We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“close to perfect!”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 15 more sites!
The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive
Ranked #19 of 182 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
buffalo, NY
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“close to perfect!”
Reviewed February 25, 2008

My family and I ( Me, husband, 13 yo son, 10 yo dgtr) just returned from a wonderful week at the Sands, feb. 16-23. We rented a 2 BR villa in the H building directly from the owner.

LOCATION: excellent. Less than 20 min. from the airport, about the middle of "the 7" so easy to go north or south on public bus, kukulcan mall right next door.

GROUNDS: The Sands is on a nice stretch of coast that still has a beautiful beach (at least it did when I was there). However, it has alot of "hardscape" and not alot of garden area. The buildings are just plain white stucco and lack that mexican flair. It actually looks kind of like a hospital to me. I really disliked the flat roofs on the 2 swim-up bars in phase one also. The thatched roof in phase 2 is much nicer. Just my opinion. This would NOT deter me from staying here again, however.

ROOM: Clean, big, huge balcony, well equipped kitchen. The H building gets plenty of sun and is the closest to the beach without directly facing the beach. It gets very windy so I don't think I'd want to be beachfront. Plus we could look over the main pool and have a great view of the gulf and beach. A/C was quite loud. I had to turn it off at night because it kept waking me up when it kicked on. Wireless internet in the room would be a welcome addition.

FOOD/RESTAURANTS: We thought we'd need to take a trip to walmart but it wasn't needed at all. The on-site store had everything we needed. We purchased breakfast and lunch foods, drinks and alcohol here. Reasonable prices too. We did eat lunch beachside a few times (grouper sandwich is great). Take-out chicken and ribs and pizza was convenient and inexpensive, but just OK tasting. We did attend the outdoor grill night by the pool which was nice. Ate the rest of our dinners at off-site restaurants; Thai (amazing food and atmosphere - my favorite), Laguna grill (very good but not spectacular) and Hacienda sisal (fresh guacamole prepared tableside was delicious). Speaking of Hacienda Sisal, we enjoyed the mariachis but after that came the most bizarre performance I have ever seen. An entertainer ( Not from the mariachi band - we think he may have been british??) proceeded to do impersonations of Elvis, Roy Orbison, Sammy Davis Jr., etc.. We couldn't stop cracking up! We looked around and other people seemed like they were actually enjoying it but honestly, it was awful. Awful in a funny way. Talk about ruining the mexican atmosphere!

BEACH: We loved it. Even after 10:00 am we were able to find a palapa. The waves were big and great for body surfing and we had yellow flags every day. The surf is very rough at times, even for adults, even when the yellow flags are out so beware.

POOLS: We only used the phase 1 side pool and it was huge and warm. People do play the towel game but we were still able to always find loungers on the sunny side or the shady side.

SERVICE: Excellent. Front desk, waiters, bartenders, maid, tours, transfers - all excellent. Our stove and the tv in the 2nd bedroom stopped working (no big deal) but were fixed immediately.

ACTIVITIES: There really is so much to do and not enough time to fit it all in in one week. We attended the welcome party, used the snorkel gear and the tennis equipment. My daughter and I painted some masterpieces in the pottery tent and really enjoyed that. I would have liked to go to the taco party but it was at pancho and willy's at 1:00 pm. I didn't want to change and get on the bus for a free taco. If it was at the sands I would have gone.

TRANSFERS: Thomas More did a great job. We were supposed to arrive in Cancun at 9:30 am saturday and didn't get there until 2:00 am sunday morning (long story) and there they were, still waiting for us in their yellow polo shirts. We also booked a trip to xcaret through them which was very nice and alot of fun.

OTHER: Our personal concierge was very helpful in making reservations for dinner and tours for us. She did become rather pushy with the sales pitch. I realize that this is part of her job and I expected her to ask if we were interested. She REALLY wanted us to go down to the Haciendas for the day. We politely declined and thought she would leave it at that. No such luck. She continued to push for 2 more days and actually asked my husband "What are you afraid of?" (At that point I was afraid he would stop being polite!) I have to say, this was the only negative thing I have to say about the Sands.

Overall, this was a great trip and I would definately return!

  • Liked — beach, pool, villa, service
  • Disliked — pushy sales
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank trippin101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

3,921 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    2,548
    870
    311
    118
    74
See reviews for
1,722
1,214
47
12
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,122)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Muncie
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2008

After finally arriving on the 9th, we were happy to see that the beach, while not perfect still had great swimmable areas. There were also yellow flags all week. Enjoyed cocktails and first happy hour that day with complimentary chips and salsa. Service was impeccable as usual. Met our concierge Ivan on the first day. Right away we knew that he was great. We stayed in a lock off, and asked him to get us some glasses and silverware for eating and drinking in the room, and he had it there in 5 minutes. I can't say enough about Ivan. They should give him a raise. We enjoyed the beach almost every day, and met some great friends from Michigan. The drinks were awesome. The maids kept everything tidy in the rooms. The food at La Veranda was the best it has ever been. The char hut and the food we got on the beach was awesome. Probably the best hamburger I ever had in Cancun, came from the char hut. I also have to say that we made two trips to Pancho and Willy's to hear the band Flashback and I must say, that this is one of the best cover bands, I have ever heard. I hope they are still working there when we go back. The bottom line, everything about the sands, is first class all the way, and I hope to spend many more years at this chain of resorts. Didn't hear any construction noise all week, but there always people cleaning and working to keep everything as well as your stay as nice as it can be.

  • Liked — Service
  • Disliked — Leaving it
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Danman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa ,Ca
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2008

We have been trading into Royal resorts for years . Do You Know You can trade into a week at Royal by a vastly less costly way . Buy a really cheap used Time share & simply exchange , Used trade in time shares can go for as little as $3000.00 a week . Check Interval International. Why Pay $ 30000 for one week ?We had major problems staying at the Royal Sands .during our week in 2-08 .Our area was very dated , with 19 inch TVs ,but really clean . Below us construction began on Wednesday -jack hammers &pounding on the pipes which continued in our room for 3 days .What was Royal management' s response ? We were offered breakfast . Pathetic .

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — Construction
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank Eiselen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utah
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2008

My husband and I traded our timeshare to go to The Royal Sands in Cancun for our 10th Anniversary this past November. We have never been there before and I can't wait to return! We absolutely loved The Sands! The staff was so fantastic and friendly. The resort was kept very clean. We saw many of the staff cleaning all day long. I was very impressed by that.

After being there for a couple days we went on an excursion to Xel-Ha that our concierge had booked for us and we had a fantastic time. I really wish we had signed up to swim with the dolphins. I definitely would do that if we went again. I was really glad that we only went on one excursion. I think that two excursions would be the most I would want to do in a week. We heard from a few people that had been on three or four excursions, that they were burned out and wished they had given themselves more time to relax. We really enjoyed staying at the resort. The food was good and the environment was very relaxing. We enjoyed eating there at the restaurant. You have to try the Loaded Nachos! They were so good I ate them almost everyday. You also have to try the Vanilla Monkey drink. We also went to Captains Cove a few times and Hacienda Sisal. Both were very good. Of all the Royal Resorts we visited while we were there, The Sands was our favorite and we would definately go there again.

The only disappointment we had, was that you have to pay to use the workout room and spa facilities. It just seemed unnecessary to charge your members or customers. Other than that, we had a perfect stay.

  • Liked — We loved how clean and nice the resort was.
  • Disliked — That you had to pay to use the fitness and spa facilities.
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank UtahWildchild
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
REEDS SPRING
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2008

We traded our timeshare week for a week in Cancun at the Royal Sands and for this being the first time we had ever attempted to trade a week, we were very pleasantly suprised. The Royal Sands is one of about 7 or 8 Royal resorts in the area and one good thing is that you can use the facilities at all of the resorts as long as you are staying at one of them. We found the personal service to be outstanding and the number of staff to guests was very high compared to most other resorts. We were in the lock off portion of a full room which was adequate except for the beds. Hard as a rock. Other than that, the vacation was great. The beach in front of the resort has become a bit rocky due to recent hurricanes and the Cancun beach as a whole is not what it was 3-4 years ago. It seems that over half the beach has been washed away. Still plenty of room to stretch out and have a cocktail under a palapa, but not what I remember. The water is usually great and the staff also does work hard to keep you entertained if you camp out near the pool area. Free beer and drinks on Sunday afternoon and free chips and salsa for happy hour every day. The food from the pool bars is adequate and priced about how you'd expect for a resort. $5 - $8 US for most burgers, salads, etc.... if you like HOT salsa you'll have to ask for it, the standard is pretty simple pico de gallo.

If you have an sense of adventure at all, don't miss the free sailing lessons and sailboats on the lagoon side. Just sign up at the activities center and away you go. They have little sunfish boats and great instructors even for a complete beginner. You'll be sailing around the lagoon before you know it. If you're a golfer, there are some local courses and the resort will provide you with taylor made clubs for free to use for the day if you like.

There is a small store on site that is reasonably priced, but the restaurants are nothing to write home about. We had a great time taking the local bus R1 from right in front of the hotel downtown Cancun and eating local. The bus ride is about 65 cents and the food downtown is authentic and much less expensive than in the Hotel zone. If you hop off the bus near the city hall and just walk around, you will find numerous restaurants and if you walk across the park, there are several more. Just ask the consierge. Our criteria was that the place could not be more than 25% gringos for us to eat there. it worked out great.

Day trips to cozumel for some scuba diving or Xel Ha (pronounced shell Ha) are amazing. We are experienced divers and Cozumel is definately world class. Xel Ha has a little something for everyone and the tour desk also has a trip that combines cenote swimming, kayaking, repelling and jungle tour all in one day. Amazing.

There is a little bit of structured events that are really a lead in to get you to look at a timeshare purchase, but we found them to not be high pressure at all. If you want to talk to someone about it, make sure you ask them to meet about noon and at least they'll buy you lunch while you chat.

Great trip......again, don't miss the sailing or the bus rides downtown for dinner.

  • Liked — Location, view and service
  • Disliked — Beds
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank shometravelnut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2008

Originally, I was booked to stay at the Marriott CasaMagna, but when I found out that my in-laws were going to join us, I had to change my plans to accomodate more people. I rented this resort from one of the timeshare owners and had a wonderful time. The on-site market was so convenient to get food, water, liquor, snacks. There were a lot of available activities available that you would never get bored. My wife and her folks did water aerobics in their ginormous pool. The rooms were always clean and clean smelling (no mold/mildew) like in some other hotels we stayed at. The sunsets were beautiful but my favorite spot at the hotel has got to be the balcony. Every baclcony has an ocean view. Oh it was heaven...

  • Liked — Not all inclusive!!! Yeah!!!
  • Disliked — business internet cost is expensive!
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank nubux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2008

Are you you like me? You saw that the Royal Sands was ranked #1 in TripAdvisors Popularity Index with the Ritz-Carlton #2. You looked at the average price compared to the hotels ranked below it and said to yourself, "I've got to check this out."
That's when you ran into a roadblock. You checked a few travel websites and didn't come up with any availability. That's because the Royal Sands is mainly a timeshare resort. You can rent a room from the resort's own inventory, but in my case I rented from a timeshare owner. One neat thing about that was there was no hotel tax to pay. Also, the owner we dealt with gave us a rate that was significantly less than the rate quoted by the resort itself (if it had availability during the week of 1/19 -1/26, also known as "week 3", which it did not).

There are beachfront villas and oceanview villas. We rented a two bedroom ocean view villa. It was wonderful. We were on the 8th floor with views of the main pool, lap pool, and beach.

One caveat: if you prefer swimming in the sea rather than in the pools, I suggest you take the free Royal shuttle to the Club International Cancun which is another Royal Resort. Because the CIC's beach faces north rather than east, the waters are calmer. On the other hand, if you want to go to what I consider to be the most beautiful beach in Cancun, take the R1 bus down to Club Med. You won't be disappointed. Don't go there, though, if you would be offended by the occasional topless sunbather. Off the east side of Club Med's beach is a reef so you can bring snorkle gear if you want to see fish. The beach is public so you won't get hassled there, but you may get prodded back to the beach by Club Med security should you stroll onto their grounds.

I digress, back to the Royal Sands: Housekeeping is great. Our housekeeper, Emmanuel, probably spent close to a half hour in our unit every morning. He'd make up the beds and change the towels; he'd wash the sliding glass door and patio furniture on the balcony each day. One in our group decided to sleep on the sofa in the living room rather than on the drop down, murphy bed--he made up the sofa each morning, tucking in the sheets just like it was a bed. On Friday, he went so far as to take all the clean glasses out of the kitchen cabinet and washed them by
hand--even though the unit has a dishwasher.

The kitchen in the villa is fully equiped. The only thing we needed to buy was paper towels. While the villa is stocked with packets of dishwasher detergent, you might want to bring or buy a bottle of dishsoap, if you want to wash a few things by hand.

There is also a laundromat on the premises, so you don't need to overpack.

While there is a grocery store on the property, you will get better prices at the downtown super WalMart. Just hop the R2 bus at the bus stop in front of the Royal Sands and it will take you across the street from Walmart. Let the bus driver know you want to get off at Walmart and he will alert you, but the chances are you will have plenty of company getting off there as well. The cost is only 6.50 pesos or approximately 70 cents. I highly recommend the pastries and rolls in the bakery. An added benefit of traveling to Walmart: Walmart offers the highest exchange rate that I saw--10.90 pesos/dollar. Next best was at the Royal Sands, itself, 10.70 pesos/dollar. ATM machines and currency exchanges typically offered 10.65 pesos/dollar

The Supermercado 28 is only about three or four blocks from Walmart. There is an internet cafe in the north east section of the supermercado that offers DSL internet service for only $1.00/hour. Compare that to the $5.00/15 minutes at the Royal Sands.

Other perks of staying at the Royal Sands are that we got free use of snorkle equipment for the week; one hour of sailing lessons or sailing per day; free use, one hour per day, of tennis balls and rackets (if you are a tennis player who wants to play more than an hour per day, I suggest you bring your own racket and balls) and free use of beach towels. There are several activities for kids and adults each day such as pool volleyball, salsa dance lessons, blackjack or texas hold em poker lessons, movie night, casino nights, and tennis tournaments. If you miss an activity at the Royal Sands, don't worry, you can catch the free shuttles to the other Royal resorts in the hotel zone and do the activity there.

Not to brag, but I won a free tee shirt in a tennis tournament and one of my traveling companions won two free lunch buffets for winning the blackjack tournament. We also got free drink coupons for filling out customer satisfaction surveys and two free breakfast buffets for meeting with a Royal Sands marketing rep. The sales pitch is extremely low key. They don't so much try to sell you anything, but are just there to answer any questions you have. We were done in less than half an hour.

There is a beachfront welcome party on Sunday where you get free beverages, a free taco party on Monday or Tuesday, and a free wine tasting party. Oh yeah, guests also receive free gift baskets with toiletries in them from their personal concierges.

Our villa cost us $1400 for the week. There were five of us so it cost each of us $280 to stay at the sands and partake of all this--a great deal and a great time was had by all.

PS: If you're on a budget and you get "sticker shock" from the restaurant prices, know that there is a discount card available on line that allows you to get two meals for the price of one at several local and US chain restaurants. You can use the card over and over at the same restaurant, if you find one you really like.

  • Liked — wonderful property at an great value
  • Disliked — some of the activities needed better execution
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
18 Thank ephmanMassachusetts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Cancun hotels
3.0 mi away
Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun
3.3 mi away
The Royal Cancun All Suites Resort
1.3 mi away
Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun All Inclusive
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.1 mi away
Le Blanc Spa Resort
Le Blanc Spa Resort
#1 of 182 in Cancun
5,626 reviews
1.1 mi away
Paradisus Cancun
Paradisus Cancun
#22 of 182 in Cancun
8,737 reviews
0.6 mi away
Hard Rock Hotel Cancun
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive

Property: The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan km 13.5, No. 32, Seccion A, Segunda Etapa | Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77504, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#14 Family Hotel in Cancun
#18 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#19 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#21 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive 4*
Number of rooms: 340
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive, one of the best All-Inclusive resorts in the area, sits at the center of Cancun's spectacular Caribbean shoreline with breathtaking views of white sand and turquoise waters. With a privileged location, five-star luxury, a world-class Spa, tempting dining choices and activities for all ages, The Royal Sands has everything you need for your next Caribbean vacation. Enjoy fine dining, activities and amenities offered by the REFINE All-Inclusive package. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Vacatia, BookIt.com, Expedia, TravelUp, Travelocity, Hotwire, Orbitz, Hotels.com, HotelsClick, Cheap Tickets, Cancelon, Jetsetter, TripOnline SA, getaroom.com, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Royal Sands Hotel Cancun
Royal Sands Cancun
Cancun Royal Sands Resort
Royal Sands Resort Cancun

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing