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.
- 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