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“The Best Food Ever” 5 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)   |  
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Ranked #15 of 199 hotels in Playa del Carmen
Edmonton, Canada
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“The Best Food Ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

It's taken me awhile to write my review because I don't know what I can say that will add to all the already great reviews and information already detailed for the wonderful Royal Hideaway Playacar. It really is a great resort, perfect really. The location is absolutely fabulous. I loved being able to walk into Playa whenever we wanted. The size of the resort is perfect. I love the smaller, more intimate, and quiet atmosphere. The service was simply out of this world. Our concierge was awesome and made everything that we asked for happen. Every night he'd put a few glasses of wine in our bar fridge for me. On our anniversary our room was filled with balloons and champagne. And every dinner request was met without any problem at the restaurants and the times we wanted - even when we asked to change reservations on short notice to dine with new friends that we met. As noted, you can make reservations before you leave home and all of our requests were honoured.

We stayed in building 24 which is the closest to the beach and the pool. It was great but there are very few ocean view rooms here and our balcony faced directly onto foliage blocking the resort next door so we didn't ever enjoy our balcony which is usually something we do every evening. There is a lovely little lounge area past the Deck with excellent views of Cozumel and a very nice, quiet place to enjoy a before dinner drink though.

The pool side service during the day was absolutely fabulous. As noted, mid morning fruit kebobs are brought around as well as wonderfully smelling, chilled face cloths. In the afternoon they will bring around a water mist spray to spray your face. When you get up and leave your chair, by the time you get back a pool concierge has been there and flattened and tucked in your towels to your chair. It was amazing! As hard as I tried, I couldn't get the towels to tuck in like that!

We found the rooms to be just beautiful, spacious and lovely bathrooms.

The best part of this resort, hands down though, is the food. You won't even believe it. It's like dining in a five star restaurant every night. And I'm a foodie. It was really that good and the food is the most important part for me. Las Ventanas, their signature restaurant, was far and away the best. They have a goat cheese arborio rice with wild rice and an almond foam that my mouth still waters for. And the rack of lamb is just amazing! We also very much enjoyed our dinners at the Italian and the Japanese restaurants and the Grill was very good as well which we understand has recently benefitted from a change to their menu. They have a gorgonzola shrimp appetizer that was to die for.

During the day, the Deck has a great pool side menu (the Calamari is excellent - you must try it)! Spices was only open for lunch a couple of days that we were there but we did go one day and had the beer battered shrimp and mahi mahi with a chipotle aioli which was just outstanding! The buffet breakfast at Spices is also awesome. Las Ventanas was not open for breakfast while we were there nor was the theatre.

So, do I have any complaints? I do have one. And it's really a personal issue that others won't even notice and many will disagree with me on. This resort is so high end, so impeccable in every way, and I think if they addressed this issue it would really cater to the high end clientele that they serve. When you arrive at Spices for breakfast you are asked if you want to sit in the smoking or non-smoking section. We, as well as many others we saw, asked for non-smoking so we were seated inside (no air conditioning) instead of on their beautiful deck with the beautiful view and open air which we love on vacation. On the following day, we asked to be seated outside. No one smoked out there at all during the whole week we were there except once. That day we heard others complaining about it as well. On the third day, we weren't asked if we wanted smoking or non-smoking but rather whether we wanted to be seated outside or inside. Now don't get me wrong, I agree that smokers are entitled to an outdoor space where they can smoke, but it shouldn't be the only outdoor eating area available and to the disadvantage of the non-smokers. Unfortunately, this was also the case at the Deck and all of the outdoor tables. All tables had an ashtray on them including on the chairs outside of Spices where no one sits, all the outdoor tables in the lobby area, in the tea area, and (understandably) outside the bar. The funny thing is there were very few smokers there so it seemed they were catering to a clientele that isn't really there. I personally just found all the ashtrays around to bring the level of class of the resort down. I would suggest that when someone asks for an ashtray in an outdoor location they should be provided one but to have one on every outdoor table everywhere was unnecessary for such a classy place. But I'm partiuclar and just don't like the look of them.

Other than that, an absolutely perfect resort!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalHideaway1, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Dear SunSeeker37,

What a detailed review! Thank you very much for your comments about our resort and we appreciate the time you took to write this review. We love to pamper our guests, and we’re thrilled that you had a memorable wedding anniversary at the Royal Hideaway.

Thank you for your suggestions on the smoking/ non-smoking area. We do our best to accommodate all guests, and I have discussed this with our manager as we’re always looking for ways to improve. In regards to the view, we wish we could provide all our guests with full ocean views however this can be a challenge. We encourage our guests to request any changes while they’re at the resort, as we will do our best to provide a solution.

Our Executive Chef was delighted to hear your comments about the cuisine. We have a very wide variety of gourmet dishes to please everyone´s palate. Also we have The Chef’s Table that is a very unique experience. The customized dining experience offers guests the opportunity to interact with the resort’s executive chef and his team while enjoying unique dishes created exclusively for the Chef’s Table.


We’ll keep the sun shining for you at Royal Hideaway!
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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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Vancouver
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

We have been to PV and Cabo, and decided to try and Mayan Rivera. We ended up and the Royal Hideaway in Playacar and loved it. The staff are wonderful and really make the difference! The hotel is small and personal and the staff want to genuinely help you whenever possible. We were concerned about reports of construction noise from other hotels nearby that are renovating, but we heard nothing! The hotel properties are just too large. You can hear some music occasionally from the hotel next door, but it was absolutely unimposing. It was quiet and relaxing. The hotel only offers rooms to 13 and older, so families with little ones should look elsewhere. It is on a very nice beach opposit the island of Cozumel which you can see. It is 25 minutes by foot from Playa Del Carmen via the beach. It feels safe as well. We really liked our villa which was 27. One tip I would give is to book a dinner reservation for the day you arrive by phoning the local number during the daytime from home a few days before you leave. It is worth it. The food is very good, but you do need a res for the dinner restaurants. Breakfast is buffet or room service (which was good also). Lunch is a la carte or occasional buffet poolside as well. There are 5 restaurants to choose from. Overall a very nice hotel!!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
RoyalHideaway1, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Dear 3096yew,

Thank you for your sharing your experience with the TripAdvisor community. It is nice to know you are exploring all Mexican beach destinations and that you finally came to the Mexican Caribbean, the Riviera Maya specifically.

We strive to provide a paradise at Royal Hideaway, especially with our location and incredible staff. We all truly enjoy working here, and it shows in our dedication to our guests.

We love that you walked to Playa del Carmen, as it’s a great place to explore. We also recommend renting our complimentary bikes to take down town or around the Playacar residential area.

You’re right that our a la carte restaurants require reservations. We recommend emailing services@mx.occidentalhotels.com, before visiting the next time. We’ll gladly make the reservations prior to arrival.

We hope to see you again in Mexico soon!
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Chichester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

Just back from a wonderful week at the royal hideaway. Lovely superior room close to sea and one of the many pools. Nice to have personal concierge who solved any problems. Superb fine dining evening restaurants. Excellent attentive service. Beautiful beach front location. Only slight negative was occasional noise from adjacent hotels but nothing the R H could do about that. Superb gardens and grounds. Lots of returning guests - always a good sign. Thoroughly recommend it for a peaceful couples holiday

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Ontario
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

This resort was fantastic!
We were initially concerned with our choice after reading reviews stating there was little to no night life. Although this is true, these reviewers failed to mention that the dining experience every night far surpasses what any evening show could offer.
The staff were very attentive, truly the 'royal' treatment.
We returned home highly recommending this vacation spot to all our friends and family.
We look forward to returning for our 1 year anniversary.. and 2nd .. and 3rd .. :)

Room Tip: Rooms close to the RIU may hear noise from their activity pool, ask to be on the opposite side of th...
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  • Stayed June 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalHideaway1, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Dear n-kharpers,

Thank you for choosing to stay at Royal Hideaway for such a special occassion, and for providing other readers with your recommendations. We’d have to agree that we’re the best place for a relaxing and wonderful honeymoon.

In regards to our night life, we do have nightly activities in the Allegria Bar ranging from special duets, karaoke, trivia and more. The Allegria Bar is open from 6:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. It’s the ideal spot for a beverage before dinner and to unwind after a delicious meal with low key entertainment.

We look forward to welcoming you back every year for your wedding anniversary.
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Memphis, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Perfect place for a honeymoon. They treat you like royalty. I like it, because it isn't a huge Sandals resort where you are just a number and 100s of people are staying there. It feels much more intimate. They really make your experience one-of-a-kind. They care so much about wanting to give you a fabulous experience and will pull out all the stops. When we arrived, two men greeted us at the taxi/shuttle to take our bags and hand us champagne. Yes, please! Then, were taken to our room where they showed us where everything was and all about the dining options. Our concierge booked all of our meals, and the meals were OUTSTANDING. The italian place was our favorite - sit on the patio if the weather is nice. Beautiful views of the ocean. The food all week was really stellar. The tequila was always top shelf, and drinks were readily coming. I did not want to leave!

  • Stayed December 2011, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalHideaway1, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Dear camacita202,

At Royal Hideaway, guests are royalty to us! Our goal is to ensure guests have an incredible experience with top notch service, and we’re thrilled to hear we achieved that with your stay. We think our resort is perfect for honeymooners too!.

Palazzo, our Italian restaurant, is a favorite among couples. The tables on the terrace offer impeccable views and you can actually see Cozumel right from your chair.
We’d love to help you celebrate your first wedding anniversary, and our concierge can help plan an unforgettable experience.
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Lincoln, Nebraska
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

We went on a grown up only vacation to Royal Hideaway and loved it. We went over Halloween 2012. The beach was near empty and the hotel was at 30% capacity. It was wonderful. The food was surprisingly good. We especially enjoyed the the Grill. Some reviewers have complained about the resort being boring but we wanted a relaxing trip without parties or noise and this was perfect.

Room Tip: To avoid the noise from the resorts next door stay in the middle of the resort. The second floor ro...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalHideaway1, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Dear Kelly N

On behalf of all the Royal Hideaway staff, I would like to thank you for staying with us, and for providing the TripAdvisor community with your recommendations. Also our entertainment is low key, although we offer dancing lessons, yoga, water gymnastics, bingo and darts during the day and have live music including piano, saxophone, guitar, harp, dj or karaoke at night
We are looking forward to having you back soon!
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Texas
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
256 helpful votes 256 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

We stayed at the RH from 6 Aug – 5 Sep 2012, our thirteenth summer in a row. Each year we stay for about three weeks, so I consider myself something of an RH expert. Every year I say how can it get any better, but it does. I am just blown away! There is not much more I can add to the previous posts. They are all mostly correct, but I will attempt to clarify and explain the changes this year, as well as the impact of the present economic crisis on RH.
We are always excited to return, as many friends we have met at RH return during the same period as well. When you have so many return guests from year to year, it speaks loads for this resort and their service.

I want to stress that the offerings of the hotel are seasonal dependent. More guests mean more and different services. We were in low season, so take this review with that in mind. I have repeated some material here from my review from last year, but feel it is worth repeating for the benefit of those contemplating visiting this property. Keep in mind that low occupancy means more relaxing and impeccable service.

WHAT’S NEW?...

New lounge chairs around the pool areas. Much more comfortable. Also new side tables with glass tops.
New colorful lighted fountains in the front large pond.
It’s nice to see the property being cared for and updated!


OCCUPANCY

There are 11 villas on the property (200 rooms) capable of housing an average of 400 guests. This includes six two story junior suites and two Presidential suites. During our stay this year, the resort averaged about 50-60% occupancy. They located the guests in the front villas closest to the ocean. Another “smart thing” that RH is famous for. Why keep all villas opened with a concierge in each with maid service, if the occupancy is at this level?

I love the small resort concept. Been to the mega resorts and they are just too impersonal and crowded. At Royal Hideaway, it’s personal. They make it a point to remember your name and strive to make your experience a memorable one. Need or want something? Just ask…
FYI; if you ever find yourself needing medical attention, don’t worry. I saw a lady who needed medical attention by the pool on her lounge chair and within minutes, the pool concierge was right there administering first aid and the lifeguard was there stat stabilizing the situation. The doctor was immediately called. All seamless. Impressive…

RESTAURANTS

All restaurants are enclosed and air conditioned except for “The Grill” (it’s the pool snack bar…”The Deck” during the day. They spiff it up at night).

ALL restaurants except for the breakfast at Spice’s (buffet style) are “order off the menu”. For dinner, reservations are required and there IS a dress code. Study up on that, because if you’re not dressed properly, you won’t be seated. My suggestion to guests is that they make all their reservations as far in advance as the RH schedule allows for the time you want. If you wait to make reservations the night before or the night of, don’t be surprised to learn that the only time left is for 9 or 10 pm. You’re forewarned…Customer service can make your first several nights dinner reservations before you even leave home. Email them for details. You’ll find the dining experience formal. Waiters are dressed in tuxedos and the tableware is first class. Be prepared to spend several hours for dinner. Especially in Azia’s. Relax. You’re on vacation.
The resort observes a dress code for dinner of casual elegance. Men are required to wear collared shirts, long pants and closed shoes for dinner. Jeans only permitted at the Grill & Spices. It’s enforced, so don’t embarrass yourself by failing to bring the proper attire.

Due to the low occupancy, RH did another “smart thing”. They had only two (or three, usually) of their restaurants opened per night. While we were there, Las Ventana’s, their signature restaurant, was almost always opened, and they rotated the second/third restaurant every night through their remaining five. Most guests stay at RH at least a week, so you would be able to eat in all of the restaurants before you left.

For breakfast, only Spice’s (the Mexican restaurant) was opened. It is the only restaurant that is buffet style with omelets made to order. When occupancy is up, Las Ventana’s is also opened for breakfast (order off a menu). We preferred Spices for breakfast with more choices and a beautiful beach/ocean view.

For lunch, we had a choice of two restaurants; “The Deck” (the pool snack bar) located on the wooden deck by the infinity pool and right by the beach. If you prefer, they also have open-air inside seating. Spice’s Mexican restaurant, upstairs from “The Deck”, was our other option. We normally alternated days between “Spice’s” and “The Deck” for lunch. Spice’s was air conditioned and was a nice break from the hot summer sun, and the menu was extensive and creative. They had the best soups and salads on the property at lunch. But make sure you are dry and covered up when you dine.


Here’s a little secret. If you know they have ingredients for something you crave, but is not on a menu, ask them if they can prepare it. I like BLTs. I asked, and it appeared. Something more complicated that may take more time to prepare? Get a manager at the restaurant and explain what you want. And if you don’t like the sizes of the portions you get, ask them to double it, or reduce it. Don’t like how something tastes or prepared? Get a different entrée or ask it to be re-done to your liking. They want to make you happy and will do everything in their power to see it happens. Just be nice, patient and respectful and make sure your request is properly understood. Sometimes they appear to understand, but it loses in the translation. YOU are a guest in THEIR country. Play nice…’nough said.
*NOTE*
This year there was a new executive chef; Chef Eugenio Villafaña. He is in the process of re-making most of the menus. The first one was The Grill (dinner)/The Deck (lunch) menus. While we were there, this was the most popular restaurant due to his creative menu change, leadership and direction.
Spices was closed during our stay as the menu gets a drastic makeover. Good move. Can’t wait to see what he’s done on my return visit next August. The other restaurants are next. This executive chef rocks!

Now the really good part! If you are a foodie, you will do this. Las Ventana’s has something called “The Chef’s Table”.

http://www.royalhideaway.com/chefstable/main.html
And this is their Facebook page;
https://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/TheChefsTableAtTheRoyalHideawayPlayacar?fref=ts

This will cost extra; $150 per person, or $200 with wine pairings (check, the cost may have changed). The menu is custom prepared and changes each time it is done. Have requests, or don’t really care for something? Communicate. They will do whatever you want and will work with you. Let them know ahead of time. This was a highlight of our stay. The Executive Chef Eugenio Villafaña and Sous Chef Jose Manuel Morales Garcia cook for you before your eyes in a special glassed in room in Ventana’s kitchen with your private, dedicated waiter. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss if you’re a gourmand. Check out my video on this experience;
https://vimeo.com/48614066

If you’re lucky and the occupancy is up to 50-60%, you may be able to enjoy “Paella Day” or “Grill Day” around the pool for lunch. They set up the barbeque on the deck and cook it right there! On “Paella Day”, they bring in the gigantic paella pan and add chicken, mussels, chorizo, langostinos and shrimp, scallops and rice! On “Grill Day” they have Mayan chicken Argentinean white chorizo, ribs, arrachera and if you want something else grilled? ASK! This was FUN!!! Check it out;
https://vimeo.com/47428013

Mid-morning around the pool deck, the pool concierge comes out with her fruit cart. A variety of fruits and a chilled towel is offered. You’ve been working hard! Enjoy…

ENTERTAINMENT

This is a very quiet, laid back property. The only entertainment you will find on property is in the “Theater” for a dinner show once a week and every night there is something going on in the Allegria Bar. Night life at the RH is seriously lacking, I know. Want it? Take a $6 cab ride to town (Playa del Carmen), including tip, and hit 5th Avenue. You’ll find what you want…This resort isn’t a party place…

BEACH

WOW! Just WOW! The beach has been reclaimed! I’ve been coming here for 13 years, and I have never seen the beach so deep as this! Just gorgeous! No giant sand bags, no interference with the view. You can get help with a cabana for two to protect you from the sun and a couple of lounge chairs right on the water’s edge. Oh…worried about food and drink issues so far from the pool snack bar? Not to worry! Pick up a black flag (ask your pool waiter) on the way out to your “spot”. Waiters regularly service this area. Want something? Put the black flag up. They’ll be there! Check out my beach video!
https://vimeo.com/48300439

Water aerobics are offered in the morning, and there are other activities you can get involved in, only if you want. There is NO pressure here. The pool concierge, your villa concierge, or the water sports folks can help you with any activity you crave (tennis, golf nearby, table tennis, crafts, cooking classes, Spanish class, deep sea fishing, etc.). Check out fun water aerobics!
https://vimeo.com/47908704

TO TIP OR NOT TO TIP?

We have been asked about tipping at RH numerous times. I understand the property is at the upper end of the price scale and tipping may be the last thing on your mind. What we do, is tip the maid, concierges, the pool and dinner waiters, and the entertainment. The amount isn’t important. The tip is important, because it shows your appreciation for what they do. Do what you can afford, but do. The maids are working behind the scenes but their tasks are the most time consuming, so we are more generous with them. That is our take on the tipping, and it is appreciated. What you do is up to you, and you will get the same service if you tip or not. In 13 years, I’ve seen tipping guests and non-tipping guests, all are given the RH treatment. Follow your heart in this matter.

Here’s a few links I think you’ll like;

Live cam, Royal Hideaway. Not a very good picture, but you get an idea…

http://www.royal.collatio.tv/

Here’s Royal Hideaway’s Facebook page. “Like it” and scroll down on the right side of the page where the guests posts are until you come to my video and picture posts; a day by day photo essay for 28 days…starting at the beginning of August 2012…

https://www.facebook.com/RoyalHideawayPlayacar?ref=ts&fref=ts

And some video coverage on Vimeo. You can scroll through many videos about Royal Hideaway from a guest perspective feel free to view other videos on this property from my Vimeo page;
https://vimeo.com/48070083

SECRETS OF RH

I posted this last year (the secrets of RH), but I think it is well worth repeating, because you may have missed that post.

1) Make your own happy hour in the early evening outside on the lower deck at the end of Spices Mexican restaurant facing the ocean on the padded wicker chairs. Very quiet and romantic. Watch the sunset. Get beverages from the pool bar area and take up with you. Waiter service not usually available there. Champagne is a nice touch…We go when Spices or The Grill is open, then you can get beverages. Nice breeze, nice view, always quiet and secluded. You newly marrieds would love it. DO THIS.

2) Did you know they have “tea time” here? It’s from 4-6 pm every afternoon at the front of the property, just before you walk out the front. I know what you’re thinking. “Yeah, right…tea time”. Do it. They have several flaming Mexican coffees that they prepare before your eyes, a sax player plays, the champagne flows, the finger sandwiches are eaten…whatever you want. Not just tea…nice break from lying around by the pool or beach. Just sit down at a table. I suggest the breezeway. Nice breeze. The waiter will bring everything to you. No need to serve yourself. Enjoy my video of a Mexican coffee being made before your eyes!
https://vimeo.com/47799144
https://vimeo.com/47478729

3) Two desserts you must try. Are they in any of the restaurants? No. Only in room service. Order these; Opera cake and Tres Leches (three milk cake). We liked the Opera cake the best. Another good thing from room service? Their chicken soup. Wings are good, too. Want those for lunch? Ask for them at The Deck or call room service and have them delivered there, they’ll magically appear! You can order room service at The Deck at lunch if you want something from them, which is not on The Deck menu. Ask your waiter or manager.

4) Bring mosquito repellent for the porches, tea time, the Grill and Allegria bar. You will be happy you did.

5) Get an insulated mug for your cold beer or beverage. I suggest a Starbucks stainless steel insulated mug or similar. They are all over, but get a stainless steel insulated one. You won’t regret it. It’s hot, and drinks get hot very quickly. A MUST! I’m serious! DO IT... You won’t regret it! (They just built a Starbucks across the street to the left in the strip mall at the very end. Yummmm…).

6) Spice’s has the coldest beer on the property.

7) Have a special request for your in-room refrigerator? Tell them how you want it set up. Like all water, no sodas, just particular kind of sodas, beers (what kind do you want? I liked Leon)…ask them for the selections. They have many American beers, as well as Mexican and ?

8) All rooms have free wireless internet. They have a business center with 4 computers, but they sometimes get crowded. Bring your laptop. Then you can download pixs and vids to it and share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

9) Want to call back home but are stressed because of the cost? Like $1 plus per minute for cell phone calls? Install Skype on your laptop. If someone else has Skype, you can talk for free. If you have a webcam, you can talk and see for free with a Skype user. If the party you want to call doesn’t have Skype, signup for a Skype monthly subscription. Call back to the USA for $2 for a month, $3 for the USA and Canada! You can cancel when you get back home. It will only cost you $2 or $3 for your entire vacation, unlimited calling. Can’t beat that! I do that every year. Here’s the link;

http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/prices/pay-monthly/

10) Can’t get that pool umbrella up by the pool? Ask the pool concierge or any other staff and they will do it for you. No umbrella where you want to lay? Ask!!

11) What are those large guinea pigs called running around the property at dusk and dawn? These are called sereque. They are protected by the Mexican government, but, I hear, are quite tasty….

http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photos/medium/48183637.jpg
12) If you go out the front gate, cross the street and hang a left, you’ll find a strip shopping center where you can find most of your touristy stuff without the hassle of going into town. They don’t bother you and the price is the price. Much more relaxing shopping experience.

We already made return reservations while we were down there. Many of the first time guests said that they were returning as well, because of the service, the attention to detail and the ambience. Hope to see you August 2013. I’ll bring the chicken, La Guardavida “Pepita” to save anyone in the Infinity Pool, if need be. She is always on duty 10 am until Tea Time at 3 pm. God bless and hurry down. This is very relaxing, awesome experience. Enjoy!

Please feel free to contact me if you need further information, pictures or videos of this property.
Room Tip: Get a room away from the Riu property next door if you're bothered by their entertainment. The rooms in the center of the property are quieter, but the Riu noise doesn’t last too late…

  • Stayed August 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 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalHideaway1, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Dear alienpilot,

Wow, what a review! Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed review. We are truly humbled by your words and grateful for your continued loyalty.
Detailed reviews like this are so valuable to potential guests. Guest satisfaction is our top priority, and we do our very best to keep the hotel updated from little touches like the lounge chairs to full renovations like our spa. It is very gratifying to know that the Royal Hideaway team’s efforts continue to exceed your expectations.
Please know that while some of our venues are closed seasonly, our service is always personalized and top notch.
Chef Villafaña has already made his mark on the resort’s popular interactive dining experience, in addition to adding vegetarian options and, coming soon, a raw food experience. He’s also working closely with the culinary team to increase the use of organic ingredients. In his short tenure, he has increased our offerings and now 60 percent of our produce is organic. The goal is to be 100 percent organic with all ingredients in the near future. Under his direction, the team has also added gluten-free and no sugar-added items to the popular High Tea menu, and cooking classes for guests are in the planning stages.
Regarding the Chef Table with Chef Villafaña, you are right. It is a must-do! The customized dining experience offers guests the opportunity to interact with the resort’s executive chef and his team while enjoying unique dishes created exclusively for the Chef’s Table.
As for the entertainment at our resort, it is low key. We focus on relaxing activities. However, we do have live music or karaoke every night in our Allegria Bar.
We’ll keep the sun shining for you at Royal Hideaway!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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)
Phone Number:
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:
#11 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#13 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 On the Beach 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*
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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hideaway Playacar And Occidental Resorts
Royal Hideaway Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hideaway Mexico
Occidental Royal Hideaway
Royal Hideaway Playacar Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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