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“Caveat: Prepare to relax . . .”

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The Reef Coco Beach
Ranked #105 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Reviewed April 30, 2010

If you base your choice of resort on luxury and grand size, keep looking. Grand Coco Bay is an intimate 210-room hotel located in Playa del Carmen where everything is within a three minute walk from your room - spa, restaurants, beach, pool, bars, water sports, gym . . . We were a group of six women in our 30s-50s who love to walk, but on the beach, not all over a resort.
The staff were very helpful with varying levels of fluency with English, and as always any attempt on the guests' parts to speak Spanish is welcomed with grace. Thanks to Victor and Zoila at the bell station and front desk. Our rooms were spacious and spotless and located on the top floor above the restaurants. We only asked for maid service every other day, and were always kept supplied with plenty of clean towels and amenities.
A huge plus in our thinking was the waiter service near the pool and on the beach. Our favorite server for the week was Orbelín, whose smile and genuineness were a delight. It is good that the drinks are not made too strong, but they are hardly watered-down as some reviewers complain. Gilberto at the pool bar says he has seen some tourists rendered almost catatonic if he makes the drinks to the customers' demanded strength, as they believe that to get their all-inclusive money's worth, they need to imbibe from opening until closing time. We were pleased that they used more environmentally sound rigid, washable plastic glasses around the pool and not disposable ones as some resorts have turned to.
The beach itself was great but the prime real estate claimed by the rarely-used volleyball court front and centre seemed strange. There could easily be many more loungers and palapas placed there, and the court maybe off to the side somewhere. We were never bothered by the anchored boats. The water was clear and warm and the most azure coloured of any Caribbean destination we've visited. It had an almost luminous quality which could be attributed to the brilliant white Mayan sand, and was very safe for swimming. A ten-minute walk to the south brought you to the pier in Playa where a short walk up one street brought you to the fun and shopping of colourful Avenida Quinta and its cheaper, less-touristy side streets. A must-do!
Food choices were amazing considering the small size of the Grand Coco Bay. Make a connection with Máximo and his helpers at the snack bar, and you will enjoy some fine chicken, salad, pizza, and other fast-food. In the buffet, our group of Atlantic Canadians were delighted at the freshness and daily availability of lovely firm grouper, roughy and other firm-fleshed white fish, grilled or in various seasoned sauces which did not overpower. There were always two soup selections with lunches and dinners, and on the buffet itself everyday, some form of chicken, beef, pork, sausage, and vegetables, plus salads. Theme nights were delightful, especially the Asian evening, with sushi, shrimp and calamari teppanyaki, spring rolls and tempura that melted in your mouth! We like the Mexican a la carte enough to go there twice. The presentation rivals some fine dining restaurants we have frequented around the world. I recommend the Mexican sampler appetizer, the GCB salad, the seven chili soup, and the coconut shrimp. We loved the ambience of the Italian a la carte, and the food was fine, but not stellar. We ordered wine as the house wines were not at all palatable. We were more than impressed with all of the food here.
Side trips were made to Isla Mujeres, Tulum and Ya-Kul, cenotes, etc.
I can recommend personally the services at the Ya-Ax Spa on the resort, where Bety was so professional. I chose the combination relaxation/Shiatsu/aromatherapy massage and paid 80 dollars (plus tip) for an hour.
We just loved the small, friendly Grand Coco Bay and will be returning next year, maybe twice.

Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
3  Thank dharmacate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,678 - 1,684 of 3,974 reviews

Reviewed April 30, 2010

We really enjoyed staying at this resort - the staff is definitely more friendly and accomodating than the larger resorts. The rooms although not elegant and clean and have everything you need for a room. You do not have to walk far to get to the restaurants, pool and beach which is a plus. Also you don't have to get up at 6:00 am to save a chair in shade on the beach. The have ample number of chairs and shade. The food is comparable to your standard resort - with fewer selections than you would have at a larger resort. This resort, out of several that we stayed at in Mexico over vacation, was the only one to actually offer us a glass of champagne when we checked in. The other larger more expensive resorts had champagne at the front desk - but basically it was just there for show. The management is great - very helpful if you have any requests or questions - unlike the larger resorts we stayed at.
The beach is somewhat narrow but just fine for swimming and the water is beautiful.
You can walk to your right to Playa de Carmen which we did a couple times and that was entertaining. The entertainment staff is very friendly and personable. Recommend this resort to families or couples which would like a quietier relaxing vacation and are not looking for crowded resort and lots of activity. Again - the management at this hotel are far nicer. polite and accomdating than any ot the larger more costly resorts we visited over April Break. Also the weight room at this resort was far better than ones at the other larger resorts we stayed (per my son who is into body building)

Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
2  Thank banneparker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2010

We had booked over internet a quite expensive ocean view room (accpted to pay the extra for ocean view!), but at our arrival the staff wanted to give us a room without any view... at the same price. We declined, but they were not able to offer us any other room accordingly, although the ocupancy was only at 50%. Finally, we had to cancel the reservation and had to take care of the cancellation fee on our own.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tog3953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2010

Great location, great beach
Weird to have around 40 boats right in front of the hotel but after a while, you understand that it is because there is no waves.
walking distance from the 5th avenue, no sign in the street but you need to turn left on the street where the pizza place is.

Food ok, better at the 2 restaurants. avoid pastas at Italian restaurant, but chiken parmigiana was great
rooms are very clean, beach too
Went to Coba, mayan ruins (avoid if you are travelling with kids and if very suny) and Xel-Ha (natural amusement park), we prefer Xel-Ha.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ndbpsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2010

We just returned from the Gran Coco Bay in Playa del Carmen and are looking to book for December.
The teens enjoyed the hotel tremendously. What we liked was the small size of the resort - you are close to all activities - including diving center, beach volleyball, waterpolo ecc. They are easily included in all activities...no matter what age..that's what makes this resort so pleasant.
You can get snorkelling equipment and kayaks for free at any time. There are also snorkelling tours at midday. The diving center gives PADI courses- the cerification for diving. Wonderful teacher and great dives!!!
The hotel offers also animated activities, like water polo, beach volleyball, bingo, dance, Spanish lessons ecc.
The rooms are beautiful, though only cleaned once a day at some point during the day.
You can walk to the center of Playa del Carmen on the beach or on the street 10-15min.. At night you can take a taxi for US 4.00 - which is recommended, if you are alone. Playa is a hub of clubs and stores. A nice little city. There is also a Spanish school in Playa.
The hotel is the last of the developed area along the beach, so do not expect a beautiful jungle view at the back of the hotel. If you venture out inland, do not be surprised to see the living conditions of Mexicans - god bless them!
There is a lot of development going on in the area. Many rental units and condos to buy/rent.
There is a club right beside the hotel and on Friday nights they have loud music till early morning, so try to book on the restaurant side, which would be the north wing - room # 2423 and up or down and 2323 and up or down it still does not protect you from the noise that one night, but at least you are not "wall to wall" with the club.
The personnel is very friendly.
If you are in Mexico for exquisite cuisine don't go there. The choice is limited, but good.
sucks and there is NO expresso or cappuccino at any time - unless you book your supper in the italian restaurant, which, by the way has no parmesan.
We enjoyed our stay a lot. We used to go to the bahia principe tulum, akumal, which is an architectural paradise, quite peaceful, if you want to ,and about 10 times as big as the Coco Bay. Much more impersonal.
We definitely are going back!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank angibee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2010

My husband and I head read some negative reviews regarding this resort. However we were very pleasantly surprised. Clean, weather great. Food, no problem. Beds were comfortable and the staff very friendly and courteous. We had a wonderful relaxing week. The only drawback was the "welcome package". we were met at the door on checkin by a very friendly woman but it turned out that all she really was interested in was getting us to waste a morning seeing a time share hotel a few minutes away. Don't bother going unless you are really interested in purchasing a timeshare. It's a complete waste of several hours of your valuable vacation. The entertainment staff did a terrific job putting on activities for those who were interested and a theater performance in the evening. My husband and I have traveled extensively all over the world and this was a great place. Yes, the venders in 5th ave try to sell something but the people were very friendly and of course they want to make something from the tourists. Just say no thank you if you're not interested. We went with sunwing vacations and were surprised at the great service. All in all a wonderful vacation.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank headlocklynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2010

We returned from Grand Coco Bay on Sunday, and overall was pleased with the resort. We got off to a rough start (part of which was not the fault of the resort) our plane left Saint John, NB late and we actually arrived in Mexico at around 10:20 instead of 7:30 p.m. After waiting on the bus we arrived at our resort around midnight. The gentlemen (and I use this phrase lightly) that check my husband and I in was not very helpful infact rude...he kept saying he wanted our credit card for the room safe....I was paying in cash and he seemed to think this was unacceptable, eventually he took the cash and told my husband to sign two different papers, apparently one was for an upgrade (that was an additional $25) and we found out later from the other couples we were travelling with that we might have to move in the morning, I immediately went back to the desk and told them I booked in October and if they wanted me to move that was too bad, I was unpacking and staying in the upgraded room and was NOT paying any addtional money.. Our friends went to their room only to find the floor covered in water after several trips to the front desk they were moved to an upgraded room with the knowledge that they might have to move. However, by morning after meeting with Hector our wonderful Sunwing rep. we were told we could stay put (all three couples) and that there would be no charges added. The rest of the week we enjoyed the lovely breakfasts, dinners and suppers (2 ala cartes). The resort is clean and the staff (with the exception of the front desk guy (the one with no hair) was very polite and helpful, infact one day when we changed our seats the waiter who served us regularly came over and commented that he missed us. You certainly get a lot of service for a smile and a small tip. Fifth Avevnue is just a walk away and we went there a couple of times. All in all this is a 3 1/2 star resort and for what we paid (a little over $1000 each) we certainly got our moneys worth.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank MexicoApril
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Reef Coco Beach

Address: Costera Norte S.N. Lte. 1 Mza. 7, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#51 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#59 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#71 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $148 - $414 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Reef Coco Beach 3.5*
Number of rooms: 196
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 30 miles south of Cancun, The Reef Cococbeach is the perfect compliment to the white sandy beaches and turquoise waters of this world renowned tropical paradise. Just a short walk from the picturesque town of Playa del Carmen, you will enjoy our personalized service, the privacy you desire in a resort destination and the entertainment of one of the best night life's the Mayan Riviera has to offer.Our location provides easy access to the many attractions the Mayan Riviera has to offer such as Playa del Carmen's famous 5th avenue, Playacar's Bird Sanctuary, Playacar Golf Club, Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Tulum and much, much more.The hotel offers 196 comfortable rooms Caribbean style, our pleasant rooms consist of one king size bed or two double beds, terrace or balcony, air conditioning, ceiling fan, mini fridge, TV,hair dryer, vanity mirror, telephone and bath room with bahttub and shower combination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Coco Bay Mexico
Grand Coco Bay Playa Del Carmen
Grand Coco Bay Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Grand Coco Bay Riviera Maya
The Reef Coco Beach Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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