Situated near the Riu Palace Peninsula on the upper part of the “7”, Dos Playas Beach Hotel is a good all-inclusive option for vacationers on a budget–do not pay rack rate, there are typically several very good offers on the web at any given time so keep looking. The Dos Playas is adjacent to the Maya Caribe, also an all-inclusive optional hotel, and both use the same lobby/reception area. Between the two they share five pools, three restaurants, and three bars; all-inclusive guests have unrestricted use of each resort’s amenities.
Dos Playas is a small property consisting of several buildings with only three floors. Not all guest rooms have balconies, but sea views can be had with the proper motivation (tipping during check-in may help). Updated rooms are actually quite nice with white walls and linens, cherry wood headboards and end tables, desk and chair, abstract wall paintings, tiled showers and floors. Air conditioners are wall units and tend to be on the noisy side.
Hotel grounds are well-manicured with palm and coconut trees, large grassy areas, topiary, and hedged bushes alongside wide cobbled paths. There are two pools–the round main pool and the kidney-shaped children’s pool. Both pools are small, but this is a small hotel with only 129 guest rooms. The main pool area has several draped cabana beds but few loungers; it also provides a DJ and activities staff. Since there’s not much room poolside, guests are free to place their loungers on the grassy hillside which overlooks the sea.
True to its name, Dos Playas does indeed have two beaches. The western beach is the nicer of the two with more sand and less rocky outcroppings which makes it more amenable for swimming; however, there are no loungers or palapas for shade. The eastern beach is adjacent to the Isla Mujeres ferry and therefore sees more water sports equipment and locals sunning and enjoying the water. It is a short climb down to both beaches since each lies below the hillside; there are few loungers and palapas actually on the sand in the eastern beach area.
Despite the fact that Dos Playas is a beachfront budget hotel with a very good location, it is not for everyone. Guest room quality is inconsistent with “bare bones” amenities (some rooms are updated while others are not), the beach is rather small and rocky with insufficient loungers, the few bars which exist are only open until 10:30 p.m., and there is no evening entertainment as well as a lack of communal space and seating. Budget vacationers more interested in spending time tanning, drinking, and going off-site for excursions and nightlife may find this resort to exceed their modest expectations.
Pro: Budget resort, location
Con: Some rooms need updating, WiFi/room service/in-room safe are an extra charge
Best Suited For: Vacationers on a budget, singles
No. of Rooms: 129
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, TV, in-room safe, table and chair, telephone, hair dryer, shower, iron/ironing board are available upon request. Room service is available during limited hours and is an extra charge; WiFi is also an extra charge. There is really only one room category at Dos Playas with several possibilities within that category. There are rooms with balconies, rooms with different views (ocean, garden, or lagoon), and rooms that have sofa beds for additional guests. NOTE: Do not allow staff to place you in the “garden bungalow” rooms. These actually belong to the adjoining hotel, Maya Caribe, and tend to be quite below par in terms of quality. Take the time to visually inspect the room which has been assigned prior to its acceptance. Also, three-story guest room buildings do not have elevators.
Physically Challenged Rooms: This property is not recommended for the physically challenged.
Resort Amenities: Two pools (main and children’s pool–no swim-up bar), tennis and basketball courts, non-motorized water sports, pool and beach wait service, concierge, gift shop, car rental, and within walking distance of the Isla Mujeres ferry. T: here is also a bungee jump located by the pier which is not associated with the hotel and is an extra charge.
Restaurants/Bars: There are two restaurants at Dos Playas, the buffet and the Thai a la carte which is only open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for dinner (reservations required). The Thai restaurant is extremely small but has two available seatings per evening. Guests may also use the buffet restaurant located next door at the Maya Caribe. There is a snack bar and drinks bar located by the children’s pool. The second bar is located inside the buffet restaurant (go up to the sliding glass window outside the restaurant to order drinks).
Entertainment: Although there is no evening entertainment scheduled at this hotel, it is a 10 min. bus ride to Plaza Forum to see popular nightclubs. The activities staff plans events during the day by the pool and arranges VIP club packages for guests.