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Royal Hideaway Playacar
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Reviews (4,923)
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Reviewed 4 January 2010

We just returned from a 7 day stay at the Royal Hideaway in Playacar Mexico, and if you are on the fence about whether or not this is the resort for you ------- I'm telling you, just book it!

We were looking for an all-inclusive adult only resort to spend the Christmas Holiday at. I had searched and read reviews on resort after resort, and was driving myself crazy. I read the reviews posted about Royal Hideaway, and they had their good and bad too, but we decided to go with them and take a chance.

From the time you enter the resort, to the time you leave, you will not want or need anything! The staff at Royal Hideaway are friendly and take very good care of you! The resorts grounds are quite beautiful, and the landscaping is wonderful. The rooms are pretty and some what on the small size, but the bathroom is large and can double as a dressing area (has a walk-in closet). This is the FIRST resort that I have ever stayed in, where the water pressure in the shower was not an issue! They have both a hand held and overhead sprayer, and I had no complaints with water temperatures or pressure the entire time we were there.

We stayed in building 23, which is centrally located. It has 3 floors of rooms (no elevator) something, that if we were told, we might have wanted to change, but we got use to it by the 2nd or 3rd day. Most buildings just have 2 floors.

The Main pool was beautiful. It would of been wonderful, if there was some way that the water could be heated, as the weather had been on the cold side a few days before we arrived, and it took the pool a few days to warm up via the sun. The infinity pool is also very nice, and the heater would pay off nicely there too. There are several nice smaller pools scattered throughout the grounds, but we did not use any of these, so I can not give you any information regarding them.

The beach is nice, and there are ample chairs so that anyone wanting one could have them. There were always towels whenever we needed them, and they would even bring you new ones if you had been sitting in the sun all day, or one rolled up to put behind your head. This service was also given to poolside patrons too.

While sitting by the pool, the staff will bring you cool towels to help keep you cool. They come and serve you fresh fruit, and are always there to take your drink order or food order. You will not want for anything ------ it will be brought to you, all you have to do is ask!

The food is wonderful. Our favorite restaurant was Palazzo's (Italian food). The service was 5-star, and they treated you like royality. Aziza (Oriental cusine) was our next favorite. The sushi was good, and they have tatomi rooms or outdoor seating. Spices restaurant is wonderful too. They have a killer breakfast buffet, that you can choose from fresh fruits and/or have an omelet made to order. There always seemed to be room on the deck to eat our breakfast on the patio, so we could look out over the ocean and really enjoy the start to our day. Las Ventana's is Royal Hideaways signature restaurant, and it is indeed a dining experience. The wait staff almost fawns over you to make sure that you have everything that you need or desire. The Grill, is the poolside eatery, to get your typical hamburger, french fry type fare, nothing fancy, just quick food.

Our building Conceierge (every building has their own) ours was Rosalia. She was incredible friendly, and she did everything that she could to make our stay there enjoyable, and we put her to the test each and every day, with questions about various things ------Thank you Rosalia!

Afternoon tea. 4-6PM daily. Please do not miss afternoon tea. Ask Manuel to make you a Mayan coffee, and watch him as he does it, it really is quite an interesting process. The Kahula, tequila and I believe there is coffee in there somewhere too, makes the whole afternnoon happy! Be sure to smile at the gentleman playing the saxaphone for your listening enjoyment, he is alot of fun too.

We did go to the Dinner Show on Christmas Eve. The show was absolutely wonderful. A Mayan fire dance and lots of great lighting effects. The dinner.......well, let me say this. It is very hard to serve that many people in that short of a period of time. You might be wise, to go and see the show, then go over to Spices and see if you can get a table for a late night snack.

This hotel, and we travel around to alot of different places and islands, was an absolute pleasure to be at. We were treated very nicely, be each and every person there. No need of our was too big or too small. The even presented us with a small chocolate confection on Christmas Eve, as a "present" which I thought was very very nice of the hotel to do.

We met 2 other couples there, and we all had the same reaction ------ we would all come back to the Royal Hideaway Resort ---- its a no brainer. So..........stop reading the reviews already, AND JUST BOOK IT!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Debbie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Community M, Gerente at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2017

Dear Su-seekern,

We first would like to thank you for choosing our hotel for your holidays in Playacar and for sharing your comments on your experience among us.

Our guests' comments provide us with an opportunity to see our hotel through their eyes giving us insight into any service that may have room for improvement to enhance our future guests' stay among us, therefore we are grateful for the time you spent to share a review of your personal experience in the hotel.

We look forward to your next visit!

Warmest Regards!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2010

This was our fourth visit to Royal Hideaway, Playa del Carmen and our 12th visit to the Playa del Carmen area. Our first visit ever was to Royal Hideaway and I say this is where we fell in love with Mexico. That was five years ago. This was our first time back to Royal Hideaway in 3 1/2 years and in that time I have often thought longingly about it.

The thing that stood out was the service was like no other we had experienced anywhere else. I said they set the bar that no one else had met.

We have been going to the Iberostar Grand the last three years because of the condition of the beach at Royal Hideaway. Royal Hideaway still charges top dollar so we had not been tempted to go back until I heard about their buy one night, get one free special and decided it was time. I should have stayed with my memories.

We were there Nov. 28th to Dec. 4th. The weather was pretty perfect and the resort is still beautiful. The beach is really small, but the sand bag situation in front of RH is not as bad as I had feared. Currently there is only one giant bag right in front. however, to the north and south there are many. They only have about three rows of chairs on the beach and they are packed in very tight. The one day we sat on the beach we were in the back row and all I could see were the chairs in front of me. I don't need a huge beach, but this was stretching my requirements even.

They were at 30-40% occupancy, so we had no trouble getting chairs by the infinity pool when we would come out at about 9am. We never tried to get the beds. The service at the pool was outstanding. My husband would stand up to think about moving the umbrella and the pool attendant was over in a heartbeat to do it. He would check frequently to make sure we were okay and he was clearly embarrassed the one day at 9am when I went to get towels and they had none. He brought them to us as soon as they were delivered, but really, no towels at 9am at a five star resort?

The food was a very mixed experience. The only option for breakfast was Spices and it was a buffet. If you wanted an omelet you would be fine. But the scrambled eggs were watery and the french toast and pancakes were cold. The selection just got old after six days (actually it got old way before that). The service at breakfast was usually slow and unenthusiastic. Lunch selections at the Deck (we never ate a Spices for lunch) were disappointing as well. There was decent variety, but nothing was made very well. They did meet special requests (chicken tacos were on the menu and they gave my husband shrimp tacos when he requested them). Service was decent to good. Dinners were outstanding everywhere. We ate at all the restaurants and the food was really wonderful. We had been disappointed in Spices for dinners before, but we really enjoyed it this time, and all the others were really fabulous.

There were serious lapses of cleanliness at the resort. The one day we ate breakfast inside there was a dead fly on the window sill, the window was dirty and there were crumbs of food on the sill.

When we first arrived we hit several "no's" and this really surprised and disappointed us. We went to Afternoon Tea the first day and my husband was told no when he ordered a Mayan coffee. They did make it the rest of the days we went. The second day at Tea I asked for a second glass of champagne and was told they were out. Are you kidding me? Now, champagne is a central part of Afternoon Tea and the hours for it are 4-6. I was told they were out at 5. We left and went to the lobby (where there were 3 bottles of champagne on ice) and asked for change (I wanted $20 peso bills for tips) and was told they had none and again the next morning they still had none. Eventually they had them.

The one day at Tea (when they ran out of champagne) they were letting people just help themselves to the food (normally they bring it to you). Then the next day when a guest went up to get some food one of the waitresses said to him,"I'll get it for you" and she was rather abrupt and then she waited about 5 minutes before she brought him food. Also, Tea is advertised to start at 4pm and one day we arrived at 4:15 and they told us they weren't ready yet.

It was apparent early on that it wasn't going to be the "drop-dead amazing service like I have experienced no where else" experience during past visits.

Each villa has a concierge, but ours was frequently not at her desk. Curiously, one day she was not at her desk, but when I went up to my room and pressed the "concierge" button on my phone, she answered. She never made any effort to introduce herself to us (in past years they always have as we check in after they have left for the day). She did notice we drank a lot of water and stocked accordingly.

Drink service at the pool was pathetic. There were waiters are they went by frequently, but they rarely stopped and asked if we wanted something. They often walked by with their eyes down like they were trying to avoid looking at you in case you did want something. Although I imagine if I had jumped up in front of them and asked for a drink they would have brought me one. But you shouldn't have to do that. And we do tip, every round, so I don't think that was it. They were friendly enough, but just not attentive at all.

The rooms and bathrooms are relatively small as compared to the Iberostar Grand. The bathroom was a bit of a hassle, but the room is no big deal since we don't spend too much time there.

In past years they have had dinner shows in the theatre twice a week, but there was nothing offered while we were there.

The security does a great job of making sure no one comes on to the property that is not a guest. And it's great not having to wear a bracelet. The age requirement is supposed to be 13 years and up, but we saw a kid who looked younger.

With our memories of such an amazing place, it was hugely disappointing.

Since this was our fourth visit to Royal Hideaway it's impossible to say what we would have thought if it had been our first. But we know how amazing they can be and they clearly were not this time. Since there are other places that are doing better, that is where we will go next time. Life is too short and the Royal Hideaway charges too much for these kind of lapses.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank actran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Community M, Gerente at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2017

Dear Actran,

We first would like to thank you for choosing our hotel for your holidays in Playacar and for sharing your comments on your experience among us.

Our guests' comments provide us with an opportunity to see our hotel through their eyes giving us insight into any service that may have room for improvement to enhance our future guests' stay among us, therefore we are grateful for the time you spent to share a review of your personal experience in the hotel.

We look forward to your next visit!

Warmest Regards!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2009

We have chosen Royal Hideaway fo the first part of our Honey moon after reading all the wonderful reviews but we don't agree.
The Hotel cannot be considered a Top 5 star and I don't know who gave them the 5 Diamond award.
The Hotel is nice but not for the price they sell it.
We were lucky to get the offer of second night free but even that is not enough.
You can see that the staff is not well trained and as most of the spanish Hotel chains ( I am spanish) They don't have the Know How to run a luxury hotel.
The food is just average and the restaurants are like all the all inclusive hotels in Cancun, cheap style and poor details.
In the bars They serve the drinks in plastic glass and there are no cans or bottles, all come from the soda fountains.
You can not trust they give you premium brands.
Breakfast is average and service poor.
The room, they call it Villa, but you will arrive to a normal room situated inside a Villa.
The Bathroom had a terrible sewage smell and they could not solve the problem besides several calls, they just tried to hide the smell with an orange deodorant that made it worse.
Maids entered everyday besides the DND sign in the door, we complained but no answer.
There is a concierge in every villa, not helpfull at all
We tried the Spa, just OK.

The beach has no sand because of the hurricanes ( not their fault) and the swimming pool is nice but the sunbeds are cheap plastic.

After 4 nights we left and booked in Paraiso de La Bonita, where can feel the difference, that is pure luxury.

In my opinion Royal Hideaway has a lack of good management and they are really focused in cost saving.

We were dissapointed.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Pigma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Community M, Gerente at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2017

Dear Pigma,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments about your vacation with us.

It is with regret however that some aspects of our hotel did not meet your expectations; We are working with all the staff to give you the best service. Your comments have been taken on board and will help to improve our service and quality of them for all our guests.

Our guests' comments provide us with an opportunity to see our hotel through their eyes giving us insight into any service that may have room for improvement to enhance our future guests' stay among us, therefore we are grateful for the time you spent to share a review of your personal experience in the hotel.

We hope you give us the opportunity to welcome you to the hotel again soon.

Warmest Regards!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2009

I recently spent 6 days at Royal Hideaway and don't remember when I've so enjoyed a resort. I have been a travel agent for 30 yrs, have been to many places but this was really special. It was quiet elegance at it's best. The restaurants were beautifully appointed, every meal was a cullinary experience. Very much liked the fact the restaurants had tables spaced apart so you never felt like you were on top of another diner. All had outdoor eating areas if you so chose which we did.
There were plenty of thing to do if you're the busy type. ...sailing, kayaks, scuba trips, water arobics etc.
Those that worked at Hideaway were the best. Each building which had 12 rooms had it's own concierge. They made dinner reservations for you and took care of just about anything you needed. And it was done quickly.
It is expensive, but well worth it you need a vacation where you are treated like a queen or king.......

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank jstocks530
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Community M, Gerente at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2017

Dear Jstocks530,

We first would like to thank you for choosing our hotel for your holidays in Playacar and for sharing your comments on your experience among us.

Our guests' comments provide us with an opportunity to see our hotel through their eyes giving us insight into any service that may have room for improvement to enhance our future guests' stay among us, therefore we are grateful for the time you spent to share a review of your personal experience in the hotel.

We look forward to your next visit!

Warmest Regards!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2009

My husband purchased a weekend at this hotel as a Christmas gift for the two of us. We thought we'd lie around the hotel, eat a lot of food and have a nice, quiet romantic weekend. Reading trip advisor and booking over the internet, we thought we were getting a 5 star hotel, but walking around the property, we kept joking to ourselves, "oops, there goes another star..."

First off, the food is horrible, which is a terrible disappointment, because it's an all inclusive, so we ate food that wouldn't otherwise eat because we already paid for it. The "steak house" serves first class airplane food, the Italian Restaurant is awful, and the lunch grill menu is about on par with midwestern country club cabana fare.

The pool is nice, but you have to wake up at 6am to reserve one of those cabana beds. I swear there are guests putting their towels and books out on those cabanas in the middle of the night, because by 7am, they are all booked up and gone. We asked our concierge to reserve one for us on our last day, and she said that she did, but she didn't so we never got to experience it. Oh well.

We took out the catamaran, but you are not allowed to go out of sight, so it was pretty lame. We thought we'd cruise south for 20 minutes and head back, but apparently, you are just supposed to cruise in circles right in front of the hotel where they can see you.

The rooms are outdated and full of bugs. The wallpaper was peeling off of the walls in our bathroom and there were many little things in need of replacement.

The mega resorts on either side of the "Royal Hideaway" are super noisy. They have ridiculous loud parties every night and it doesn't matter where your room is on the property, you will hear them and be totally annoyed by them. The resort is on the Playacar development, which makes it nice and safe, but it's timeshare city around there, and it felt like we were vacationing on some suburban Florida golf course.

We treated ourselves to the spa, massage, pedicure and manicure. These services were nice, but not outstanding.

With all of that griping, I should add that the service is unreal. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. Room service comes right away, waiters and waitresses are friendly, and the beach staff incredibly helpful and friendly.

I don't know where these people who give the food 5 stars have been eating all of their lives, but don't believe them. The food here really does blow.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank jetsonsmiami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Community M, Gerente at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2017

DearJetsonsmiami,

We first would like to thank you for choosing our hotel for your holidays in Playacar and for sharing your comments on your experience among us.

Our guests' comments provide us with an opportunity to see our hotel through their eyes giving us insight into any service that may have room for improvement to enhance our future guests' stay among us, therefore we are grateful for the time you spent to share a review of your personal experience in the hotel.

We look forward to your next visit!

Warmest Regards!

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