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“Best 10 days the last century” 5 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 #20 of 177 Hotels in Cancun
Tijuana, Mexico
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Best 10 days the last century”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

I decided to spend the christmas and new year's holiday with my children and grandchildren and nieces and nephews. 3 of us at Royal Sands resort in Cancun. I had my trepidations and worries about the outcome but, as it turned out, it was the best vacation of my life. It felt like we were on a cxruise ship, all inclusive, good food everywhere, great service, good clean rooms, kids club, babny sitters, exercise, etc. etc. I highly recommend this experience to whomever is looking for a relaxed, leisurely vacation.

Room Tip: all rooms have an exellent view. closer to the lobby is best.
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  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,853 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 (559)
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SD
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

We booked the all inclusive option for our stay. I was disappointed with the restaurant options as there were really only 2 on site (not including bars)one of which was a buffet most of the time. Service was extremely slow at times, most likely due to the change to all inclusive. I noticed others were not tipping much and from my experience this is necessary to get speedy service, and it seemed to make a difference most of the time. Hats off to Arturo and Pedro by the pool:). The rooms were clean but seemed a little dated. The views were spectacular! The pool was great but I would have liked to see more pool activities for teens and tweens. My biggest complaint is that your room card was required in addition to the all inclusive bracelet. Seemed like overkill and most likely contributed to the slow service. I most likely would not choose to stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, TX
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

We just spent seven nights in I5625 (Beachfront)

I'll start with the negative. The bed was not comfortable and they use those increasingly popular mini pillows. You know it's bad when you get your best nights of vacation sleep at the holiday inn express. Other than that, I don't have anything bad to say. Although that's a big one.

Fantastic views! If you're contemplating spending the extra money for beachfront suite, go ahead and do it. We opted for the higher suite and the views were awesome. In hindsight, I think I'd go for the beachfront bottom level. Their direct access looked far too convenient.

I've stayed in Cancun before but I don't remember the beach being this deep. They accurately named this place Royal Sands.

Let me give you some tips. Directly across the street is a restaurant with great food at very reasonable prices. You don't have to take the bus or anything. Ask for the horchata.

The towel service opens at 7a, but you don't have to wait that long to claim the perfect chairs. Exchange your towels at the end of the day and send one early bird out to claim your spot when the sun comes up.

Utilize the bus! It's totally safe and very cheap. There's only one road so you can't get lost. I can't comprehend using all taxis or private vans on the strip.

I enjoyed our stay, but the kids really enjoyed it! For that reason, I'll probably return.

Room Tip: Early bird gets the best chairs.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Kamloops, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013 via mobile

It was nice to return to the Sands again.
This resort is gorgeous. We stayed at the RS for the last week of our vacation and we had a beachfront villa for the first time ever.
Beautiful view, gorgeous water. We came to the Sands on the 10th day of our trip, and we had already been hassled so much to buy a timeshare, the previous week, that I demanded, that they did not give us a
Concierge (we call them sharks). I was so happy that they heard me. We Finally, got to enjoy our vacation in Peace.
I am sad to hear that they are forcing non-
Members, to pay all-inclusive, because we like the option to cook during our stay.
We will not pay $265 for 2 adults and our 12 year old to eat each day. The price is so ridiculous!
Looks like they are weeding out anyone who owns a timeshare, and trades to come to the Royal Resorts. I think they will lose a lot of faithful visitors.
We were sad to think, that this may be our last visit "home"

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Mesa, Arizona
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

This was our second trip to the Sands in 2012. WHAT WORKS: Consistently great customer service. Hard working and dedicated staff. Spotlessly clean gorgeous white sand beaches. Meticulously maintained sparkling clean pools. Sunday brunch @ Hacienda Sisal. The Caribbean and Mexican dinner shows @ Hacienda Sisal are a good value for the money. Villas that are spacious and well maintained. Beautifully manicured resort grounds. WHAT DOESN'T WORK: A host that would rather not be bothered to meet with you unless you are planning to buy more weeks, or upgrade to a more expensive lodging choice. People "saving" poolside and beachside chairs and then not showing up for hours to use them. Very rude. Maid service for the villas never before 2pm and sometimes as late as 4pm (the time we would prefer to be taking a daily siesta). Declining food quality at the onsite restaurants. Watered down drinks from the pool bar. Forcing people who are not members to pay a ridiculous price for an all-inclusinve meal plan when full kitchen facilities are available in each villa.

If i were coming to the Sands as a nonowner, I would not choose to return to if i had to buy a meal plan and my choices for all my meals for the week consisted of being limited to dining at Char Hut, the Pool Bar, La Veranda, Hacienda Sisal, or Captain's Cove. In my opinion it has not been a very wise choice made by management to try to boost occupancy @ the onsite restaurants by forcing nonowners to purchase a meal plan. Whether you are a first time visitor to Cancun or a many times repeater (as we are) part of what makes it so fun to come here are the many things to do and the 100's of restaurants to choose from. One of the hottest topics out at the pool has always been what new restaurants are out there and if they are worth traveling to. I think more people would be excited about staying on the property and eating a few of their meals here if the food at the onsite restaurants were not so bland, boring and repetitive. When was the last time there were any new options added to the menus? During this stay, we ate very few meals on the property; the majority of those we did choose to eat here being for the sake of convenience. The management folks need to start paying attention to the fact that although the Sands is rated as #14 of about 300 properties in the Cancun area, the number has been slowly slipping. We as owners have not failed to notice the subtle changes.

I WROTE A REVIEW THAT WAS POSTED IN EARLY APRIL OF 2012. If you are interested in things to do and places to go in the Cancun area, i have included several suggestions of things we have very much enjoyed. So, i won't repeat those numerous suggestions in this review.

The main reason i have given this property a 4 star rating (rather than a 3) is because of the many wonderful guests and owners we meet each time we come that contribute to the delightful ambiance. But even better than that is the many wonderful employees who give heart and soul each and every day to make this property what it is. I wanted to recognize these dedicated employees (and also all the ones whose names i do not know) for the time, effort and talents they give each day to make our vacation stay so pleasurable. MUCHISMAS GRACIAS to: Ino Chi Pina, Christina Can-May, Arturo Pedraza, Agustin Corredor, Galindo (spa salesman), Jimmy Solis, Manuel Ramiro, Oscar Cocom, Daniel Mendes and Victor Kubisiak. A very special thanks to Luis Angel Caamal who went out of his way to help a guest in need without needing to be asked.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
139 helpful votes 139 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We stayed at The Royal Sands last year and enjoyed it so much that we returned. Many of the write-ups are very, so I'll highlight some other items that may have not been mentioned.

For anyone who is not an owner/member of Royal Resorts but rather, is exchanging their timeshare via Interval International, etc.) the resort is now all-inclusive for anyone who made their transaction during the latter part of 2012. The all inclusive fee is currently $105.00 per adult. You can also obtain more information about costs from the royal resorts website.

As we purchased our exchange in Feb 2012, we had the option of all-inclusive and chose not to. We do not spend a total of $210.00 (cost of 2 adults all-inclusive) per day on food/drinks. Plus, we prefer to go to a variety of restaurants that are not part of the Royal Sands family, so I prefer not to have an all-inclusive requirement. I believe that the all-inclusive requirement is a minimum of 4 days.

Other than that, the location and property was excellent. Right in the middle of town within walking distance to the mall, restaurants, etc. We utilized the tennis courts (4 available), and snorkeling gear which were at no additional cost which is fantastic. In the lobby of the main building is also a mini supermarket with computer stations, etc., which was well stocked and very convenient.

The beach area is very large as there are two areas (phase 1/phase 2) and large pools in each area, along with a swim up bar that you can also eat at. Lots of chairs and beach towels are provided. However, there is a downside - in high season, if you don't get a palapa by 6:30am, you won't get one. Folks get up to get theirs at the crack of dawn, I know we did. Christmas week, we got there at 6am.

Phase 1 (main building) also has a lap pool which my husband used daily and loved because it was outdoors.

Service was superb and even better than last year. The staff were top notch, very pleasant, super professional, and prompt. Our 2 bedroom apartment was cleaned daily, large and comfortable, with super comfy beds, comfortable chairs on the deck, which also included a great table for 4 outdoors (as well as a roundtable for 6 in the living room/dining area. It's a full kitchen with dishwasher, full size refrigerator, microwave oven, coffee machine, the works.

The living room and bedrooms all had flat screen TV's. As a matter of fact, we saw a number of deliveries being made of new flat screen TV's in the 'studio' units.

The aggressive sale of timeshares in Cancun continues to be annoying because they won't take 'no' for an answer. Although admittedly, The Royal Sands 'Concierges' (who are really salespersons of timeshares) were not pushy nor agressive. However, the 'Concierge' is the person who joins the porter in bringing you to your room and of course, the sales pitch starts the second you arrive. Not what I wanted in my first 15 minutes of arrival. I nicely said, 'no thank you and I have no intention of purchasing any more timeshares so I want to save you the trouble of trying.' And that was it. The rest of Cancun was aggressively selling. We were approached to purchase a timeshare EVERYWHERE we went. At Walmart - while we were purchasing groceries, we were approached with the "Hi - where are you from? Did anyone tell you how your purchase today at Walmart can save you money?" which then went into the timeshare pitch. At Avis and Hertz, after you sign the rental agreement - don't ask for a map because the 'map' employee will tell you "Hi, as a present for your rental we would like to invite you to breakfast...or offer you tickets to Chichen Itza...or give you a free gift of cash...how about a free video camera?..." If you look like you may have a few bucks to spend, you will be approached. My niece/nephew both barely 20 were never approached by anyone. Like I said, if you look like you may have a job and maybe a few bucks to spend, get ready to be endlessly approached.

Cancun claims that it's water can be drank from the tap, but I would recommend sticking with bottled water. At Playa del Carmen, definitely stick with bottled water. Although we ate at good restaurants, at Playa del Carmen I got a terrible case of montezuma's revenge after eating shrimp risotto. Symptoms are malaise, bloating, diarrhea, dehydration, sometimes nausea, lack of appetite. However, I discovered a new secret. Drink a lot of grapefruit juice as it will knock out any sickness quickly. I learned this from a local, tried it, and it worked really quickly (and drink a lot of electrolytes - ie. gatorade, pedialyte, etc.) If we return, next time I will start drinking grapefruit juice prior to the trip and every day throughout. Just be careful where you eat.

Back to the hotel...the Royal Sands Spa (which is part of the all-inclusive package) was fantastic. I purchased a facial and sports massage and received a 'one week pass' to the Spa and I only wish that I had discovered it sooner. It includes a vapor room, wet steam room, dry steam room, showers, bathrooms, lounge area w/tea, water, fruits, jacuzzi, and it was awesome. Use of the Spa is part of the all-inclusive package so that may be a real plus.

A few fantastic restaurants included:
Hacienda Sisal - have the hotel make the reservation for a 10% discount. Try the strawberry flambe for dessert - ask for it if it's not on the menu. It was too die for.
Harry's - the most succulent sweet australian lobster I've ever had.
Fantino's at the Ritz Carlton - very good food, the service was pretty incredible. Very romantic, beautiful dining room.
Ruth Chris's Steak House - have the hotel make the reservation for a 10% discount. Food was delicious, and consistent. We ate here twice and it was excellent and top notch service.
Cenacola - have the hotel make the reservation and receive a 10% discount. This Italian restaurant was better than a lot of top NY Italian restaurants. The Oregon pinor noir was exceptional, as was the calamari. All the pasta is homemade. Still thinking about it....

Cancun continues to be a great place to visit. Enjoy!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ne wyork
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

we stayed at the royal resorts for the christmas week. the resort is very nice with big suites and a very nice beach area with lots of seating. the staff is friendly and does a nice job of keeping the resort tidy and clean. my only complaint is the food which was too expensive and not very good.

we did lots of day trips around cancun and visited the sister resort royal haciendas for their time share presentation. we thought the royal haciendas was nicer than the royal sands but the royal sands is better situated. we thought the haciendas was too isolated.

overall, we had a nice time at the resort but next time we will stay somewhere else in cancun where the food is better and the all-inclusive package is better priced for what you get.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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:
#15 Family Hotel in Cancun
#19 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#21 Romantic 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):
With a breathtaking beach location, a world-class Spa, tempting dining choices and activities for all ages, The Royal Sands has everything you need for a week of Royal relaxation.The Royal Sands® sits at the center of Cancun’s spectacular Caribbean shoreline with breathtaking views of white sand and turquoise waters. Enjoy fine dining, activities and many other creature comforts with 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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