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A fantastic Mexican resort
Sandos Playacar Beach Resort (Mexico)
Member Name: cerys82
Sandos Playacar Beach Resort (Mexico)
Advantages: Immaculate service, great facilities
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.
Summary: Wish I was there
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