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“Best vacation ever with my girl friends!”

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The Royal Playa del Carmen
Ranked #12 of 215 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 5 April 2012

Jonathan, Poncho, Jorge, Dennis, Hilario and Omar made my vacation so much fun and entertaining! They are exceptional people and hard workers! Jeysson was the best bartender by the pool he was friendly and fun and always made sure you left with a smile on your face. Oscar in the coffee house was so sweet and friendly. The front desk staff and cleaning staff were all great too. I will never forget my vacation and will return to The Royal with my girlfriends and my husband hopefully sooner then later.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank taj032812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10,410 - 10,416 of 16,869 reviews

Reviewed 5 April 2012

This was our second stay at The Royal and we really looked forward to it as our first stay was wonderful. We booked our 8 night stay through Delta Vacations for a garden view junior suite.(we upgraded to oceanview when we checked in for an additional $320.00) As part of our package through Delta we were to receive the following:

Exclusive All Inclusive Plus
In addition to the standard all inclusive amenities, you will receive these EXCLUSIVE ALL INCLUSIVE PLUS AMENITITES: Express check in/out in dedicated line; Differentiating all inclusive bracelet; Unlimited a la carte dining; Priority seating at a la carte restaurants; Concierge available to arrange dinner reservations during stay; Upgraded bathroom amenities in select room types; Beach towel in suite upon arrival; Fruit plate and bottle of wine in room during stay; Fully stocked mini bar - water, soda, juice, beer, liquor - stocked daily; 15% spa and beauty services; Beach cabana reservation once per stay, for reservations made prior to 6 pm with concerige for following day - subject to availability; Beach bag in suite

We mentioned this to the concierge when we checked in (I showed her our documents and read it to her) and she advised us that "Delta made a mistake" and we were not entitled to any of those things. What? She then told us to talk to the Delta rep. As the rep wasn't in we waited until the next day. After speaking to her, she assured us that we were entitled and she would speak to the concierge about it. She asked us to come back in 2 hours. We did, and of course, she hadn't heard back from the concierge. Please come back in 4 hours. This went on for over a day. We did get the "differentiating bracelet" it was black instead of clear, which didn't seem to make a difference anywhere. We did not, however, receive the beach towel in suite, upgraded ammenties, use of a cabana (which we really wanted), or the beach bag. I called Delta to complain when we arrived home and was offered a $75.00 voucher for my next trip with them to be used within one year. Hmmm, not much when you consider we paid over 4500.00 for the trip!
Our other issue was with having to change rooms. When we upgraded to oceanview we were told that we could stay in one room for the first night but then would have to change for the remaining 7 nights. We were okay with this. Our first room was 336, a very nice room with pool and oceanviews. However, when we were moved the next day to room 831, we were extremely unhappy. This room is in need of a major re-do. Do not book this room! All the mirrors are mottled and look streaky. The "vanity" dish that held the towels, soap, etc. was broken in three pieces. How did the housekeeper fail to notice this when she replaced everything? The door to the room had a large gap, so there was a constant stream of hot air coming into the room. We called to complain and initially were told they would send someone up. A maintenance person arrived,looking bewildered and unable to communicate in English with us. I called the front desk and asked to be moved to a different room. I was told that I was already "getting one night free". Huh? No, we weren't, and even so, do they give this crummy room to people who are? I said I felt that they way they were handling this was not up to standards that we had encountered during our last visit. They then offered us another room, 386, which was lovely and the rest of our trip was very enjoyable.
I would recommend Asiana at the Royal and the Mexican and Italian restaurants at the Gran Porto. Spice is great for breakfast and Pelicano's for lunch.
Most of the employees went out of their way to be helpful. Cano and Daisy are two who come to mind. They were terrific and made our stay so nice!
I would have given this resort 5 stars if not for the hassle we had to go through the first two days!

Room Tip: Rooms 336 (pool/ocean view) and room 386 (garden/oceanview) are both very nice. We stayed 7 nights a...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank chemtee717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2012

This is our second visit to the resort. The resort grounds and rooms are beautiful. We upgraded our room to a one bedroom suite #767. The smell outside the room was atrocious and a couple of nights it came through the air conditioning. Make sure you check inside your pillow cases as I was bit 9 times on my neck and 3 times on my ear I am assuming by a spider. I do realize that this is absolutely not the resorts fault, but when I came home I had an infection going on and now after 2 weeks they are just starting to heal. Out of the seven of us 4 of us were sick. The Japanese restaurant was amazing. The Italian was also good. The mexican was mediocre. Maria Marie was not so great. We also did the chefs plate one eveing and it was also just mediocre.I'm not sure what happened between last year and this year but we will look for somewhere different for this summer.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Carm138
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2012

We stayed at the Royal in Cancun for 2 weeks last year and loved it so much that we booked to return to the same hotel for 2 weeks this year. We were told last year that you can exchange time at the two hotels subject to availability so even though we had booked a 2 week package holiday through Thomas Cook we contacted the Royal in Cancun a few weeks before travel to ask if we could spend a few days in Playa del Carmen and Nancy Sanchez, the reservations manager, was absolutely wonderful and after an exchange of emails booked us in to the Royal in Playa del Carmen for the first 6 nights of our holiday and then we would move to Cancun for the 2nd week ($50 taxi fare)

The Royal in Playa del Carmen is double the size of the Cancun Royal, and not all rooms have ocean view as in Cancun. We had booked ocean view so I went online to the Real Resorts reservation system 48 hours before travel and pre-booked the best available room which was on 2nd floor near the lobby with a distant ocean view. You could be lucky and get an ocean view room near the beach but most of them are set back with restricted views between the buildings, The most basic suites (RJS) are on the sides of the hotel and do not have a good view (garden or adjacent hotels) so it is worth upgrading to at least an ocean view suite if you can. The more expensive suites have brilliant views right overlooking the beach...maybe next time!

I won't repeat all the facilities etc which have been reviewed before but I would say that they are similar to Cancun and the restaurants have the same menus....we ate in Pelicanos most lunchimes which was excellent and it was good to see the Tapas and Asiana restaurants open for lunch as well as dinner (they are not in Cancun) and none of the restaurants were overly busy considering the size of the hotel - we never had to wait too long for a table and sat at the bar until it was ready...not a hardship!. Another difference is that here you do not make reservations for the restaurants and just turn up - they give you a bleeper to let you know when your table is ready. At Marie Marie we turned up a about 8pm and were told the wait time was half an hour but we actually only waited about 10 minutes - just time to get a drink from the bar! There is also a large outside terraced seating area below the bar and by Spice buffet restaurant and Marie Marie which was very popular (Cancun only has 2 very small terraces by the bar), but the Coffee Shop is in a separate buiding and the beach parties were actually held on the grassed area between the terrace and swimming pool whereas they are actually held on the beach in Cancun.

The Royal hotels pride themselves on service and all the staff were brilliant but I must mention Celia, the beach waitress, who kept us topped up every day; I don't know how she manages to work the beach all day and still be so happy!

The main advantage here is the proximity to the shops on 5th Avenue, and it is very close to the Cozumel ferry terminal. It is also much livlier and we spoke to many people who prefer it to Cancun. I'm not sure - we had a lovely time and cannot fault it at all and would not hesitate to go back (and I'm sure we will) but I think I still marginally prefer the Cancun Royal for its seaviews and that it is a smaller, more compact hotel.

We were lucky and got the best of both!

Room Tip: Use the 48 hour online reservation system ...they will usually offer you an upgrade (extra $) at che...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank KatieHSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2012

the entertainment staff at the royal playa del Carmen is amazing they made our vacations sexy Omar by the pool was exceptionally great and of course the rest of the staff Jonathan ,poncho,Jorge ,Dennis ,and hilario .i'll be back next year

  • Stayed: April 2012
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5  Thank Cynbad1223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2012

From the moment we came for a quick look from over the road, at the Gran Porto, we knew that this was the right hotel for us. Taking up a $40 per night deal to upgrade, it was one of the easiest decisions that we have ever made and that proved to be the case for the next 12 nights that we were there!

Whilst Gran Porto goes for homely, traditional and cosy, The Royal is not afraid to go for big and impressive. From waking in the main door, you are struck by the differences in the two resorts.

Check In & the Room

Check in was what you would expect, a mix of the welcoming words, overview of the resort all done with Mexican warmth and sincerity

We were shown to our room and generally I think the rooms are all fairly standard in their layout. Obviously if you pay more, your room will be larger etc, better view. We were more than happy with ours (Room 607). Ground floor but in the quieter part of the hotel, though still within a very short walk to the pool, beach and all of the restaurants so suited us quite well.

Each room has an in room Jacuzzi as standard, flat screen TV, and unlimited mini bar with bottles of vodka, whisky, tequila and Bacardi. In the fridge we found cans of pepsi, diet pepsi and water etc All of which was refilled daily.

Outside you will have a private balcony with a couple of chairs. We had a ground floor room but was great to sit there having a couple of drinks before he went out at night. They is also a hammock if you want to laze in the sun.

Upon arrival at the room, the bellboy took down a number of preferences; what time for housekeeping (12pm-2pm), what time we wanted the beds turned down (8pm-10pm) which fragrance we wanted in the candles etc. All of which showed a great attention to detail, though have to say that after the first few days the times for housekeeping and the turn down service differed. Not really an issue though!

The Pool

First day we headed to the pool, but by the time we had checked in it was after lunch so knew that was unlikely to be any sunbeds. Surprisingly there were some, though towards the back of the pool. The prime beds are near the Trade Winds bar and beach, though the only way to get them is to get up at 6.30am and reserve them with a towel. It is pretty fun down there though. Music is playing and there are pool games and water aerobics etc, if you want to get involved. The waitresses are constantly asking you whether everything is ok and I have to say brilliant. There is nothing better than being served a cold beer when the hot Mexican sun is beating down!


The Beach

A very short walk from the main pool, perfect white sands and beautiful clear blue waters. The beach is clearly marked with a red flag where there are some rocks but not many from what I could see. It is a massive stretch of beach though and a very large part of it is fantastic. There are the usual beach activities, jet skis, parasailing etc. Plenty of sunbeds and cabanas, though I would get down there fairly early to get a good sunbed on the best bit of the beach.

The Restaurants

Spice – We went there everyday for breakfast and lunch. A wonderful place to eat with plenty of choice everyday. Some show cooking, so for instance for breakfast omelette and waffle stations. For lunch, burgers and steaks being cooked all the time. We went there twice for dinner as well and the same amount of choice was available, with show cooking for things like burritos etc.

El Mediterraneo – As the name suggests Mediterranean restaurant in a nice little self contained area of the hotel, where there is a small pool, coffee shop and bar. This was very close to our room. We went twice, which suggests that the first time was great which it was. Here they sold pasta, pizzas, steak all in a Mediterranean style.

Maria Marie – We were honestly unsure of what we would get at a Mexican – French fusion restaurant, though this place was great and it showed, it was packed every night. We went three times. Once we were able to get a table straightaway, the next couple of times we had waits of 25 minutes and 45 minutes. That’s how popular it is, though not a problem to wait, you are given a buzzer and can sit on the patio outside having a few drinks. Plenty of steak – the chateaubriand is excellent and a good selection of house wine

Asiana – A nice place with a mix of Thai, Chinese and Asian meals. Was a pretty good meal. The restaurant was fairly empty though, think everyone was in Maria Marie! Looking back though think we forget that it existed. It is outside of the front door so not a long walk to get there but we just had other favourites.

Tapas & Pintxos – We tried in one night and to be honest decided that it wasn’t worth another visit. Very limited menu and looks like it’s fairly new so a few things they need to get better at. I would give it a try though and make your own mind up. Ideal location right by the beach

You also have the benefit of using the Gran Porto’s restaurants, though Maria’s is the only one I would opt for, see my separate review.


Bars

While there was the Trade Winds bar near the pool and the beach, we were in the Lobby Bar practically every night. A great place to be for a few hours, with excellent bartenders serving up any cocktail you could ask for. Really enjoyed being there! The Tequila bar is within the patio area that I have mentioned above when waiting for a table at Maria Marie’s, so a really nice outside bar.

There is a 24 hour lounge for snacks and beer/spirits when the bars close, usually at 12am. We would often go and grab a few drinks to take them down to the patio area


Entertainment

This is where The Royal excelled in my opinion with such a vast gulf between what they offered and what was available at the Gran Porto. There are three shows I would recommend and hopefully they will be on if you decide to go. 1) Romantic Show 2) Elementos and 3) Decades. The dancers are incredible, including use of ropes from the inside of the huge lobby bar ceiling. You would pay high ticket prices to see shows like these elsewhere and here they are being performed right in the lobby. Aside from this was a White Dinner Party and Caribbean Party in the main garden.

There are huge crowds for the shows, though the only thing I would say is that as soon as they are over it’s a shame there is nothing else as the crowd disappears leaving the diehards at the bar. At the times when a show is not on, a lounge band plays some good music.


The Staff

Like so many other travellers including those at the Gran Porto, the staff at The Royal are amazing and a real credit to the hotel. It never ceased to amaze us that they never seemed to stop. Every area was spotless and meant that the grounds and inside buildings were immaculate. We tipped regularly though you get the feeling that they don’t expect anything but are so appreciative of anything you decide to give them

It is difficult to single out particular individuals, but these are the staff that were fantastic even when the standard was so high anyway.

We got to the point during our stay that the service was so good I started to make note of names to ensure they get the praise they deserve;

Prude/Ilena (Beach) – fantastic beach waitresses. Prude introduced me to Red Ice (beer and tomato juice) one afternoon and loved it ever since, which she remembered and brought me at least three every afternoon without me even asking

Ramos/Jose/Luis Roberto (Lobby Bar) – all fantastic bartenders. All at the bar every night. Just one of them would be fantastic asset to any bar! Ask Ramos to show you the beer can trick and when the bar is not too busy ask Luis Roberto for a few games.



David/Gerardo (Spice) – David is without doubt one of the best waiters we have encountered. Such a funny guy and took the time to speak to us every day and came to be fond of him that we made sure we were on a table (lower of the two floors) so that we would be his waiter. One day he arranged for fajitas to be made for us specially. An absolute gem at the restaurant! Gerardo was a nice waiter as well, like everyone else, polite and attentive but the other waiter besides David of course that stood out from the excellent standard anyway

Alfonso/Jose/Juan Carlos (Maria Marie) – excellent, attentive waiters. We were looked after so well on each occasion that we were there. The food and the service made sure we kept coming back

Rosa (Housekeeping) – wonderful service with a new towel animal everyday. The room was perfect every time that Rosa had visited

Location

The location is unbeatable. Right on the beautiful beach, though if you did decide to venture out you could do very easily. We walked along Fifth Avenue a couple of times, and there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants, including a couple of Starbucks for those of you who need it

Some minor considerations

My rating tells you how great our holiday was and how we so enjoyed being at the hotel for the 12 days that we were. We were treated so well. It is hard to improve on perfection in my eyes but there is always something, even minor, that it is worth mentioning. These are actually so minor I can’t believe I am about to mention them but here goes;

1) Sun beds on the beach – you need to get down there fairly early – before 10am - to get a bed on the best part of the beach (all of the beach is good but you’ll probably see what I mean). When you arrive later you think, No Problem, there are loads of beds available but all of them I found to be broken. I would recommend the hotel does an audit of the beds and removes and replaces those that are broken

2) Casino Night – was on a Sunday. We went along expecting the huge lobby area to be full of roulette and blackjack tables, though instead there was one small table with room for four players. The casino night lasted 45 minutes.

3) Water in the room – this sounds crazy to mention I know but we had four bottles of water in our fridge, but often as we drank a lot of water while at the beach we didn’t need the bottles in the room, but we would be given another four every day and sometimes two bottles when the beds were turned down. At the end, despite our best efforts the small bar area had 16 bottles of water!

4) Ashtrays – For the smokers out there, there are no ashtrays anywhere, including on the private balconies, or in the bar areas which then means having to use an empty bottle/can.

In summary

We were so thrilled with our holiday and so very glad we moved across from the Gran Porto as the hotel, everything about it, the people that we met – fellow travellers and Royal staff – was top notch and in my opinion the Royal deserves it current position.

I would wholeheartedly recommend The Royal Playa del Carmen to anyone!

Room Tip: Most of the rooms seems great, we stayed in Room 607. Ground floor very close to all of the restaura...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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22  Thank chrisgriff6191
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2012

What has been said about caring and attentive staff at the Royal Playa del Carmen was definitely confirmed during our last stay in early March. The first 3 days of our vacation was absolutely wonderful until my wife had a medical emergency while taking part in a pool side activity. The rapid response and caring of staff was truly amazing as she was immediately taken to the resort medical clinic where Dr Gustavo Ambriz Montiel quickly diagnosed a dislocated shoulder and immediately took action to reset it. We are extremely grateful for all the attention and extra care that we received from all staff. Many thanks to Mr Edwin Barragan, operations manager, who went out of his way to accomadate us and make the rest of our stay as enjoyable as possible even with an arm in a sling. Our gratitude also goes to the pool staff (Poncho,Jorge,Omar, Jonathan, dennis, Milano, Thomas and Josephin) who where always there to assist and cheer us up. In conclusion, I can confirm that when the staff greet you by placing their hand over their heart, they truly care. We will definitely return next year.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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9  Thank Andre S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nestor O, General Manager at The Royal Playa del Carmen, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your wonderful comments and for taking the time to post your review on Trip Advisor. We are very pleased to learn that you enjoyed your stay at our beautiful resort and are looking forward welcoming you back in a near future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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
#7 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#10 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £239 - £465 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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