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!
- 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
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- Also Known As:
- The Royal Sands Hotel Cancun
- Royal Sands Cancun
- Cancun Royal Sands Resort
- Royal Sands Resort Cancun