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“A Perfect Stay”
Review of The Carmen Hotel

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The Carmen Hotel
Ranked #4 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Adelaide,Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“A Perfect Stay”
Reviewed March 21, 2009

We were in Playa for our beach wedding, and booked 6 rooms, including the Ocean Front room for ourselves. We chose the Alhambra for it's proximity to the beach and "main drag", and also due to the fact it was situated at the quieter end of Playa. We were not disappointed. The rooms were clean and light and airy. The Ocean Front room was absolutely fantastic, with mini fridge, unlimited purified water and balcony overlooking the beach - a great place where our wedding guests congregated each evening for drinks before dinner.
The staff were friendly and helpful, and all the arrangements which they made to collect our various guests from the airport went smoothly. The food at the restaurant was delicious, and Happy Hour was well appreciated each afternoon.
There was a bit of noise from the nightclub further up the beach every night, but that could not be helped - and ear plugs solved that little problem anyway.
If you are looking for a large, soulless, all-inclusive resort, this is not the place for you. But if you are looking for an intimate hotel which is full of character, then you can't go past the Alhambra. I cannot thank them enough for making our special time here even more memorable.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fartypantz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phillip G, Owner at The Carmen Hotel, responded to this review, February 22, 2017
The Alhambra Hotel is now The Carmen Hotel featuring Keel Restaurant and Beach Club and Deck 5 our Pool and Sky Bar 5 floors above the Beach! We are getting great reviews please visit soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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394 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Ellicott City, Maryland
Level Contributor
107 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2009

The staff at Alhambra was extremely helpful and responsive. Any e-mail I sent to the hotel was immediately returned. They arranged for transportation to meet us at the airport. Our room was spotless and had a nice balcony view of the beach. There is a nice roof-top solarium that is perfect when you want to get away from the crowds on the beach. Alhambra had a nice section of the beach with lawn chairs and an attentive bar staff. We took advantage of the couples massage ($80 total for two people) and it was excellent.

As another reviewer wrote, the beds are rock hard, which is my only real complaint. It was a bit noisy too, but we slept with the windows open and the AC off, so it is to be expected when you are so close to the main drag. All in all, I would recommend this hotel to friends, but would suggest using the mattress from the futon to make things more comfortable. It is a good value for the location.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank shelingas_sis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phillip G, Owner at The Carmen Hotel, responded to this review, February 22, 2017
The Alhambra Hotel is now The Carmen Hotel featuring Keel Restaurant and Beach Club and Deck 5 our Pool and Sky Bar 5 floors above the Beach! We are getting great reviews please visit soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago,il
1 review
Reviewed February 24, 2009

Just returned from our second stay at the Alhambra. It was as wonderful as last year, if not better. The service is excellent. The rooms are immaculate. The food is well prepared and clean.

There is a sort of camaraderie among the hotel visitors, many of whom have been vacationing at the Alhambra for years. Very cool!

I was so touched by how the hotel staff remembered us from last year and warmly and sincerely thanked us for staying with them again this year!

This is a simple, peaceful hotel. We are already looking forward to next year.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mahandeva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phillip G, Owner at The Carmen Hotel, responded to this review, February 22, 2017
The Alhambra Hotel is now The Carmen Hotel featuring Keel Restaurant and Beach Club and Deck 5 our Pool and Sky Bar 5 floors above the Beach! We are getting great reviews please visit soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston, ma
1 review
Reviewed January 12, 2009

We stayed for five nights and were very happy with the hotel. The hotel was in the perfect location, right on the beach but also near all the action. The best parts of the hotel were the location, a clean room, a refridgerator and purified water in the room and a restaurant on the beach. The staff was friendly. We loved our stay.

Stayed December 2008
Helpful?
Thank carynsBoston_Ma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phillip G, Owner at The Carmen Hotel, responded to this review, February 22, 2017
The Alhambra Hotel is now The Carmen Hotel featuring Keel Restaurant and Beach Club and Deck 5 our Pool and Sky Bar 5 floors above the Beach! We are getting great reviews please visit soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nyc
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2008

Overall, our experience was wonderful. We were looking for something on the beach, comfortable and simple and that is exactly what we got. The staff was extremely nice and resourceful.

Our room was spacious and very well-kept (1270 pesos mentioning the online rate). It was described as a "partial beach view", which meant that the balcony was on Calle 8 but the beach was easily seen off the side. The beds may have been the only qualm we had with the place, incredibly hard, but we improved them greatly by adding the cushion from the futon. Another couple we met mentioned going to walmart and buying egg crates, which sounded like a worthwhile investment.

In terms of location, it was exactly what we wanted, truly on the beach, but also one block away from 5th ave (no noise complaints though). After walking around a bit we discovered that the part of the beach they are on was definitely one of the best stretches - clear and few rocks. Breakfast was great, served on the beach and we ended up eating lunch there almost every day - the ceviche was very refreshing and the happy hour didn't hurt. There's also a cheap internet cafe and decent money exchange place right on the street (there's also a bank not far which will almost always be the best rate).

We also sprung for a couples massage (1200 pesos) which was great. We planned on doing yoga but never got around to it, despite what looked like nice beach-front sessions, based on our cursory peeking.

With regards to Playa Del Carmen in general, we loved: Babe's noodle bar (the rolls are great, as well as the pad thai); Ula Gula (an incredibly affordable and delicious italian meal) and Tortas Something (specializing in huge sandwiches on 15th and 5th -the hawaiian is pretty awesome). As it seems everyone knows, it is best to catch one of the cheap ($9) ADO busses from the far end of the airport - taxis tried to charge us $70 - and the hotel is easily walking distance from the bus station in Playa Del Carmen. Also, we bought Moon's Yucatan travel book, which was somewhat useful.

  • Liked — the perfect location
  • Disliked — the bed was unbelievably hard
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gokh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phillip G, Owner at The Carmen Hotel, responded to this review, February 22, 2017
The Alhambra Hotel is now The Carmen Hotel featuring Keel Restaurant and Beach Club and Deck 5 our Pool and Sky Bar 5 floors above the Beach! We are getting great reviews please visit soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
171 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2008

Pros:
I just spent two nights at Alhambra. Room #4. The room is small and very clean. No real amenities but not really missed on a short stay. The staff is friendly and very helpful. Wait staff is also good. The breakfast is decent to be included. The best meal I had was the grilled red snapper with veggies, the worse meal was the nachos (avoid them at all cost) the location is good and the beach is nice. Rates are reasonable.

Cons:
This hotel is very noisy. From the construction sounds to the cars and garbage truck that comes at 3am it’s impossible to get any real rest, afternoon or night.
The yoga/meditation class is in Spanish, so unless you speak it will be hard to follow.
The wireless internet only works in the lobby, even though they might tell you otherwise.
There is only one outlet in the room and it’s an old one, so you cannot recharge your computer without an adaptor. The beds are very firm, very basic. They ask you to pay upfront for your entire stay. So, you’re stuck if you want to change hotels for some reason.
Doors close at 10pm, so make sure you get there before then otherwise getting into the hotel can be tricky.

  • Liked — the location was good
  • Disliked — the noise during the day and at night
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank sspc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phillip G, Owner at The Carmen Hotel, responded to this review, February 22, 2017
The Alhambra Hotel is now The Carmen Hotel featuring Keel Restaurant and Beach Club and Deck 5 our Pool and Sky Bar 5 floors above the Beach! We are getting great reviews please visit soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Cod, MA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2008

I have vacationed in Playa about 10 times. I've stayed at a variety of places from the 2 star cheapos to the 5 star Royal and Alhambra is now my new favorite. The staff were very friendly, attentive, informative and polite. The rooms are simple and peaceful. The restaurant is great. Loved the included breakfasts on the beach. Alhambra sits on the best part of the main beach. Even though it sits right in the middle of everything, the hotel itself was quiet at night and deliriously relaxing during the day. I also loved the in house Yoga classes in their ocean front studio. The popular 12th street bars and clubs are only a few steps away but just far enough that the noise doesn't keep you up till dawn if you prefer to get some sleep. It is also less than a block from the best cafe, Cafe Sastre on 5th between 8th and 10th.

  • Liked — Brito at the Front Desk, the white rooms, roofdeck, beach, food, location!
  • Disliked — no bureau in the room
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank teko11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phillip G, Owner at The Carmen Hotel, responded to this review, February 22, 2017
The Alhambra Hotel is now The Carmen Hotel featuring Keel Restaurant and Beach Club and Deck 5 our Pool and Sky Bar 5 floors above the Beach! We are getting great reviews please visit soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Carmen Hotel

Property: The Carmen Hotel
Address: 8 Calle Norte, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Hotel Alhambra)
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#4 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#43 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#51 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Carmen Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Carmen Hotel, an adults only Boutique Hotel located on the Beach in the center of Playa del Carmen, steps away for the World Famous 5th Avenue. The Carmen features Keel Restaurant and Beach Club and Deck 5, a Pool and Sky Bar, 5 stories above the beach offering the best views on all of Playa del Carmen! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alhambra Playa Del Carmen
The Carmen Hotel Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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