We just completed a 5 night stay in Porto Playa room 206, which is a 2 bedroom penthouse unit. Overall we were very happy with the property itself, but there was one significant issue with our room and the way in which the front desk chose to handle it is why I'm giving this property an average rating. I will first cover the good things about it and then cover the issue we had:
The Property and Grounds are well maintained and very pleasant. There are two pools with the lower pool being more of a water feature with a small hot tub and the upper pool being a long skinny pool with built in benches. There are about 5 pairs of comfortable lounge chairs with umbrellas to use around the pool. We spent a lot of time relaxing there and my wife could swim laps in the morning. You can also get food delivered to the pool area from the on site restaurant. There's a person watching over the front entrance 24/7 and the people working the front desk are nice. There aren't any elevators but they do offer to bring up your luggage You can walk about a block and a half to the beachfront club in front of their sister hotel, the El Taj, where there are lounge chairs, umbrellas and a restaurant. Porto Playa is just a half block off of the bustling 5th avenue so plenty of shops and places to eat are nearby. Overall, good centrally located boutique hotel/condo with well maintained nice grounds and lush foliage.
The Room (and our issue)
In general, the room was decent. It was well stocked w/ the essentials in the full kitchen and we particularly liked the full size fridge, there were flat screen TVs in the living room and both bedrooms, the bathrooms are tastefully done with vessel sinks and large showers, the beds were very comfortable. The TV in the living area appears to be on satellite so you have lots of channels. There was daily maid service and you could indicate what you wanted done each day (e.g. full cleaning, make beds/wash dishes, change linens only, etc). Our A/C went out on our first day and a maintenance person came to fix it pretty quick. The master bedroom view overlooks some ugly roofs and a construction site a block away, but we weren't spending our days in the master looking out the window. You can also hear some noise from the clubs on the weekend, but nothing too bad - and hard to avoid in Playa. Also of note was that the toilets clogged almost daily so I found myself plunging them. We mentioned something the first time, but it took to long for someone to come up so I dealt with it myself because they appear to tie into the same drain so if one toilet clogs, it also affects the other bathroom.
Our main issue with the room was with the roof deck and the main entrance deck off the living area (a sliding glass door on a small deck). The room we were assigned was one of the few rooms where the entrance deck is uncovered and very small. This is the deck directly off the condo's kitchen and living area. You could hardly fit two people around the small table and there was no shade. The other rooms have much larger decks and a nice overhang that provides shade and also keeps you dry when entering the room during rain. Ours did not. You get soaked trying to open your door when it rains. The rooftop deck was also different than almost all others. There was no thatched palapa hut providing consistent shade all day. We had these canvas cloths (the look like sails laid down sideways) that supposedly provided some shade, but sun gets through the gaps and you have to move all the time. So it rendered the roof deck useless to us because we couldn't sit out and utilize it during the day (in August, it is very hot there). We went to use the hot tub on our final night and there were lots of particles floating around in it and some shredded plastic floating around. We chose to stay out of it and didn't say anything since it was the last night. You have a peak-a-boo view of the water and overlook the lush hotel grounds from the roof deck but if you turn around or want to use the small eating area, you will be staring at a large satellite dish. Luckily this is blocked by some screening, but if you sit by the BBQ, you will see it. The roof deck is probably fine in the winter months when the sun isn't so intense.
So our main issue with this hotel is how they handled it when we said we were disappointed with the main deck and the roof deck. We asked what else was available as we wanted to change rooms but the front desk informed us that the owner was expecting the revenue so they would not consider moving us to a different room. I don't like this excuse. You are in the service business and we were not happy with the product we paid for and you chose to do nothing about it. What really frustrates me is that I called a week before our arrival to ask which room we would be in to avoid this specific problem and the lady at the Condo Hotels reservation desk told me that they don't assign rooms prior to arrival. Well if that is true, then how was the owner already expecting the revenue? Their stories don't match up. So we ended up paying the price for penthouse, but only got to utilize the amenities of a standard two bedroom. All the front desk had to tell us was..."you should have booked on our website where you can pick your room".
We booked our room on hotels-dot-com because it was the best rate at the time and they have a good cancellation policy (you could cancel up to a week out). The Condo Hotels website eventually had the same rate (where you can choose the room), but they have a highly restrictive cancellation policy and if you don't cancel 30 days out in advance, you forfeit the entire amount of the booking, which is prepaid in advance. This didn't work for us because we were coming for a wedding with friends and family being disbursed in various hotels so we needed some flexibility with cancellation up until a week or so in advance. When we booked, a 2-bedroom penthouse was about 30 bucks per night more than a standard 2-bedroom so we decided to do it because all the photos show a nice palapa hut on roof deck and a private hot tub. But in reality, we ended up overpaying since we couldn't really utilize the decks for the issues previously noted. The better penthouse units appear to be 214, 217, 220
Would I stay at this property again? Sure - it was nice overall; but only if I knew which unit I would be in prior to arrival. And if travel plans are set in stone and you are ok paying in advance with a somewhat restrictive cancel policy, then use their site and pick your room. I just give them very low marks for choosing to deal with our disappointment in the way that they did. I would have rated this hotel higher if some effort was put into addressing our issue.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The focal point is a Sanctuary reminiscent of a tropical rain forest. There is even a "State of the Art" Gym and Fitness Center right on premises. Porto Playa features 1, 2 and 3 bedroom penthouses and condominiums. All the Penthouses have their own private rooftop terrace with BBQ outdoor kitchen, heated Jacuzzi some with spectacular partial ocean views. Centrally located in the heart of Playa, Porto Playa is only one short block from the beautiful Caribbean Playa del Carmen beaches and famous 5th Ave. Perfect for beach weddings, honeymoons in Playa del Carmen , families and business groups and meetings. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Porto Playa Condo Hotel And Beachclub
- Porto Playa Condo Hotel & Beachclub Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico