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Royal Hideaway Playacar
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Reviews (4,919)
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Reviewed 11 December 2013 via mobile

We stayed at this hotel for two weeks in July so this review is overdue!
We are regular visitors to all inclusive hotels and resorts across Mexico and the Caribbean. We are married and both in our mid thirties.
The location is roughly a five to ten minute walk from the centre of playa del carmen and about an hours drive to Cancun.
The hotel grounds are pretty small in comparison to previous resorts we have stayed in and is set up to cater for guests in different way, which I will clarify a bit more later on. The resort is divided into smaller style villas with various rooms set over three floors, each 'villa' having its own concierge. We stayed on the top floor of building 31(?!) with partial ocean views. The room showed its age in areas- particularly the bathroom and the living areas are not set up as junior suites such as other resorts we have stayed in. However with this being said the room was extremely confer table with good facilities and possibly one of the most comfortable beds I have had the pleasure of.
All parts of the resort are easily accessible with the 'centrepiece' very much being the main infinity pool that so elegantly looks over the beach.
The beach is wide with plenty of loungers. Many resorts line this stretch of the beach so walking in either direction you are able to see plenty of different properties. Walk 20 minutes to the left and you will hit playa del carmen. The sand is soft and white and the ocean clear and calm. Biggest issue is shade and for me I do not understand why there are no traditional palapas similar to the adjacent resort rather than the stifling canvas 'pull ups'.
The different between this resort and others in my opinion are both for the better and worse.
Although reservations were required for dinner, and dress codes were strict and adhered to there was still a very relaxed feel to the resort. Note, no pool bar with loud groups and an animation team that were anything but forceful in participation of activities. Incidentally a pool bar was always a prerequisite of any hotel I would of previously visited but it was not missed at all in the two weeks, just stand in the pool and a waiter will take your order and deliver to you!!
The dining was fine and was stand out in my opinion. Each restaurant offered something different. My two favourite meals were at each end of the scale, one in ventanas-the signature restaurant, and the other at The Grill- a more casual restaurant looking over the lit up ocean with the sea breeze sweeping through. We did not have any trouble with reservations but staying for two weeks probably worked in our favour. We ordered room service one night, service was fast and food was good, but not to the standard of the restaurants. Also eating in the room was not ideal with no real area for doing so we were forced to balance all on the bed.
Service was great throughout and special kudos to Fray, simply put probably the best server/ waiter I have ever had, remembering our names within a day and the drinks of our choice!! Also roger our concierge was excellent. Organising a surprise champagne anniversary meal was very much appreciated.
After dinner is very relaxed with an outdated theatre having two show nights each week. Other than that there was a piano bar adjoining ventanas which was pleasant but lacked a bit of atmosphere and a dedicated bar with various live acts each week, again fairly subdued but pleasant. Bars and clubs, as I said were close by in town for more excitement.
This hotel would not suit all, as not many would, and is quite different to the likes of SMB and ERC for example but we did thoroughly enjoy our two weeks here. I would return, as I would SMB and if I could blend the best of both of the two resorts together I would probably have a forever holiday destination!!!



Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank shilts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Itze P, Reputation Management at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2014

Dear Shilts,

We would like to thank you for your time and your constructive comments regarding your stay at Royal Hideaway.

Your feedback is extremely important as it helps us to continually improve our services and provide our valued guest a memorable experience. We thus thank you again for having shared us your experience on the Trip Advisor and we look forward to seeing you again in the near future.

Kind regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2013

The short version: My wife and I were threatened and bullied into paying on site charges for which we were expressed told, on multiple occasions, were to be offset against a resort credit.

The long version:

On our last day at the resort, we woke up, grabbed some breakfast and went to the beach for some last bit of sun prior to our departure. After which we headed to the front desk to settle our on-site charges and that is where the nightmare of customer service began.

I have been fortunate to be able to travel to over 40 countries, and many cities within those countries, and I have never ever been treated as poorly as I was at the Occidental Royal Hideaway. I have stayed at a variety of hotels, hostels, resorts, b&bs, inns, boutiques, and the appalling nature and treatment at this resort during their checkout process was the WORST I have ever experienced in any resort I have been worldwide, period.

As part of our stay at this resort, we had an onsite credit as part of stay, which we had confirmed upon our arrival at the resort. We had anticipated using this credit towards spa services at the resort during our stay.

We also confirmed the credit again on three separate occasions, once when we booked the treatment, again prior to entering the treatment, and finally after receiving the treatment. At no point in time were we informed that the credit was inapplicable to the services anticipated and received.

We arrived half an hour prior to our scheduled resort transfer pick up time and upon examining the charges on our bill, we noticed that we were charged for services performed in their spa. My wife and I questioned the charges as we had confirmed on multiple occasions that the credit was applicable to the spa services.

The staff member was unable to offer an explanation why the credit was not applied to the charges and contacted the spa manager to explain the reasoning behind the oversight. Also at this time, we requested to speak with the day manager (Dec 2 '13) to see if the process could be expedited so that we would not miss our scheduled shuttle to the airport for our flight back home.

At this point, we were extremely puzzled as to the lack of communication on the charges, especially when the flow of communication previously was there.

I then spoke with the spa manager over the phone to have her explain why the credit was not applicable when we had been previously told otherwise. Note at this point our departure window was ten minutes to our scheduled shuttle departure time.

Next the day supervisor approached the desk to try and rectify the situation. We explained to him the following to make sure we were on the same page: 1) On four different occasion we were told the resort charge was applicable to the spa services 2) we booked the spa treatments only with those caveats 3) and we were willing to pay for the other charges 4) I had the travel voucher showing that it was in fact valid.

He spent some time trying to explain why the credit was not valid, while completely ignoring the fact our shuttle to the airport had arrived, essentially stalling for time.

My wife then tried to obtain our bags from the luggage porter and she was told she would not be able to as instructed from the front desk.

I was completely taken aback at this point, and I asked the supervisor if that was correct. He went a step further and replied that we would not be able to leave the resort unless we paid the room charges (which I would like to point out again, were incorrect).

At this point, I was at the end of my rope. We had no choice but to pay the charges or else my wife and I would miss our flight home. So that is what I did.

This treatment was abhorrent and utterly disgraceful and not becoming of what I had thought the Occidental brand was. Never have I ever been treated so poorly in regards to any sort of customer service received not only at a resort but in any sort of setting.

I would never recommend this hotel to anymore purely based on the utter disrespect shown.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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23  Thank Conroy_I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Itze P, Reputation Management at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 18 December 2013

Dear Conroy_I,

Thank you for choosing Occidental Royal Hideaway as holiday destination. We regret to hear that you didn’t meet your satisfaction. We are always concerned about our guests’ wellbeing and strive to make their holiday at our property an unforgettable experience.

Thank you for share us your comments and we have addressed this situation with our management, by other hand when you went to the spa, the receptionist explained to you how to use the credits; unfortunately the credits are not combinable with other promotions. We apologize for the inconveniences that you experienced.

We take feedback very seriously as it helps us to see the weaknesses of our hotel . If we corrected those issues, we will be more likely to attract people to come and visit us.

Again thank you very much for your valuable review and we hope you give us the opportunity to host you again in the future.

Sincerely

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed 9 December 2013

We stayed at this resort starting Saturday November 30. Check in was smooth and professional. We stayed in building 24, which is the northernmost building close to the beach. We had a partial ocean view. Generally, the resort exceeded our expectations. We chose the resort because of the intimate nature of a smaller all-inclusive, (we stayed @ El Dorado Maroma our last trip down.) My wife has mobility issues and food allergies, so we wanted a resort that was easy to navigate and the service was personalized enough that we could accommodate her food limitations. We also wanted a resort closer to Playa del Carmen than our last trip.
We thought the food @ Las Ventanas @ Palazzo was the best we have had at an all-inclusive resort. The food @ Club Royale was underwhelming. All food was beautifully presented, but there were some delayed service that caused our food @ Palazzo to be presented at less than ideal spacing and temperature, Pasta was cold.
The staff was very accommodating and friendly. Special recognition to Laura, the hostess @ Spices, Carlos, who made fantastic omelets @ Spices, Miguel,a very special waiter at The Grill, Benjamin at Las Ventanas, Susanna, our concierge and several of the bar staff and waiters, who are like the energizer bunny.
The grounds were decorated for Christmas, with lights wrapping the palm trees bracketing the main walkway from the lobby to the beach. It was magical.
To me it was an ideal time to go with the water still warm but temperatures a little more comfortable.
We will definitely return. Was it perfect, no, however, in light of the age of the resort and the constant exposure to salt water, I thought the resort did an admirable job on maintenance. The waiters at the restaurants were generally good but some of the wait staff had more customers than others, making service a bit lopsided at times. Vintage wine was overpriced but then again you are @ a resort with some expense account guests.
We met many wonderful people on this trip; Gordon and Mags who originate from Scotland, now residing in the U.S., as well as Shelene and Ralph from Boston who we would have enjoyed getting to know better!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank Brenda R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Itze P, Reputation Management at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 10 December 2013

Dear Brenda R,

Thank you very much for your recent review on Trip Advisor. We were very disappointed to read that we failed to create an extraordinary experience for you.

We take great pride in the service and amenities that we offer to each our guests visiting Royal Hideaway. We have received so many compliments from other guests on the excellent experiences they have received. Unfortunately in your case we failed awfully and for that we are very sorry.

Regarding our entertainment and daily activities, we will address your comments to the manager, as we are always looking for ways to better serve our guests.

Again thank you very much for your valuable review and we hope you give us the opportunity to host you again in the future.

Sincerely

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2013 via mobile

We just got back from a 5 night trip to Mexico. We were originally booked at the royal hideaway Playacar. We had read many reviews on trip advisor and checked out the website with great detail. We had also talked with others that had stayed there and had a good time.
When we arrived, we instantly knew that the resort was not for us. It is quite small and most of the areas we saw (we were only there for 2 hrs) looked worn and in need of a facelift.
We had lunch at one of the restaurants on the ocean and the food was average at best.
The staff was extremely nice and accommodating. The rooms looked very nice as well.
However. It was not the "top notch" resort we thought it was going to be.
Without trying to sound snobby, when we go on vacation we want the "capital grille" or "Morton's" of resorts. This is rated as a five star resort, but we didn't feel like it seemed 5-star at all. Probably more like a 4.
We ended up switching to another 5star resort and had a wonderful time.
We all (us and another couple) felt obligated to write a review that we felt more accurately depicted what we experienced and saw in hopes of giving a more accurate review to future travelers.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
13  Thank Ndutch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Itze P, Reputation Management at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2013

Dear Ndutch,

Thank you for the time you took to send us your review. We were very disappointed to read that we failed to create a pleasing experience for you.

We take great pride in the service and amenities that we offer to each our guests visiting Royal Hideaway. We have received so many compliments from other guests on the excellent experiences they have received and commented on. Unfortunately in your case we failed awfully and for that we are very sorry. We will share your remarks with our management.

We hope you give us the opportunity to host you again in the future.

Sincerely

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2013

I've traveled to PDC 4 times before staying at great resorts in the area (Riu Palace, Occidental etc) so when bringing my husband here I was worried I might have set his expectations too high, however, RH exceeded everything we were looking for & looking to do...(I mention a few constructive points as well below)
- I travel a lot for work and very fortunate to eat at top rated restaurants - the food here believe it or not is comparable and we ate our hearts out ;)
- Service is wonderful, however, based on all the reviews we read below have to say that it wasn't necessarily consistent throughout the resort. We tipped waiters anywhere between $5 - $20 because their service levels did vary.
- The weakest area of service was with the concierge (front desk & our building concierge). We were underwhelmed when arriving at the resort since the front desk didn't smile & welcome us :( we were asked to sit at the couches (the 2 concierge desks were busy helping other guests) and then someone came over and asked us to start filling out the paperwork (no smile, no welcome greeting). Our building concierge didn't know any basic info on excursions (e.g. costs, time of pick ups & returns) and constantly called the actual excurisions desk (she's located next to the store by the front desk concierge) so we ended up just going to her directly to inquire & book excursions.
- Theatre room is a beautiful facility and thoroughly enjoyed the Mexican show (alhtough we had to wait 45 min to get our food - it was buffet style and front row seatings go up last). For the Elvis show it was a delicious surf & turf a la carte style so enjoyed, although the show itself was a little underwhelming.
- The facilities are beautiful - yes a little dated with wallpaper peeling etc, however, it didn't bother us at all. The layout of the room is fantastic and it is beautifully decorated.
- You do need to go out early to get those sun beds - we were early risers and even at 7:30 am couldn't get one of those beds.
- Activities at the resort were fun & relaxing - loved Sergio & Carlos - a little volleyball, a little karaoke at night, we were thoroughly entertained
- Relaxing, relaxing, relaxing...
- 5 min cab ride into town and had fun going after dinners and walking around shopping until 11 pm
- Beach - all the reviews speak the truth - we've been to Bora Bora and thought we were forever spoiled... this area of beach comes very close ;)
- All the people we met were return guests, even met a couple that has been to this resort 16 times!
Can't wait to go back :) Thank you RH...

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Iko O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Itze P, Reputation Management at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 11 December 2013

Dear Iko O,

Thank you for your review about your recent stay at Royal Hideaway. We appreciate your comments both positive and negative about your experience as it helps us to improve our resort for future and returning guests.

Regarding your remarks about the lack of service that our Front Desk and Concierge teams, we will bring your comment to the management so it can be addressed and we assure you the necessary measures will be taken.

We do hope that you will return to Royal Hideaway in the near future.

Sincerely

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