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“The Royals are the best!”

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The Royal Islander All Suites Resort
Ranked #32 of 177 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed February 17, 2014

After several years of traveling to the Cancun/Riviera Maya are the majority of my stays, while in Cancun, have been at the Royal Resorts. I've stayed at the Royal Islander, the Royal Caribbean, the Royal Mayan, the Royal Sands, and, on a few occasions when I loved being close to downtown and also the Puerto Juarez ferry to go to Isla, the Royal Cancun, formerly Club Internacional.

My last stay in July 2013 was at the Royal Islander. I was accompanied by my daughter and her friend. We had been to Playa del Carmen for a few nights as I was determined to snorkel and see sea turtles in Akumal bay (had once visited Yal-ku, but no turtles) but then we headed up to Cancun for a week at the Royal Islander. I had stayed there with my sister and another friend the year before and rented privately through a timeshare owner and got a great price both times.

These resorts are incredible. I have been coming down here since the late 90s and have never been disappointed. The two-bedroom villa we rented had a large living room, dining area, kitchen, and large balcony with very comfortable furniture that stretched from the living room to master bedroom. The master bedroom had a walk-in closet, private bath, and a safe. On the other side of the living room was another bedroom with two double or queen beds, walk-in closet and safe, bathroom and also a mini fridge, microwave and coffee pot, as these "lock offs" are sometimes rented out separately by the owners. Each bedroom and living room had a large flat screen TV with cable, and there were telephones in the kitchen, living room, and both bedrooms. There were also two murphy beds in the living room--much more comfortable than pull-out sofas for those of you with large families.

The pool areas are gorgeous, and all of the resorts have swim-up bars and several restaurants. They have laundry on site, great grocery stores with everything from fresh meats, vegetables, pastries, snacks, beer, wine, liquor--and their prices are very reasonable. They also have a doctor at the Royal Caribbean in case of emergency, which, in my opinion, is fantastic! The beach areas by the Islander, Caribbean, Mayan and Sands have heavy waves, but if you want a change of pace, take a shuttle to the Royal Cancun and you will be on the calm waters of the bay. There is an Ado car rental agency right on the premises, boutiques, and also a tour office where you can book any kind of tour imaginable and put it on your card. Extremely convenient!

The staff at all of these resorts is highly professional and they will do their best to ensure excellent customer satisfaction. It was a pleasure to wake up early in the morning and see the people raking the beach or cleaning the pool and giving everyone a huge smile and an "Hola." The properties are immaculately clean, the food at all of the restaurants is delicious--you would have no problem never leaving the resort at all if you did not want to. Personally, as I enjoy the old downtown part of Cancun very much and also Isla, I did leave frequently but since the busses stop at the end of the driveway, getting around was cheap and easy. However, it was always nice to come back home in the evening!

Since I spent most of my 17 or 18 visits at the Royals at least part of the time (other times I was in PDC or Isla), I must have taken some of their amenities for granted because recently a rented a private condo (could not find anything at the Royals within my budget) for a short week-long stay in July. Bottom line was I paid twice as much and the place was pretty much a disaster when we compare it to our July 2013 and July 2012 at the Royal Islander. Ugh... My college-age daughter was very uncomfortable at the other place and did not feel safe like we always do at the Royals. So, now while I make my plans for this summer, I don't have to worry about checking out other places. The Royals can't be beaten. So, if anyone knows of any owner who wants to rent out toward the end of July/early August, contact me as I am unable to reach the owner I've rented through the past couple of years. This was a great 'lesson learned.' If you don't appreciate the Royals, you haven't stayed anywhere else!

Thank you all for a wonderful stay and cannot wait to see you again this summer!

Room Tip: Almost all of the rooms are good because they are arranged in a semi-circle so everyone has a great...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank frano429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 13, 2014

We stayed @ Royal Islander Interval 5, ocean front. {RC Interv 3 & 4} Great experience as usual. Wonderful place, atmosphere, staff, food, etc... Reason for 4 stars: I use a CPAP machine and there seemed to be a problem w/ electrical current in our villa. The machine just shut down....took machine to doctor as soon as I arrived home..no problem detected w/ machine. Had no problems w/ machine Intervals 3 & 4 @ Royal Caribbean. Also, get very annoyed w/ guests claiming chairs around pools & on beach. (4:00 & 6:00 a.m. really??) (went to church and came back?? really?) Getting very crowded around pool areas due to Mayan closing, etc. Still love, love, love. See you next year!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Earle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014

i recently stayed here (feb 2014) and i hesitated on booking this place because of all the mixed reviews i read on here. but im glad i did, the rooms are super clean and spacious. the pool is big and clean with a bar u can swim to. the beach is a few steps away. the staff was very helpful and courteous. i would recommend this place.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AIDEEGA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014

We stayed here for three nights in early January. Unfortunately the weather was not as good as we hoped with rain and cool temperatures each day so we were unable (or unwilling) to enjoy the pool and beach facililties as planned. However we did still enjoy our stay. Our room contained two double beds and was spacious, including a little kitchen/fridge area, bathroom and huge walk in wardrobe area. The decor is looking very dated however it was clean and well cared for. It is not a glamorous resort, with the average guest being over sixty years old in age however it is very serviceable and comfortable. The restaurants serve basic Mexican and western food at United States prices alongside fabulous margaritas! The bus outside the hotel is convenient for visiting downtown and the rest of the hotel zone.

Overall a good experience and good value if you wish to enjoy the beach and have a resort experience at an affordable price without the drama and style of more expensive places.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 35Elspeth_D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014

We have been staying at this resort for 13 years. It is always immaculate and well maintained. The service is exceptional, great friendly staff who will do anything to accommodate you.
With the exception, of the meal we had tonight at their Captain's Cove Restaurant their selection of restaurants is also exceptional.
Highly recommend this resort, although we are owners here, I would recommend anyone to visit.

Room Tip: If you are looking for a room here Google Owners Manual for the best rates possible.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Jim R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014

The Royal Islander was a trade for us. We had to trade down as this was high season and there were no same for same trades available for us.
We were in a studio which is pretty much a second bedroom lock-off to make a one bedroom into a two-bedroom. The unit was very clean and well appointed with a coffee maker and a microwave.
EVERYONE at the resort was helpful, courteous and kind. We found the grounds and the public areas clean and very well kept.
Expensive - YES! (for Mexico, that is) but we went into town and found much more affordable options. We were warned by others that have been to Cancun that the area is pricey and that is overall very true. Historically we go to Puerto Vallarta and areas on the Pacific side of Mexico where it really is a less expensive region.
BUT - there is so much to do and see in the Quintana Roo/Yucutan States that we will return.
My advice - rent a car - get a Lonely Planet guide book and go explore. If you stay in the resort area it will cost you mega-bucks.

The ONLY complaint I really have is that they post everywhere that saved beach chairs (over an hour) will not be permitted and it is totally not enforced. We sat next to chairs which were literally "saved" all day with not a soul in them.

Inconsiderate people - we would watch them come down at 7:00 am if not sooner - place towels on chaises/chairs with umbrellas and tables and then not return till late morning or noon.

That being said - we met lovely people and will definitely be back. Next time I will just move the towels!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Thomas33208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014

Complete contrast to the Royal Sands of last year. Royal Sands is newer & I love the pool area, but I will never go back. So you know, we started going to Cancun in 1992 & have stayed at The Royal Sands, The Royal Mayan, The Royal Carribean & The Royal Islander. We have never owned, always rent.

We've been to the Riviera Mayan once, not a Royal Resort & it is not for us. Beaches are rocky & it is too isolated. They have the Royal Hacienda in the Riviera Mayan now. I hear it is BEAUTIFUL. However, the Sands & Hacienda are the last 2 resorts in this chain & it seems they haven't had much luck selling all the units. Both are now offereing all inclusive packages. I cannot help but think if I had bought into either of these I would be extremely disappointed.

After going over 15 times in 22 years I will give you an over view & you can decide for yourself. YES people get up at 5:30 a.m. & start reserving chairs on the beach with their towels. They threaten to crack down, but never do. So when in Rome. All resorts offer towels, 1 per person. They give you a ticket. You can put the ticket in the safe & just keep switching towels. Turn the ticket in with the towels on your last day. Otherwise you get charged. Safes are big, they will hold a large purse, laptop, ipads. Lockoffs have small fridge & safe. They need to put in more palapas so people have shade on the beach. Even after getting a palapa, my husband went for a walk & as I read my book I realized there was a conversation going on right at the back of my chair. 3 elderly people had planted themsleves in our shade & continued to have a conversation. Which while reading is like having a tv on. Not to mention I love the sound of the sea, not people voices. If the resort would put out more shade people would not have to sit on top of each other. This also happened to me last year at The Sands.

The rooms are showing their age, but we don't care. We rent a beachfront suite. We get a kitchen, livingroom, masterbed room & huge balcony for under $200 a night right on the beach. You pay that for a regular hotel room at other resorts & get a balcony with 2 chairs.

The food used to be great, went really down hill, but seems to have gotten better. The breakfast buffet is horribly over priced, $30 for 2 plus tip. Go to Captains Cove on Sunday a.m. Not cheaper but nicer selection. But this is where a kitchen comes in handy as we had bagels & ham for several days. Everything is considerably more expensive in Cancun than when we started going 22 years ago. Breakfast buffet was $4.95 then. The service was over the top. The waiters would take your plate from you & take it back to the table. You always had 1 running to pull out your chair. There is at least 65-70% less staff at all the resorts now. You can tell they are working more & I suspect the tipping is not as good as it has been.

Take the city bus for 29 pesos. You get on & off at any blue and white bus sign. Cab drivers will negotiate & we got a ride back from the mall for $5.00. Try La Habichuela Sunset,(which is on Lagoon Side on the strip) really pretty. The original is in old Cancun & a great experience, take a taxi. Captains Cove still our favorite. Great atmosphere with really good food.

IMO the all inclusive packages ruined the resort feel. Turned into large groups of people or families of 5. We found it noisy. The comments from all inclusive people were about the lack of enteratainment. We don't go for entertainment. We are there for the down time & can enterain ourselves. That is why timeshare & all inclusive don't mix.

The concierge 's job is to get you into their points plan or to buy into the resorts. They are genuienly nice people, but feel free to not answer your phone or the door if they get too pushy. Your on vacation who else would be calling & housekeeping will let themselves in if you don't answer. They get 1 polite no thank you & if they persist then it is at their peril. I am on vacation. If you accept their offer of a free lunch/breakfast/trip then you will pay the price of sitting through hours of their effort to get you to be a member. There is no free lunch.

Maid service every day is not necessary in my opinion. If I stayed for several weeks like some of the owners, I would give the girl $20 & tell her to come twice a week. Housekeeping gets tips. Sorry people but they do. $5 for entire villa or $3 for lockoff or $3 for suite per day. If you don't want to tip people who are in the service industry stay home.

Yes we keep going back, mainly because as business owners our primary goal is to relax. We don't want to have to find our way around a new place every year. The Royal Mayan was sold off this year so it will no longer be part of this resort. It was attached The Royal Carribean & Islander so you were free to move among all 3. It will be interesting to see what the new owners do with it.

Airport has improved considerably, from the 1 runway no air conditioning place it was. There are people who will never go back because they remember what a nightmare this place used to be. You could spend hours getting through Customs & Immigration. There were few bathrooms & you were lucky if there was a toilet seat on the bowl. Fill out your paper work on the airplane completely. If you aren't sure, ask around for someone who has been there before. Immigration gives you a small ticket when you enter Mexico that you must KEEP until you leave. Keep it with your passport until someone takes it from you at the airport. There is nothing worse than being stuck behind someone at the counter as they tell the agent "I didn't know I needed to keep that." Which they probably didn't know, not a lot of instruction. We take a private taxi from the airport. It is cheaper not to book your return trip at the airport if you take a taxi. Just call for a taxi at the hotel when you are ready. There are group vans that are more economical. Just remember depending where you are on the route, it will stop at several resorts before you get to yours. When you arrive there will be counters on either side of the airport as you exit. Unless you are interested in tours keep walking. NEVER stop. Smile, say no Thank You & keep moving. Your hotel will have all this information or there are tour stations at all the malls along the strip. These people are hired to get you to sign up then & there. When you get to the airport to depart, pay a baggage guy to take you in. It is so much easier as this place turns into a complete zoo. You will stand in line to get checked in & the last thing you want to do is stand for 30 mins to be in the wrong line. $2 per bag will get you where you need to go. If you fly business they will put you right into the business class line & you will be done in 15 mins or less.

Hope this helps! We will go back, no way around it for us. In less than 3 hours we are sitting in 80 degree weather getting a break from Indiana winter!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Julbann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Royal Islander All Suites Resort

Address: Kukulcan Boulevard Km 17.5 L-51 | Hotel Zone, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Cancun
#23 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#25 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#29 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#30 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
Price Range: $115 - $254 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Royal Islander All Suites Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 179
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Islander(R)is nestled on the beach and offers enchanting views of the Caribbean and the Nichupte Lagoon. Seek a moment of solitude at sunrise and enjoy blissful hours in the warm sun. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Royal Islander Hotel Cancun
Royal Islander Hotel Cancun

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