We just got back from 8 nights at Mahekal. If your usual level of accomadation is the Four Seasons or Ritz, please go directly to their websites. Still reading? Good. This place is on the best section of beach in Playa. We stayed in an ocean front room, but if your budget says "garden view," please go ahead and make a reservation. The grounds are much better than the pictures and the garden view rooms are actually quieter.
Now some important points: The beach in the town of Playa is totally public. It's a very mixed group of wonderful people and a number of families. Pretty much everyone will feel comfortable.
Regarding the ocean front room: The ocean is very audible in the ocean front rooms at night. If you're a very light sleeper, or not accustomed to really hearing the ocean at night, you may want to consider an ocean view instead.
The staff: They're all very friendly and helpful. But do yourself a favor and get 20 and 50 peso bills. Tips left on the hotel bill don't necessarily mean better service.
The rooms: immaculate. They are a little rustic in that there are heavy duty wooden shutters in parts in lieu of glass. However, that is traditional and doesn't make it more noisy or less air-conditioned.
Now the honest part: The food is sort of a work in progress. They were trying a mixed menu (one fixed for the meal plan and another with supplimental charges). The breakfast was very good, but sometimes the service seemed a little overwhelmed. Lunches are generally better and what we chose. The two times we had dinner, it was okay, not great. Given the number of great places to eat on 5th, I'd recommend trying them (like Origins across from the main entrance).
And the bar....the one with the swings was okay, but one bartender struggled to make a margarita that wasn't sweet. The pool bar was better (where you have breakast - 2 for 1 happy hour).
The smell: yes, people have mentioned it here so I'll address it. Unless you are EXTREMELY sensitive to smells (perfume, etc), you honestly won't notice it. However, it did rain one night while we were having dinner well west of 5th Ave (El 10 - Argentine steak house) and WELL away from the beach and that was when it was most noticeable. I have no reason whatsoever to believe there is any problem with the quality of the ocean water. Don't worry about it.
Over all, I'd definatley recommend this place, even if you only stay in a garden view room. You'll have a great beach, nice people, a very nice room and a short walk into town.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Mahekal Beach Resort is a legendary resort village located on 800 feet of white sand beach in the heart of vibrant Playa del Carmen. It has 198 thatched roof, palapa-style bungalows within steps of Fifth Avenue, the celebrated entertainment, shopping, and restaurant district of Playa del Carmen. The thousands of loyal repeat guests at Mahekal Beach Resort describe it as magical, memorable, and authentically Yucatecan. Our style is friendly and relaxed, a unique Caribbean experience where you can rock gently in a hammock on your private terrace and enjoy undoubtedly the best beach in Playa. Our guests love the fact that we have never compromised our truly unique ambiance and style. In keeping with that style, our rooms do not offer televisions. Instead, they feature original, brightly colored, Mexican tile bathrooms, private terraces with hammocks for siestas and star gazing, and locally-crafted Mexican wood furniture in an outdoor seating area where you can enjoy our magical sanctuary. The Resort offers meal plans that include breakfast daily and lunch or dinner. This choice gives our guests the opportunity to explore the many dining options in Playa del Carmen. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mahekal Beach Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Shangri La Caribe Hotel
- Shangri La Caribe Playa Del Carmen
- Mahekal Beach Resort Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen