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“Beyond all expectations....”
Review of Petit Lafitte

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Petit Lafitte
Ranked #8 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Providence, RI
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Beyond all expectations....”
Reviewed April 26, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Petit Lafitte for five nights in late April 2009. Our experience completely surpassed what we had expected based on the reviews on this site. First, I will address the only two potential “cons” people may see in staying here. One, there is no technology in the bungalows. If you absolutely need a TV, phone, etc., you will be unhappy. There is a computer in the lobby that has Internet access, though, so you won’t be entirely disconnected. Two, this place is remote and very quiet. Frankly, my husband and I found this to be a plus. The place was practically deserted other than the guests and staff, and it is far off the beaten path. We never had to fight for service or beach space, and there were very few people or things going on. Again, if you need entertainment to be provided for you by a mega-resort, Petit Lafitte is not for you. But we were happy to sit on the beach, read books, hang out together, swim, eat, and drink.

The bungalows are beautiful and so well worth the cost. I found the beds to be very comfortable, the space large and clean, and the view spectacular. In under a minute’s walk, you’re on the beach. The beach was amazing. While there weren’t always enough palapas for us, there were plenty of palm trees or hammocks for shade. The water directly in front of the beach was a bit rocky, but a 30-second walk in either direction promised clear, rock-free swimming. The bar does not have waiters directly bringing drinks to the beach, but it is only a few hundred feet away from the farthest chairs.

The food included was excellent. We were worried about not having enough to eat, but we ended up with WAY too much food. The breakfast buffet was perfect every morning, but you can always order off the menu if you want something more. Dinners were outstanding. There were two options every night, and we were never disappointed. I’m a vegetarian who only eats fish, and when I informed the head chef, Martin, he was happy to accommodate and made me delicious alternatives on nights that only offered meat. The bar also served lunch every day (extra, but very cheap). We did this a few times, and it was again very good.

Perhaps the best part of staying at Petit Lafitte was the service. Yes, it is remote, and the road there is scary. We had the private airport transfer (worth every penny), but were then concerned about leaving and not finding our way back. There was no need to worry; when we wanted to go into Playa del Carmen for a few hours, Felipe at the front desk got us a cab for $10 that the resort knows well. The driver, Eddie, arranged a time and place to pick us up and he promptly returned us safely. The highlight of our trip off-site was a private trip to Chichen Itza and various other Mayan sites with Cesar, another taxi driver that Felipe set us up with. Cesar took us everywhere we wanted to go and brought us to see things we never would have imagined seeing or planning for ourselves. Everyone affiliated with the resort went the extra mile to make our visit perfect and hassle free.

This resort experience was phenomenal. If you want a vacation where you’ll meet tons of people, party all night, have loud bands or performances, and go back to the TV every night, then you will not be happy at the Petit Lafitte. However, if you are like me and my husband, you will love the beautiful atmosphere, the amazing service, and the quality time just relaxing in paradise.

P.S. Check out the crazy animal menagerie behind the bungalows…Wild birds, native pigs and deer, and an adorable capybara are there for you to visit!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Providencecouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (455)
Date | Rating
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English first
St. Louis, MO
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2009

Petit Lafitte is FINE. I am floored that so many people find it to be the hotel of their dreams! My husband and I were really caught off guard by how simple, and rustic the resort was. If you're looking for a tiny resort where you can befriend the staff and want to do NOTHING but read books (bring LOTS) - this is the spot for you. If you want ANY amenities or ANY luxuries...find another hotel.

We stayed in Bungalow #1 (Ocean Front) - presumably the nicest room at the hotel. PROS: You can see the ocean from the bed, which is phenomenal. It was convenient to grab drinks at the bar and take them back to the Bungalow. Front porch was a wonderful place to sit and read. CONS: The bungalow backs up to the pool (noisy) and the side of the bungalow lines the pool public bathrooms (can't keep the side window open). They are very dark inside. We had animal friends in our cabin just about every night (including a scorpion). The bed was hard. Porch furniture was old and plastic. No tv, no clock, no phone...right - no room service, no calls to the front desk, etc. - NO conveniences/luxuries!

Beach. PROS: QUIET! Private. No peddlers. Plenty of lounge chairs and shade available. CONS: Cannot swim directly in front of hotel. Chairs are old and weathered. No beach waiters.

Staff. PROS: They are friendly and get to know your name/room number. Caesar - the recommended cab driver (took us to town and on a full day trip all over) is fantastic! CONS: They certainly didn't go out of their way to make the experience special – they just did their jobs…which is fine, but not extraordinary.

Food. PROS: the salsa/garlic sauce served at lunch is phenomenal! CONS: For dinner – there are TWO entry choices. One salad choice, one soup, two dessert choices. And, the food is adequate – truly nothing special.

General Overview. PROS: The resort is generally quiet. The beach is soft. I loved sitting on my front porch, watching the waves, reading and drinking coffee or wine. We stayed in a Beach Front Bungalow for 6 nights and spent $2200 – definitely a good price. CONS: You can’t flush ANY toilet paper in the toilet (think about this…). There are lots of bugs/critters in the cabins. The staff was friendly, but not overly accommodating. The furniture throughout the place is plastic. The cabins get quite sandy…as do the beds.

We would not go back. This place is not at all exceptional, except perhaps that it is small.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Blinkins2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2009

I booked this place for my parents 25th wedding anniversary. We had 12 people from ages 10-59. There were some initial reservations on some of my family members parts because of the location and the lack of activities for the children. We have traveled all over the world and this will be noted as the best vacation we have had as a family. If you are questioning at all whether you should go there, just do it...you won't regret. Here are some tips based off of some of the other peoples complaints.

1. Print off the detailed map and directions to the hotel from the hotel's website. Then you won't get lost. Simple enough, I can't imagine showing up to the cancun airport and expecting the taxi driver to know where your hotel is in Playa....these people obviously have never traveled before.

2.Stay in the bungalows....#1,2,3,4, 9,10,11,12....these are the closest to the beach and still get the breezes....

3. When you tip at the meals leave it on the table...not in the Box. When you eat breakfast make sure to ask for the menu (this is included) not just the continental breakfast.

4. The beach...just to the left of the front beach is a non rocky area to walk out....get a couple of cheapy childs innertubes and take to ride the waves...you can spend the whole day doing that.

5. The staff love to know your names and will remember you favorite drinks/meals/ etc...introduce yourself, because unlike other resorts you will have the same people everyday....most of these guys have worked for the same place for the last 22 years....jesus at the bar being one of them.

6. We never heard any music from the princess hotel down the beach.

7. Bring a couple of good books...this place is short on structered activities, but not on shaded hammocks...that you can spend a whole day in...listening to the surf and feeling the cooling breeze.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Wanderingyogi74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mich
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2009

Read other reviews about places to visit and the positives of this resort. The location, food, and accomodations were all great but the staff makes it an outstanding place to stay. From Luis at the front desk to Javier our waiter, all of the employees do a wonderful job of creating a family atmosphere. We were the grandparents with our kids and 4 grandkids ranging in age from 4 to 14 and we all had plenty to do and found it relaxing as well as fun. Make sure to visit the zoo on the back of the resort and try to get one of the employees to explain the history and facts about the animals. Loved our vacation and would love to go back tomorrow.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MichJimkay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, VA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2009

My husband and 8-year old daughter and I stayed here from April 6-11th and it was exactly what we were looking for. You don't need to get up at dawn to claim a beach chair. There is no loud music or swim-up bars or a jacuzzi you can't use because it is full of kids. Just a simple pool, a quiet stretch of beach, swaying hammocks, a charming restaurant, excellent service and the best mojitos you will ever enjoy (at only $5 USD a pop!). We stayed in bungalow #2, with our daughter sleeping in the loft. Note: the ladder up to the loft is 7 feet of a straight vertical climb, so whoever sleeps up there needs to be able to negotiate that. We told our daughter not to climb down to use the bathroom in the dark without waking us first to assist, and she is pretty nimble. Also, there is very little headroom in the loft. The bathroom is a little cramped. We found the bed to be perfectly comfy. The place is so friendly and small-scale that we were comfortable with letting our daughter have the run of the place without direct supervision (unless swimming, of course), which made her feel very independent. There were mosquitos each evening for an hour or two, so bring bug spray. We tipped after each breakfast and dinner using the tip box. I recommend taking the hotel transport to and from the airport.

Day trips: We rented a car for $60 USD from the hotel and drove to Tulum & Xel Ha, splitting the day. The road is pretty bad, but an adventure. You don't want to drive it at night. It will take about 90 mins to do Tulum. I wish we had spent more time at Xel-Ha, which had excellent snorkeling and food -- well worth the price. Note: gas is expensive. We used a quarter tank and it was $25 USD to re-fill. Another day, we took a taxi to Xcaret. The aquarium there with sea-turtles and rays was impressive. The night-time show was excellent. The food was regrettable, snorkeling nonexistent (unless you pay extra) and the "river" crowded and uninteresting (don't rent the snorkel equipment for this -- there is nothing to see). A mixed bag at best. Xel-Ha was way better.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank conchfc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kalamazoo
1 review
Reviewed April 10, 2009

We stayed at Petit Lafitte April 4-7 and it turned out to be more than we could hope for. Although, the road to the hotel is rugged and under contruction and many taxi drivers had difficulty following the signs, but it's worth it once you get to the hotel. The service is very friendly and several employees spoke english rather well and I have taken spanish class for 4 years in school so I was able to communicate with the partially bilingual waiters. We stayed in a bungalow, which I highly recommend. There was a king bed for my parents and a loft bed above the bathroom for me. When we first got there, small droppings were on my bed, but they graciously changed the sheets for us when we asked. There is no tv or clock radio in the room, which turned out to be a nice escape from the over-technologized lives we tend to live. There is a mini fridge, stocked with drinks and candy, and a small safe to keep belongings. The beach is only a short walk in the sand from the bungalow. Most of the ground in the complex is sand, but we recommend wearing shoes at least half of the time, to avoid getting blisters. The breakfast offers a wide variety of options. We brought a container of oats because we like oatmeal for breakfast and the chefs cooked us some every morning. The fruit is great too! Lunch is available at the bar, however we only ate there once, and it was also great. Dinners are mainly buffet-style, sometimes the entree is brought to your table. Again, food is great! In the main building, there is one computer available to check your email and such and upstairs there's a room with a tv (all channels in spanish), pool table, ping-pong table, and a large selection of books you can read. My mom and I had a deep tissue massage and it was very good, and only $60 for 1 hour. The beach is not crowded at all and you can walk along it for miles. The people overall are very respectful and not the rowdy bunch you'd typically find at the larger, fancy resorts. I highly recommend visiting their zoo, there are many native birds, deer, wild pigs, capybaras, and ostriches. A lot of the hotel is still under construction, mostly because of the hurricane, but that does not get in the way of the finished portion. If we were to visit Mexico again, we will definitely stay at the Petit Lafitte!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KalamazooMonica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2009

My husband and I stayed at Petit Lafitte for 10 nights in January. We had a wonderful time -- it was beautiful, quiet and relaxing. The staff was very friendly. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I thought our king size bed in the bungalow was comfortable. The breakfasts were great, the lunches at the bar were excellent, and I also thought the dinners were fine -- not gourmet or anything but tasty. Petit Lafitte has been described very accurately in all the tripadvisor reviews, and I think someone reading them would get a very good idea if they would like this place.
During the time we were there, there were few children except for a couple over the weekend. Many of the people there were repeat guests, and they knew each other, but still I think the atmosphere was friendly, not cliquey. We took a tour of Tulum and Coba one day with Cesar, and I highly recommend this. We also took two trips into Playa del Carmen by taxi. I recommend get some pesos to pay for the taxi with, this was much less expensive. As others have described, the road into Petit LaFitte is in bad shape but once you know where to go it isn't a big deal. However, if you are looking for a place to get in and out easily for side trips, this isn't it.

All in all, a great vacation. We will go back.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LMSundaze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
#6 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 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
Reservation Options:
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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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