Last week was a cloudy, rainy week in Cancun, but a couple of weeks ago Bebé and I spent a sunny weekend in Playa de Carmen at Playacar Palace. Here’s the lowdown…
The resort is small compared to many all-inclusives, with just 201 rooms, but this gives it an intimate feel. No golf cart or bus rides to dinner here, everything is just a few steps away.
Playacar is a quiet, private neighborhood in Playa de Carmen, and Playacar Palace is located right next to the entrance, making it easy to walk to 5th Avenue and all of its shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs, but we never left the property, because it provided everything we could possible want or need.
Palace Resorts don’t fool around. The rooms are fully stocked and include free WiFi (in fact it’s throughout the resort and it’s good too), in-room hot tub, a liquor dispenser, mini bar with soda, bottled water, juice and beer, a bottle of red wine (one upon arrival), toiletries, hair dryer and flat iron, iron and ironing board, robes and slippers, safe, coffee maker, phone, alarm clock and smart TV with satellite programming.
The room also includes turn down service and unlimited long distance calls to the U.S. and Canada.
We had a balcony with a spectacular view.
Plus, it was just so… comfortable!
The Pool and Beach
Playacar Palace’s pool isn’t huge, but there is a busy, active end with a swim-up pool bar, and a quieter, laid-back end, which includes a shallow area for children. There are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas.
Unfortunately, as in all resorts, people play “the towel game” here, but the resort doesn’t use those annoying towel cards, which is great.
The beach is breathtaking, wide and not crowded. There are tons of lounge chairs and umbrellas, a volleyball court and an area to play beach soccer.
Resort food can be inconsistent, but I never had a bad meal at Playacar Palace. Even the dinner buffet, which I always try to avoid, was good. The resort has three restaurants; the main buffet and two a la carte restaurants (Asian and Italian). All three are very close together and right in the center of the property. Reservations were not required for the a la cartes, but I have a feeling they may be during high season.
Room service was very good. One day we ordered lunch and I had this absolutely scrumptious torta de cochinita. (Cochinita is is a traditional Mexican/Mayan slow-roasted pork dish. Pork is marinated in strongly acidic citrus juice and seasoned with annatto seed and then wrapped in banana leaf and roasted.)
Bebé suggested we eat on the balcony which was lovely!
Another day we ordered room service for breakfast through one of my favorite Palace programs; in the rooms there are doorknob tags that you can fill out with your breakfast order the evening before. They offer a huge selection and you can choose what time you want it delivered as well.
The service and food in the Asian and Italian a la carte restaurants were excellent.
The snacks by the pool are made to order and they offer more than just the usual hamburgers, hot dogs and nachos.
I love it when resorts have a kids’ menu that is available in ALL of their restaurants, as Palace Resorts do. It really takes the worrying out of what your picky kid is going to eat during your stay.
The Activities and Kids Club
Bebé and I took full advantage of the daily and nightly activities at Playacar Palace. He played beach volleyball a couple of times and tried the stand-up paddleboard. He also did a lot of good old goofing around.
I did the water aerobics class twice, tried the stand-up paddleboard and participated in the paddle board yoga class. Don’t expect to see pictures of this. 😀
The activities staff was fun, friendly and attentive. You can tell they really care about making sure the guests enjoy themselves.
Bebé generally does not want to stay in kids clubs by himself, but he asked to a couple of times during this stay for one reason, the staff made him feel comfortable. The kids club is open from 10am to 10pm.
Playacar Palace features nightly shows. We saw the Mayan show and the Breakdance (Dance Evolution) show and they were both very entertaining. We have seen the breakdance show before and it is really something to see, especially the jump rope portion. Bebé was in awe of these guys.
One of my favorite activities was having cocktails in the lobby bar.
Playacar Palace also offers a gym, a spa and a tennis court. Free transportation to and from Moon Palace is available daily with a reservation.
Without hesitation I would highly recommend Playacar Palace or any of the Palace Resorts to anyone planning a vacation in Cancun or Playa del Carmen.
Now if I could just figure out how to get to the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande…