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“Lovely beach but restaurants didn't meet expectations.” 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)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 198 hotels in Playa del Carmen
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Lovely beach but restaurants didn't meet expectations.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

I choose this hotel for the choice of restaurants (5). Mexican was mostly closed and the one night we did go to it the room was very cold so not very enjoyable. We were there 2 weeks so it got a bit tiring having to anticipate choice and time of where we wanted to eat 3-4 nights ahead. I would have preferred to have one restaurant that was more casual that you didn't have to book even if it had to be a buffet. Particularly for the first night and if we had been out for a day's sight seeing. As we were there for 2 weeks the menu in the 4 restaurants need to either have more choice or be rotated each week. Probably more suitable to one week stay.
Also I didn't like having to queue for breakfast for 10-15 minutes even for an inside table. There was a second breakfast restaurant open a few of the days but it was a la carte only with not enough choice for me but my husband enjoyed the grandness of it and the poached eggs. Food in general was very good but not excellent. Portions absolutely fine. In many ways lunch was even better than dinner - more varied with a lovely barbecue some days. Just expected the restaurants to be a bit better with more choice on the menu and greater availability for booking.
Beach perfect - lovely sand, always a bed available, peaceful as no games or children, and regular drink service if required. Good beach towels from 8 in the morning. Afternoon tea was nice - I had a lovely Mexican coffee.
Very good choice and availability of drinks on the all-inclusive.
We used the bikes which was fun, but they were a bit basic for a quality hotel (but seemed similar to other rental bikes around). Nevertheless we enjoyed cycling the 10 quick minutes into Playa del Carmen several times and we were able to stop off at the local Mayan ruins on the way.
Rooms were very lovely - spacious with good walk in shower as well as a bath. Concierge always friendly and helpful, as were all staff throughout.
Took a taxi from the hotel to Tulum who waited for us - can't remember the price but was worth it.
As it is all-inclusive I found it awkward that many people still tipped at each service of drinks or meal. I prefer to tip at the end of my stay to a pot that is split among all workers, and to specific people such as the room cleaners. All-inclusive should take away the need to carry money but others tipping around us made it less relaxing. Happy to tip at the end.
Used the Spa which was very expensive and not value for money. Husband had head and back massage which was ok but not great, and my reflexology was not at all reflexology - just a nice foot massage and definitely not worth the money. We should have gone into town instead.
Good free wifi throughout even on the beach.
In general we were happy with our choice as the beach was perfect and quieter than the surrounding hotels.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (412)
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English first
Mountain View, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Hightlights

1) Beautiful Grounds and a very nice functional room, wet bar all
inclusive was nice touch. They knew it was our anniversary so they
prepared a nice bath and decorated the room.

2) Overall food and drink quality was high

3) The Beach is the best in Playa Del Carmen.

4) Never too crowded despite being there in a peak season. Always a
table available.

5) Location was 20 minutes walk to 5th Ave. in Playa Del Carmen

Lowlights

1) Its a 55+ kinda joint

2) Service at the front desk was slow and left a little to be desired

3) Spa services were very pricey

4) The Club Royale show was absolutely atrocious

5) The hot tubs weren't that hot and the pool wasn't heated.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Royal Hideaway is one of the most beautiful hotels I've ever stayed in and I travel extensively and stay at top rate hotels. The facilities were gorgeous and the staff was exceptional. When you arrive at the main building you are greeted upon check in with a glass of champagn. Checking in easy and you are given your room assignment. The rooms are spread out over the hotel grounds in two story buildings which have approximately 10 rooms. Each building has its own concierge. The walk though the grounds to get to your room, the beach or pool is about as romantic as you'll ever find with small bridges, fountains and lush grounds. The hotel is all inclusive and you have a choice of several restaurants which are all amazing. No matter how much you try you cannot have a bad time at this resort. If you're looking for a romantic resort where the ambience, food, service is par excellence don't even hesitate or look anywhere else cause it just doesn't get better than this.

Room Tip: Rooms on the 2nd floor have a better view but there are no elevators so you have to climb a flight o...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

It was divine......great service......good food......but almost too "upscale". When on vacation it would be nice to not have a formal dinner reservation every night, but as an option be able to go to a causal restaurant in your dressy shorts and have a light dinner. Especially on the night you arrive and you are disoriented and dead tired. I believe that every resort should have a bar by the pool or near the lobby, with bar stools to sit and chat and have a casual drink with other guests. The only entertainment during the day was a few staff members and a couple of guests singing "Love Is In The Air", which became pretty tired by day three. PS - they need good pillows rather than lots of teeny, tiny ones.

Needs a little tweaking!

Nitely entertainment was minimal

Room Tip: We were in the back forty. There are only three buildings close to the beach, pool that are worthy...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

We stayed at the Royal Hideawy over the Christmas period, I did research the hotel prior to booking it. I think our disappointment is a personal opinion in this case.
Arrived at the hotel the lobby was a little different, very old fashioned we had a private transfer so there was only the 2 of us but had to wait 15 minutes to check in as there was only one person there and they were dealing with a couple who I think were complaining about something, not a big deal.
Room was clean and basic nice but nothing spectacular there is definally room for improvement for the money paid.
Breakfast was served in a great location pretty much on the beach so great foods, service as excellent for first 4 days the last 3 a little slower maybe due to more people arriving due to Christmas. Lunch on the deck again pretty much on the beach was a great location, same menu every day which toward the end getting a little tiring especially if you are a chicken and salad type person.
Restaurants were pretty good, service in all dinner restaurants was excellent, by far exceeded my expectations.
Christmas Eve dinner was the worst I have ever had, the show at the Theatre was ok, the Christmas dinner was a choice of seabass or Turkey, we both ordered turkey it was terrible it was a slice of turkey roll stuffed with I have no idea what it was but left a nasty taste to the turkey even after you scraped it out, some other stuffing thing on the side and puree potato.
Room service great only ordered once but decent menu and timely.
Beach was lovely kept very clean, pool was spotless ther isn't a swim up bar but there is a bar at the side of the pool.
It is a very quiet resort both during the day and evenings, there isn't a lobby bar but a small bar Allegria (i think it was called) where you can sit outside they do have entertainment but not until 10pm there is nothing prior to keep you going, needless to say we never made the entertainment so can't comment.
Overall review,
Very clean, excellent service, on a great beach, clean pool, decent food, very quiet, (I like some quietness but this was too quiet) I found it way overpriced we paid for 1 week from Toronto $3200 per person.
Still a nice resort but not for us, I for sure prefer secrets maroma, Excellence Playa Mujereles and the Iberostar grand.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

We holidayed here 24 November 2012 - 8 December 2012. Having done LOTS of research on the internet we finally chose the Royal Hideaway for our 2 week break. Not fans of All Inculsive resorts we realised that in Mexico its pretty much the rule. We did not expect the food here to be as superb as it is. Every single restaurant serves amazing food. We regularly dine out here in London so have fairly high expectations but can honestly say the food at RH was truly delicious, fresh and wonderfully presented. Along with the fabulous food came great service. On occassion when the restaurants were busy the service slowed a little, but this just allowed us a little more time to rest between each fabulous course. Staff were attentive, warm and incredibly professional - and this was at all times of the day! Jesus the "Captain" who runs the breakfast and lunch restaurants (Spices and The Grill) is brilliant. Engaging, friendly and efficient. He runs a tight, happy and professional ship - all his waiters/staff are efficient, friendly and courteous. Truly first class service.
The staff in general are fabulous. We stayed in Casita 24 where our concierge Hector couldn't do enough for us. He was excellent. He even helped my partner organise a surprise for my birthday with flowers and balloons in our room. Nothing was too much bother for him and he did it all with a smile.
The hotel itself is large enough without being one of those soul-less monstrosities which you often encounter in "resort" destinations. The gym was small but well equipped. The spa was a little expensive but worth treating yourself to. The choice of restaurants was good; although do make sure you book as soon as the reservations open on Saturday (for the week) as not to disappoint. The few bars they have are small but if you're there for a relaxing holiday then they are more than adequate.
The beach is fabulous. Beautiful white sands, turquoise clear waters and no children. The waiter/beach service on the beach makes it even more special. If you can drag yourself away from the beach then Monica in the travel centre can help organise some excursions. She was incredibly friendly and helpful - definitely no hard sell. The three trips we went on during our stay were definitely worth leaving the beach for and definitely worth the money (snorkelling in Akumal with turtles, baracuda and a huge variety of fish was just stunning).
The only slight negative was the other guests but this was towards the end of our stay, when a few groups of American tourist arrived. They were loud, brash and often rude to the staff. The Royal hideaway has a relaxing, exclusive intimate vibe about it. They obviously had booked the wrong hotel as they were wanting a party atmosphere 24/7. It didn't ruin our stay as it was the last three days of our holiday.
That said, we had a truly fabulous relaxing time; great weather, food and first class service made this such a memorable holiday.
(one thing to note is that the sun rises early and sets very early too - around 6pm. The sun loses its intensity from about 4pm. So if you love the sunshine/heat like me you struggle after 4pm. We were told that in 2013 the government has agreed to put the clocks back to help remedy this)

Room Tip: Our room was 2425 which was closest to the sea with a side balcony that had a sea view which we didn...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 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.
Denver, Colorado, United States
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

I would like to start by saying that the hotel is beautiful, the rooms great, and the food excellent! Having said that, our vacation lost some of it's luster do the the surprisingly poor service that we experienced our entire week. I had stayed at somewhere in the neighborhood of a dozen high end resorts/hotels in the Riviera Maya area, and one thing that has always been consistent is the amazing service. I think everyone will understand what I am speaking about. You know how when after a couple of days during your stay, when you come back to your room, that it has many things in there that you have asked for during your first couple of days? For example, we drink quite a bit of water. We had to call every day to ask for 6-8 bottles of water, and never once did they restock our room. Annoying! Plus, every day we had to call to ask for fruit in our room. Annoying! How hard after a day or two of requesting this, is it to supply our room each day without having to make a call? Every resort in the past it was always done that way. How about reservations for dinner each night: Every night we would request a time between 7:00- 8:00 PM. We were told only only 6:00 PM or after 9:00 PM! The first time I asked our concierge to special request a 7:30 PM time and after much ado was able to make it happen. Low and behold when we got to the restaurant, it was empty! This happened every night we were there, why??? Finally our person concierge did not call the travel agency to arrange departing transfers and they ended up calling me. We requested a late checkout of a measly one hour, and when he never got back to me, I called personally to the front desk. They gave us our request, however when walking by our concierge later on he vehemently said they could not do the late checkout. We said they already gave it to us. As many of you can imagine and probably know from experience that Mexico fine hotels never are like this, and I hope this is a one time situation for us, but it really took away from our total experience of what otherwise was a great hotel experience.

Room Tip: Request third floor for the high ceilings!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Royal Hideaway Playacar

Also Known As:
Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Hotel
Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hideaway Playacar And Occidental Resorts
Royal Hideaway
Royal Hideaway Playacar Occidental Hotel
Royal Hideaway Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hideaway Mexico
Occidental Royal Hideaway
Royal Hideaway Playacar Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
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:
#5 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#13 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#17 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 
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