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“Compromised Vacation” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Playacar Palace

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Playacar Palace
Ranked #18 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Compromised Vacation”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2012

I travelled at the end of December, and had my wedding at Playacar Palace. I had expressed my displeasure in my survey, as well as by sending a formal letter to Playacar Palace. It was ignored. As a result, I am now posting my candid review (that had the resort initially responded to me, I would have acknowledged they made good). (Not to readers, scroll through posts from others during the end of Dec –Jan time frame who will offer a similar review)

I will start by saying that the staff of this resort makes it remarkable. Everyone; from the groundskeepers to the beach towel staff to the people we usually take more notice of –bartenders, guest services, front desk…are absolutely exceptional. After our experience it has become obvious however that the executive management of Palace Resorts however takes both their ‘non VIP’ guests and their staff for granted.

During our wedding guest(s) stay, our comfort and use of facilities was completely compromised by Playacar Palace’s catering to Colin Cowie ( Ironically, a D-List celebrity/wedding and event planner) and his guests. I am astounded that Palace resorts would allow one group to take over the resort and infringe upon other paying guests.
As I was hosting a wedding reception at the Playacar Palace I was made aware of the specific rules that applied to having outdoor events/receptions. It was made very clear to me that under no circumstances could we have events outside beyond 10 pm. (presumably due to disturbing other guests) It’s obvious this rule was neither applied or enforced for Mr. Cowie.One evening they had a beach part that lasted until 1 in the morning with the soundsystem and speakers facing the resort. We did not sleep that evening and the next day was certainly not relaxing as we were tired. On New Year’s Eve, their outdoor dance party (DIRECTLY BELOW MY BALCONY) began at 11:30 and lasted until about 4 am. We were also treated to dismantling of this dancefloor at around 7:30 in the morning on January 1st. It’s unfortunate that both my husband and I, and other paying guests paid for an upgrade for an ocean view suite but in fact were the ones that suffered the most from this group and their private events.
I was also very disappointed with how guests who were not in Mr. Cowie’s party were treated for New Year’s Eve festivities. We had the dismal choice of having dinner and celebrations in either the corporate meeting room adjacent to the gift shop or the cramped sports bar. Even the landing outside of the lobby bar was closed off, so that Mr. Cowie and his guests could enjoy cocktails prior to their dinner.

Guests eventually stopped complaining at the front desk, as it was made clear the very first night we were all so horrified, that their hands were tied and nothing would be changed.

I have stayed at the resort when other sizeable corporate groups were in attendance and we never suffered any inconvenience. I believe that Palace resorts and the Playacar Palace made unreasonable exceptions for Mr. Cowie and his group and gave absolutely no thought or concern how this would affect other PAYING GUESTS of the hotel during this time.

This completely compromised our vacation and embarrassed us in front of other guests we encouraged to book there for our wedding.

I have noticed the General Manager Mr. Malacar responding to some of the posts...it's curious that in a public forum you're only to eager to respond, but when I have sent both a letter and filled out 2 satisfaction reviews (at the resort and the one sent to me online after our wedding) there has been no response at all. So customer service is just an illusion?

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
22 Thank Blanchedeveraux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rmalacara, General Manager at Playacar Palace, responded to this review, 24 March 2012
Dear guest,

Please accept my apologies once again for all the inconvenience during your stay; the most important for us is to ensure that you, as our guest, receive everything you are looking for in much needed vacation and celebration.

All what happened is totally uncommon in our Resort and I feel very unhappy that you experienced such unfortunately inconvenient. We’ve already been in communication and as you know we are working on the resolution and to have another opportunity to host you so you and your husband can enjoy the Real Playacar Palace.

Best Regards

RM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
St. John's, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2012

We have bben to Mexico 5 times and the rest of the Carribean on numerous occasions. This is the best resort and some of the best cuisine we have found anywhere. Miles of awesome beach. Small resort but everything you need. 5th ave is right next door with bars and shopping. Staff were truely amazing and the weather was super. Mid Feb and we had sun and 30 degrees all 7 days.Palace does it right. Could use some better wines.

Room Tip: All rooms are good.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 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?
4 Thank Harold154964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2012

Just came back (February 25th to March 3rd). I travelled with my wife and two kids ( 3years old and ten months)
Everything went perfect from check-in, staff, service, pool, room, beach....

I just can't see why people have negative comments to say about this resort. I travelled a lot and can say that it is top notch resort.
Book your trip and enjoy...

  • Stayed February 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank M A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2012

First, let me say that we last visited Playacar Palace back in 2008. It was at about 50% capacity. When we arrived on Tuesday, 2/28, the resort was full. In fact, they told us that it was over-booked. This is our 3rd time visiting a Palace Resort (we are NOT Palace Members) so we expected a room with a view. They placed us in a 1st level room across from the construction zone. While the room itself was nice, it was extremely noisy and there was no view of the ocean. In their defense, Arturo, the reservations manager offered to move us to the Moon Palace and give us an ocean-front room. We declinced because my husband had golf reservations already booked along with transportation. Also, my girlfriend and I wanted to walk into town and walk the beach while our husbands were golfing (that's not an option at the Moon Palace).

SERVICE:
- Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic!! Every single person at the resort is pleasant and so very helpful. They treat their guests well and interact and have fun. This is one of the reasons I really like Palace resorts.

FOOD:
- Generally, AI food is just "Okay". The variety at the Palace is vast. We particuarly liked the Japenese restaurant and used our points for the lobster dinner. While they say that the Italian and Japanese restaurant require long pants for the men, they didn't enforce it. No dress-code was required and we saw lots of shorts and tee-shirts in the evenings.

DRINKS:
- Seemed a little watered down but the wine is fabulous. I particuarly liked their Chardonnay and fell in love with a particular red (brought a cork home to see if my local liquor store can order it).

POINTS:
- We received $1500 per-room to use in various ways. We didn't use them for golf because they require you to book when you arrive. Instead, we upgraded the guys to a golf package and booked our unlimited golf in advance.
- Because we've traveled to Playa close to a dozen times, we chose not to do any of the excursions. Instead, we used our points for the lobster dinner and wine upgrades. They give you the option to use them at the spa as well but we just didn't get around to booking anything.

FITNESS CENTER:
- The fitness center/spa is about a mile south of the Palace in Playacar. They have daily shuttles or you can easily walk/run in less then 10 minutes. They are building a fitness center/spa on site (hence the construction zone).

This is a smaller resort with 200ish rooms. They have one main activity in the evening but this resort pretty much shuts down around 10:00 p.m. It is not an adults only resort but there were very few kids both times we stayed here.
It's within walking distance to 5th Ave so those that want more night life don't have to go far to find it.

Given the resort was filled to capacity when we were there, the pool area tended to be pretty busy. The beach was lovely and there were plenty of chairs for everyone. Lots of "towel-games" happening as people would get up bright and early and reserve their spots.

Overall: GREAT SERVICE, GREAT LOCATION and overall, GREAT resort. We'll likely go back!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank wiscmom38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rosemount, Minnesota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

We have been visiting this very lovely resort for the last 7+ years with our friends. We typically have several couples go together and have the time of our lives. The staff is the best you'll find anywhere. The management is where we have our complaints. We arrived for our 7 day vacation in Playa last week expecting the usual very warm welcome. What we got was "we do not have rooms for you and your friends. You are staying at the moon palace.' We made our reservations 7+ months earlier and ALL of our paperwork that confirmed our reservations said playa car palace on it. We don't stay at the Moon Palace because it's too big. The disappointing part was the obvious inablity of the staff to offer us more than telling us we would have to go to Moon Palace and we could come back in 2 days. The staff is wonderful but the management does not empower them to make any decisions and the management is only available at their convenience. Our friends we travel with have a premier membership....this was NOT premier customer service. I would not tell you not to go there because it is a great place but I do have my concerns now about how they treat guests, and offer no additional compensation for THEIR error. We paid thousands for this trip....and they just say oh well. The staff apologized but the management offered us NOTHING for the inconvenience. That's just wrong. No one could, or would, tell us how this happened. Beware of the promises you get....confirm before you go...my husband has done some research on the palace resorts since our return and the better business bureau only gives them a C+ so think carefully before spending your money. Will we go back? Yes....because this was hopefully a one time error but from talking with others, it's not an isolated experience. The staff can't be beat.....they are AWESOME....the management needs to get their act together!!!!!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Deb M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rmalacara, General Manager at Playacar Palace, responded to this review, 6 March 2012
Dear Guest.-

First and foremost, we would like to thank you for taking the time to review our Resort, as you may know, feedback is of extreme importance for Palace Resorts as it helps us to know how we are doing in terms of service and facilities.


I deeply regret for the situation with your reservations and believe me, this is a very uncommon fact. As I mentioned on property, customer service is following up on this matter. Playacar Palace is always willing to deliver a 100% guest satisfaction and this would not be a exception.


Palace Resorts has aspired for many years to build a brand and reputation with our Guests; and we deeply regret this kind of situations. Again please accept my most sincere apologies.


Respectfully,


RM
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Playacar Palace

Property: Playacar Palace
Address: Bahia del Espiritu Santo | Esq. Abraira de Arriva, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price range (per night): RM1,942 - RM3,387
Hotel Class:4 star — Playacar Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 201
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playacar Palace, a trendy beachfront resort located steps away from Playa del Carmen's famous 5th Avenue and the Cozumel Ferry Dock. Our all-inclusive, luxury resort features 201 appointed rooms, 3 restaurants and 4 bars. This resort is considered the perfect spot to relax during the day and enjoy the nightlife and charms of "Playa" at night. Playacar Palace is perfect for families, couples, and group getaways. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playacar Palace Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Playacar Palace Mexico
Playacar Palace Resort
Playacar Palace Playa Del Carmen, Mexico - Riviera Maya

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