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“As with all Palace Resorts, Loved it!”
Review of Playacar Palace

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Playacar Palace
Ranked #29 of 217 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 January 2011

We arrived at the Playacar Palace January 2nd, after a week with our kids and granddaughter at the Grand Mayan. This was our second week in Mexico - just the 2 of us.

We were there on an RCI PP-AI exchange which did not include the $1500 Palace credit, but the price was greatly reduced and we did all the tours in February 2010 when we stayed at the Sun Palace. We were offered the $1500 promotion if we would go on a Sales presentation, but we don't like to waste vacation days doing the timeshare sales thing. We hear they are especially bad in Mexico although several people that we met said they were not bad at the Palace.

We were given room 236 on the south side of the pool, just above the pool bar. The only complaint about the room is it seems the 2 person hot tubs were added "later" and it was difficult to negotiate out the balcony sliding door - it was a squeeze. Other than that, the room was perfect. The shower was great - strong pressure & hot. The maid service was excellent.

The food was what you would expect at any Palace resort. Buffet for breakfast and lunch adding in the Italian & Asian restaurants at night. All were good with the exception of beef. I've never had a good cut of beef in Mexico and this was no exception. Didn't bother me as I usually go for the fish anyways.

The service at this Palace resort was very good everywhere you went - restaurants, bars, pool. We always tipped our servers as the service was very good - even though it was not necessary.

The location of this resort was great. Walk through a courtyard (guarded) and you are on the ferry dock to Cozumel and 5th Avenue. My husband hates the 5th avenue type of thing, but I love it (the haggling - Lady, just a dollar!) especially the people watching. We found a massage place just east of 5th on Calle 4 on the north side of the road with Massages 2/$40/1hr - and they were good massages. We went 3 times.

We took one day over to Cozumel. Just off the Playa Pier, we bought a snorkling package for $30 each and then took the ferry over. We were picked up on the ferry pier for our trip and when we were done, we were dropped off at the Cozumel Palace dock and spent the rest of the day there by the pool and for lunch. Cozumel Palace is about 4-5 blocks from the shopping area of Cozumel and about 10 blocks from the Ferry Pier, so we spent a little bit of time in the square before we caught our ferry back.

We spent one day over at Aventura Spa Palace. This is a beautiful resort and we have already decided to spend our 30th Anniversary in December there. You cant beat the $1500 Spa promotion Palace has going on now. The pools were wonderful there but there was no beautiful beach like at the Playacar.

Just a note about exchanging money: We exchanged money several times downtown and the going rate was 11.70 where the straight exchange was 12.34. Although the resort had signs that the exchange rate was 11.00, when I did exchange, it was 12.00. Easier and safer to exchange at the hotel, so try this before you go to a public booth on 5th avenue.

Also, ALWAYS confirm the cost of the cab ride BEFORE you get in the cab. Hotel posted 440 Pesos to the airport which would be just under $36, but the cab driver charged us $45 at the airport.

Joan-OH

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Joan-OH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,423 - 3,427 of 4,761 reviews

Reviewed 9 January 2011

We just returned from a 01/01/11 to 01/08/11 stay at the Playacar Palace and found the rooms and facilities to be modern, well maintained, and comparable to other higher-end hotels we have stayed at. We really felt the staff were exceptional - friendly and outgoing providing very attentive service and managed to do so without being intrusive. The location in Playacar is great! The security of a gated commumity while only two blocks from the tourist area of Playa del Carman and a short stroll down the beach to the Cozumel ferry. One concern I had looking at the hotel website and satelite views of the resort was that it looked like there was no beach - the photos are old and should be updated as the beach is 300 feet wide of white powdery sand that is kept immaculately clean. The pool and beach front patio are large for the size of the resort which, at around 200 rooms, is more like a boutique hotel.

This is an all-inclusive with breakfast and lunch buffet and 2 a la cartes (Italian and Asian) and Mexican-International buffet for dinner. Breakfast and lunch buffets were consistently very good, well prepared with a changing variety daily, we don't care for dinner buffets so never attended. My wife prefered the Asian and I the Italian, both had a good variety on the menus and well prepared meals with the Asain a more casual atmosphere and the Italian more upscale (gracias Guadalope for the magnifico service!). We did use room service (24 hr included) a few times for breakfast/snacks and one dinner, it was quick and food was again well prepared. And, of course, what makes the the vacation is the attentive pool-side and beach service available throughout the day (gracias Perla, Martha and all the rest).

The hotel has a good recreation and entertainment program with daily activities around the pool, a kids program, and evening entertainment that was of a much higher calibre than I had expected from such a small resort (don't miss the Fire Show or the Michael Jackson review. The resort tended to be very quiet once the entertainment was finished (usually by 21:30) but that's to be expected with the close proximity to PDC's night life. The other thing I enjoyed about our stay, likely the hotels marketing staff deserves credit for this, but the guests were very international - many Europeans, South Americas, Aussies, as well as the expected Mexican/Canadian/American clientel.

Overall, if you're planning a trip to PDC we highly recommend the Playacar Palace, and there is the added bonus right now of the $1500 USD resort credit which we used for a room upgrade, couples spa package, and a Tulum tour. If I sound a little bit like an 'ad' I'm not - just a very satisfied customer who will be returning.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Jasdoe3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2011

I stayed here over New Years with my husband and our extended families. We had such a great time!! The pool and beach are the best. Location is perfect. Wish we could have stayed longer, five nights was not enough!!! Love the size of the resort, staff was very nice, and overall had an excellent time. We would defintiely recommend!!!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank newyorkbride_mc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2011

I have been to Playa del Carmen twice before this trip and had a very nice experience at the "Aventura Palace Spa resort and the Gala resort". My fiance had been to Cancun a few times but had not been to an all inclusive resort and had a negative idea of what it would be like (he pictured cheap buffets and a Party college crowd).

We stayed at the Playacar Palace for 4 nights between Xmas and NYE and I have to say that although it was smaller than the other two all inclusives I visited earlier, the place was great. It's also right next to the center of Playa del Carmen, which makes it very convenient in case you need to purchase something outside the resort or if you feel like exploring and visiting restaurants and bars.

The food was incredible!, a great selection of healthy and not so healthy options with an impecable presentation, everything was fresh and delicious. The resort is clean and the best part, THE SERVICE IS WONDERFUL!. It is so nice to see smiley faces and people eager to help you and make you happy.

The italian restaurant was very good, but I would recomend to stick with non pasta dishes. The fish and steak are fantastic and salads and dessert are perfect. The Asian restaurant was also good specially the main courses.
The only thing that we didn't enjoy much, was the lack of a good wine selection, they do have a list of wines that you can purchase, but the prices are very high, so we ended up going to a grocery store and buying our own wine (if you are a wine enthusiast, bring your own wine, since the whole area doesn't have much to offer). The drinks were surprisingly good and not watered down.

There are two people that we need to recognize for their outstanding customer service, Guadalupe ( He's a waiter) and Perla (a waitress) out of a big helpful staff, these two employees are the greatest! :) .

The other thing I need to add, is that you also have access to the other Palace resorts, so we visited the Aventura Spa Palace, which is adult only and the biggest in Latin America, for a more quiet and relaxing day, without kids.

Playacar palace has only one pool but a great beach area to make up for it.
We think this is a fine family resort, more affordable than others but with the same charm, excellent service and food and a walking distance to downtown, if that's what you are looking for.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank thsweetlife123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2011

My husband and I came here from Vancouver BC, on November 24th for one week for our honeymoon. I did alot of research on trip advisor to find the perfect hotel for our honeymoon, and I chose Playacar Palace for the location, size, beach, and all the good reviews it had. My husband and I had a lovely time here. Our first room we had upon arrival was garden view and the only view we had was of a tree. The resort was offering $1500 credit and we ended up using the whole $1500 to upgrade to an ocean view suite. I was looking forward to using some of the credit towards the spa but it was our honeymoon and we wanted to wake up every day to the beautfiul ocean and beach. We ended up getting upgraded to the first floor governer's suite...which was absolutely gorgeous. The room was fabulous, and the view was phenominal. We had two patios looking straight at the beach (100 ft away), and was so nice just to come back to our room when the sun would get to be too much and sit in the shade on our patio and enjoy the lovely view. I must admit though that we paid $3650 canadian for our trip here, and I think that it was way overpriced to be getting a garden view. If I'm gonna spend $4000 I would expect to have an ocean view. Luckily the money to upgrade did not come out of our pocket.
The food was excellent, and we ate all our meals in the buffet. The waiters in the buffett were so nice and we always had a good time chatting with them, and them offering us tequila every meal. We did eat one dinner in the Italian restaurant. We both ordered prime rib..and although it was tasty, it was so small in portions, and we ended up going to the buffet after to fill up our tummies. And if you order room service, they offer lots of choices, and they are so speedy. We never waited more than 15 minutes for room service.
Tips are included but we tipped all the time. We tipped $1 for breakfast and lunch for our waiter and also $2 for our dinner waiter. We would tip $2 everyday for our housekeeper, and she always made sure our room was extra clean with extra special pillow art. We also would tip $3-$5 a day on our waitresses for the pool and the bar tender. Carlos the pool bartender is the best and we spent a couple evenings hanging with him, and he made lots and lots of colorful tropical shooters for us.
The location was great being steps away from 5th avenue. But after spending a little bit of time walking down 5th avenue, it did not take us long to turn back to our resort. The shop owners are so annoying asking up to buy something or come into thier shop...also we got offered to buy marijuana and coccaine 5 times during our 30 minute stroll down 5th avenue.
The beach is amazing. The sand is so nice, and its a mile long. The beach was never crowded and we could always get a lounge chair. We were quite shocked to find no shade on the beach. There are only 2 little umbrella huts and they are reserved for VIP. Well the whole week we were there, we never saw anybody use the umbrellas and so they are just a waste for VIP. There are plenty of umbrella's around the pool, so if we really needed to get some shade we would go to the pool. But the point of going to the Carribean is to sit on the beach and go in the crystal clear torquise water. We can sit by a pool anytime at home. So we were dissapointed in the resort for that aspect.
Overall we had a great holiday and I cant find too much wrong with this hotel. The resort is so clean, and eveyone is so friendly. If you go here, you will not be dissapointed.
Will we return to Playacar Palace again???? We are not sure. As nice of a resort as it is, I dont think $4000 a week is worth it....not for us anyways.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank kmh8343
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Playacar Palace

Address: Bahia del Espiritu Santo | Esq. Abraira de Arriva, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#24 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: €368 - €656 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Playacar Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 201
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playacar Palace, a trendy beachfront resort located steps away from Playa del Carmen's famous 5th Avenue and the Cozumel Ferry Dock. Our all-inclusive, luxury resort features 201 appointed rooms, 3 restaurants and 4 bars. This resort is considered the perfect spot to relax during the day and enjoy the nightlife and charms of "Playa" at night. Playacar Palace is perfect for families, couples, and group getaways. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playacar Palace Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Playacar Palace Mexico
Playacar Palace Resort
Playacar Palace Riviera Maya, Mexico - Playa Del Carmen

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