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“just as fine coming back for a second time”

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Royal Hideaway Playacar
Ranked #31 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 21 December 2008

After having a terrific time at the Royal Hideaway Playacar in February of 2008, we decided to try to organize a neuroscience seminar here for 18 people. This involved many negotiations with Diana Manrique, the person in charge of coordinating for groups and weddings, and she did an exceptional job of accommodating us and making allowances for all the special requirements of the group without really much in the way of additional charges. In our seminar brochure, I offered my own very positive assessment of the food and service, and I was concerned that the place might not live up to this level of high press in terms of the seminar members. However the experience was uniformly very positive for everyone in the group, both in terms of the service, the rooms, the exceptional food, and the general atmosphere at the resort. In fact, most of the people in our group commented that they thought this was the finest resort they ever stayed in.

We wished that Las Ventanas had been available, but the resort had their menu every other night at the Grill. I'm not sure why they had two restaurants out of commission (Spices and Las Ventanas) and this probably is not great planning on their part.

The tennis pro, Gustavo provided an excellent workout virtually every day, and it was only by dint of working out every day that I was able to not gain a lot of weight, because the food is simply irresistible. Their Asian restaurant compares favorably with the finest Asian restaurants in New York and elsewhere at least in my judgment.

Were there any problems? Well, in all honesty, Internet access continues to be a bit iffy, and we could not get decent Internet reception in our seminar room. Additionally, Internet access even with a strong signal, did not allow us to download the New York Times other than the main front page webpage, as there seems to be some kind of incompatibility between their router system and the New York Times website. I also probably think the showerheads could use an updating.

However these are small nitpicks and they certainly do not in any way spoil the overall impression of great comfort, superb service and beautiful surroundings. I have read some negative reviews of the place, but in all honesty they seem to be written by people who appear to be fairly "high maintenance." Whenever we had any kind of difficulty or problem, our concierge took care of it immediately and gracefully. Obviously, no place is going to get positive reviews from everybody.

Overall, our second experience with this exceptional resort only confirms our extremely positive first impressions. I would recommend this not only for couples but also for small groups looking to have a professional meeting in beautiful resort where you are truly taken care of all the time, and where your cares melt away quickly. It remains my favorite place to go in the world. As we were greeted on our return trip by over 2 feet of snow in the frigid Northeast, we just wished for one more dinner at the Royal Hideaway. Could we just have our table for six at the Palazzo at 7:30 tonight?

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled on business
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5  Thank drdfw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,097 - 3,103 of 4,472 reviews

Reviewed 12 December 2008

We went for an anniversary celebration. We have been to other top rated resorts and this would rank up there with the best of them expcept for a few issues. The food and drink was great. I can not say enough good things about the staff. What this resort needs is some nightly entertainment in the way of a gathering spot such as a lobby bar . I know a lot of honeymooners go here but some music would be an asset. Also only 3 of the 5 restaurants were open and reservations were a problem. Would not go back for the money but I am searching for the ultimate resort.

Stayed: December 2008
2  Thank suepaul93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2008

Unfortunately, I have to give the Royal Hideway only a 'terrible' rating. Although the service at this resort is exceptional, it is hard to enjoy it when spending most of the vacation in the bathroom. We arrived Saturday and my ordeal started Sunday night right after dinner. The food up to that point was very nice but made me very ill. On Tuesday, we decided to call for a doctor who prescribed antibiotics and other medication to help me through the pain. Unfortunately, the resort made no attempt to apologize or pay for the costs I incurred. After a conversation with another American couple we learned that they had gotten sick too and knew of another couple that had the same problem. So, my recommendation would be to avoid this resort unless you consider it fun to spend your vacation in the bathroom.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank writing_a_review
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2008

My fiance and I stayed there from Nov. 29 til Dec. 6. It was a perfect for a calm quiet romantic getaway.

RECEPTION: the moment you set foot on this property, you feel you will get incredible personalized service. The bellman knows your name (and won't forget it, even if you only see him once or twice). The main concierge greets you warmly with a glass of bubbly and cool towelettes. Procedure is quick and pleasant, unlike several all inclusive resorts we have been to. Each villa has its own concierge that will bend backwards to make your stay pleasant.

ROOM: the basic room is great. Separate shower and bath, Very large balcony, very conmfortable king-size bed, lots of amenities, even free overnite shoe-shine !

BEACH: this area has been hammered by several hurricanes and has not yet recovered. But, take a 10 min walk heading South on the beach and it is fine.

NIGHTLIFE AND ACTIVITIES: if you are looking for noisy harassing music all day long, not here. If you are looking for late night parties, not here. The Allegria bar provides some interesting evenings (Latin Dance Night, Back in Time-70's ). They have a small band every night but they finish early, by midnight. Several activities are offered but very few guests participate, except the 4 PM bocce tournament !

POOL/SPAS: must be 5 pools and at least 4 spas/Jacuzzis. Around 4 PM, a sax player plays soft jazzy tunes by the main pool.
You do not have the hassle of towels here. Have as many as you like. Chairs are plentiful on the beach. By the pool, you need to get there early to pick the best ones. Cabanas are also available, so are outdoor beds. A pool organizer walks around with cool refreshing towelettes late morning. Waiters get your drinks in the pool and ebach areas.

RESTAURANTS: A la carte (no buffet except breakfast) restaurants give this resort a certain flair.True, 2 were closed (Las Ventanas and Spices) for renovations. But you still had 3 to choose from. Your concierge can make you reservations for the whole week.The best by far is Palazzo: the service level is near perfect. You won't believe your eyes during the 5 course meal. Azia was fine. The Grill was OK but could be better: service was a bit slow. We had a Mexican show at the Club Royale theater one evening: food is buffet, fair' and you have to rush. You can skip this and hit the Palazzo instead ! Guys, trousers are MANDATORY for dinner everywhere. If you do not feel liek going out, they have pretty good room service

If you feel like a late disco night, your concierge can get you evening passes for the disco at the Occidental Allegro next door (2 min. walk). No one will try to sell you a vacation package membership during your stay.

This is exactly what we wanted (needed !) and we do consider to come back again next year. No wonder why so many couples spend their honeymoon here.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank 1380dan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2008

We just returned from a week at the Royal Hideaway Playacar. Until this vacation, I was not a fan of Mexico based on previous experiences. The service received at this resort was impeccible. From the first person we met, Manuel the bellman, to everyone else we came in contact with, the service was like nothing I have ever received at any resort in the United States.

I had previously read that pool chairs were hard to get, but that wasn't the case during the week of Thanksgiving. There was one group of about 8 who reserved chairs everyday for their group, but it had a minimal impact on the pool area itself. The Allegria Bar is open from 6 pm until 1 am and was a great place to sit outside or inside and have beverages. Yara in the Allegria Bar was wonderful! With one exception (mentioned later), the food was excellent.

If you are staying at this resort for an excellent ocean view, stay elsewhere. There are really very few rooms that offer any view whatsoever of the ocean. We were in Villa 23 and our view was actually of some run down thatched roofs of the neighboring resort , but it didn't end up being a big deal. We tried to move, but were unsuccessful in spite of the resort not being full. You can definitely hear loud activity from two neighboring resorts at night depending on the location of your villa. The activities stopped at about midnight. One surprising thing was that two restaurants (Las Ventanas and Spices) were actually both closed during our stay. We thought it was a little strange to have 2 restaurant closed for renovations at the same time, especially during Thanksgiving week. The resort has a piano bar, but there wasn't a piano player present for any of the 7 nights we were there.

As previously mentioned, the food was quite good except for our experience at Azia. We requested and were granted seating at the Hibatchi table. The service was really slow (not a big deal) and the food was cold. (big deal) The Grill and the Italian restaurant were both excellent. Carmen in The Grill made the best omelets that any of us have ever had!

In spite of a few minor issues, I would highly recommend the resort and we will definitely be going back.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with family
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6  Thank jgates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2008

My wife and I first stayed at this hotel in February of 2008. Everything about this place was amazing so we decided to return in July, and again in October of this same year. July was by far the best experience because the weather was perfect. October was not as enjoyable because of the rain, but the hotel couldn't help this and went out of their way to make sure that the dinners were extra special, the spa services were a touch better than normal, and the activities at the bar in the evening were adequate to keep us entertained.

Let me just say that I love food. We sample the best restaurants in every city we travel to, and the amazing thing about the Royal Hideaway Playacar is that the food is outstanding, despite the all inclusive nature of the hotel. One thing we dislike about all inclusive hotels are buffets. Nearly every restaurant (save the breakfast buffet) can be a coursed fine dining experience and are in fact not buffet style. The quality of the food at Royal Hideaway is superior to anything we've sampled in the Caribbean and it even rivals some of our 4 and 5 star restaurants here in Louisville, KY.

The service is the other best thing about this resort. Everybody is there to make you feel extra special. The option of being able to tip the staff members seems like it not only made their day, but it was a nice way to be able to thank them for making our visit so comfortable. The workers seem to really enjoy their job and it shows.

The rooms were always very clean and the staff made sure we always had the special things we liked in our room (if they find out you like a certain beer or soda, it's stocked in your mini fridge when you return to your room). The villa concierge service goes out of their way to make sure you have everything you need for your trip, including arrangements for off-resort activities. If you want to sample an off-resort restaurant or bar, they will give you honest critiques to help make sure you pick the best one.

If you go in the warmer months the private pools nestled around the resort are fantastic ways to spend an evening after an early dinner. This is not something we've found on many other resorts, and usually the hot tubs are so crowded that you have no time to just relax and enjoy each others company. That's not the case at the Royal Hideaway. There are several pools and hot tubs all over so take your pick and enjoy some champagne after dinner.

Oh, and the Thai beds are a great way to spend your afternoon relaxing if you need a break of the sun, want to read a book in the shade, or use your laptop on the complementary wifi to get some work done. You can arrange the curtains so that one person can get some sun while they other can relax in the shade.

This place is truly heaven on Earth. We're already making plans to return in 2009. The quality of the food, cleanliness of the rooms and resort, and friendliness of the service was consistently EXCELLENT all three times we visited this year. It's pretty cool to see the same friendly faces welcoming us back by name. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Radianation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2008

We stayed at the Royal Hideaway Oct 25 til Nov 1st on the advice of a friend,and all I can say is wow.The food ,the service, the property wow .First off the beach sucked ,but if you walk 200 ft you can swim pretty freely , not a big deal .My wife and I are pool people so we really did'nt care.The staff around the pool were great cool towels,drinks,food whatever you want just ask.The dinners were gourmet caliber,my wife took more pictures of the food than me.The waitstaff were very helpful explaining the dishes.If you are looking for a wild party place this is not for you,but the week we went we met some great people and had a group of 12 that kept the bar open late nightly. Fifth Avenue is close enough for you to whoop it up if you so wish. I've never been to a place where every answer was 'of course we can do that'.I played golf at the Playacar course across the street also all inclusive drinks and lunch when you are done . the concierge were great we changed reservations several times and the answer was always 'of course'. If you want to recharge the batteries this is the place for you . We will be returning next year,and the next year .................

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank joesheryl
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
#13 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#17 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#18 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £274 - £537 (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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