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“Cheap but disappointing” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Playa del Karma

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Hotel Playa del Karma
Ranked #127 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
London, UK
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Cheap but disappointing”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2012

We booked this hotel for 2 nights based on excellent reviews on TripAdvisor but were quite disappointed. The hotel was pretty cheap and seemed in a fairly good location (on 10th Avenue, only 2 roads back from the beach) so I guess we shouldn't have been surprised that the room facilities were pretty basic. No TV, no iron, no kettle, no breakfast, awful tacky bathroom with missing lights, a rickety noisy old air-con (which at least worked, thank god), an air of mustiness and a tiny "pool" that was more a breeding ground for the mosquitoes infesting our room. On the positive side, the staff seemed fairly friendly, and at least it gave us an excuse to avoid going back to the room, and spending more time relaxing on the beach! Sadly, would not stay here again. (PS. Tip for visitors to Playa del Carmen: The acrobatic and cabaret show at Coco Bongo club around the corner is awesome and well worth the 55 dollars - go see it!)

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DrunkLove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarmaHotel, Director General at Hotel Playa del Karma, responded to this review, 1 February 2012
Dear Sirs,
we are very sorry to hear you weren't totally satisfied, the cheap price you paid for was for a economy-basic room, only room without breakfast, no tv, no iron, etc, in case you'll desire an upper level room the price will be a little more. About the pool, water is totally clored and a chemical treatment avoid any kind of mosquitos.I hope in a future you'll be satisfied 100% like you really need.
Best Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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545 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Menlo Park, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2012

It's taken me a while to write this review, only because it ruins my mood to remember our time at this hotel. I will try to keep it as short as possible... let's just say, we learned some spanish while staying at Playa del Karma. Beechus (bugs), in our kama (bed), and Manchas (stains) on our Sabanas (sheets)!

We stayed here towards the end of Dec. Peak season in PDC so most hotels were fully booked. As it was our first time in Mexico, we shrugged off the initial bites on day one, assuming they were from the pesky mosquitoes. But by midnight on Day 2, we realized we were literally being bitten alive by tiny bugs in our bed. Realizing we hadn't been bitten once during the day, but only at night, we inspected the sheets and discovered tiny bugs at the bottom of the mattress (which had a rip in it). After alerting the front desk the next morning, we were promised a new mattress and that things would get better. We decided to hope for the best and tried to enjoy the rest of our stay. Day 3 - with much trepidation, we head to bed. For a honeymooning couple, it's sad that the bed was the last place we wanted to be!! By 4am we were itching and scratching our poor ankles again, and this time we decided to take pictures of everything. From the ant nests on the walls, in the bathrooms and the bedroom, to the little white ants crawling all over the sink and the bedside tables!! We inspected the mattress, and as we had suspected, they hadn't changed it as promised, but simply flipped it so we would think it was a new one. The rip was still there. By day 4 - we were getting desperate. The Manager was never seen or heard from. We were promised another room, if/when it would become available. FINALLY we got one. A much nicer one, with no beechus. But this time, I had to inspect the sheets as we had become experts after reading bed bug forums on my hubby's iPhone at 5am!! *Yikes* tiny blood stains - indication of tiny bugs that have died there. Pulled the covers back further - and there was a MASSIVE yellow stain. I could keep going on and on, but finally we got the sheets changed and had our FIRST full night's rest.

Luckily, the days were super and PDC did not disappoint in any other way. We were also able to find another hotel closeby (Mosquito Beach - ironic?) that we fell in love with and were able to book a last minute room on Expedia for the remainder of our stay.

Looking back, all would have been well if we hadn't gotten Room 14! The hotel itself is in an awesome location. Close to Avenue 5 + local haunts and activities. It's been done really nicely, with lots of palm trees and greenery. There's a little pool, full of bugs floating in it, which adds more ambiance than encouragement to swim! Luckily they have free passes to use Mamitas, which we thought was fantastic (despite having to fight for beach chairs and umbrellas if you get down there past 10am) until we tried the Mosquito Beach club! Little did we know such luxury could exist just a block down the beach!!! *sigh* My mistake for booking a more rustic hotel, rather than a luxury one for our honeymoon.

Everything would have been fine, had the Management actually been around to handle things. Poor Mario did his best. But it just wasn't good enough. The lady Manager was extremely rude and refused to believe us, until we showed her our documented proof in photos and videos we had taken over the past 4 days of hell. Despite all this, she took no responsibility and never apologized for ruining our vacation. Just barked at us asking - "well what do you want?" - like a discount could make things better. I was sad to have to leave on a sour note. We refused to pay for the nights we were in Rm 14 and luckily we had not prepaid on our first day because their credit card machine had been down. There;s no way she would have ever refunded us our money!! Believe me, this is shorter than everything else I would like to add, but I hope no one goes through what we did. It seems like all the other rooms were fine. Just make sure you don't prepay until you've seen the room & checked the sheets. Good Luck!

Room Tip: Do not take Room 14 or the one above (that was the first alternative given to us) it gets super loud...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank s0nalpk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarmaHotel, Director General at Hotel Playa del Karma, responded to this review, 1 February 2012
Dear Sirs,
I'm very sorry to read this story ,I'm agree this room is not the biggest ocean view room that a couple of Honeymoners deserve , it is a basic-room with a cheap price.
Every effort for this staying was made, an extra upper level room, a special atencion at the bill, and we tried to offer our best services anytime.All rooms and all the gardens are regularly Certified from Healty -Fumigation Company to guarantee a perfect enviroment all the year.
I hope in the future having you with us for a great staying , not on the beach,but only 2 block away .
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
64 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2012

This will be a tough review to write because I liked the staff so much at Playa Del Karma that I want to give them a great review; however, the room accommodations were less than I expected and I feel obligated to call out my concerns.

Let me begin with the positives:
* The staff at Playa Del Karma are wonderful. I would like to give special thanks to Erick and Mario. They both went out of their way to be helpful and always kind. Thank you both very much. Honestly, I cannot praise the staff enough.
* Second positive is the tropical courtyard - very nice.
* Third positive was use of Mamitas Beach Club - very enjoyable each day we went.

As far as the negatives, we were very disappointed in the rooms. I paid the higher price for a Karma Room expecting a nice, clean, and comfortable space. This was not the case. We were first placed in room 14. It was dark with very poor lighting. The room had a very musty smell and our greatest concern was that there was mold visible through the paint at the bottom of the bathroom floor as well as the bottom of one of the wall floors. After 2 nights in this room, we could no longer tolerate the musty smell and requested to be moved. Mario was very gracious in getting us moved to room 23. This room was certainly better than room 14; however, it simply was not what we had expected from the pictures on the website.

Playa Del Karma certainly has a charm about it; however, I would recommend they look into the room concerns I have expressed. If these issues were corrected, I think it would make for a more pleasant stay for everyone.

Room Tip: Bad experience with room 14.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jim J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2012

Spent 10 days here with 4 friends. Service was extremly friendly, location is perfect (make sure you eat food 2 streets back from the main strip, alot cheaper) room was nice and always cleaned, wifi worked well and sitting outside was quite relaxing with the natural surroundings!

Would return!

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rcw77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2011

Our trip to Playa del Carmen was a very "spur of the moment" thing. We didn't want to stay in Cancun with all the resorts and golfers, we wanted a more unique and local experience. This hotel provided that perfect charm and a live easy atmosphere. The moment we walked in the lobby we knew it was perfect. The one complaint I have is that the staff could not always recommend good activities or places to go to in the area. (Thats all right there wifi worked fine and trip advisor could suffice) Can't wait to return in march! Thanks for the great time.

Room Tip: All the rooms seem pretty good to me, honestly.
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank drudle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2011

This hotel is in a wonderful location on a quiet street. It's an easy 2 block walk to Quinta Avenida. The infamous Coco Bongo is only block away, and I could hear it's thumping music late at night if I listened hard.

The room was cute and comfortable. The bed was very hard (not a problem). Wifi worked in our room, and the air conditioner was efficient. At $50 a night, my husband and I thought it was a great value for the two nights we were here.

The little atrium courtyard is very cute, but I never had the opportunity to relax and enjoy it in the mornings as hoped because it was filled with maintenance and renovation crew. Not exactly private and quiet, and they made me feel unwelcome. We were woken very early our first morning there by very noisy construction in the room next to ours.

If I ever return to Playa del Carmen, I'd definitely consider staying here again (as long as they promised not to wake me early with loud power tools!).

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Joeylf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2011

Lets get the basics out of the way. My beautifully decorated air conditioned room was spotlessly clean. My king size bed was well appointed and wonderfully comfortable. Attractive bathroom. Reading lights on each side of the bed (thank you! -- you know, that's one of my major complaints about budget hotels in Mexico) Plenty of warm water for a shower. Best of all, I had a little veranda outside my room with a hammock, a few chairs and a little table. What fun to catch up on my emails with perfect wi-fi reception throughout the property. The hotel rooms are woven throughout a well established tropical garden in this little nook about 4 blocks from the beach and 5th Avenue. It's just a couple of blocks from the "other" ADO bus terminal, where you can catch a $10 transfer tot he Cancun airport. (the main ADO terminal in Playa is just a little further south near the ferry to Cozumel.

Room Tip: It's only a few blocks walk to a super walmart and close to the 5th avenue pedestrian mall full...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank walkfootman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Playa del Karma

Property: Hotel Playa del Karma
Address: Mza 122 Avenida 15 entre calle 12 y 14 Lote 9 Centro | Col. Centro entre calles 12 y 14, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 Best Value Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#56 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#68 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Playa del Karma 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Playa del Karma, in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, is a contemporary ethno-boutique hotel designed primarily with indulgence and service in mind. This Playa del Carmen hotel with its prime location in the heart of the youngest and liveliest city in the Riviera Maya and its close proximity to the Quinta Avenida is centrally located, allowing guests the convenience to access diverse tourist attractions that accommodate all interests and budgets. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Del Karma Hotel
Playa Del Karma Carmen
Hotel Playa Del Karma Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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