I've actually stayed at this resort twice. The first time was so great and such a good value we went here back to back year and now are actually looking into going a third time and getting married there. The resort is phenomenal. It is broken into two sections the beach and the Rivera. We preferred the Rivera. It was further from the actual beach but was newer and had nicer bigger rooms. Plus if you are feeling lazy and don't want to walk to the beach the better pools are in the Rivera section and they have a golf cart that comes every few minutes that will take you to the beach section. The food is outstanding. I mean there is only so good a buffet can be, but Sandos has some of the best buffet food I've had outside of Vegas. The Ala cart dining options are great too. Loved the Brazilian and steak place. French was good too. The bars are great with tasty drinks and good service. We upgraded to the select club when we got there. It gets you preferential seating on the beach and an extra pool area with some pretty awesome loungers. Also you get access to two additional bar areas that have pretty tasty hors d'oeuvres and top shelf liqueur. The beach is also great. White sand on the bluest water. I love the whole thing. I've been to the Mayan Rivera two times and both were at the Sandos and booked at CheapCarribean. I can't think of a better way to spend my vacation and look forward to my third trip this summer.
Sandos Playacar's resort was overall a good resort. We traveled at the end of February 2012. I would recommend this resort to people who like to vacation with their childern (typically when we go to Mexico we enjoy this time without our childern). It is very family friendly. Food- Buffets are buffets, but they did offer a variety. They did show cooking at every meal so you could have fresh food made right in front of you. The chicken and fish were very good. Desserts however were not as sweet as we are use to. We ate at all the a la carte restaurants except for the Brazilian and the French. Our favorite was the Meditteranean. Beach- Beach area was nice. They could have done a little better job clearing the seaweed off the high tide area in the morning, but what was left did not stink at all. The beach area was big enough for everyone except if you want a place in the shade make sure you put your towels out early in the morning. Activities/Shows- The entertainment team puts in long hours and does a good job trying to keep everyone entertained. The shows were amateur, but were nice to go and see. There was always something going on if you like to get involved. Rooms- The rooms were just as seen in their photos. We had a beautiful view of both the adults only pool and the ocean. One of the best views I have had from a room so far. The showers were very spacious.
We had a fantastic time. We would HIGHLY RECOMMEND staying in the STANDARD room over the Junior Suites. The standard room might not have all the frills of the Suites but it is centrally located next to the pools, food, bars, dive shop and best of all the ocean and beaches. The Junior Suites are a LONGGGGGG walk to the ocean (they do have a van that picks you up and drops you off) but when I am on vacation I dont want to wait for a van to have fun. FOR ALL YOU DIVERS: the reefs are great the dive shop is very accommodating. The divemasters allowed me to pick which reefs I wanted to dive and several times myself and the divemasters where the only divers. Food was good, I highly recommend making reservations to all of the fancy restaurants as soon as you get there, as the good ones fill up fast. The Beach is fantastic, every morning sea weed/grass would wash up on the beach and the crew from the resort were instantly on it cleaning up the beach. I even saw a man raking the sand first thing in the morning so that when all of the guests come down it looks perfectly groomed(NOW THATS SERVICE).
The resort is pretty, large and enjoyable. The beach and pools are excellent! The bellboys and the activity directors are all very personable and go out of their way to give you an enjoyable time. Miguel from Peru was exceptionally sweet and fun. He made our 16 year old granddaughter's experience extra special and that couldn't have been more fun for all of us! Thank you Miguel!!! The food was nice with many choices, though the inability to make restaurant reservations for each night of your stay was frustrating. There were no working ATM's or the ability to exchange money into Pesos at the hotel. Had there been, the employees would have been tipped far more often and I believe tips can inspire better service. We experienced many contradictions in answers between employees at the reception desk and in The Meeting Place which caused some frustrations and extra trips back and forth along the LONG pathways between them. The resort is a very long one from front to back and it's one heck of a walk to the gorgeous beach, so make sure you know that when you request a room location! And enjoy the excursions the resort itself offers and don't book from any other company unless you are prepared to pay thru the nose having to drive the hour into Cancun!! We learned that the hard way! The people in the airport need to BE IGNORED!!! Do NOT let them stop you!!! And yes, the resort will want you to join them for a "Welcome" breakfast which is their way of offering you a chance to become a member at the resort. It takes up your morning, but if you have the time, it's up to you. If you aren't iterested, be honest, tell them and just get up and leave politely. Nothing lost but your time Would we go back? Maybe. We have stayed at other resorts in Playa Del Carmen and it all depends on what type of vacation you want. Do your research before you book! Adios!
Pros: Very Clean and well maintained for the age Love the towel decorations (nice touch) Great Service. Polite and professional staff Safe environment Lots of options for entertainment Spa reasonably price for services. Free use of hydro therapy section Excerat is well worth the money and beautiful. Stay for the Show. It is long, but worth it. Monkeys wake you up at 6am. I love it, others don't.They can be hand fed with caution. Beach is amazing. No sharks during the day, no stingrays, no strong current. Activities like aerobics and volleyball etc Cons: Upon arrival you are offered drinks and then when you think you are going to get an "overview" of the resort you find yourself being asked to join vacation club or time share and sit through a 90 min presentation. This happens also on your second day when they put a card on your door leading you to think you have forgotten to pick up some resort coupons. Don't do it. They harangue you to go on a tour on the grounds and push the vacation club again! Food was plentiful but flavorless. On the level of college dorm food or old country buffet We went to the Steak house, French, and Brazilian restaurants. These are better than the Festival and Mediterranean, but if you compare to US these are low average. NOT what I was expecting. Steak house and Brazilian are in the basement of the Lobby Building, with no air conditioning and is designed in 1970's décor. Service is exceptional and staff always polite A+++ for the staff. Standard Rooms smell of mold and mildew, stained chairs, burnt lamp shades, uncomfortable beds and you need to put your room key in this slot for your lights to work. Was this place built in the 70's? The standard rooms and spa need to be updated. If you are into cheap booze, getting drunk, and not a foodie, then this is for you. My 18 and 20 yr old loved it. Take Imodium with you. We all drank bottled water, but all got the runs. Pepto or Imodium was outrageously expensive. 10.00 for 8 pills, or $8.00 for a small pepto. The parasailing is 40-65 a person, depending on how good you are at haggling or what they feel like charging at that moment. One guy said 40 and another said 65 (same company) standing a few feet apart. There are tons of add-ons and staff will come up to you on the beach or pool area to try and sell add on services. This was somewhat annoying. There were photographers, spa reps, and activity vendors all trying to get you to spend...oh and the never ending wait staff asking you if you want more drinks (tip them and they will return every few minutes). That could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how much you drink or want to be left in peace. If you go into town, nothing has a price tag. It is all on the barter system. I am American, so I am uncomfortable with this method of doing business. I read it was about 7.00 from 5th street to Sandos Playacar , every taxi driver I asked, said 9.00usd. 5 peso to use a bathroom on 5th street. Really!!! Shows: karaoke night; drunk fools singing off key Mariachi band: some local flavor Disco: booze plentiful DJ bad (per kids 20-18) but I would not allow my boys to go to Coco Bongo in town (this is where to party) The first two days were awesome dec 20, and 21st. It was not crowded. On the 22nd hordes of people arrived and it was difficult to find a chair by the beach and impossible to find a chair by the pool. People get up early and reserve chairs with towels. Finally, I am not a big drinker and if I drink, I don't want cheap alcohol. The best meal I had was at a restaurant off the tourist track in town called Econimacal comida (cheap eats on 20th) where I had awesome fresh fish with rice 50peso and my son had a plate of Mexican tacos 8 pesos, and two pepsi for under 10.00USD. In conclusion, I have no idea why these all inclusive are so popular. Yes it is a no brainer. You eat where you want and drink all you can and never ever have to leave the resort. Most of your meals are buffet style where it is hard not to over eat and the flavor is just not worth the calories. This is Disney land for adults. Keechi and not very luxurious. This may be odd, but I did not like wearing a band for 5 days. I also did not like the obvious preferential treatment between wrist band colors. For the money, I would rather stay at a more intimate hotel, taking in more local flavor and choosing my own entertainment and restaurants.
This was a wonderful resort. The rooms are spacious. The service is excellent. Everyone is friendly, warm and helpful. There are plenty of towels poolside. I loved the pool activities. Even if I'm not doing them it is fun to sit with a drink and watch. I highly recommend this resort to families of adventurous preteen kids. I have a 7 and 11 year old and they thought this was the best vacation ever. Biking, mini golf, video games, pool, beach, tons of food...what else would a kid want? They had a lot of activities for kids. The beach was lovely. The resort is very large. The teen club in the evening was a godsend. I could sit at the cafe outside the teen club and watch the show. The kids could play games until late. . I would recommend a restroom for kids be in the teen club so they don't have to walk so far and use a restroom that abuts a bar. I love the little town. You can borrow a bike and ride there. Very nice ride and great little town to explore. We will be going back. This was such a fun place.
Despite the expansive size of Sandos Playa Car Resort and Spa, the staff offers the kind of service you might receive at a botique hotel. They were friendly and helpful and were patient and knowlegable teachers when my husband and I tried to speak Spanish. The Sandos Playacar is about 2 miles from the town of Playa del Carmen, which my husband and I walked daily. There are activities nearby if wish to see some of the mayan ruins, go zip lining or perhaps explore a cave or cenote. But if staying put in the resort is what you want, you will find more than enough to do. There were water sports aplenty on the beach or in the pools. You can even try your hand at arts and crafts if you so desire. And, of course, just being on the beach with the beautiful blue waters is entertainment enough. The beach may be a hike away from some of the accomadations but there is free transportation to and from beach and to and from the specialty restaurants if you would rather ride. The food at the buffets is the best in the Playacar area, in my opinion, and the specialty restaurants are also good. The rooms are clean and cool either by air conditioning or by ocean breeze which ever way you prefer. If you wish to sit on your balcony and not even leave the room, room service is part of the all-inclusive feature of this resort. There are night time shows for the whole family in the evening to wind down your day. My husband and I are planning a trip back next year only this time with our daughters, their hubands and our 4 grandchildren. Sandos Playacar -- What a Value!
We are a 27 year old couple. We had a nice time at Sandos Playacar, despite the rainy weather. The room was nice; however, our sheets and towels had stains on them. When I went to run the water for the tub/jacuzzi, the water came out brown. The swim-up bar in the adults only section was really fun. The only bad part was the pool was noticeably dirty. The scum on the side of the pool was very thick and extremely visible and there was a film of something (suntan lotion?) constantly floating around the pool. Not much filtration or chlorine monitoring from what we could tell. The staff was very friendly but we walked down from the adults only section to the main entertainment area in the rain to go to the Mexican restaurant but we found out that the restaurant was under renovations once we got down there. No one had told us about the renovations when we checked in. We stopped and just ate at one of the buffets instead and it was pretty good. I would recommend going to the buffets. The adults only section was very nice for couples looking to relax. Overall the place is huge and very beautiful. The staff is helpful and the animals roaming around are fun.
I was going into this trip a little bit wary as I had read some negative things on TA. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised!I am all about location so the basic rooms were best for us. My room (we were in 1122) was right next to the pool and a 30 seconds walk to the beach. Couldn't ask for a better location. We had 3 rooms all together. There was a moldy smell upon first entering but it seemed to go away after the first day. Looking at the map , i thought it would be much larger and harder to get around but the beach rooms are near most of the restaurants and activities. We upgraded the wristbands to use the premium bars and beds on the beach. Its probably not necessary but we did use the premium lobby bar on arrival, departure and a few times when we had to go to the lobby to leave the property. The food was pretty good. There was a large buffet with pretty much anything you could want-omelet station, someone making fresh pancakes, etc.. They also had egg white only on request. Theres also a smaller but ample buffet near the pool.We did 3 specialty restaurants. Mexican was the best. Steakhouse was also good. Not impressed with Brazilian and it was the only one you had to make reservations for. The beach is beautiful. you can borrow kayaks. Theres plenty of activities-Zumba on beach, volleyball, water aerobics etc.. i would definitely go back . We were there low season so it was not crowded and always could get a chair near pool or beach. Each and every employee were friendly and helpful. The doorman, Idris, my favorite. We did transfers through CC and all went smoothly. Aero Mexico was great. All in all a great trip!
I would have given this resort an even a higher rating if two items were remedied. First, the pools are unheated. We were placed in the Adult Section so I cannot comment on the other pools but it definitely is more than cool with the water temperature. It actually discourages people from using the pool. I got in only once. A little money for Heat Pumps or something would remedy this. The beach is very good!!! Secondly, be prepared to WALK. They have only one shuttle running at any given time so it is very, very inconsistent. This is a large and lengthy property. The property is at least a mile long. We were in the very furthest unit from the beach. The remedy to this is to have at least 2 shuttles running at any given time. Great exercise but one gets a little worn out. Lastly, I want to say how terrific the employees are at this resort. They are the hardest working people I have ever seen. They greet you every day with a smile and an "Hola" and appear very happy in their work for the customers. My salute to youl!!!!!! And Muchisimos Gracious!!!!