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Royal Hideaway Playacar
Ranked #35 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 25 February 2014

This resort is very comparable to Bellagio in the middle of the most gorgeous beaches ever! The food, service, and all of the accommodations were superb. Each employee was better than the next and I look forward to making this same exact trip next year!

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Taryn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 February 2014

We had an excellent stay at the Royal Hideaway Playacar. The food was amazing and the service was even better. Our concierge Eva made our stay as pleasant as possible considering the fact that my wife had to have emergency surgery while we there. We ended up staying 3 nights in the hospital before going back to the resort for another night. The staff was nothing short of amazing considering what we had to go through. Would definitely go back and hope we are able to in the future.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Cade S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2014

One of the things we find appealing about this area is it's non-stop from our home base of Milwaukee. Just a little over 3 hours in the same time zone and you are there non-stop. In fact it is quicker getting to this Caribbean paradise than it is to go to Phoenix or San Diego. There are lots of choices in the Cancun area, but when I first noticed the Royal Hideaway 11 winters ago on our first trip to the Playacar district, I was intrigued by its luxury aura. At the time I had hoped for a tour and it was pretty new, but it wasn't permitted and they wouldn't let us past the guard house. Little did I know we could have just walked in from the beach. Now, 11 years later, we finally saw what was behind those gates. I had no idea it would be a series of 8 unit low rise townhouses vs a multi story elevator type hotel with internal hallways. The grounds are beautiful and the resort is very low key largely because it's adults only. Here are my thoughts about it after being back home almost a week:
1. The beach and grounds are great.
2. The staff is beautiful and professional, hard working, well trained young men and women.
3. The infrastructure is basically antiquated. Wrought iron railings outside the rooms have rusted away. Pillars in the common courtyard areas of the buildings are rusted at the top and bottom connections. Not 5 star.
4. The mattresses were very firm and lumpy not luxurious. The bed linens were not luxurious either and we had to request down pillows vs the foam slabs that came with the room.
5. As others have indicated, you must choose a second floor room. There is too much noise from the rooms above if you are on the first floor. There is scraping of chairs and furniture on the stone floors. Do not stay on the first floor.
6. They have installed newer TVs but the picture is fair. CBS is not included although NBC and ABC are relayed from Miami stations. The picture quality during the Olympics was mediocre.
7. The shower controls are old and finicky and the water pressure is poor. You cannot drink water out of the faucet. This is not 5 star luxury.
8. There are virtually no outlets anywhere to plug in chargers. Suggestion: Pack a power strip. the scraping on the floors upstairs was probably guests moving nightstands looking for outlets.
9. The pools are not heated, that's why there is no one in them. For some reason the main pool attracts a line of seagulls in the afternoon and they stand on the edge and shed in the water. They are aggressive about it. The sea water is warmer than the pools.
10. The activities are low key but the personnel is great. The food and wait staff is excellent with a few exceptions one of which is the steak at the Grill restaurant at night. I told the manager the strip steak was bad and he said actually he hears that all the time. He said same with the T-Bone.
11. There is an appealing spa and locker room, but some of the walls are moldy near the shower. There is no soap, toothbrushes, hair brushes, or hair spray in the spa. There is one shower in the locker room and the water is barely warm and the watercontrols are worn out.
12. The fitness equipment is old. There are four treadmills overlooking the freezing spa pool and another room with universal and other weight equipment and one ten year old elliptical--the type for leg motion only as opposed to a modern Precor that has arms and leg movement and built in TV on top.
All that said....we loved it. Tea time was great at 4:00; walking the beach was too--Playa Del Carmen has a great beach for walking, but you are on an angle--the walking part is close to the water and it's narrow. The Playacar district is a short walk to 5th Avenue and if you are a runner it's a neighborhood and you have sidewalks to run on vs being down a long road from the highway and isolated at your resort. I do feel as a runner it might have been nice to have been greeted by the bellman with a cold bottle of water and a towel at the end of the run. Some luxury touches were lacking while others were not--there were fresh flowers throughout which were beautiful. Also please note it's not a big deal but I got the impression there would be top shelf bottles of liquor in the room but there wasn't. There was a small refrigerator with water bottles, soda, and two cans of beer and it didn't particularly keep the items cold.
13. Entertainment at night: The entertainment is a dud and they don't promote it. Valentine's night was pretty sad as they decorated this room under the lobby with balloons and there was live music in there but no one went in there. We did a little dancing then a couple of others followed--there was no vibe at night. It made us feel bad for the band in there.
14. The guests are American, European, and Canadian. It's a very classy crowd with ages ranging from 30's to 70's. It does skew older, but during our short stay we had parents in their 30's on short getaways from their kids in New York or Minneapolis. BTW if you want to see a contrast, walk through the Riu Palace to the south--it was just remodeled and the action, if you like action, is non-stop. They have swim up bars and water polo in the pool. It has a constant beat--and there are lots of little kids. This doesn't--but it has bingo in the late afternoon poolside.
Summary: If you get a good deal and are aware of the shortcomings, because nothing is perfect, enjoy it. There are many who return year after year--one couple who 'hold court' at the pool have been there 49 times. There is definitely something special here. But stay in the middle buildings-25-26 for the most peaceful nights, and know that this is not the Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons.

Room Tip: Remember: Stay in the middle buildings on the second floor. I think they are buildings 24-26.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Getawayfans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2014

My husband and I spent a week at the lovely Royal Hideaway Playacar. Our room was very comfortable with a roomy bathroom. The resort was spotless with a large staff constantly working on keeping every aspect in top shape. The beach was the nicest we've been on in Mexico. Lots of pure sand, little ocean debris and good areas of shade under palms. Good bar service on the beach, too. Lots of water features: two swimming pools, hot tubs, jacuzzis, reflecting ponds and fountains. Nice garden areas and lots of green spaces. Plenty of food that was mostly very good to excellent with great service in the restaurants. Wonderful lamb chops and great seafood pasta. Poor cheeseburgers! Individual musicians in the late afternoon (high tea) and in some of the restaurants. Email reservations ahead of your trip for the restaurants. A must!

Room Tip: We asked for a quiet room and that's what we got. Only downside we were on the third floor with...
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank meredith w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2014

My wife and I decided to try a new resort in the Riviera Maya this year and selected Royal Hideaway based on other reviews from Trip Advisor... And are very glad we did! While the resort seemed about 15 years old, they obviously work hard to keep it up. The property was beautiful with a wonderful beach and excellent food. We enjoyed the friendly service provided by Luis at the pool and from Juan Luis in our building. The wait staff worked hard to make for a wonderful evening meal experience. My favorite restaurants were Palazzo, Las Ventanas, Azia and the Grill. We made reservations in advance and confirmed with Juan Luis upon arrival (Something I would strongly suggest doing).

The Golf Club at Playacar is across the street and was challenging with good green speed. I enjoyed playing twice during our visit.

Overall, our experience at Royal Hideaway was great and I would recommend as a fine place to relax and enjoy a vacation!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Th0mas09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2014 via mobile

We visited in January as part of our honeymoon. Overall we really enjoyed our stay.

I would like to have awarded 5 stars but there were just a few frustrations or areas I think could be improved upon which were as follows:

We were not aware to book our dinner reservations before we arrived and therefore were stuck with a lot of really late dinners - combined with jet lag this took the edge off our enjoyment a little. Also we could only get in Las Ventanas once and for us this was the best restaurant and I wish we could have eaten there more!

Evening entertainment was a little boring. I know they must be conscious of noise but maybe the live music they sometimes have could play in the theatre. That way they could have more lively acts and it could go on later!

The rooms were nice but like many have said the bathrooms could do with a refit to make the accommodation truly 5 star.

Finally I think they should make the smaller pool areas a better feature. They should make sure these small pools are well maintained as the one we used by the spa had rust in areas and some of the sun bed covers were dirty. There was also only one umbrella for shade they should have some more and should also find a way that guests can be served drinks here. That would have been amazing!

The above aside this is a lovely resort with some of the nicest hard working staff I have ever encountered! If I returned to Playa del Carmen I would not hesitate to stay here again.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Salsan00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2014

We decided to try a new destination, after going to the same place for about 15 years. Decided on Mexico, and to be honest, I was a little hesitant. But, boy am I glad we went. Royal Hideaway is one of the most beautiful resorts I have been to. The staff was the friendliest, and the food was to die for. They have a choice of 5 restaurants, two are casual, and three are more upscale. Every night we thought we had our favorite meal, until we went to the next restaurant. I can't give enough kudos to the people who work there...they couldn't do enough for you, and they work very hard to do so. We stayed on the third floor, and Bogar came to get our bags...two couples, golf clubs, and about four pieces of luggage, besides our carry on. There are no elevators, and I felt bad he had to carry everything....NO PROBLEM....he did it with a smile, and said it was his job! Personally, I wish they would put elevators in just for the staff.
I could go on and on...the gorgeous beach, the delicious food, but I would advise going there to see for yourself. We will be going back as soon as possible.

Room Tip: We stayed in Villa 31, which is right by the main pools, and the casual restaurants. Loved the loca...
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TravelorPhila_Pa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Hideaway Playacar

Address: Lote Hotelero No. 6 Fracc., Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Resorts)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#18 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £209 - £487 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Royal Hideaway Playacar 4.5*
Number of rooms: 201
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Award winning luxury all inclusive resort set along the beautiful beaches of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Ideal setting in a serene environment for complete rest and relaxation. Adults only. Member of The Leading Hotels of the World. 2008 winner of the coveted AAA 5 Diamond Award. 11 villas with private concierge are spread throughout the property's immaculate grounds. Six gourmet restaurants serve delicasies in menu-style dining. A full service spa offers the ultimate in papmering and body treatments. Personalzied service and attention to detail set this resort a world apart. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hideaway Playacar And Occidental Resorts
Royal Hideaway Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hideaway Mexico
Occidental Royal Hideaway
Royal Hideaway Playacar Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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