A Great Place to stay!
The Illusion Boutique is a charming small hotel in downtown Playa Del Carmen right off of 5th Avenue. The pictures that are on their web site are very accurate. We stayed on the top floor (4th floor) and we are very glad we did. There isn't an elevator so be prepared to climb the stairs (They are getting ready to put an elevator in), but the view of the ocean and Cozumel is worth the climb. Our room was very nice and very clean. The people who work at the hotel are very friendly and helpful. They were always very accommodating and gracious. The owner Senor' Al stopped by several times when we were sitting out to check to see if everything was to our satisfaction. The pool and bar are on the top, too. It was open everyday serving the best margaritas and the coldest beer! We ate a continental breakfast every morning which was included in the plan. It consisted of toast, sweet breads, butter and jam, coffee,and juice.
The hotel is close to a lot of great restaurants and the shopping is lots of fun because you can bargain with the sales people. Do not be afraid to eat the food and drink the drinks on 5th Avenue. I am so glad we did not choose an all inclusive. Every resturant we tried was very good. Make sure you stop by the Sailfish on 5th Avenue. Instead of barstools you set in swings. What fun! We were one short block from the beach and short walk to the ferry to go to cozumel. I highly recommend the Illusion Boutique Hotel and the fun you can have when you stay downtown.
This hotel is well named - awful.
The location was good, but that's about it. The management and staff seem to be very new to the industry, and we got the impression there was a constant disaster going on just under the surface, a kind of neurotic energy pervaded our stay. Our room had only one small window and the whole place seemed kind of unfinished, and the service chaotic. Overpriced and amateurish.
Amazing place, Attentive staff
We often go to Playa del carmen and we discovered this jewel in February on our last trip it is a brand new hotel, so everything is very nice. We just went on a trip for 3 weeks in july to playa and stayed in the Master suite. The staff is attentive and friendly, the rooms were kept impecably clean. If you needed anything you just have to call the front desk and they were willing to help.
we were some of the tourist that were there during the Hurricane and they made accomodations for us to go to another part of mexico so our vacation would not be ruined.
If anything came up they quickly took care of the issues.
You also have a sushi restaurant, and grocery store, and an money exchange right in the main floor of the hotel.
we have recommended it to other people and they have had the same response.
we will deffinitely be going back to this hotel again.
Talk about excellent service!
We checked in Wednesday afternoon after arriving in Playa in haste from Cozumel, on our way to the airport for an emergency flight home before Wilma hit. The staff was friendly and very helpful, the room clean, comfortable and well appointed. They even gave us a 10% discount. When we discovered that our flight home had been moved forward until the wee hours of the morning, we had to check out after being at the Illusion for only about 4 hours. Imagine our surprise when we were told that "unfortunately, they would have to charge us for cleaning the room -- $20." Incredibly, they refunded the remainder of what we had already paid for our one-night stay!! We couldn't have been more pleased. Then to top it off, they arranged a taxi for us to the Cancun airport, despite taxis being very few and far between at that point. We were only sorry that we didn't get to stay and enjoy the lovely view from the rooftop deck chairs around the pool.
Perfect Place for a wedding!!!! Miguel is The Best!!!!
I am one of the brides that had a wedding planned just after Hurricane Wilma. Our original hotel (Shangri La Caribe) was heavily damaged by WILMA and we were required to move all of our guests to Illusion. It turned out to be the BEST place for us. Miguel (the hotel manager)and his staff made EVERYTHING perfect. We were treated like we lived at the hotel, and any need we had was taken care of by the friendly staff. Miquel made our wedding perfect...the food and setting were wonderful. We look forward to many more visits and seeing our friends at Illision again in the near future!!!!!
good value for the price, & ...
we were booked into the illusion Bo-teek at sort of the last moment as our flight into cankoon was late -- too late for us to make the trek down to chetumal (would have been dark, what with 2-lanes for many km past tulum). finding the place would have been easy, had we known some stuff in advance: THE ROADS INTO THE VICINITY ARE/WERE CLOSED! playa's "fifth avenue" might not always have a sort of mardi-gras/festival (festivus?) going on, but there was certainly a mardi gras atmosphere when we arrived (late 12/10/05). i asked one traffic cop how to get closer and he suggested i ask the nearest traffic officer to assist. it worked: he removed the traffic cones and we ended up 50 feet from the door. the concierge came out and assisted us into the hotel.
our rooms were well above average (should i mention that we paid $100 for two and $130-some for the other 3?) -- includes continental breakfast. GOOD VALUE. centrally located (my kids were a little worried we'd end up either in or trekking through "danny trejo"-ville to get there). pleasant atmosphere. friendly helpful staff. it wasn't until the following day we 'discovered' the rooftop bar/(shallow) pool / view.
and short distance to multitude of shopping, good restaurants -- and '7-11 type' little shops for beer/soda/snacks to bring back.
i would recommend this place to anyone wanting to stay in the heart of playa, close to everything (in playa).
Great location, good room
We stayed here just after New Years and had a good solid experience. As some of the other reviewers indicate, it did appear that the staff/management was a little inexperienced and new. But they were friendly and we had no complaints about our stay. The location was great; just off the main downtown street, 5th Av. and half a block to the beach, so it was near the action, but fairly quiet at night.
Hotel is great, cancun is still a mess!
We had an incredible time at the Hotel. The staff was great and the breakfast was delicious (although a bit small). We stayed in a balcony room on the 3rd floor.
Be aware tho, when we went (granted 3 weeks after the hurricane) Playa was livable but Cancun was a complete disaster.
A great way to go
I spent a lot of time on tripadvisor before our trip, and will take a little time to give something back.
First, about Playa del Carmen. It's a tourist town, with lots of shopping and truly good restaurants (Mexican, Italian, Japanese, etc). The main drag is maybe five blocks long, running parallel to the ocean. Although everything is in English and a lot of the tourists are from the U.S., it still has a European feel and many visitors are from Italy, Germany and other countries. The beaches are pretty, the waters are turquoise, and (warning for Americans bringing 10-year-old boys) many of the women are topless. But forget about going to Mexico to get things cheap; prices on everything are very similar to those we are used to paying in Washington DC.
All in all, I’d recommend the town highly if you’re not on a tight budget and want a place that’s fun but not “Spring Break” wild. Oh, and forget everything negative you may ever have been told about Mexicans. Our experience was that they were extremely service oriented: friendly, punctual, hard-working … I’ve never felt so welcome anywhere (not just the hotel, but the whole town).
Now about the hotel. Many, many people go to the all-inclusive resorts, but I’m glad we didn’t. For one thing, there are a number of day trips that I’d highly recommend, and if you take them, you’re paying the all-inclusive resort for food and drink that you’ll not be taking advantage of. But far more important, Playa has a ton of good places to eat (and drink) and it was great to just walk around town and choose.
If you’re of that mindset, Illusion is a great place to stay. Turn right out of their front door and it’s perhaps a 50-yard walk to the beach, and we had no problem finding places to spread our beach towels (provided by Illusion) and soak up the sun. It would be even better if they provided beach chairs, but that’s not a big deal.
Turn left out of Illusion’s front door and it’s roughly 50 yards to Playa’s main drag (which is blocked off to cars) and all the shops and food. And while the nightlife was boisterous, and Illusion is near some popular bars, the hotel was very quiet and we never had any problem with noise.
Our room was, I guess, one of the better in hotel. Our sliding-glass front door opened to the sun deck and small pool on the roof, and included a great ocean view. Those are not the norm, and most people seemed to have rooms facing a nice interior (open roof) courtyard. I can’t comment on those rooms, but ours was sufficiently large, clean, and convenient. It included cable TV (lots of English-language stations), a good bed, a safe, a stocked fridge, a couch, etc. Truthfully, Playa has enough going on that we didn’t spend much time in the room, but it was still nice. The only negative is that though the hotel has wireless high-speed Internet, it doesn’t yet reach the top floor, so I had to take my laptop downstairs to get a connection. I’m told that will be fixed in about a week.
And I’d be remiss without repeating that our experience with the Mexicans generally, and the staff of Illusion specifically, was great. Breakfast was continental but good (fresh squeezed orange juice). Illusion staff can arrange tours for you (we went to Tulum, Xel Ha, and Chichen Itza, and recommend all of them) and everything ran like clockwork. And though Illusion is large enough that you feel like you’re staying in a hotel (meaning privacy) it is small enough that the owner and managers are generally on hand and asking how your stay is going. We had a great trip and would certainly stay at Illusion again.