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“Best Xmas Vacation Ever” 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 #10 of 201 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Charlottesville, Virginia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Best Xmas Vacation Ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

My young adult children (20 & 23 yrs old) proclaimed this was the best Xmas they've ever had...so much for instilling years of holiday traditions & ritual. But, I have to say our week at The Royal was wonderful. We were warmly welcomed, had two lovely rooms (with huge soaking tub and great shower) facing the pool as well as a peak of the ocean. All the food and drink you could possibly want at this all-inclusive. My son particularly enjoyed the 18 yr drinking age in Mexico. I liked the 16 yr and older concept.

Staff was always friendly and warm, pool time with sunscreen and library carts, games, water aerobics if you chose, absolutely beautiful ocean and beach just steps away. The big shopping street called Fifth Ave was also nearby which was a nice deviation for walking and souvenir shopping. Our favorite hotel restaurant was Asiana, although there were many to choose from at The Royal. We had a family massage (four tables side by side) in the gazebo on the beach which was fun (great massages by Lucy, Samuel, Denise, and Enrique!!)

Side excursions included swimming with dolphins, and snorkeling to see sea turtles, and later at a senote (fresh water cave) with stalagmites and stalagtites which was cool...although both were quite pricey. Overall, a great relaxing vacation. The only downside were the "pitches" to come hear how great it would be to buy a "timeshare" at The Royall, although the seemingly friendly marketing staff continually denied it was such a ploy. We basically dodged those that had tried to make a week-long connection with us, and it was annoying to have to do that while on vacation. I'll overlook this and rate The Royal the full five stars. My husband based on this negative experience, which he found offensive and harassing, would probably give just three stars or less. Take this marketing ploy out of the mix, and he would likely give it the full five star rating. My advice...just be prepared for this and don't let it get in the way of a really really good time!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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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Cocoa, Florida
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

Beautiful Hotel! Convenient layout, Outstanding Service, Comfortable and Luxurious Rooms, Great Food! We had rose petals on our bed every morning, the buffet restaurant had excellent selections, no skimping here. The other restaurants were excellent as well. there was a concierge at the end of our hall close to the beach, we didn't need to go to the main building to schedule anything. it had an extensive and reasonably priced gift shop, an activity room with snacks, drinks and game tables - great place to relax. Local shopping and restaurants were minutes walk from the hotels front door. Great room service. I can't say enough good things about the service. We were never without a drink, the staff was friendly and quick. Our room was on the first floor near the pool, while sitting on the patio waiting for my wife to get ready our pool waitress would see me and run over with my favorite drink from earlier in the day without me asking. Now that's the type of personal service you want on a vacation and only get in your dreams.

  • Stayed April 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.
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

We stayed at The Royal Playa del Carmen in December 2013. It was amazing from the beginning to the end. We upgraded our rooms upon our arrival, we were very happy with our upgrades. We had our own private pool in front of our room(s), with the upgrade, we were able to get rooms next to our friends, which worked out perfectly. The rooms were gorgeous, and located not far from the Spice buffet. The food at all restaurants was wonderful. I would advise, if there is something that you don't see on a menu, ask, they will probably find a way to make it!! Room service was also wonderful. My favorite place would have to Pelicano Restaurant. The waiters and bartender met us every night, knew us by name, had our drinks ready!!! Toto Prude, was awesome, best bartender ever. Showed us magic tricks, made me a hat to bring back to my daughter, he was just the best. Of course there were several others, Carlos, Yoli, Xavi, Paco, Charly, Erik, and Poot. I wish I could name everyone that did an amazing job, I could go on forever. I would recommend The Royal over and over again, great service, great drinks, great food, and most of all the people.

Room Tip: When you arrive to check-in, ask about up grades, usually not a lot more, but the locations or size...
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  • Stayed December 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
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Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

We stayed at The Royal on our honeymoon last week. It was our first all-inclusive and our first time to Mexico. We were in a regular junior suite on the 2nd floor. I was very impressed with the room (one king bed) and the view from our balcony. We actually found out from our neighbors that had we been one suite closer to the ocean, we would've had to pay for ocean view! However, every single day, construction directly outside our door began at 7 am sharp. It was incredibly loud and no one warned us. I think had we been warned, we wouldn't have changed our plans at all, but we definitely would've appreciated a call beforehand. Otherwise, the beach was wonderful, clean, and had awesome beds and waiter service. The bars all had extremely friendly staff and excellent liquor inclusions. We loved all of the restaurants, our favorites being Asiana and Maria Marie. The pools were very nice and not crowded when we were there, possibly due to weather. However, the hot tub was not actually hot, which was strange. All of the staff were extremely friendly and deserve a raise! The honeymoon package inclusions were decent and I would definitely recommend this to other honeymooners...we had a blast and would certainly go back. As I said, the only thing I was extremely disappointed in was the construction directly next door as they are adding on.

Room Tip: Rooms on the north side are SO loud, due to construction literally ten feet from the door.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
Monroe, New Jersey
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

We are a couple, both 25yrs old. I chose this hotel due to its location, popularity, and generally high ratings.

I will do a breakdown in detail of our stay and list pros and cons for a constructive review.

Lobby and check-in:
Pros: lobby felt grand as it was large with a high foyer and was open- air, guests seemed to enjoy the 3 bars in the lobby. Bell boy was friendly and concierge was lovely.
Cons: the chair colors in the middle of the lobby were drab and took away from the grandeur, the design and colors should be more chic and modern to match the beautiful lobby. We were sat down by a hotel rep trying to get us to go to a welcome breakfast (timeshare) but I had seen many reviews warning about this so we uncomfortably but politely declined.

Buildings: love the palatial design
Grounds: always kept clean, the decoration could use a little bit of help.
Room: We had just a standard room, but poolside would have been nice, be sure to do the online check-in starting 48h before your arrival so you can view and choose your room. We had limited choices as the hotel was close to being booked.
Pros: Spacious, marble-like floors and multiple large mirrors, shoe rack were nice. Bed was great we slept well despite being right next to the construction, it didn't disturb us at all. Wireless worked fine throughout hotel. Loved the jacuzzi hot tub for sore muscles after Xplor (adventure park). Mini bar was restocked daily and we def found it useful for snacks and drinks in between meals and a few shots here and there. We def took advantage of the room service for late nights and it was prompt, we loved the salmon parfait, penne arrabiata, club sandwich, and cheeseburger (it was delicious). Chicken florentina was okay, I wasn't crazy about the taste or texture of the chicken.
Cons: Balcony was a bit small. 32"TV is also on the small side for the room size, but we only watched it at bedtime anyway. Snack bars in minibar were dry. Turndown service didn't come with aromatherapy or bath salts unless we didn't notice? - I would have enjoyed that. Toiletries could have been in better dispensing containers. Towel animals were fun but had only 3 towel animals during our 5 night stay, 2 of them which were repeated. Robes were thin and not comfy. Wish room service had authentic Mexican food choices.

Beach: Gorgeous!! Got some really great pictures. As soon as the sun came out the beach was packed and everyone was happy. We were there early at 7am to soak up as much sun as possible. We had fun swimming in the waves, and there is minimum big rocks and seaweed. Our drink server Andrea was lovely and always smiling.
Pools: also great!! Got some awesome pictures as well. There's a smaller pool behind the lobby to the right which we took a dip in as well as no one was in it. Didn't like the potted plants around the main pool, didn't seem to fit the pool's appearance. Pools were constantly cleaned.

Food: Ate at every restaurant, most only one time so I can only base my review on one meal. We found the service to be great, the waiters genuinely friendly. We found most food to be good for an all-inclusive, a few oversalted. I really recommend adding authentic Mexican food as many of us love it! We didn't stay long enough to eat at all of Gran Porto Real's restaurants but I appreciated that access was included.
Pelicanos: had awesome calamari, great steak and shrimp here. The Riviera Mayan is a tri-colored sweet drink that I loved.
Tapas and Pinxtos: sad to say we ordered almost everything on the menu and liked very little of it.
Spice: buffet style, open for every meal but great for breakfast, bacon here is topnotch lol. Pancakes could use some help, dry and not tasty. Good variety of heavy and light, anything you would want for breakfast you would probably find here.
El Mediterraneo: buffet style, also very good. I love Mediterranean food as there are many spots around our hometown, but it didn't feel like we were getting Mediterranean food here.
Asiana: the fish curry dish was amazing, my shrimp in coconut sauce was salty, the tempura ice cream was small and had a very thin coat of tempura but was tasty.
Maria Marie: steak here was great, too. Creme brulee was okay.
Royal Coffee House: watched and admired as Luisa made our flaming coffees, they were delicious, def stop by here.
Cons: all of the restaurants' rolls were dry and not tasty. The restaurants generally could add a tad bit more variety.

24-hour lounge : We really liked this place for its convenience, loved the chocolate-covered strawberries and the tortilla chips with chili, cheese, and guacamole here! Cheeses, meats, fruits and cookies also found here. Alcohol and coffee available. Ping pong and billiards also found here. Julio was part of the entertainment staff and made sure everyone was having a good time despite it being rainy/overcast outside, which I appreciated.

Entertainment: Only saw 2 shows.
1. Decades: Great theme, great costumes, enjoyed some of the music, some standout performances, but dancers should practice in front of mirror to help with becoming more in sync.
2. International: Shorter and underwhelming, not to its full potential as an international show.

Location: Another highlight of the Royal Playa del Carmen is its location one block from Quinta Avenida which has all kinds of shopping from trinkets to souvenirs to stores back at home to upscale. There were also many food places and bars, we didn't venture into these unless for Mexican food. I liked to people-watch as well as it seemed ppl all over the world were walking on 5th Ave. We really enjoyed walking off our meals here during the day or night. Strolling through Quinta Avenida is a must.

Service: The staff here greeted us and was very warm towards us . It's evident that all of the staff work very hard to keep the guests happy.

We had a great time, the weather as always has a significant impact but we were lucky to get a few sunny days in to enjoy the beautiful beach and pool the Royal offers. I'd like the Royal to be more appealing to younger adults as well as I think it could potentially be popular for our age group. Thank you for a wonderful stay!

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Independence, Missouri
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

We enjoyed our family vacation at The Royal. The service and food was incredible!!! Everyone there is so into pleasing you its wonderful. The Asiana, Maria Marie, Il Pescatore- which is across the street at the Gran Porto Real -which you are able to go to also were absolutely delicious!! The room service is great and very quick. The beach is amazing and the pools are wonderful. They have a schedule for the week and you can virtually do nothing or take advantage of the fun activities they have. The gentlemen at the lobby bar and incredible and can make the best drinks you have every had. The only complaint my kids had was except for the 24hr lounge there wasn't any place for them to hang with friends late at night. The location is the best because you literally go out of the resort and you are right at 5th ave shopping. When I return I would definitely return to this resort. In one word "PERFECT"!!!!

Room Tip: The higher the better because you get a great view of the ocean.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fargo, North Dakota
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

We just returned from our third trip to RPDC. We went with two other couples and a single. We were delayed one day with another couple due to weather. Arrival at the hotel is as expected, a little confusion and then on to check in. As members, I guess we are supposed to get to check in at a different desk/area, we did not but one of the couples we went with did the day before. After we checked in, we went down to our room, about 5 minutes later the other couple that arrived with us (Our friends) opened the door to our room with the bellman. Oops, they put us into the same room. The bellman took care if the situation and got new keys for us as well as the correct keys for the other couple, we were in 630 and they were in 627. Problem solved.

We were kind of celebrating our recent engagement on 12/24/13 so we noted that when we checked in online. When we got to the room, there were two apples, a bottle of wine, a letter and a nice piece of cake. The kicker is the letter was addressed to another couple who were celebrating their honeymoon and the cake said something like Happy Honeymoon. Again, as a member I would have thought we would have got at least this part right, oh well it is only money right? So for the week we were Mr. & Mrs. Estrada, or Ponch as my friends called me. :)

The room was great, the bed was just fine. The mini bar was stocked with our extra requested items the next day. The only drawback was the construction that was going on right outside our door. Like clockwork at 630-7 am everyday the compressor would start and the noise would begin. This was really a minor issue in my opinion. Unless you stay in your room all day long, the construction is NO BIG DEAL. Others have said otherwise but like I said, unless you are in your room all day it is not really a problem. This was a swim up room that we only used once because of the weather, otherwise we loved the fact we had our own pool area. The only day it was sunny for us Friday 01/10 we had our own pool party after spending the day at the main pool. Ordered up room service food and drinks, perfect way to end the vacation.

We will be back in February and hopefully the weather cooperates. Other than that we really enjoy this resort, I just wish they would be a little more clear with members on the small perks we are supposed to get. I enjoyed the fact that my guests were treated better than the actual paying member was; they got a kick out of that too.

Food and beverage service is top notch and since our last trip, they have upgraded the alcohol selection. You can always find something you like here even if you are picky.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#10 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 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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