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“Excellent Resort-The people make all the difference!”
Review of Playacar Palace

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Playacar Palace
Ranked #20 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
buford, georgia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Excellent Resort-The people make all the difference!”
Reviewed 8 April 2012

The Playacar Palace was a wonderful resort that really impressed us. We had booked at Cozumel Palace but found that this resort fit us better. We spent three wonderful days here and found nothing that disappointed.

Service is awesome here. If you have stayed at Palace Resorts before, you know this is almost a given. While overall service at Cozumel is better, there are three real standouts.

Pedro was our waiter in the Italian restaurant. He was bright and had a very droll sense of humor. He also was extremely attentive and very good at his job. Towards the end of our meal, he did have to step away. And that is when we met Playacar Palace's secret weapon.

Angel is the manager of the Italian restaurant. He quickly stepped in for Pedro and made perfect Bannas Foster. However, the show was what was worth it. Angel has a style all his own and I laughed out loud several times. This is what makes Palace Resorts so special; you will find someone with such a personality that it just makes your night.

Perla is the best employee we have ever met at the 5 Palaces we've visited. First, we found the perfect spot at the pool. (there is a little island right in front of the main stairway-excellent spot) then we found Perla. She asked me my name on the first day and remembered it the rest of the week. She practiced Spanish with my 16 year old and checked on us frequently. You will not find a harder working person.

The resort is beautiful. The beach is what a beach should be and is the best of any Palace Resort we've visited. The pool is great and the restaurants were very crisp and clean. Now the food is a bit hit and miss, especially the buffet at lunch. Still, the quality was great the rest of the time. If you decide to visit, make sure you ask Angel to make you Bannas Foster. It may be worth the trip.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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2 Thank buford09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
154 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2012

We just returned from 6 nights at the Playacar Palace Hotel. This is our 3rd time at an all-inclusive (previous ones being in Costa Rica and Riviera Maya). To sum it up, the service at this resort is tremendous, the property is extremely well maintained, the food is pretty good, but the decor was the most boring we have ever seen (no flowers or pretty plantings anywhere!). The juxtaposition of the decor versus the service was a bit odd, especially since the staff told us they are planning to upgrade this to a 5 star resort.

We arrived in Cancun on a Saturday around 11 am local time. We will never arrive on a Saturday there again if we can help it. The airport was incredibly crowded, and we were told it's always like this on Saturdays in high season.
It's a little over an hour via shuttle (we had one included in our package) from the Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen. We were handed wet hand towels and a cold drink when we arrived. Nice way to start our vacation! Check-in was easy.

All through the week, service was tremendous, from the fully stocked fridge in our room, to extra towels as needed, bathrobes (included), etc. We tipped generously, but did not feel like we needed to. (We asked and were told that minimum wage in Mexico is $5/day, and average resort wage is around $15/day U.S.) Our room, which included 2 (very comfortable) double beds and a jacuzzi, was on the 4th floor, and had a balcony overlooking the ocean. Due to other TripAdvisor reviewers' comments, we requested a room on the 3rd, 4th or 5th floor, away from the pool bar. This was good advice. Rooms are very soundproof. On several nights they had entertainment in the lobby from 9 - 10 pm, and there was no escaping that noise, but every other night we were never disturbed. This was the week before Easter, and the hotel got much, much more crowded starting Tuesday night, but they were able to handle it.

The food we had at this resort was absolutely way above the food we had on our previous trip to Mexico, when we stayed at the Occidental Xcaret Resort (4 years ago). There were generous buffets available for breakfast (with omelettes made to order), lunch, and dinner (different theme every night). We loved not having to make advance reservations at the Italian and Asian restaurants, and had no problem getting in, even when the resort was quite full late in the week for the Easter holiday. We thought the Italian restaurant was ok, but they tried hard and their ribeye steak with rosemary was excellent. Be sure and order the Mayan coffee for dessert and or bananas flambe, and bring your camera! The oriental restaurant had a very generous sushi bar, plus a selection that included beef or chicken skewers, fried rice, etc. Both of the specialty restaurants had multiple vegetarian offerings, and it was easy to avoid spicy food (which my husband cannot tolerate). Grilled selections were also available outside by the pool at lunchtime (around 11 am - 1 pm) and every night for dinner. Getting a drink or snack (burgers, salsa and chips) at the pool or beach was also easy. The amount of staff here was impressive.

The hotel had a nice enough pool (not nearly as big as I've seen at other resorts, but it was fine) and a beautiful, sandy white beach with postcard-perfect turquoise water. It was a bit hard to get umbrellas after perhaps 9:30 - 10 am, and people threw towels down on the lounge chairs for the entire day, but we always managed to find a seat somewhere, even after it got crowded later in the week. There was no jacuzzi and no separate baby pool, which would have been preferable to people putting babies in diapers in the big pool.

Our package included $1,500 in resort credits for the 3 of us. As others noted, it was hard to use them up ,and in fact we did not. We used the money for a grand spa treatment ($300 max allowed for the spa, which was first rate); romantic dinner on the beach with about 10 other couples ($350 - absolutely lovely, with great Surf'n Turf); full-day trip to Chichen Itza ($120 per adult - $360 total); and upgraded wine (supposedly $95). We could not get have gotten a room upgrade the week we traveled - nothing was available - but we had paid for this option in advance. The next level up, the Governor's Suite, only included a king size bed, and we needed two doubles.

The one thing that really frustrated me about the resort credits was trying to get detailed information in advance so that we could figure out which tours to sign up for. I e-mailed Palace Resorts twice - the first time I never got a response; the second time I got it after we were halfway through our stay - and even then did not get the information I asked for. If you plan to go to Chichen Itza, the tour is only offered twice a week (Mondays and Fridays the week we were there). The bus leaves the hotel at 8 am and returns at 7 pm. The trip should take 3 hours max each way, but they make you stop at some tourist trap souvenir place for about 2 hours (includes a lunch buffet at a set time); so we got to Chichen Itza at 1:15 pm, then only had 2-1/2 hours total there. It was incredibly hot there. If the resort had not included the travel credits, I would have signed up with a small tour group and aimed to arrive there much earlier. It's a trade-off. The tour to Coba was only offered on Tuesdays. Tulum was offered on Tues, Thur, and Sat. Isla Mujeres was offered on Mon, Wed, and Friday.

We sat through their Palace Resorts Travel Club promotion - (promised to take 90 min, but took 2 hours). We did it to get 6 ferry tickets to Cozumel, which would have cost us $16 each way - $96 total - otherwise. The promotion was a royal hassle, and we would never do it again. When we did go to Cozumel, we went to the Cozumel Palace Resort to go snorkeling (gear is provided free of charge), only to find out that if you really want to see the good fish, you need to take a 2 hour boat ride and pay $45 each and cannot use your Playacar Palace resort credit for this. We felt misled about this, since we were told snorkeling at the Cozumel Palace was great (it was just ok). We also found out the hard way that the ferry boat tickets we got were only good for one of the 2 ferry boat lines that run between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. (We lined up for the 8 am ferry, only to find out we had to wait for the 9 am ferry operated by the other company.)

I would recommend this resort if you are perfectly happy hanging out at the pool and beach all week and want excellent service with above-average food. I would not bring older children or teenagers here, as there were almost no activities for them besides the beach, pool, and a ping-pong table (there is a Kids' Club for little kids). Our teenage son really missed having activities like air rifle, archery, pottery painting, etc like they had at Occidental Xcaret; he also missed having birds and wildlife and Caribbean plants and flowers, since he loves nature). We will not be going back here, but all in all we did have a really nice week - it just depends on your preferences.

Room Tip: Request a room on the 3rd, 4th or 5th floor
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank marvi62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2012

We went to Playacar Palace for Honeymoon, and we just loved it.
Great location, really! The beach in front of the hotel is awesome. You take the ferry to Cozumel, or go walking to the 5th avenue.

The resort offers a credit to spend in their SPA, Golf Club, or even some tours that you can make with the credits. So the price you pay for the Hotel is worth. You can also spend one day at Cozumel Palace, with the same quality of service.

I also recommend the oriental and italian restaurants, witch have great food and drinks.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Fernando J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2012

Spent a week there beginning of March. The resort in itself is great. Check-in went well Jesus took us up to our room. We had a ocean view room , great view, room was clean. Cleaning lady did a good job with the room, we never ran out of towels , water and other beverages. There is suppose to be a turn-down service , we had it 4 nights out of 7.

Food : It is definitely one of their strong points the buffet for breakfast and lunch is different almost everyday , you have your classics but there are many things new everyday. For dinner, the a la carte restaurants were great also, the Italian was better and they switched menu mid-week. The asian one was good also. We used some of our credit for a romantic dinner on the beach, wich was great, it is a must !! The pool bar also serves snacks , we tried it a few times and it was good. Overal food is great.

Service : Great service al around from the Bell boy (thx Jesus) to the restaurants (thx Sotero), everybody make sure that you get what you want , we spent most of our time at the beach and service was awesome also. And please people don't be shy and tip , they really deserve it. we had the chance to be there for the Enrique Iglasias concert at Moon Palace, and then again they tokk really good care of us. From ticket reservation to transportation, while we were waiting for transportation they a table setup with bottled water , fruits , cookies... And even when we came back around midnight they had setup a small buffet for us in the Lobby. They really know how to make you feel special.

Beach : We spent most of our time there. No need to wake up early to get a chair with an umbrella . But people coming after 10am could find beach lounge chair but they had a hard time getting an umbrella. A few more umbrella on the beach would be better. the sand was nice and the water also.

Pool : Did not spent much there , but it looked pretty crowded with a party like atmosphere.

Location : Wlaking a few minutes and you're on the fifth avenue with a bunch of tourist shops, bars and restaurants. But be prepare to get harassed !!

So overall it was a great trip , but my only concern , and it is very personal, is the overall feel of the resort. Let me explain. It did not feel exotic. Not usre if it's the look of the resort, the lack of vegetation, cutomers (mostly americans). But i'm pretty sure that i would get the same feeling as if i was in Florida. That is my only downside.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank simond697
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Farmington, Utah
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2012

Another wonderful 8 days at Playa Car Palace. Immaculate property, beautiful pool & beach area. Food is fabulous and if you don't see what you want, ask for it. The staff is the best, Manager Renee, Front desk mgr Carlos & Guest services mgr Christina. Juana & Marco at the VIP beach area, remembered our names and so attentive as were Ana, Blanca & Epifano. Alma & the 2 bartenders in the lobby bar very fun. In the Italian restaurant Angel is a great host. Oscar the chef made us a special anniversary dinner. Our waiters, Pedro, Jeho, Arturo, Antonio and Rafael were attentive to our every need. At Breakfast/Lunch Juanita recognized us from our other stays as did Santos to make us feel welcomed. We had great service from Cesar, Efrain, Saul, Sergio, Sotero & Wilburt the grill chef would remember that I wanted grouper for lunch. In the spa, Natz gave an excellent mani/pedi & Henry the shuttle driver, so friendly. The Asian restaurant now has a sushi buffet. Jazz the host and Silvia hostess are very attentive. The wait staff of Josepfina, Dionicio, Murial, Raul & Efrain make sure you are well taken care of. Leidi, always pleasant and with a smile if she was giving you a fresh towel or sweeping up. The resort is wonderful for it's location, food, the pool, the beach but it's staff make the resort exceptional. Thanks to all for a perfect vacation. We were at the resort at the time of the March 29 wedding, had met the father of the bride on the shuttle back from golf and spa so knew when it would be to watch from the sidelines. It looked like a beautiful set-up for the ceremony. We stayed at Cancun Palace in November, which is being converted to a Hard Rock, we're happy Playa Car is remaining as a Palace Hotel.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Donna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2012 via mobile

Our third time visiting this resort because we love it! It is truly home away from home. The location is awesome. The beach is beautiful. The food is fantastic. But most of all, it is the resort staff that keeps us coming back. They are like family. Christina always greets us with a happy smile and gets us started on our vacation right. Jesus helps us with our bags, friendly and professional. The hostesses with the mostest - Juanita and Miriam, both so sweet and friendly. Miguel and Luis make a perfect team at breakfast- their smiles are infectious and always ready with whatever we need. Service at the pool and beach was superb. Many thanks to Leonardo and especially Blanca who goes the extra mile and took care of us so well! The restaurant staff was awesome. Shout out to our favorites at the Italian restaurant, Rudolpho and Pedro, both extremely efficient and great at what they do. Angel keeps it all running smoothly and is just a joy. And we can't say enough good things about Jaz Perez and his staff at the Asian restaurant. The sushi was fabulous, especially the special deliveries to the beach! How fantastic is that? We felt like royalty. Sylvia was top notch and Josefina too. And of course, so much fun with the recreation staff - Gabriel, Fania and Rodrigo - who kept us dancing, playing, laughing and singing all day and into the night. Our favorite bartenders, Juan and Gaspar, made the best drinks and were so friendly and we always looked forward to seeing our favorite waitress in the Luna Lounge, Nora, who took care of us so well always with a smile. The entrance and front desk staff were always very helpful and made us feel safe and secure. The Chef's special dinner was fantastic, although the lobster dinner was not so great. We made many new friends from all over the world and we look forward to coming back to visit our "family" again next year!

Stayed March 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank BandEVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2012

Outstanding. This is a safe, beautiful all-inclusive with a spectacular beach, great rooms and a very dedicated staff. To get to 5th Ave. for shopping, exit the resort main entry and cut through the parking lot on the right (north side) and walk through the square to the street...literally two minutes away. Don't miss a walk over in the evening when 5th comes alive with music. We booked two rooms, one ocean front and one for our adult children in the back. Ocean front rooms have spectacular views but there is loud music in the evening, so for a quiet night, just close your balcony doors and you'll have silence. Back rooms have great WiFi reception and are always quiet. After a few nights, we used points to upgrade our adult children to ocean front and they enjoyed an ocean front suite for the rest of the stay. Our hotel credit points were used for spa visits, upgraded wine, the room upgrade, and lobster dinner on the pool deck. We actually didn't even use all our hotel points. We watched the Cozumel ferry quietly dock, release foot passengers and then load the next passengers to travel back to Cozumel....all day long. It was entertaining. We watched the sky divers demonstrate their skill at manouvering their parachutes to land in the same spot each time...with a delighted tourist attached for the ride. The beach is spectacular. We ordered lunch on the beach twice...delicious quesidillas, pizza, club house sandwiches and Caesar salads. The Italian restaurant is elegant with the largest wine rack wall we'd ever seen. Eat there at least once. The Mexican restaurant had a different theme every night and a good variety of food to choose from. The staff were always helpful and they really work hard. We were all very happy to tip them and enjoyed hearing about their lives.
This was our fifth trip to the area but first time to the Playacar Palace. Our son proposed to his girlfriend during a moonlit walk along the beach the first night of our stay. This resort will always be a special place to us now and we highly recommend it.

Room Tip: -ocean front are beautiful but noisier-just close the balcony door for silence. -back of hotel is v...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank travelhappy003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Playacar Palace

Property: 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:
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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