My husband, daughter, and another family stayed at the Royal Islander through my timeshare exchange with Interval International the week of May 21st. We had a comfortable experience at the Islander; however, after talking to a staff member and explaining that we wanted to hang out at the beach more than the pool, the recommendation was made for us to hang out at the Royal Sands, a sister property to the Islander. The beach at the Islander had been eroded from hurricane Rita and only a row of beach chairs fit on the beach, and forget about swimming in the ocean, no one was in the water, although it was beautiful to seefrom our ocean front room. Needless to say, we packed the family up every morning and took the free hotel shuttle to the Sands every morning and became friendly with other vacationers that we saw each day. The beach and the pool at the Sands are beautiful. I felt like there were more people our age (30+) and a lot more activity than the Islander. Staying at the Islander was a lot more boring and we felt like we were missing all the action. The Sands is near everything: La Isla Mall and Kuckalan Mall (high end mall), next door to the Ritz Carlton, and a lot of popular restaurants. Walking or taking the bus is an option, but staying at the Islander, you have to take a bus everywhere. The staff at both resorts are "VERY NICE", and they provide maid service everyday except Sunday. The only thing I didn't like about both resorts is that you cannot use American Express. The resort only takes VISA and MASTERCARD, and you can only use cash on the property when you check out. Thank God I took out enough cash and had enough on my MC for this trip. My recommendation is to truly budget properly when you stay at these resorts. Although the drinks and food were affordable, you will be surprise how much cash you spent each day when you get the final bill at the end of your trip. I do remember after being there for a day, we packed our own bottled water, and brought our own beer to the beach and pool. Now for Happy Hour, we did splurg on fruity drinks which were $4 instead of $8 with complimentary chips and salsa each day. Ladies, beware of the chips and salsa, I gained 5lbs just on Happy Hour snacks, but they were GOOD. The market at the Islander was ok. I wouldn't recommend Wal-Mart unless you are staying more than a week; however, the prices at the market are ok on some items, just read the prices carefully because they are in pesos. For example, a case of water was $13 US, but you can buy a 2 liter of water which will last you the whole day for $1 US. I was in the sun from 10 am - 5 pm and the water bottle lasted me all day. Just be careful when looking at the items, but it is convenient to have the market in the hotel. As far as my opinion all the Royal hotels, the Sands is newer than the Islander, but if you are looking for a mellow experience, not a lot of activity then I would recommend the Islander, Carribean, and Mayan (Older), but if you are looking for a "cruise like" experience and a lot of activity, stay at the Sands. That will be our next choice when we go back next year.
- 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