My family of five (three teenagers, 17, 15, and 13) just returned from a weeklong stay at the Royal Haciendas, and very much enjoyed the facility. However, it is certainly not a Ritz Carlton/Four Seasons type of experience, and mostly due to inconsistency.
Let me start by saying that we are major foodies. One of my soft criticisms of RH is that the dining options are limited. There are two pool bars, which operate from 11-5, La Palapa, and Los Murales. The pool restaurant on our side had very good bar food. The octopus rings, the salsa and guacamole, the mahi mahi wraps, and the fish tacos were stand outs. The service was excellent there too. Our stay would have been vastly improved if this alternative simply had stayed open to 7:00! We ate at Los Murales 5 nights of our stay. Every night, we incurred surcharges, which was fine. The service was exceptional, the presentation was perfect, and the food was solid. Taste-wise, I would say that the seafood was equivalent to a McCormick & Schmitt's, and the beef was somewhat lagging a Capital Grille/Ruth Chris (but still very enjoyable). We do wish that there had been better wine selections; we were happy to incur a surcharge for a better Cabernet, but there just weren't very good alternatives. The final night, we went over to the store, bought a bottle there, and paid a corkage charge! Now the bad: La Palapa was gross. The breakfast bar was okay, but the dinner buffet was bad, "prime rib night" was worse, and ordering off the menu did not improve the situation (we tried mole, ribs, steak sandwich, and fish sandwich off menu). If you go to RH, plan your meals to avoid this place.
The two bedroom suite worked so well for our family. The beds were comfortable and the space was intelligently designed (it enabled the early birds in our family to sneak out without waking the others). The maids did a nice job tidying the room, and the groundskeepers kept the public areas in immaculate shape.
Service was SO inconsistent. There were instances of simply exceptional service (Juan by the poolside, wait staff at pool restaurant and Los Murales). Our concierge, Carla, went out of her way to assist with a lost luggage issue that we had. And, the pottery painting guys were great, and so very talented!
Conversely, there were times that I had to hunt down someone to provide poolside service. The towel guys were generally not helpful at all. One of them refused to give my daughter towels, saying that we already had them out, when in fact we did not; another night, my son threw a ball at me, my contact popped out of place, and I ran over to towel service from the lap pool and they wouldn't give me a towel since I didn't have my card with me (having just emerged from the pool). Another time, we left early for an excursion, and asked a female concierge (not Carla) to make a reservation for us at Los Murales; it never happened, presumably because she was not our "assigned" concierge.
We liked the beach. The beach was clean, the water was clear and good for snorkeling, and the areas were partitioned off clearly. We used the sea kayaks, but be sure to make reservations well in advance! The lifeguard was very attentive.
There wasn't really any. It didn't bother us, of course, but this is definitely a family oriented resort. If you are looking for entertainment, or lots of night life, RH may not be the best place for you.
Weird things (but not important to stay)
Their obsession with, and stinginess regarding, towels. Do they really think that we're going to steal them??
They also counted the silverware in our unit on our next to last day??
Smokers! More than I have seen in a long time...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal Haciendas(R) Just 10 minutes from Playa del Carmen, this enchanting beachfront resort has architecture and gardens inspired by the grand old haciendas of the Yucatan. Enjoy fine dining, activities and many other amenities with the REFINE All-Inclusive package. The Royal Haciendas(R) is proof that dreams come true. Imagine, the best in beachfront living quietly nestled within Riviera Maya's most prestigious oceanfront golf community. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Royal Haciendas Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Royal Haciendas Hotel
- Royal Haciendas Playa Del Carmen
- The Royal Haciendas All Suites Resort & Spa Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen