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“Amazing - beautiful hotel, perfect holiday.”

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The Royal Playa del Carmen
Ranked #11 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Amazing - beautiful hotel, perfect holiday.”
Reviewed 14 November 2011

My partner and I, having spent a week in one of the Royal's sister hotels, The Gran Caribe Real in Cancun (a busy family resort), noticed a special offer to upgrade to The Royal in Playa Del Carmen for $10 per night. Knowing The Royal would be more to our taste as an adults only hotel, we jumped at the chance.

We had a lovely welcome, champagne at check-in and after a 10 second chat with a friendly member of staff who knew we wouldn't want a time-share (or whatever he was selling) we were led to one of the basic "Junior" suites in the Royal. By "basic", I mean a beautiful room full size double jacuzzi, 32" flat screen TV, Bose iPod docking station, bedside iPod docking station, mini-bar with full sized spirits, sort drinks and snacks, 24-hour room service and a nice balcony (or in our case terraced area on the ground floor) with chairs and a hammock. There was also a turn-down service included, and it was lovely to come back to the room in the evening and find the bed turned down, candles and an oil burner lit. Towels were plentiful and the room cleaned immaculately. The quality of toiletries provided was good. We had no problems with insects of any kind despite being on the ground floor. Our room overlooked a pathway and gardens - possibly not to everyone's taste if you like a sea view but we enjoyed it - it was very quiet.

The hotel grounds are gorgeous - large, but not too big, with nice gardens and two pools. A larger pool closer to the beach, and a smaller pool further away from the beach. This was my favourite pool as it was so peaceful. The pools themselves were a little cold. Staff regularly ask if they can get you anything - for those who enjoy attentive staff at their arm asking if they need anything, The Royal will not disappoint.

The staff were fantastic. They were charming, friendly and didn't expect tips, although I would have happily tipped them quadruple what I did if I could have afforded it. Paco in particular was fabulous - an older man who worked in the el Mediterráneo restaurant, he constantly kept us both entertained. I think he singled us out as willing victims for his array of tequila shots and cocktails! I can't praise him highly enough.

The bars were all fantastic. We were constantly given decent measures of good spirits. No cheap rubbish, and not watered down - the gin was Tanqueray and the rum Havana Club 7 Anejo 7, which I would expect in a nice resort. Anyone who says the alcohol is low quality or watered down I can only imagine either doesn't know what they're talking about, or has done something to make the staff dislike them! As you usually find abroad, the alcohol measures can be quite substantial, but I didn't find the drinks too strong. The bar staff will make pretty much any cocktail you request.

The food was good; by far the best food I have ever had at an all-inclusive resort. There is a dazzling array of food at every meal, from buffet style to al a carte. The Asiana restaurant was the one I was most sceptical of - I did not expect to find the best quality food in an Asian style restaurant in an all-inclusive hotel in Mexico, but the food was great. The sushi and sashimi wasn't the best I've ever eaten but it was good never the less, and every other dish we tried was absolutely fantastic. El Mediterráneo was another of my favourites.There weren't enough days of my holiday to eat at all of the restaurants as many times as I would have liked!

Playa Del Carmen is a lovely resort... on the whole I preferred it to Cancun - it's much more Mexican, has an older crowd, is more picturesque and although marketed as less lively than Cancun, I found it was busy, just in a different way. The beach wasn't as nice as the beach in Cancun (which is stunning), but is still very nice.

I would jump at the chance to return to the Royal, I would happily go there for my honeymoon. My only disappointment with the holiday was that I had to come home (and that I'd only spent a week of my time in Mexico in The Royal). Loved it, would recommend The Royal to anyone.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank spc1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Manteca, California
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2011

The hotel was amazing...probably our new favorite in Mexico. Everything was top notch, the food quality was exceptional, the rooms were beautiful and big! I could just go on and on, we went with another couple and between the four of us we couldn't think of one negative thing the whole time we were there. The location was perfect...beach and 5th Ave shopping, restaurants and ferry to Cozumel. What a perfect spot for a hotel!! The best !!!!!!

Room Tip: No room could be a bad room at this hotel.....impossible..
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank pixie1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2011

This was my first trip to Mexico,went from 10/23 to 10/30/11. We booked our room at the Royal in advance online,had room 287,no problem with the view. The rooms are very clean, spacious,maids did a fine job. Room service was also good,like the secret box! We usually put our towels out at the pool by 8 or so,wouldnt want to wait much later. My husband and I enjoyed Maria Maries as our favorite to eat, Omar was wonderful. Also ate at Spice a few times for lunch and occasional dinner, Reynaldo was a great waiter there! Like the Pelicanos restaurant also. The service here was excellent from our concierge Wille,to the girls at the pool, to Ramos at the swimup bar (best drinks I have ever had)!The resort was spotless, luckily hurricane Rina fizzled into a tropical storm,but they did an awesome job getting prepared and posting what was going on. I would recommend this resort to anyone, I am looking forward to a return trip with my husband. We also enjoyed the closeness to fifth ave.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Annette A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jersey Shore
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2011

My review is from our stay for our Honeymoon Aug 6-13th. From begining to end, The Royal provided superb service. We had emailed in advance to notifiy the hotel of a life threatening kiwi allergy, and to ask for a room recommendation. We received a few emails back from the food and beverage director, the romance concierge and hotel management. We picked our room at their suggestion and checked in online to ensure we got it. We had room 532 which is an OceanFront Jr Suite. Upon checking in we were taken to Anna our Romance Concierge. Anna was fantastic. She answered all our questions and put a note in the computer that I had a food allergy. We were given cool towels and a welcome drink as we checked in. We were brought to our room which all I can say was WOW! It was beautiful! The view was breathtaking. There was a bottle of sparkling wine and a small cake to share in our room waiting for us.We LOVED the magic box and used it for room service several times during our stay. In fact, we ordered our breakfast the night before and told them what time we wanted it and it was in the box at that time. I am not sure what all the bad reviews regarding room service are all about. We never waited more then 20 minutes for food, which is pretty typical anywhere you go. Our bed was very comfortable and we picked out different pillows to try from the pillow menu as well as our choice of aromatherapy. We also had fantastic nightly chocolates bedside. Nice touch! The hotel is simply beautiful everywhere you look, and the staff is extremely friendly. We hung out at the pool mostly as we did not care for the sulfur smell coming up from the sea floor (we met a geologist who explained it all while we were there...lol) The pool was spectacular and we always had a shady spot as we both would fry in direct sun. There was the towel game, but most people were at the pool by 9 or 9:30am. I am up at sunrise anyway so it was no big deal to get a spot under the palm trees for shade...funny those spots were NOT in demand anyway. The pool waitresses Male, Celia and Prude kept those drinks coming faster then we could finish. And believe me, it was HOT and those drinks went quickly. They would bring refills without asking and just kept coming! Side note here regarding liquor and drinks. We found the drinks fine, Again, not sure about the complaints regarding quality of liquor. In our room was Smirnoff Vodka, Bacardi Rum,Jose Cuervo tequila and some gin that I dont drink anyway. I am not sure what more people want? Stoly and Absolute are available at the 24 hour lounge and at the bars. Im guessing probably in the Master Suite and Presidential suites they have Grey Goose. But its not like they are serving rotgut people! Some people just like to complain about everything!!! The food was excellent, we especially enjoyed Pelicanos ribeye, guacamole and their dipping bread. We had breakfast at Spice one morning, but it was too hot as its not airconditioned. We discovered El Mediteraneo for breakfast and it was great, and had a/c and the buffet was fresh! Paco was our breakfast waiter and he was the best! We also really enjoyed Asiana and Tapas(Reyes was our waiter and he was great). We dined at Chef Plate on French night and the presentation was incredible! Overall, the food was excellent and we didnt have a bad meal there. We had a couples moonlight massage in our suite one night, Samuel and Heidy were incredible. So professional and so thorough. We felt fantastic after that. The only downside to the massage was the plate of chocolate covered strawberrys had kiwi garnish on it. Again, that is NOT their fault. It was placed on our balcony to enjoy in the moonlight. Thank god my husband saw it there in the dark as it could have ended the vacation quickly. I told Anna the next day and she had the food and beverage director meet us in her office. They were both very upset and he kept assuring us this wouldnt happen again, He even went to far as to ask where we would eat that night. We told him El Meditaraneo and he contacted them personally to ensure it wouldnt happen. Well that night I ordered dessert, ice cream, and it was garnished again with the kiwi. I simply sent it back after explaining to the waiter, Alberto (he was excellent) of my allergy. They quickly brought out a new one and apologized. Let me end the food review with this thought... I am a responsible adult who has a food allergy, I carry my epipen and benedryll regardless of being told that the staff would all be informed of my allergy. I am responsible for what I eat, and I blame no one when they get it wrong! If I suspect something may have what I am allergic to in it, I simply dont chance it. If it ends up on my plate, I ask for a new one no big deal. I also went for a sunburn treatment in Spazul, what an incredibly beautiful spa! Enrique took such great care of me and my sunburned back, It truly took the sting out. I highly recommend if you get too much sun, to get one of their treatments. Too much sun is easy to get at the pool ;) We met some wonderful people from all over the world there, and everyone seemed to have a great time. It was a fun casual atmosphere, strangers just chatting each other up and hanging out. There was a group from Chile who had poolside walkouts below our suite by the pool and they would have their music playing for us. It made it more enjoyable. They did seem to like Donna Summer and 70s music, which was fun. Management should consider having some music playing at the pool. All in all, we had a wonderful time and would LOVE to return in the future.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank deansjerseygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2011

Stayed for two weeks at the end of October/beginning November. Overall hotel is lovely, food and drinks good, staff go the extra mile most of the time. Proximity of hotel to 5th avenue is a definite plus.

We were allocated room 604 on arrival and I have to say if I had to stay in that room for two weeks I would not have been happy. Very dark inside and on ground floor beside the diving pool therefore constant traffic back and forth as main path ran alongside patio area. However we are in the fortunate position that paying for an upgrade isnt a problem so we did just that and opted for a lovely master suite. We paid US $80 a night for the upgrade.

We were there during the tropical storm. The staff at the hotel were fantastic although the notifications of what we were supposed to be doing got a bit lost at times. No matter we had a whale of a time and spoke to people who we probably wouldnt have met in the lobby bar. I was amazed when the bed turndown lady appeared at our door at 8pm in the wind and rain bearing gifts of chocolates!!

The suite had a lot of benefits some of which we found very useful e.g. free international calls which meant we could keep in touch with family in the UK as apart from the storm we also had a death in the family whilst there, internet access in room, access to chef's plate (although we only ate there twice - presentation good, food okay, a bit hit and miss on taste imo), cabana on beach - after the storm it appeared beside the pool which was quite funny (the staff dismantled anything which might be damanaged or cause damage in the hurricane preparations). Upgraded drinks package, toiletries etc were all enjoyed and Alejandra kept the suite immaculately clean. We had a menagerie of towel animals by the time we left.

Restaurants were very good, Maria Maries being our favourite. Did not like the mediterraneo but cant really put my finger on why. Dont bother going to Porto Real to eat the food is awful compared to the Royal.

Lobby bar - definitely needs more staff or at least a supervisor to oversee the service. Vicky is excellent but some others weren't quite as good.

Entertainment - the team work very hard to ensure there is something for everyone all day every day. The shows were ok. We stayed at Riu Palace Las Americas last year and comparing the shows there and the Royal didnt measure up at all.

All in all we enjoyed our stay and probably will visit the Royal again one day.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank horace001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2011

Hello and welcome to my first review,
I've used this site when choosing my last few holidays and after staying here I felt the need to contribute.
Bedrooms - Rooms are very spacious (we had a standart suite). Very very clean and the maids did a good job every morning and evening. I also noticed housekeeping managers checking the rooms after they has been cleaned. Towel art, extra toiletries, chocolates, candals, daily newspaper and aromatherapy oils were sometimes left for us.
Restaurants - Food was fantastic. Medeteranian, French, Asian (Chinese), Beach Restaurant were all out of this word. We didn't think that much about the tapas restaurant and we didn't upgrade so we didn't use the upgraded restaurant (I think it costs about £115 each to use this resaurant but for 2 weeks we honestly didnt get bored with the others). £ places serve breakfast, 2 are buffet but we loved the table service at Pelicanos. Don't forget the all incusive room service which was great - sometimes we just ordered tea when we woke up.
Hotel & Facilities
This was certainly a 5 star hotel with 5 star facilities. Pools were great (cocktail of the day was delivered to each sun lounger every morning at 10am!).
Staff
I can only say that these guys are the best in the world. Especially Male and Cecilia at the pool and Pedro at the Meditrinanian restaurant.
Spa
One of the best!

All in all a wonderful holiday.

PS It's worth a mention that there was a threat of a hurricane during our stay and this is where the hotel's safety processes were tested. They were super organised with daily updates and damage prevention and safety procedures for guests.

Room Tip: Any room with a sea view you'll pay about £25 per night extra and the room is the exact same. L...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Emma W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Holladay, Utah, United States
1 review
Reviewed 10 November 2011

Couldn't have asked for a more relaxing vacation than at The Royal, Playa del Carmen. The entertainment group consisting of Omar (my favorite!), Gorge, Adan, Paulina, Alex, and Adriana made our stay one of the funnest vacations I have ever had. The first couple of days were raining, but the entertainment group kept us laughing so much that they took our minds off the weather outside and still made our days fun. Cute little Daisy, worked her legs off making sure we were taken care of on the beach. Joaquin took the extra effort to make sure I got my chocolate fix when I couldn't find any at dinner! The food, our room, the service, and the staff will certainly have me planning another vacation to this resort. THANKS TO THE ENTERTAINMENT COMMITTEE MOST OF ALL!

Room Tip: We were in room 759 which overlooked the quiet pool, but still had a view of the ocean. It was quie...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Sonia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Royal Playa del Carmen

Property: The Royal Playa del Carmen
Address: Avenida Constituyentes 2 | Centro, Gonzalo Guerrero, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#10 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Royal Playa del Carmen 4.5*
Number of rooms: 513
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Along the powdery white sands of the Caribbean, The Royal welcomes guests to a world of all-inclusive luxuries exclusively for adults. Situated on the Riviera Maya just steps from Playa del Carmen's famous Fifth Avenue, the AAA Four-Diamond resort boasts all-suite accommodations with private balconies and spectacular views, plus special options such as swim-up suites and beachfront walkouts. From beach butlers to romance concierges, the attentive staff provides genuine hospitality at every turn as guests enjoy the luxurious spa, exquisite cuisine, natural beauty, and many other delights of The Royal. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Royal Playa Del Carmen Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Royal Porto Real
Royal Playa De Carmen
The Royal Playa Del Carmen Mexico/Riviera Maya

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