We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Nearby Hotels
Royal Hideaway Playacar(Playa del Carmen)
US$276
Bookit.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
US$220
Bookit.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Breakfast included
  • Pool
The Royal Playa del Carmen(Playa del Carmen)
US$374
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Breakfast included
US$418
Bookit.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
US$288
Bookit.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
Mahekal Beach Resort(Playa del Carmen)
US$197
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
US$581
Expedia.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
US$384
Bookit.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
Le Reve Hotel & Spa(Playa del Carmen)(Great Value!)
US$167
US$142
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Pool
Savings alert! 11% below average rates

The price you found is 11% lower than this hotel's average rate of US$159/night.

We analyze rates over a 60 day period, and compare your selection to the average rate of comparable stays to ensure you're getting the best possible deal.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya(Playa del Carmen)
US$984
Expedia.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Reviews (14,815)
Filter reviews
14,815 results
Traveller rating
7,816
4,591
1,483
543
382
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
7,816
4,591
1,483
543
382
Show reviews that mention
All reviewsmeeting pointriviera sectioncupcake cafeadult sectionhacienda suitesle gourmetavenue barcorderofestival buffetgrand buffetpremium barselect clubswim up barfrench restaurantkids clubelite poolfamily section
Filter
Updating list...
6,669 - 6,674 of 14,815 reviews
Reviewed 11 June 2007

Hotel: Sandos Playacar
We just came back from this resort (June 2007 for 12 days) and I offer the following comments.

The rating for this resort is listed as a 4 star and I hold that as very true. We really enjoyed the resort. I have previously stayed at The Reef Club (I would rate it a 3.5) and Rui Playacar (I would rate it a 4.5)

Hotel in General:
Very clean, very beautiful, best beach that I have stayed at in Playacar. Right next to the jungle and expect to ‘hear’ howler monkeys, see crabs and iguanas galore. There are also authentic Mayan ruins right on the hotel property – awesome!

Activities:
Amazing! They have a full day scheduled with great events that cater to both adults and children. Water aerobics, salsa dancing, Spanish speaking lessons, water Olympic teams – the list goes on and on. I have never seen so many ages having so much fun all together – great for kids of all ages. The nightly shows are the best that I have seen from other resorts (most are usually ‘cheesy’). Sandos shows are funny, entertaining, glitzy -- and a couple even cater to the younger children. My favorites were the Tropical with the Mayan dance scenes – very Vegas-like – and the Cirque de Solie (sp) type of show – FAB!
Town is a short cab ride away - $5. Playa Del Carmen has gotten very expensive in the last 10 years – we went to the Blue Parrott– for 4 cocktails and 2 appetizers, the bill was $48 USD, not including the tip. I also found that vendors are not as willing to price negotiate as much as they used to. *sigh*

Staff:
The BEST! Very accommodating and friendly. They go out of their way to insure you have the best and will try to remember your name. The Staff that I would like to highlight: Bartender Jesus, Waitress Adela, Waiter Alejandro and the Activity Coordinators, Fernie, Pablo, Paco, and Fareed (sp). And, I did tip for drinks ($1 each serve) and if good dinner wait service, I tipped as well ($5)

Room:
Very clean, very neat and we had no problems in having our fridge stocked with beer and water, as another reviewer stated – I did however, tip appropriately to room workers ($2 per day left on bed).
One thing I was not too keen on, is that when we checked in, the front office staff (Luis) offered an upgraded room ‘deal’. We had signed up for the Run of the House room. He offered us an upgrade room that had a beach view from balcony and room service -- we had to ‘slip’ him cash for the upgrade. I probably would have been happy with the deal until the rest of our family arrived and they got a better balcony view with room service and did not pay anything extra to get it – so lesson learned for me.
I also heard several people talking about how they were offered the Junior Suite upgrade until they found out that they would be way out by the front entrance from street and would have quite a walk to get to the beach. However, the Jr Suites are very adorable and each grouping has their own little pool area with hammocks.
Another very small complaint is the beds – uncomfortable. I like a hard mattress, but this is just like the floor hard. So I took a sleep aid every night and got through it.

Food:
EXCELLENT! I don’t know what others who may have complained are talking about. I had a salmon Wellington one night that was superb and a ribeye steak at the Mediterranean restaurant that was very tender and tasty. If you do not like cultural eating experiences, you may not like the food. The buffet has a special every night – Mexican night, pasta night, meat night (actually had turkey and lamb), and fish night. We ate at the Mediterranean restaurant 4 times – it was our favorite and had beautiful views and a breeze (adult oriented dining). We also tried the Mexican restaurant – was okay and did not try the Italian as did not hear good reviews. We had no problem getting reservations for the specialty restaurants but we also like to eat late – around 8 to 8:30pm.

Beach:
The BEST! The largest of any of the other resorts that I have stayed at – hint! You must get down early to save a chair / table by the beach or by the pool – I learned this a couple of trips ago. I pack a couple of old towels with bright colors and put on the lounge chairs before I go to breakfast. That way we can find easily from the standard hotel towels and I don’t care if they get stolen, which they never have. The chairs in the shade go fast and by 10am, there is not much left except out in full sun right by the water’s edge. Once you pick up your towels from the information center, you can throw those around. I saw many others that just ‘kept’ their hotel towels and did not turn back in daily, to use to save chairs.
Another beach hint – I pack one of those flimsy ice coolers so I can take down drinks from the fridge rather than wait for service and/or bar to open.

Summary:
Would I go back to Sandos again? YOU BET! Would I deal for a room upgrade – NO WAY – we were hardly in our room. I would negotiate to get as close to the beach as possible, however.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
9  Thank JacTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2007

Our family stayed for 10 days at the end of May 07. The hotel was a 3 star at best. The beach was a 5 star compared to the non-existant beaches up to Cancun. This was our first trip to Mexico and the first time staying at an all-inclusive. I would recommend the hotel for families, the kids loved the pool and were more interested in that than the beach which was okay with me because I was surprised at the number of topless at the beach and the pool considering this was rated as a "family" resort. We were upgraded to a Hacienda at no extra cost upon checkin (it is further from the restaurant and the pool, short walk) but the rooms are bigger and newer with a small pool outside ( I had a look at some of the main hotel rooms). We never used that pool because it didn't ever look clean. The food was good at all the restaurants (we tried them all) and the staff excellent. The hotel was at full capacity when we were there but it never felt crowded at the beach, pool or restaurant. There were lots of chairs available on the beach and pool at any time. Beware: as soon as you step foot into the main hotel lobby you WILL BE HARRASSED to participate in a so-called "breakfast" that will save you $ on a trip to Cozumel etc. This is just a scheme to get you to buy a time-share for the new resort being built next door. They even woke us at 8:00 in the morning in our room to get us to go. We were HARRASSED the entire time we were there which I didn't appreciate since we were on holidays. The resort is a $5 cab ride into Playa so convenient if you want to shop in town. I didn't realize that in this part of Mexico that most of your time would be spent at the resort as really there is nowhere to go unless you rent a car or go into Playa for endless junkstore shopping. Even if you rent a car (which we did) the communities seemed to be all resorts and gated. I would return to the resort only to spend time on the beach as this is the resort's biggest asset. If you are looking for a "glamourous" Mexican resort, spend the extra money and go elsewhere since you do spend the bulk of your vacation at the resort. Again, I would recommend the hotel for familes not looking for anything fancy with a great beach.

Stayed: May 2007
3  Thank holidayfunEdmonton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2007

From May 18th to the 25th, we visited Sandos Playacar for the second year in a row. We; includes my wife, almost 3-year-old daughter, mother and step-dad and mother-in-law. We came back for the second time because this is a good ‘bang-for-the-buck’ resort that delivers more than what you pay for and is what I consider a very ‘value added’ place. We have stayed at better hotels, but this one is by far the best value.
First: The food is quite good with some decent amount of variety during the dinner buffets. The ala carte restaurants are good as well, but maybe not what you are used to depending on where you live.
Second: The rooms are decent and if you have a problem, and if you nicely ask and be patient, the issue will be resolved. Last year, air conditioning was an issue but was fixed upon request…this year, nothing to complain about. The rooms are always cleaned nicely and everything worked fine. In fact, the water in the shower was super hot and the fridge worked perfectly. I could always use the AC colder, but no problems there either.
Third: Without going into detail, we had to utilize the on-call doctor for our daughter.
This was a good experience as he had a very nice bedside manner and after speaking with our regular pediatrician came away even more pleased. The issue wasn’t major, but a room call was 120USD, so be prepared for that. Also, your personal insurance or vacation insurance may pick up what you paid anyway.
Fourth: Everything you read about the beach is true. It’s the best in the area. Also, there is no crowded feel.
There is some construction within this hotel that I believe is time-share stuff, but it doesn’t seem that this will affect the main areas. I have read reviews about the time-share people being aggressive. Nobody even approached anyone in our group and we were even curious about it. In Mexico, they know what “no gracias” with a smile means, and they respect you are on vacation and will let it go. I do believe there is some change going on at the hotel in the latter part of 2007 so we are probably going to go back and find out in 2008. In a nutshell, this is a good value and a nice safe place for a vacation.
So here is my pet peeve about Playa…why is the golf so expensive when the courses are so empty? I played twice this time and have played also in the past. The courses are great…expensive…and void of golfers. Anyway, find [--] and go play a round. I recommend the El Cameleon at Mayakoba Golf Club at the Fairmont. This course is close to the ocean and had a nice breeze and a few nice ocean views.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank Fairway39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2007

My wife and I (no children) just returned from a 7-night stay at Sandos May 27-June 3. We loved it and would definitely consider returning to this property.

Outside of the excellent beach everyone raves about which is undeniable, here are the important details to remember based on some of the concerns about those that did not enjoy their trip to Sandos:

1. Rooms are not luxorious but not too bad either. We did however asked to moved from our first room because it was on the 4th floor and the air coniditioner was just not strong enough to cool the room down. They moved us to a first floor room and we were fine. You might want to save time by simply asking for a first floor room as these will generally be cooler.

2. Don't worry about ruining your romantic vacation due to children. Most were well-behaved and my wife and I either spent our time on the beach or the adult pool. In other words, having kids around in no way distracted from our vacation and in fact we hardly noticed them.

3. Get up by 9:30 and go reserve your palapa on the beach before going to breakfast by leaving your towel. This ensures you will have a spot at the beach all day. Getting a tan is nice but trust me having some shade is also a big plus.

4. Don't buy any of your side trips or tours at any of the hotel vendors. Take a taxi to 5th avenue in Playa Del Carmen and you will find legit travel agents selling the exact same tours for a lot less. We bought the exact same Chitzenita tour tickets for $49 instead of $86 & Xcaret for $79 instead of $119. BTW, if you go to Xcaret get the all-inclusive package and check out the buffet by the cat island. You won't regret it.

5. Another way to save money is to try the snorkling trip that the hotel offers. It's only $29 per person and you do about the same amount of snorkeling than on the other side trips but you save a lot of time and money.

6. The food was good but not great but it was about the same as I have experienced at all other all-inclusive Mexican resorts. But don't worry they have quite a bit of selection so you always find something good to eat. Also, as far as the specialty restaurants my wife and I both found that the Mexican one was far and away the best of the three (Mexican, Italian, Mediterrean).

7. The service was also good but not great but there will always be a few bad apples no where you go but all in all not too bad and it was nice that they actually had servers on the beach. Another reason to reserve your palapa in the morning.

8. Check out the nightly shows. They have one for children at about 8 and then one for adults that starts at 9:30. I was expecting cheesy and was pleasantly surprised.

9. After dinner try spening some time in the hammocks on the beach under the moon and stars. Very relaxing and romantic.

10. Rent the bicycles and take them into town instead of a taxi. It's only about 15 minutes and they will even supply you with locks so you don't have to worry about anyone stealing them.

Anyway, for the price, it was great and we will definitely be back.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
7  Thank SDCOUG0505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2007

Our family of three has just returned from a 6-day/5-nite vacation at Sandos Playacar from May 28 - June 2, 2007. We went with another family, together there were four adults and three boys 12 to 18 years of age. It was a wonderful family time. It was the first time we stayed at Sandos Playacar but the 4th time in Playa Del Carmen. The previous years, we stayed at Iberostar Paraiso Beach, Occidental Flamingo Xcaret, and Iberostar Tucan (right next door to Sandos.) It was wonderful to be in a "small" resort for a change. We didn't have to worry about where the kids were since we could find them within minutes when we needed to check on them and we didn't have to walk far to anywhere either. Without the use of cell phones and with fact that the boys wanted to have their freedom, we loved Sandos size. The adults lounged by the beach while the boys played at the pool, pool tables, ping-pong, foolsball or games somewhere else on the beach.

On the day of check in, we had three choices of room with partial view of the ocean (these were standard rooms.) Our son chose to be on the fourth floor which turned out to be very nice. The room size was quite small compared to other resorts that we've been. However it was well designed and furnished. There were two full-size beds and a couch that could be made into another bed when we requested. To our surprise, the bathroom was relatively spaceous and well stocked with fresh towels everyday. We liked the little air hole on top of the wall inside the shower which allowed air circulation in the bathroom. Without a fan to vent, sometimes bathroom in a hotel room can suffocate you with foul odor but not this one.

This is the only resort that had elevator as far as we remembered. So if you have a choice between the first or fourth floor, pick the higher one to have a better view. We didn't use the elevator after the first day. We chose to climb the stairs to work off the excess food from three full meals each day. Speaking of food, we liked it here a lot better then others such as Iberostar Paraiso Beach which was quite plain (almost tasteless!) The buffet served different type of food each night such as seafood, mexican, international, and steaks. Selection was not large but enough to choose from and to get very full. We made reservation to have dinner at the Italian, Mediterranean, and Mexican restaurants for three different nights but after the first one at the Italian restaurant, we went back to the buffet because our kids like the food there better and they didn't have to wait. On top of that, the adults wanted to have more time to go shopping on 5th street in Playa (a $5 taxi ride each way.) The women had fun shopping for jewelry and found good bargain (we really mean...bargain, like...$60 asking price to $18 finally paid!)

The beach at Sandos was 'heavenly." At the time we went, there was no problem getting a palapas anytime during the day since most schools in the US as well as Europe were not out yet. Our school district was out on the 24th of May and we left for Playa on 28th. It was great at the pool, too, not crowded at all.

We loved the overall service which was always friendly, fast, and more than sufficient. When we were on the beach or pool, we were often offered drinks before needed. The fridge was refilled daily and basket of fruit was brought to our room on the second day we were there. The sheets in our room were changed daily and the floor was squeaky cleaned also daily. At the buffet, our table was tended extremely fast.

Overall, our family loved Sandos Playacar and the vacation there. We may return but then we may try a new place next time!

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
5  Thank DTran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews