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“Royal Sands, an awesome place to stay in Cancun!!!”

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The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive
Ranked #21 of 177 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed March 4, 2008

We typically vacation in the Summer months, but chose to try the "High Season" in Cancun this year. We were fortunate enough to rent the Royal Sands online from an existing owner for a fair price. We stayed with another couple, who are very good friends and we all had a great time. We had pretty high expectations going in, with all the rave reviews about The Royal Sands on tripadvisor. #1 place to stay in Cancun, beating out The Ritz Carlton.

Well our expectations were exceeded. We really have nothing negative to say about The Royal Sands. Let's start with the praises. The pool is top of the line. Heated, massive, infinity pool with two swim up bars and a lap pool semi connected. The coolest feature is on both long sides you can put your plastic lounger down on raised platforms within the pool, so that you are partially in the pool yet lounging on a much more comfortable apparatus then sitting on concrete. Fantastic feature that more new resorts ought to adopt. The Spa has to be one of the best on the Yucatan Peninsula. Top of the line offering every professional service, whether a simple massage to aroma therapy all the amenities and much more. The sports/activities desk is top notch. Free use of golf clubs, tennis, snorkling equipment and much much more. I especially liked the golf outing they scheduled on Thursday at a much discounted off the regular rates at Pok-ta-Pok golf course.

The main restaurant, La Veranda was very nice, offering a full buffet and ala carte breakfast each morning. We were there Valentine's week and they had a nice candlelight dinner by the pool, featuring excellent grilled seafoods and various cuts of meat on Thursday evening. The Hacienda Sisal is on the property and features a traditional Mexican show Mon. & Wed. and a Caribbean show Tues. & Thur.. We attended the Mexican show on Wednesday night and were quite impressed with how professional and well presented the show was. The show featured traditional costumes, culture and dances of all the regions of Mexico, opening up with top-notch Mariachi performers. They offered a traditional fine Mexican food buffet and all you can drink adult beverages in the main showcase area, with ala carte in the outer rooms. The Sports bar was sizeable, with large screen projection, and a sufficient amount of other TVs along with pool tables and Dart Board area.

The resort has an onsite very well stocked convenience store and a nice boutique shop. The service was outstanding. Everyone who worked at The Royal Sands was very friendly and there to serve your every need. I had a minor problem with locking the electronic safe and each time I called the desk a service person was there in minutes and quickly reset the safe. I believe now it was user error, not a faulty safe. :o)

The villas were top of the line, very spacious with marble floors throughout, with a King Size bed in the master bedroom and private bath. The lock-off side has two queen size beds and private balcony. A full kitchen in the common area between bedroom suites, along with a nice size sitting area, dining area and two additional murphy beds. We were in a penthouse suite on the ninth floor overlooking the pool and the views of the Caribbean were fantastic!

We stayed at the Royal Islander down the road in 2006 and even though we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there, The Royal Sands topped it in just about every facet. We have to hand it to the management of the Royal Resorts, as we are so satisfied that we plan to return and stay at the newest resort, The Royal Hacienda near Playa Del Carmen in the early Fall.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank Caribbean_Crazies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,649 - 3,655 of 4,392 reviews

Reviewed February 26, 2008

We stayed at the Royal Sands from February 16-23, 2008. After reading reviews for the past 8 months, I wasn't sure if it sounded too good to be true. Well, let me tell you, the Sands lives up to its reputation and often exceeds it. We have a family of five including three teenagers. The full villa was the largest room we have every stayed in anywhere. Two bedrooms - one with a king size bed and the other with two double beds and two murphy beds in the living room, full kitchen, huge patio with chairs and a table, and two bathrooms! My kids loved the pools and loved the waves at the beach. However, the beach is very rough - perfect for them but a little overwhelming for me. Only on the last day were all red flags up meaning you could not go in the ocean at all. We have never been to Cancun before so I don't know if that is common or not. The pools at the Sands are huge so we never had a problem getting lounge chairs or feeling crowded even though it was school vacation week. Happy Hour is great from 3 - 6. Huge drinks for half price. The kids could get two for one non-alcoholic fruit drinks for $3.50 which is unheard of in the US.

Maid service is great - they come every day except Sunday and do a great job. Our concierge was Joselo - he helped us out with reservations to Hacienda Sisal (which was good not great) and gave us advice on a tour. We saw Tulum and Xel-ha which I would highly recommend if you are travelling with kids. I think all day at the ruins would have been too much for us. We also sat in on the time share presentation (by choice - very low pressure) because we wanted to learn more. We didn't end up buying one but strongly considered it. People who own at the Royal Resorts are absolutely passionate about it and love it!

The location of the Sands is great because you can walk to a few restaurants off property and easily take the bus down to the club area. We hit Margaritaville, Bubba Gumps and Carlos and Charlies for dinner on different nights. The bus is 65 cents and very convenient. We did do the trip to Wal-Mart on the first night which is at least a 30 minute bus ride. We thought you would be able to see WalMart as soon as you get off the bus but that is not the case. We went completely in the wrong direction (not a great area) until a young man was nice enough to walk us back to Wal Mart. He wouldn't even accept a tip. If you are going to make this trip, make sure you ask where to go when you get off the bus BEFORE you leave the resort if you can't speak Spanish. In hindsight, I think we could have gotten everything we needed at the grocery store at the Sands without going to Wal Mart.

Overall, I would highly recommend the Sands and would definitely go back with my family or a few adult couples.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with family
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10  Thank cab1118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with family
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10  Thank trippin101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank Danman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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 .

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with family
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11  Thank Eiselen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank UtahWildchild
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank shometravelnut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#20 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#21 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
Price Range: $207 - $437 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
The Royal Sands Hotel Cancun
Royal Sands Cancun
Cancun Royal Sands Resort
Royal Sands Resort Cancun

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