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“Amazing holiday at "The Royal Playa Del Carmen"” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Royal Playa del Carmen

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The Royal Playa del Carmen
Ranked #12 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
GreenLeadersSilver level
Burnaby, BC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Amazing holiday at "The Royal Playa Del Carmen"”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2009

My wife and I stayed at the Royal Playa Carmen the first week of August and booked our holiday with escapes.ca and used Air Transat as the tour operator. I've been dealing with Nancy from escapes for over seven years and she recommended me this resort and I can't thank you enough for recommending this resort. As well like to thank Wally Trevisan sales manager at the real resorts for helping me with my inquiries regarding an upgrade for our anniversary as well as other inquiries. I actually e-mailed real resorts to ask them it was possible to get upgrade for anniversary by did not receive a response so I contacted Nancy at escapes and she got me in contact with Wally and he helped me via e-mail. Thank you both again for helping.
Be aware, when you leave customs at Cancun's airport continue straight until you are outside of the building where the tour buses and taxis are. This is because inside the airport after the customs all of people around you are generally time-share employees and might tell you that they are from your tour operator and will divert you away and you will most likely miss your pre-purchased transportation to your resort. When you exit the building you will generally see people holding up signs with your tour operators name on it directing you to the bus to take you to your resorts. I learned this the hard way many many years ago and got sucked in and lost the transportation to my resort and had to pay a lot of money to take a taxi to my resort so don't do the same mistake that I did. They will offer you free tours, etc. but is it worth your valuable time and money.
First I would like to say my wife and I have stayed at numerous five star resorts all over Mexico but this resort was far and above the best resort bar none that we have stayed at in Mexico.
Most of the time, when you see five star ratings in a resort in Mexico you usually have to take it down a few stars. The properties might be very nice-looking but usually something is lacking like the food is tasteless or something is not right, you have to get up early in the morning to make reservations at their à la cart restaurants, the alcohol they serve is a low standard, the bed is hard as a rock and it is noisy in your room because the halls echo with noise from other people slamming doors, etc.
In my previous life my family owned a restaurant and I went to chef school so suffice it to say, I can discern between what is good food and food that is lacking. Now some people might say that food might not be the most important thing in their holiday but my wife and I grew up in households where food was a very important part and we were both lucky to have everything made from scratch.
The food at this resort is excellent! Now I can get very picky and get into things that could have been a lot better but when you are in another country who standards aren't as high as yours in general and you have the quality of food that we had here with the price paid to come down here you have to be very happy. The foods taste, presentation and variety are excellent. The amount of restaurants they have are many and the only one that you need to make reservations for is the “Chefs Plate”. That is because you have to have the Royal level of service in order to access this restaurant. The other restaurants you just had to walk up of course with the proper attire on and wait to be seated just like a normal restaurant. I was quite surprised that a lot of people did not tip the serving staff as they work really hard to make your vacation as enjoyable as possible. We usually gave them two or three dollars American as a little thank you for their hard work and continuous smiles on their face. Love these all-inclusive resorts say that tipping is not required and you might not believe in tipping but when I went back to the same restaurant and asked for the same waiter the service which was excellent to begin with was even better. Even a few times when I sat outside at their outdoor restaurants or at their excellent buffet which we usually went in the mornings for breakfast the service was very good. Another point it like to bring up is a lot of resorts do not have air conditioning in their eating areas but this one does. The only place that it does not have air conditioning is of course the restaurants that are on the outside or open air restaurants but they have many ceiling fans. I've been to other five star resorts and their eating areas are not air-conditioned even their à la cart restaurants either have poor or no air conditioning and it is very difficult to eat during times of the year with the humidity and temperature are very high so it was such a blessing to have restaurants that you are able to comfortably enjoy your meal without sweating like a pig. Being from greater Vancouver we are spoiled in the quality of the Asian food available to us and we especially like Japanese. Asiana is there Asian restaurant that has Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisine. We enjoyed this restaurant but I was not a fan of the sushi at this restaurant. Not to say that it was bad or inedible, it wasn't near the standards that I'm used to back home and that is quite understandable. When you're staying at the Royal you are allowed to use the facilities and restaurants at the sister resort to Gran Porto Real which right next door and we ate at the Italian restaurant “Il Pescatore” and I have to highly recommend the lasagna as it was fantastic. Overall like I said the food at this resort is excellent and as important the cleanliness is superb as they are continuously cleaning all parts of the resort. The other interesting thing about this holiday is that we did not gain any weight as because the quality of food was so good he did not have to resort to eat hamburgers and hot dogs and french fries or go out to eat in other restaurants because the resort food was crap. I think I had french fries once and shared it with my wife and the other times we were eating nicely portioned excellent quality food like lamb, fresh seafood, salads and all other meats and dishes. Because we stayed away from a lot of that fattening food and were quite active we are able to maintain our weight yet enjoy the food and drink. If you are disappointed with the food in the level of service at this resort I would be quite surprised. They do have a 24 hour snack bar/activity room which was always well stocked with snacks hot and cold as well as top shelf alcohol, coffee and pop machines.
For a one-week all-inclusive vacation at this resort we could've got two weeks at a five star resort in the Mayan Riviera for less than what we paid for one week at this five diamond resort. You get what you paid for.
As for the check-in, it went quite smoothly as we were upgraded to a Royal Oceanview junior suite for our anniversary. The one comment I will make is that the room was beautiful but a little dated for our tastes but nonetheless a fantastic room with a great bed and close to the beach but the view of the ocean was not really much of a view. All the rooms come with a safe to store all your valuable documents and money etc. this came as no extra charge to use and gave us great piece of mind knowing that our personal property was safe. A few times we left our digital camera out in the open in our room and it was still there when we got back into the room. Pretty much all the rooms look the same but are in different locations on the hotel and some have the better royal service which case you a couple of extras that you might not be interested in such as turn down service, etc. if you're not so hung up on if you have an Oceanview or oceanfront or garden view room, you should pick the room that gives you the best price as you don't spend too much time in your room other than sleeping. There are some rooms that have oceanfront views or are on the ground level next to the pools but you will be paying a premium for that. When you get to the resort ask their at the front desk what upgrades are available and the costs and usually if it is your wedding anniversary or honeymoon I would e-mail them ahead of time to see if they could do something for you as they upgraded us as well as sent us a bottle of champagne or sparkling white wine to be precise and his beautiful little cake which said happy anniversary and decorated our room and bed with rose petals which was a wonderful touch. I spoke to the maid and asked her work schedule and told her that I would tip her at the end before we leave. We did see her the day before we left as we were leaving very early in the morning on Sunday and we gave her a nice tip and she was very appreciative as they do work really hard and the room was always spotless and she made wonderful towel animals on our bed every day. We noticed that a lot of the rooms on the south side of this resort were getting renovated. I wasn't able to see inside these rooms but I couldn't tell that the outside doors were getting resurfaced and repainted and most likely the interiors being updated.
Do not drink the tap water or any water or ice that is not purified as you will get sick. At the resort, all the rooms are stocked with bottled water and if you ask for water at the restaurants or the bars they will give you either a bottle of water or purified water but do not drink from the tap you will be sorry. Even brushing your teeth use the bottled water.
One thing you should watch out for when you do check-in is that they do offer timeshare in this resort or as they like to call it vacation club whereas you buy a certain amount of weeks that you can use at all their own resorts and also redeem the weeks and use on the RCI network. Be forewarned, if you do not like high pressure sales situations and are not willing to give up at least three hours of your time is a usually say 90 minutes but it goes longer than that depending if you have questions or not this is not for you. They were not rude they were actually quite nice and very professional and when I was in this presentation with my wife I saw quite a bit of people purchasing weeks in this resort. I decided not to purchase because I like the flexibility of going where I want and when I want and most importantly what if the resort standards go down in the future. When we told them that we could not make a snap decision on the amount of money they were asking for they thanked us for a time and told us that in a few minutes they would be giving us our little 500 peso credit for the resort but it seems that they sent other people to trying to convince us to join as well as the price kept on dropping. But there is different levels of vacation plans available to purchase starting with the platinum, Gold and Silver. The difference between the plans are that the platinum plan has no blackout dates and the others have increasing numbers of blackout dates which makes them a lot cheaper to purchase. But even the ones that do not have blackout dates you have to request at the high season at least six months in advance to be guaranteed to have a room like a Christmas and New Year's. I was quite surprised to see how many people were purchasing these vacation clubs weeks with not asking very many questions. The people I was dealing with were saying to me nobody has ever asked them these types of questions and the level of detail I was looking for. I find these types of negotiations quite fun as other people would describe them as torturous but most people in North America do not barter when they make purchases so this is a different experience that they are used to as these people are used to bartering all their life and are quite good at it. Finally at the end of three hours I was asked to sit down for the resorts development team to ask about the experience with this presentation and also to offer me a 60 week gold package at $3000 which was considerably less than the final offer they gave me before I met with this representative. I was quite enticed to purchase it as I had to go see him directly for that but I did not. They also were negotiating with the type of blackout dates available such as the gold package Christmas and New Year's weren't available but after negotiating with them and they actually threw that in as my wife is a teacher and that would be a time that we would be looking at traveling. The other dates I couldn't care less as lot of them are falling on American holidays which are generally not the same as Canadian holidays. The moral the story is if you want to purchase a vacation club negotiate and then negotiate some more until you get to price and a package that is suitable as they will usually start you off with 200 week packages and go down from there. I did meet some people that actually come from the same area that I live that bought a vacation club a few years ago when the prices were a lot higher and loved this resort and didn't regret purchasing the vacation club. One note, one week at this resort at a regular junior suite will cost you one week of your time. The room that we were staying in which was the Royal junior suite partial Oceanview would cost you three weeks for one week as it is a better room. Don't forget as well this is only for commendations not for food and drink. If you want an all-inclusive portion you have to pay for it separately on top of what you already paid for your vacation club so factor that in as well plus the airfare to get down there and the Royal resorts are adults only (16 years old and above) except for their sister resorts which are family resorts.

The beach, I would say would be the only thorn in this otherwise wonderful resort. The beach has a lot of rocks in the water and you have to be very careful when walking past knee depth in the water as the first day I hurt my foot by stepping on one of these massive boulders that were hidden by the rough surf. I was still able to walk but was uncomfortable for a couple days. A sister resort next door had even a worse beach and a lot of the guests of that resorts were using our beach. My wife and I would just simply walked about five minutes north, resort and go swimming there in front of the Shangri-La which had a wonderful beach and there was no rocks in the water. It also gave us exercised and also to visit the other resorts or see them from the outside. The water was bath warm I say at least 80°F and I didn't want to get out. The sand was white and wonderful beneath our feet in the beach butler Alexis was amazing by bringing us ice cold towels to cool us down, put suntan lotion on us, brought as books and drinks and was a very nice person to speak to as well. The cabanas are such a nice touch of the resort and a freshwater showers at the entrance to the pools from the beach was an excellent touch to get off all the sand and salt water. The pools were excellent and many chairs were available but like you said this resort was 60% full so you could easily find a chair whether in the water or along the poolside. The staff was always coming around asking you if you'd like to drink and high quality drinks using top shelf liquor as well as bringing around frozen grapes to eat. As well, the pools were not heavily chlorinated and used another product to clean the water so you didn't have smelly chlorine pools as what happens in other resorts which was great as your eyes didn't burn and you never smell the chlorine.

The animation staff or sports and activities staff are excellent! Fernando, Alex, Adan, Oscar, Angelo and Regina were amazing in making your stay as fun as possible without being intrusive and pushy. We played beach volleyball, blackjack at poolside, kayaked in the sea, water aerobics and many many other fun and exciting activities. They always had a smile on their face and always want to please you and made sure that you had a good time at the resort. I can't say enough how good these people were to me and my wife and two other people that they interacted with. I hope the resort recognizes these people as they deserve some kind of recognition for their hard work as they are the ambassadors of this resort.

If you like to work out they have an excellent gym facility which is of course air-conditioned and has amazing equipment and also fitness classes like spin classes, Pilates, yoga etc.
The resort was large but not so large that you couldn't get around easily. I would say would be 2 to 3 minute walk from the front of the hotel to the beach. Like I said before it was immaculately taking care of and never saw garbage or mess anywhere.
We did not use the spa so I can't comment on the quality and experience.

One huge plus for this resort that it was one block away from Fifth Avenue which is their main strip which has all the shops, restaurants and many people going up and down so it is a great place to people watch as well. The one thing I love about 5th Ave. is that it still feels like you are in Mexico and it has modern restaurants as well as some North American and European restaurants and stores but still a great flavor of Mexico. For those who like to shop, you will not find any bargains here! My wife and I have been to the Pacific side of Mexico and you are able to negotiate or barter a lot more than you are in Playa del Carmen. A lot of the merchants would even bother to barter and you know that what they were selling was way overpriced. My theory to this is because a lot of Europeans visit here and the cost living in Europe is a lot higher than it is in North America so the merchants don't want to barter that much because they could sell it for more to the Europeans. We been in Mexico many times so it wasn't like we were going down there just to do shopping anyways but we did buy some vanilla that we took home with us as well as in T-shirts for nephews and little trinkets.
Be forewarned, if you're traveling with Air Transat they strictly enforce the weight restrictions for checked in and carry on luggage. I had to move the vanilla from the checked in baggage and put it in my carry-on baggage. When traveling from Mexico to Canada you don't have to worry about liquids in your carry-on baggage only when you're traveling from Canada to Mexico. It seems that as the years pass by me are getting more strict on the weight of your luggage as in past years I could get away with extra weight but not anymore so before you head down to Mexico from Canada be sure to check what you are allowed weight allowance is so you don't have headaches coming back into Canada.

We did take some pictures with the professional photographers at the resort and Marco did a great job and we recommend him and the fun photo shop which is located behind gift store in the main lobby of the resort.
The nightly entertainment that they have at this resort is like a lots of the shows that have seen in other resorts. I could take it or leave it as I know they tried their best to put a good show but it is not Vegas or Broadway quality and you will definitely find far superior shows on cruise ships but if you're staying the night in the resort and not wanting to venture out to a nightclub or walk along Fifth Avenue it will keep you occupied.
This is the first time I did not do any tours or excursions as I've been here before but the main reason is that we love the resort so much and there were so many activities to do at our resort as well as the easy one block walk to Fifth Avenue we didn't want to leave. Best day tours owner owns the real resorts and they have an tour office in the hotel to help you book any excursions or tours that you might want to do. There's many cool and fun excursions to go on but like anything depending on how much time you're down there and how much money you want to spend this will usually dictate what you will do. I would do a search on the Internet for best day tours and see what excursions will interest you before you get there.
If you want to call back home I would recommend purchasing a phone card from a local merchant and the phone card I would highly recommend is the Ladatel 100 peso which works on the Telmex payphones only. It works out to about $10 US for approximately 20 minutes to call Canada. I tried another phone card and it was a big ripoff. It says I'll give you 20 minutes but there's a lot of catches so you don't get anywhere close the minutes that it guarantees. Buy the one that I recommend to you and you will be happy. These pay phones are right outside of the resort so you don't have to go far to use them so what I did is called my family and gave them the hotels phone number and our room number so they can call us directly if they wanted to and I also told them that are rooms phones have voicemail on them as well. Keep in nine on the time when you're talking on the phone as once it goes to the next minutes even though it says 10 minutes 58 seconds you will lose one minute so if your conscience of time you'll card will last you much longer.
If you're watching the weather network or looking at Playa Carmen's weather on the Internet and you see thunderstorms everyday that thunderstorms if they happen usually happen at night and are quite quick in duration usually no more than half an hour. They come down quite hard and then stop. Our weather during the week we stayed pretty much every day the weather station reported thunderstorms. We did get a lot of sunshine and some clouds but still came back quite dark. It rarely rained during the day but the one time you did it was a very quick and the sun returned again. Between middle of August and November is their hurricane/rainy season so don't be surprised to see a few showers if you travel during these times.
One thing that we noticed at the resort is that there were few guests who were pretty loud and were bringing their own ghetto blasters and playing their music very loud which was interfering with the resorts own sound system. A lot of people at the resort were quite disturbed about this lack of consideration for others and many times the resort staff had to tell them to turn their music off. But then after a little while they were turned back on their music loud as ever as if nothing ever happened. There were a few confrontations with other guests of the resort as these grown adults disregarded everybody else's enjoyment and only thought about themselves. Luckily the resort staff resolved this situation and everybody got back to enjoying the resort. If you are one of these people who like to listen to loud music and think everybody else wants to hear it you are sadly mistaken. If you think that because you paid money and came to this resort or any resort and you have the right to play loud music you are again sadly mistaken as we have paid to stay at this wonderful place and don't want to hear your music. If you want to listen to music use earphones not speakers.
Overall, I would definitely come back to this resort in a heartbeat and would strongly recommend this resort to my family, friends and clients.
Best wishes to you and I hope you enjoy this resort as much as we did.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
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    • 5 of 5 bubbles
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    • 5 of 5 bubbles
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    • 5 of 5 bubbles
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    • 5 of 5 bubbles
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7 Thank spiros_anna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Texas
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2009

Excellent Staff gets a GOLD STAR: Regina**************, Roserio*******, Alex*******,
Adam******

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
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    • 5 of 5 bubbles
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    • 4 of 5 bubbles
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    • 5 of 5 bubbles
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    • 4 of 5 bubbles
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Thank CathyTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, PA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2009

Stayed at the Royal for the first week in August with my family. Ten of us in total. The place is gorgeous, and the staff, in general is great, very polite. You would get an ‘hola’ and a smile from almost everyone. Our room was kept immaculate by Feliciana. We had fun towel decorations and random candy displays throughout the week. The AC worked great in the room for our whole stay. You expect Mexico to be hot in August and it was. The only relief you had from the heat was in your room. Even the lobby was hot. We didn’t get snacks or a robe in our room because we were in a Junior Suite, but the other juniors in our party did so I don’t know.

We stayed by the pool pretty much all day, every day. The entertainment staff made this vacation for me: Adan, Alex & Fernando. I cannot say enough great things about these guys, especially Adan. If you were bored, they were there doing something. Yoga, water aerobics, volley ball (beach & pool), Bingo, Black Jack, etc. If I could take Adan & Alex with me on every vacation I would. Vi, our waitress at the pool was amazing. Denyse was good too, but the others not so much. We did tip our waitresses, but some of them seemed to care less. But Vi & Denyse were always there with a fresh tray of drinks when we were finished with our last. They will make you any drink you want. All the beer is in cans so you should definitely bring a beer coozie. Wish there was a little more shade throughout the day.

Nightlife is nonexistent. The show was pretty much the same and I felt bad that the guys have to emcee the show. It’s kind of corny.

The beach was meh. It was very small and all the chairs were on top of each other. The bottom is extremely rocky and the water was murky. I couldn’t see my toes.

All the restaurants were great. No meal was bad. We ate at Spice (Jose & Caesar were great) a lot because of our large crowd. They had the best breakfast. Maria Maria & Asianos were able to accommodate us. Asianos was by far the best meal (thank you Eli, Alex, Chris & Peter). We also ate Chef’s Plate (too small to seat 10) dinner at Maria Marias which was amazing, and we got to meet the Executive Chef. Pelicanos had a great breeze for lunch. It was nice to be greeted by Daniela with a smile every day.

The spa was offering 30% off while I was there so I got a hot stone massage. It wasn’t anything great. The gym is really nice. Equipment looks brand new.

Checking in was fine. There is no early check in but I had my bathing suit in my carryon and they held my luggage. I got my bracelet and was able to eat/drink/swim right away. Checking out was a little annoying. They told me I had a charge for renting a movie, which I didn’t do. So she made a phone call and said it was taken care of. A minute later she told me the charge was not for a movie, but for renting a European outlet converter. I said I didn’t rent one (from the States). They didn’t give me a hard time about it, but it was annoying.

Overall I had a great time and was sad to leave. Most of everything was wonderful with just a handful of not so great things. I don’t think I would come back because there are a lot of other places to see. I might just to hang out with Adan & Alex – seriously hold onto those guys – they’re great!

Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank taramac22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brazil
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2009

I love my stay on The Royal, it was a princess life! It has Jaime on the swimming pool very very adorable always giving little fresh towels to refresh my skin. Other person that makes the diference was Felipe from the Tekilaria, very very nice, show us all the good tekilas. The room very nice, have double jacuzzi inside the room, all the food was great. It has a room with food and all beverages 24h (Excelent!!!), and it has room service 24h, so nice too. Heide from the recepcion was great with us too. I recomend it for all my friends.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ana_HPHB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2009

HOLA! So my best friend and I (we are 28 years old) decided to go on a much needed getaway for a few days and I have never been more satisfied with the decision we made to go to - PLAYA DEL CARMEN AND STAY AT THE 5 STAR ALL INCLUSIVE HOTEL ~ THE ROYAL.!!! I would first like to say IT'S PARADISE THERE! The weather was perfect! I was first impressed with the online check-in 48 hours before we even arrived! I used this option and I was able to choose the room we wanted which I had never done before - Hawaii doesn't even have that option - that I know of!? I was treated better at this hotel more than any other resort I have been to (including Hawaii & Bahamas). We were greeted immediately at the front the second we got out of the car. I remember a girl named Laura helping us out because my name is Laura 2 :) But our travel agent had arranged the driver for us because you arrive in Cancun then it's a short 45 minute drive to THE ROYAL.

Back to hotel though....they were the FRIENDLIEST crew I have ever seen and/or met! Not one person didn't have a smile on their face! We were greeted everywhere we went! We felt like celebrities the whole entire time! They really know how to make you feel like you are special! The bellboy was so nice and helpful - he took us and our bags straight to our room (didn't even touch the front desk the entire time we were there - no need with the 48 hour check in & concierge). We arrived around 2:30 or so and our BEAUTIFUL JUNIOR BEACH FRONT WALK OUT SUITE was ready for us! He showed us all of the features in the room (flat screen, marble floors, safe, jacuzzi hot tub, BEST BED IN THE WORLD) and explained everything thoroughly. Then after that we were sent about 10 feet away to FRANCISCO - our concierge who took care of everything - including amenities like what kind of pillows would we like, what times we would like housekeeping/turndown service - twice a day they make sure your room is perfect - even adding scents like lavender for the room & checkout) & a glass of champagne on hand waiting for us! We were like "where are we"? We couldn't stop smiling and feeling like kids on Christmas morning!

The beach is amazing and clean!!! (there were a few rocks in the ocean so be careful) White sands/palm trees/blue ocean! We had 2 private cabanas with our suite and that was as surprise - also hammocks included on our terrace! There was one private cabana (room number posted on it) in front of our room and another one on the beach! ALEXIS was AWESOME and always made sure we were taken care of everyday - making sure we had towels on our cabanas and whatever else we may have needed ex: cold towels and water sprayed on us to cool us off - WHAT A TREAT!!!!!! The sweetest gals were everywhere always there refilling our drinks but please NOTE: The drinks aren't very strong so I recommend ordering an extra shot or taking advantage of the bottles of liquor in the mini ice box in the room. They stock it daily (bottles of liquor, bottled water, cokes, sprite). Also they work VERY hard for the guests so tips of any kind are definitely appreciated. They all deserve it!!! For drink choice: I recommend the mango tangos if you like fruity drinks - they aren't too fruity or sweet though in my opinion....just right :)

The entertainment group was fabulous! ADAM was such a sweetheart and too much fun! They had fun activities throughout the day and then a nightly themed performance. Even Salsa lessons near the pool! They also had plenty of people working to help you with beach/ocean activities like parasailing and/or jet skiing. Worry Free Vacations have a set up there and they will help you with ANYTHING u want to do in Playa Del Carmen! Outside of the hotel activites: We got online though previously and found an ATV Jungle explorer excursion. It was 2 1/2 hours long. We went at 9 am so we would get back in time to have the whole day at the beach! What an adventure! That was so much fun!! But back to the resort.... the pools were so clean and felt so good on a hot day! They even have a swim up bar! Get to the pool early though if you want a seat "in the pool". We spent most of our time on the beach though! We woke every morning to watch the glorious sunrise and their crews were already hard at work making sure the property was spotless and it was! I never saw anything that made me feel uncomfortable!! I could go on and on like I am now! :)

Shopping: About a block away (for sure walking distance) is 5th Avenue which has a variety of shops to get your souvenirs. They have upscale stores as well. I also saw some bars/restaurants on this street too. It is very safe all around and you will find whatever you are looking for! There is a gift shop in the hotel as well that has a lot of stuff!

There are several restaurants in the hotel but our short 3 night 4 day vacation didn't allow us enough time to try them all out. We did eat at Maria's Marie Mexican/French place. It was decorated so pretty but it was a little hot in there! I think some more A/C would have made it a bit more comfy. But at first we weren't sure if we were going to like it - the choices on the menu seemed a bit different from the Tex/Mex we are used to here in Oklahoma but we were pleased!!! It was VERY good!! We ordered room service pretty much the whole time! We had nachos, chicken florentina, steak, hamburgers, club sandwiches, fries, Caesar salads, pancakes, eggs, waffles, bacon, omelettes, frech toast, etc - lots to choose from and it was delicious!!!! They were very quick with service with the exception of one time. But they made sure we were taken care of and it was simple mistake. It didn't happen again. There is also a "magic box" in the room by the door with a light above it so when you order your food just request them to put your food in this box and you never have to see one person. You just open it up when the light comes on and your food is hot and ready! What a cool feature and perfect for privacy!

We also checked out their spa ~ SPAZUL and got a 50 minute massage and it was heavenly! The spa is very relaxing, elegent and classy! Once again they treat you like ROYALTY! There was a 30% off rate on massages at the time we were there so we took full advantage! I was a new woman after that massage! I recommend doing this!

Our room was cleaned up so nice daily and one night we even had an assortment of chocolates on the bed and a bunny made up from towels!

ALL AND ALL THEY GO ABOVE AND BEYOND AT THIS IMPECCABLE RESORT TO FULFILL EVERY WISH OR DESIRE U MAY HAVE!!! I WOULD SAY THERE WERE MOSTLY COUPLES AS GUESTS BUT WE THOUGHT IT WAS FUN FOR A GIRLS GETAWAY TOO! BUT IT DEFINITELY SEEMS LIKE A PLACE TO GET MARRIED AND/OR HONEYMOON/ANNIIV. - WE SAW A WEDDING ON THAT SATURDAY WE WERE THERE! THIS WAS THE BEST VACATION I HAVE EVER BEEN ON! WE ARE COMING BACK EVERY AUGUST! IT SEEMED LIKE A PERFECT TIME TO GO. NOT TOO BUSY WHICH WE LOVED! I GIVE THIS PLACE 10 STARS! BEST MONEY WE HAVE EVER SPENT! WORTH EVERY DIME! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S ALREADY BEEN 2 WEEKS SINCE WE WERE THERE! THANK U SO MUCH TO THE ROYAL FOR MAKING OUR MUCH NEEDED GETAWAY THE MOST RELAXING AND PEACEFUL TIME EVER! WE WERE SO SAD WE HAD TO LEAVE :( BUT WE WILL SEE YOU NEXT YEAR AND WE ARE FOR SURE STAYING LONGER THAN 4 DAYS! HASTA LUEGO AND GRACIAS!!!!!

~LL

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Soonergirl44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omaha, NE
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2009

My husband and I went to the RPDC with some friends and really had a wonderful time. Everything was very clean and the staff works very hard to keep it that way. Our concierge, Veronique, was very helpful and only contacted us one time to make sure everything was how we liked it. We spent most of our time at the pool and Vi made sure our drinks were never empty. The beach butlers were great, with ice towels and frozen grapes. The entertainment staff was what we were really impressed with. Adan, Fernando, Alex, Oscar, Angelo, Regina, and Anna were hilarious. By the end of our week in Playa they new all of our names and made sure we were having a good time. Also Chan at Pelicanos was great. Our room was beautiful, we stayed in a Junior Ocean View, only used the hot tub twice, but we liked having it. The food wasn't my favorite, but there are tons of options and they will pretty much make you anything you want.

I read a lot of bad reviews about this place, but I guess some people can always find something to complain about. The weather was beautiful, the people very nice. Fifth ave is super fun if you want to venture out. The beach was a little rocky, but if you walk 3 minutes down the beach it's perfect. All I can say is, my group had a great time and we were very sad to leave!

Tequila Song!! One more time! One more time!!

Stayed August 2009, travelled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank RedSox33_10279
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hillsboro, Oregon
Level Contributor
49 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2009

I would like to preface this review by saying we are not picky people. We enjoy a quick dinner at Taco Bell just as much as we do five-course fare, and we are avid campers and enjoy rugged conditions just as much as we do luxury accommodations. That being said, when we pay top dollar for a relaxing vacation (our last together before we have a baby) at a place with top Trip Advisor reviews, we expect a nearly flawless stay. While we did enjoy ourselves at the Royal, the hotel and its service did not meet our high expectations.

First, I'll start with the pros of the property. The entertainment team is amazing. Adam, Oscar, Regina, Fernando, and Alex work so amazingly hard to keep the guests busy and having fun, and we were never bored. We got our fannies kicked in Pilates with Regina, loved the kayak tour with Alex, and you cannot miss the bike tour and vollyball with Adam. Loved these guys. One thing that irritated me: all of the staff work so hard in the heat, and one staff member told us that the entertainment team are not allowed beverages at the hotel. To me, this seems like a social justice issue, and the staff should AT LEAST be allowed non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy with the guests. Small issue, but really made me feel bad on my vacation. I hope they rectify this.

The gym is great and they have an amazing Pilates class by Regina. Best gym we have seen while traveling.

The food is pretty good. Not as good as our other all-inclusive stay (Dreams Puerto-Vallarta - that place was FLAWLESS) but good, and there are a fair amount of options. Don't miss: guacamole at Pelicano's and the chicken tacos at Tapas. We really loved Maria Marie's (high five to Javier for dealing with our complicated orders!) for dinner (try the tequila lava cake), and Asiana for lunch. Spice was a basic buffet (good waffle and omelet bar) - but we enjoyed the service (shout out to Jose). The restaurant with the worst service was by far Tapas. YOU CANNOT MISS CHEF'S PLATE! This place is amazing and better than anything we have ever had in the states. Make sure to book it at least twice! We also tried Maria's and the pasta place across the street - those were good (not great) as well. Though my husband is a huge margarita guy, and the only decent margarita he got was at Maria's.

The grounds were beautiful and clean, as were the rooms. Though certain rooms have nicer furnishings, I thought ours were fine...

Now on to the cons... Service was spotty and really depended on the category of room you reserved. We know this because we stayed in a Royal Oceanview Junior Suite and one set of our friends stayed in a regular Junior Suite, and another set of friends stayed in a poolside walkout. Here is the rundown (disclaimer: none of these things, independently, would have bothered us. It was one thing after another (and our friends had the same experience) that really ended up affecting our stay:
1. As it was our anniversary, we were whisked away to by our Romance Concierge Anna (who was great and so sweet). We upgraded rooms, so they were supposed to move our special romantic setup (roses, bubble bath, champagne, etc) to our new room after we dropped our bags off for lunch. Never happened. I thought they might have been overwhelmed and forgot, so I didn't follow up with the romance concierge, thinking that they would do it the next night (or the next, or the next - this happened to our friends. They skipped it the first night when they arrived, but did do the romantic setup the next night). Finally, I went down to the business office to ask if we could get our romantic package, and the business concierge (NOT Anna) acted like it was our fault for not reporting it sooner. I felt that I shouldn't have to take time out of my vacation to ask for something that should have already been taken care of.
2. Turn down was spotty. We never got our special pillows, they forgot several times to light our special scent, and one time we had no turn down at all. As these special touches are what we paid for in the upgrade, we were a bit miffed.
3. Tapas service was slow and inattentive. Forgot orders, etc. Their food was also the worst, but the chicken tacos were really good :)
4. Poolside service was also fairly inattentive and slow. Again, I am not a priss and don't mind getting my own drinks, but I was expecting service to be better from Trip Advisor reviews. Service was adequate - not horrible, just not five-star. They work their butt off though, and I believe the not-so-hot service could be chalked up to being understaffed!
5. Lobby service during the shows were HORRENDOUS. As we are trying to conceive and I potentially could have been pregnant on this trip, I abstained from alcohol. One night, I had to ask for water six times over the course of one hour. I only was served when I asked her again while handing her a tip. I must say that I don't blame the waitress. The lobby seemed understaffed and she was working her tail off.
6. This is the worst: my husband found GLASS (about half the size of my pinky nail) in his tacos at Tapas on our last day. We reported it to the manager, and he was very apologetic and offered us a new meal (uh, it's all-inclusive... We could get a new meal, anyway). He also took our room number. We expected at the LEAST a call that evening to check up on us, as he could have been SEVERELY injured, but nothing. No call, no compensation, nothing.
7. The magic box is BULL! We ordered room service several times and not once did they use the magic box. Obviously, they don't get tipped when they use the magic box, so they don't. Never did for our friends, either, EXCEPT those in the higher class of room.
8. As I mentioned before, I believe service at this hotel varies depending on the category of room you book. Our two groups of friends agreed. Our friends in the higher class of rooms received more attentive, special service than did we, and we, in turn, received better service than our friends in the Junior Suite. I know that you are supposed to get the Royal treatment with our upgrade, but I REALLY do not like hotels that treat certain guests as second class citizens.

*Service note. The Royal was understaffed. Because of the Swine Flu and poor economy, not many people are traveling to Mexico (the hotel was at 40-65% occupancy when we were there). We heard from the staff (three different people) that the management was sending bartenders, housekeeping staff, etc. home for an undetermined amount of time. The staff that was left had trouble keeping up with the needs of the guests and were stressed trying to do so (we were told by our maid!)

In summary: Would we return again? Maybe. We liked Dreams (food, service) better. If we did come back it would be for the proximity to 5th street, the amazing entertainment staff, and Chef's Plate.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank katiekateosu
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: Constituyentes Avenue #2 | Centro, Gonzalo Guerrero, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
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 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#10 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#10 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 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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