Which hotel in Playa del Carmen?

Dec 21st, 2005, 12:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 59
Which hotel in Playa del Carmen?

We are planning a trip in March for four nights and have narrowed it to four hotels, all pretty different from the others. We are in our late 20s and like good food and drink and beaches. Our choices:
Mosquito Blue - looks nice, had a friend who went there
Illusion Boutique and Hotel - very new
Shangri La Caribe - nice beach, but heard we had to get the nicest room to be away from bugs
Playa Maya - this would be the most reasonable...but am torn. Is it dated? Food and Drinks?
Thank you!
madamepetunia is offline  
Dec 21st, 2005, 02:40 PM
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I'm sort of thinking about doing the same thing and am probably considering about the same kind of hotels. I've stayed at Mosquito Blue and liked it, but I want something different this year. It was pretty good, though. The main thing I didn't like about it, which can be true of any of these hotels in town, is that it could be noisy due to the crowds on the streets and there is a disco right across the street from it on one side. However, if you've read hotel reviews on Tripadvisor, I think it is better than a lot as other than that, I had no complaints. It had working AC and comfortable beds (which are apparently rare in Mexico).

Illusion looks about the same level from what I've seen online -- a newer, hip 3* hotel, but not 4* quite. Illusion is pretty cheap, I thought, it looks about the same as Playa Maya, I thought. Rates vary a lot by season, though -- Mosquito Blue is pretty reasonable at Thanksgiving, when I went (about $125 for a double). The Illusion's rooms look a little more basic than Mosquito Blue's.

I guess the other places I was considering was the Lunata (except it is probably too noisy for me being right on 5 avenue), and the Alhambra. Have you looked at that one? I think it is new, also, and is also fairly modestly priced, maybe like Playa Maya.

I've have to admit I am not crazy about the beach around there, in general. Right in town, it is fairly narrow and of course full of businesses with boats, etc. The one I went to before from MOsquito Blue is a hike to the north of town, and then it was some "beach club" that was nothing special -- just some plastic chairs on the beach. The beach was fine, my big complaint is there is no shade anywhere, I didn't see any. That was what I expected at some "beach club", like chairs under palapas, which is what I like. I think some of the private AI resorts or maybe ShangriLa have things like that.

It depends what you want in a beach -- of course the water is fine and the sand.
Christina is offline  
Dec 21st, 2005, 03:33 PM
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try hotel las palapas which is next door to the shangri la - south - and a bit smaller. it has a beautiful beach w/ lounge chairs under palapas. get the incredible b'fast and go into town for dinner.
melissa19 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2005, 10:55 PM
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We stayed at the Playa Maya last month. I haven't been to the other hotels you mention as far as comparison, but we enjoyed the Playa Maya and were happy with the rooms/ammenities, etc. The hotel is beach-only access which means you walk through sand past the front of the Alhambra hotel to reach Playa Maya. It has a friendly staff, free internet, a nice little restaurant (good nachos), mini frig in the room, a/c, free beach towels, etc. The rooms are basic but not dated. Kinda middle of the road I'd say. Not luxury but not budget either. Hope this helps!
sactomama is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2005, 08:20 AM
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I completely agree with Melissa. Las Palapas is the way to go. I've been there twice and walked the whole beach. Shangri La Caribe would be my 2nd choice, tho I have not stayed there. My experience at Las Palapas was unbelievable. The staff was SO friendly. NOTHING was screwed up, like most other places I've stayed. The breakfast was incredible and we, too, walked into town for dinner. GO THERE! It is very resonable. Get a standard room on the upper floor. You'll feel like your in the jungle and you can hear the ocean!
jenmenke is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2005, 02:57 PM
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Just thought I'd throw in that if Playa Maya is dated, then you're in trouble, as every other hotel mentioned here, with the exception of the Illusion, is older than Playa Maya!

Illusion opened about a year ago (during or just after the holiday season of 04). But when we opened here at Playa Maya in July of 2002, all the other places noted had been in operation already for 1-? years. I think Mosquito Blue would be the next newest in that order, going backwards, but they were open as early as the spring of 2001.


Ryberg is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 07:17 AM
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we have stayed at the Riu Yucatan and the service was excellent and the food was 5 star for buffet meals. i highly recommend this resort and will visit there again
fyrfyter is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 11:42 AM
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A hotel can be older physically, but have done refurbishing or updating since they opened. Also, depending on the taste of the owners and decorators, and what they spend, a place can be dated the minute it opens. There was one of these hotels that I thought looked okay except that in the photos they showed that they had TVs hanging from the ceiling or upper wall or something like in a hospital (maybe that was the Illusion). I won't stay in a hotel that does that as I think it is really ugly and cheesy (and is not very practical). Usually hotels do that because their rooms are really really small or the owners have bad taste and think it is cool.
Christina is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 03:04 PM
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That was the Fusion, actually (with the TVs on the wall).

The Illusion looks pretty decent, also, except for all the complaints on Tripadvisor about the noise from an electrical generator on the roof or something. I really hate noise, especially when you are paying so much for a nice vacation which is supposed to be relaxing. Almost all of these hotels have major complaints about the beds being hard as a rock -- why do they do that in Mexico, anyway? Do hotels just think it is cheaper to buy hard beds (which it is if they are hard because of a mattress on a platform of wood or concrete rather than box springs)? I had that in the Caribbean, also, and could barely sleep. It was like being on a floor.

The PDC hotels charge too much for being kind of inept about a lot of things and having uncomfortable beds. I would have considered the Palapas or Shangrila maybe but they both have terrible complaints about the hard beds on Tripadvisor. At least Mosquito Blue's beds were comfortable.
Christina is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 03:32 PM
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I stayed at the Playa Maya in May 2005. I don't know what the effects of the Hurricane were on it but we loved it. Nice clean simple rooms, beautiful view of the ocean. Free internet in the lobby. Good location. The only bad thing was the small beach but I am told that the size of the beach changes often with the tide. The restaurant at Playa Maya was perfect for lunch. Enjoy!
lhs624 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 08:55 PM
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We were at Playa Maya last August. It is NOT dated! It was built in 2002! It really depends on what you want to spend. If you want to keep it around $100, Playa Maya and Alhambra are both good. Shangri La is $235 for an oceanview, but that includes breakfast and dinner. The beach at Shangri La is the best in Playa.
summer04 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 12:46 PM
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Not impressed at all by Playa Maya. Pool is miniscule, there is not really a front desk and employees are scarce. Also, beach in front of the hotel wasn't great. Recommend Quinta Sol instead. It's set a little further outside of town and you have to walk to the beach (down a short road) but it's much nicer.
travelfoodie is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 01:09 PM
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This is kind of funny this post got resurrected as these trips have long gone.

Just out of interest to this thread, I did actually stay at the Riviera del Sol this year, and liked it very much. The beds there were hard as a rock, also, but other than that I liked it a lot. It was nice that it is such a short walk to the beach from there (which is much nicer than around Playa Maya IMO). The staff were very nice and it was pretty quiet. All in all, I had no complaints. It's not far from the Quinta del Sol, but down a sidestreet and even closer to the beach, I think. Their rates are very reasonable, much better than Palapas, etc. The rooms were nice enough, but not luxurious, of course.
Christina is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 09:04 AM
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this thread is so old, but I wanted to post something I just learned while trying to book a stay at Las Palapas. I had been there a few years ago and loved it. All the online reservation systems showed availability up to 3/31/2008 and then nothing, prompting me to think the hotel might have been sold. I initiated a live chat with seamonkey travel, the "official booking agent" for las palapas and was told there was availability for my stay (3/30-4/4). the price quoted seemed high, so I dug out my old reservation and found the direct number to the hotel and found out (thru very limited english and my zero-limited spanish) that as I first suspected, the hotel is closing at the end of march. From what I could gather, it's been sold and there will likely be another mega-hotel on that beautiful quiet beach. Sad. Does anyone have any further information on this? Now we are faced with finding another hotel (and we had hoped for quiet, close in, nice beach, reasonable, non-AI) for 3 families. Shangri La Caribe is my next choice but having never stayed there don't know what to request. Can anyone guide me to a good choice there?
jenmenke is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 10:40 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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I live in Cancun and have worked for 4 years in Playa del Carmen. I have a listing for Amall Hotels, Big Rewards.

I will list them below:

DÁngelos Tel:011-52-984-803-3839 & 40

Hacienda Paradise Tel: 011-52-984-873-1397

Ziranda Tel: 011-52-984-873-3933

Playa del Karma Tel: 011-52-984-803-0272

Eclipse Tel: 011-52-984-873-0629

Azul Profundo Tel: 011-52-984-873-0415

Balam Nah Tel: 011-52-984-873-2117

Barrio Latino Tel: 011-52-984-873-2384

Blue Parrot Tel: 011-52-984-206-3350

Caribean Paradise Tel: 011-52-984-803-2032

Costa del Mar Tel: 011-52-984-873-0850

Hotel Basico Tel: 011-52-984-879-4448

Don Emilione Tel: 011-52-984-873-2073

Hotel Azul Tel: 011-52-984-873-0568

Los Itzaes Tel: 011-52-984-873-2373 &97

Cohiba Tel: 011-52-984-873-2080

Las Palapas Tel: 011-52-984-873-0616

La Rana Canasada Tel: 011-52-984-873-0389

Maranatha Tel: 011-52-984-873-0143

Marinelly Tel: 011-52-984-873-0140
No Web Site

Maya Turquesa Tel: 011-52-984-873-2519

Molcas Tel: 011-52-984-873-0070

Om Tel: 011-52-984-879-4784

Paraiso Azul Tel: 011-52-984-873-0054

Moongate Tel: 011-52-984-873-1255

Posada Freud Tel: 011-52-984-873-0601

Northstar Tel: 011-52-984-879-4749

Posada Mariposa Tel: 011-52-984-873-3886

Rosa Mirador Tel: 011-52-984-873-0750

Siesta Fiesta Tel: 011-52-984-803-1166

Treetops Tel: 011-52-984-873-1495

Villas Sacbe Tel: 011-52-984-879-3918

Dorymar Tel: 011-52-984-873-0425

Aqualuna Tel: 011-52-984-873-1013

Nina Tel: 011-52-984-873-1255

Paseo del Sol Tel: 011-52-984-801-0255

Dagabi Tel: 011-52-984-873-0048

Pelicano Inn Tel: 011-52-984-873-0997

Phantom Paradise Tel: 011-52-984-873-1974

Acuario Tel: 011-52-984-873-2133

Hacienda Paradise Tel: 011-52-984-873-1397

Acanto Tel: 011-52-984-873-1252

Hacienda Ma. Bonita Tel: 011-52-984-873-2051

These are the small hotels of playa that are recommended by Board of Tourism Rivera Maya. I hope that this helps. All but one have a web site so you can get a look at them.

Warm Regards,
denisec is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,558
Jenmenke, I too was sad to read that news. I wonder if Shangri La will be closing to? Who do you guys recommend to book through for either of these properties? Thinking of a quick getaway in November.
CarlaM is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 637
we are also lovers of las palapas, and i believe the march closing date is true. hoping to get back one more time!

there are rumors on the playainfo.com forum that the shangri-la will close as well. i would not go through an agency, but would call either hotel directly. i know you can email directly to las palapas.
melissa19 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 11:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 285
We will be staying at Shangri-la in mid-October for 5 nights. I booked in March through Turquoise Reef Resorts. I used them to rent a villa in Akumal some 15 years ago and were pleased with their service. I'm hoping we'll be just as satisfied this time around. 800-538-6802. I'll report on Shangri-La upon our return. From the sounds of things though, it may not matter much for long.
Ljyoung is offline  

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