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“The Sands Is A Treasure”

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The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive
Ranked #22 of 175 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
A TripAdvisor Member
“The Sands Is A Treasure”
Reviewed December 3, 2005

When The Royal Sands reopened on Nov. 5th just two weeks after Hurricane Wilma struck, ten of us arrived for a two week stay. Except for the stripped vegetation and the eroded beach, the resort was as though the hurricane had never touched it. All services were available including internet connections in the suites. The suites were so clean. The maid and other staff services were excellent. We enjoyed all the resort parties and evening entertainments. We took sailing lessons & then sailed in the lagoon; biked; painted pottery; swam in the heated pool; took Spanish classes; snorkeled; shot pool; played darts; watched football on their big screens; got haircuts, manicures, & massages at their spa; used the local buses & taxis; shopped at the resort stores, Kukulcan Plaza, Luxury Avenue, Walmart, and in Playa del Carmen. One person became certified in scuba diving and made numerous dives, including a night dive. We stuffed ourselves in the resorts' restaurants and also used their take-out, grocery store, and laundry services. We took their shuttle vans to the other Royals' beaches to swim & play in the turquoise water. There were many other activities we didn't have time to do this trip. We're looking forward to another visit and to the recovery of the rest of Cancun and surrounding area.

  • Stayed November 2004
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed November 28, 2005

Much like Lori who wrote a negative review of this resort, Mary and I had a similar experience during
Huricanne Wilma. The management of the Royal Sands was not only unprepared for the storm, but was very deceiptful in what they told the guests of what to expect during the three days that we were booted out of the Hotel under alleged orders of "the authorities".

Fortunately, my wife and I along with another couple
defied the evacuation plan of the Royal Sands and decided not to go on a bus to a designated shelter. Insteadwe found a Hotel in town which rented out a room to ride out the storm. As it turned out we declined going to a gymnasium with 1600 people (and one toilet) or a school where the roof blew off, and camped out in ahall way with other Americans sharing food liquor, and whatever resources available until we returned to the Royal Sands.

Once back at the Sands, they provided a few meals but
did not open their store (because of no computer) It
appeared to us and other guests that the Royal Sands was more interested in fixing the swimming pool than the comfort of their guests who had just gone thru a horrible experience.

Once again the old truth "It's the money stupid" was
the determining factor in the way we were treated
before and after the storm.

The Royal Sands claims to be a 5 star hotel but isn't even close. Based upon the criteria of

Food- Expensive and not of high resort quality

Souroundings: Other than the beach (which is spectacular) there were little flora or fauna for
the guests to enjoy

Internet capability- Other than charging $16.00 an
hour for an internet connection during business hours,
there was no service to be had in rooms. Even a
two star Hotel in the States would provide such services.

Hotel Staff- The staff was not properly trained (at
least to Marrriot standards where we own a time share)
If a question of a guest could not be answered, a shrug of ones shoulders took the place of an answer.
The staff did the best job they could lacking training and support from management.

Hotel Management- The management proved weak during the crisis 1.not having the keys to the Hotel Vans to
aid guests) 2. not having a real plan to take care of
the displaced people 3. Being more concerned with
losing money during the storm rather than helping the
guests. 4. Keeping the Hotel store closed because of
no computer 5. Outside of providing a Thomas Cook travel representative for a few hours, did not help
stranded travelers catch their flight back to the states 6. Did not provide transport to guests trying to get registered with airlines downtown at 430 am for flights back to the States following Wilma. 7. Very little imagination during the crisis as they were afraid to make a decison acting like "Mr Burns"
from the Simpsons was looking over their shoulders

Because of our experiences with the Royal Sands; Especially the "Stairway to Heaven" generator that didn't exist and the promises broken to those who went to the shelter, I would not consider buying a time share in this place. How could we believe the pitch of the sales person when there was no backbone behind it?

Both Mary and I believe the Royal Sands is a lovely facility that needs a lot of work to become the five star property it alleges to be.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed November 27, 2005

Cancun, Mexico: The Royal Sands: Timeshare, Also in Cancun are 4 Sister Resorts ( The Royal Mayan, Carribean, Islander and VCI)
Reviewer: Proud 5 year Owner of week 45 at the Royal Sands.

Head to Cancun. I wish we didn't have to Leave!

Three weeks ago my family was convinced that our yearly vacation to Cancun had well blown away in the winds of Hurrican Wilma. As an owner during the 2nd week of November 12 -19, it was extremely likely that our resort would be damaged and not accepting their "family", as we are fondly considered. To our most pleasant surprise, after closing for 1 week for clean up, we received word that if we wanted to come to Cancun, our resort was ready and at 100% of it's amazing amenities.

Without hesitation, we happily headed to Cancun for what could have proved to be an adventure, but actually turned out to be one of our best visits to our favorite vacation spot. The Royal Resorts are just as beautiful as we left them a year ago. You almost need to take a second look before you realize that what is different is that some of the palm trees are removed or cut down. By the middle of the week, we saw new plant life blooming, as the perfect weather we enjoy was in full sun. 86 and sunny every day.

Our hosts could not be appreciative enough and went out of their way to provide outstanding service as a deep sign of gratitude. This was a feeling we experienced from every person we encountered from the time we arrived, until we reluctantly headed to the airport to come home.

Although there was damage to the roads and buildings, as a visitor at the Royal Sands, you are almost completely unaffected by what the land has sustained. In our short week stay, we saw repair and growth before our eyes. I have never seen a harder working group of people than the Mexicans.

There were plenty of outstanding restaurants open, infact we feel this year we had the very best meals we've ever had in a weeks time. There is limited shopping but you can find T-shirt vendors and even women who braid hair. Head over to the Gulf side, as we did. Spend a day at VCI and enjoy lunch ocean side in the Pallapa.

The one and only "sacrifice" we had is that Cancun did experince severe beach erosion. As a girl from NJ, I was looking forward to riding some rough surf, but the beaches are not safe and in some places, there is no walkable coastline. But don't dispare, as the Gov't has committed $20 Million to beach restoration in a timely fashion. I believe our friends that will return in February will be body surfing for sure!

If you haven't gotten my message loud and clear, my point is this:

If you have plans to go to Cancun: Keep your plans. If you are looking for a wonderful, safe and beautiful place to visit, plan a trip to Cancun.
Look beyond the sideways palm trees and building construction because there is a community of gracious and loving people that will truly appreciate you and your family.

38 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2005

2nd time we stayed at the Royal Sands. I still love the view. Our room faced the ocean, I think almost all the them do face the ocean. The sand is the best, pure white sand on ocean blue waters. The waves do get rough, be careful. It feels just like staying at our house.

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9 Thank Funonewi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, OH
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2005

We were hesitant about visiting Cancun in general - it seemed so cliche and too "college spring-break". Well, the Royal Sands completely changed my mind. Fiance and I traded a timeshare week through Interval for a lock-off 1 room, which was twice the size of a normal 2-bed hotel room. Smaller balcony but didn't really spend much time in the room, so who cares? The staff was so ultra friendly and helpful. The grounds were very well kept. The food was pretty decent and reasonably priced for a resort. Just using the room card for payment was ultra-convenient (perhaps too convenient after a couple cervezas!). I don't recall running into any problems anywhere while we were there. The beach was beautiful and clean and we always were able to grab a palapa. Did not spend much time at the pool (except for the swim-up bar) but what we experienced was more than adequate. We made reservations in advance for the Coa/Chimuch excusion and Xhelha visit with Thomas Moore travel (through internet) - I recommend, this - very easy. I will certainly be holding the other resorts we visit up to the standard of the RS. And if we go back to Cancun, you bet your butt we'll try to land a room there! Enjoy!

  • Stayed October 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
19 Thank kammers1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2005

My family decided to go to Cancun for my Niece's 18th Birthday. After being there for a day or so, we had heard "rumors" that a hurricane was coming directly to Cancun. The Hotel staff did nothing to inform us of our pending doom. When we all tried to get flights out early and denied because it was too late, we relied on the communication from the resort. They just kept saying "don't panic, we are an official hurricane shelter". We had also been told by the staff that they had generators and were prepared for this type of emergency, in fact, had been through it before with flying colors. Well, long story short, they finally forced us to evacuate late into the evening when all of the other resorts had already moved their guests to approriate facilities or safe hotel rooms downtown. We ended up driving the back streets of downtown Cancun for 2 hours stopping at 4 places before they finally dropped us at an Elementary School in a bad part of town. There was no representative from the hotel as their newsleter attests.

After the storm cleared, we decided it would be safer to go back to the Sands. We took a taxi over and many other refugess were also arriving. They did not have a generator running for back up power, other than a small one to charge cell phones. It turns out the all of this talk about having a generator back up was a lie. They first said they had no fuel, then they said the generators were on order, due anytime, then the Hotel Manager finally said that he did not know where we had heard they had generator back up power? (Only from his entire staff!!!) They were horrible with communication, not able to actually send someone to the airport to provide concise, accurate information for their thousands of stranded guests. No emergency phone line, no running water, no electricity and they did provide 2 meals a day with 1 bottle of water per person for the first couple of days. Then it was cut off long before people had a chance to get out. They ran out of candles, no flashlights, etc. There were lots of elderly people there, many of whom fell down stairs due to no emergency hall lighting nor candles for these poor people. They also had probably 5 hotel vans parked in front of the lobby that they did not use to try and assist their guests in leaving. The manager said they did not have anyone to drive the vans because they were all out cleaning the swimming pools. They were obviously more interested in forgetting out us and trying to lure their next guests into their hotel. And yes, the Sands does have a grocery store in it, but they refused to open it to provide food and water to their valued guests because they had no way to keep track of inventory due to lack of power. Give me a break - this is an emergency in which thousands of people were stranded and their biggest concern was to keep track of inventory.

Before our family leaves the country and stays at a hotel or resort, I will definately get their "emergency plan" in writing. It's suicide to have a resort on the Carribbean without some kind of evacuation plan in place, plenty of candles, flashlights, water, and back up power.

Many of the other hotels did an excellent job of taking care of their guests and boy did we hear about it. Le Meridien, The Ritz, Moon Palace, to name a few came up with not only excellent evacuation sites, but live entertainment and full time representatives keeping their apprised of all airline information constantly.

We loved Cancun, but will pay closer attention to who handled this emergency well and who did not.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
38 Thank lollyjomartinl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 29, 2005

We enjoyed 3 days of fun and sun until the hurricane struck. We were not kept informed and were suddenly evacuated in the middle of the night. When we came back 5 days later it was very apparent we were in managements way and they just wanted us OUT! We wanted out too but it took a long time. They never asked "How are you doing" only come back and spend your money here and tell your friends everything is fine here. They are used to hurricanes and should be more prepared to deal with those of us who are not. All in all, a horrible event in our lives.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
18 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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

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
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
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#21 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#21 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#22 On the Beach 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 
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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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