“ Address: Paseo Xaman-Ha Manzana 1 / Lote 1 / Fracc. Playacar / Playa del Carmen / Quintana Roo / 77710 México „
This holiday was absolutely fantastic! A great place for people of all ages. Lots of things to keep childen entertained, such a big resort that adults etc do not need to be around children. Fun for couples, large groups or small, like me and one of my close girl mates.
It was one of those last minute impulse holidays which always turn out better than if you plan too much!
We went to mexico and stayed in this hotel on the 8th May 2011 (this year) for 10 nights! I could of stayed ther for month and not need a thing back home! it was only my other half that i thought i better get back for :-)
Me and a friend found the deal online and like many hotels, there are good and of course bad review to go with it! Like on many other occasions i have gone with my instincts and booked it only 9weeks before departure!
It did not disappoint!
This is an eco resort which means that some of the little things about saving energy to help the environment that other similar hotels dont think or worry about, Sandos Caracol does. From as little as movement sensors in the lights so nobody, including myself can leave the light on!
There are 2 main pools, lovely in size. The first is the family pool which of course is open to all ages to use and has a lush swim up bar to enjoy and games hosted by the hotel's entertainment team to endure when you feel you need to get off your lazy relaxed bum :-)
The second pool which is where our room was over looking is the 'adult only' pool! LOVELY! its nice to 'people watch' and watch life go by but sometimes when there are screaming kids in your face you want to scream back at them.... obviously thats not fair, so that is why the hotel has placed this adult only pool away from the main pool and is surrounded by jungle and has its own sweet bar! loved this place.
The only downside to this pool, because i was so secluded, there was no breeze which meant it was so swealtering hot that you had to be in the pool constantly or the shade and unfortunately the pool was not cold enough to satisfy! But dont get be wrong, nice place to linger for a couple of hours or go there later on when the day cools down a bit!
What me and my friend did was parctically live on the beach! The hotel has its own private beach and we took advantage big time. You get a lovely breeze which helps keep you cool whilst not being at all cold!
Just imagine the most beautful white soft sand and gorgeous turquoise carribean ocean and thats what you can see whilst laid on a sunlounger watching the world go by! Makes me want to go back right now thinking about it!
Staff were so helpful, friendly and always going out of their way to help you.
This resort was a lot bigger to any of the other resorts i have stayed in around the world and i think in cancun they are all crazy and wonderful in their own way! But be warned that if you prefer the sea, ask for a sea view or likewise with the pool as you may have to walk quite far if you are placed at the front of the resort.
With 2 buffet restaurants (International and Italian) and 5 a-la-carte restaurants you will be spoiled for choice. (Mexican, Steak house, Brazilian, Chinese, mediterranean) Scrummy!! All the food there is amazing and i would strongly suggest the steak house and brazillian! Also make sure you book each of the ones you want to eat at in as much advance as you can as they are all so popular!!
Night time entertainment is fun and all the yummy cocktails they make at the bar are a must try! (alcohlic or non-alcoholic) Watch out for their special liquer shots... have one if you dare.... they consist of melon liquer, sambuka and tequilla! Funny at the time and only drink if you can deal with a killer hangover the next day ....as i found out... :-)
I absolutely treasured this holiday and have just got my photos developed! so many great memories which this hotel and staff helped me create :-)
I went to this all-inclusive resort last summer with my husband for our honeymoon. It is bookable through a number of tour operators including First Choice and Thomas Cook.
The resort itself is a 50 minute bus ride from Cancun airport. On arriving at the resort - there is a massive open reception area with plenty of seating. After a swift and efficient check-in we were then directed to our room where the porter would bring our bags to us shortly afterwards.
Rather than being a traditional hotel set up. The rooms are in attractive looking apartment blocks with a curved staircase leading to each floor. Unbeknownst to me, my husband has book a 'junior suite' rather than a regular one. This meant we had a slightly larger room than normal with the added bonus of a reasonably sized private balcony with table chairs and Jacuzzi. The room itself was of a very good size. There were two wardrobes with space to hang things or place them on shelves. There ws also a safe inside one of thse for small valuables and documents. There was also a comfortable sofa and coffee table coming off the bedroom area. The mini-fridge was filled every other day with a variety of soft drinks and water.
The actual bedroom area had a bed which I would judge as possibly being king sized., bedside tables and an alrm clock, phone, a dressing table with drawers - on which there various information provided abou the resort and a tV. The bathroom was also of a good size with a large shower, complimentary soap by the sink and shampoo/conditioner dispensers.
The rooms in general were absolutely lovely, tastefully decorated and air conditioned perfectly - a welcome break from the heat outside. There was also a large ceiling fan above the bed but this was made largely obsolete by the fact that the air conditioning was just so efficient.
As a honeymooning couple we received a complimentary fruit basket, kaluha chocolates, a bottle of fizz and Just Married t-shrits (!). As well as this we had use of fluffy bathrobes and slippers.
The complex itself is relatively large but still easy to navigate and nowhere in it was more than 5 minutes walk from the beach. Most of the services and action takes place inthe centre of the comples and the rooms are easily accessible by paths around the site.
To start with, the reception area has its own bar which is open for most of the day and from which you can obtain bottles of mineral water which you definitely need to stock up on in the heat. It is in this area that you can also book excursions to local towns adn tourist attractions. From the front of the building you could go on daily bus trips to Cancun and Playa Del Carmen as well a Mayan ruin sites such as Tulum and adventure parks such as Xel-Ha. Here you could also bok a table in any of the a la carte restaurants in the complex, but only for a meal on that day. We found that these got booked up in super quick time so you would be best off booking as early in the day as possible.
Just inside the resport was a spa, to access this required paying an extra fee - I did not use it.
A little further down is a circular section which contains a lot of the most used facilities. In the centre there is a24 hour snack bar, one half of which serves burgers, hotdogs, meat fajitas and ice cream. The other side is a cocktail bar which also sells hot drinks.
Nearby there are a few shops; a photographic store, a jewellery store (where you can lso get stamps) and a gift shop. The gift shop is well stocked with foods, momentos, clothing, beachwear and everything else you would expect really, but for the most part quite expensive.
Also in the area was a sports bar which lead into an auditorium where live entertainment shows would be performed at night which varied from mock gameshows involving hotel guests, film showings, and live performances of music or dance.
There was also an Italian restaurant, a Brazillian one (only available to those who has upgraded to Select Club status), an a la carte oriental restaurant, an Italian and a traditional Mexican one which was open every other evening. The one which we went to the most was the international buffet, which as you would imagine offered a vast range of foods from soem gorgeious fresh fruit as well as traditional Mexican, European and Mexican food.
On arriving at each restaurant you would be expected to wash your hands from the alcohol gel dispensers by the enterance. For the most part you are seated and then asked what you want to drink before going to select your foods.
A little further on from the restaurant area is a massive undercover area called the piano room which has a massive seating area, a cocktail bar and had a salsa band playing every other evening. It was slo where the holiday operator reps would be based at certain points during the day to deal with issues or to advise on excursions.
Once passing through here you would reach the main swimming pool which had a wonderful swim-up bar. Often a section of this pool would be used for activities such as pool volleyball or other games. Part of this pool was also given over to a swim-up bar. Across the pool is a further ala carte restaurant which sold steak style dishes. Here is also where you would find the towel shack where you could obtain/exchange your beach towels with a special token given to you on arrival. Near to this was another bar which looks out over the beach. Next to this is a hut which provides information and equipment on scuba diving. You can also pay for training and an actual dive. My husband did this and saw a variety of fish, a turtle, eels and various coral and claimed it was one of the best things he had ever done.
In the main central part there was a nightclub which would open late in teh evening, but I have to admit on the nights that we popped in there it did not really get going.
(There is another swimming pool located on the other side of the complex which is adult-only and has its own bar.)
The beach itself takes up a long stretch and is absolutely glorious. The sand is crisp white and kept pristine by regular raking. Looking out to see you can make out the skyline of Cozumel island. The sea is warm and clean with some manmade sandbanks to limit the impact of the waves coming inshore. There is an abundance of sun lounges, many of which are shaded under wooden shelters - ideal in the midday sun and are extremely comfortable.
Walking around the resort there was lots of wildlife in teh form of crabs, iguanas, parrots - even racoons and badgers at night.
Obviously, this was an extremely important holiday for us and therefore our expectations were high. The room was absolutely lovely, extremely spacious, comfortable and cool. It was cleaned to an exceptionally high standard everyday. The grounds were attractive presented and immaculate.
The food was fantastic with a wide selection withing each buffet and restaurant, enabling a fair amount of experiementation. I noticed that it was all being constantly monitored for temperature and freshness. The staff were all endlessly friendly and helpful and certainly plentiful in numbers. The drinks, particularly the cocktails were generous and absolutely divine. The restaurants had a nice atmosphere and were elaborately decorated , making them feel a bit more special and less like a canteen than your average buffet restaurant.
The complex itself was easy to walk around - large but not sprawling and despite holiday during peak time it rarely felt crowded. There is an infinite amoudn of freedom to come and go as you please . The beach was a short walk from virtually anywhere on site.
Ultimately we had a fantastic, easy and relaxing honeymoon at this resort and would highly recommend it - my only downside to it is that we couldn't stay longer.
I stayed here in 2006 for my 16th birthday im not quite sure how much it cost as it was a present but we did go with tomas cook.
The flight experience was quite good considering it was my first long haul flight they give you a pillow blanket and a free headset. There was various new movies and programs on the plane I rember watching wild hogs and sponge bob quite abit. The food on the way in was sasauge and mash which was nasty i couldnt eat a thing i just ending eating a sandwhich from the trolly. On way out you could smoke in the airport in desinated areas which is quite good if your a smoker. The food on the way out was lovely it was pasta with a tomato sause its quicker flying back again.
When you arrive at the hotel it looks grand with lush palm trees every thing you expect from a hotel in Mexico you are greeted by cocktails and checking is very quick the rooms are already for you when you arrive as soon as they see the coach pulling in they get more people in recption it took us two minutes to check in. although we did have to leave our passports in reception sort of as a despoit. A bell boy will take you to your room with your bags they will expect a tip a rough guide is 2-3$, this okay as some of rooms are quite far away from reception you can request to have a room nearer.
The hotel room its self is beatiful we were staying on the top floor of a block there was two king size beds a huge mini bar which they restocked everyday with 7up pepsi and water. there was a unsuite bathroom which was huge and there was area with sofa and tv. There was quite alot of channel on tv such as Mtv all really american channels. On the balcony there was a jacuzzi on the balcony the views of there were beautiful.
There was a spa and hairdressers it didnt cost alot although you could get cheaper in town there was a free shuttle bus the hotel gives you which runs every couple of hours.
There was plenty of choice to eat from like:
La Laguna Main Restaurant international Buffet
This gave everyone a choice allthough it mainly catered for english taste
Las M´scaras (Buffet Restaurant): International and Mexican Buffet
We eat in this restaurant everyday the mexican food was out of this world.
La Riviera and Restaurant featuring à la carte Mediterranean specialities and a salad buffet
El Gaucho Grill/Steak house, à la carte with salad buffet
i found these ones quite average like the main restaurant
El Templo Oriental Restaurant with à la carte service i usually like proper chinese food but these were too overpowering with lemon and fish sauce.
La Toscana Italian Buffet Restaurant featuring Italian specialities
I found this tasted like mircowaved iceland food.
Althought the custmer service in each restaurant was excellent they treated you as if you were in a five star restaurant your glass was never empty.
There was quite a few bars such please see below we only ever drank out of the lobby bar were just found it more lively and nice looking.
Lobby Bar: Cocktail & Lobby bar
Lounge Bar: Piano bar
"La Plaza": Terrace bar
"La Cafetería": Terrace bar
"Beach Bar": Beach bar
"La Sirena" and "La Iguana": Swimming pool bars
"Beach Snack": Snack bar
I only ever eat out from the snack bar once after going to a night club in town called senor frogs it was the best you must go there is plenty of live music the staff make you get up and dance. Anyhoo i got a hotdog i found it very nice it came with mustard and fried onions it was lovely.
There was 3 swimming pools and 1 children's pool im not really much of a swimmer so i just stayed at the beach. The beach was beautiful with palm trees and no rubish in sight the staff even came to you and brough drinks to you. beware people are like up at 4am putting there towels down claiming the best seats but there was always plenty of deckchairs.
The hotel had plent of facilities such as:
Spa with sauna, steam bath, Jacuzzi and gym equipment
I used the gym once it was very modern
2 lit tennis courts (one is a multi-purpose court)
this is very fun me and mum played you have to play for the racket and balls though.
Water sports center with: Sport Fishing *, scuba diving *, scuba diving lessons in pool, snorkeling equipment, windsurfing, canoeing, sailing (lessons not included), boogie boards.
We did windsurfing at a extra cost that was great fun looked very safe which is a worry to me.
Disco (11:00 pm - 2:00 am)
I found this more of family thing not okay if your looking to rave.
Theatre had regular act of entertainment
Travel agency and car rental
Shops selled ciggerettes and other bits and bobs not that costly compaired to other hotels you were better of going into town.
Currency exchange once again this was okay but you were better off going into town.
Films and photo developing service i didnt use this.
Medical service my mum used this because she had a rash on her leg i didnt cost to have it looked it.
Beautician i went here once it cost me $5 to get my eyebrow done they were perfect arched the way the like them . the beautician was very good she did excally as you said you wanted them.
Internet room i used this a few times to speak to friends i cant rember how much it cost thou i dont think it was much.
Laundry service my mum used this to get her gypsy skirt washed bless them they iron out vey single crease so it wasnt like a gypsy skirt it must of taken them hours.
Overall i had a fanastci time here.
After 2 or 3 cold Corona's on the coach our 50 min transfer from Cancun airport ended and we were checked in and shown to our room. We stayed in the new section of the hotel room 9356 which faced the huge pool . We had one huge double bed which was quite firm just how we like it, we did ask for an extra pillow which arrived immediately. There was a Plasma TV, fridge which was stocked daily with water,pepsi,7up and of course beer. The bathroom had his n hers sink, separate shower and double Jacuzzi bath !
Everything was spotlessly clean and were all in fine working order . I did bring my own super hair dryer with me but as the voltage is so low in Mexico the hotels dryer was actually quicker to use in the end, so I wouldn't bother bringing your own however I did bring the GHD's !
All gardens were all very clean and kept to a high standard. Everyday there were people cleaning/sweeping etc and they all did it with a smile on their faces and a "Hola" to the guests. The new area where we were stayed was about a 10 min walk maximum through the lush gardens to the main plaza area and beach however if you didn't feel like walking then golf carts were provided and they came every 10 mins or so .
Our Pool I have to say was the best in the resort, always had chairs available whatever time of day and of course the swim up bar and hot tub where an added bonus.
There was another smaller pool with small buffet in the new area which looked pleasant however we only went there for lunch at the buffet.
The pool nearest the beach again looked nice however did notice the chairs were reserved quite quickly and it was very busy however the location is good as it's near to everything.
The "Adult" pool which was nearest the mexican restaurant seemd to have a good number of children in it and was quite small so we didn't use it.
We never had any problem with finding something to eat with 7 restaurants on the resort. Breakfast we had in the Riviera restaurant (Buffet) lots to choose from omelettes, fresh fruits, smoothes, pancakes, continental to full English totally spoilt and really set you up for the day.
Lunch and Evenings we ate at the buffet, Italian and Mexican which all had a huge variety of foods to choose from that if people complained about the food in reviews of this place I really don't know what they are used to eating!
We also ate at 2 of the 3 of the pre-bookable restaurants both were excellent the Stake restaurant did the best fillet I've had in years melt in the mouth and it was huge! The then the Japanese restaurant which made a nice change to the buffet, do not expect food like your local takeaway however the chicken yellow curry was gorgeous and tempura prawns yummy , we actually wish we booked to go again to try the rest of the menu.
You book these at "customer services" in lobby area small desk to the left of the entrance, get there early we had to get there for 7.45am to book the Stake place.
Oh my god it was beautiful I'll never forget the pure white sand and clear blue waters what a sight! Yes to the left of the beach there are "the whales" sandbags however we stayed to the right and it was perfect.
It was so clean we walked for quite a while along it towards the deserted end which is on your right, we spent an hour shell hunting in our own cove it was wonderful! Yes women do sunbathe topless on the beach which I do not have a problem with seeing as I was one of them. However if you are not in favour of this then would suggest the pool areas are the places to go. There were also no sellers on the beach only the occasional water sports guy but they didn't hassle at all.
Hotel Water sports:
We went Kayaking one day and all they needed was our room number and signature then we were off you got 30mins which doesn't sound a lot but as your in the sea it's hard work so it's plenty believe me !
We did see people go out on windsurfs and small catamarans although I think these get booked up quickly so best to go early in the morning at the beginning of your holiday and find out to avoid disappointment.
All the staffs are very welcoming and friendly yes this place is mainly for Americans and most if not all the staff speak some form of English. Many thanks to Carlos and Dan our pool bar waiters in the new area who both made our holiday even better!
Playa Del Carmen town:
You can get a $5 cab to 5th Avenue which is the main road full of shops, bars, restaurants etc or you can walk which will take you 45 mines