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Reviewed 23 April 2010

Rooms--Our trip started out in the rain for 3 days, but that was not the hotels fault. Waking up and the floor being covered and I mean 70% of the floor was wet. Luckily we put everything in drawers and closets and I only lost one pair of leather shoes that were upside down in the closet. Room flooded twice more to lesser extents after the staff started stacking 5-6 towels in the doorway threshold after the first morning..We were in the Select Club Deluxe Suite Room and the room was HUGE. Decor is bland in all white and beige and furnishings are very sparse for this size room. Hot tub on deck ran yellow water first time but running water in and draining it a few times cleared this up. Deck was also huge and plenty of space for 10-12 people to have a cookout on, but only had 2 chairs and no grill...Bed was slightly softer than the tile floor and offered a poor sleeping night.

Food--Fruits were great and the food was good, but as always with bigger places it trended toward bland. Variety was good. Ice cream was always great.

Spa--Friendly professional service, but for the price would probably choose services in Playa next time.

Pools-- All looked clean, but only used the Select Club Pool. It was busy, but quiet enough. Chairs available pool side well into the day.

Beach-- No real towel games being played while we were there. If you want space anytime before 10 was ample time to get prime land or a bed.

Select Club--Food got stale quick and wasn't changed out enough, but when it was it was pleasant enough. WiFi worked occasionally well mostly some and the whole internet was down for entire evening. Drinks were good and they bartenders will make anything they have if you know what to put in it. Licquor was never on the lighter side.

Staff-- For the most part all the staff was great and friendly. Our biggest problem was one girl in the front office who refused to give us or even look for a dinner reservation. The guy beside her was giving one to another couple but she told us to come back at 7 AM. Walking back by 30 minutes later she was giving a reservation to someone else...Went to another person later and was able to secure a reservation for the evening and after that refused to stop if she was working

Transport to Playa-- Bus was full everytime we seen it going into town except the 4PM shuttle which means waiting an hour to go to town or taking a cab...I spent the $10 and got dropped off where i wanted

Room Service-- Food was good but menu was extremely limited.

Grounds--- Were clean and kept that way daily. We were in building 61 on the 3rd floor. The walk from the beach up the hill and then the stairs really started getting old after 3-4 days.I would prefer one of the buildings by the lobby at the bottom of the hill.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Branbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2010

We just arrived from Sandos Caracol Hotel, and it was our second time there. We enjoyed our holiday there very much with my husband and 7 years old son. We have got a fantastic room with jacuzzi and a charming letter from Darren Spencer, who is working in webrelations desk, and he is very nice and makes a really professional job. The garden with nice animals and the beach are amazing , the food and drinks were delicious.The entertainment group is good but last time,in November it was more cheerful. We missed Suzzy very much, who could make a special athmosphere. The people in this resort are smiling and work very hard. The waiters,gardeners cleaning women etc. were also very nice and smiled a lot. Leidi in the main restaurants were alvays friendly and cheerful with my son.The new Aqua Park for children is amazing.My son had nice friends among the raccoons, cats, parrots, donkeys ( included few weeks old boy/,leguans, crabs and beautiful birds.
We had a wonderful holiday and we hope we can go back sometimes.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled solo
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Thank BudapestEdi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2010

Just returned yesterday from a second stay and Sandos Caracol. We have traveled with our 9 and 11 year old kids to this area for the last 4 years and this place was a first repeat visit. Let me start out by saying that I once again got a good price for a family of 4 to stay at this resort for 8 nights. How much you pay for this place puts a perspective on how much you get out of this resort.

The staff was the most attentive of any of the other resorts (all "value" resorts) and the food was perfectly acceptable and sometimes even downright good - plenty of choices and that is saying ALOT for a "value".resort. The beach was huge with soft sand and plenty of chairs. Swimming in the ocean was fantastic though there were some areas with rocks but you can easily find a section with no rocks (didn't need to worry about the kids playing alone in the ocean because it was pretty protected.). Lots of fish for the kids to snorkel right of shore due to the sand whales positioned off the beach. The new water park is definitely made for 9 and under - my 11 year old was not interested for very long. There is an adult only pool that was extremely quiet when I visited. There is a select club only pool with its own snack bar and wait staff that is large and quiet. The jungle and all the animals made for nice interesting strolls at all hours. The snack bar had coffee and food for early morning risers like myself! They have a shuttle to playa del carmen which worked out great for a day trip into town.

What makes it value is that the air conditioning is sort of loud, the rooms are basic with a balcony that most rooms cannot use because they are too small, the safes are old and i got nervous a couple times when it wouldn't open, and the buildings are a little tired looking in some of the sections. Oh, and the drinks are very weak. They always made my husbands drinks stronger than mine. But I have had that happen at every resort we have stayed at so I started to ask for a shot on the side with my fruity drinks just to liven them up. The main pool is near the beach but got really dirty looking a couple days into our trip and we stuck to the ocean. It had rained very hard for the first 3 days of our trip so perhaps the chlorine levels were off.

If you want to take a vacation that is affordable, fun, and comfortable then this place has what you need. If you are looking for posh and to have drinks served to you on the beach then this is not the place for you - you will need to spend alot more money - don't look at star ratings look at the cost because the truly nicer places just plain cost more.

For my family - this type of resort at this price point allows us to go on vacation every year and we have a great time every time. We would rather spend our money on excursions outside of the resort so we don't need the resort to be our source of entertainment just a place to eat, sleep, and swim in the ocean. If you have a family with younger children (preteen and under) then I would recommend this as a great family resort.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank mexico2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2010

I have never been the type of person to complain about resorts. You're on vacation, make the best of it. After travelling to Sandos Caracol from April 10th to 17th I felt i NEEDED to write something about this resort. It rained hard for 5 1/2 days of this trip. This is in no way the resorts fault....HOWEVER, there were puddles all over the place from the many many leaky spots in the roofs. Unsafe? Yes. Perhaps something within the resorts control to fix. In addition to the slippery floors everywhere, our room flooded. I woke up at 7am one day and stepped into a puddle of water. We were on the main floor and water was pouring in from the air conditioning ducts and was soaking our floor all night long. We called the front desk twice, spoke to a security guard passing our room who said he would get help, taked to some kind of caretaker who told us he would get us help, finally ambused a maid and demanded more towels and garbage pails. She finally after two hours of waiting helped us contain the water to one area of the room. Later that afternoon it started pouring again. Needless to say our room was leaking again. We still had the buckets and towels in place but were not going to stay in this room. We called the front desk and they said no problem we will switch you to a different room. They gave our new room keys to a bellboy and they said they would send him with a golf cart to pick us up. 3 HOURS later he finally got to us. In total, 5 hours of our day were wasted on our flooding room. Good news our next room was dry (and that was about the highlight of our trip).
The food was passable. There was not one night in the buffet that the roasted potatoes were cooked. There was always something to eat but I definetly expected more from a 4 star resort in Mexico
The staff were incredibly friendly, especially Ildofonzo at the Laguna restaurant. The staff did work really hard, always cleaning the resort and the entertainment staff worked hard to try to make sure everyone had a good time.
Unfortunately the time of year we went was Spain's spring break. The resort was overrun with drunk 18 year old people from Spain who were usually treated better and always served first at the bars and restauants (maybe because they speak the language).
We tried our best to make the best of a rainy rainy week down south, and in no way do I blame the resort for the weather. But I think a resort should do something about all the flooding and leaks. And for a resort that holds 2000-3000 people you need more bars. There is literally no where to go in the rain. everyone was sausaged in to the bars. There was never anywhere to sit. Anyways, clearly I have some bitterness due to the bad weather but that is my review...

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank melissa2828
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2010

“ Awesome Vacation!”

Just got back from Sandos Caracol. We had an amazing vacation.

CHECK IN
Seamless. No trouble at all. Everything was done in 2 minutes, our luggage picked up and we were in the golf cart on the way to our room.

ROOM
I've requested a non-smoking room close to the main pool and the beach and that is exactly what we got. We were about 20 steps from the main pool. Rooms are not fancy at all but we couldn't care less as we didn't spend much time there anyway. We had a standard room with two queen beds, TV, fridge (mini bar with water, pop and beer replenished every two days). On our arrival we received a bottle of sparkling wine and some fruit. Room was big enough and it was clean. The only issue we had was that in the shower pipes were reversed so I showered once with a cold water before figuring it out. No biggie. Cleaning staff was amazing, everyday they'd surprise us with some 'towel art' :)

BEACH
Nice sand, lots of chairs available, not always in the shade though. If you want a spot in the shade you have to reserve it in the morning (if you are there between 9 and 10 AM you'll get it). There are barriers (wave breakers) which take away from the beauty of the scenery but create a nice calm area of the sea and also it is perfect for snorkeling. We saw lots of different fish. Hint: grab a pack of crackers after breakfast and feed the fish, you'll see lots of them.

POOLS:
Main pool - not bad. It is kind of small for a resort of this size so the chairs will go fast, but still you do not need to get up at the crack of dawn to get one. Entertainment staff is trying hard to keep everyone occupied.

Adult pool - lots of shaded areas as this pool is surrounded by lots of greenery. A bit more quiet. It would have been even nicer if people could resist the open bar. Same goes for the main pool. Don't get me wrong I knocked down quite a few cervezas and mojitos but I've seen people who needed (a lot of) assistance to get out of the pool.

You can also swim in the cenote but we didn't go for it.

Select Club pool was also available but we didn't go there as we were not in the Select Club. Saw it. Looked nice.

SPA

You can use the pool in there (and hot tub) even if you are not getting the massage. It is very nice and relaxing.

Aqua Park (for the kids)

Absolutely amazing! My 7 yr old loved it! More than a dozen different slides, and lots of other fun things to do. Heaven for the little ones. As for parents, there are two bars in there and also they provide a waiter service. Believe it or not it is quite nice and quiet there so I've read some magazines and generally it was nice and relaxing).

FOOD

Very, very good! Three buffet restaurants: Mexican, Italian and International.
Our favourite was the International ("Laguna"). We really enjoyed cream soups in the Italian one ("La Toscana"), nice salads and good meat cuts. Pasta and pizza were OK, but nothing to write home about. Keep in mind that this is written by a spoiled Torontonian who can get really good Italian food at home.
Lots of freshly squeezed juices for breakfast, eggs any style, bacon, sausages, lots of fresh fruit.

There is a snack bar at the beach (burgers and hot dogs) and also 24hrs snack bar centrally located.

4 a la carte restaurants. We stayed for a week (which means that we were entitled to 3 a la carte dinners).

Steak house: Very good but not great. Excellent service, decent steak.

Mediterranean: Really nice. We enjoyed this one a lot. I'd recommend chicken in a green peppercorn sauce.

Brazilian: If you are a meat lover - awesome. Pleasant experience.

We didn't try Oriental restaurant.

NOTE: Steak house must be reserved the same day. I'd recommend that you do it first morning. I showed up at the reservation desk about 6:40 AM and was 17th person in line.

BARS:

No complaints :)
Quite a few of them, we tipped and didn't notice a difference in service levels. Drinks can be on a weak side but if you request more alcohol - not a problem.

Wild Life
All over the resort you'll find different animals: parrots, donkeys, cats, iguanas (and some other lizards too), peacocks...

There is a bus taking people to Playa Del Carmen. Or you can take a cab (it'll cost you US$10 or 100 pesos one way). Visit to PDC is a must, don't miss it.

PHONE SERVICE:
Very expensive from the hotel, buy a calling card.

All in all, a very good experience. We would definitely recommend this resort to everyone, especially to families.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank Sasha416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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