|Old Reviews - Playacar Palace Resort|
Arrival: April, 2009
Restaurants and Bars:
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
My husband and I, along with our 10 month old daughter, stayed at the Playacar Palace from June 2 - 9, 2007. We had a wonderful vacation.
Flights: Skyservice. Cramped seating but the flight attendants are always wonderful. The food was surprisingly good for airplane food. Flights were on time in both directions.
Transfers: We booked last minute (we only confirmed our space about 36 hours prior to departure) and when we got to Cancun, our transfers were not arranged. I was not pleased with the length of time it took our tour operator's representatives to sort it out. Our baby was crying an awful lot in the hot sun. Eventually our rep arranged for us to take a private van to the resort. We also took one gentlemen to his home en route. He was an American who has relocated to Mexico and he was an absolute joy to share the ride with. We stopped at 7-11 and he bought us a beer and bought our baby a bottle of water. He was a great tour guide for our arrival. Thank you, whoever you are! The transfers on the way back to the airport were fine.
Location: The Playacar Palace is literally a 5 minute walk to the town of Playa Del Carmen. It's a great spot to be if you want to be near the action, yet not smack dab in the middle of it. The resort is located just to the right of the Cozumel ferry dock.
Check in: No problems whatsoever. Champagne and cold towels (and a flower for me) given to us upon arrival. Our room was ready at noon and I was so happy about that. We were looking forward to getting the baby indoors for a nap.
The room: Wonderful! We stayed in room #427. We had a king size bed, double jacuzzi, flat screen television (channels were somewhat limited but it was fun to watch the Mexican soap operas!), full ocean view, balcony with a table and two chairs, another small table and two chairs in the room, bathrobes and slippers provided (and you get to keep the slippers!), complimentary in room safe, stocked mini bar (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Dos Equis, light beer, water), liquor dispenser (rum, tequila, brandy and scotch), coffee maker. The bathroom had a marble shower and lots of good bathroom amenities. The room was kept very clean by the housekeeping staff.
The pool: Shallow, but didn't bother me. There is a large wading pool as well and it was nice for the baby. There is a swim up bar. We never had a problem obtaining loungers (but we did travel at low season).
The beach: Non existant. The hurricane a few years ago has washed it completely away. You can still go swim in the ocean but there is no beach at all. You can walk to Playa Del Carmen and go to the beach there. There are beach clubs that will rent you loungers and umbrellas (we rented two loungers and one umbrella for the day for $7 USD). Food and beer is available for purchase. The beach was quite nice but not the nicest I've seen. My husband is more of a pool person so we only went to the beach one day.
The food: Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.
Buffet: Huge selection at breakfast and lunch. You can get meats grilled to your liking. It becomes a Mexican buffet at dinner. The selection of desserts was wonderful. The staff at the buffet were the best at the resort. I would like to make a special mention of Juanita, Jovanna, and Cecilia who helped make our stay so wonderful. The buffet menus did rotate quite well so there was always some variety.
Italian: Great food and great service. Huge wine selection. A live saxophonist plays while you dine.
Asian: The food was quite good, although we preferred the Italian restaurant. The restaurant decor is beautiful (as is the Italian).
Snack bar at the pool bar: This was ok. A selection of sandwiches is available, along with burgers and chips with salsa. I preferred the food at the buffet or room service for lunch.
Luna Lounge: Thai appetizers are available every evening. We didn't get to go here because the baby went to bed too early.
Room Service: A limited menu, but the food was quite good. It is available 24 hours per day. It was a life saver when we were hungry and unable to leave the room due to a napping baby. It was also nice to have breakfast on our balcony, in our bathrobes, looking out at the ocean. The chocolate cake was fantastic and every time I had a piece, I wished I had another.
Coffee, tea, and a small selection of appetizers are also available at the lobby bar in the afternoons.
Pool bar / swim up bar: We used this bar the most. How can you go wrong with a swim up bar? It was great. There are wait staff that will come to your lounge chair to take your order.
Lobby bar: Great as well. Lots of very comfy seating and again, wait staff is available.
Luna Lounge: There is live entertainment here some nights. We didn't get to go in.
Entertainment and Activities: There was always something going on at the pool... volleyball, water aerobics, etc. We did see a few shows and while small, they were quite good. They do not have shows every night, but they do have something going on nightly.
Off the resort: We did not book any excursions because of the baby. We did take a taxi to WalMart to get some baby food and the cost was $5 USD per direction. We then decided to try to find a grocery store where the locals do their shopping, and we had fun wandering through the aisles. We bought our liquor and hot sauce here. We wandered through Playa Del Carmen a few times and it was nice to be able to get off the resort. Playa Del Carmen is extremely touristy but still fun. We had lunch at Dr. Taco one day. Great tacos!
There is a golf course and spa owned by the resort, a short shuttle away. We didn't use them. You are also entitled to visit any of the other Palace resorts in the area but we didn't want to take the long transfers with the baby. Otherwise I would have gladly done this. We met several people from other Palace resorts who came to Playacar Palace for the day and for dinner. There is also a kids club for ages 4 and up.
I would recommend the Playacar Palace to anybody, provided that the beach situation does not bother you. I would especially recommend it for those travelling with small infants. While our daughter had her afternoon naps, we were able to order in lunch and sit in the jacuzzi. I had a lovely time and would certainly return.