This is definitely NOT a 5 star hotel. I would not recommend this resort. Let me start by saying that my husband and I had very high hopes for this resort. My cousin stayed here for her honeymoon and had a great time, so when we saw it as an option we were excited. So – what exactly went wrong? Well, for the most part there was nothing too catastrophic but there were medium and small issues that it really affected our stay. In fact, it got to the point where I started making a list mid-way through our trip so I wouldn’t forget anything for this TripAdvisor review. Here’s the list:
The Room: We booked a Luxury room. Here were our issues with the room:
• Promised either a terrace or balcony. “Balcony” was about 2 feet deep and had palm trees hanging over it. Very close to the property next door – you could see the fence and buildings next door.
• Room description on the website also says we would get a “basket of fresh fruit upon arrival.” Basket of fresh fruit = a little metal plate with 3 apples.
• Wallpaper in our bathroom was lifting (see picture)
• Mildew/mold on the grout on the window in the shower (see picture)
• On our 2nd day there we came back to our room to find a HUGE puddle of water gathering next to my luggage (see picture) because our AC was leaking. Thankfully – it missed our luggage and shoes by a few inches. I’m really not sure how the housekeeper missed the water literally coming out of the ceiling but some how she did. So we called the concierge and they sent someone up. The person came in 10 minutes, fixed the AC and left. He forgot to mention that it would take another 15 minutes for the AC to kick on again. He just left and said “Es bueno amigo.” Thankfully we had enough patience to wait and see if it turned on again, but that patience was wearing thin in 90 degree heat. Our concierge Danielle made an effort to see if things had been resolved. We happened to open our door when she was standing outside knocking on another room’s door (the walls are thin at this resort) and asked if it was ok, but that was it – no apology, nothing. So much for customer service!
• Water in the shower would not stay consistently one temperature – kept going hot and cold.
• They came to check our phone twice during the 4 nights we were there. Our phone was working fine, but we heard another guest say theirs was going off all night and they got to the point where they had to unplug it.
• Issues getting extra shampoo and conditioner. We asked our concierge to tell housekeeping that every day we wanted 2 sets of shampoo and conditioner. Day 1 we got that. Day 2 we didn’t. Day 3 we got 2 sets of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc.
• Minibar was stocked incorrectly (we asked for extra water and Diet Coke, they forgot the Diet Coke) one of the days as well AND the door to the minibar was left open so everything was wrong.
Food/Restaurants/Room Service Issues:
• Not all of the restaurants were open when we were there. Spices was open 1 night/week.
• No variety for breakfast. Only Spices was open for breakfast and it was the same thing every day – an omelet station and some hot chafing dishes with almost the same thing in them every day. No fresh waffles, French toast, pancakes, etc. which is pretty standard at a 5 star resort.
• No variety for lunch – only 2 restaurants open for lunch and the menus don’t change at all.
• No creativity for non-alcoholic drinks. I couldn’t drink while there, so I would ask the waiters what they could do that was non-alcoholic. The only answers I got “pina colada, daiquiri, juice.” Wow – thanks for the creativity, definitely won’t get tired of that any time soon. I only learned that they made smoothies after I saw another patron order one.
• Room service order was wrong. We were missing part of our order (after I repeated it back to the person on the phone twice) and they were missing the condiments we requested. Similarly, there were also instances where we requested 1 order of something and got 2.
• Food at The Grill was not good. My steak had an absurd amount of fat on it (it wasn’t properly trimmed) and the food really left something to be desired. The ravioli tasted like the came from a package and the onion soup tasted like it came from a can.
• We had ants crawling on our table at The Grill and they didn’t do anything about it. They just moved our table and sat someone else there. (I guess it wasn’t an issue for the other couple.)
• It was difficult to change dishes – waiters had to ask the chef for even simple changes (i.e. chicken in the tacos instead of fish or swapping one sauce for another). Waiters also seemed confused and perplexed when you requested a change to a dish (and these were VERY simple changes).
• Insufficient air conditioning in Spices. At breakfast time it was cooler then outside but the AC wasn’t strong enough.
• Waiters had poor English comprehension. Now – I understand we are in Mexico at a Mexican resort – however, if you’re going to offer a menu in English then when I order in English there shouldn’t be any confusion.
• The reservation system is pointless. The restaurants were half-empty when we were there and due to the limited number of reservations (and the limited nights each restaurant is open) it was the reservation system that dictated where we ate each night instead of us choosing as guests.
• While our concierge, Daniella, was very nice – she was NEVER at her desk to ask questions. Most of the time when we called the concierge we got sent to the main number.
• Internet service was shoddy and both me and my husband kept losing the internet connection when we’d move from one point to another
• There was almost NO waiter service on the beach and at the pool. One day we sat at the pool in one of the beach beds for almost 2 hours before someone came by. Now – it’s not that I can’t get my own drinks – but when it’s 90 degrees out and I paid for a 5 star resort, this is expected. We had the same experience at the beach. We were there for about 4 hours and a waiter came by only once.
• Nobody to help you move beach chairs/shades on the beach. My husband had to drag the chairs and the shade tied to the share up to the front of the beach. Again – not that he couldn’t do it, but it’s pretty standard for someone to be there to help you with this at a 5 star resort.
• No air conditioning in any of the public bathrooms attached to the restaurants. The AC in the restaurants in general was lacking. The only place it was really good was in the main lobby.
• This isn’t really an “adults only” resort. Children over 13 are allowed and we saw a few. However, it’s advertised as “adults only” which I thought was misleading. The children we did encounter were fine and didn’t cause any trouble though.
Things we liked:
• The food at Las Ventanas, Azia and Palazzo was very good.
• The beach was beautiful.
• The tacos at The Deck are really good.
- 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 And Occidental Resorts
- Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Royal Hideaway Playa Del Carmen
- Royal Hideaway Mexico
- Occidental Royal Hideaway
- Royal Hideaway Playacar Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen