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“A great place to learn kite-boarding”

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Sandos Playacar Beach Resort
Ranked #62 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Smithers, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A great place to learn kite-boarding”
Reviewed 7 March 2012

My husband and I visited the Sandos Playacar in February. The reason we picked this hotel was for the kite-boarding lessons by PDC Kiteboarding, They can also give you a hotel discount. The staff at PDC was great, very professional. Be aware that kite-boarding season is mainly Jan-Feb, but you can contact them for more info. Even in February, we couldn't kite half the time because the wind wasn't strong enough.
The resort was great, we enjoyed the evening entertainment more than some other resorts we have been to. The entertainment team works hard, and there are great activities for the kids. I also liked the movie hour around dinner time every evening.
What we didn't like was the need to go to guest services often. Booking a-la-carte restaurants and using the internet room could only be done at certain times, and service was lacking here.
Bicycles are free to borrow, so a bike-ride to Playa-del-Carmen was fun.
The water and beach are beautiful. This hotel is the last in a long chain of hotels, so there is nice quiet beach walking in the other direction.

Room Tip: Junior Suites are far away from the beach. Standard suites are close to everything! Yay!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank rtplug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2012

This was an amzing holiday. Felt very safe especially for the kids. You didn't need to leave the resort as there was so much to do. Restaurants were amazing, buffets good enough. Lots of animals wandering round made it feel better than your basic holiday complex. Beach was perfect, hotel staff very friendly. Spa was nice, rooms cleaned to very high standard. Will definately return with all the children. If you do leave the resort coco bongo was a great night out different and better then we have in the uk. Plya del carmen is a safe place to shop and swimming with dolphins a once in a lifetime.

Room Tip: If you have children then besides the kids pool is perfect.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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5 Thank kihu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2012

this was our 3rd time in playa del carmen and loved every minute of it! friendly staff, great food and relaxing pools! We booked though dream2travel and plan to use them again for their resort tour promotional offers. The best thing to do is the preview of the property on your first day so you can enjoy your time and relax during your trip.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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6 Thank jeff o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saskatoon,SK Canada
Level Contributor
433 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,123 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2012

This is my 1st time to the Sandos PlayaCar Resort, however I have stayed several times at their sister resort The Sandos Caracol, which is about 15km north of this property on the other side of Playa Del Carmen. Many things I will referance in comaprison between the two in the hopes that I could help someone determine which of the two is better for them. I personally Prefer the Caracol, but the Playacar may be better suited for you. The Playacar (PC) is a generic name for the entire property and was split into three areas in a long 2 km narrow property. The actual Playacar (Playa=Beach in Spanish) is the part closest to the beach and is large apartment style buildings. In the middle is the Haciendas, smaller 4 plex style bungalows with private pools. The furthest from the beach was the Riviera part which was again split into two areas a family area and the adult only area.

The resort itself is nicely located 2km south of Playa Del Carmen. It makes for a good base to day trip to places like Tulum, Coba, Xcaret, Explor park, and Akumal. The Collectivo (Short trip bus) that runs on the Highway to transport workers to the resort can get you to the turtle nesting grounds at Akumal or to the ruins at Tulum or the ecological parks near by for only a couple of dollars, so you dont have to get gouged for $100 per person for a tour to them.

I travelled to the Playacar during mid Feb. with extended family with kids. Let me start by saying this place was very kid friendly. There were many families with children. The resort catered primarily to Canadians and Europeans and a few Mexicans. Very few Americans on resort. There was a wonderful activities center in the middle of the complex that turned into a meeting place for all the kids. There were a few table soccer, ping pong, pool tables and basket ball hoop a low height that attracted lots of kids. There were also a few wii games and things for them to do all free of charge. In the open air plaza outside the games area they started an evening movie just at dusk that usually was suitable for all ages. One night of the week they had a mexican night with traditional mexican games the kids could try.

I found the grounds stunning and immaculate and if you were to give the resort a rating based purely on visual asthetics it would be a 5 Star with food being close to that too. The sister resort the Caracol is a 4-4.5 Star and seemed to be a little older but I understand it has been renovated since I was last there in Dec 2010. I found the pools at the Playacar to be warmer than the caracol, but the caracol has a wonderful small kids area waterpark that the PC could well learn from. There are NO Swim up bars at the pools in the PC except for the adults only area at the far end of the Riviera building. The other Riviera area pool is long and skinny, but has a restaurant at it with a small buffet and ice cream machine. It is a calm, quiet area without the rowdy energy or loud party music of the main pool by the beach.

My main complaint about the PC is that if you do not get a room on the Beach Side of the Playacar ( and wind up in the riviera or hacienda buildings) you will be walking forever many times a day to get to the better buffets and activity areas. The Caracol has a much better centrally located meeting place and resteraunts, so you dont spend lots of time and energy hiking around the property to get to the hot spots. If you can get rooms in the large buildings by the beach at the PC I think the average person would be much happier.

I had mixed feeling on the resteraunts in comparison to the Caracol. We never had bad food from an all inclusive perspecitve. Everything was decent and fresh. The PC had only two buffets a main one and an italian one with limited daytime hours that was more of an evening place. There were a la cartes. One was adult only a french one that looked outstanding but I had kids so was unable to partake. There was a Brizillian rodizio that was decent, but was inside and super hot due to the ovens. Actually the heat was unbareable if you got a table by the kitchen. The Brazillian at the Caracol is 10x better and is al fresco (outside) which makes for a better dining experience. We never ate at the asian all inclusive. We ate at the Steak house and it was 10x better than the one at the Caracol. The cuts of meat were bigger, better grade and prepared better. There was also a nice made to order crepe bar at the main lobby at the Riviera. Too bad it didnt open earlier for brunch. It was only open from 1pm till 7 pm. I never had bad food anywhere on this resort. The all a la cartes could only be booked on Thurs and Monday which made getting into the Steak House and Rodizio almost impossible. There was also a medetereanean a la carte that was decent, but small portions.

I really had a good time at the Riviera/Playacar and so did my 12 year old and parents. I would go back to this place in a second. If I had my choice I would prefer to go to the Caracol because of the better lay out of the resort even though it wasnt as luxurious of a resort. Both are not party central and if youre looking for that go to Cancun with the college students.

A final word of warning, which has little to do with the resort. The only rental car place on the resort was BUSTER car rental. Do NOT under any circumstances use this company. Their cars are old, in poor repair and their customer service is very poor and their 24 Hour emergency line in ONLY IN SPANISH. Our car had 135000km on it. Was dirty inside and had no spare or jack. Our brake on the front wheel seized up just as we were turning into the resort 1/2 way thru the day. The customer service rep left for the day at 430pm. The toll free guy only spoke spanish and refused to get us a replacement car thru our interpreter and made us come back the following day to the CS rep at the resort. You have been warned about BUSTER...or BUSTED as I like to call it.

If you are thinking about either Sandos resort, you cant go wrong. I hear they are also opening a Cancun one as well, but I'm not a fan of the rowdy hotel zone.

Room Tip: Get one by the beach to avoid lots of hiking to resteraunts
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
17 Thank Saskheat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2012

My family and I attended the Sandos Playacar January 11-18, 2012. The trip was great in my opinion. I could pick apart little things like dates walkways or complaints that there was seaweed in the ocean but i'm not interested in doing that.

My wife, 5 year old daughter and 6 month old son attended this resort and had a good time overall. We stayed in the newest section (Riviera) at the back of the resort (fartherst from the beach beside the reception. The rooms were huge, clean and a great temperature. My daughter enjoyed the pull out couch, my son enjoyed the crib and my wife and I enjoyed the King size bed.

The room was about a 8 minute walk from the beach depnding on how slow the rest of my family was. Many animals were around the resort, we especially liked the orange tabby cat. We also saw these other weird animals that we fittingly named Frank Smith the 4th. They kinda resembled a rat, beaver combination.

The food was good in my estimation, with that being said I am not a picky eater while on vacation. As long as there is meat, rice and potatoes i'm happy. Nobody was sick while on our vacation. The sugar covered donuts were amazing, very fresh and tasty, my wife loved them without a doubt. The hamburgers at the beach were very good, as were the fries, just slower service. Drinks were very good overall, well i think they were.

The pool closest to the beach was always busy, lots of action from the animation team. water was cold but who cares, it was refreshing.

The Ocean was beautiful, crystal clear water, sometimes big waves, sometimes no waves. The beach stretches probably 150 feet from water to the edge of the resort, many chairs and palapas were always available. Yes I did go down early in the morning and get a good seat, but I did also stay there for an hour and wait for my family to come down and have breakfast together. The animation team on the beach did a good job trying to get people involved. I played beach volleyball many times and had a great time. Ocean was warm and very refreshing.

I was very nervous about the weather before going as we went the same time last year to the Grand Sunset Princess and it rained almost the entire trip. It rained almost the entire saturday, but this was the only day it rained during the day. the rest of the days were beautiful, sunny and warm days.

Playa Del Carmen was its usual fun day. We ate the same little restaurant for the 4th time and bought several souvenirs. The resort was about a 45 minute walk to PDC, however we took a cab due to the children being with us.

Good vacation, but will try another location next year asI always do!!!

Room Tip: Higher floors less musty!!
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank gtown15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandos Playacar Beach Resort

Property: Sandos Playacar Beach Resort
Address: Paseo Xaman-Ha | Manzana 1, Lote 1 Fracc.Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#34 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#43 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#43 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#47 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#53 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price range (per night): RM807 - RM1,828
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandos Playacar Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 819
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa is an all-Inclusive hotel in Playa del Carmen with both family and adult sections. We are ideally located on a magnificent white sandy beach in the gated community of Playacar, within walking distance to downtown Playa and Fifth Avenue. Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa is located only forty-five minutes from the Cancun International Airport, and the pier serving ferries to Cozumel is a short distance from our property.Playacar is a private, master-planned community situated on the southern edge of downtown Playa del Carmen. Guests at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa enjoy this exclusive community’s impressive infrastructure, including an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Von Hagge, the Xaman-Ha Aviary, pristine biking paths, and Mayan ruins, accessible to the public for hiking.Riviera Maya is a protected region where many remaining artifacts from the fascinating Mayan civilization can be found. Surrounded by Mayan archeological zones, such as those at Tulum, Coba, and Chicen-Itza, this Playa del Carmen hotel successfully preserves a strong sense of Mayan culture onsite, adding an authentic feel and flavor to the vacation experience in Playacar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandos Playacar Beach Hotel
Hotel Sandos Playacar Beach
Beach Playacar Resort Sandos
Sandos Playacar Resort
Sandos Playa Del Carmen
Gala Resort Playacar
Sandos Gala Playacar
Sandos Playacar Mexico
Sandos Resort
Playacar Sandos

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