We had a quick transfer from the Now Sapphire to the Playacar Palace. Two years ago I visited this small, relaxed resort right in the heart of Playa del Carmen for an afternoon and instantly thought it was wonderful.
When I was booking the resort, I found out that they were closing the week after we'd be there. The whole resort was going to be renovated over the course of three months. Sandy and I both felt like the staff had the feeling of it being the last day of camp.
As opposed to the Now Sapphire with multiple buildings housing the main lobby, restaurants, and rooms, the Playacar. Palace was one large hotel.
Our room wasn't ready yet when we arrived, so we took the time to get some food from the buffet and walk around. The resort had a very laid back vibe to it. Sarah was getting tired, luckily we were able to get into our room earlier than our scheduled 2pm check in time.
The room we had was a nice size. It had a king sized bed, jacuzzi, bottles of liquor, and stocked mini-fridge. I took a tour and was told that they would be removing all the furniture, and pulling up the flooring, painting, etc as part of the renovations. I would say that the rooms were a little worn and could use the facelift, but were still very functional.
There was one main pool where we spent the majority of our time. The pool was different depths, and there was one area where it was shallow enough for Sarah to walk. At one end of the pool was a swim up bar, and that is where the entertainment crew did most of their games and activities. For being a smaller resort, the entertainment team definitely got a lot of people involved.
We never had a problem getting a chair. I'm not sure if it's because there weren't as many people, or just more chairs. But it was a relief to not have to play the chair game.
The beach at the Playacar Palace was bigger and better maintained than at the Now Sapphire. We went in the ocean once, but we tended to stay in the main pool. It was easier with Sarah and her float that she spent most of her time in the pool.
We were all happy with the restaurants and food at the Playacar Palace. Our favorite was Terraza, the Italian restaurant. The food was wonderful and the restaurant itself was beautiful
We also ate dinner at the buffet, Cafe Del Mar, one night. Normally, we like to try out different places each night. But we thought for our last night it would be easier to go someplace less formal and relaxing. I think Sandy and I were pleasantly surprised with how much we enjoyed it. The food was good along with great service.
From what we could tell, the bars all made good drinks. The few that we got were enjoyable. The lobby bar had a nice menu of craft cocktails that they could make for you.
One morning Sarah got us up early, and I decided to go check out the fitness center. It was small, but for the size of the resort, didn't need to be any bigger. There were both cardio and weight machines. An attendant was coming in to clean and organize pretty early in the morning, which is always a good sign.
We also brought Sarah to the children's playroom for an hour. Because Sarah was under 4, we had to stay with her. There were a lot of activities for kids of all ages. The staff assigned to the playroom were friendly and I'd be comfortable leaving Sarah with them in the future.
Before we knew it, our vacation was coming to a close. We had a quick transfer to the airport, and our flight was direct right back to Milwaukee. Sarah fell asleep for most of the flight, and Sandy and I were able to read.
A small thing to note when arriving into the Milwaukee airport on an international flight is that you arrive in a completely separate building than the main terminal. It's not too far from the main terminal, but it is separate.
Our first family vacation was highly successful. Everyone had a great, relaxing time. Traveling with a 10 month old wasn't hard, and I would actively encourage it. If you have any questions, please contact myself or any of the agents at Blue Sea Vacations to help plan your next vacation.
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