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“Great Time, But Not As Great As The Sands!”

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The Royal Islander All Suites Resort
Ranked #37 of 182 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Delaware
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great Time, But Not As Great As The Sands!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2007

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.

  • Liked — My oceanfront room
  • Disliked — location
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
15 Thank socialbutterfly4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Arkansas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2007

We stayed here the last week of May. The resort is located on the south end of the Hotel zone which is great b/c if we had been any further North, it would have felt like we were in a cement zone...way too many hotels. The resort itself is great b/c it's the most quiet of the chain, you will not have an overcrowded pool or have to fight for a chair, like the others. Each villa has either two or one bedrooms and all have ocean views. Our room was cleaned thoroughly each day and we always felt safe and secure. All employees are very helpful and if they don't know the answer they'll try to find someone who does. The beach is beautiful, they have plenty of chairs & huts and only a few vendors walked by & they really did not bother us. The gym at the Royal Carribean is better than the gym at the Royal Sands and is cheaper and there are trainers to help at the Royal Carribean. There are organized activities for children at the Royal Sands..ie: face painting, dancing, time with Mayan Indians, scuba, snorkelling, there's poolside bingo & also pool volleyball. The Market at the Royal Sands has a coffee bar and is nice. As far as rec's go for food....don't fall for the Hacienda Sisal, it's just generic Mexican food. The food poolside at the Royal Islander is much, much better than the poolside food at the Royal Sands. It will most definetly be worth your time to find a restaurant called La Parilla, this place has real mexican food in a real local environment. You just pull right up to the front door and they'll park your car for you or take at taxi there, it's the real downtown Cancun, none of that Pizza Hut, McDonalds American junk. Also, we ate at Puerto Madera--this was absolutely fantastic Argentanian Food--especially the seafood. We rented a van and it was a piece of cake, easy to drive around Cancun. We took ferry and made a day trip of going to Isla Mujeres---is a must!!!! It's a 9 mile island w/ 8,000 inhabitants, the views there are amazing and there are markets and fantastic authentic mexican food. Here you rent golf carts & tour the entire island. We also took a day trip to Xcaret, it was a fantastic eco park. Tons to do there, actually could have spent two days there. I heard the shuttle from the Royal to Xcaret was miserable, this is another reason we were glad we had a car. We used our car every day without any prob's at all. Overall, I really did not like Cancun, it was too Americanized, too many pizza huts and mcdonalds, but the Royal resorts were fantastic, and getting out on our excursions made the trip perfect.

Stayed May 2007
Helpful?
13 Thank faithfulmother
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn NY
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2007

used Timeshare points to book my first trip to Cancun.... we stayed at the Royal Islander Resort... they provided us a one bedroom villa Ocean front on the six floor(5stars) on the view and location..... we just loved everything about all 5 Royal Resorts ..they really have their act together... its very-very clean and everyone was so friendly....you can walk or ride a free shuttle bus between all 5 of these Resorts and they are building a six one not far away.. each Resort has everything you need...
laundry/grocery store/gift shop/mini deli/and of course restaurants... the food was fantastic!!
no matter which resort you are at (and you'll want to see them all) you charge everything to your room and only show your credit card $$$
at check-out time...
arrange transportation to and from the airport ahead of time thru Thomas Moore tours.... and relax and enjoy..
No casinos but there is a disco nearby and aalso live intertainment at many places...

  • Liked — everything very clean
  • Disliked — not enough shade at the pool... pool too deep (5ft)
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank havinfunintheSun2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, NY
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2007

We spent the first week of May at the Royal Islander and we were not disappointed. This was my second trip to Cancun, first stay at the Islander. We had a one bedroom villa on the ocean. The living room had two pull-down Murphy beds that were quite comfortable. Our verandah was larger than most I've seen and we spent a lot of time out there listening to the crash of the surf. The ocean here is pretty wild and although we saw people swimming, the red flags were up most of the week.
Everything was easy to get to - the beach, the pool and the lobby were all just a few steps away due to the layout of the property. The prices in the grocery store on site were a little steep but what a convenience and they had a good selection of a lot of things including souvenirs.
There was a separate kiddie pool that was 2' deep; the main pool was sizeable but all of it was 5' deep so it was not possible for all of us to enjoy walking and floating in it as we usually do. The only shade in the pool was under the swim-up bar palapa. There were lots of lounge chairs, and it was usually easy to get one with some shade from an umbrella.
The Royal Islander has 4 other sister properties, and there is a free shuttle bus between them. We were able to visit each property and check out their pool and restaurant areas. Our favorite restaurant was the Hacienda Sisal at the Royal Sands. The meals were served in such an elegant manner and everything was delicious. It was reminiscent of a Mexican or Spanish hacienda form older times. Be sure to specify you want to see the show as well as eat dinner so you are allowed in the main dining area.
We took the city bus to the Flea Market downtown, that was quite the experience. Be prepared to fend off some pretty aggresive salespersons!
The Royal Islander was very enjoyable, I'd definitely stay there again. I don't believe they have an all-inclusive option.

  • Liked — The verandah was huge
  • Disliked — Needed more dresser drawers to store our clothes.
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank sgcruise52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2007

We stayed in a one bedroom suite on the 3rd floor. The suite was very nice and well maintained. Furnishings were not brand new but were still very nice. Marble floors, fully equipped kitchen with stove, fridge, dish-washer,etc., The bedrrom was large also with a large walk in closet. And it had a great large changing area next to the bathroom. We were in a unit kind of set back from the ocean, would have prefered to be closer but still had somewhat of a view.

It is nice that all 3 Royal Resorts are connected - it is very easy to walk to them all. We did take the shuttle to the Royal Sands one day and spent the day at their pool and beach. The Sands is huge and very nice. Definitely spend one day at their pool, it is a lot different then the other 3 much smaller Royal resorts. The Royal Sands also offers a much better beach then the other 3. The Royal Islander, Carribean and Mayan resorts have a much smaller beach and it a lot rockier. But the water is still amazing no matter where you are. It is so blue, it is breath taking!

We took the bus everywhere, it is so simple and only costs 65 cents. We traveled to Playa Del Carmen also by bus. Don't pay a $60 cab ride. Hop on the main bus into downtown (30 minutes) and then buy a $4 bus ticket from main terminal to Playa Del Carmen (40 minutes). So easy!

We ate at Captains Cove across the street. Food was average but they do have a live band that starts at 10pm every night that was worth checking out. We also ate at the Thai Restaurant in the La Isla mall. Definitely pay it a visit you will not be dissapointed. All tables are mirrored to look like you are in a tree house. We ate near the bar and our backdroup was the large glass windows of the aquariaum with dolphins swimming behind us...it was very cool. We also at dinner at 100% Natural (amazing food) and Lorenzillos (good steak and lobster - sit outside near the water).

Overall we were very pleased with our resort. We liked our pool better then the Mayan or Carribean. The staff was friendly and helpful. We would definitely visit again, but maybe next time at the Sands for something different.

  • Liked — Swim Up Bar, Pool and the Blue Ocean Water
  • Disliked — NA
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank Sunandfun24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prospect, Kentucky
Level Contributor
33 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2007

Traveling to Cancun, I expected party-crazed nights and log-jammed beaches. If you're into that type of experience, Cancun definitely has some areas you'll like. If you're into the opposite atmosphere (as am I) stay at one of the Royal Resorts (Islander, Carribean, Mayan, Sands and now Haciendas).

I stayed at the Royal Islander and was blown away by the service. Every attendant was polite and if he/she couldn't help you, they'd find someone who could. They provided a multitude of activities (many of which were complimentary) and quite possibily the best maid service I've ever experienced. The rooms were pristine each and every day.

The facilities themelves were very nice, with a multitude of pools, restaurants, sun decks, work-out stations and travel agent services. Each Resort has an individual market store with very reasonable prices for food, beverages, alcohol, cigars, etc... As far as rooms, I am biased. In my opinion, I stayed in the perfect beach front room. Each Royal resort has a section of rooms that are directly ocean-front. Of these, the bottom-floor rooms have direct access onto well kept/groomed grassy knolls that lead directly to the beach. They have large patios suitable for sitting and watching the waves. I spent many hours doing that, with a drink in hand. Perfecto. The inside was very spacious with ample room for at least six persons. I cannot comment on the other rooms, but can only imagine the ones facing the pool were not as good.

I am a tough grader when it comes tripadvisor, but also submit my review based upon MY experience. My experience was a definitive five (5). If I had stayed in a non-ocean front room, it may have dipped to a four (4), but then again maybe not. If you're into relaxing in Cancun, this is your place.

I recommend taking a day trip down to Tulum (Mayan ruins) if time permits, and I also recommend Macabo (I think that's the correct spelling), a restaurant next to the Riu close to Cancun's Hotel Zone Convention Center. Good food right on the water for a reasonable price.

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank Worldtravel41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaufort
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2007

We stayed at the Royal Islander as I was attending a conference at the Royal Mayan. Knowing little about timeshares or the Royal Resorts, I booked a villa through the conference . We were extremely pleased with our stay. Our unit was on the seventh floor with a breathtaking view over the pool to the blue/emerald ocean. The unit was impecably maintained and appointed with marble floors and bathrooms. The beds and linens were comfortable and clean. The kitchen was well equipped. A visitor could buy food and cook in the villa or just warm up leftovers from the previous night's dinner.

Service was excellent, although they do pester you somewhat to see the timeshare presentation. The staff was always friendly and seemed to be constantly cleaning and maintaining the facilities. Your room key acts as a charge card as the resort is cashless during the week of your stay. They have a small convenience/grocery store in each of the three connecting Royal Resorts (Royal Islander, Royal Caribbean, and Royal Mayan). The selection and prices are very reasonable, including happy hour frozen drinks for about $2 (US).

While you could enjoy your entire stay without leaving the Royal Resorts, the facilities are on the bus line which are quick, frequent, and very cheap. Travel to any of the restaurants, shopping, or clubs along the Cancun Hotel Zone or downtown is easy and safe.

The Resort has an on-campus travel agency through which you can book your tours and transportation to and from the airport. They have many excellent tours to places around Cancun or you can just hang out at the pool and beach like we did for a week of relaxation. Security is excellent and the Resort provides a free shuttle between The Royal Sands and the other Royal Resorts including their two great restaurants, The Captain's House and Hacienda Sisal. I highly recommend both places for good service and food.

Our only complaint during our 7 day stay was our scuba diving experience with "Scuba Cancun". While the divemasters were friendly and helpful, the equipment was old and of questionable safety. My 15 year old daughter and I missed both dives of a 2-tank dive because of faulty equipment. I will give them credit that the travel agency and owner of "Scuba Cancun" company seemed concerned and we were refunded our trip fee for the 2 of us that could not dive because of the equipment.

You will not be disappointed at the Royal Islander, although the Royal Sands may be newer with the same high level of service. If you go, contact the Thomas More Travel agency in Cancun to arrange pickup the airport.

  • Liked — High level of service
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Zzdoc
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

Property: 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:
#10 Family Hotel in Cancun
#23 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#29 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#32 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#34 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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