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“The Royal at Playa AND Cancun” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Royal Playa del Carmen

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The Royal Playa del Carmen
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Constituyentes Avenue #2, Playa del Carmen 77780, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #6 of 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
GreenLeadersSilver level
Long Beach, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“The Royal at Playa AND Cancun”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

I recently stayed at the Royal Playa Del Carmen AND the Royal Cancun, so i can give the plusses and minuses of both;

Food- They have the exact same restaurants and menus at both resorts. Some things were better at Playa and some at Cancun. Marie Marie is by far the best restaurant in both resorts. We loaded up on lamb chops, ceviche, and extra large shrimp. We also liked the Asian restaurant, although the sashimi was better in Cancun (tasted fresher). I wouldn't waste my time with the sushi in either place...boring, flavorless rolls with too much rice. Pelicanos is great durng the day, particulalry for lunch, although we occasionally had an early dinner there, then hit another restaurant later. The seafood broth is amazing...we always asked for habenero sauce on the side as we love a kick and this soup was fantastic. The ceviche at Pelicanos in Playa was much better then Cancun. The Italian restaurant was ok at Playa...didn't try at Cancun. We ate at the tapas place last yr and decided not to go this yr, although we heard good things. They have a Mexican (I believe) restaurant that we hated last yr (terrible service and food) so we passed this yr. The buffet was better at Playa...more choices and slightly better quality, but we typically only ate there for breakfast.

The resort itself in both places is beautiful. The place is kept extremely clean and the staff are unbelievably friendly and helpful. It is rare you will not get a Hola with a hand over their heart (their greeting). The rooms in Cancun have a better view as they are all direct ocean view rooms. Playa you have to pay extra for ocean view and direct ocean view.

The bars and bartenders are great in both offering well made and varied cocktails quickly.

The beach is wider in Cancun, but the sand is nicer on Playa. We play a lot of beach volleyball and you couldn't dive in the sand without cutting yourself up. The water in both places is gorgeous, but treacherous. In Playa there is lots of coral...look for areas to the left where most people are swimming to avoid getting cut up and/or hurt. The water in Cancun was crazy rough with a wicked undertoe. i spoke with the lifeguard and he warned of sinkholes to the right and really bad coral to the left. in the center, i felt the current immediately pulling me in 1 direction!!

The Nightlife in both places is ok, depending on what you're looking for. We are 2 single guys...THIS WAS NOT THE PLACE TO BE!! The resort in playa is filled with couples. The town has lots of bars and clubs, but it's a lot of very young kids (21-23 yr olds). The clubs, which we aren't fans of anyway, don't start jumping till 2am! We went out at 1230-1 and the clubs were relatively quite. We asked a bouncer and he said most people don't come out till 2-3am and then go all night. We've grown out of that so the nights for us weren't that great. We looked for the live music bars and there were several around, but again, many couples and families as well. Fusion in Playa is a very cool in/outside bar with live music that ranged from Mexican 1 night, to classic rock the next. They also do a fire show every night that was cool as well.

In Cancun, we took a taxi down to the bars/clubs. The taxis rip you off for 10 usd to drive maybe 3-4 minutes. you can walk it and it will take 15-20 min. When you arrive, you will be bombarded with guys trying to sell you wristbands to the clubs. We read different reviews and ended up going to Congo (could've been bongo...it was an open bar, lol) They said 20$/person and according to the reviews from others, you can talk them down to 15$, which we did. It was packed at first, but then a large group left and it was comfortably crowded. Again, not too many singles, but we ended up having a great time anyway. We left and my friend wanted to walk home...word to the wise, DO NOT get caught peeing in a bush, I foolishly did this in a thougtless drunken moment and turned around to police standing behind me (I think they wait and hide because they came out of knowhere). They threatened jail, so I had to pay them off...gave them what was in my pockets, so it cost me 50$ to take a leak! Ripped on my friend for being to cheap to take a cab, which I believe we even haggled down to 6 or 8$ (dont recall).

Water sports and lots more beach vball in Playa...also bars with live music
Overall we had a great time. I would recommend it more for couples...not the place for singles. The food, resort and service was fantastic. Beach was better at Playa. Nightlife was unique to each place and we made the best of it, but very different in both.

Room Tip: Cancun doesn't matter in my opinion...all direct ocean view rooms. Playa, try to get as close to...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
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Rating summary
  • Location
    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
    5 of 5 stars
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Salt Lake City
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

We decided on The Royal PdC after lots and lots of research for our destination wedding. Once we decided Mexico and the Riviera Maya was the location, we starting looking at all of the hotels. We then decided that we wanted to book an Adults Only property since 90%+ of our guests wouldn't have children. That still left us with a lot of options.

We decided to use a Travel Agency, and from reading reviews online and speaking with a couple of companies, we chose Beach Bum Vacation, and specifically Melissa at Beach Bums. What a great choice. Her communication was fantastic, and we had an updated list of our guests arrival/departure information almost weekly. This really helped our planning process because we didn't have to keep track of all of this. She does travel a lot, which I assume is a perk of the job, but even when her auto-reply would say she was somewhere tropical for a few days, we would usually still get a reply. They really seem to have the desitination wedding process down to a science. The prices she got us at The Royal seemed better than we were quoted from other agencies as well. So....we picked the Royal!

It couldn't have been a better choice. The best part is the location of the Royal. We had 55 guests join us, and most are in the 28-40 age range. Every evening a large group would walk into town (1-4 blocks) and hit up the night life. It's very nice not to have the stress of cabbing it into town each evening, and worrying about getting rip off on cab fares. Plus that can add up to $20 each way depending on where the hotel is. It was also nice to walk into town for a drink or two and then back to the hotel without committing a full day.

Because we were getting married, we had our onsite wedding coordinator Denys, and she was great. We brought her 2 large suitcases full of all our wedding decorations, and she took care of everything and didn't charge us extra for any of it. The ceremony on the beach and the reception on the beach were perfect.

All of our guests loved the hotel, and enough can't be said for the staff. We had a one bedroom master suite, #530 which was perfect. Overlooked the pool bar and ocean and the end of the hallway. And it was plenty large enough for all the bridesmaids to use it to get ready before the ceremony.

Mayer and Allejandro also helped us organize a night out at Coco Bongo. They met us all in the hotel lobby, and escorted a group of about 30 of us to the club. It was VIP service without paying the extra for VIP. We had our own balcony section of the club with a private bar area. It was great.

We loved the food and service at the restaurants, with Asiana being our favorite. They will not let you seat large groups, which was disappointing since we often had 10+ people, but we could sit near each other. This is understandable though.

We also arranged for the Royal Private Transportation, and Alex picked us up in a new Lincoln Navigator from the airport. So nice to have that as a welcome to Mexico, and made the arrival much less stressful. It's $99 but you can fit up to 5 people which seems like a decent price. He was great, and was also the same one who brought our luggage up to the room after check in.

We can't wait to go back to The Royal and celebrate anniversaries and other celebrations with friends.

  • Stayed February 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.
Burlington, Canada
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

When at the Royal on this our 6th visit my wife and I were so pleased by the warmth and support we recieved from front line service personalities.
Often contributions to service from staff like Jamie or Oscar both pool staff or Elizabeth or Prude bar or spa service staff like Isaic go unnoticed--it is the constant involvement with there own happiness and there desire to serve that emotionally accumulates until the most jaded traveler starts to share smiles with them.The often overlooked front line staff are a highlight at the Royal and their management should note that they too can be stars of the operation.

Room Tip: If you want a good veiw and sound of the ocean --choose ocean front.
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  • Stayed February 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

This review is from a trip in October of 2011, but we remember it well and did have a great time. We found there to be very few locations, such as restaurants, etc, that had air conditioning and in October, it was still real hot! There is not much night life here. Seems most folks dress up and head out the door to 5th Ave., which is just steps away, but why should you have to spend $ off site when at an all invlusive? There are bars open, but not very lively, such as a night club. We found ourselves heading next door to the sister resort to their beach bar with swings and a tiki hut. The place next door, which is family, versus adults only at the Royal, is there for your use of the restuarants and bars, but does not have the premium alcohol found at the Royal. Still good call brands, but no Ketel One, etc... We found this tiki bar on the beach next door a great way to pass the days, meet people and enjoy paradise steps from the ocean. At the time, Senor Dave was the bartender there and was the best! He is normally the main lobby bar bartender, but we enjoyed his service a ton! He spoke good English, told us jokes, kept the great drinks flowing and added so much to our trip. We also loved our room at the Royal. It was a basic Junior Suite with ocean view. Beautifully decorated inside with granite, beamed ceiling, great hot tub for two in the room looking out the patio and a great mini bar with four bottles of good booze ready for the drinking. A better stocked fridge with mixers would have been a plus. We called room service for juice one night before dinner, while getting ready, as we enjoy a drink in the room before heading out, and were told juice is only available at breakfast. This was disappoiniing, but there is more than one way to skin a cat. We ordered extra juice in the morning and put it in the mini bar for later consumption. Restaurants were good here, but not all aircontitioned. Pelecanos, was fantastic for all three meals of the day and you can get smoothies with breakfast that were delicious. French was great for dinner, so was the Asian. We were not fans of the bufftet, but that is not our thing, we always prefer table service. Room service took a bit and the food was not that fresh or hot by the time it arrived. We did like the size of this resort, relatively small with no long walks to anything. We very much would think about returning here again in the future. The sister resort, referenced earlier has an Italian and Mexican restaurant that are very good and just steps across the street next door. Mango Margaritas are worth a try! Service and staff were very good here. We have been to two other all inclusives since, Excellence Riviera Cancun and Secrets in PVR and we still really like this place by comparison. Do not waste part of your first morning with a "orientation" as this is a time share presentation, unless you are truly interested in that thing, was very overpriced. I already own one time share 2 property and this was no bargain and chews up roughly half your first day in paradise. Ocean was nice, beach too, but water smelled like eggs in spots. Not so badly you should avoid, but clearly there. Good value here for the money! Check it out!!!

Room Tip: Garden views, which are the least expensive room face the street...choose an ocean view for not much...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Suffern, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

We had a fabulous time at our second time at the Royal. We will go back again this summer! The Chef Fernando Estrada treated us as his special guest on one of the nights and made the highlight of our vacation. We felt like we were dining with friends and at the same time were treated like royalty. The food was exquisite, palatable and appealing. The staff went out of their way to make accommodations for our taste.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
New York City, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

it was our first time at playa del carmen and we decided for the royal, i was really like everithing,mi favorite restaurant was spice, thanks for all the staff
definitly we come back and when you go there you should to get a massage with mili or melissa both are great¡
by the pool mitch,alejandro,azu,armando and jaime make our days funny the only problem was the weather but all was fabulous,

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

My husband & I stayed here again because we love the place that much! It is luxurious and peaceful. All staff greet you by placing their hand over their heart while they say:"Hola!" or "Buenas Dias!" because it's from the heart! The grounds are kept to a tee where even the odd small iguana feels at home. The entertainment staff are only slightly over-shadowed by Luma in the coffee house where I looked forward to my daily, impromptu Spanish lesson! The beach is beautiful, the food a mixture of culinary delights and the top-shelf booze all add to making it a great detination. Of course being downtown Playa is also great

Room Tip: The smallest room is a junior suite and all rooms have their own jacuzzi and either a patio(ground f...
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  • Stayed February 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
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 The Royal Playa del Carmen

Address: Constituyentes Avenue #2, Playa del Carmen 77780, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#6 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#7 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Royal Playa del Carmen 4.5*
Number of rooms: 513
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
New redesigned and redefined THE ROYAL Playa del Carmen is one of the most successful resorts on the Riviera Maya. Guests will discover an explosion of luxury around every corner, all provided in an atmosphere of casual elegance boasting a perfect beachfront location, mere steps from Playa del Carmen’s famed Fifth Avenue. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Royal Playa Del Carmen Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Royal Porto Real
Royal Playa De Carmen
The Royal Playa Del Carmen Riviera Maya, Mexico

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