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“This resort changed since all-inclusive!” 3 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
Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“This resort changed since all-inclusive!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We just spent a week at the Royal Sands the day the all-inclusive started October 27 through November 3rd. We are not owners and exchanged our week to go there. We first heard about the AI here on trip advisor and followed the link to the Royal Resorts and read about the rules of the AI. It stated that if you booked your trip before July 5th, it was not mandatory for the AI. We printed that out and took it with us. Good thing, because Royal Resorts then changed that date to July 3rd, which was the date we made our exchange. When we checked in they said July 3rd, but since we had the paperwork that originally said July 5th, we didn't have to go all-inclusive! They wanted to keep our copy but we told them to make a copy of it before they got our credit card, which they did and gave us our copy back. If anyone booked between July 3rd and the 5th, let me know because I will share that copy with anyone that needs it! We go to the Royal Resorts almost once a year, sometimes twice, we love their properties and the staff. Our previous stay was at the Royal Mayan this past December(2011). This time we are not so pleased.

Now, on with the changes! The meal portions went to half, even for the owners and other paying customers, the chicken wings you get 4 when it used to be 10 at the same price. Salads are half the size from what they used to be. If you are all-inclusive and want a beer it is only Corona on tap. We took the shuttle and went to the Royal Mayan and the wings were still 10, salads were normal sized and the prices were the same as the Sands! The waiters at the Sands were telling us that there were all-inclusive people that stayed at the pool bar all day, ate and drank all day and never left a tip. Now, come on, we have have stayed at other all-inclusives and we still tip, and in cash! The resort now accepts people on any sized vacation from various agencies like a 3-4 day package. You can tell who is all-inclusive since they have to wear bracelets, the same color as the towels. People were in the pool until late at night who were very noisy and this was in phase II.

We went to La Distileria and told them about the Sands going AI, and they were very much saddened by this since it would hurt their business also. BTW, we found out that they give a 15% discount to people staying at the Sands.

Imagine as an owner, now that there are all-inclusive people, late night drunks losing their stomachs in the villa on the furniture, who is stuck paying for the improvements? I'm sure it will be an increase in the maintenance fee. At least with people exchanging their resorts to come there, we treat this property as our own resort, with respect because we have to pay our yearly maintenance fees also. We spoke to the manager on duty about how unhappy we were and other people we spoke with, including owners about the changes, and asked who will end up paying for the repairs, we mentioned it would probably end up added to the owners maintenance fee and he just nodded. There were owners that want to now sell out of the Royal Resorts because of these changes!

The Royal Resorts are now saying that the rest of the resorts are planning the AI sometime in 2013. I wish they wouldn't do that because it is going to drag down the resorts along with the local businesses. They are also losing a few valuable customers such as us!

I have been to other timeshare resorts that give you an OPTION of the all-inclusive packages, and at different levels, such as just breakfast only, etc, but to make it mandatory for the food and beverages they give, we will not return. If they change it back to make it an option, we would return, but only at that time.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
Edina, Minnesota, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

We spent 2 weeks at the Royal Sands in October. The staff as always was very helpful and friendly. The resort is beautiful and immaculate. Our family was in Cancun for the first time and loved the resort and loved Cancun. I think the Sands has the best beach in Cancun and great pools. We had two villas next to one another which was very handy. The only downside is the Sands going to all-inclusive. Early in the week there was a lot of drinking and loud profane customers. That did diminish as the week went on. As an owner I see no benefit to the all inclusive only negatives.

Room Tip: We like ground floor for easy pool access. Phase ll is quieter than phase l.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cancun, Mexico
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

great week in Cancun. Early in the week service seemed to be a little slow but improved later in the week. Always a great place to come home to. Staff very friendly. great weather. Love the pool. Food is great. Beach is nice but love the pool.

Room Tip: rooms in the middle "building E" provide the best view.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Market, Maryland, United States
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

We were guests of time share owners. We enjoyed our stay. Very nice and comfortable accommodations. Everyone on staff was nice and always willing to help. Great place to relax but not a lot of activities. If you want a nice quiet place to sit poolside and read a book, I recommend. However if you are looking for a place with lots of planned activities especially for children, this place isn't for you. We previously stayed at Riu Palace Las Americas which had several restaurants on site. Royal Sands has one - two if you include Hacienda Sisal. The on site store at Royal Sands was a big plus however. They open at 7am and have coffee as well as other grocery items.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Westminster, Maryland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

We enjoyed our week at the Sands although we are members of Royal haciendas. The Sands is a "high density" resort....that ie, 8-9 stories high and vilas closer together, on a small plot of land. We enjoy the spaciousness of the haciendas much more, the grounds, the master bedroom and especially the master bath. Both of these resorts are well cared for. The staff is hard working...always cleaning, painting, maintaining the grounds and asking what they can do to make your stay more enjoyable. We are not in favor of all inclusive packages as it discourages visitors from eating in town and helping the local economy and when everything is included, people tend to try very hard to get what they paid for. This leads to overrating and excessive drinking.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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West Bend, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

We had a great time at Royal Sands. the staff was very friendly and helpful. we had a chance to have our vacation before the all inclusive took effect. There were a lot of unhappy people talking about the resort switching all inclusive. Apparently they are trying to stir non owners away from the resort. They want people to buy into there time share. And non owners are going to be unwelcome. They explained they do not want people exchanging there weeks or taking a get away here using all of there amenities like the beaches and pools. That's why they are going to be charging a mint for there all inclusive package for outsiders.. The resorts market was very well stocked. Try and watch the specials for each day. Cancun has a great bus system and cheap. So if you decide you can also go to Walmart to get groceries.

Room Tip: All rooms have a great view.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

We have a Marriott time share and have traded for several other brands over the years. The Royal Sands was the best resort we have ever been to for the overall experience. First impressions count, and this one was spectacular with a lobby that offers a stunning vista out over the pool to a gorgeous beach and the incredible aqua blue water of the Gulf of Mexico. We were 3 hours ahead of the official check in time, but they were able to give give us our suite right away from a selection of available locations (an advantage of traveling in the off season).

The suite was large and nicely appointed, not brand new but certainly not dated. The bedrooms, bathrooms and living area were large and comfortable, the kitchen small and basic. The only sore point was a that the A/C was very noisy, so it took a little getting used to. A really nice feature of this resort that is not the norm is daily maid service. The balcony was the entire width of the unit, and had that same spectacular view. We spent all our time out there if we weren't on the beach. Ah yes, the beach - it was perfect, a short walk past the pool area and you were at the ocean. Plenty of chairs (again, advantage of off season), and servers who are right there when you need them. The ocean was pretty rough, but that is Cancun. We spent all day on the beach, except on the days we went on snorkeling trips, and it was perfect (I know I said that already, that's how great it was).

We like to hop on the bus and go into shopping areas and restaurants, but we did eat in the Resort restaurants a few nights and for breakfast. The meals ranged from very good to great, but like some others I am concerned that the Royal Sands is going all inclusive, both because I like the option to go off base and because it tends to attract the heavy drinkers. I hope this does not bring down a top notch resort.

Finally, I have to mention the staff and service levels at Royals Sands are way ahead of the competition. We had a personal concierge who called every day to check on our needs and help make arrangements for excursions. Everyone on staff can't do enough for you to make your stay enjoyable.

There are several 'Royal' brand resorts in Mexico, and we will be looking for them to trade in to the next time we want to go there.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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
Amenities:
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 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#24 Top resorts 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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