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Reviews (14,596)
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Reviewed 7 February 2011

We booked to stay at Sandos Caracol,on our arrival at 7:45 am. We were told the computors were down and we could not get into our rooms. We were tired and cranky, we were told to go to the Sandos Playacar and sleep and to check back later in the day.
We arrived at Sandos Playacar, check in took a couple of minutes and soon got some sleep. Long story... we ended up being able to stay.
Our room, was the very far back corner of the resort, it was clean, very quiet, on the 2nd day, to our surprize they switched out a regular TV with a new big flat screen. Not that we watched any TV, but it was nice, Our mini bar was refilled every day, We had a problem with the safe not opening twice.. both time someone was there within minutes to fix it.
Our end of the property was so quiet... so nice, hardly anyone was at the hugh pool.
The plus it was quiet, but it was a long walk to the beach...but.. we got a little exersise to wear off some of our meals..
The Food: The 2 regular buffets very good, regular type buffet style,lot of food, tasted okay..
the Italian buffet was sooo good very high quality...loved it ...the alacarte were very very good the French was the best!!!!! yummy!!! the rest were also good Asian being our least favorite... but still good... we were well fed, and my husband is VERY picky...
The sports bar was great, spent alot of time there, there was entertainment every night, we didn't spend alot of time there but every one looked like they were enjoying it. It was nice to see many food and product venders. (food was free)
The beach was great, lots of loungers.the beach bar was great..
So for a holiday that started out badly, turned out to be terrific, all the staff, from the Front Desk to the Bar tenders and room cleaners all were very pleasant and helpful.
Over all being sent to Sandos Playacar was a blessing. We were impressed with the resort, and would stay there again.... We did not see even one Time share person!!!!!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Linnybeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2011

If you have booked a trip to this resort - you should be so happy you did.
I don't want to sound like some of those pretentious people on here at all but just to get my point across - our family has traveled for 30 plus years and this was one of the best resorts by far!!!! I just read some of the ridiculous comments and bad reviews on this site and it's all crap! The Beach is pure white sand and is not rocky at all. It is extremely large and you can walk for miles. The water is gorgeous and everything is always clean. I haven't seen a beach that compares!
We just got back from our vacation - we booked our trip from Jan 26th-Feb 4th and it was amazing! I brought my 7 year old daughter and traveled with my parents, my sister and her boyfriend. My sister and I stayed in the fabulous junior suites, that were spotless, extremely large and decorated beautifully. My parents stayed in the one-bedroom hacienda (there is nothing like them anywhere) The hotel was completely booked and we still never had any problems. Our rooms were cleaned daily, towels replaced daily and the fridges were constantly refilled.
My parents travelled here last year and I made the mistake of reading the ridiculous bad reviews of this resort before going down. This is a five star resort and it absolutely is!!!!!
There are 6 restaurants to choose from not including the 3 buffets that are always open. The food is to die for!!! It is cooked extremely well and there is always a ton of variety. Try the Italian Buffet for sure and the Brazilian restaurant - so delicious!!!!
Like I mentioned before, the Beach is absolutely gorgeous! You will never want to leave!
The layout of the resort could not be better - this company has built the resort around the wildlife and mayan ruins. There are jungle areas with monkeys and different animals that are known to the Mayan Riviera. You can see the ruins that they have salvaged and not destroyed to build this huge resort. It is just fantastic.
The kids club was amazing. My daughter had such a great time. I never had to worry. They have activities planned for the kids all day long and then some activities for them around dinner time.
This resort is good for anyone - families, couples and families with young children. I would recommend it to anyone!!!
In regards to the time share crap that has been mentioned on here - don't buy a trip where you have to go to an orientation to buy a time share just because it is $30.00 cheaper!
I actually found out down there by a couple that has been traveling there for years that anyone who bought their time shares 2 years ago or more did enter into a scam - however, who the hell buys something like that without a lawyer looking over the papers?!!! It was another company that had run the time share company - Royal Elite- and those people are now in jail. The hotel itself now runs the Royal Elite time shares and everything is completely legitimate and it is totally worth it.
Our family bought into it last year, after falling in love with the Sandos resorts and we have received everything plus more!!!!!
The service is impeccable and you could not ask for a better staff!

Don't listen to any stupid bad reviews of this resort. There is also another Sandos in Playa Del Carmen - the new Eco resort and it is mostly jungle because once again they built around the wildlife, I love that!!!!
We're definitely happy with everything this company and resort had to offer. There are pools and little restaurants everywhere. If you just try going back to your room, lobby or meeting point a different way - you will always find something new that you hadn't seen before!
GET EXCITED IF YOU'VE ALREADY PURCHASED THE TRIP!!! IT'LL BE FANTASTIC!
and people - stop complaining about the weather - the resort cannot do anything about that!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank funinthesun038
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2011

I am a bit late writing this reveiw, as we did stay here in February 2010. Travelled with my family of two children, and sister in law and her family with three children. We all stayed in Riviera suites, and they were spacious enough for three children ages 10, 12 and 13. Two large double beds and huge bathroom with bathtub. Clean and nice. We stayed at the far end of the resort, but you really need the exercise of walking down to the beach after all the food you enjoy in these all-inclusive resorts. If you feel like putting on weight, you can take the golf carts instead of walking. I did use the gym - and this was quite nice and well equiped. My sister in law forgot her jacket in the Japanese restaurant one night, and when she reported this later that night after closing time - they said they had delivered this to "lost and found". When contacting them the day after, they claimed no jacket had been delivered..... After a few hours and her husband getting quite fierce with them, they suddenly found her jacket. Not good!..... Other than that we found the food at the restaurants to be fairly good for an all-inclusive. We did however not like the fact that you have to make all your bookings at the a la carte restaurants on Sundays only, and then make all your reservations for the coming week. This allows very little room for adjustment, and at other all-inclusive resorts we have not had this rule. Your are also only allowed a certain amount of a la carte dinners depending of the length of your stay. VERY RIGID!!!! Pool areas look nice and clean, and we had no stumach problems during our stay. Our daughter celebrated her 10th birthday here, and they arranged a wonderful cake and the maitre d' at the Italian restaurant allowed us to prebook a table and organised a cake for her. After us singing the birthday song, he had asked me if could do a Mexican tradition of dipping her nose in the cake, and he did! Everyone around laughed and she found this very amusing too. Our kids loved the Italian, and the definitely had the best icecream on the resort! Best staff here, too! The restaurant down by the beachfront had a couple of really bad waiters. I returned a bottle of rose wine since this had gone bad. You could even see it on the colour. The waiters told me this was not bad and when they finally said they would change it, they returned another bad bottle! After becoming rather cross, and walked up to the bar myself demanding to look at the bottle before they opened it, we managed to get a bottle that was ok. A waiter should not behave like this at all! If the customer says the bottle has gone bad and returns it right away, you change it and apologize insted of starting an argument! Especially when you quite clearly have no knowledge of wine at all. Generally, we found the knowledge of wine in all restaurants to be very poor. At the buffet restaurants the waiters hardly knew the difference between rose, red and white wine. Since you have the option of paying extra and order whine, they should have basic knowledge of the few wines the have on their menu!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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Thank monaos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2011

This is a review based on my proffesional experience of being a food retailer Firstly may I say that the hotel and grounds are mostly satisfactory, the very serious problem from a health prospective is the festation of large birds in the eating areas apparantly the hotel are aware of the constant problem and have tried to combat the problem with nets although these are completly no detterent from birds flying into the resturants and freely landing on crockery ,cutelry and freely eating from tables there is bird defecation on tables, floors and waste food areas, the resturant staff are constantly waving them away to no avail, there is a very great risk of disease from this contamination. The hotel have been informed, the hotel rep acting on behalf of first choice holidays and the company itself who have dissmised my complaint without any explanation. I would say to anyone travelling with first choice and staying at this hotel to ask the question is it safe for my family to eat at these resturants and maybe remind them of the complaint made.

Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
3  Thank paracord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2011

I was drugged with alcohol and high pressure sold to buy a time share. We spent over 5 hours in their grilling/high pressure sales. W bought in 2008 and have never had satisfaction with our time share, some $20,000USD spend and a lot of unfulfilled promises. We have asked and complained for a refund, - NO WAY. I told them to take my contract and no longer charge me a annual fee, guess what no notice and they had a charge card number and charged me $399 2 days ago. I am disputing. We have been back twice since buying, the ROYAL ELITE CLUB people hound you from day one, wanting you to buy more, they don't take no for an answer and if you say no, call you every day at early and late hours over and over to force you to a sales meeting under the guise of a "orientation." Nice place to stay, BUT DON'T BUY A TIME SHARE HERE.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank DrRonBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RoyalElite, Royal Elite Web Relations at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2011

Good day.

We are deeply sorry that you felt pressured while acquiring your Vacation Club program. However, our Customer Service team is willing to help you with any issue you can have.

Maintenance Fees are charged automically if you have set this up with our Finance department.

Our Quality Control team is following up on every case that had requested a cancellation. It might be that they have not gotten to your contract yet.

For faster service, please contact Erick Ferrari at customerservice12@royalelite.com and provide him with your contract number.

Thanks,
Royal Elite Customer Service
Sandos Hotels

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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