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“Quiet bungalows and good food”
Review of Petit Lafitte

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Petit Lafitte
Ranked #6 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Quiet bungalows and good food”
Reviewed December 11, 2008

Based on other Trip Advisor reviews I chose Petit Lafitte for a surprise birthday getaway for my husband. It was a good choice. For 3 days we never left the hotel area other than to walk down the beach.

The food was delicious (hey, I live in New Orleans and am a foodie-so this says alot). The whole place was clean, slow paced, quiet, with nice guests, and nice, mostly english speaking help. The beach bungalows were rustic but comfortable. They are advertized as beach views but don't expect them to all be facing the beach. Our bungalow was towards the back and did have a view but we couldn't really hear the waves. They are still building their gardenview bungalows, of which a couple of them will still face the beach. When they finish it these new bungalows will face a beautiful garden area with parrots.

The beds were a bit on the hard side and we had difficulty figuring out the A/C (no instructions and it was not intuitive). There was plenty of hot water, thick fluffy white towels, beach towels, shampoos, soaps, etc. but no lotion. Our room had no clock, no phone, and no TV so disconnecting from our hectic daily schedule was made easier. There was wi-fi in some places and a computer, with internet, for guests in the game room for those who needed it. But, after a couple of days of decomressing I was actually annoyed to see anyone carrying around a laptop and talking about the stock market news of the day!

I highly recommend using Transportadora Velazquez (pdctransfers.com). They were cheap, on time, friendly and already knew the way to this hotel. There is absolutely no way I could have figured out how to get to this location without them (behind another couple of residential areas, over and down a sidewalk for The Tides hotel, down unmarked, single lane, dirt roads...you get the idea.

The weather was a bit windy and cool at night so take some pants and a light jacket. All your meals are served outdoors.

  • Liked — bungalows on the beach
  • Disliked — A/C system needs directions
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank everclimber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, November 6, 2015
Dear everclimber

Thank you for your extensive and positive review about Petit Lafitte.
We’re glad that you decided to follow Tripadvisor reviews to choose our spot and loved it. This speaks highly for the reputation of both the hotel and the T.A. forum.
We’re very honored to read that you liked our food, yes, coming from LA. And being a food fan, I mean..you know that you’re talking about!!
Since you were here, we added phoned in the bungalows, just to facilitate communication with the reception, the restaurant and such. No TVs will be added and no clocks, the idea of “unplug here” is what we want to provide.
Roads have been improved, constructions of the Tides and Fives is over but other construction is happening now.
Find Paradise…then change it…seems to be the way to go anywhere.

Thank you for your visit and your review, we hope to see you again sometime in the near future.

Sincerely,

Iván Fuentes.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (451)
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English first
Level Contributor
87 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2008

Very charming place to stay. The staff was wonderful and we really felt they tried to provide great service. The beach and property were beautiful. We stayed in one of the Hotel rooms. The room charm was ok, but bed and bath linens were very nice and the room felt clean. My only complaint about the room was that there was quite a bit of mold in the bathroom, but know this happens in a humid and beach environment. Plenty of bottled water in the room. The food was very good and plentiful! Nice ocean breezes and very few mozzies! It was farily quiet in Nov. BE SURE to ask the hotel for directions if you are driving. The signage is few and far between and does not actually tell you were the hotel is. It is in an area of a lot of construction and the entrance looks like the entrance to a different hotel...enter to "The Tides". Overall excellent.

  • Liked — setting
  • Disliked — room
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Xscape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, November 5, 2015
Hola Xscape,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review for Petit Lafitte, we’re so glad you thought it was a charming place to stay.
I can tell you that the staff does a very sincere effort when providing good service is concerned. For them (and their loyalty and years working here show) this is more than a job. They like it here, they feel they are an integral part of the place and they have Petit Lafitte in their hearts.
We’re glad to report that the signage to get to Petit Lafitte, from all directions, north (Cancun), South (PDC) and West (Mérida) has been improved greatly and finding the hotel is not an issue anymore. Except that the construction of 2008, finished, The Azul Fives hotel opened and we were very happy for a long time. These days, there is more construction happening, now in the land just north of us and there is unusual traffic of trucks, tow trucks, machinery and such. It will be so for a while, but hey, life goes on.
Food continues to be abundant and excellent, with fresh produce used and bought daily.

In other words we have been gradually evolving and fine-tuning details, then more details…a small, family operated property like us, depends highly on that.

Thank you for noticing the things that make us different.
Wishing you many more happy travels, .

Iván Fuentes.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2008

Yes it is true - it is not the old Capitan Lafitte. I spent the first day of my stay thinking about how different Petit Lafitte was from the old Capitan Lafitte. I even hiked the beach north to the former property and felt my heart sink as I witnessed the massive construction taking place on the site where I had spent the last 24 years vacationing. Not one of the major hurricanes including Wilma or Gilbert had changed the complexion of that property like the huge new resort is changing it. It was like a family member had passed.

As day two arrived I found my mind transforming into realizing just how much of the old Lafitte really did still exist here at the new Petit Lafitte. The wonderful and gracious staff, the amazing meals, the laid back atmosphere. I felt my body begin to relax and my mind beginning to clear. I was so thankful that this place still had that wonderful "thing" that keeps me coming back year after year. All my friends are here - well, most of them are still here.

I'll be back - and like I said that very first trip back in the mid-80's, "I LOVE this place".

  • Liked — Quiet, relaxation, friendly, warm
  • Disliked — big resorts are getting closer
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank Saluki100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, November 5, 2015
Dear Saluki,

One phrase comes to my head as I read your review:
“Home is where your heart is.”
Evidently Capitán Lafitte, became a second home to you, the staff an extended family and you became a close relative to us all.
You and us alike, mourned the end of the Old Lafitte, changed our frame of mind to think of all the opportunities the change can bring, rolled with the punches and learned to love our new home.
Now, 7 years later, we still hold precious memories of that place that saw many of us grow and learn, building enduring relationships with the people around, the guests that return, like you, year after year. Yet we enjoy the day by day, and the reality of our new beautiful little home: Petit Lafitte.

We’re so fortunate to connect at that level, way beyond the regular hotel-guest relationship.

God Bless you and your family and see you next time, whenever that is.

Sincerely,


Iván Fuentes.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, NY
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2008

We just returned from 8 days at Petit Lafitte, and to get right to the point - I can definitely recommend this place.

There was only one single negative issue: getting to the hotel... We rented a car and had a hard time finding it in the beginning and actually making it there. I've seen a lot of bad roads in my days, but this one tops them all and is not for the faint of heart - especially after all the rain they had before we got there. Of course, it's not really the hotel's fault, but rather due to all the construction in the area, and it's supposedly being fixed soon.

But once you make it, it soon proves to be well worth the drive. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The bartender makes terrific drinks and the people in the kitchen know what they're doing. The rooms are not luxurious, but are clean and have everything you need, including WiFi and free bottled water. We were lucky that the place was almost empty and we got the best oceanfront room.

The food was great and plenty. Again, due to us sharing the hotel with only a few other people, we had our meals under a palapa right on the beach. It doesn't get much better than that. Of course, I'm not sure how things are during busier times.

The beach is nice, although there are some rocks as other reviewers have mentioned. However, this is pretty much the same everywhere in the area at the moment. If you want superb beach with NO rocks - take a trip to Tulum.

If you want party every night, this not for you (but then you'd be in Cancun anyways). But it's perfect for a few quiet and relaxing days on the beach. You can actually walk to Playa del Carmen on the beach if you want. It's about 1.5 hours each way. We did it a couple of times and it was very enjoyable.

  • Stayed October 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank jsdg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, November 4, 2015
Dear jdsg,

Yes, we remember that terrible road to get here.
It took a while but that road was completely changed, paved and restructures.
It really made things easier for all the guests, not only of Petit Lafitte but also the neighbor hotels. The staff and the bartenders who make terrific drinks are still there.
So is the kitchen staff and the good food.
You are right, in high season it is very difficult to go and serve beach front meals beneath the palapa, that is why we have instituted the Wednesday night BBQ. So even in high season guests get to experience dining outdoors under the starts and the moon.
We learned that something had to be done in order to provide especial touches all year ‘round. (Thanks to comments like yours)

We will wrap it up by saying that we really thank you for being one of those guests that helped making the move from our original Capitán Lafitte post easier to handle.

Until the next time,

Iván Fuentes.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
miami
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2008

My boyfriend and I stayed at this hotel in early October and we loved it!! The reception staff is amazing, made us feel like home right away!
Our room had a balcony with ocean/pool view. The AC and hot water were working perfectly.
Once there though, I wish we had booked one of the beach cabanas. There were all occupied during our stay. Those look really cozy, are right on the beach, with a small patio, surrounded by palm trees. The front desk manager, Enrique, suggested that for those we need to book in advance as they don't have that many.
The staff is very friendly (front desk, the cook, the bartender) and the food is amazing. We had both breakfast and dinner included in the rate. For lunch we just ate at the pool bar.
The place has everything you need (except maybe shopping - the small shop by the entrance is just for souvenirs). We didn't wonder outside the hotel too much, as it's about 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen in a cab.
The only downside - if there is one, is not really hotel related. The access road is a bit bumpy. Luckily, we decide not to rent a car so we experienced that just when arriving and leaving.
We arranged our transfers from Cancun with pdc transfers. We prepaid a private transport on their website at a really good rate.

Overall, we had a great time, with long walks on the quiet beach, great food and very friendly people. We will be back for sure!

  • Liked — Tranquility, friendly staff.
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank helenapk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, November 3, 2015
Hola helenapk,

Thank you for your lovely review.
We’re so glad you chose Petit Lafitte for your romantic getaway and enjoyed it so much.
It’s been a long time, but we wanted to tell you that the once bumpy and ugly road in, became a nice road a couple of year ago. Sure enough, right now there is a lot of dust and traffic from construction happening somewhere else.
We still work with PDC Transfer, they are very reliable and great value.
Enrique is no longer with us, he went back to his family in Merida, but we have staff just as friendly at the front desk.
Some things don’t need to change.

We have fine tuned some little items here and there, you would certainly notice.

We hope to see your smiling faces again,

If you need a vacation, you know where to find us,

Kind Regards,

Iván Fuentes.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NW US
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2008

We were looking for solitude, relaxation, good food, and a barefoot atmosphere and the Lafitte delivered.

As we made the bus trip from Cancun, I was surprised to see the mega all-inclusives sectioned out along the highway with their grand entrances. Many Euros are accustomed to these types of resorts and they appear to be gaining popularity with Americans as well, but we wanted more authenticity, meal flexibility, and less "packaging".

From the bus station in Playa we grabbed a taxi, but due to construction around the Lafitte it was a bit difficult to get there. Once situated however, we were delighted. Stayed in beach cabana #2 steps from the ocean, read in hammocks, took beach walks...even a long one to town with several swims along the way, snapped photos, and swapped stories over beers with the handful of other guests.

The meals were wonderful, with a chef who cares. The food was on par with any of the fine restaurants we went to in town for lunch or the occasional dinner away.

The staff was attentive without being bothersome or hurried and most had worked there for years. You felt more like you were being welcomed into a family for a period of time. The desk was also very helpful with arranging a trip to Chitzen Itza or with the handful of taxis to town (15-20 minutes due to traffic).

I will return to the Lafitte and just hope that the developers don't totally ruin the surrounding area.

Side note, the beach is nice, but to really enter and swim you need to enter about 20 yards up or down the beach. right in front of the Lafitte is a small coral or limestone area covered in a dark weed growth. This subsequently breaks loose and washes ashore. Though this isn't ideal, don't let it sway you, the beach is beautiful.

Note that we also stayed at the JW Marriott in Cancun and at the Shangri-La in Playa during this same trip. They all had their pluses and minuses, but the Lafitte atmosphere and service was my favorite.

  • Liked — Setting
  • Disliked — Hard to manage temperature
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Doulie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, November 3, 2015
Dear Doulie,

Well, reading your review and being transported back in time to 2008, I can imagine how you felt as you rode on the bus to PDC and saw all the big hotel entrances, you would be more surprised now, as more hotels have been built. Thank God you are the kind of traveler that can stay at the Marriott and still enjoy our atmosphere and service the best. It certainly requires a type of mentality and openness. Or as you said, you prefer less “packaging.” Thank you for all the lovely comments for the staff, and the food, we have maintained those attributes and they have been the core of our survival strategy. We’ve managed to stay and to solidify our new spot, with the favor or patrons like you and others who seek solitude, relaxation and a particular atmosphere.

Thank you so much for your visit and your review.
We hope you visit again soon,

Best Regards.

Iván Fuentes.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Sea Ranch, California
Level Contributor
59 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2008

What a wonderful hotel, location, staff, and total experience we had at Petit Lafitte. Our clean, well equipped bungalow was right on the beach a few miles/kms from Playa Del Carmen.

The food was beyond our expectations - truly delicious. And, David, the restaurant manager, handled my gluten free needs every day, every meal with such care I never had to worry.

Everyone has written about the staff and we couldn't agree more. They elevate the definition of hospitality,

Also we learned that the hotel is wholly owned by Mexicans. We like supporting the local businesses especially when they do an exceptional job.

  • Liked — A bungalow on a quiet beach.
  • Disliked — Wireless service could be stronger.
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank thymetobe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ivan F, Director of Sales at Petit Lafitte, responded to this review, October 31, 2015
Dear thymetobe,

Thank you for your October 2008, review.
We see that your first time was a very satisfactory experience, that you wished to repeat. We hope that you did, and that even with the pseudo name, we have seen your faces again and again as you wrote.
David has become our concierge, a specialist in helping guests with everything they need. We’re proud of him and he continues being a pillar to our place.
Thank you for recognizing that from the beginning and let me tell you how important and motivating your words have been.

Thank you again and again,

Iván Fuentes,.
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 Petit Lafitte

Property: Petit Lafitte
Address: Carretera Cancun - Chetumal km 296 + 2.1 | Xcalacoco, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#6 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#13 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Petit Lafitte 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
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Also Known As:
Petit Lafitte Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Petit Lafitte Playa Del Carmen
Petit Lafitte Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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