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“disappointed” 3 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 #13 of 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
st. louis
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“disappointed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2011

This was our third trip to the Royal Hideaway, and we were really disappointed with quite a few things. We go to the Playa/Cancun area at least once a year (for the past 10 years or so), and have stayed at quite a few places. Our favorite had been the Royal Hideaway. Lately we have also been to Excellence, LaBlanc, Azul Blue and Aventura Palace. While we pay more to stay at RH we have never minded, as the service, food and drinks all make it worth the extra money. This was not the case on this visit, and I wish we would have saved the money and went elsewhere, as the extras that made RH worth it, are no longer there.
The service has gone down drastically. While the people on staff at RH are still wonderful, there are not enough of them to give the type of service the hotel has been praised for in the past, and that repeat guests appreciate. (and is one of the reasons we have returned to resort in the past). Had I not been there before, and had we not paid more to return than we would have at most other places in the area, I might not think the service 'bad'- merely spotty, or not as good as I might like, but I probably wouldn't have written a review calling it out. As we had our expectations from previous visits, we were very disappointed. The hotel used to advertise they had 2 staff for every guest- the same cannot be the case now. One day at the pool we didn't have anyone take our drink order, or come by and ask us if we needed anything. The other days there were only 2 guys out there for both the pool and the beach, and orders (as expected) took a very long time. (the hotel seemed to be crowded during our visit, and the 2 servers were running their butts off). This was not the fault of the servers, it is the fault of the hotel for not having more of them. Yes, we did go up to the bar, but it was still a lengthy wait doing that ourselves. If we had gone to another hotel this would have been less of an issue for us, but again, we paid more to come to RH for the wonderful service we had on our prior trips, it was dissapointing to find it no longer there.

Our room- we got a room on the edge of the property, near the pool area. The view for our patio was the fence the back of the RIU property next door. On our other visits we had rooms in the middle of the property. Every night there was loud noise from the other resorts shows or nightclub or whatever thing was located over that fence. As other reviews point out, this is a very quiet resort. We went there for that reason. On many of our trips we go with groups of couples, and pick more 'lively' resorts. This trip was just my husband and I, and we were looking forward to the tranquility. If we were staying out boozing and partying until after midnight, the noise might not have been as noticable, but since we were doing the dinner, a few drinks, and back to the room thing, the noise from the resort next door was extremely annoying. Had we been there for any longer, we would have insisted on a room change, or left the resort to stay elsewhere. (we stayed 3 nites).

The food was another disappointment. It just wasn't as good as it had been in the past. However, it was still on par with many other all inclusives we have been to, it just wasn't as above the rest as it had been in the past.

In summary, I would not go back to RH unless I found a really good price on it. Secrets and Excellence hotels were both much less, and I would go to these hotels before spending the money on RH. Also, while it is not RH's fault that a neighboring hotel has loud entertainment, other hotels are more secluded- like around Maroma- and would ensure quiet once in your room.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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
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San Francisco
2 reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2011

I have been to Mexico 7 times and by far this is the best hotel I have stayed at. The staff will go above and beyond to ensure you are taken care of. They are sooooooo friendly, they get to know your name right away and will remember it so everytime they see me I would hear Hello Miss Scott. The food is wonderful, every single meal was amazing. I have stayed at several all inclusives and I have had mediocre food at most places, but the Royal Hideaway takes their cuisine to another level and the service at the restaurants is impeccable. The only downside is it was pretty dead when we were there so it was a bit quiet, it would have been nice to have more people around. Also, it definitely attracts couples so if you are looking for a singles hangout, you may need to venture into town in the evening. My girlfriend and I had 2 massages and they were soooo nice, I felt refreshed and relaxed. It is a very quiet hotel at night, meaning the entertainment is next to none, we had one show the 8 days we were there. They have a sister hotel next door you can go to for shows or the town is super close and they have a night life as well. The hotel next door the riu palace which I have stayed at has night shows but there food is mediocre! and the shows are loud and go until midnight to 1 am so bring ear plugs if you want to sleep :) The concierge service at each villa is super cool, they help with the booking of the hotel and coordinate any of your needs. All of the staff work so hard to make the vacation a real vacation and I really appreciate that. I would definitely go back to this hotel in a heartbeat. My husband is vegitarian and I asked if they could make special meals and the concierge informed me at the time of booking to call ahead and let them know and the chefs will plan meals for our stay. Now that rocks! The one downside is our room smelled like mold quite a bit, the smell would come and go. Of course, when I got home my clothes smelled like that. However, this is not the first hotel in Mexico that this has happened. The maids were exceptional, they cleaned in the morning and again in the evening while we were at dinner so our room was never dirty!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Dallas
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
181 helpful votes 181 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2011

We’ve traveled all over the world, but rarely stay at All-Inclusives, generally because of the average quality of accommodations and food. We generally also don’t like being tied down for meals. With our hectic life and pace recently, we decided to try an all-inclusive so we would not have to really think about anything or plan meals. We could just relax for a week.

The resort is beautifully landscaped. It is an older property but VERY well maintained. We visited during the second week in September, which I think is considered their off season. It was the perfect time. The resort was not crowded and we felt like we had the place almost to ourselves. Our room was spacious, comfortable and clean. The bathroom was almost the same size as the sleeping area and included a walk-in closet.

My past experience with all-inclusive hotels/resorts (many years ago) was that the accommodations could be average to nice, but the food was average or below average. Royal Hideaway Playa raised the bar to a whole new level. The location was perfect, the pool areas were gorgeous and the quiet, peaceful setting (at least at this time of year) was a hit with us. What really made this stay spectacular were the restaurants! The beautifully appointed décor of the on-site restaurants with their innovative menu choices, excellent food and presentation rivals and/or surpasses many 4 and 5 star restaurants. What a surprise to find this quality of restaurants in an All-Inclusive resort. Because it was the “off-season”, there were only two of there 5-6 restaurants open each night. We got to experience all of them with our length of stay. A concierge is assigned for each “Villa” at the Royal Hideaway. The concierge assisted with restaurant reservations and spa appointments.

The only buffet at this resort during our stay was the breakfast buffet. There was a large variety of fruits, meats, yogurt, pastries, granola, cereals and some traditional Mexican dishes and American breakfast items (bacon, eggs, sausage).

The other restaurants include Spices (with a Mexican menu, this is in the same place as the Breakfast buffet); Azia (Pan-Asian specialties and one of our favorites); Palazzo (Italian); Las Ventanas (our other favorite); The Grill (steaks, seafood grill, in the same place as The Deck during the day). The Deck which is right off the beach and pool area served food during the day until late afternoon. Their cerviche was the best I have EVER had with it's perfect blend of tart and smooth...delicious.

We travel quite a bit and from our wonderful experience with this resort, we are now willing to try other all-inclusives and especially Occidental properties.

  • Stayed September 2010, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Denver
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2011

Returned from daughter's destination wedding at the Royal Hideaway Playacar and all 54 of us had an absolutely unbelievable fantastic time. From the rehearsal dinner and wedding on the beach, to the wedding reception at the Grill restaurant, the resort staff did a fantastic job in serving our guests and providing a first class setting that we will all remember for years to come.
All of us are ready to go back and enjoy everything the resort has to offer all over again!
Thank you Royal Hideaway Playacar for all that you did to make the wedding such a beautiful event.

  • Stayed December 2010
    • 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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FashionTravelNYC
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2011

I just returned from a 2 night stay at the Royal Hideaway and I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of the resort. Overall I give it a 8 out of 10. You can tell the Hotel was built a while ago and there are some minor things that need to be updated (no flat screen TV's ~ but we didn't watch much Television anyways ~ some tiles here and there in the Jacuzzi didn't match the original, and some painting could have been done ~ beach chairs could be upgraded) The resort is well maintained and the staff is very pleasant. Some kids, but all of which were older and well behaved, mostly couples in the resort.

ROOMS:
We stayed in the standard room (which I was hesitant of) but it was lovely. The tub is small, but we didn't use it. The water pressure very nice, and never an issue with a steaming hot shower. The safe doesn't fit a computer and the room isn't very large, but it is well decorated and very clean. The beds were comphy and there is a cute Patio. BEWARE, some of the rooms do face the exterior of the resort and look onto the adjacent properties, but thankfully we didn't have one of those and ours looked onto the cute streams that flow through the hotel. To be honest I don't think I would do a higher room category if I were to come back...for the amount of time spent in the room, it well more then fine.

FOOD:
I must say the food was great. Their signature restaurant Las Ventanas was amazing. My BF and I decided that if we had ordered the meal we ate in NYC it would have cost at least $500...the quality was out of this world good and the food just kept coming...We like one of our deserts, so we ordered 2 more, never any questions asked, always willing and wanting to feed us more and get us more cocktails. Really Awesome. Spices and the Deck were the Day and Morning options. They were willing to makes me other eggs when I didn't care for what was offered at breakfast. Also grill some shrimp up when I didn't want to order from the menu. Very accommodating. For dinner the other night we ate the Azia the Asian Bistro. Good food, unfortunately we didn't get a seat at the Hibachi table, but we still had a great meal and the shots of sake flowed like water. Because of the great service we had especially at dinner we always took care of the serves ($20 each, which I think is more generous then most give...though they expect NOTHING and I think give fantastic service despite, they truly appreciated the small gesture!)

TEA TIME:
Go and have a flaming coffee, seriously Yummy.

GYM/SPA:
I normally use the gym and the Spa. The gym could be updated, it was a bit small so I opted to just exercise on the beach and the Spa was also small and could use a renovation...I didn't have any services done (they maybe fantastic, I DO NOT KNOW??), but after having just used the Ritz spa a day earlier I didn't feel this one stacked up for the prices they were charging...

LOCATION:
I love the little Playacar community. Across from the hotel is a Starbucks if you need your caffeine fix. And its a $5 cab rise to Playa Del Carmen if you want some excitement ( the hotel is fairly quiet and doesn't boast a night scene) But since PDC is so close you really get the best of both worlds. And its a short 45-60 minutes from CUN airport.

BEACH:
Look to your left, and then right. All the other beaches are completely crowded while the Royal Hideaway's ISN'T ~ thank goodness! We sat secluded from others close to the water. Unfortunately you can hear some of the NOISE (drinking games I assume??) from the other resorts. But You can have drinks and even lunch at your lounge chairs (if a bird doest try and snatch it from you) Beautiful white sands and very friendly beach staff to make sure you can relax and catch some sun!

OVERALL:
For an all-inclusive (this is my 4th I've stayed at) it is a great one. It deserves it's high marks. They offered great liquors and they truly were top self...Johny Walker Black label, 1800 tequila, Goose/Kettle etc. Lobster was missing unfortunately...but everything else was there. It is a bit old school (can feel a hair dated) But AMAZING VALUE, Great Staff and Location. I would go back and I think a great comparison to it would be the feel of a Four Seasons that is a bit older that includes food and booze...Not Bad :)

  • Stayed January 2011, 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
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Markham, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2011

We are a young couple who work hard in stressful job. The vacation was my gift for our wedding anniversary. I am the king now! She was surprise of the gift and was wondering why this hotel? I was looking for a small hotel (less than 300 rooms) where we could be relaxing together.....guess what the choice what perfect!

We stayed at hotel all week and enjoy the view, the beach, the food and the service. We went during the week of 10th-17th of December. The hotel was booked at 40%, the employee were working at 200%.

We tried the SPA and took the romantic massage. Very good and relaxing when you are in vacation.

When you reserve at the Palazzo, with the view of the Cozumel Island, you will be eating in Heaven. You dont fell like in an All inclusive restaurant. Try the Gnocchies and the Spinach Fettucini. The restaurant Azia...I was a little bit scared to order Sushies, but they were very, very fresh and good.

The Ventanas offer you two choice eat in the main restaurant or the Chef Table. We try both, but try the Chef Table (200$). You will be eating in the kitchen and will try 17th meals(small) and the Florian the chef will offered you the best innovation in you plate. You will be able to see him prepare all the meals and explain them to you. You need to try it....Dont expect him to yell like Chef Ramsey...Florian is pretty good.

At the Royal Hideaway you can relaxe everywhere, around the pool or Hot tub, at the beach, at the restaurant, in you room. The music is never too loud (sometime you will hear the music from the other hotel).

What else can I say. When we came back, I wanted to go back again at the Royal Hideaway..it never happen to us before. When you taste and relax in heaven; you want to go back again.

  • Stayed December 2010, 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
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NYC
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2010

Just got back from a 5 day stay at the Royal Hideaway. If you are looking for: outstanding service, great food, a perfect room, very close proximity to the beach and an infinity pool, then this place is definitely for you. The staff here could not have been more accomodating - just to give you an example, on Christmas Eve, there were set menus at the different restaurants, but unfortunately, due to allergies, we were unable to eat several of the main dishes (all included shrimp)...so the assistant chef met with us and created a personalized 4 course meal just for us, which was outstanding.

I reviewed several other hotels in the area, but this definitely offerred the best value. To be honest, I was expecting the food to be "cruise-like" - good, but not great. I was completely surprised - I live in NYC, and the Italian food at Las Ventanas and the Mexican food at Spices as as good or better than many of the best restaurants in NYC.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
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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 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 Luxury 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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