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Sandos Caracol Eco Resort
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Reviews (13,851)
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We just returned from a week at Sandos Caracol. We are a family of four - with an 8 and a 10 year old. I will start with the positive, and then get to the negative and why we will not be returning to this resort.

Positives:
1) The water park - it is excellent. Good slides, great little kids area, and fun for all.
2) The king bed-bunk bed combo. This is a much better set up for a family of four than two doubles. More resorts should go to it. It is a game changing configuration.
3) The animals. Monkeys were plentiful and fun. The pigs and donkeys at the farm were also a hit.
4) The Vegan restaurant is surprisingly good, and empty. Folks should step out of their comfort zones and try it.
5) The grounds and layout are fantastic.

The Negatives:
1) The schedule is not accurate. What is list in the printed daily schedule is not what actually happens.
2) The eco-tours filled up every day way to early. You basically had to wait on line at 8:45-9 am to get one. Tons of upset folks. They had enough for about 4 families on the 4 popular ones. So 16 people a day at a resort with hundreds of families. And they let the same folks sign up for 2-3 a day.
3) Lack of basic health practices in the buffet. Cook handling raw hamburgers then handed me a tortilla without washing her hands. Tables are just reset and not cleaned between seatings. Lots of dishes without serving items causing hand based contact by lots of gross people. My son got sick and I am convinced this is why. It is a walking petri- dish in the buffet restaurants, and basic standards are not met.
4) Woefully understaffed- I actually blame the first three problems on this one. There is about a 1-20 ratio of tables to waiters in the restaurants, and no bus people. The workers are busting their butts hustling to get everything done - there is just not enough staff and it shows. It is why they don't clean the tables as an example. And it created issues in managing sitting folks.
5) No dinner reservation system. They need one. Over hour waits at all sit down restaurants starting at about 6:15-8:30. That's tough with kids. It made dinner stressful every night.
6) Not enough water stations throughout the resort. They need more
7) The ice cream machines were constantly not working or done right. Again, under-staffing is the issue.
8) The beds are really uncomfortable. The pillows are way too hard and non-conforming causing neck issues for both my wife and I.
9) Smoking areas were not enforced. Constantly had to deal with folks smoking near me and my kids. They have to fix this.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank jl_in_chevychase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Web_Sandos, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Dear Guest,

While send you a warm greeting we thank you for commenting about your experience with us.

Thank you for highlighting the positives attributes you were able to enjoy such the water park, the vegan restaurant and the activities.

The wild life and the variety of natives species that choose to live right here, and most of the times our guest can see them roaming freely about the property. Also our beautiful natural setting with lush jungle and mangrove.

On the other hand we regret not being able to exceed your expectations.

Nevertheless we know the best way to get better in the Hotel industry it is thanks to the guest feedback so we will be sharing all the points detailed above with the personnel involved for our continuous improvement.

Once again we remind you that we continue in improvement processes

Sincerely,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I would highly recommend this hotel to people with families, as well as to those who like to have some activities other than laying on the beach (not that there is anything wrong with doing just that). The activities in the pool and hotel are great, the staff are super friendly, they have tons of stuff, you an borrow equipment like kayaks and snorkels to use in the cenote located inside the hotel. The food in the a la carte restaurants is amazing. They also have a vegan restaurant for those with that inclination, I am not vegan but that place had great food. Minor negatives: the room was dated and needed a couple of repairs, since I was never in the room that was not an issue for me. The water park is super fun for all ages. It is an inexpensive cab ride into the heart of town where you can do a bit of shopping if desired. Can't wait to be back!

Room Tip: Higher up as usual is quieter and you may get better views.
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Cristina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Web_Sandos, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Dear Cristina M,

We would like to thank you the time you have taken for sharing such great things about your recent stay at Sandos Caracol.

It is wonderful to know that you felt welcomed by us and that your experience was a pleasant one.

You will never get bored at Sandos Caracol, we offer an endless list of activities that let you experience Mayan tradiditions and the area’s unbelievable jungle and mangrove setting.

Thank you for highlighting the positive attributes you were able to enjoy, we hope to have the pleasure of serving you again in the future.

We will be hoping for your return soon so you can enjoy our services again.

Sincerely,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This resort, like any other resort, is a business formed to make money. Much like a shady used car dealer, they make their money on the initial investment and shine it up to make it attractive to the uneducated buyer...

First, I would like to say that I have been to like 1000 resorts but this is the first time I really felt the need to write a review.

As you may have read in other reviews, the front desk is a true nightmare in incompetency! Maria was the only one who could answer a question for me without running away for 15 minutes to get me an answer. She should probably be promoted to front desk manager or even resort director

Anyway, Sandos likes to save money by using a skeleton crew in every possible area (except timeshare sales). The poor staff at the restaurants are so overwhelmed there is no possible way for them to provide good service. I only saw one server for each (very large) pool and 1 server for the entire beach, and 1 server for the entire theater. The rooms don't get cleaned very well simply because the few housekeepers cant clean them all in a day. Sandos also saves money by using the cheapest low quality food and drink they can find. While the staff does a pretty good job of making the best with what they have, they can only do so much. Yes, the beach is rocky. Yes, they will try to trick you into a timeshare presentation. Yes, check-in/check-out takes forever. If you expect these things before you go, then maybe it's not so bad.

The best advice I have if you are going to visit this place is:
Tip your bartenders/servers well.
Avoid any "breakfast tour" or messages to claim a "free gift" or "discounts" at the front desk.
Do the express check out if possible. That's from 6-10 PM the night before your departure
Stay away from Italian and international buffets
Don't be a 1 star guest. Have some class and don't eat while you are standing in the serving line of the buffet, and don't let your kids do it either.
If you happen to see a manager, tell him if he would concentrate on providing more service with more servers, he wouldn't have to try to sell so many timeshares because they would sell themselves. I hope one day Sandos Caracol can get their 5h1t together because it COULD be a pretty cool place

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

My fiance and I stayed here for a week in February, and had a wonderful time!

If you are going as a couple, absolutely upgrade to the Select club, simply for access to the beach club house and amazing beach beds. The club house has the cleanest bathrooms and great snacks.

Lupita at the Select club beach bar is super sweet and so attentative.

Bring lots of sunscreen, there are no palapas on the beach, so expect to spend lots of time in the sun apart from minor shade from palm trees.

This resort is a pretty amazing place for kids. There are lots of animals. Explore the area by the parrots to find the monkey's.

There is natural bug repellant all around the resort, expect mosquitoes. (It is a tropical part of the world after all).

So much to do for adults as well..We had an awesome boat ride with Fucundo.The Mayan shows are pretty neat as well.

Food is great.. lots of options for everyone. We might have gained a few pounds that week. Oh and the dessert cakes.. please try them! You won't be disappointed.

The water dispensers in your room is great. Bring your Nalgene bottles!!

As someone who loves the ocean, it took me a bit to figure out how to maneuver the beach. This is our second time at this resort and the shore has eroded a lot in the last 8 years. If the ocean is calm, climb over the sand bags on the left side by the select club and enjoy. The ocean on the other side is only up to your chest with a lovely sandy bottom. Bring your snorkel gear too. Those sand bags have tons of fish around them.

Enjoy!

Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
4  Thank DianaBeach82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Web_Sandos, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Dear DianaBeach82,


Thank you for those great comments and we are glad your vacation was a wonderful experience.

We make sure that our guests always receive the best service, thanks to the efforts of our employees who work diary with dedication and passion.

We appreciate very much to the amazing words that you left of appreciation of our staff's work.

Thank you for highlighting the positive attributes you were able to enjoy, we would like to have the pleasure of serving you again in the future.

We hope that it won’t be too long before you let us give you again an unforgettable experience.

Best Regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The resort was over-all a great experience for my family and I. In total there were 11 of us. The bedrooms were large and the rooms for family members of 4-5 people were amazing. Food was great especially at the a la cartes. Lots to see and do. Very friendly and helpful staff.
My only complaint was that the plastic glasses served at the bars were definitely recycled and plastic glasses are impossible to sterilize. We all came down with stomach issues at some point during our stay. I think recycling is wonderful but those glasses were not cleaned properly as far as I am concerned. Solution: bring your own bubba cups for the pool area.

Room Tip: If you have no children with you,, be sure to book in the Adult section. It has a private pool and specialty restaraunt.
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Judi R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Web_Sandos, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Dear Judi R,

We would like to thank you for choosing Sandos Caracol as your holiday destination.

We are thrilled knowing that it was a great experiece for you and your beloved family with us.

Thank you for mentioning all the remarkable attributes that caused a positive impact during your vacation.

It is very appreciated your kind and honest words about the points detailed above, we do our very best to ensure our guests are taken care of, from the moment they arrive until the time of departure so thank you for your valuable feedback.

We hope to see you really soon.

Best regards


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