Overall, the resort was very nice but had a few annoying features.
Everyone was offered bottled water upon arrival. We were not members at this resort, so we had a much longer check-in line (~20-25 min wait). We noticed quite enviously that the members had a welcome lounge and free drinks while they checked in.
We were assigned a ground-floor villa. The view was of the activities center and the pools and beach beyond. We had plenty of good lighting in the villa, and decor was very nice and modern. Throughout our stay, we heard some noises and guessed it was either noisy neighbors or construction. The villa was very clean when we arrived. The hot tub on the patio was a great feature. Ours did not drain properly, and when we reported it, the attentive maintenance staff arrived within 10 minutes to fix the problem.
Maid service was offered each day except Sunday. At orientation on Sunday, we were told to tip the maids $5/day. Tip jars were in view at the welcome party on Sunday (free beers and rum+cokes) and the taco party on Monday. These events, however, were very nice touches to welcome guests to the resort. The resort is extremely quiet in the evenings, with not much going on for entertainment.
Free internet; signal was weak at times but was strongest near the lobby. Gym was $8/day or $38/week, which we thought was ridiculous. Snorkel and kayak gear were free, but snorkeling and kayaking were canceled on the days we were there due to rough waves. Convenience store on site had a wide range of items, from alcohol to dairy products and souvenirs. Free shuttle to Playa del Carmen; due to an agreement with the area's taxi union, the last shuttle back to the resort is at 6:30pm, so don't expect to have a free ride back after dinner; you'll have to take a taxi. Spa services offered were similar to high-end services offered at resorts in the US, and priced similarly as well. From the time-share sales pitch, we learned that 80%+ of the owners at this resort are Americans, so the resort seems to charge high US prices for everything.
Resort grounds were very clean. The beach was clean with gorgeous white sand, and there were plenty of chairs at the beach and pools. Hammocks were arranged between the resort buildings. Two lap pools and several kids' pools. Two very large pools with swim-up bars. Two pool-side restaurants served lunch and happy hour. Waiters were very attentive to those at the beach and pools. Prices: ~$9-15 for wraps/sandwiches/burgers, ~$3-7 for happy hour drinks. We found the wraps and sandwiches to be acceptable, but the happy hour drinks were weak. The large beach restaurant has a very nice ambiance, with high
thatched-roof ceiling and beautiful view of the ocean; we went to the ~$25 "international night" dinner buffet and found the food to be bland though acceptable. There was a high-end expensive restaurant on site, but we peeked in one night and didn't see anyone in there, and we certainly didn't eat there either. The kitchen in the villa was well-stocked with cooking equipment, and we went to the Walmart in Playa del Carmen to buy reasonably-priced food supplies. The resort very conveniently had filtered water, so drinking the tap water was okay.
Our biggest problem was that the pillows and beds were very firm and not very comfortable. The resort also did not provide shampoo/conditioner/lotion. Our personal concierge, although very friendly and nice, seemed to be most interested in getting us to have a free lunch with the sales staff. All the restaurant, activities, cleaning, maid, front desk, and maintenance staff at the resort were very friendly and responsive to inquiries or
requests in English. Transportation to and from the airport was through Thomas More Travel ($45 roundtrip per person for shared 40-min shuttle ride). Thomas More Travel was also the on-site agency for arranging all excursions ($65 for snorkeling, $100+ packages to eco parks and Cozumel). We didn't do any of these excursions so cannot comment on their value.
We had a relaxing vacation at this time-share resort but may try an all-inclusive resort next time, mostly so we don't feel the need to cook.
- 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