What am I still doing in Cancun?

The adventures of an American single mommy working and playing in paradise.

Playacar Palace pool

Playacar Palace: You won’t want to leave!


A couple of weeks ago Bebé spent a long weekend at Playacar Palace, located in Playacar, a gated community right on the edge of Playa del Carmen. We had stayed here before, two years ago, and loved it, so we were anxious to return.

Playacar Palace is very small, which is one of the things that makes it really relaxing. The staff is super friendly and provides excellent service, and at the same time they seem really relaxed as well.

Verdict: We still love it.

Here’s why…

The Room

Playacar Palace and all the Palace Resorts have everything you need in the room, including a hot tub, a stocked minibar and 24 hour room service.

Playacar Palace guest rooms

Playacar Palace all inclusive

The room had a few snacks as well, and a espresso maker, iron and ironing board and a safe.

They welcomed us with these sweets including an Aztec calendar MADE OF CHOCOLATE.

Mexico travel writer

This was our view.

Playacar Palace ocean view

We loved the table between the beds that lit up (we aren’t hard to impress).

Playacar Palace suites

And we didn’t order it this time, but one of the great things about Palace Resorts is the room service breakfast that you can order the night before and specify what time you want it delivered. Just hang it on your doorknob!

Playacar Palace 24 hour room service

The Pool and Beach

If you check back to our last visit, you’ll see the beach was much wider back then. Mother Nature and the Caribbean have reclaimed some of it, but Playacar Palace still has decent sized beach. Unfortunately the entire coast currently has a sargassum issue, but that comes and goes and there isn’t anything anyone can do about it. There are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas on the beach.

There is only one pool, but somehow they manage to divide it into the pool bar / activities pool, the quiet pool and a toddler splash pool section. We never had a problem finding a nice place to sit.

Playacar Palace pool

Playacar Palace resort

Playacar Palace Playa del Carmen

The pool area is gorgeous at night!

Playacar Palace at night

Another thing we loved about the pool was the fact that you can order food at the swim-up pool bar!

And of course cocktails as well, mudslides for instance! (Bebé did not actually drink any of it.)

It’s so difficult to eat healthy foods when you’re on vacation (at least for me it is) and I loved that they had these crudités on the grill menu. I ordered them more than once. They also had them at The Grand at Moon Palace. And they are accompanied by blue cheese dressing!

Playacar Palace crudites

The Restaurants and Bars

Ahhhhhh the food and the drinks, the drinks and the food! I have no idea how people stay here for 10 days, I would gain 10 pounds! The food is delicious.

The main buffet, Cafe del Mar is small, but so complete. At breakfast and lunch it is generally international, while at dinner it is mostly Mexican, but there is a grill where you can also order omelettes, chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc., depending on what time it is. We had dinner at Cafe del Mar the first night and I was really pleased that I could order grilled chicken for Bebé.

And look at these desserts!

Playacar Palace pastry chef

Breakfast at Cafe del Mar was awesome, which is why we never ordered room service.

Playacar Palace buffet

Playacar Palace breakfast

The second night we sat at the hibachi table at Mo Mo No Hana. Every single course was delicious and the chef was fun and entertaining.

The third night we had dinner at the beautiful La Terraza, which serves Italian food. Again, everything was excellent. I scarfed down every bit of the delicious lasagna.

Playacar Palace Italian restaurant

There is also pizza available next to the pool, a terrace where they serve Brazilian-style meats, and a tiny adult only “Mayan” restaurant called Lahna that serves Yucatecan food from the neighbor state of Yucatan.

There is a very big swim-up bar at one end of the pool. There were always seats available.

Playacar Palace swim up bar

resorts with swim-up pool bars in Playa del Carmen

There is also a lobby bar, where they also have the shows, and a lounge/nightclub.


Photo: Palace Resorts


The Activities, Kids Club and Entertainment

They keep you busy at Playacar Palace, but only if you want to be busy. Bebé played Xbox in the kids club, which is small but right next to the pool, and participated in tons of the activities, which actually gave me a chance to relax a bit. I did water aerobics both days and also did paddle board yoga which was fun and challenging.

Playacar Palace kids club

We really enjoyed the night shows. One night there was karaoke in the Luna Lounge (I sang three songs), then the surprisingly delightful “sand show” (don’t want to give it away), and we got lucky and caught the Michael Jackson show as well (we never tire of it).

Favorite Things


Playacar Palace’s location is ideal. Playacar is a quiet neighborhood yet on Sunday before we left we walked a whole 5 minutes to Paseo del Carmen shopping mall to go to one of my favorite stores, Old Navy (there isn’t one in Cancun).

My beautiful butterfly! 😍 #playadelcarmen #playacar #mexico #butterfly #mylove

A post shared by Kristin Busse (@kristinincancun) on


Playacar Palace’s staff is efficient yet friendly and relaxed.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

The main buffet restaurant Cafe del Mar offers ice cream sandwiches made from their awesome cookies! Which leads me to our next favorite thing…

To go

You can get things to go at Cafe del Mar, which is so convenient. We got cookies or ice cream sandwiches every night before bed. (See what I mean about the eating?)

Palace Resorts app

We discovered the Palace Resorts App while staying at The Grand at Moon Palace. I downloaded it again and used it constantly at Playacar Palace.

Palace Resorts app

A Wedding

During our stay there was a wedding party staying there as well. They were a wonderful, friendly group of family and friends. Bebé bonded with them at the pool, and also jumped into a couple of their group photos, so when we waved at them during the reception, they called us over. Unfortunately the picture isn’t great but the photographer took some as well so in 20 years when they are looking at their wedding photos, everyone is going to be like, who is that kid??


We you wish a lifetime of love, health and happiness!

I still highly recommend Playacar Palace (and I’m still trying to figure out how to get to Moon Palace Jamaica)!


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