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“Excellent Honeymoon Destination” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Hideaway Playacar

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Royal Hideaway Playacar
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Lote Hotelero No. 6 Fracc., Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Resorts)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
A TripAdvisor Member
“Excellent Honeymoon Destination”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2003

We visited the Royal Hideaway for our honeymoon from 8/31/03 to 9/7/03.
Overall, the resort exceeded many of our expectations and provided excellent service. We were very pleased with our choice. I used tripadvisor extensively to research destinations, so I will try to help out others by providing as much detail as possible. First, the grounds are beautiful and very well maintained. RH employees are constantly sweeping, dusting, cleaning, etc. The room was very clean as well. The maid service was good. There was no problem getting plenty of bottled water to stock the fridge, etc. My only complaint in this regard is that they will not stock the fridge with beer, wine, liquor, etc. You have to order individual glasses from room service. This is not a big problem since you can always go to one of the bars or restaurants, but it can be a slight inconvenience. Before we arrived, I e-mailed the resort to let them know it was our honeymoon and to request a king bed in a room that does not face the resorts on either side of RH, and they accomodated my request. They also had a complimentary bottle of champagne in the room with a bowl of fruit. Also, on the second day, the concierge surprised us with a fresh arrangement of flowers for the room, which was very nice. We stayed in building 31 and had a room facing the interior of the resort, very close to the pool and beach.
This is important, if you do not want to be disturbed by the music and noice from the neighbor resorts, make sure you request a room that faces the interior of the RH, because around 10 p.m. or so you will hear the disco music, etc. from the other resorts. We had room 3128 and had no problem with noise from other resorts, since we faced one of the courtyards. The atmosphere at RH is very relaxed and peaceful. It is not the place to go if you want to party. Most of the guests were honeymooners or couples celebrating special events. The resort did not feel crowded when we were there, although we did notice a little more activity over the weekend and had to make dinner reservations earlier.
Speaking of dinner, the food was very good and the service was even better. Our favorite restaurants were Palazo and Spices. They had the best food and the best views of the ocean. Ventanas was also good, but it had more traditional steak and chicken dishes, which were very well prepared, but nothing that you couldn't also get in the U.S. So we wanted to enjoy something a little different. We did not try Azia because neither of us very big into Asian food. The fish dishes at Palazo and Spices were very fresh, especially the grouper. For breakfast you can go to the buffet in Spices or a la carte in Ventanas.
We went to the breakfast buffet for the first few days because it was close to our room and the beach. It was o.k., but not exceptional like the rest of the meals. By the third day, however, we finally went to Ventanas for breakfast and it was outstanding. We went back for all our subsequent breakfasts. The Eggs Benedict and Huevos Rancheros were excellent, along with the fresh pastry. Lunch at the beach grill was very good as well. It is not your typical grill. They have a good variety of food. I enjoyed the fresh Mahi Mahi sandwiches the most.
Also, on some nights they will dress-up the grill area and serve dinner there. I was not as impressed with the grill for dinner. The other restaurants do a much better job for dinner. The main bar at the resort has great service as well. We never had an empty glass in front of us.
The bar has a fairly subdued atmosphere, and is not too big, but a great place for drinks before or after dinner. Every where you go around the main building at the resort you will see chilled bottles of champagne and glasses. This was very nice. I think we both drank more champage on this trip than we ever had before. Even by the door to enter the fitness center they had chilled bottles of champagne, water and fruit. The fitness center was also well maintained with good machines, treadmills, weights, etc. The beach area is beautiful. The water is magnificent. They provide nice beach chairs and folding shade covers for you on the beach. There was no problem getting chairs on the beach. The pool area is beautiful as well. One large activity pool and one large infinity edge pool. However, you do need to get to the pool by 10 or 11 if you want to get a chair with an umbrella. There are plenty of pool chairs overall, but after a couple days in the sun in Playa, you'll be looking for chairs with umbrellas. Another nice surprise was the saxophone player who strolls around the pool area two or three time a day in the afternoon playing music. There are also two smaller "hidden" pools on the grounds and one large pool by the fitness center....more pools than we ever had time to use. We tried most of the water sport they had to offer. We used the sea kayaks (which are free) and the jet skis (which cost $50 per half hour to rent). Had a good time on both. We also took out a Hobie Cat. The Hobie Cats are free to take out, however, you have to pay to take a twenty minute lesson before they let you take them out. That lession is $45. We paid for the lesson and then took one out. Had a good time, but one of the brackets broke while we were out in the ocean. We were able to rig the mast to get back to shore, but it was difficult (suggest you do a quick inspection of the mechanical parts of the boats before you take one out). We also got a day pass to visit the RH sister resort in Cozumel and took the ferry over. We were not very impressed at all with Cozumel or the sister resort. We stayed less than 3 hours in Cozumel before heading back (and only stayed that long because we had to wait for the next ferry). If we had it to do over, we would not have wasted our time going to Cozumel. We also went on the snorkeling trip offered at the RH. A boat takes you out for about a 45 minute trip to a small shallow reef area and you snorkel for about an hour or so. If you've never snorkeled before, it's not a bad beginner trip, but I was not overally impressed. If snorkeling is your thing, you might enjoy a day trip to Cozumel, just don't waste your time gong to the sister resort. It's at least a twenty minute cab ride from the ferry and there are plenty of beaches to snorkel at in Cozumel that are closer and prettier. The snorkeling trip from the RH costs about $40 per person. The resort also offers a dinner show a couple nights a week. We went on Wednesday night. This was about the only thing at the RH I was not impressed with. We left the show early and the food they offer is the buffet style and not at all the same quality as in their restaurants. The next day I actually began to experience some stomach problems which persisted for the rest of the trip (but for that one issue I would have rated the RH a five star). Overall though we had a great honeymoon at the RH and if we had it to do over we would definitely go back. The only thing I would change is that I wouldn't go to the sister Allegro resort in Cozumel and I wouldn't go to the dinner theater. Everything else was beautiful and I cannot stress enough how good the service was.
One other thing to point out, although tips are included, we still tipped some of our servers, not always, but especially the first couple nights. I think this helped get better service at times when a particular restaurant or the pool waiters were very busy. We didn't get bad service when we didn't tip for a particular service, but it certainly helped get some extra-special attention at times when things were busy. We booked our vacation through Continental Airlines (on their website), which was the best deal I could find, and had no problems with reservations, transfers, flight, etc. I think that's about it and I hope this helps anyone trying to decide whether this resort is right for them.

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2003

My husband and I researched for months about where to go on our honeymoon. We read trip reports, bought magazines, read books, etc. We wanted to make sure we had an incredible honeymoon, and we are both so glad we chose the Royal Hideaway. We had extremely high expectations, and this resort exceeded them. The service is outstanding, the service is impeccable and the atmosphere is absolutely perfect (especially for couples). This is definitely NOT the place to go if you want to party.
This is a place to go is you want a relaxing, romantic vacation. I won't go in to a lot of detail in my trip report; however, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have specific questions.

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2003

My wife and I stayed at the Royal Hideaway for a four day weekend , August 14-18 and had a fantastic time. Our only regret was that we didn't have more time. It was everything the reviews said it was and more. We did very little except relax on the beach, eat and drink.
Daily we would take one of the guest bikes into town and cruise around but that was the extent of out touring. One of the prizes of the trip were some solid brass pull knobs my wife bought for our bathroom in a little hardware store off the beaten path - what a deal. We, like many others are planning on returning next year.

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2003

The Royal Hideaway is absolutely incredible. My husband and I just came back 3 days ago from our honeymoon and it was certainly a first class trip! The beach is the best along the whole coastline! The service is impeccable! We kept remarking that everyone was incredibly nice and hospitable and that in itself made the trip perfect! I have never been so pampered in all my life! Plus, the food is to die for! From Asian to Mexican cuisine, the Royal Hideaway has it all. I hated to leave and am dying to return as soon as possible!

When you leave you are already planning when you can return next! If you go anywhere you are certainly going to miss out on a wonderful and relaxing experience!

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2003

My husband and I thoroughly researched hotels in the Playa del Carmen area and had it narrowed down to the Royal Hideaway and another. The Royal Hideaway was quite a bit more than the other and we had to decide if we wanted to spend the extra money. Because it was our honeymoon, we decided to splurge! Well, the Royal Hideaway exceeded our expectations. We're both 28 and look young but we were treated exceptionally well. In fact, the majority of the couples at the resort looked to be of the same age as us. (This was August and peak honeymoon season) The food stands out for me. I'm a vegetarian who eats seafood and I had no trouble finding food for the 2 weeks I was there. We like eating nice food and we both thought the food was excellent. Our favourite restaurant was the Italian one, Palazzo. A close second choice was the international, Ventanas. The Grill restaurant, is right on the beach and has a beautiful view. (It also has a terrific chocolate mousse dessert!) It's very romantic, and has open sides where a breeze comes in. The beach in front of the hotel is absolutely gorgeous and never crowded. We loved how close the hotel is to the town of Playa del Carmen. We walked into town with no problems. The personal service we received at the hotel was amazing. We never had to wait for anything! We booked both our excursions through the travel agent in the hotel. The first was Chichen Itza VIP tour and it was well worth the long (3 hour) bus drive. The second was a Tulum/Xel-Ha excursion, also a wonderful day. Xel-Ha was a lot of fun and your price includes snorkel gear, life vest, fins, a locker, towels to use and food and drinks. We were a bit worried about weather because Cancun often has forecasts of rain in August. In our 14 days there (August 10-24) it only rained a few times for literally five minutes! Then the sun would come out again. One day it was stormy all day but we were still able to take the ferry over to Cozumel and shop! All in all, if you can afford it the Royal Hideaway is the place to go. You just can't go wrong!

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5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2003

I have been to the Cancun region 3 times and are trip to the Royal Hideaway was my fourth but my first staying at the Royal Hideaway. I always come back to the area for the beautiful white sand beaches and turqoise water! We were on our honeymoon so we wanted to choose a special place. We were not disapointed!!!

The Royal Hideaway was an exceptional property with top notch service, food, amenities, grounds and of course the beach. The food was truly amazing with a large variety to choose from. Some of my fravorites were the Filet Mignon Steak at Ventanas and the Kahlua/Espresso Creme Brule at Azia. The restaurants service is what you would find at any top notch restaurant in North America. Live music was a nice treat in all of the restaurants as well.

The Allegria Bar is a perfect spot for pre dinner drinks and it is worth taking advantage of the high tea that is served every day between 4:00pm - 6:00pm outside of the main dinning room (tasty sandwiches).

The rooms are well appointed with large bathrooms and marble floors.
The maid service comes by twice a day with fresh towels. The balconies are generous in size.

The property is quite an oasis. I always felt very relaxed when I came back to the hotel from a day out on an excersion. The property had a feeling as though you were in your own little paradise with running water streams, small pools throughout the property and swaying palm trees.

The staff are obviously well trained. I found everyone (although I think the front desk staff could be improved) polite, helpful and friendly.

In conclusion, although you are paying quite a bit more to stay here than all the other resorts, you will not be disapointed. Be prepared to see many couples and very few families or partiers. Be prepared to be pampered!

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2003

My husband and I stayed at the Royal Hideaway August 18 - 25, we were married there on August 22. Truly an experience of a lifetime. All of the positive things you have read about this resort are true - it is lovely, the food is outstanding, the staff is incredibly friendly and service oriented, the beach is beautiful - one of the cleanest and nicest in the area known as Playacar where many of the AI's are located. We were treated so well - our wedding went off without a hitch and our pictures are incredible. (Also - we ate breakfast at Spices buffet every morning and never waited, literally, more than 2 minutes to be seated, so I guess it's all in when you get there, you know?)

We loved that this resort was on the smaller side - only 200 rooms as opposed to 1000+ at many of the other AI resorts in the same area. Made for a more intimate, friendly atmosphere.

The beach food and drink service was great .. always a waiter or two making rounds, asking you if you need anything. Never a wait for chairs at pool or beach, or a cabana/tent that a beach staff member sets up for you if you need some shade on the beach.

Lovely architecture ... impeccably maintained grounds. Loved the private relaxation pools and jacuzzis scattered around the resort...

Truly an outstanding, beautiful resort. One note ... our ground floor room did seem a little damp to me - (not shocking, given the tropical, humid climate the resort is located in) .. I asked for a dehumidifier for my room, it was supplied immediately - problem solved.

We will definitely go back. This resort is worth the extra dollars ...
the ala carte, great food - the beach food and drink service, the concierge in every villa .. I could go on and on (but won't). Plan your Royal Hideaway trip with no worries or reservations. It's fantastic.

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Additional Information about Royal Hideaway Playacar

Address: Lote Hotelero No. 6 Fracc., Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Resorts)
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#13 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#18 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Royal Hideaway Playacar 5*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Award winning luxury all inlcusive resort set along the beautiful beaches of Playa del Carmen Mexico. Ideal setting in a serene environment for complete rest and relaxation. Adults only. Member of The Leading Hotels of the World. 2008 winner of the coveted AAA 5 Diamond Award. 11 villas with private concierge are spread throughout the property's immaculate grounds. Six gourmet restaurants serve delicasies in menu-style dining. A full service spa offers the ultimate in papmering and body treatments. Personalzied service and attention to detail set this resort a world apart. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Hideaway Playacar And Occidental Resorts
Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hideaway Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hideaway Mexico
Occidental Royal Hideaway
Royal Hideaway Playacar Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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