More about Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa
Best Vacation Yet!
This was a great vacation! I agree with the review from one individual about how the rooms smelt a little musty, but really, it's not a big deal! You only notice the smell the first time you enter the room and you get used to after that. I have to say, I loved the shower in my room! It was totally excellent. The food was awesome! Not as much Mexican food as I was hoping there would be, but the Salsa, Guacamole and Quesadillas that they did have were totally excellent! The Staff are super friendly and lots of fun. They mingle with the guests at night over dinner, which I thought was pretty cool. Oh, and if you like coffee, Mexican coffee is gross, but Caracol Village has a coffee bar that they open every night for real espresso, cappucino's, latte's etc... Awesome! And as far as watersports goes, normally all inclusives have absolute crap for gear. But Caracol Village had pretty decent equipment. The Windsurfing equipment was really quite good and they have catamarans that they rent out for a half hour at a time. If you are a windsurfer, like I said, they have good gear, and there is a reef that goes on forever from the shore, so even if you are really far out, and you fall in, you can still touch the bottom. I could go on forever about the fun I had. If you are looking for a great time, this is a great place to go.
Had a wonderful time !!!
My husband and I just returned from a holiday at Caracol Village Hotel, Feb. 1-8th. First of all, just let me say that I was a little cautious about going, as my travel agent didn't want me to go to any place rated lower than 4 stars. However, Caracol Village is rated 31/2 stars in some publications, and 4 stars in others. The star rating is based on the number of amenities, not the quality of the hotel. It turned out to be fantastic, and we had a great time. This resort really strives to give you a real Mexican experience. If you want polished marble lobbies, and fountains spewing water to classical music, this is not your resort. However, if you want to go someplace that looks and feels Mexican, this is it. It is big, spread out over many acres carved out of the mangrove swamps and jungle. Bugs are no problem as they spray the whole area frequently. The room we were staying in was exactly the same as the one shown on a variety of web sites. The bathroom is brightly tiled in Mexican ceramic tiles, big enough for a couple of people to be in it at the same time. The shower is plenty big, at least 3 adults or 2 adults and a couple of kids could shower in there! The water is very plentiful with great force - so nice after a day on the sandy beach. The beds are very comfortable, but hard, so be prepared for that. I can sleep on a hard mattress, but if you want to melt into a buttery soft bed, you won't at Caracol Village. The reason for the hardness, is that the mattresses are set on a typical Mexican base that is made out of concrete and plaster. Almost everything is made out of cement and plaster in Mexico as there is very little wood to build with. But you will be so busy you will be ready for a good sleep and should sleep well. If you are a light sleeper, and hear every little thing, ask for a room away from the beach and on the third or second floor. We stayed in building # 19 and it was perfect, right across from the tennis courts. It was quiet all the time. I wouldn't want an oceople by the pool or out walking at night. Because the resort in surrounded by jungle, you will see some interesting animals and birds while you are there if you keep your eyes open. We saw a cotimundi twice, and a Mexican fox. We saw some kind of beautiful turquoise bird with black feathers outlining his wings. Iquana's are all over the place but they don't bother with the people. We saw brightly coloured crabs scurrying around sideways before they would disappear down a little hole in the soil. Some reviewers said that to get to their room they had to pass a gross little building that stank of sewage. Honestly, I don't know what the fuss was about. We walked by that exact spot several times a day and it was not only not all that smelly, (hello people - there has to be plumbing somewhere!), but it was not intrusive at all. I might not want to stay right there in those buildings, but I don't know if the slight whiff of sewage even got as far as the guest rooms. The staff is tries very hard to accommodate your wishes. We felt very secure there, as they screen everyone who tries to enter the property. Friends of ours who live in Mexico had to pass inspection every time they came to pick us up at the lobby. This is good as it shows their concern for our safety. The pool area is beautiful and the real hub of activity during the day. Our activities crew of young men and women were great fun to watch. They spoke several lanquages and kept us entertained. My suggestion to you is to get involved in something, either the beer drinking contest, or the pool wind surfer race, salsa dancing lessons, beach volleyball, soccer, whatever... Your days will be so much more fun if you join in once in a while and get to know the staff on a first name basis. There is also an adults only swimming pool way off to one side in one of the housing complexes, very quiet and private. The Village had a huge amount of Canadians staying there while we were there last week, and a good number of them were from Manitoba. They would raisa flagpole they made every day on the beach. You could see it all the way up and down the shoreline. They were a fun bunch! If something crazy was going on, you could bet Canadians were involved! The drinks were plentiful, but if you like them strong you have to ask for more alcohol, which is cheerfully given. I like my drinks without a killer punch to them, so they were fine for me. The Strawberry Daquiri's were especially nice on the beach. The Buffet restaurant was very well stocked with a great variety of foods. If you couldn't find something good to eat, there is something wrong with you. The baked fish that was served a couple of times during our week was excellent. There is a different theme every night, so you can expect to see lots of selection. It was great to have pancakes and maple syrup for breakfast. When you check in you will be given a little paper booklet about Caracol Village. Take some time to read the schedule of events. Everything you need to know is listed: the types of restaurants, where to sign up for a la carte restaurants, what and when they have their theme nights in the buffet restaurant; when there are guided jungle walks, Spanish lessons, etc etc etc! Read it and you will have a great overview of what you can do during your week besides just roasting on the beach. Going in to Playa del Carmen is very easy to do. You have to sign up to get a place on the shuttle bus, but we always were able to go each day we wanted to. If you want to stay later than the shuttle allows in the evening, just take a taxi back to the hotel. No biggie. The shopping on 5th Avenue is great - lovely silver and ceramics. Try to visit Playa del Carmen in the evening as the whole atmosphere changes and it is quite beautiful at night. During the day go all the way to the end of 5th Avenue and go to the marina area where Senor Frog's restaurant and bar is located. It is a very nice little area to walk around, with a carnival atmosphere.The staff at Caracol Village is multilingual and you will always find someone to talk to and answer your questions. The activities crew are also the people who entertain you at night in the amphitheatre. The shows are so good that we always tried to get back to the hotel by 9 or 9:15 to get a seat to watch the show. Twice during the week outside entertainers were brought in. One time the Michael Jackson impersonator was brought in and that show was great! Even if you don't like MJ, the show was very good. A couple of days later the show was featuring a Mexican folklore dance company, specializing in the dances of the various regions of Mexico. That also was excellent. There was a comedy night, a talent show (the talent came from the audience, what a hysterical show- thought I would die laughing), an international dance show, etc etc etc. If you didn't like the shows then I don't know what you are looking for in a resort. It was so cozy and fun we hated to miss any of it. If you want professional glitz and pomp, go somewhere else. If you want a really relaxing, fun holiday without any pretense, then you will find that holiday at Caracol Village. Would I go back - yes. Will I try another resort? Sure, I want to try all sorts of environments. But Caracol Village more than lived up to our hopes and we had a wonderful vacation there. Try to visit Xel-Ha for the snorkeling and Tulum for the ruins. You can either buy a package tour at the resort or try to find a better deal in Playa del Carmen. Either way, it is a really great day out. This was our first time in Mexico, and we will definitely be going back.
Had a Wonderful Time
I just returned from a great week at the Caracol Village. A group of approx. 40 Cold Canadians we were. Most of our group were lucky enough to stay for 2 weeks, however, being a Travel Agent - -I could only be away for 1 week. Immigration lines at the Airport were dreadful. . . We were in line approx 2.5 long hours. We arrived on a Sat. and the airport was busy. They only had 4 gates open and approx 1500 people in line.
We finally got out of the airport. Cold beer was waiting for us on the bus at a cost of $2.00 US. I think at this point we would have paid$20.00 for a beer. It went down really well.
Check in at the hotel went very smooth. Be sure you remember to ask for your remote when you check in. After a fast change we were on our way to the beach to enjoy some sun and fun. The bar menu is very interesting. Be sure you ask for mucho grande rum in your drinks. The bar staff are very willing to please. A favorite of our group was the Dirty Monkey with mucho mucho grande rum. One of our group vowed to try every drink on the menu, which she did a few times. All of the bars had great service. Sure sometimes there was a line up, however the hotel was full when we were there and the bar tenders worked non stop to keep up.
It is very important that you book your a la carte restaurants as soon as you arrive. We waited to long and were not to get into them. Some of our group however were lucky enough to visit them however and said the food and service were great. The buffet was excellent. Lots of choice and selection. We missed the Mexican Night, however heard that it was great.
According to some it was the best night. We always did lunch at the snack bar - great chicken wings and nachos - down on the beach - of course with a drink or two***of three***or four***.
Activities Staff were excellent. A favourite of our group were Killer and Poncho. We even had a champion beer drinker in our group. Way to go Dan**. The nightly entertainment was great. One night they even brought in dancers from Cancun. They were totally wondeful.
Okay now for the downfalls. Please remember that this is only a 3 star resort. Sure there are rocks in the water, however, a walk 5 minutes south and the water and beach are crystal clear. Some of the rooms are quite far away. Some of our group were able to get their rooms changed the next day. We were lucky and had pool side rooms close to everything. I would recommend taking some candels to burn. The rooms can be very damp and can be a little musty. We also took insulated cups for our bar drinks. This keeps the drinks cooler for longer and allows for more mucho grande rum. My husband was bothered by a couple of bug bites so be sure to take some Off.
We all had a wonderful time at the Caracol Village., The staff is great, the view beautiful, the drinks and food plentiful. . What more could you want. I have stayed at a few 5 star properties over the years and have found them to be very cold. I would definately return to the Caracol Village. I wasn't too thrilled with the Cancun Airport Through. We Also Had about approx a 2.5 hour line up to clearn security for our return flight back to Canada. Oh well"""
Great secluded tropical getaway! (Jan 17 - 24, '03)
Had a wonderfull time at Caracol Village. Like other reviewers have written here, I was concerned about what would await us after the bumpy ride into the resort from the highway - but DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY ! Even tho' we arrived at breakfast time - hours ahead of room availability - we were treated like we were home. We were directed to the buffet restaurant where we were greeted by Lindsay, a very helpful gal who welcomed us to the Village & directed us to the booking table for the a' la carte restaurants which you want to do asap if you're only there for a week like us. The a la carte's were worth it, even tho' the buffet was always VERY good (don't miss the baking-goods corner - EXCELLENT). Also if you're an ice-cream fan - don't miss the soft coconut - scrumptious ontop of fresh mellon slices! Even though you're somewhat isolated at Caracol, they offer free 11 passenger shuttles into Playa Del Carmen. To get one you'll have to book ahead & the earlier the better. The booking lists are put out each morning at 7:00 am & there's usually a line-upso get a wake-up call & be there! I didn't discover until later there are 2 buses & the reserve list for the 2nd bus is under the list for the first bus, so even if you're 2nd in line & the first person reserves the whole bus - sign in on the sheet underneath. If you miss the return bus at Playa del Carmen - standard cab fare back to the resort is 75 pesos. Also if you'd like to spend the day at Tulum or Xel-Ha, you can take the shuttle to Playa, walk south down 5th Ave (the main tourist drag) to 2nd St, go north 3 blocks & catch the Cambio (white vans) for 20 pesos each. A substantial savings to the bus tours offered at the hotel. Just be sure to have Mexican currency on hand.If you have further questions, I'd be happy to try to help.
Beautiful and Romantic!
My boyfriend and I stayed at Club Caracol Village for a week in late January. It was definitely very rustic, but very clean and beautiful. The beach is beautiful and there is another very beautiful rock-free beaches about 10 minutes up from the resort which we got to ourselves a few times! Don't be surprised if you see local soldiers patrolling the beach occasionally! There are some topless people and lots of thongs and speedos........scary at times but harmless enough I guess! The food was great. I never got sick once and are the yummy fresh fruit everyday. There is such a wide variety of food to choose from that we both don't understand what people have to complain about. And the deserts are to die for! We gained about ten pounds Im sure in 1 week! Our room was very neat. Tile everything but there was no bathtub. Shower was super huge and worked really well. We had no bugs but we also didn't leave food lying around (just common sense). Our toilet leaked from the back part but we just threw a towel on it and eventually it stopped so I presume house cleaning got someone to fix it. We were not going to waste our vacation complaining about stupid little things like so many people seem to do. Overall we would say this resort is great for anyone, but if you are really picky and tend to complain a lot then don't go here! We cant wait to go back but for longer this time!Helpful hints:1. Book your specialty restaurants the very first chance you have as they go really fast.2. Get your towels really in the morning and bring back before dinner3. The shops their are cute but they are expensive.4. Book your shuttle bus early if you are planning on going into Playa Del Carmen. And come on people, the bus ride into the resort is long but it's not nearly as bad as people say..........it's so worth it!
Great - but not sure about Security
We (2 couples) just got back from a fun week at Club Caracol Village.
We thought the resort was very adequate. Clean rooms and grounds. Food
and drinks plentiful and the staff helpful. There are security guys
(dressed in white shirts and pants) walking the premises all the time.
Every morning a couple army type guys (with guns) walk briskly by on
the beach in front of the resort - they must patrol miles of beach. So
you definitely get the feeling that there's a good reason for this type
of security. If you go out on the beach at night, the security guys
will encourage you to go back to the resort. So with all this security
around we felt safe (though a bit "creeped out"). Unfortunately one of
the women in our group was approached and harrassed while going to the
ladies room by the beach one night by one of the security guys and his
friend - who kept saying "kissy, kissy, beach, beach". Thankfully
someone overheard this security guy and our friend's distress and
stepped in. To make a long story short we found out security is
contracted out by the hotel. The manager of the hotel had no idea what
a police check is and the rep from Signature Vacations - Natalie - was
not helpful or supportive. The security guy lost his job. But I
wouldn't be surprised if he finds similar work with another security
company at another resort. I cringe to think what could have happened
to my friend if that kind fellow wasn't nearby to step in. Club
Caracol's many pathways and footbridges are poorly lit at night and I
advise anyone staying there not to walk alone in the evening. One more
thing, if you walk the beach to Playa del Carmen - which took us 1-1/2
hours - and if you stop for a swim on the way, take turns watching your
beach bag and clothes. Another Club Caracol couple had their stuff
stolen off the beach while swimming on their walk. A couple guys ran
out of the jungle and grabbed everything. We need to remember that
there is a very large number of people living in poverty in Mexico and
like anywhere they are a desperate bunch. Even though we had one
horrible night we all agreed that we would come back to Playa del
Carmen, though we'd go to at least a 4 star resort. The area is
beautiful and the weather was awesome. The scuba diving and snorkeling
was great. We've learned to be cautious and smart while in Mexico.
The weather was great...the hotel was not
My friend and I stayed at Caracol Village the week of Feb. 7th-14th and I would give the hotel 2-1/2 to 3 stars. Be ready for the drive into the hotel as it is a dirt road and took us 10 minutes to get from the main road to the lobby door upon arrival. FOOD: Breakfast was by far the best meal of the day. They had great omelets and fresh bread everyday. Lunch was mediocre although they had good pizza. Dinner was not very impressive. The food in general was pretty bland but they had to accomodate many different tastes so I can see why. We ate at the mexican restaurant El Bandito one night and the meal was good. Make your reservations when you get to the hotel as the two restaurants fill up fast. We ate in town 3 nights as we could not take the hotel dinners any more and the food in downtown Playa was excellent. The snack bar by the pool had pretty decent food. The hamburgers were good. ROOMS: We stayed on the first floor in building 18 and while the room was small, it was clean. We did experience a gecko on the ceiling upon our arrival. We soon got rid of him. No other bugs after that. The beds were hard and the pillows flat. If you are used to sleeping on a firm mattress, you'll be fine. The showers were big and there was good water pressure and lots of hot water. The drain in the sink didn't work the greatest. They forgot to leave clean towels a couple of days but when we called they were quick in bringing us some. I think they were having a hard time keeping up with the laundry. There is a safe in the room and it is $2.00 a day. I would advise using it to keep your airline tickets, jewelry, etc. locked up. HOTEL STAFF: The hotel staff were all very friendly and the activities team by the pool were always very friendly and seemed to really take an interest in getting the hotel guests to participate in the activities offered. They put on a show every night at the disco/theature. While some of the shows were good, others were kind of lame. They lipsync to everything. SECURITY: There were a couple of security issues while we were there. I would advise women and young girls not to walk alone at night. Two security guards were fired while we were there and one was thrown in jail. Not real comforting! POOL AND BEACH AREA: The pool was okay. Two men always seemed to be fixing tiles in the bottom of the pool. Several people cut the bottom of their feet on the broken tiles. If you want to lay by the pool I suggest that you get out there between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. to throw a towel down to save a chair. The beach area was nice. The water was rocky but if you walked farther down the beach it was clear. Don't forget about the nudies farther down the beach if you are walking with kids. WOULD I STAY THERE AGAIN: NO! While the hotel staff was nice, I was not impressed with the food and the security issues bothered me. I would go back to Playa del Carmen as it was a fun town but would chose another hotel with a higher rating.
Great family get away
After a very rocky start and an almost no go on Air Transit, we finally arrived in Mexico. After all the anticipation, the only thing the Custom and Immigration guy wanted was "Tip for cold beer" $10.00 U.S. and we were in without so much as a look at our I.D. We got to Club El Caracol ½ hour later. All the warnings we had received and read on the internet made it so we kind of knew what to expect. Upon our arrival, we had to wait for our room to be ready, the first room given to us had only one bed. The second room was really far from the beach, finally, since we were willing to wait for a couple more hours, we were able to get a room by the beach and the pool. We checked in an immediately started enjoying the weather.
We got 14 days of sun and perfect weather, not too hot and a little ocean breeze. We lived in our bathing suits and had a great time.
Simple with good size showers. Lots of pressure and hot water. Clean with the exception of some small Mexican bugs who took a couple chunks off our legs during the night. Cleaned and with a 20 pesos tip per day we ensured various patterns with toilet papers and bed coverings.
Perfect white sand, it was sifted and raked twice while we were there. There were no rocks on the beach, but the water had rocks in the shallows. You could not run and dive in the water as you would have hit some sub-surfaced boulders, but once in the water, you could swim without any trouble. no The rocks also ensure great snorkeling as more fish and corrals.
Plenty, abundant, lots and most of it good. The main restaurant (Laguna) is buffet service with themes every night. The Asian Night was somewhat BLAH, but the Mexican nights were WOW. The Mediterranean restaurant, (La Riviera) was very nice and we had no problems making reservations for it as we had two weeks, those there for one week had to pick pretty crappy times to eat. The Mexican restaurant (Banditos) was not bad with outstanding drinks, better quality rum and fresher fruits. The snack-bar, (Two Iguanas) was very nice and convenient, located on the beach, it does not have any dress code, (shoes not required) so you could go in and out as you pleased. They served the best burgers and quesadillas from 10:30 to 17:30. Mackenzie ate there a lot cause it did not interfere with her day as she would run in from the pool, eat and run back to the pool. The only thing I did not like was the horrible coffee. I missed my TIM's. But the salsa and guacamole is fantastic.
Good drinks, lots of alcohol and extremely good mix (pina colada, daiquiris, Marganita, etc...) and they open from 09:00 to 03:00. You definitely had to bring your own isolated mug as it allowed for more rum, mucho grande rum...
Every, there was a different dance and music show put together by the "Activity Coordinators" the shows lasted 1 hours to 1/4 hours. There was a "Viva Chicago", "the life and time of Michael Jackson, Maya Nights, Caribbean Dances, Famous Musicals, Movies Soundtracks, etc..." This show was preceded by a ½ hour spectacles put on by the children and the "Kid's Camp Counselor" Malena. Each nights were different and all the kids would rush on the stage to dance, sings or play games, Lots of Laughs for the audience. Most of the people in the audience did not have kids but went every night to see the kids performed.
Between 9:30 to 12:30 and 15:30 to 17:30, you can participate in organized activities non-stop. Beach Volleyball, Pool Volleyball, Water Polo, Water Aerobics, Dance Lessons, Spanish Lessons, Cooking Lessons, Bocce Balls, Horse Shoes, Crochets, Archeries, Darts Tournaments, Beer Drinking Contest, etc... In addition, you could snorkel, canoe, kayak, sail, swim, exercise in the gym or just lie down on the beach. The Activity people are great, we got to know them and enjoyed spending time at various sports with them. The kids went to fun camp with Malena who is a saint with children. They spent 5 to 6 hours doing the same activities as we did with a bunch of kids their age.
Yes, I liked my trip and after the first week, I really started getting into it and play all the games, Amanda took a couple days more and eventually was busy from 9 to 6. The entire time there was perfect with about 1 hour of drizzle which did not stop us from playing beach volley in two weeks. We did not do any tours with the hotel or Signature Travel as they wanted too much money. We took the free shuttle to Playa Del Carmen which runs every half hour and from there, we took public transit bus to TALCUM. The entire day for 4 of us was less than $25.00U.S. The tour was $39.00U.S. per persons.
This was a saving of $131.00U.S. The majority of people were doing it that way. The best tours are TULUM, XCARET and XEL HA. All of them are available through public transit. When going there, bring U.S. dollars, you get more bang for your buck, even with our exchange rate. The best place to change your money to pesos is the Amex counter on 5th Avenue in Playa, 10.9 pesos per U.S. dollar. This resort is frequented by Canadian primarily, European French, Germans and Italians. Explaining the number of topless sun bathing. There were no Americans. For a family with kids between the ages of 4 and 12 who want a good relaxing holidays at an affordable price, I would strongly recommend this place.
Sandos Caracol resort, is it good??
I'm considering staying at Sandos Caracol, I found a good deal on them.
Has anyone stayed there, what was the impression?
Is it clean, do they have hot water, how was the food and the beach?
Also, how often do the shuttles run to Playa Del Carmen or is it possible to walk to the city?
Thanks in advance for the info!
RE: Sandos Caracol resort, is it good??
Hi, your question is hard to answer not knowing eactly where your hiotel is located. But yes, most hotels are only a short walk from the areas of the city you would most likely want to go to. Lots are actually in town.
Most hotels show where they are located in relation to the surrounding area...towns, cities tec.
RE: Sandos Caracol resort, is it good??
on thier website.