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Reviewed 5 August 2009

This hotel is rated as a 3 *1/2 but I would really rate it as a 5*. I have travelled a lot in my life, and went to a lot of different places. Most of the place have the right rating usually but this one, I was expected just a normal hotel but it was just amazing. Beautiful, the food was awesome, the beach is a diamond! This hotel is the only one having a beach without those sand hills in the middle of the ocean that brakes the waves (these were put after the hurricane a couple years ago to help absorbing water and reduce the water level). Anyways, Sandos Playacar does not have those big black sand bags...Moreover, the hotel provides a nice Gym and a SPA just right besides, free of charge! The Spa is just beautiful!

I would recommend this hotel for every couples or families. We were 2 girls and had a lot of fun but this is not the best place to meet singles however...! But there are a lot of night clubs where you can go out at night to meet other singles.

Date of stay: July 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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3  Thank salsaSISI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2009

From beginning to end the trip was awesome. We were greeted at check in with friendly staff and offered drinks. Check in was fast and easy, our room was not ready yet so we had to wait. We stayed in the beach section which I highly recommend. It is mere 2 minutes to the beach. Our room was nice, NOT outdated at all, with awesome AC and great maid service. Every day we came back from the beach and our room was cleaned thoroughly and restocked with beer, soda and water. The Sandos section is by the entrance of the hotel and is a solid 12 minute walk to the pool and beach. With the humidity and heat of Mexico this was the worst part of the hotel. We stayed in the seciton close to the beach but walking back in forth was aweful. The carts that took people back in forth was always full and there was always a wait. Plus the Sandos section costs more.
Making reservations for the nice restaurants was fast and easy. We ate at the Asian and Gaucho steakhouse, both were unbelievable. Asian was 5 star. There are 5 different buffets that I went to, all were good. The grand buffet was great and I recommend trying the multiple flavors of tequila they offer, very good. Lots of tequila on my trip. Drinks were plentiful, put a dollar down and you will get extra alcohol or more attention. There is an air conditioned buffet beside the asian restaurant and an ac snack bar beside the meeting place, tip Aide good, she is great.
The beach was beautiful. You can walk down the beach to the right of the hotel for a mile or so, very private and beautiful. The sand whales are barely even a part of the Sandos beach, but to us one of the best parts. My boyfriend and I played on them everyday. Try it, you can slide over them or surf down the sides of them.
I got a massage on the beach, awesome, I recommend it. We also went parasailing and ziplining. Both were great. Went to Coco Bongo, have to go there. Non stop entertainment, best bar I have ever been to. Senor Frogs is good too.
Just as an add on--if you dont like kids this is not the place for you. There are tons of kids and kids activities going on all day and night. They even have daycare.
We LOVED the place. We will probably go back with our kids next time.

Date of stay: August 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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6  Thank tks7t4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2009

This is our 4th trip back to the area and we decided to stay at the Sandos in Playacar this time. Upon arrival, I was fairly unhappy with the way the front desk is run. It was essentially chaos. There really needs to have a roped off line so that it is truly first come first serve and not who can jam their way to the counter.

We were assigned a Riviera room that is in the farthest section from the beach. We asked for a Beach room but they claimed none were currently available, even though I'm sure the resort was not full. We were told to check back the next day. We later realized this is a ploy to get a tip. If you gave them a tip, you could probably get whatever you want that day.

The Riviera room was awesome. Definitely 4 to 5 star class. The beds were very comfortable and the bathroom had a huge oversized jacuzzi tub. We slept very well that night and we had to turn down the AC because it was so cold. The walk to the beach was a good 10 minutes. We had 2 very young children, and 10 minutes walking through hot weather was not very pleasant. Later treks to the beach involved the tram, which kind of sucked because the wait was consistently 10-20 minutes since the line was usually long enough so that you didn't get on the first tram.

So the next day we transferred to a Beach room knowing we'd give up luxury for convenience. The room was a 3 star class room - which we knew ahead of time from the reviews. Still nice, but definitely showing some age. Our view was very nice because from the balcony we could see the main pool to the left and the ocean to the right. The AC on maximum just barely kept the room comfortable though. The bed was rock hard and the pillows were overly stuffed. I woke up the next few days with a back and neck ache.

The Beach section is where everything is at. I personally think the Sandos would be a much better resort if only the Beach section existed. The distance from one side to the other is unfriendly and the trams didn't run often enough. You still have to make your way to the front because of the main lobby is located in the Riviera side.

The entertainment crew worked hard and long hours. The shows were bearable, but nothing special.

The bell hops were rather unfriendly, but did their job within their guidelines. The service desk was fairly unfriendly probably because they were too busy. The bar tenders did their jobs, but weren't friendly either. The restaurant waiters/waitresses were excellent and we left a 1-2 dollar tip for them after every meal. Room service was inconsistent. Some days we'd get excellent service, other days we'd have missing towels. The time of room service bounced between 9am and 4:30pm.

In terms of all inclusive resorts, the food was excellent, best of the 4 resorts I've stayed. We ate at most of the buffets and 2 of the reservation restaurants. The Grand Buffet was the best buffet and located on the Beach side. The Italian buffet was poor, but the only place that has real ice cream - go there just for the ice cream. The soft serve at other buffets were crap. The buffet by the beach served very edible hamburgers and fries. The sports bar has buffet food until 2am.

Dinner reservations can only be made until Sunday, so I was the first person in line on Monday at 8am to make reservations. I was very unhappy to hear the guy tell me that the Steak restaurant was all booked up until Wednesday even though I was the theoretically the first person there. It was the 4th day of my stay, so I knew he wanted a tip. So I definitely didn't give in and told him we were leaving on Tuesday and were unhappy that it is "fully booked". He said come back later and he will try to "squeeze me in" if anyone cancelled. So we ate at the Steak restaurant that night and it was very good. The T-Bone was cooked very well.

A couple nights before we ate at the Brazillian restaurant. A valiant effort IMO and I do applaud their effort, but the food was very bad, overcooked and under marinated.

There were lots of bars and never a long line for drinks. The mixed drinks were not that great because they tasted nothing like what they are suppose to taste like. I found that pretipping a dollar before the bartender made the drink always got me top shelf liquor, although the mixed drinks still tasted nothing like what they are suppose to taste like.

There are 3 main pools. The ratio of people from the Beach side pool to the other 2 Riviera side pools is something like 30-1-1. If you want quiet, go to the Riviera pools. If you want activity, it's at the main pool. The beach is very nice with enough chairs to always find a shaded seat. The bank drops steeply a few feet into the ocean, and the waves were rough enough that our 2 young kids did not like it.

Overall we enjoyed the trip because nothing went bad, but we won't be returning to this hotel and probably won't recommend it to anyone else as well.

Date of stay: July 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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5  Thank BrianC_Houston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2009

Purchased trip through the ads they send via business fax....was a little leery at 1st, thought it was too good to be true. The only thing I didnt like is that they advertise one price, then if you want the newest built side you pay for the room upgrade, plus the $99 per person room tax so the price wasnt as awesome as it began.....nevertheless we were greeted at the airport & transported to the resort. Checked in & was offered fresh washcloths and drinks....from that time the attentive service was outstanding by all of the staff, from the first day until the last. Anything & everything you needed was taken care of quickly. We had the jacuzzi tub putting out rust from the jets and it was fixed by the time we came back to the room. Our room was modern, nice,clean, looked out to the swim up bar pool, stocked well with towells and beverages. My beautiful sister & I had an outstanding time, loved the French restaurant, but most of all we loved all the muy guapo papasitos!!! : ) the beach location was breathtaking (our pics look like postcards!) we walked to the secluded end for some no lines tanning, enjoyed 3 visits to 5th ave (a must do for a $5 taxi ride) where we shopped and got massages 2 - 1hour massages for $48!!!! you cant beat that price with a stick! (I made sure to ask to see the rooms and they were fine...not dirty or seedy at all!) We ate all day , the buffets always had a wide variety to chose from, and if you leave a plate or glass unattended too long the staff will quickly clean up. I have been telling everyone about our trip & definetely recommending this. TIP: remember whenever you are reading reviews you have to consider the type of person writing it. You have some people who are constant complainers & are never satisfied, or maybe used to such a high standard of living that nothing ever measures up to that. I am a happy to be away from L.A ,enjoying the beautiful surroundings ,eating better than decent food ,with lovely weather with a what more could you ask for attitude. so what if everything isnt 100% perfect. Tell me...what ,who, where is??? Hope you enjoyed this review and you should enjoy your trip. BE SURE TO BRING: sun block (Im quite dark & still used 100spf) mosquito repellant (from avon worked great!) and a BIG SMILE!!! : -D

Date of stay: July 2009
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7  Thank karmelsugar2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2009

I just came back from another trip to the Sandos Playacar. This was my 3rd time this year and I can only say the best things about this resort.
This time I spend one week with 2 of my sons and their families, which includes 5 grandchildren. Unfortunately my husband was not able to make it this time.
As always in the past we had no problem at the check in and our rooms were ready and beautiful, including a bottle of Champagne and a fully stocked refrigerator.
Martina was there personally to greed us and to make sure everything was to our liking.
One of my sons and his family stayed with me in the 1 bedroom ocean front suite and the adjoining room. My other son had a beautiful suite at the Rivera section.
The rooms were clean and I had a fresh bowl of fruit in the room everyday along with plenty of water.
Everybody at the resort was extremely friendly and as I said before it feels like coming home. They always have a big smile on their faces, even working in extreme temperatures and they always go out of their way to make sure you are happy.

The drinks were mixed perfect and the service at the beach was great. We never had to wait more then a few minutes to receive a drink. Thank you Azucena, “ You are the Best”.

The children had a lot of fun in the kids club and also got to participate in the Disney Show, which I think they will be talking about for a long, long time. Congrat’s to the animation team, under the leadership of Pablo. These guys are doing an incredible job keeping everybody entertained and coming up with new things all the time.
And yes there is something different going on at the Plaza every night.

We had most of our meals at the Fiesta Buffet and the food was really good and lots of choices. Thank you Teresita, Carlos, Alonso, Tila, Adela, Paolo, Azucena, Virginia, Veronica and everybody else for the great service we received and making us feel so welcome. We also had dinner at the Asian restaurant which has incredible food and everybody loved it. The duck is out of this world and I can recommend it to anybody. At the French restaurant we tried the onion soup, scallops and filet minion and it was a fabulous dinner just like the other times.

Since it was one of my granddaughters birthday, we asked Martina and Paola if they could arrange a birthday party on the beach for us. And what a party it was.

I cannot say thank you enough to everybody involved in the planning and execution. The Sandos team is THE BEST.

The kids had their own buffet with hot dogs, macaroni and cheese etc. For the adults there were filet Minion and Lobster. There were lots of decorations, a clown, a popcorn machine, a slush machine, music, a person from the animation team to play games with the kids and of course a birthday cake. My granddaughter said it was her best birthday ever. Special thanks to Martina, Paola, Hugo, Mohamed and everybody that helped to make this an unforgettable event.

One more ting I want to mention. Vito Anselmi Pascual, the new General Manager is doing a great job and the Sandos has definitely improved. Him and his team make it seem effortless to run such a big property.

My husband and I will be back in October and for Christmas and New Years. We can’t think of a better place to be for the Holidays but with our Sandos family.
Sincerely
Veronika Bisani

Date of stay: July 2009
Trip type: Travelled with family
3  Thank verostravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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