Reef Playacar

7  / 10
Average rating (12 reviews)
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Closest airport: Cozumel (CZM) (12.1 miles)

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Go somewhere else

"Don´t waste your money. The workers are friendly but phoney. They only want your tip. The drinks are watered-down and if you want anything decent, you have to pay extra. The rooms were gross. There was mold in the bathroom. Our windows didn´t close properly and on the last day we met a couple that was robbed in their own bedroom while they were out having dinner."

  • Holiday details: Jul 2011, All Inclusive, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Choose another hotel
  • Good For: Beach
1 / 10

1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

We arrived on the 21st of July in the...

"We arrived on the 21st of July in the middle of Dolly. We had been up since 5.30 a.m. an hour a half drive to the airport a ten hour flight then standing for 1 and a half hours through customs 3 planes, 4 passport control people, not a good start. Then on bus for 1 and half hours.

Got to reef, throwing it down, went to check in, young girl said to leave our cases and then took myself, my wife and son to desk. she started to explain about hotel, we just wanted to get to our room shower and something to eat, at the end of her sales pitch she said you have meeting with me in two days time, to make sure you turn up you give me 100 pesos and you will get it back when I see you.

I was too tired to realise what was going on, but next day when I read the slip of paper it was clear I had been conned out of money to force me to attend a time share meeting.

This is no way to treat guests at your hotel, you expect that from out in the street, but by people who meet and greet you as soon as you walk in, bang out of order.

Kids club, only any good if your kids have a great tan and speak spanish, other wise, your kids are quickly returned to you when the girl takes the others to the beach. We knew kids like ours who went once and never went again, a real real shame.

No entertainment for kids during day in pool, geared more towards adults, pool volleyball, water polo, beach volleyball, kids were told to beat it by the entertainment staff at the beach volleyball, I know, I was next to the kid who got to told kids were on later. In the two weeks the kids never got on later.

But the entertainment guys and girls were good at what they did, they did do a great show at night for the kids, shame more effort wasnt spent on them during the day, as the entertainment was more for adults, and kids are left round the pool watching the adults play.

Location, stunning, beach stunning, staff mostly friendly.

Reception, maybe if you pass them a couple of bucks they would get things for you that you need in the room. After 3 days asking for extra coathangers I instead got the maid to get some for me and she did straight away.

Sea safe to bath in, snorkel free, go the other side of sandbags and see the fish. amazing.

But here come the real bad part, half of the guests came down with sickness, dizzyness and the runs during our second week. Yanks, Brits, Dutch, Hungarians, no one spared.

No explanation was ever given to what caused it, no warning, no announcement, no letter to the rooms, but all around you people were not eating, drinking, or even coming out of their rooms. People were dizzy, sick and had no energy.

I had this for 6 days, for 35 hours I never ate a single thing, for the rest of the time it was a bit of soup a bit of toast and not much else, I had no stomach for food or desire.

At this point you didnt know if it was the food, the water, the pool, the drinks you were served, who knows, it made everyone wary of everything.

My son got the runs so did my wife. We ate hardly anything, you felt sick all the time, and then what you did eat came shooting out your backside so fast it nearly broke the land speed record.

Trips were cancelled, as you couldnt go anywhere with out being 30 mins from a toilet that you were going to mess up really bad.

The doctor was called to most people, 30-40 rooms were affected. At least the Hotel paid for the Doctors fee and tablets, but in my case they didn't even work.

Usually when you go on holiday you come back needing to go on a diet, no need at the reef, shed pounds in the sun, the only thing is the toilet basin looks browner than you.

The drinks are not cold, they put ice in them to make them cold, is the water they serve really treated, are the plastic cracked glasses they serve the drinks in that clean?

Is the food served in the snack bar cooked well enough?

One thing is for sure, if you dont finish your snack bar food and just leave it on the table, within 5 secs at least 10 birds like ravens will be all over the plate and the table, the staff do not clear up quickly enough, and the tables are never, ever, wiped clean after the birds have been on them

So can I assume that I spent 6 days of my holiday because of bad hygiene, I don't know! Obviously because of the the buffet system we all use the same long spoons to gather the food from tray to plates, so all it takes is one person to be ill, not wash their hands and you can guess the rest.

Maybe the above event will never happen again at the reef, but im afraid I couldnt wait to get home, eat some normal food and know where it came from and who made it.

This review maybe bitter, but when your son is crying because he didnt make it in time to the toilet and messed up his pants and t-shirt you cant help but feel that someone somewhere should have let people know there was an outbreak and moved us on or something, just anything, we just felt trapped in a sick hotel not knowing what was going on, or how long it would last.

Would I come back to the Reef, maybe if I want to lose some weight I will!!!

Dont think that going to the Mexican or Italian resteraunts will help, the food in the buffet is better, and the water they serve is warm and cloudy, and I never got to finish my Italian meal, had to leave half way through and then was up at 1 in the morning throwing up, then parking my bum in the toilet seat for an hour.

Next year Butlins at Skegness, not really!!!!

On the plus , weather was superb!!!!

  • Holiday details: Jul 2008, All Inclusive, booked with Thomas Cook
1 / 10

1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Just average!

"Stayed there last week for three nights and I won't come back!

Quality of service basically depends on who you are dealing with! A few staff members were nice and many others very rude.

Buffet food had nothing great and the Italian restaurant was very disappointing and didn't even have Olive oil.

The first day I waited two hours before being able to get beach towels, our room was smelling humidity. Entertainment was also very lame.

  • Holiday details: Dec 2002
6 / 10

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Thumbs Up for the Reef Club

"We had never stayed at an all inclusive so we wanted to try the Reef Club for starters. As it turns out, we felt we should've stayed there our entire stay. We liked the general atmosphere (relaxed and casual). Also, I'm not keen on buffet food but the Reef Club buffets were great and lots of flexibility in serving hours if you are out late on tours. The staff was also very friendly and right on top of things! Plus I thought the all inclusive and prices of the Reef Club were well worth it. Lots of free activities for all. We would highly recommend it to others and hope to return next year."

  • Holiday details: Dec 2002
10 / 10

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Better than the Riu hotels!!!!!A lot better,nicer staff and atmosphere.

"We only stayed here for one night but it was wonderful after stay at the riu hotel down the road. The staff were friendly, communication with staff was easier for English speakers.

the atmosphere was wonderful with the treehouse like hideaways of the rooms and the music playing from rocks. Being a smaller hotel even after one day we got to know quite a few of the other guests with was nice.

the pools were great, the gym needs a little updating the beach was nice and quiet with bigger waves at this end of the beach, great fun on the boogie boards.

although we don't have children yet, one due in May, we will be taking our future children there, the facilities for children are excellent, much more enjoyable looking than that of the Riu an added bonus is free bicycle hire, an excellet way to get to town and get a tan at the same time.

a lovely hotel for a quiet relaxed holiday with a pinch of excitement.

  • Holiday details: Dec 2002
10 / 10

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We can hardly wait to return to the Reef Club

"My husband and daughter and I have stayed at the Reef Club three years in a row. We absolutely love it. In reading some of the reviews posted, I get the feeling that some people are just too picky. The rooms at the Reef Club are larger than the average Holiday Inn in the US, the bathrooms certainly are bigger, the service staff is excellent, and the place is spotless. It is almost impossible to find a gum wrapper or cigarette butt on the grounds, with the exception of the beach. The entertainment staff goes out of their way to keep you entertained with aerobics, water aerobics, volleyball, games by the pool, games in the pool, merangue lessons, the Reef Club Dance, and the nightly shows. The drinks are maybe a little watered down, but that depends on your bartender. If you treat them well, they treat you well. The food in the buffet restaurant is very good with a nice selection for every meal and the presentation is nice. Some one in one of the reviews complained about the plastic lawn chairs....oh geez think about it! You are in a tropical, very humid climate. Plastic doesn't warp, rot, need refinishing, get too hot and generally look nasty after months of tourist butts sitting on it like wood does. If you want more luxury, then go somewhere else and pay high dollar for that, but if you want a great vacation for a reasonable price, then go to the Reef Club. The kids club is also a fun place for your kids to hang out while you lounge around the pool. The Reef Club is within walking distance to town and there is a shopping mall down the street with some really nice shops. The beach is beautiful and the water is warm. what more could you ask for?? This place is paradise."

  • Holiday details: Nov 2002
10 / 10

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Loved the Reef Club

"This was the first time my wife and I traveled inside Mexico. We had a great time. I tried to keep my expectations reasonable, and was pleased with everything about our vacation. The room was great, the food was great, the beach was wonderful, the activities were great, and the price was reasonable. All was not perfect, the sailboats and other beach equipment seemed a few years old, but still servicable; there was a little damage due to the recent hurricanes; the A/C units in the room were a bit noisy; and they charged for bottled water, but these were not major problems. We will definitely be back with our kids in a year or two! You have to go to Xel-ha on a day-trip, and spend an afternoon in the market at Playa Del Carmen. - Thanks FUNJET and REEF CLUB PLAYACAR for a great vacation!"

  • Holiday details: Oct 2002
8 / 10

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Incredible !!

"My wife and I just came from a wonderfull vacation, and stayed at the Reef, and it was Incredible !! we had a lot of fun, the food is GREAT, the beach is GREAT, the HOTEL is like in the middle of the Jungle, I fully recommend this hotel, we had so much fun that we just made reservations again!!


  • Holiday details: Oct 2002
10 / 10

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"I loved stying there. The food was WONDERFUL! I must admit i fell in love with Goerge on the entertainment staff. HE was such a hottie. They hotel was spotless and we had a fairly large room."

  • Holiday details: Sep 2002
10 / 10

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Reef Club Playacar

"The Reef Club Playacar at the 'Mayan Riviera' is not to be confused with the Carribean Reef Club south of Cancun. The latter is an adult clothing optional resort. I stayed at the Reef Club Playacar for 3 nights, 4 days and overall is was a great experience.

I travelled alone and this was my 2nd visit to the region (Cancun being the first 4 yrs ago). When I checked it I told the desk clerk I wanted a "good room." He smiled and mumbled something about a tip, then he carried my bag and took me to this great room with 2 double beds with balcony overlooking the pool area next to the beach. I gave him $5 U.S. and he seemed happy.

I love buffet restaurants because I work out a lot and am constanly hungry so I enjoyed the eat all you can all-inclusive buffet and drink setup at this resort. There was beef, chicken, fish, other seafood, and pork daily for lunch and dinner fixed in different ways. I don't know what the fish was but it sure was fresh and delicious. There was a good selection of fruit juices and fruit. Breakfast was great too. Even though alcoholic drinks were included in the all-inclusive plan here, the heat made such drinks impractical. I was constantly asking for iced water or iced tea. I did have a couple of beers though.

This hotel is right on the beach and so you pull your beach chair right onto the white sandy beach next to crystal clear blue waters with the island of Cozumel on the distant backgroud. At this time of the year the ocean was very calm. I think Cancun area beach sand is some of the best in the world. The sand never heats up and is not hot to walk on unlike some tropical beaches in the world. That is because the 'sand' at the Cancun area is a combination of tiny grains of limestone and pulverized coral. That accounts for the white, soft, light sand that never seems to absorb any heat. I've walked on tropical beaches where the sun made barefoot walking on the beach a very hot painful experience. Not so in Playacar/Cancun.

I really have nothing negative to say about Reef Club Playar. Overall it was a very pleasant relaxing experience with everything close by. The golf course is across the street about 300 yards. The bird jungle aviary is on the other side also about 300 yards. Playa Del Carmen is about 25 mins walk away and I visited the famous 5th avenue shopping area twice. Playa Del Carmen is also where you can hop on a 45 min ferry to the Island of Cozumel.

I have nothing to gripe about the Reef Club Playacar. It seemed like a safe family oriented resort. One thing I noticed was that I was one of the very few Americans there. The vast majority of people were from Europe as evidenced from their spoken language or english accents.

I recommend this resort. If you look around you can find deals to the Reef Club Playacar that includes everything (air, transfers, hotel, food/drink).

Good luck.

  • Holiday details: Aug 2002
8 / 10

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Not 4 Star More Like 2 Star

"My family and I stayed at the reef club 4 nights and it was the worst 4 nights of our holiday. the room was small and dark , the aircon didnt work and the bathroom was very smelly.The food WAS very basic chicken every night.I HAVE never stayed in a 4 star hotel that serves you drinks in a polystrene cup. Thank god WE moved to a better hotel."

  • Holiday details: Aug 2002
2 / 10

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Reef Club...Great vacation spot...sans the bees

"First of all, I must post a disclaimer: This review was written by a seasoned traveller who is gracious in other countries and does not expect others to cater to my "Americanisms". Beware, there are many arrogant Americans lurking in every country, so we discovered. On to the review...The Reef Club was a great moderately priced resort. The beaches were spectacular and the housekeeping services were excellent. If you are expecting a 5 Star resort with egyptian cotton sheets, then please do not book at the Reef Club, but if you are looking for an affordable VERY clean room and wonderful service then start dialing. Now lets talk about food...The buffet was mediocre however, I gained 6 lbs, so it couldn't have been that bad. Try to make reservations at Boticelli, the Italian restaurant. This must be done in the morning at Breakfast. The food at this restaurant was definitely better than the buffet, but not excellent by any means (although my travel mates liked it a lot). Think...a Mexican restaurant in Rome...It just doesn't fit. On to the bees! There is this strange phenomenon in Playacar. The outside bar areas are infested with honey bees and the staff works around them as if they were house flies. This amazed me. Forget about an icecream stand...they are everywhere! Please take enough money and make enough time to visit Xel-Ha (Shell-Haw). This excursion costs around $75 a person and is fabulous if you enjoy snorkeling. Very beautiful, but stay away from the icecream stand...remember the bees. All in all, we had a wonderful trip except the occasional bickering between the Drill Sargent, Spaz-Monster, and Mr. Sensitive...but you'll have that (joke to travel buddies). No reflection on the resort of course. I would definitely return to the Reef Club, so if anyone needs traveling companions and has expedible cash I'm your girl. Happy Travels!"

  • Holiday details: Aug 2002
10 / 10

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Reef Playacar is also called:

  • reef club playacar
  • Reef Club Playacar Hotel
  • reef playacar mexico
  • the reef playacar
  • The Reef Playacar Hotel

Address: Paseo Xaman-Ha, Ret. Sayil s/n Fracc. Playacar, Playa Del Carmen 77710, Mexico