We stayed at the Royal Club from March 5-13. We usually stay at 3 star resorts, but we decided to try this “luxury” resort based on the reviews and a good early booking price. We were very disappointed. We booked last September and the reviews were very good then. However, the resort has apparently gone downhill since then. This is not a 4 or 5 star resort as advertised.
The main problem was the food, which was terrible except for the Royal Club restaurant. In fact, the food at the 3 star resorts that we have been at has been much better than this. I never saw a “manager” in the restaurants or anyone with a thermometer checking the temperature of the food on the buffet.
The breakfast buffet was just fair only because of the omelet station and the fresh fruit.
The lunch buffet was at the beach restaurant and was actually better than the dinner buffet, but selections were still very limited and the food was often not hot. There is no separate snack bar, so to get a snack you had to be seated in the restaurant and there were often long lines and a wait for an open table. The beach restaurant was closed until noon, apparently making it impossible to get to the bar in the restaurant which was supposed to open at 10:00 AM. However, if you walked past the ropes and chairs blocking the entrances, the bartenders would serve you and there were no lines.
Dinner at the buffet restaurant was terrible. Selections were limited, the food was often not hot, and the food was generally tasteless. The ice cream was the best feature. There were very few “Mexican” dishes and they were not good either. The “refried beans” looked like something that would come out of a can (with a lot of water added) here in the States. The salad bar was very limited.
There were only two specialty restaurants (steak house/Mexican combined and Italian), not three as advertised. The food was not good in either one and the service was slow. Seating was very limited and it was very hard to get reservations at a reasonable time. Reservations had to be made 3 to 4 days ahead. Ironically, there were often numerous open tables at these restaurants.
The one bright spot was the Royal Club restaurant. The food and service were both very good. Unfortunately, it was just as difficult to get reservations there. This restaurant is supposed to be only for Royal Club guests, but there were a number of guests from other buildings checking in while we were there.
The rooms at the Royal Club were very nice. They were large and clean with comfortable beds. There were nice additional touches at the Royal Club including: bath robes, free Wi-Fi, free computers for internet access, better linens and towels, premium toiletries, nightly turn down, fast check-in and check-out, concierge for only the Royal Club.
The staff was generally friendly and helpful. The maid service was good.
The grounds were very nice. The buildings were set in the native jungle with minimal disturbance of the native vegetation. This provided nice screening between the buildings.
The beach was nice but there were not enough palapas for shade or beach chairs. You needed to “claim” a palapa by 6:30 AM with towels on the chairs or you were out of luck. The palapas were also very crowded together. The snorkeling was so-so with no reef and little structure. There were a fair number of mostly immature fish and an occasional barracuda or ray. There were an unusually large number of loud, obnoxious, and drunk people, especially on the beach. The drinks at the beach bar were very strong (cheap liquor) and I suspect that this contributed to the problem.
One day a manager was walking the beach asking guests for their opinions. I gave her a quick overview (the good and bad) and said that the food at the buffet was terrible. Her response was: “Go to the specialty restaurants.” Not much of a customer oriented point of view.
I would not recommend this resort to anyone. Decent food is a critical part of a vacation at an AI resort.
- Also Known As:
- Royal Club At Occidental Grand Cozumel Hotel Cozumel
- Royal Hotel