 10, 2012

I would like to start off by saying that this trip was my first trip out of my country Canada, and that before going I did ALOT of research before deciding to come here, as this could well be the only vacation I take for years as I dont make alot of money to vacation often. The following review is going to be long and in depth, unbiased and from someone who values every dollar they have as I don't have many, so if long reads aren't your thing, you may want to skip this one.

My original reasons for choosing this hotel for my vacation was based on 2 simple things:
1. Price
2. Service
What originally attracted me to this hotel was the fact that in most of the reviews, even the bad ones, people had alot of good things to say about the staff. I was fully convinced that upon arriving at this destination while only being a 3 1/2 star property, I was going to be blown away by the fabulous service and friendliness of the staff. But what really attracted my attention, was their upgraded master suite which gave us access to not only their facilities, but also those of it's 5 star sister hotel down the street, To book at their sister hotel, the Gran Porto Real, it was going to cost me about $400 per person more than what booking with this hotel was going to cost, and the only difference was that I was going to be sleeping at this hotel instead, so for me it was a no brainer. Cheaper price, and the benefit of 2 locations instead of one. It all sounded so good....unfortunately, as it goes, most things that seem to good to be true end up being that way.

Lets start with my arrival. Upon arriving at the hotel we were quickly checked in and given our wristbands to signify our all inclusive with both the real playa del carmen and the gran porto real. This went pretty well, and after we were done a bellboy helped us to our room with our luggage. This is where minor problems began. Upon getting to our room he hastily showed us how the safe worked and it was after I asked a few questions to be sure I understood, that I realized the guy didn't speak a word of english. After a few uncomfortable attempts at trying to understand one another I simply gave him a few bucks and dismissed him, still unsure of how the safe worked and feeling very uncomfortable with the code he had left us with which was 1234.

The room itself was very lackluster for what was supposed to be the grand room of their hotel, clean but very old and unmaintained. The pictures they present on their website are VERY misleading and overall it was a huge disappointment for me. The mini-fridge.....if you could call it that.....was barely functional. The drinks inside were lightly chilled at best, and it was painfully obvious it was on it's last legs. The bathroom, along with the shower within, were also very disappointing, and upon use we found the showerhead had maybe 8 or 9 functioning jets of water, most of which sprayed in many different directions from the caked on lime and calcium. It was obvious the showerhead hadn't be cleaned in years. The room's description also was inaccurate with what it provided, as it stated it came with a coffee maker, dvd player and cd player.....none of which were present.

We had arrived later in the day around 5 or 6 pm and were a little tired from the drive to Edmonton International (I live 2 hours away) and the wait prior to and during the flight, so we decided to grin and bear it for the time being, and hit the buffet for some supper before bed. Again, I found myself feeling uncomfortable as it became apparent that most of the waitresses working also did not understand or speak much english, and seemed hesitant to have any real interaction with us. After a quick bite we decided to go to bed and see how things would be in the morning.

Upon waking up the next day, we went to the buffet again for breakfast and were happy to find a decent selection of items, as well as a station where you could create your own omelet by selecting a variety of things like mushroom, ham, peppers, onion, ect ect and then giving them to the cook on duty beside this station to fry up and put into your omelet. After what was a pretty good breakfast, we asked if we could each get a bottled water as we were going to go out onto 5th ave for some shopping and had drank the water in our fridge the night before. This is where things got heated. I was told by a staff member that bottled water, outside of what we received in our fridge was not a part of our all-inclusive plan. I flew into a rage....in a country where it's water is sketchy at best, bottled water should be made readily available at all times, and I made this point very clear and after a bit of arguing was given 2 bottles.

After this unpleasant experience, I went to the front desk to make mention of the missing things our room was supposed to have, as well as the poor condition of the shower and fridge, and was told they would be remedied ASAP. Happy with that we proceeded out to 5th for some shopping. When we returned to the room, we found that a coffee maker had been brought, but that the dvd player, cd player had not, and that the fridge was still running the same and shower had not been cleaned. I found this a little irritating but decided that since I was not likely to need the dvd or cd players, and that the fridge was able to chill the new drinks that had been put in enough as not to be warm, that I'd just deal with it. The next morning upon trying to use the coffee maker, we discovered it did not work. When I called to the front desk they said they would bring a replacement and was soon met with another completely non-english speaking maid with a new one. This one worked, but we were then dismayed to find the coffee that came with it was literally tasteless......and for the rest of the trip, after trying it 3 times, we just gave up on having coffee made in our room.

The room did however have 2 good points, and they are important ones:
1. The bed was very large and incredibly comfortable
2. The air conditioner was AMAZING as it was whisper quiet and worked REALLY well
These 2 things were enough to make at least being in the room of the hotel somewhat pleasant.

As for the rest, the staff I did try to take the time to talk to seemed very uninterested in talking to me, even when I showed interest in maybe learning some spanish, and alot of the time I felt like my presence to them was more of an annoyance than anything. What upset me the most, is I had read so many good things about specific people, like Eduardo the bartender in the main lobby, yet even when trying to strike up conversation with him, things just fell flat. And whats worse, it's not like I didn't tip or anything either. Each time I ordered a drink, or received a service of any kind (a waitress clearing our table or bringing us drinks, leaving money on the pillow for the housekeeper ect ect) I made sure to give them at least a buck or 2. Yet the only time I noticed that even being free with my money in this manner made any difference, was when I gave the guy making omelets a buck because I thought it was really unfair that this guy made such great breakfasts every morning and never got any tips or anything from the other guests (at least as far as I saw). In that instance, when I tipped him I got a polite smile and a Gracias. But even there, that's where conversation ended.

My feelings of being a substandard guest were soon compounded when mid-week, the neat little towel animals they leave you on your bed stopped being made, and even when leaving $5 and $6 in hopes it would rectify the situation, I would still come back to the room at night with no towel animals on the bed. Perhaps this isn't important for the stay, but it did add a nice little flare of excitement before getting back in after your room was cleaned, and yet here I was robbed of even that small pleasure.

The one ray of light in this hotel however, came from our Best Day Representative, Edgar Silva who I have to say was phenomenal in his assistance to us with both helping us decide on excursions, and just generally being an all round great guy to talk to. He also was a tremendous help when our son was having trouble contacting the hotel by allowing us to use his computer and cellphone to avoid the costly charges of the front desk to call home so that we could figure out what was going wrong. Unfortunately, with the many excursions we were doing, the times we were able to sit and talk with him when he wasn't busy were far to short, and I was disappointed that we couldn't get to know him a little better.

After 2 or 3 days of the same thing, we just gave up completely on where we were staying, keeping to ourselves most of the time, and by filling our days with the many excursions you can do and by going to the 5 star hotel we had access to down the street. The rare times we were around the hotel, we filled the time by either being in our room or by talking with our Best Day Rep Edgar. We didn't bother with the pool, as it was VERY small and often filled with other guests playing volleyball, or by kids playing together in it.

Simply put, this hotel was a bad choice for us. The other hotel we had access to, The Gran Porto Real however, where we had all inclusive privilege as well, was a completely different story. There the staff was more along the lines of what I was expecting here to be like, and so this is where we spent the majority of our time when not on excursions. The 2 ala carte restaurants in that hotel were also VERY good, and at the italian one, we had what I would say was the best salmon we have ever tasted.

If I had not gotten the upgraded room at this hotel, I feel our vacation could well have been a complete disaster in terms of places to eat, and people to talk to. After the first 2 or 3 days, we just plum gave up on trying to interact with staff here at all and it got to the point where the only time we were even ever there, was to sleep or eat. And even then, the only times we ate at this hotel was during the morning, and there was still 2 or 3 times that we STILL opted to go to the Gran Porto instead during this time, just because of the far better service.

The bitterness was further compounded when it came time to check out, and we were told we had a $10 phone bill to pay for calls to canada when I specifically asked the front desk to call collect each time that we did call.

So to summarize, I would never book here again, even with the upgraded room just because of how poor the quality of the staff's interest in serving or knowing you is. Save yourself the trouble and disappointment by spending the extra money to book the Gran Porto or Royal instead, you'll enjoy yourself a whole lot more and actually get what you pay for.

Room Tip: Upgraded rooms give access to the better 5 star hotel down the street, and have good AC.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Scott L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa04, Manager at Real Playa del Carmen, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2012

First of all, we thank you your time and comments, and it is so important for us your experience, to change and improve. Best Regards.

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Reviewed September 8, 2012

the rooms were old fashioned and the shower was not the best. The towels were clean as was the room every day. but the staff and entertanment was fantastic we were taught spanish every morn and watched a show every night would i go again to right

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank michael g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa04, Manager at Real Playa del Carmen, responded to this reviewResponded September 10, 2012

Thank you very much indeed for your time and comments, they are so important for us to continuo improving facilities and service. We really hope that you are coming back again soon. Best Regards

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Reviewed September 5, 2012

Having to climb up all those stairs to get to our room was a hassle. The room was clean though. The pool was a disappointment, not big at all. The food was good and the breakfasts were a good selection. The booking for the restaurant seemed a bit over the top as we were the only ones there. Service was good but a bit rushed. Overall not too bad but would not stay again. I think a lot of people get confused with the Royal Playa del Carmen. The drinks seemed to be of a low quality, either watered down or not of a good brand.

Room Tip: try and get down stairs
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Viv64360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa04, Manager at Real Playa del Carmen, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2012

Thank you very much for your comment, we really apologize if could not exceed your expectations, it is so important for us you share your experiencie in Hotel Real Playa del Carmen. I already talked with Cheff and Food and Beverage Manager to make some corrections. Thak you again for your time. We hope you give us the opportuniy to hostess you again. Best Regards.

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Reviewed August 25, 2012

Spent last week at Real Playa. Everything was fine, food and bed. The public beach is two street corners (beautiful beach but no shade) or we can use the Real Porto beach with the drinks and chairs. Seven minute walk or shuttle about every half hour. The hotel is right at the end of the pedestrian street so you can be in the action. Not a noisy hotel. We had a nice view of the hotel garden and pool. Nice staff. Be sure to spend some time with Cesar at the bar. Great guy. Good money value for the all inclusive. Lisa

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank LisaLang11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa04, Manager at Real Playa del Carmen, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2012

Thank you very much indeed for your time and comments, they are so important for us and motivate us to continuo with this style of service. We really hope that you are coming back again soon. Best Regards from all Staff

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Reviewed August 19, 2012

My family and I were staying at the Real Playa del Carmen. I would just like to warn other people about the strong undercurrent in the sea. My husband got caught by a huge wave and was dragged into the undercurrent. Thankfully our 16 year-old son dived under the wave and managed to grab my husband and pull him out of the water and we eventually got him to the beach. My husband had water on his lungs and had to be stretchered across the beach to the hotel and ultimately to the ER of the Hospital where he spent 24 hours recovering. Please, please do not go into the waves along the front of this hotel. There is a lifeguard but he didn't even see my husband in trouble. This part of the sea should be roped off to allow people to only swim in a designated area where the lifeguard has full view of everyone.

On a positive note, the Real Playa del Carmen staff were wonderful, particularly Juan, and they all helped us fabulously during this very traumatic event. Thank you all so much.

The hotel rooms were gorgeous (my husband was initially taken to a room to wait for an ambulance). The rest of the hotel looked lovely but I'm afraid I can't comment on the food or any other amenities on my brief visit and we didn't feel we wanted to return on our holiday purely because of what happened in the sea, nothing to do with the hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank johnandmarthy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa04, Manager at Real Playa del Carmen, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2012

Thank you very much indeed for your comments, they are so important for us and we also yhank you for your time. We really hope that you are oming back again soon. Keep in mind that you have a sweet home at Playa del Carmen. Best Regards for all Staff.

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Reviewed August 15, 2012

I really enjoyed my stay overall everyone was very nice and the service was great. I had a massage by Levinia and it was great.Had dinner with the chief and I learned that you can not take your job for granted.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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6  Thank CoopPhila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Real Playa del Carmen

Address: 5th Avenue Between 34th & 38th Sts, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#57 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#84 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $68 - $309 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Real Playa del Carmen 3.5*
Number of rooms: 135
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Also Known As:
Real Playa Del Carmen Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Real Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Playa Carmen
Real Playa Carmen
Playa Del Carmen Real
Real Playa Del Carmen Riviera Maya, Mexico

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