This place,, Puerto Morales is a total rip off do not go here. Even after you pay for the all inclusive there is a 'resort fee' they will charge you. Cartel owners and extortionists. DO NOT GO HERE..
Great resort! Love the wildlife and beach
Sep 21, 2023
We love this resort. The staff are always great, food exceptional, and grounds pristine. The resort is going through a few changes and that is the only reason why we’re not giving a 5. We’re used to the butler service which has always smoothed out the minor hiccups. The communication is much less thorough without the butlers, but everyone is trying to shift with the changes.
Walking on eggshells for 7 days.
Sep 20, 2023
Looking for relaxation? DON’T book here!
To begin the hotel will demand a 300$ USD deposit/authorization upon check in, no one will advise you of this until check in. The deposit is said to cover any fees during the stay. That said from all the trips over the years to many 5 star resorts this has never been requested and quite honestly seems like a shady practice for Mexico. Once you return home you will not have your money returned or unfrozen for many days so please don’t plan on accessing this money for a few weeks. It’s all part of the welcome to the FIVES hotel experience. They now have some of your money on hold just waiting for a reason to charge.
Dining: This is a hit or miss situation and a few bad apples who ruin the bunch. Number one most arrogant person is ANA the hostess at the Thai and sometimes Sea Olive. We were in 3 nights and begged to let us have a seat as they have a “first come first serve” policy but, she never cracked a smile or let us wait for a table. She is rude and arrogant and you can tell she is doing her best to make sure she’s done her shift as early as possible. On the last night I even asked her if we could wait however long it took as we really wanted to try the Thai and she said “it won’t happen” even though we were leaving. We were a kind and polite group always faced with her nasty attitude. We tried to get reservations with the concierge in our building also and it was not possible.
The buffet is actually the smallest, worst buffet we have ever seen. This is not my first all inclusive, we do about 3 minimum per year. We went a few times to flavours and left each time it was so bad. We found the only decent buffet was the French (Brasserie) restaurant in the morning. It had the most selection for breakfast however still very small. We had some good meals and some terrible ones but nothing to get excited about. We went to the Sea Olive 3 times as we found it to be the best. Italian was also pretty decent with good service.
Rooms: We were two couples one with swim up suite and another with “run of the house” king bed. They were clean, and beds were comfortable. The swim up closes at 7pm so if your thinking of getting one for a late night dip forget about it. They are very strict in this hotel. They let you feel that tension during the whole trip. More about that later.
Beach/pools: The beach was awesome during our stay. No sargassum, beautiful color, it was just stunning. Note they don’t allow you to move your beach chair. Another rule enforced that is unheard of in a 5 star hotel. The pool area is nice but surrounded by Bali beds that are for purchase only. They won’t let you sit on the bed or the chairs beside it unless you spit the cash out. Lots of resorts have this type of rental but this hotel enforced a unpleasant manner in which they advised. Again, it was always under a strict tone. Service in both these areas varied. We tipped for every drink and still had to deal with some attitude. Note to the staff, some people although foreign can understand what is said in Spanish amongst you. The bartenders at the pool bar we’re making fun of partons a couple of times.
Grounds: The grounds of the hotel are beautiful and well maintained. They have a shuttle service you can call with a QR code which sends a shuttle your way. One night we were told none of the shuttles were charged so, too bad walk. I am in shape and have no issues walking but I wondered what an elderly or disabled person might do. Of all the 10 shuttles not one is charged? It was very odd response and embarrassing for a “5 star” The guy at the front said sorry turned around and walked away.
Smoking ban: This issue does not touch everyone but be warned that some couples we met were non smokers and had their rooms RAIDED by management due to “smell” of smoke in their rooms. Therefore smoker or non smoker, you can be in for a surprise. The hotel provides two smoking sections, tiny unpleasant areas about 15 - 20 min walk from the rooms at times. They do not allow any other place near the lobby other than outside the hotel gates where guests have to stand on the street corner and smoke outside the gate. One night we wanted to go for a smoke and the door attendant refused to open the gate. I told him we were not prisoners here to which he understood nothing and kept it closed. They have no right to keep us trapped on the resort and as someone who travels to Playa del Carmen regularly will be putting a formal complaint to the hotel. This was astonishing to me that the hotel would trap a guest inside its walls. We met several couples during our stay who were RAIDED.Hotel security came to their rooms and 8 staff members were going through all their things looking for evidence of smoking in the room. The bed maid had tipped them off to possible smoking on the balcony or room. They want to charge you 1500$USD for this. The more we discussed with smokers and non smokers this seemed like a money grab scam. Someone was RAIDED because they had a lighter in the room. We believe this is a scam set up with the maids and the hotel management. There was no logic to this type of violation or personal space. Someone needs to look into this and we will advise the travel company we booked with. If you are a smoker I would RUN from this resort, if you are a non smoker I would still run because they are running a scam of sorts. I hope the resort re-examines this issue. Seem pretty corrupt in my opinion and the enforcement of Mexican laws is important but not this way and not with 2 smoking sections in a huge massive resort. Other hotels have much better options for smokers and respect for all guests.
In the end during the stay we met 3 couples who were raided, two who were switching hotels halfway through the stay and many MANY complaints about the “no reservation, first come, first serve” policy. The trip was riddled with a feeling of anxiety the entire time in fear of a 1500$ USD smoking fee. We did not break any of the “rules” at any time but felt like we were walking on eggshells.
Lastly, There is also a group on FB called “fans of the Fives beach hotel and residences” which is also deleting all negative reviews and pumping out positive ones. It’s a shame that the admins do not let the resorts reality be shown but they must have some vested interest, maybe an “owner”
As we wait for our 300$ USD deposit to be given back and returned home I can say with certainty that I would give 0 stars if I could. This was anything but a relaxing trip. This is the first time in over 20 trips to Playa del Carmen I did not enjoy.
Our Ambassador Eduardo Mena at Villa 5 was amazing and is personal. I would recommend him to take care of all guests.
Sep 19, 2023
Eduardo made sure our stay was excellent with our evening turn down to our stay being stellar. He puts his guest above and beyond to insure they are treated with excellence. The resort dinners he reserved for us were excellent at the Arezzo. Amazing food top notch. Thank you Eduardo for you being the Best there is for your guests. You are truly amazing.
Fell in love with Mexico
Sep 19, 2023
We stayed at the beginning of September in the standard Double Room. It was just myself and my boyfriend and this is the first time we have visited Mexico although we have been to other Caribbean holidays.
Arrival- we came with TUI so our transport was organised with them and we got to the hotel in good time. When we arrived we were greeted with a drink and had our bags collected. We went to reception to check in which was super easy and quick. The bracelets they give for the all inclusive double up as the room key which was great! They did take a deposit but as I used a credit card this was only a pending transaction.
The Room- we are not overly fussy about our room as we spend little time in there. The room we got in block 17 was great. We were given a swim up which we never requested but made us feel really great! The room was clean and comfortable. My only very small criticism was it would be good to have a full length mirror in the room as I had to ask my partner if my outfit looked okay in an evening and he wasn’t going to tell me no haha! But that’s if I’m being REALLY picky. Maid service was good and we got a 2nd turn down on some days with chocolates left on the bed which was nice. Fridge filled up every day with beer and soft drinks.
Smoking- My partner is a smoker and so the news about the law in Mexico was a little concerning. On trip and near the airport etc it was very relaxed and he was given the opportunity to smoke quite regularly and this was not an issue. There are 2 smoking areas in the resort and they are kept tidy and clean. Yes it is inconvenient and yes there are other hotels in Mexico who are a lot more relaxed however they are just abiding by the law. However, it would be good if there was maybe 1 or 2 more areas. We did hear rumours of people having their rooms checked but this never happened to us as my partner stuck to the smoking area rules. One frustration was that on Mexican Independence Night, people came to the hotel who were not staying in order to celebrate. We had no where to sit and watch the celebration that day and it was difficult to get a drink which we understood because they were Mexicans celebrating their national holiday however, what was unfair is they were being allowed to sit at their tables smoking and not being asked to go to the smoking area. This is unfair but again was 1 night out of 14 so it wasn’t the end of the world.
Food- our 2nd week we were told we didn’t need to reserve restaurants other than Arezzo (Italian) as it was low season. This worked everywhere except the Thai which led to long waits or returning hours later. The first week we found the reservation system really easy to use with our ambassador. We went to all of the restaurants except the French as I didn’t fancy a lot of what was on the menu (I’m super fussy). We LOVED the Italian and the Thai. The others were also great. Italian was our favourite. We got fantastic service at all the restaurants except the Thai unfortunately. It wasn’t bad service at the Thai necessarily, it just wasn’t great. The Buffet and Brasserie were great in a morning and we thought the buffet on the evening was pretty standard for an all inclusive. Could be a little bigger I guess compared to the size of the resort. Lunch was fab on the beach. We aren’t huge lunch eaters on holiday due to the heat so we stuck to burgers and pizzas mostly. We used the brasserie for lunch on our last day and that was nice! Room service also was good with a nominal delivery fee
Drinks- really lovely. Would like a menu to be able to make the most of what’s on offer but they can make most of what you ask for. 99% of the servers were lovely and great at their job!
Beach and Pools- We come on holiday for the beach really. My partner loves the sea and yes the sandbags aren’t the prettiest to look at but they do the job to protect from sargassum. The beach is beautifully clean and we loved it. There is the odd person selling massaged or hair braiding but they aren’t pushy and ask once then leave you be. Pools are everywhere in this hotel and we used a couple. We aren’t big entertainment people so we did prefer the beach as it’s a little quieter. All the pools were clean and had lots of beds. My one criticism for pools and beach is that there should be more parasols. The first few days I struggled with the heat until I had adjusted and there isn’t enough opportunity to get a bed in the shade. We were okay because we had lots of strong sun cream and hats but I would have liked the opportunity for shade some days and might be better for people with kids.
Excursions- we booked our trips with TUI and did Chichen Itzá and a Tulum with sea turtle snorkelling. We loved both. Biggest advice would be to go to cenotes. They are amazing and beautiful!
General- We loved seeing all the wildlife in the hotel. Yes you get bit by mosquitoes. If you don’t want that, don’t book a hotel in the middle of the jungle and then you will get bit less. However, you also won’t get to see monkeys and coatis and lizards etc so I’d say the bites are 100% worth it.
This has been one of our favourite holidays. The staff were great and gave brilliant service, the hotel was lovely and we loved Mexico. I gave 4* as I know people have argued this isn’t 5* as there are some shortfalls. I agree, but for the price I think this is a great place to stay. If you want a perfect 5* resort you can do but the price is much higher.
Thanks to all at the Fives for a lovely holiday!