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“Pretty close to Pefect”

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Mahekal Beach Resort
Ranked #29 of 215 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 March 2012

We just got back from 8 nights at Mahekal. If your usual level of accomadation is the Four Seasons or Ritz, please go directly to their websites. Still reading? Good. This place is on the best section of beach in Playa. We stayed in an ocean front room, but if your budget says "garden view," please go ahead and make a reservation. The grounds are much better than the pictures and the garden view rooms are actually quieter.

Now some important points: The beach in the town of Playa is totally public. It's a very mixed group of wonderful people and a number of families. Pretty much everyone will feel comfortable.

Regarding the ocean front room: The ocean is very audible in the ocean front rooms at night. If you're a very light sleeper, or not accustomed to really hearing the ocean at night, you may want to consider an ocean view instead.

The staff: They're all very friendly and helpful. But do yourself a favor and get 20 and 50 peso bills. Tips left on the hotel bill don't necessarily mean better service.

The rooms: immaculate. They are a little rustic in that there are heavy duty wooden shutters in parts in lieu of glass. However, that is traditional and doesn't make it more noisy or less air-conditioned.

Now the honest part: The food is sort of a work in progress. They were trying a mixed menu (one fixed for the meal plan and another with supplimental charges). The breakfast was very good, but sometimes the service seemed a little overwhelmed. Lunches are generally better and what we chose. The two times we had dinner, it was okay, not great. Given the number of great places to eat on 5th, I'd recommend trying them (like Origins across from the main entrance).

And the bar....the one with the swings was okay, but one bartender struggled to make a margarita that wasn't sweet. The pool bar was better (where you have breakast - 2 for 1 happy hour).

The smell: yes, people have mentioned it here so I'll address it. Unless you are EXTREMELY sensitive to smells (perfume, etc), you honestly won't notice it. However, it did rain one night while we were having dinner well west of 5th Ave (El 10 - Argentine steak house) and WELL away from the beach and that was when it was most noticeable. I have no reason whatsoever to believe there is any problem with the quality of the ocean water. Don't worry about it.

Over all, I'd definatley recommend this place, even if you only stay in a garden view room. You'll have a great beach, nice people, a very nice room and a short walk into town.

Room Tip: Playa 35. Garden view rooms on the second floor would be best too. The penthouse, if you can afford...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank bumper1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 March 2012

What a gem! This is the perfect resort for those of you who are not into 5 star huge all inclusive resorts. Mahekal is an "old school" beach resort and is so unique. It was all about the beach, the hammocks and the relaxing atmosphere. We loved every minute - even when it rained. We had a lovely room ( top floor with palapa roof) with an ocean view on the caribe side. Even though we were only a couple of rows down from the bar, it wasn't too noisy (until our last night which was the beginning of Spring Break - keep that in mind when booking). Great restaurant across the street for those nights you want a change (Origenes) with wonderful Spanish guitar music and the best margaritas in town. We stayed for 2 weeks and never felt like it was too long in one place. Most guests were quite envious of us when they heard we were staying so long! We met many guests who were "repeaters" from 4 to 25 years which speaks volumes for how special this resort is. We also have to mention how fantastic the staff are. We had a special bond with Manuel - he provided the best service we have ever had anywhere in our travels! The staff work very hard to make guests happy and we appreciated that. Tip: Get a fridge for 5 usd per day and bring bug spray for night time wandering. For tours in Playa del Carmen we would recommend contacting Mayacan Eco Tours. Great experience for our first time in the Yucatan!

Room Tip: 21b was a great room with an ocean view. Get a top floor for best view of ocean
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sunshine182206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2012

After hours of researching where to stay (if at all) in Playa and being faced with a plethora of extremely cheesy all inclusive properties, we stumbled upon this amazing resort on Tripadvisor. After we read all of the positive reviews we booked and could not have been happier. The staff at this resort are phenomenally friendly and attentive. There are half/full board dining options you can select, we opted for half board and could not have been happier as the restaurant in the evenings is actually really lovely. Breakfasts are phenomenal, a few tables outside for al fresco beach-side dining (amazing, especially with a hyper toddler in tow), the food at lunch too was amazing. There are two pools and an outdoor spa to utilize and the beach is beautiful, plenty of sun loungers and beach shade with umbrellas to chooe from. Never at any point did we feel that we were unwelcome with our baby and toddler, which was a huge relief. The resort was hugely popular with European visitors (esp French and Dutch), extremely nice and laid back vibe throughout. As its in the far north of Playa you are about 5-10 minutes walk from the hub of 5th Avenue, but not in the thick of it, which for us was perfect. Surrounded by lots of fabullous stores, bars and restaurants. There are no TVs or telephones in the guest rooms but this was the appeal of it for us. If you can't survive without the above and are looking for butler service its not for you, BUT if you aren't this is resort is nirvana. Can't recommend the hotel enough.

Room Tip: The resort has several tiers of accommodation available so make sure you booke the one you are happi...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Mrs_V_NYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2012

My wife and I were at Mahekal Beach Resort 3/7-3/15. We had been reading the Trip Advisor reviews for months and thought that there was no way this place could be so perfect. Well it is!
We had a second floor "ocean view" three rows back and loved it. Only had to use the AC one night ( and that was because of the rare wedding party across the street). The breeze from the ocean was perfect. Rooms are very well done, always clean and stylish. This grass thatched rooms are very similar to ones we had in Tahiti many years ago. The second floor rooms offer a little more privacy and air.
As everybody writes, the staff makes Mahekal a 5 star resort.
Our shuttle arrived at around 10:00PM and they rushed us to the dinner that they had left open for us and a few other late arrivals. We met Rogelio that night as our waiter and he was fantastic throughout the week. It ended up that he was our primary waiter most days and we were glad that he was. However, all of the waiters were very good ( Eliazar ).
Boli helped with dinner plans and arranging the shuttle back home. Uri helped with check-out - insuring that we had coffee and a wake up knock on the door at 4:00AM for our return ( the security guard also helped out with these details ).
The half board is a good way to go so that you can enjoy lunches or dinners in town.
The pools are small but quite honestly we had an almost private pool for 3 of the 8 days we stayed. Most people use the cabanas at the ocean instead. We did both.
The grounds are very well maintained and the gardening is creative.
We will return here again soon.

Room Tip: Second floor, ocean view.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Tim D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2012

over the last 15 years we have spent 12 XMAS holidays in paradise located in Playa Del Carmen. It is a queit destination without tvs and phones in the room - breakfast and dinner are included however its a short walk to town to work up an appetite or find a dining option. The hotel is a lovely slice of beach at the quiet end of the hotel strip - with low density non wristband wearing beach goers - not for everyone however we keep returning almost every year to our holiday family.

Room Tip: Stay on the Playa side
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank GW_WorldTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mahekal Beach Resort

Address: Calle 38, Entre Avenida 5a y Zona Federal Maritima, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Shangri-La Caribe)
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 Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#20 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#24 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: €196 - €416 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Mahekal Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 196
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Mahekal Beach Resort is a legendary resort village located on 800 feet of white sand beach in the heart of vibrant Playa del Carmen. It has 198 thatched roof, palapa-style bungalows within steps of Fifth Avenue, the celebrated entertainment, shopping, and restaurant district of Playa del Carmen. The thousands of loyal repeat guests at Mahekal Beach Resort describe it as magical, memorable, and authentically Yucatecan. Our style is friendly and relaxed, a unique Caribbean experience where you can rock gently in a hammock on your private terrace and enjoy undoubtedly the best beach in Playa. Our guests love the fact that we have never compromised our truly unique ambiance and style. In keeping with that style, our rooms do not offer televisions. Instead, they feature original, brightly colored, Mexican tile bathrooms, private terraces with hammocks for siestas and star gazing, and locally-crafted Mexican wood furniture in an outdoor seating area where you can enjoy our magical sanctuary. The Resort offers meal plans that include breakfast daily and lunch or dinner. This choice gives our guests the opportunity to explore the many dining options in Playa del Carmen. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mahekal Beach Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Shangri La Caribe Hotel
Shangri La Caribe Playa Del Carmen
Mahekal Beach Resort Riviera Maya, Mexico - Playa Del Carmen

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