Apple Vacations Traveller Reviews
The perfect resort for us!
This resort, with it's eco-friendly feel and cultural immersion opportunities, was the perfect resort for our family. We have kids (ages 3 and 6 years old) and they had a blast. I loved feeling immersed in the jungle, the food was great, the staff was SO FRIENDLY and there were so many things to do. I was impressed with how much was included in our stay. It was excellent!
Great kid friendly resort
The only thing I would say could be better is the food selection. I would suggest maybe French fries, chicken nuggets, and other foods that would be more appealing to kids. The hotel was very clean not out dated like other reviews suggested. Staff was very friendly. Shout out to Jesus at the front desk for getting us into a room when our room wasn’t ready. I recommend this resort to anyone with small children. Also, this hotel is extremely safe and in a gated area for extra safety :) sandos caracol is worth trying out
Couldn't pay me to go back.
Long story short, we were less than impressed. First, when we got there, there was a huge line at the registration desk, having us wait 20 minutes to check in. The people at the front desk never seemed happy or that they wanted to help. There was no explanation of where things were, what meals were served at what restaurants, or what times meals were served. We were not given a map of the resort so we had to find our way around ourselves. Our room smelt beyond musty, the worst I'd ever smelt. There were tiny ants all over our counters and tables all week long. They had this strict towel rule that you were given a card when checking in, exchange the towel at the one and only towel stand, if you lose your towel or card, $50 will be charged to your room. The towel stand closed down at 5pm so by the time we checked in and got down to the beach, we were unable to get towels. The food was mediocre at almost every restaurants. There was only about 2-3 meals that we were happy with. There was several times that they were out of regular Coke and the buffets weren't always well stocked (food seemed to run out quickly). I felt that most of the staff we interacted with seemed to hate their job and did not want to talk to you or try to help. About half way through the week, one of the concierge staff found me on the beach and gave me a tiny piece of paper that had all the restaurants and times open listed on it. The second night, when we got back to our room, the cleaning lady left us a book about the resort that included a map and other information. These things would've been nice to get at check in. The beach was very rocky, which I understand is in the hands of mother nature with the high tides and such, but it wasn't very inviting for bare feet; especially for children. The mosquitoes were beyond terrible, but again, out of the control of the resort, I would think. There were shows every night that were very family friendly, however, you had to find a seat 30-60 minutes before the show started to get a seat at all to be able to watch the show. The resort was big, and almost too big for all that they had to offer. I say that because everywhere you wanted to go was an easy 5-10 minute walk. That's a lot for kids in my opinion. There was several times that my son became bored with the lack of things going on. Everything we did or wanted to do, there was a long wait to be able to do it (snorkeling, kayaking, etc.) I also ended up getting an 80 minute massage on my birthday and I was not worth the money spent or the time. It was $175 massage and it was less than enjoyable. I was told when I booked it that I was to get a special gift being it was indeed on my birthday. That which I had to ask for and the receptionist knew nothing about and almost didn't want to honor that. She took one step the her left and pulled a sample pack of exfoliation scrubs out of a basket sitting on the desk and handed that to me as if I was begging for a gift. The massage itself wasn't enjoyable because I had requested a female and got a male massage therapist. Then, he coughed and sniffled and breathed heavily through the entire massage. He pushed very hard, even though I asked him twice to let up on the pressure. He bent me in ways that made me feel I was at a chiropractor's office. I was less than please when I left the spa. We spoke to some other families that had the same complaints and concerns that we did. I would never recommend this place to anyone.
Fun family vacation
We enjoyed so much about our trip. We had a wonderful time at the hotel and our two bedroom room was great. Lots to do!
Lots of things to do for kids
The only downfall of this hotel is the restaurants are a good walk from the pool and beach. They do have cook outs on the beach some days but they need to have food closer to the beach and pool. The wild life here is amazing. The endless options that come with this hotel are great.
Eco friendly jungle paradise
This is our second year in a row at Sandos Caracol. It is unique. Small, intimate, with tons of activities. Where else can I feed turtles after breakfast, swin in a cenote and waterfall, then hand feed grapes to monkeys on my balcony. Finish the day with a filet mignon dinner followed by a Maybe Cultural Fire show that blows me away! The only negatives are the dessert. Wow. We call it colored mush cake. Very disappointing. But the food is great.
Great experience with Apple staff
We can't say enough about the help we got from the Apple representative at the Sandos Caracol Ecos resort. Allejandra couldn't have been more helpful. Every single request or concern we had she took care of immediately. Our final dinner was exquisite. She set up a private dinner with one of the restaurants. Because of her service and pleasant attitude, we would definitely consider working with Apple for another vacation. The transfers or seamless, and the resort was perfect for our family.
Plating Vacation and Sandos Caracol
I would like to start by saying that the Apple team was very helpful and professional. Whe we arrived at our hotel, the room we were given did not have the King bed we had paid for and chosen. We were promptly moved into a room with a king bed. Unfortunately that rooms sliding door was broken. It had a large gap on the sidecar that didn't move. Because there were storms, we had water coming in and had difficulty sleeping due to the noise. It took several requests to get someone there to repair the door. It wasn't till day 3 that it was repaired. As a matter of fact it frequently took several requests to obtain sometas simple as orange juice. When we went to visit the Apple desk to arrange our transport back, the roof was leaking quite a bit. I felt terrible for the representative. Despite these problems we did enjoy the resort. The entertainment was wonderful and the food was good.
I hope this review helps to improve some of the problems we experienced.
Diana and Michael
Upon check in, we were NOT informed of the hours of the restuarants, how to make reservations for the restuarants, how to find them or any information on the resort, a general overview or anything. We sis check in late but no matter what time, we should be informed upon check in. We missed out on several opprotunities do do the eco tours and activities because we did not know where the booth was. Were unsatisfactory check in experience
Check in took about 45 min. We asked to be near the other family we travelled with and we were 2 buildings apart. Maids did not clean our room 2 of the days we stayed. The resturants have adult only evenings making it unfair for families that are there. The pools were not clean and were very hot to swim in. The bars closed early.
Disappointed All-Around this Trip with Apple / Resort
Overall, very disappointed in both this resort and Apple representatives during this trip. We booked a Royal Elite Penthouse (which the site indicated was ocean-view). We got to the hotel & to our room where we could see only large trees. We went back to the front desk & were told that there were no ocean-view rooms at the resort. We talked to Apple back and forth for days, who finally admitted that their description on website was wrong but didn't offer anything while we were at the resort. We have to reach out to Apple / Travel Agent (AGAIN!) after returning home. There was absolutely nothing special about the Royal Elite section - took forever to get in touch w/ room service, wifi barely functioned, and the Royal Elite section of the beach did not allow children although children are allowed in the Royal Elite section of the hotel.
So, other than that huge disappointment, the main pool was dirty. Just lots of 'stuff" floating on top of the water. There was a clean, smaller pool but it was surrounded by construction everywhere & construction noise.
Restaurant service was slow & so was bar service. There definitely were not enough bartenders at this resort.
Pluses: Resort photography was great. If I would've known I would've booked a family photo session. The Japanese restaurant was good (& fun!) - recommend making these reservations as soon as you arrive. Food was actually pretty decent at all of the restaurants although it all seemed to be the same food.
We take at least one, if not two, Apple trips a year and we were overall disappointed in this experience and the response from Apple Vacations.
TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews
My Destination Wedding
My wedding was on April 21, 2018 and we stayed at Sandos from April 17 to April 24, 2018.
I'll start off with the review of the resort. The resort grounds are stunning, it's very different from the typical Mexico resorts as it's all spread out into different buildings. The rooms buildings are about 3 levels each. As the wedding couple we got upgraded with our room and had a jacuzzi tub on the deck. My husband and I were quite happy with our room. Some of our guests had some issues with their rooms not being clean or a musty smell, but they went down and complained to the front desk and were able to change rooms and were happy about that.
Onto the food, I'm going to preface this by saying I am an extremely picky eater, so unless you are as well take everything I say with a grain of salt. The Italian was our go-to for breakfast in the mornings. The International buffet did breakfast as well. For lunch by the main pool they would BBQ burgers and have pita chips, this was really good or the International buffet had really good lunch I found. I ate a lot of pizza and fries. They have some really great a la carte restaurants as well, and they all rotate to be adults only each night. My favorite was the Steak & Seafood and the Brazilian. Steak had AMAZING french fires and the Brazilian had AMAZING baked alaska. My least favorite, but my husband's favorite was the Mediterranean. I'm not a seafood fan and he is and he said it was really good. On our last night we went to the Japanese restaurant which put on a great show! I even liked the food! This is the only restaurant that takes reservations and you need them. Our father-in-law booked us the first day we were there and we didn't get in until 930pm. But it was so worth it!
The cenote was one of the coolest things, as you can actually go snorkeling in it, they had turtles and some fish and big fish. My brother-inlaw also went snorkeling in the ocean and said it was amazing!
Our group hung out mostly at the "chill out" pool which is smaller, but has a bar and was pretty quiet compared to the bigger one. It's right by the cenote tortuga I believe. We spent 1 day on the beach which was nice, super rocky definitely recommend water shoes as a couple of the guys cut up their feet pretty good.
The resort itself has so much to offer with ruins, water slides, snorkeling on site, markets on site, beach, kids club, a petting zoo. Everything you can think of. It's definitely an eco resort, no straws, natural bug spray lots of signs to keep your lights off, but overrall it was an amazing experience and I would definitely go back!
On to the wedding!!
In the beginning communication was a little bit difficult. I didn't realize that they didn't contact you until 3 months out. We were assigned Anacaren as our wedding coordinator and she was seriously the best! She was really good about getting back to me in a really good time frame, she answered all of my questions (which there were a lot) and she made me feel very comfortable and confident.
Right when I got off the bus at the resort Ana was there to greet me, and actually took my dress and said it would be delivered to me on my wedding day after it had been steamed. This for me was amazing as I had been carrying it all day on the plane and I knew it would be in good hands.
A couple days before we met with Ana to go over everything in person and she was quite prepared. I brought with me to the meeting all of the decorations we had brought down with us and went over again how we wanted them laid out.
The day off myself and all the ladies from our group got ready in my room. We had Fabiola and Martha doing our hair and make-up and they did an amazing job. They did both mom's make up and my mom's hair, a guest's hair and my hair and every single person loved what they did!! They were very friendly and I showed them a picture of what I wanted and they did put their own twist on it which I loved!
Gina, the other wedding coordinator came up to get me when it was time to go down to the golf cart, and she actually helped me do up my wedding shoes which was amazing.
Ana was with me the whole time at the ceremony site as well as the reception. In fact at the reception I had actually asked her to bring me french fries from the Steak & Seafood restaurant below us and she did! It was truly truly so so amazing. They made the day feel that much more special.
The whole trip was really amazing and the day of my wedding was perfect.
EXCELLENT FAMILY EXPERIENCE.
The overall experience was great! A natural beauty in its own, the hotel is filled with options for all ages, in an excellent mayan ambience!
Food- GREAT. Special props to Chef ALBERTO and cook FRANCISCO of TEMPLO Restaurant!
Activities- EXCELLENT! Special props to PABLO in the romantic ride on the manglar.
We spent a terrific holiday! Looking forward to coming back!
Great hotel and enough to. Do for everyone
We were here for a wedding and we have a 3 year old boy. The hotel was amazing with plenty of options to keep us and our son entertained. The beauty of the hotel as well is that you are close to Playa Del Carmen if you want to get out as well as lots of attractions but they also have everything at the resort so you don't have to leave! Would we return... 100%
2 star hotel at best
My stay was plagued with numerous issues, but I will try to be very objective:
Pros: good aquapark, though the hotel needs to keep it cleaner
Cons: beach is covered with algaes and had the redflag all days of our stay
The concept is similar to timesharing so upon your arrival they will try to get you to attend the next day an information session about the "benefits of the hotel" if you join the time sharing. Alfredo didnt take lightly when we explained that our kids and we were tired and hungry and were not interested. As a result, we didn't even get the password for the wifi. Not customer service oriented.
The pool by the bar needs more people keeping it clean...there was a soiled diaper upon our arrival at the pool and 3 hours later the diaper was still there. Not only that but the pool is really unclean, the water is murky.
We didnt have power for a couple of hours two days and as a result wecouldnt flush the toilet! And we were lucky, my brother in law didnt have power in his bedroom and obviously no air conditioning.
My advice: save your hard earned money and book your vacation somewhere else!
What an amazing place!!
This was by far the best holiday I have ever been on!!
My husband and I spent 2 weeks here. We chose this hotel because of the setting and the wildlife and it certainly did not disappoint!
Everything about this place makes me want to shout from the rooftops! So I will break down our experience!
Arrival & Room
After reading some reviews here we were a little apprehensive as a lot of people have mentioned about the queues on check in. We didnâ€™t have to queue at all, there were 5 if not 6 people on reception waiting to check us and the other families that were there. The bell boys took our luggage and gave us a ride to our room. We stayed in room 4323 which was right at the back of the complex and what a beautiful room we had! We upgraded to the eco superior garden view which consisted of a king size bed which could have fit Atleast 4 people in! (Talk about bookends) as well as bunk beds for children. It was only my husband and myself so these werenâ€™t used. We had fresh towels and bedding every other day which was fine by us! We had a water cooler and coffee making facilities as well as a fully stocked fridge which was replenished daily (a little tip, if youâ€™re partial to the odd beer, or 4, give the guys who refill the fridge a tip and they will put in whatever you want. At one point I think we had 12 cans of beer, 4 7Up and 3 Diet Pepsi)
I have nothing bad to say about these! I have food allergies and they couldnâ€™t do enough to help me. If this is the case for you, go and see Stephanie at the concierge desk and she will type up a letter for you to show on entry to each restaurant. Such a lovely lady!
In total there are 5 Al a carte restaurants and 3 buffet. We ate in 3 of the 5 al a carte and all 3 buffet. The Japanese restaurant is the only one that you have to make a reservation in, but if your lucky you can get them to fit you in. We went here twice. It is to die for, not just the food but the show is tremendous and the chefâ€™s here are real showmen. Our first visit we were the first sitting and they cooked my food first before anyone elseâ€™s to make sure there was no cross contamination of gluten on my meal!! Simply amazing!!
We also went to the Brazilian restaurant twice (my husbands favourite!) again if you get here early you will have no problem being seated. And you may even get to witness monkeys around in the trees (more on these later). You get the choice of 7 or 8 cuts of meat and if you still want more then they will bring you more. You have a coaster on your table which has green on one side red on the other. Green - I want more, red - Iâ€™m done! Simple as that!!
Next up we have the steak house. Not only is this in a beautiful setting being pretty much on the beach, the food is stunning. Our recommendations would be the T-bone steak and the salmon! Simply heavenly!! The waiting staff at all of these restaurants are so so helpful, and truly lovely people.
Onto the buffets - the international buffet is the main one of the hotel. Here is where the level of service went far beyond my expectations!! The staff were brilliant and a special mention must be made for Adrianna one of the restaurant managers and the lovely lady who takes your room number and the total amount of people eating (Iâ€™m sorry I canâ€™t remember her name!) but she will forever have a place in my heart! She had the biggest smile on her face every time we saw her! They were so helpful and I am so thankful for them both. Having allergies to gluten, wheat as well as other things is usually really difficult for me, but not here! I was offered gluten free bread, which were small muffins pretty much but my gosh they were amazing! I was then offered gluten free pancakes for breakfast and from there it was pizza and pasta. I took advantage of the pizza and it did not disappoint! Lunch and dinner had so much to offer, again on reading the reviews I was a little sceptical on what to expect but I think they has a great array of food on offer. My husband absolutely loved the cakes that were on offer! All of them were beautifully made and presented (I just wish I could have tried them).
The grounds, wildlife & beach -
The grounds of this hotel are simply awe inspiring! They are so well kept, and considering it is in the jungle the workers and grounds men work so hard to keep it clean. The cenotes that are in this complex are beautiful!! You can snorkel in the main cenote from 9am and I would advice you to do it! You wonâ€™t see clearer fresh water like it. There are numerous species of fish in there as well as small turtles! There are many other opportunities to snorkel in the other rivers here but we ran out of time. You can take bicycles out on a trek around the edge of the property which is really fun and a real workout!
As you will see from other reviews there are monkeyâ€™s amongst the trees on the property! They were my highlight!! We spent hours feeding them and searching for them too! My advice, keep a banana or some grapes on you when your there! They enjoy bananas but they LOVE grapes!! One particular monkey stole my heart. He has half an arm on the one side and seems to be the boss but he is so gentle! If you are calm around them you will have close up encounters, I hand fed them to the point where I could put the fruit in my hand and they would eat out of it!!
I will list the other animals as I could be here for hours; there are iguanas, coatiâ€™s, raccoons, peacocks, deer, parrots that are all on the property and make for an exciting walk around if you want an hour out of the sun.
There is a small petting zoo onsite which has 2 donkeyâ€™s, rabbits, chickens, pigs and sheep which are very tame and you get the chance to feed them also.
The beach is beautiful and again the workers here really work so so hard to keep it that way. They clean up the seaweed that is washed up daily and rake through the sand to keep it looking just this way.
There are 2 pools and a water park here too!! The main pool is where to go if you want to take part in activities which is very close to the beach. The â€˜chill outâ€™ pool is much quieter and smaller but there are no shortage of sun loungers here. The water park is brilliant for both young and old, the water slides are so much fun! There are smaller ones for children and bigger ones for the big kid in us all!! Again you will have no shortage of sun loungers and there is a snack bar area here also where hot dogs and burgers are cooked fresh on the grill.
The entertainment team work extremely hard to make sure there is something for all ages, my favourite show has to be the Michael Jackson tribute!! What a brilliant show this is!! We saw it twice and I would happily watch it over and over again!! The Mayan shows are brilliant too, they have 3 a week. One on the beach, one at the main cenote and one on the grounds. The dancing in all of these are amazing! The team is so talented!!
Spa & Gym
Yes - we are one of THOSE couples!! We used the gym a lot of times during our stay here, and it is very good! It has all the equipment you would need to keep on track.
We had a couples back massage at the spa and it was delightful!! I also had reflexology here and it was so relaxing! They are very good at what they do!! I had 2 beauty treatments by Perla and i was very impressed.
As you can see by the length of this review that I really donâ€™t have a bad word to say about it!! We loved every second and will be returning here for future holidays!!
Some other advice would also be take strong mosquito spray!! That is the only negative! But your pretty much in the jungle!!! It cannot be helped! And the good things most certainly out weigh the one bad!!
Thank you so much Sandos!! You have made our holiday one that we will never forget!! Hope to see you again soon!!
The comments and opinions on this Ratings and Reviews section of our website are the views and opinions of TripAdvisor members and AppleVacations.passengers. They are providied 'as is' and we accept no responsibility for any loss, injury, inconvenience or other damage resulting from this information. You should verify critical information (for example passports and visas, and customs) with the relevant authorities, and review our Fair Trade Contract and Things To Know Before You Go (including our Health and Safety Tips For Travelers) before you travel.