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.
- 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