We stayed at the Royal Islander from Jan 31 - Feb 7 this year. This was our third visit to the "tri-royals" in Cancun" (I have benefited immensly from information on TA and wanted to give a little something back--this is my first review). We had an oceanfront villa-two bedroom. We love the hospitality and excellent service that we consistently get at Royal Resorts. We also enjoy the option of taking the free shuttle down to the Royal Sands and using the facilities and restaurants at the other adjoining resorts next door to The Islander. Basically you're getting the use of four resorts instead of one--actually five if you take the shuttle down to the newest- Royal Haciendas in Playa DelCarmen.
Please bear in mind that these are "timeshare" resorts, but on the surface function as if they were hotels--your room key is your pass to use all the facilities and restaurants at any of the Royal Resorts-and no, there is no pressure to purchase one.
I give The Royal Islander excellent marks for service, good food, cleanliness, value and friendliness. Enjoyed Happy Hour every day, used the gym, loved that the pools are now heated--it was cool the week we were there, high 60's low 70's. Loved the breakfast buffet at the palapa every morning.
The only negative and it's a big one, is the loss of beach due to erosion started by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. This is the first time we could not swim at the beach at all during the entire week and frankly it was a big disappointment. Obviously, you can't blame this on the resort, but it is a big factor. There was some beach restoration done in 2006 and we did use the beach during our 2007 visit, however this year was the worst we have seen it. The waves break hard and close on the shore and the shoreline-water's edge is mostly covered in boulders. Much of the sand has been washed away. This appears to be the case for many other resorts as well along "the strip." The red flags are posted daily meaning "no swimming allowed." If you were to disregard the warning you may be risking your life-seriously. I asked around the resort and was told that for the most part this is the norm here--no (beach) swimming allowed. As some consolation, you can still walk the beach or sit in loungers and order drinks and take in the beautiful view of aquamarine blue waters and white sand.
The "old" beach was probably the most beautiful beach I ever swam on and sadly, for now it's gone. There is some talk about another government restoration project in the works. This is still a beautiful resort--just don't plan on swimming in the ocean here anytime soon. If swimming in the ocean is important to you...go someplace else :(
- 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