Thursday, June 7, 2018

Sandos Playacar Beach Resort | An Honest Review

As many of you know, Joe & I went on our honeymoon last week in Riviera Maya, Mexico. We stayed at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort and I want to share my thoughts on the resort. 

We stayed for eight days at Sandos Playacar and stayed in a Premium Club Ocean Front Suite. From my research on Expedia, I could tell that the Premium Club offered slightly more but we mainly chose it for the ocean front view. The Trip Advisor reviews mention that these rooms were a little outdated and needed to be renovated - we chose to overlook this for the view.

Upon check in, we were offered cocktails and were invited to a "welcome breakfast" [which I thought was because I mentioned we were on our honeymoon]. We settled into our room, which was a decent size but they gave us two queen beds instead of a king [awkward]. 

The resort itself was nice and spread out. The area closest to the beach housed the premium club. There were two pools between the two buildings. The main pool is for all the guests and the smaller pool in front is for "members" [we'll get to that later]. There are several bars and a few restaurants scattered before reaching "the meeting point" - an area for groups to meet and also the best wifi. Just past the meeting point sits the outdoor theater for all of their nightly entertainment. There are two more restaurants and a little nightclub in the vicinity as well. 

From there, you can walk by the haciendas [where members stay], which are more secluded. Along the walk, you'll find the cat sanctuary and a spot for the donkey and goats. After wondering down a road, you'll reach the main lobby, with the adults only section on one side [swim up bar included] and the family section on the other side. The entire walk, from one end to the other, takes about 15 minutes. 

On our first morning, we wondered to the meeting point for our "welcome breakfast". Little did we know - this was a scam and was actually a timeshare presentation. The resort covets their "members" and several sections are members only. We quickly opted out of the members scam and went off to explore the town. 

This resort offers everything you'll typically find at an all inclusive - unlimited food and drinks, pools, nightly entertainment, and activities at the resort. The only additional feature we utilized was the spa. I got a pedicure and Joe and I got couples massages on the beach. The spa featured the beauty salon, gym, and hydrotherapy pools. We took advantage of the hydrotherapy pools for about 45 minutes before getting our massage. Overall our spa experience was relaxing but the music from the pool area was a little distracting during the massage. We also intended to try some of their fitness classes but I got a stomach infection midway through the trip and was trapped in our room. 

As for the food, all inclusive generally doesn't have the highest quality food. Breakfast was either the buffet or room service [24 hour room service was included with our room]. The selections for room service were minimal and I didn't love the buffet. Lunch was mainly the same. Dinner was a choice of restaurants in addition to the buffet. Sandos has a French restaurant, Italian restaurant, Mexican restaurant, Mexican to-go spot [similar to Chipotle], cupcake shop/coffee shop, Brazil restaurant, Steakhouse, and Asian spot. We didn't get a chance to try them all, as I got a stomach infection. From what I tried, Le Gourmet (the French option) was my favorite. Their filet mignon was actually decent! I also found their Mexican to-go option to be pretty good [they also made crepes there] and I loved the coffee shop - mainly for the good wifi and AC. 

This resort was made for families and large groups. They were always blasting dance music and there was plenty to do at the resort alone. That being said - this wasn't the most romantic and serene location for a honeymoon. We didn't feel that any aspect of the resort was "luxury". For us, we like a combination of excursions and downtime at the resort. This resort could have been a little more relaxing and not as hectic. 

Would I stay here again? Absolutely not. Between the timeshare scam and the stomach infection [I think it came from food or water at the resort], I didn't have a great experience, which is sad for our honeymoon! 

Is this resort right for you? Depends what you're looking for. Bachelorette parties, families, and large groups - this is your spot. Romantic couple getaways - maybe not so much. 

My final rating is 3/5

I'd love to hear your opinion if you've stayed at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort as well!


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