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“Great Location and Price”
Review of Playa Maya

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Playa Maya
Ranked #101 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 9, 2013

This little hotel is in an excellent location and for the price I don't think you can beat it.

We had the garden Jacuzzi room which we thought was excellent.

For the price the food served here is well worth it.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Sarah G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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168 - 174 of 661 reviews

Reviewed July 4, 2013

Friendly hotel, large clean rooms, right on the beach, very decent breakfast, helpful staff who will carry bags from road to hotel via the beach, right at the heart of PDC action, chilled beer on call... whats not to like? The rooms are large, so easily can fit a family f a couple with kids

Room Tip: Choose the higher floor suite. Great view from balcony
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank pachyderm_98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

My husband and I love PDC and after previously staying at The Royal we wanted something more intimate and non AI so we could sample all the delights that 5th Av has to offer.
We chose Playa Maya primarily because of its location and the positive reviews it has on this site.
After a nightmare flight that lasted about 17 hours we arrived about 8 hours later than anticipated, in the dark and were checked in smoothly and had our bags taken to our room which was a lot more spacious than we'd thought it would be. We literally dumped our bags and headed straight to Carboncitos for food and much needed cold beers!
In the morning when we had chance to fully evaluate our surroundings in daylight we were delighted with the room and blown away by the 3rd floor view, it was one of the highlights of our stay being able to see the beautiful blue sea whilst lying in bed on a morning.
The food was really good, we ate breakfast and lunch there every day except for a couple of days when we did trips and can honestly say we enjoyed every meal, you certainly can't beat the view while you're eating!
Fidel did a fabulous job of keeping our room spotless, I had no complaints at all about cleanliness and I'm the kind of person who checks everywhere for stray hairs and unidentifiable stains!
As for the rest of the staff, to be honest I didn't really know what to think. On the whole service was usually good, I mean who's in a rush on holiday, but I certainly didn't get the experience that's written about profusely on this site, felt like an old friend, one of the family etc. Maybe it depends on what nationality you are but the friendliness was somewhat less than I was expecting.
I loved the fact that bottles of water were left in the room each day and that they could be refilled from various locations around the hotel for free, something that's only usually available in AI hotels.
The big downside of the hotel for me was the thing that drew me to it in the first place and that's the location on the beach. It's possibly on the worst stretch of beach in PDC in my opinion. The beach changes from day to day I understand that, one day it's rocky, the next it's sandy and although 50 yards up the beach it's perfect that's not ideal. I like to bob in and out of the water as and when to cool off and just because I feel like it and as there aren't any public beds it becomes a bit of a schlepp trailing backwards and forwards all day. Even on a good beach day the water quality isn't that good, there was frequently plastic bags and other debris, possibly from the ferry floating in the water and although this is out of the control of the hotel it does puncture a hole in the balloon that should be paradise.
Also a big issue for us was the much debated smell on the beach. I suppose 2 days out of 14 wasn't as bad as it could of been but for those 2 days the smell was so bad it actually drove us away from the hotel and to one of the beach clubs further up the beach where the air was clear.
Another niggle is the proximity of sunbeds from each other, they really are close. If your neighbour stands up and adjusts their towel or bends to get something out of their beach bag, their backside is literally in your face! I understand that the hotel needs to generate as much revenue as possible by getting as many bodies on beds as possible but there is such a thing as too close for comfort!
I like to alternate between beach and pool and although I realised the pool wasn't huge I wasn't quite prepared for the pointlessness of it, it's knee deep, extremely small and not cleaned as regularly as it could be.
I celebrated a birthday whilst we were there which wasn't recognised by the management or staff despite my having cards up in the room and them being aware of my D.O.B which was disappointing.
To sum up, we had a fabulous holiday and the hotel in the most part was great but just too many deal breakers to make it a return visit for me.

Room Tip: Fabulous views from the top floor
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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7  Thank Gladysrocker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayaMaya, Public Relations Manager at Playa Maya, responded to this reviewResponded July 8, 2013

Hello, and thanks for posting your comments regarding your stay. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy things more fully here but am glad that you actually found quite a number of aspects, from the view to the room to the breakfast, to be so much to your liking! I'd like to comment here on a couple of the points you mentioned, for what it may be worth and to help anyone reading this and considering a future stay with us, as well.

First off, happily there isn't really much debate or discussion anymore about smells on the beach, as municipal authorities had already begun work on resolving that well prior to the time of your stay a couple of months ago. Even then, such smells rarely reached our location — you noted 2 of 14 days as bad, for example, and the only other guests who commented on that as an issue here stayed with us about 7 months ago — given that the source of the issue is a few blocks north of our location. So I'm very sorry you experienced any of that during your stay but this is not any ongoing issue here and does not appear likely to be an issue again in the future.

Yes, the condition of the beach does in fact change frequently, and sometimes rather drastically, as weather and currents change and shift sand around from one place to another in the area. So you might find this to be the nicest stretch of the beach the next time around. On the beach chairs point, however, I definitely agree! And I have reminded the staff again that less can certainly be more in this regard, particularly if the beach happens to be narrower and/or we happen to be busier at any particular stretch of time. We will try to stay more on top of that going forward.

Finally, I confess that your comments about your birthday are a puzzle to us. I'm not sure why you think that management would have known your date of birth, as that is not something we ever take down (only passport number upon check-in), or something we would ever know about unless you as the guest or someone in your party informed us of it. Indeed I thought I might have missed something but I have reviewed our correspondence regarding your stay (including an earlier request you put in but did not follow up on) and have found no comments anywhere to the effect that this was your birthday or a trip in honor of some particular occasion. Non-management staff also do not report having heard of that from you, and our cleaning staff would by intention not concern themselves with your private cards or papers or report on that to us. We would certainly have been happy to note that it was your birthday or decorate your room in some particular way or the like, as we often do in such cases, if you had informed us of that.

Well I hope that helps to clarify some things and thank you again for your response and for coming to stay with us!

Steve

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

What can I say that hasn't already been said about Playa Maya? Usually when I pick hotels based on reviews on TA or other travel sites, most of the good stuff is true and some of the bad stuff is true. With Playa Maya, ALL of the good and more about Playa Maya is true, and none of the very few bad remarks are true.... Period All throughout our stay last week, I kept looking at other non guests and wondering if they were staying places with the same kind of service, affordability and character. From the get go, Stephen was very helpful in booking the right room, answering questions and making the process simple for us first time Mexico travelers. When we showed up via the Cancun Shuttle (take the hotel's suggestion and USE this service, it's private, air conditioned, about the same price and much better than haggling with a taxi), our luggage was carried to our room (the hotel is literally right around the corner from 8th Calle (St). You just have to walk past one hotel and beach club) We were greeted by Arely and Maria and shown to our room, where we learned we had gotten an upgrade! Nice! Agelina, the housekeeper, had made us a beautiful cake out of towels, tissues and flower petals to celebrate us being there for our 10 year anniversary! Daily the animals she made were of amazement to us. The room was great, AC worked well and the shower was more than enough hot. We had room 201 and the view was great, especially using the included hanging hammock chair. The free cervezas and soda the first day and the water bottles everyday were perfect. The hotel is literally in the best location in PDC, right between to Cozumel ferry and the cruise ship doc on the beach. You can walk a block back and be on 5th Ave but there were plenty of places to go just on the beach. The beach was great, some days it was rocky, some day it wasn't but you could walk a bit down towards the ferry and be on pristine beach. I would take the rocks over the nasty smelling fake beaches propped up by sandbags that the swanky hotel had down the way by Mamamitas. The noise from nearby bars was never a problem. Breakfast was excellent and Juan was a treat as our primary waiter most days! Most days we had the American breakfast of scrambled eggs, fruit, juice, coffee and toast, which was more then enough. The fruit tasted amazing. All lunches we were there, we ate onsite. We never had anything that was bad, all of it was good. My wife even said the hamburger she broke down and got one day was the best she's had! I know can now say I've had a shrimp burger! The legend of the coconut shrimp and fish tacos is real, try them. Drinks are good and cold. Pablo the night manager is a professional and truly an asset to the hotel. We got excellent dinner tips from him every night and learned quite a bit about the Mexican culture to boot! To end, whenever we go back to PDC, we WILL be staying at the Playa Maya and I will say unashamedly, that Arely, Maria, Pablo, Juan, Angelina and all the rest of the staff deserve raises! Thanks for all he memories and a wonderful 10 year anniversary!



The only suggestions I would make would make, and please don't take this as a bad thing AT ALL, is to make the hotel name a little more visable. The sign. I would also spend some money on a litttle stronger WIFI hotspot/router. You can get

Room Tip: Close the bathroom door when the A/C is on, it'll keep the warm air from coming in and the cold...
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Patrick V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

From the very beginning, we had a positive experience with Playa Maya. The reservation process was easy and friendly. Stephen had great communication with us. When we arrived late one afternoon, we were greeted by a friendly smile from Maria, and Sergio offered to take my husband to find safe parking for the week. Sergio was a great help with the parking attendant because my husband's Spanish is developing. Our room was simple, but very clean and was spotless every day when we returned home. Hector kept it very clean, and left us cute towel animals every day. The highlight of the room was the very comfortable beds. We have a Temperpedic at home and traveling is often a challenge to find good beds, especially in Mexico. The beds were one of the selling points for us to make the reservation in the first place.

But, honestly, what made us love it and want to come back to Playa Maya were Maria, Juan, Pablo, Fidel, Sergio. I hoe i didn't leave anyone out. Their endless warmth and friendliness made us feel so welcome. My husband enjoyed his conversations practicing his Spanish with the staff. My oldest son referred to Juan as Daddy's best friend in Mexico. The value of staff like that should not be underestimated. I can't imagine anyone complaining about the service as I saw in one review below. We found the breakfast service to be wonderful. If the service was ever slow, it was only because the wait staff took the time to visit with each table, but isn't that what you want on vacation? They genuinely took an interest in our family, and helped us along with our Spanish. We appreciate that very much, and our family still talks about the staff.

Our visit was very memorable, and I am certain we will be back and will refer our friends, thanks again.

Specifically regarding the Internet, yes it could be slow at times, but I didn't find it to be a big deal, I could keep up one work emails during the trip just fine. Also, I would never complain about too much security!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Nancybanana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2013

I really wanted to like this hotel especially after reading all the great reviews and hearing wonderful things from a friend of mine who had stayed there. I am going to write a review so as to manage expectations for anyone considering staying here. These are things that I would have liked to know before booking. To start the location is really great..you are smack in the middle of the action but not so close that you can't get a decent night's sleep. Wi-fi is really non-existent on the beach or on any floor above 2. The wi-fi signals for the Alhambra and Mosquito Beach are much stronger and tend to drown out the playa maya signal anywhere else. I had to be by the pool to get a decent signal. Rooms are ok - nothing fancy but I would take your own shampoo and toiletries. They only gave us 3 tiny bottles of shampoo for 3 adults staying 5 nights and never refilled it. Also, that is all they give you. We got a minuscule bar of soap that was very bad quality - same with the shampoo. At breakfast, every time we went down it took us flagging someone down to get any service. They were really only attentive on the beach when they knew we were paying - so I am not really sure of the amazing service people are talking about unless it is only offered to English speakers (we all spoke Spanish). Finally, I had been making reservations via Stephen and he told me the front desk would be able to charge me the balance when I got there. When I got there the lady at the desk had no knowledge of my emails with Stephen, tried to charge me more, and even though I showed her the emails still took an inordinate amount of time before checking me in. I was hot, ready to relax, and I told her I didn't want to argue for something that I had already assumed was set. Finally she relented and charged me the right amount....but still I thought it bad customer service and communication between Stephen and his employees. Language was not a barrier so I can't even write it off as that. We had an overall good time but I think if my expectations had been managed better I might have appreciated the hotel better. Also, I don't know if people really care about this in the Caribbean but there was no hot water for the 5 days we were there....water was lukewarm at best. I was happy to come home and take a good hot shower. Hope this helps others!

Room Tip: I wouldn't get a garden room...it can get pretty loud by the pool.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank nath3636
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayaMaya, Public Relations Manager at Playa Maya, responded to this reviewResponded June 7, 2013

Well thank you for your comments, we're just very sorry to hear that you weren't "wowed" by your stay with us! Of course every guest has different tastes and it's not realistic to think we can fully satisfy each one. However we were surprised by your complaints since we didn't hear from you about any of them here on site, and since we are having a hard time trying to substantiate some of them. So I'd like to comment on each one here, in our defense and for the sake of those reading these reviews. I can also add 2-3 points along the way that you did not mention but that might help paint a more complete picture. (Apologies in advance for the length — just trying to be thorough!)

Check-in & payment: As you know, you had a balance due only because you added guests to your booking shortly before arrival but declined our offer to process the charges for them in advance, which would have made the check-in process more worry-free for you. Our receptionist Arely indicates that she did in fact know that there would be 3 of you and understood about the charge, however that transaction did require conversion of the USD amount to pesos at the current rate, as we had noted to you previously, and she did just happen to be approaching the change of shifts in reception when you arrived, to boot. So we are sorry if either of those may have added to your frustration, bas our records show, she did process that charge correctly. What she mentioned was that you were upset by problems prior to arrival at the hotel, notably with the transportation you had arranged, and that that actually seemed to be part of the reason you were frustrated then.

Hot water: Each unit here has its own dedicated hot water heater and your actually has a new one. We just tested it and it clearly produced hot water. In fact it was scalding and had to be mixed with some cold water to be comfortable for showering. We just let it run that way, repeatedly reducing the cold as necessary to keep it suitably hot, and found that the hot water lasted for just over 30 minutes. So of course perhaps the 3rd person showering would not have hot water, if following the other 2 and they did not keep their showers appropriately brief, but there is certainly hot water.

WiFi: Here we often see different guests with different types of devices have different results, but others have been connecting both on the beach and in 3F units. (In fact the previous 2 reviewers were both in an equivalently positioned 3F unit and neither mentions such a problem.) But we are in any event working on improving our system as we'd like it to be both stronger and more resilient in terms of differences in individual guests' devices.

Toiletries: Our man Fidel (he was the one you thanked for the towel decorations at the end) cleaned your room throughout your stay and indicates that he replaced your shampoo bottles and soap bars each day, even when the bottles were not entirely empty. That corresponds to our records, as well. Perhaps as the bottles are small and identical, you didn't realize he was replacing them each day, especially again if you were not the first to use the shower? But at any rate, we are always happy to provide extra supplies at guests' request, so it is unfortunate that we did not hear from you about it over your 5 days or we could have improved that aspect of your stay right away.

Breakfast: Our wait staff indicates that they thought they had served you as well as they do our other guests, but that part of the slowdown in breakfast service in your case was that your party came down for breakfast after 11 am on 4 of your 5 mornings in question, meaning after our restaurant & staff had already converted to lunch service. Nevertheless they did arrange to serve you breakfast on each of those days.

Now apart from the above, one smaller thing the staff noted that you did not mention was that they were able to locate a charger for the camera one of you brought with you and needed to use at some points during your stay, as you had forgotten to bring yours along. Another perhaps larger point is that at least one of you seemed rather upset late one night when our overnight guard did not allow a fourth guest to enter the hotel premises and accompany you to your room, as that person declined to show the guard his ID and to register properly (required not only by our own security policy but also by local authorities). So we wonder if that situation may also have colored your view of your stay with us? But I just wanted to mention both of these as more examples of our staff going above and beyond the norm and doing their jobs well for our guests even in unusual circumstances, including during your stay.

Well again my apologies for the length but we want to try to be thorough, particularly in any case where guests are less than satisfied. We hope this will help clarify the situation and our offering, both for you and for TripAdvisor users who read this in the future!

best,
Stephen Ryberg
Playa Maya

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Reviewed June 1, 2013 via mobile

We stayed 7 nights and loved every minute. The staff is awesome, and the included breakfast every morning is awesome. You have to walk through the sand every time you come & go, but you get used to it. Just take your shoes off. The beach is nice, great central location.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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3  Thank SarahA356
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Playa Maya

Address: | Zona FMT entre calle 6 y 8 Norte, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#69 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $103 - $261 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Playa Maya 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playa Maya is right on the beach and centrally located, just 1 block from 5th Avenue, the heart of activity in Playa del Carmen. Our unusual off-street location and beach-only entrance make us a very tranquil base from which our guests can easily explore all the shopping & nightlife of Playa, along with the other wonders of the Riviera Maya. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Playa Maya Del Carmen
Playa Maya Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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