After months of trip advisor research, we are SO happy with our decision to stay at The Royal Sands.
The staff at the resort is very friendly and efficient. They're always smiling and so polite. Honestly, everyone from the bartenders to the activities crew were absolutely delightful to deal with. It took about 15 minutes to check us in and assign all 6 of us each a room card. This is used as currency throughout your home resort and other "Royal" resorts. Upon check out we were given an itemized individual bill.
We are a family of 6, and stayed in a 2 bdrm unit in phase 1. Our condo was on the 6th floor and located above where the convenience/grocery store is.(unit 5616). The unit had 2 murphy beds which we used. My sons did complain that they were not very comfortable though. We were close to the store and elevator at the front of the hotel, but still had a fabulous view of the pool and ocean.The unit itself was roomy and clean. The bathroom areas are rather simple and plain, but large. The balcony was fabulous and had plenty of seating.
I truly don't think there is a bad location in the resort. Our children are young adults, so we enjoyed being in the more lively phase 1 pool area.
The Royal Sands is about a block from the Kukulcan mall and a few blocks from La Isla mall. We planned on going to Walmart, but I found the convenience, price and selection at the mini-mart in the resort to be more than adequate.
The beach is wide, clean and fabulous. We went onto the beach around 11:00pm on our first night to watch the conservation crew while they rescued sea turtle eggs. You could actually see the turtles come ashore and lay them. The crew allowed my daughter and I to hold one! ( a highlight of our vacation.)
There's lots of palapas on the beach, but I recommend not waiting past 10:00am if you want your pick of spots. The pool area in phase 1 has lots of seating and some umbrellas for shade, but again, you don't want to wait too long. Despite what anyone says, there's always the early risers that will claim their spots with a towel. I think it would be impossible for the resort to control it effectively, so you just have to deal with it, or be a towel tagger too !
The pool in phase 2 is smaller and quieter, but also less shady.
Daily maid service is provided (Mon-Fri) and they clean everything except the kitchen area. Be sure to clean up the kitchen (dishes etc.) before you check out, as you will be charged a surcharge if they have to clean it. This and other info on the Resort is provided on check in.
You are assigned a concierge upon arrival which is a nice touch. Ours was "Charlie" and he was very nice, efficient and unimposing. He didn't try to push anything on us, and was available for any info/assistance we requested and was just a phone call away. We attended the welcome breakfast and were given drink coupons for the welcome party, and a discount book for some local restaurants.
We used "Entertainment Plus" for our airport transfer and booked a day trip through them as well. We found the "in house" travel company to be a bit more expensive for most excursions and for the airport transfer. Entertainment plus had pretty decent prices for private and public tours, and were trustworthy. I was really nervous after all the stories I'd heard about the "shark pool" of timeshare people at the airport, but they made it very hassle free. Their reps wear very identifiable uniforms and you can pre book on line.
We ate at the Char Hut, Hacienda Sisal (did not see the dinner show, but was very pretty and reminded us of a Disney property), and ordered the "meals to go" service once at the resort, and all were good.
The resort does encourage you to use the shuttle service and visit the other "Royal " resorts and use their facilities and restaurants. They also provide a day tour to the "The Royal Haciendas" in Playa Del Carmen, but we were honestly too busy or having too much fun at our own hotel to tour the others. We loved the location, the service and the beach at The Royal Sands so much, that I can't imagine a better place to stay in Cancun.
I HIGHLY recommend "Savio's" which is in the coupon book the resort provides, and located in the Hotel Zone. It is on the Marina side and the food was delicious, reasonably priced and had impeccable service and gorgeous atmosphere. It is a bit of a walk from the resort, so you might want to hop on the bus. They had a variety of entrees, but feature Italian. They welcomed us with a complementary wine tasting. Be sure to look for "Charlie" the alligator who lives in the marina.
We also ate at "El Fish Fritanga" in the Hotel Zone on the marina side. We had dinner at a table on the sand and enjoyed our meal to the sun setting, under a palapa, complete with white lights and gauze fabric! Great food, service and value. At first appearance the restaurant is a simple taco stand from the street, but be sure to go down the side alley to the beach! It's located a short walk from the resort.
We took 2 day trips; one to Xcaret and one to Isla Mujeres;
"Xcaret" was a great adventure, and I highly recommend you take a whole day to enjoy. We got there at 11:00 and still hadn't seen it all by the time the show started at 7:00pm. Our private tour was 115 per person and it included the "Xcaret plus" package (meal and show) and the round trip private van. There are so many activities and exhibits at Xcaret, but we especially loved snorkeling in the caves.
Isla Mujeres was so much fun and so picturesque. We took the bus to "Playa Tortugas" also known as "El Embarcodero" and took the blue and yellow Ultramar ferry. Their reps were there at the bus stop to direct us over to their departure area. Apparently other slower less efficient ferry companies will try to solicit you. Ultramar takes your picture on the dock before boarding. They try to sell you the pic while on board, and entertain you with a mariachi singer. It was a fun experience in itself. They also walked around and offered passengers rental packages with "Gomar" golf cart rental. We did rent from them at $45.00usd per cart. 2 of my sons rented motorbikes at $35.00 usd each. They had a lot of fun and I recommend it for the more adventurous types.
We ate at "Rooster Cafe" as recommended by trip advisor, and had a great lunch in air conditioning. It was a very cute cafe. It reminded me a lot of a trendy little place here in Boston. It's located on the quieter end of Hidalgo St., which has a beautiful "old world" Mexico feel. The only thing I didn't enjoy about the downtown area is the way you are solicited by the street vendors. I found this to be true of downtown Cancun as well.
I have to say that as a first time traveler to Mexico, I found it to be safe, friendly, reasonably priced and absolutely beautiful. We can't wait to go back!
Feel free to e-mail me with any questions :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal Sands(R), All-Inclusive, one of the best All-Inclusive resorts in the area, sits at the center of Cancun's spectacular Caribbean shoreline with breathtaking views of white sand and turquoise waters. With a privileged location, five-star luxury, a world-class Spa, tempting dining choices and activities for all ages, The Royal Sands has everything you need for your next Caribbean vacation. Enjoy fine dining, activities and amenities offered by the REFINE All-Inclusive package. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Royal Sands Hotel Cancun
- Royal Sands Cancun
- Cancun Royal Sands Resort
- Royal Sands Resort Cancun