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Reviewed July 3, 2012

This is my first review in tripadvisor, so please bear with me :-) The Illusion hotel is located a few steps from the beach and also a few steps from the 5th Avenue. As a matter of fact, it is on the 8th street, between the 5th Avenue and the beach. If you haven't been to Playa del Carmen, the 5th Avenue is a long street, parallel to the sea, with stores and restaurants.

Rooms are ample and have everything you need like air conditioning with remote control, ceiling fan, telephone, wi-fi internet access, iron, hair dryer, minibar. My only complain would be that in the room I stayed, the TV was small, and as the rooms is ample, it is kind of hard to see the TV while on the bed. However, I saw the other room types on the hotel, and they had larger LCD TVs. I was on a business trip (I'm a Wedding & Family photographer), so, if you're on vacations, TV is probably the least important aspect.

My tariff included Continental Breakfast (fruits, bread, yogurt, coffee, juice) but you can also order cooked meals from the menu at an additional charge. The hotel restaurant is only open for breakfast, from 7:30am-10:30am. The waiter kindly explained all services the first time I went to the restaurant.

I stayed on the basic room and it was very ample and comfortable. Yet, depending on your budget, you may want to try the other rooms on the rooftop level. Those are really nice suites with more luxury and even more space. On the rooftop there is a small pool with a bar and a view to the ocean. The hotel has 41 rooms.

It rained non-stop during my 3-day stay. When checking out it was still raining and the front desk personnel kindly handed me an umbrella so I could get my car from the parking lot to upload the suitcases. I must say I found the hotel employees to be very attentive and caring.

There is also a tour operator desk at the lobby level, which I didn't use so I can't comment on it. By the way, the hotels gives you beach towels, which I also didn't use.

In brief, I would recommend this hotel. It is not on the beach but very close to it, and to the 5th Avenue. Rooms are good and service is equally good. If you go for a bit more luxury, rooftop suites are really nice.

Room Tip: if budget allows, rooftop suites are more ample, better equipped, more luxury.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled on business
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4  Thank EdMachuca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2012

This Hotel is definitely a great choice if you want to enjoy the beach at Playa del Camen.

Location: The location of this hotel is great. It is not directly at the sea side, but very close by. However, although it is very close to the main pedestrian area, you hardly hear any noise. Just noise from inside the hotel itself is not well protected from the rooms.

Rooms/Hotel: The rooms are clean. They look a bit basic and you won't get this WOW feeling when you enter the room, but definitely a good choice if you want to stay a few days in playa del Carmen. The Hotel has a little pool on the roof, but nobody is using it. Also the bar was always empty during our stay. Breakfast is very basic and not recommendable. There are so many other options you can use on the main street.

Staff:The Hotel itself is clean, the staff is very very supportive and friendly. They are honest and give you good guidance what to do.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Frank S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2012

I recently stayed at the Illusion Boutique Hotel for about a week in May 2012. The biggest advantage to staying here is definitely the location. The walk to the beach will take you about 60 seconds and you can walk to the main strip (5th Ave) in even less time. There are plenty of great restaurants and small shops along that strip to explore. There is even a Wal-Mart that you can walk to within ten minutes.

The hotel itself is in good shape and well maintained. The staff is very friendly and helpful. We were given complimentary water bottles upon our arrival and water was also provided on each floor. We stayed in room 312 which had a king bed and a balcony facing the street that leads to the beach (see pic). The balcony was small but had enough space for two chairs and it was nice to enjoy a drink out there at night and also have a place to dry our towels. The A/C unit worked well and there was also a ceiling fan. The bathroom area was spacious but smelled a bit musty at times. I think it has to do a bit with air flow through the room, but after going in and out of the room a few times it went away. There was free wi-fi that worked well on my smart phone and the use of a safe was provided free of charge as well. The mini-fridge was a nice bonus as we walked to Wal-Mart and had a place to store our snacks. Overall, the room was large, clean, and well worth the price given everything I've just mentioned.

I can recommend staying at this hotel for most travelers. It's a great base if you want to do tours and experience 5th Ave. If you are looking for a resort atmosphere and need special attention look elsewhere. Also, if you stay at Illusion Boutique, be sure to check out the pool on the 4th floor. It's a great place to have a drink while the sun goes down or you can book a massage in one of the huts on the 5th floor.

Room Tip: Get a room with a balcony facing the street.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Mr_St_Kav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2012

LOCATION
Brilliant location: located in the heart of the town, on 8th street, just half a block from the beach and half a block from 5th Avenue (= the most bustling street of Playa del Carmen). The harbour where you take the ferry to Cozumel is a 10-minute walk from the hotel.

Playa del Carmen is full of good restaurants, bars, cafes and shops. After many trips, I recommend staying in the town centre on a B&B or accommodation-only basis and avoiding Playacar. Playacar is a luxurious area next to PDCarmen (20-30 min walk) where you have no choice but to choose from all-inclusive hotels; if you stay in Playacar you will miss the good atmosphere of the town.

ROOM
We booked a standard room with balcony (=sometimes called “deluxe with balcony”, other times “mirage with balcony”) and it was quite large with a king bed, conventional tv, free wifi, refrigerator, safe box and a basic en-suite bathroom. Clean. Very comfortable. No noise.

I have stayed at Illusion Hotel many times and I would recommend booking always an exterior standard room WITH balcony. The ones without balcony face the hotel corridors, are dark and have no privacy unless you close the curtains -making the room darker-. On the other hand, executive rooms (called “prestige”, “luxury”, “cabana” or “master”) look like they could belong to an upscale hotel; however, they are usually much more expensive than the standard ones and I know better value-for-money options on this upscale side.

As for the standard rooms with balcony, those ending in 10-13 are the ones with the best layout, whichever the floor. And those ending in 09 and 14-16 are pretty good, except from room 109 that runs adjacent to a noisy restaurant kitchen (avoid this room by all means!).

COMMON AREAS
Small rooftop pool and nice area.
Free beach towels and passes to several private beach clubs.
Complimentary computer access (slow at times) in the lobby area.
Massage services available.
Complimentary bottled water in the room and a tank of purified water on each floor to refill at any time.
Water, coffee and tea station for free in the lobby area.
No proper shower facilities after check-out but if you ask you will be given complimentary access to a free room for a shower.

RECEPTION
The attention at front desk is professional and very friendly at any time; the property of the hotel has recently changed and the current staff goes the extra mile.
Free and secure luggage store.

RESTAURANTS
If you are looking for the best restaurants in PDCarmen, these are: Byblos (french), Cenacolo (italian) and The Glass Bar (also called Di Vino; italian-international cuisine).

OVERALL
Perfect location and best value-for-money among mid-range hotels in the town centre. While working in Mexico, I usually go once a month to PDCarmen and this hotel is where I stay at most times because its reasonable prices (when I do not want to treat myself to a luxury hotel). Ideal for someone who looks for a place to sleep and expects to spend most of the time on the beach and walking around the town in the evening. I will certainly stay again.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Joaquin1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2012

It started off okay. It was an engagment trip for me and my fiance. We got to the hotel to find it decorted with flowers, baloons etc. We liked the room next to ours better. The room was vacant the whole time. We asked to change and were told we had to wait till morning but could change very early. We went down at 7am and got the key to the other room. I opened the door to find a naked person standing there fresh from the shower. Aparently this was the third room this couple had and the SECOND TIME they were walked in on!!! We waited around all day to get our room changed. Finally happened. We ate breakfast and paid 20 USD for some scrambled eggs and a meal of hotcakes. No bread, no hash browns, nothing else but the two meals. It as horrible. We then tried to book an excursion. The cc machine didn't print. When it finally did print we were charged twice on our card. They claimed it was only charged once, even though the amount was taken out of our account twice. So we cancelled the account. The manager treated us like we were imbicles and didn't understand how our own account works. The staff is very young and inexperienced. We wouldn't stay here again due to the lack of knowledge by the staff, no room service, and seemingly uncaring staff. Some were okay, but the manager leaves a lot to be desired. Their treatment of us was horrible and unforgiveable. Don't stay here!!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank eslprofe74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 21, 2012

Dear Ambassador Murray,

Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate your comments as they help us work harder each day and improve our services and standards. Here at Illusion Hotel we all remember you with pleasure and as we already did during your stay, would like to extend our deepest apology for all the inconveniences and unfortunate events we caused you during your stay. Hopefully, you will accept that fact that none of the above happened intentionally. We are training our hospitality devotees in order to avoid such human errors that might lead to confusion and discomfort in future. Your comments are currently being shared again with the entire group as an example of what should never happen again with our Ambassadors.
We accept full responsibility and again we apologize for that, though we believe it would be fair to mention that we did something about the above while you were still with us and assisted you in getting adequate medical assistance when your partner was very ill and monitored his health throughout. We also refunded the wrong charges that where erroneously made and gave you half price for a tour.
The credit card authorization issue was out of our hands because our bank and reports didn’t show any transaction while yours did. There has never been an attempt to speculate on that and it took a little bit of time to clarify the issue with our bank and yours. We are glad we eventually solved it.
Please give us a chance to prove you why our philosophy of “Infinite Hospitality” has proven to be also the reason behind our success. Obviously the hardest we try the less chances these unpleasant situations will repeat themselves in future. We feel the need of making you feel welcome and we would love to invite you to visit us in any other of our properties in Playa del Carmen or our La Palapa Ethno Boutique Hotel on the beautiful Island of Holbox. Kindly contact us privately in order to receive a courtesy voucher and give us the chance of making your next stay with us a very special one.

Casandra Luna

PR Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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