Sandos Playacar Beach Resort
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Reviews of Sandos Playacar Beach Resort
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
We've stayed at Sandos Playacar 3 times, making two free day-trips to Sandos Caracol Eco-Resort in that time. Sandos repeatedly exceeds our expectations.
Being non-drinkers, we have been surprised to come away feeling that our All-Inclusive fees were a bargain for the value received. Food is very good to excellent at all restaurants. I'm not much of meat eater as a rule, but the Brazilian restaurant meats, served off of swords, were so savory that I hardly ate anything else that evening. Our grown children told us that a dinner comparable to what we 6 enjoyed in the French a la carte restaurant at Sandos Playacar would have cost $400 in Vancouver, BC. Our kids are not tee totalers; they pay their own way and bring their friends.
The food at the Caracol is not as good as at the Playacar, but it's an Eco-Resort and a very different ambiance. Built right into the jungle, with an emphasis on ecology and Mayan culture, and more family-oriented than the upscale Playacar. A deficit at the Caracol, we think, is that the 2 room suites don't have closing doors between the sleeping areas. We rather enjoy our privacy when the lights go out.
At both resorts, cabanas, beach chairs, hammocks and queen-sized beach beds are free, towels are free, drinks, pop, water and juices are all free, ice cream is free, room service is reasonably quick and free. Wifi is spotty at the haciendas were we always stay, but strong at the big Meeting Place open air lobby.
At Playacar there are golf carts running around the grounds like mini-taxis all day and probably all night long. Other than at check-in and check-out, we never use them, as it's only 4-6 minutes easy stroll to wherever we want to go in the resort. Tennis is free. The bicycles are fat tired, and the bikes themselves are a bit tired, too. But we peddle into town in 10-12 minutes, and hefty cable locks come with the bikes.
We've been in various studios and suites, all are clean and spacious. The showers are huge. The king sized beds are a bit firmer than we are used to. Our princess daughter sleeps soundly on the twin bed/couch. Our mini-fridges were refilled daily with what we asked for. Staff are smiling, with a yes-we-can-do-that attitude. Very gracious. We take a wad of US $1 dollar bills to use as tips, including at the resorts (though you don't have to tip at the resort.)
We really enjoy Playa del Carmen. Being central on the Mayan Riviera, it's close to everything. In the past we always rented a car, but public transportation is so ready and inexpensive that we are planning to use busses and taxis next time we go. We have picked up a bit of Spanish, which we expect will be challenged using the Colectivos.
Cozumel is directly off the coast from Playacar, so there is no surf at the resort beach. I missed that. The resort has kayaks, snorkels and fins, even a catamaran that guests are allowed to check out free for an hour. More, if things are slow.
We've heard that the east-coast spring break crowd can be kid-tipsy-loud-obnoxious. We know that there are many Europeans who vacation at the Sandos resorts (it's a Spanish company), and that makes for stimulating conversations around the resort.
Overall, we give the Playacar 9.5, the Caracol 8.5.
We have been going there for the past couple of years. Each time has been better than the time before. The rooms are very large and well appointed. The food was great, especially the French and Asian restaurants, which do require a reservation which you should do as soon as you check in. With owner's privileges, we had access to the owner's pool and beach, as well as the owner's clubrooms. The spa has a large hot tub, a steam room and a dry sauna; perfect after a day of scuba diving. There is a children's play area which provided us with some time alone. There is something going on every evening in the main area. We went to the new Explore park which has zip lining, a river for rafting and swimming, as well as a ATV area. We had so much fun there we plan on visiting it again this year when we return. We found it to be an exceptional value.
Beautiful resort, beach and facilities were much much nicer than several neighboring resorts that we visited. A la carte restaurants were excellent and much better than other all-inclusive resorts (and no food surcharges, unlike some other resorts). Staff was very courteous and helpful. Facilities and pools were kept clean throughout the whole stay. Would absolutely recommend.
Spent a week with my wife and 14 of our friends at the Sandos Playacar/Riviera in Nov 08. Could not get the Ocean View rooms at the Playacar (older) part of the resort (was booked up) put us in the Riviera (new) part instead. The rooms were superb and facilities great probably would not have experienced this part of the resort had we not been located in that area. Pool largest on resort with current, pool bar, whirl pool, adults only pool, Royal Elite only pool area. Was little further to the ocean and other Playacar activities 15 minute walk or 10 minute ride on the shuttle but well worth it This area features the Brazilian and Asian restaurants plus a breakfast buffet and a pool area lunch buffet. Food was exceptional in the entire resort. Be sure to visit the above mantioned restaurants but also the French, the Steakhouse and the Oriental restaurants in the Playacar section. Rooms in the Riviera were large and very nice. They were larger than your average resort room and modern & well decorated . All had good view to the pool area. All staff, cleaners, cooks, gardeners, waiters, shuttle drivers, ALL staff did an excellent job and appeared to really enjoy their jobs. The beach was clean and sandy. Had the beached whales placed along the beach to control the erosion of the sand, had to climb over, little inconvenient if your older, kids loved playing on (off) them. The spa was good, if you are a Royal Elite member you had free access to this facility with hot tub, whirl pool, sauna, hydro massage, steam room, & foot massage. The Royal Elite membership also allowed you reserved beach area and pool in both the Playacar and Riviera area of the resort with shaded lounges and waiter (waitress) service When you consider the food the facilities, the service and the overall enjoyment of this resort made our stay well worth the price.