Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Fodor's Weekly: Your expert travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration (coming soon)

Riviera Maya Hotels

Mahekal Beach Resort

  • Beach Front Casita

  • PLAYA DEL CARMAN

  • MAHEKAL BEACH

  • Our waistaff Rogelio, Ivan and Alberto. Love them!!

  • view from our Garden View Pueblito room

Pros

  • Private patios with hammocks
  • Excellent service
  • Billiards and Ping-Pong

Cons

  • No evening entertainment
  • Narrow beach
  • No amenities
  • Mediocre food
  • Sulfur smell after the rain

Updated 04/02/2013

Fodor's Review

With candy-colored palapa-roofed bungalows and a great location—on the sand but just two blocks from the town's upscale northern end—this may be the perfect beach resort. Tasteful, unfussy rooms are tiled and coordinated with beachy white beds and teak chairs and blinds, and they all have a private outdoor patio or terrace. Despite the price, rooms are rustic rather than luxurious and do not have TVs, phones, minibars, or Wi-Fi. Spend low-key days playing Ping-Pong

or snoozing in hammocks at the water's edge, or dig into the guest library; the reception will arrange all manner of water sports should you request it. Rates including breakfast and dinner are heavily discounted for kids up to 17.

Read More

Hotel Information

Address:

Calle 38, at the beach, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, 77710, Mexico

Phone:

984-873–0611; 877-235–4452

Hotel Details:

  • 121 cabanas
  • Some meals

Updated 04/02/2013

Book A Hotel

Advertisement

What's Nearby

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Sights

See all hotels in Riviera Maya

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Sep 12, 2012

Paradise on the beach - Mahekal July 2012

Mahekal is a small boutique resort with unique rooms and personalized service. We had the pleasure of staying at Mahekal in July 2012 in room number 35 Playa which is an oceanfront room with a large palapa style roof that stands alone. We could step directly onto the beach from our front porch. It was paradise. The grounds at Mahekal are well maintained by the staff. They have tropical bushes and flowers all along the walkways. There was a croton

plant that we passed on our walk to breakfast each day. They have small purple flowers that are the perfect splash of color for planting beds. Every day it was a pleasure to walk along the paths and see the foliage. It was a wonderful splurge to stay in our beachfront room. We enjoyed falling asleep to the lullaby of the ocean every night. There was constant activity during the day since our room was so close to the beach access road but it really didn’t bother us. The bathrooms have pretty colorful Mexican sinks and tiles which are much warmer than the sterile modern steel ones that are popular now. They use Yucatan Herbal products which included an organic chocolate soap that I loved! I took two of them home. The maid left two small complementary bottles of water every day in the room. We forgot and used the tap water to brush our teeth a few times but didn’t have any problems. Mahekal is spread out in a few sections – Caribe, Adventura and Playa. They have two restaurants called La Loma and Adentura which are open air and have high palapa roofs. When we first arrived, the La Loma restaurant was closed but it opened up half way through our stay. The Adentura Restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch. They had windows that closed on the sides in the Adentura restaurant which helped keep out the birds. They also have a Casa Club bar with ping pong and pool tables near the front entrance. Casa Club has a nightly happy hour from 5-6 PM which we only made twice. A few days we were still on the beach at that time. Rogelio is their beach waiter and was a genuinely friendly nice person who we enjoyed talking to every day. He is an asset to the resort. We spent many days lying on the beach ordering dos mas, por favor. The majority of the staff were wonderful, friendly people. Breakfast and either lunch or dinner are included in the room rate. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet which included fruit, yoghurt, juices, hash browns, sausage, bread items and a Mexican breakfast specialty that I think were called chilaquiles. It was a treat. In addition to the buffet we could also choose a specialty cooked item from a menu that included a variety of Mexican egg dishes, omelets, French toast or pancakes. Their huevos rancheros and the French toast were stand outs on the breakfast menu. I thought that their decaf coffee was a little too strong but my husband liked the regular coffee. Eating dinner at the resort for the first day of our vacation is a tradition that we have. We usually take the first flight out which means that we have to get up before the crack of dawn, so we’re usually tired by dinner. They had a Mayan buffet that had a delicious pork dish on our first day. Mahekal has a Mexican Fiesta every Sunday night where they have a Mariachi band playing. We planned our vacation to include two Sundays so we could go to their fiesta twice because I love Mariarchi music. I have a few songs that routinely request which include Guantanamara, Mexico Lindo and Pavido Navido. Mahekal has outside tables near the pool that have a great view of the ocean and are perfect for lunch. I loved their ceviche and their nachos with a side of pico de gallo. Rogelio will also deliver lunch to your beach chairs if you choose. The two times that we ate lunch at the resort we needed to notify the front desk before we ate that we were switching out dinner for lunch for billing purposes. The front desk area has a large palapa ceiling with long peanut shaped hanging lights. They have a lending library, an excursion desk and a computer station along with free wifi in the lobby. The front desk worker gave us a friendly reception at check in. We walked down the beach one day from Mahekal towards downtown Playa. This is something that we like to do on vacation for exercise and to familiarize ourselves with the area. It was nice to see some of the other resorts up close. I recognized many of them from my research before the trip. After our beach walk I came to the conclusion that the beach at Mahekal and its next door neighbor Las Palapas have the the best beach in the area. It’s a wide beach which we love.

Read More

By DM

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Jan 6, 2007

we too had a bug but,,,,, such a wonderful place it didn't matter

We stayed a week in a aventura penthouse at the Shangri la Caribe over July 4th 2006. We also had a not so friendly roach-like bug bite my girlfriend twice in the same night. I bagged it and took to the front desk and they said,,,, Its a bungalow! We covered the drains in the floor and sinks/tubs and that stopped them from coming in. I guess you can expect a few unwanted friends. We had such a great time there we are considering going back to

get married.

Read More

By Rachel

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Jul 11, 2006

Heaven on earth!

We just got back from a friends wedding at the Shangri-la, and it was the best vacation we have ever had!We were in 24C in the middle of the caribe section, and it suited us fine although I will spend the extra $$ next time for a beach front room. The wedding was fabulous and the bride commented how smooth the planning had gone for her. The staff, food, beach, everything was fantastic. If you prefer a more "american" hotel you may be dissapointed.

This place is amazing! I am in awe of how wonderful it was. The beach was very private,cleaner and free of vendor's which seem very pervasive in the rest of playa. The massage is the best I have had! I can't wait to go back!

Read More

By Don

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Oct 31, 2005

30th Anniversary.. Huh..Relaxing

The Hotel enterance was still in the construction stage, as were the streets surrounding Shangri-la, but inside was the most relaxing and friendly group of people you will ever meet. It was a short walk to town with shoppnig the whole way. We had the penthouse room and found that the thached roofs are home to many bugs. We asked to be moved and were given a room with a concrete ceiling and NO BUGS. It was great. While the second room was not as big

and did not have the view, we could still look out the window to the beach. I found that no T.V., and no phone was a plus. Anything you need..just ask the staff and they are more than happy to help. Great vacation..Great Room. We will go back again.

Read More

By Doug

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Jul 27, 2005

Crabby people stay home

Stayed at the Ritz for a week in Cancun and got a little sick of all my follow Americans complaining about the heat while they where lounging around in slacks with their wives make-up running down their faces....So My wife and I ventured down and stayed our last few days at Shangri-La. We had a little bungolow w/A.C. next to the pool and with the beach going all the way up to our door #32 I think...What a view, what piece, what....no people around

with screaming kids!!!! The food was great...East Coast People don't know what good Mexi food is...a burrito isn't Mexi food, it's American...so don't go looking for it at the restaurant!!! The guest list 50/50 Euro's and Americans durring my stay in OCT. where all great people, very friendly. The room was very clean, the service on the beach was better here then it was at the Ritz...so was the food too and a a fraction of the cost. No T.V. thank God, No alarm clocks, No radios...Just a great baby makin time for us two love birds. This is a must stay place, try it and you don't even have to thank me later....see you next year Caribe.

Read More
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Jun 20, 2005

Mosquitoes on the Garden Side will Eat You Alive

Our room wasnt ready until 3:30, which is not unusually for Mexico but was a bit uncomfortable for us because we were drenched (the humidity was very high) and tired from our travels. We had #50 in Pueblito. If we go again, we agreed we would pay more for something closer to the ocean because the mosquitoes in the garden are vicious. We were rarely in our room so we didnt care about an oceanview. But if we did, we noted that not all ocean front

cabins are created equal--there are only about 4 cabanas on the beach with no other cabanas blocking their view (or breeze) but the rest listed as oceanfront do face the ocean but may have other cabanas blocking their view and breeze. Id also prefer a top floor (we were on the first), since you can hear those above you. Breakfast (7:30-10am) was a yummy buffet of fresh fruit, sweet breads, and cereals. You can also choose one item from a menu of about 10 hot itemshotcakes, huevos rancheros, etc. One morning, they packed us a boxed breakfast (cheese/ham sandwich, yogurt, banana, and chocolate milk) free of charge because we had an early tour. Dinners (7:30-10pm) were ok but never disappointed. PDC has great restaurants you can try for lunch or dinner (still a good value if you only eat breakfast). The best meals there were the buffetsMexican on Sunday and the Parrillada on Wednesdayso if youre going to skip out on any of the meals, do so the other nights. The wait staff is also nice; we tipped $2-3 per meal. I had a great massage on the hotel site too ($40 for 40 minutes). Every day our towels were folded differently (elephants one day!); we tipped our room cleaner $1 per day. Many Europeans frequent the resort and there is lots of topless sunbathing (all along PDC) but we found that it was more of the Americans that werent as discrete (is there such a thing as topless etiquette?) We recommend this resort for couples and family (since meal times are easy and there are lots of playmates for the kids).

Read More
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Nov 17, 2004

Paradise Found

As I sit here in my cubicle wearing my fleece coat, I dream about how only 2 days ago at this very moment I was feasting my eyes upon beautiful turquoise waters and lovely sand beach, with a cerveza in hand and not a care in the world. I will go back to this place.

By Dan

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Jul 22, 2004

Cockroaches In Our Bed

My wife and stayed at the Shangri La Caribe this past May. We liked the feel of the hotel from the website and it also got a great review in Frommers. What we discovered when we arrived was that there is a huge disparity in the quality of the rooms. We were originally booked in the Caribe section (in the back of the hotel) in one of the huts with a thatched roof. As soon as we arrived we realized that the room was infested with ants and we switched

to another room in the same section. That night, we were awoken by large biting bugs in bed with us. The next morning we complained to management and we moved to another section of the hotel (and we paid a higher price). This room was in the Aventura section of the hotel and was very nice and had air conditioned. However, we learned that the room was only available for one night and we would have to move again to the Playa section. Our room in the Playa Section, which was the same price as the Aventura section, was also thatched and unairconditioned. Although near the sea, the breeze was not strong enough to cool off the room. We tried to switch rooms again, but were told that the only rooms available were in the original section. We had also prepaid for our stay and were told that we could not get out of our contract. On the second to last night, my wife woke up with a huge cockroach on her face, to which mgmt seemed unconvinced and unconcerned. The beach area of the hotel was very nice. However, the food was terrible and the management was rude, unhelpful and impossible to deal with. It also upset us that we had to pay extra to switch rooms and that until the final night with the cockroach, they would not let us leave the hotel without charging us the full amount of our stay.

Read More

By Sue

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Apr 6, 2004

An okay place but watch out for Turquoise Reef Group Travel

The resort itself is very good for families, adequate food, nice staff, okay rooms although ours was a little tired. The biggest problem is that all US booking is done through Turquoise Reef Group in Colorado. The staff there is okay but not particularly helpful or informative. Our biggest problem came from the onsite office of Turquoise Reef at Shangri-La Caribe. We arranged a trip to Chichen Itza at a rate of 72 pesos per person. We had noticed

in town that some of the travel agencies along 5th Avenue were advertising cheaper trips (for about 35 pesos per person) and wondered what the difference was -- we were told that ours would be a smaller tour and would be a better experience -- the others were just big buses. Well it was true we were in a small van but soon discovered that the rest of the tour had paid between 35 and 40 pesos per person. We complained but got no where. An annoyance that left a very bad impression. I'm not sure what the ownership relationship is between Turquoise Reef and Shangri La but it appears they are owned by the same people. I won't be doing business with them again -- anywhere.

Read More

By Irene

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Mar 4, 2001

Shangri-la Caribe was as close to paradise as I have been

My husband and I were totally impressed with this place. I gave the room only a 4 just because it is simple but clean and comfortable. The gardens are lush and beautiful. Service was excellant. Very highly recommended.

Show All

Add Your Own Review

When did you stay?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?

Room

Décor

Service

Value

Advertisement