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“Christmas Holiday at the Sands” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Royal Sands Resort & SPA All Inclusive

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The Royal Sands Resort & SPA All Inclusive
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Blvd. Kukulcan km 13.5, No. 32, Seccion A, Segunda Etapa | Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #27 of 179 Hotels in Cancun
Derby, Kansas
2 reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Christmas Holiday at the Sands”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2008

Purchased the lock off unit at Phase II from a member for this stay. We stayed Dec. 22-29 and had a great Christmas holiday there. The room was awesome w/an awesome view of the sea and Phase II pool area. Lock off unit has 2 double beds, safe, small fridge, closet, and bath of course. This was our 2nd stay at the Sands and found that staying in Phase II was much better for us. It is less crowded than the Phase I side. Even more room at the pool on this side and the beach. Much easier to find a chair and space on the beach in front of the II side. We pretty much ate at the hotel restaurant, bar, or Pacos Tacos at the Royal Islander every night except one. The food at the bar Sidelines is great. We also ate quite a few times down at the Phase II pool bar for lunch. Please note that this hotel has the BEST blackened chicken quesadillas and pepporoni and mushroom pizza in Cancun. The steak quesadillas in the bar are really good too. We never had anything not good at the hotel. Usually we eat out at different restaurants in Cancun, but decided to just relax at the hotel more on this vacation. Make sure to catch Happy Hour everyday from 3-5pm at the pool bars and from 5-7pm in the Sidelines bar. Good time to catch a beer and maybe a game on the big screen in the bar before dinner. Also nice about the Royal hotels is the room key doubles as a charge card for all Royal hotels. So if you want to go to the Islander and eat, all you have to do is give them your room key and they will charge your meal on it and then you pay your bill prior to checkout. Pretty nice when you are down at the beach and don't want to worry about cash or change! Yes, the beach is eroding away again and there are rocks exposed out in front of the hotel, BUT the majority of the beach is still awesome and not rocky (see my pis). The on site grocery store is nice as well. We found that buying bottled water and beer there is the same price as the OXO down the street. Overall enjoyed our stay once again. The service is excellent, the room and grounds are kept super clean and the location right next to one mall and 2 blocks from another is superb. What else can you ask for?? Feel free to email w/questions!

Stayed December 2007
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,103 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (625)
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English first
chicago, il
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2007

We spent Christmas week at the Royal Sands and loved it. The grounds and rooms were very clean. We met with our personal concierge when we arrived and he was very helpful. We made dinner reservations for the week after we met again at the Sunday, Welcome Party! Just ask questions, they're glad to help.
We found the onsite Royal Market to be pretty fair with their prices. A bit higher than WalMart but much more convenient.
If you're planning on eating in alot then I would catch the bus to WalMart. The shuttles to the other resorts were a nice added feature. We went to a few of the other Royal resorts to spend the day at a different pool. Very nice! I agree with the other poster that the room/credit card was also a great thing. Oh! Take advantage of Happy Hour from 3-sunset. Half-price drinks and free chips and salsa. Our kids had non-alcoholic daquiri's for $1.50 usd. What a treat for them and us! Great Place!

  • Liked — Very Clean!
  • Disliked — The TV could be a bit bigger but that wouldn't stop me from going there!!
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2007

The grounds are kept very neat and clean. There is always someone performing routine maintenance to keep the facility looking as best as it could. The pool is very well maintained. The rooms are nicely sized, even the lockoff, but for a resort that was built in 2000 the place already seems dated. Amenities in the room are poor, especially the TV, which despearately needs to be upgraded. One really nice thing about the rooms, however, is that each one gets a balcony/terrace with very nice views. Unlike many timeshare facilities this one does include daily maid service which is another plus. Another major advantage to this resort is its association with other resorts and restaurants. This is great because bills can be paid using your room key rather than cash or credit cards even at restaurants and you can just pay the entire bill for your trip at closing. Hacienda Sisal, the restaurant outside of the Sands was really excellent. The Veranda restaurant by the pool area was so so but certainly passable. My main problem with the resort is that the staff was less than helpful and not very thoughtful. In part, this can be attributed to a language barrier, but it is also general attitude. For example, the resort will not give you more than 2 small towels in your room unless you pay for them, which is pretty ridiculous. If you do not ask for any special accomodations though you will be fine. Please feel free to ask if you have questions about the place. I'm happy to help and provide further detail.

  • Liked — Cleanliness
  • Disliked — Staff was not helpful
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2007

Time share vs. all-inclusive!
Nov 24 to Dec 1 2007
This our first time to a time-share resort, and have been to 2 all inclusives in Mexico previously. We own a fractional ownership in Canada and traded to get 1 week in the full 2 bedroom/bathroom lockoff suite.Two previous trips were to a 5 star and a 3 star resort and both turned out great. The 5 star was amazing for the service, lodging, and the food, but the cost was huge. The 3 star was still great for the beach, and the amenties In both cases we had a wonderful experience. Since then, after much research, we purchased a fractional ownership in Radium B.C.. While our place in Canada offers the mountain vistas, amenities, and the suite is so much nicer, the Royal Sands is great. This resort has the whole package. The suites are spacious, clean, and well equipped. The amenities including pools, beach, activities,etc. are great. While the owners pay double the fees that I pay they also recieve the same. Daily maid service, activities, the beach and pools are just some of the things that stand out. I have to admit that travel to this resort can get expensive. especially for a family. With a kitchen to prepare some meals you may be able to save some money vs. an all-inclusive. Also having a suite is so much better for a family. On site are restaurants,pool bars, shopping and much more. The food and booze was a little expensive, but Cancun in general was the same. Great location and treated so very well. When you arrive a concierge will meet with you soon. He/she say that they represent the owner and will help you with anything that you request. While this is somewhat true, they are really trying to arrange a timeshare presentation for you and your guests. A firm no thankyou is respected and you will not be bothered or helped again. We were quite pleased here and would consider to come back again.

Stayed November 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington dc
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2007

We were a little concerned about going to a resort, given that we aren't typical resort types - we're an unmarried couple in our 20's. And truthfully, there were far more seniors and familes than people our age, but that wasn't a problem for us (and there were NO drunken college kids - a huge plus. This might have been because we were there in early Dec - not exactly spring break season - but it doesn't seem like a cheap, crappy college-kids type place anyway). The facilities were top-notch, and the service unparalleled. Carmen, our concierge, even helped us track down our bags when Mexicana lost them (always, always carry a spare outfit in your carry-on!) and then wouldn't even accept a tip from us when we offered one - very classy. We rented a car onsite for $60/day for full coverage (about $25 more expensive than some of the offsite no-name rental places, but worth it for the convenience when you're just renting for one day), and did the Tulum/Xel-ha tour through Thomas Moore ($125/person, which seemed pricey but was absolutely, totally worth it - especially if you've never been snorkeling before. If you go, try to get on Alberto's tour - he's awesome and funny, but without the corniness of most tour guides. Very knowledgable too.) I highly recommend Akumal as a day trip, and don't miss Cejas at Mercado 28 - great seafood (the best meal of our trip!) and a mostly local crowd. I realize I've been talking primarily about off-site activities, but on the days we laid around on the beach, we loved our time at the Royal Sands (especially the pool staff, who bring drinks to your beach chair!). Happy Hour is awesome (huge drinks for about $4); the onsite restaurants are just okay but affordable ($40-50 dollars for dinner for two) and a good alternative to going out on the strip if you're tired from a long day of snorkeling (avoid Sisal like the plague though - it's basically a Chi-chi's). Lots of activities (volleyball, karaoke, etc) all over the resort if you're into meeting other people, and plenty of quiet space to relax if you're not. The rooms are just fine, but what makes them really nice are the balconies - I think all the rooms have at least a partial ocean view. We can't say enough nice things about the Sands. They did try to sell us a timeshare, but after we declined (we don't even own an apartment! We're not quite at the timeshare level yet), no one mentioned it again. We had a great trip and hope very much to go back again.

  • Liked — service and convenience - everything you needed (tours, cars, grocery store, money exchange) was in the lobby, and at reasonable rates
  • Disliked — food not great, but was fine
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Needham, Massachusetts
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2007

Wow! We now know why Royal Sands is ranked #1 (right now # 2 but it was # 1 all fall) in Cancun.

From the moment we arrived we were in awe of the friendliness, cleanliness and the entire facility.

We had traded a time-share to Royal Sands. We were met by our personal concierge within 2 minutes of our arrival. Since Saturday is the day for check-ins, there was a line to register, but we were only in line for less than 10 minutes. Actual check-in took less than 5 minutes. You use your room key for all charging. They don’t even take a credit card imprint upon arrival which we wound amazing. Each adult is assigned their own room key/ charge card. Settlement is made anytime beginning Friday morning until Saturday morning. We met a very friendly couple from Great Britain during checkin who were free with their suggestions and recommendations to make our vacation fantastic.

We anticipated having a ground floor unit in phase 2 (the quieter area of the resort) but as we were registering the agent said we were in phase 1 on the second floor overlooking the pool. The resort is mostly 8 stories, all 2 bedroom units. One of the bedrooms can be “locked off”. Every unit has a wonderful view of one of the two pools and all units had unobstructed views of the beach and the blue waters of the Carribean.

The 2 bedroom units (keycard controlled) come with a fully equipped kitchen (with plates, silverware, and glassware for 8), full size refrigerator, a dishwasher, coffee maker, and cooking pots and pans and utensils. The dining area can seat 6 at a glass top table. Living room has a full sofa, with two side chairs, smallish remote control TV, a music center (be sure to bring a male to male cord available at Radio Shack) and you will be able to play your IPOD through it), a DVD player (DVDs available to rent in the leisure center) and 2 full-size Murphy beds. There is access to the large deck from the living room where you will find a round table with seating for 4 along with two “cushioned” settees one with a foot bench and the other with a round table for your drinks.

The master bedroom had a king-size bed, a duplicate of the TV from the living room, two bedside tables, good reading lights on either side of the bed and a chest/bureau with enough drawer space. You also had access to the deck from the master bedroom.

Outside the master bedroom was the sink with a good size vanity, a separate (with door) room for the toilet and shower) and a good size closet (with a user friendly safe)

The lock-off bedroom (double doored if it is locked off, with a separate entrance from the outside) is about the same size as the master bedroom and has the same facilities as the master bedroom and bath room (except 2 double beds versus the king size bed in the master bedroom. There is a separate room safe and a small (3 cu. ft.) refrigerator). The deck on the lock-off unit is fairly small. You can probably get 1 or 2 chairs out there.

Units are cleaned daily (except Sunday) and towels are replaced as needed. Soap and toilet paper are provided as are dish towels and dishwasher soap in the kitchen.

Plenty of hot water at all times. AC worked well. 22 c. or 23 c. seem to be the temperature range the rooms need.

We did not do any cooking in our unit. The refrigerator and freezer kept the liquid refreshments flowing. Guests are supposed to do their own dishes, but the few glasses we used each day were always hand-washed by the housekeeper.

Public areas are exceptionally clean. They were actually washing the outdoor patio area with a commercial floor scrubber the morning we left.

There are three pool bars (all with stools in the water, etc. Two of the pool bars serve lunch (burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries, etc.). Staff is always walking around (even on the beach) seeing if they could refresh your drink or get you some food. Happy hour at the pool bar begins at 3PM and goes to 5 PM. Security staff make their rounds very often making sure only Royal Sands guests are using the facilities.

The restaurant on site serves from 7 AM to 10 PM daily. There are a few special nights on site with special themes. Breakfast is7 to noon, Lunch is 12 to 5 and Dinner 5 to 10. The menu is varied and at least for breakfast and lunch there is a buffet for $125 and $135 pesos (about $11 to $13 US). Omelets and waffles made to order for the breakfast buffet along with other assorted breads, hot dishes, fruits, juices, etc.

I will list a few of the other features of the resort.

Well stocked grocery / convenience / drug store with vacation friendly items (frozen easy to cook items, various liquid refreshments (soda, juices, beer, alcohol, purified water, etc. and plenty of snack foods.)

In the grocery store is a coffee shop with various coffees (make sure you get your frequent coffee card (5 cups gets you a free one)

A well stocked gift / clothing store

A high-end jewelry store

There was a restaurant reservations office for reservations at Royal Sands or any of the other 4 Royal resorts in Cancun). You also had the ability to make reservations at other non-related restaurants. This was a nice feature as they made the calls, showed you menus, made recommendations, how to get there, etc.

A good sized (staffed) Laundromat

A Leisure Center with internet access, setting up golf games, etc.). Internet is either $5.00 for 15 minutes (which have to be used at one sitting or $15.00 for 60 minutes which can be used at different times.. They also had a DVD rental library in the Leisure Center

The spa and gym were very clean and the equipment in the gym was top-notch. There is a $10 fee per day or $45 for the week.

A tour office

4 outdoor lighted tennis courts

A rental car outlet

The British Consulate had an office on site

Shuttle Bus service to the other 4 Royal resorts

Check out the 4th, 5th and 6th floor facing the lagoon for a seating area to watch the sun set each night.

Beach towels were controlled but the two of us were able to get 2 each (which we swapped each night for new dry towels for the next day). No extra charge as long as you return them at the end of your visit.

What amazed us the most was the 1) friendliness of the other unit owners and the staff, 2) the cleanliness of the entire facility, (including the pool on a daily basis), and 3) the varied bar and restaurant options available.

It was very hard to find anything wrong with Royal Sands. Drinking beer and other drinks out of clear plastic cups versus Styrofoam cups would be a welcome improvement.

I hope this report helps others (and gets Royal Sands back to # 1 spot).

  • Liked — Clean Facilities and Friendly Staff
  • Disliked — Styrofoam cups at the pool bars.
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Easthampton, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2007

Place is centrally located in Hotel Row. Next door to a little casino that opens at 5:00PM till I think 2:00AM, all newer gaming machines. Only spent a little time there, wish I knew was there earlier in the week. Hotel store has "nice" prices, you might pay 1.40 for 1 Sol beer. Many items in the store. Beach has been warn away since the last time we were in Cancun, We went in early November this year and there was a storm off the coast which made the waves huge, not that I enjoy going in the water anyway. Weather was beautiful except for the Wind. Hotel in great shape, very clean, room was made up in the afternoon times. We were in a Lock in room, had a Safe, Hair Dryer a nice little balcony without Chairs, we took the living room chairs onto the balcony. Drove to Akumal, which was below Play de Carmen, I snokeled a little, saw MANY Fish even a HUGE Baracuda, first time I saw one. I am glad I know what one looks like now up close, had to of been 3 feet long, not many colorful fish, beach was nice.

  • Stayed November 2007
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Royal Sands Resort & SPA All Inclusive

Address: Blvd. Kukulcan km 13.5, No. 32, Seccion A, Segunda Etapa | Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Family Hotel in Cancun
#21 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#24 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#24 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#25 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Royal Sands Resort & SPA All Inclusive 4*
Number of rooms: 340
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

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