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Grand Park Royal Cozumel
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Reviewed July 13, 2011

We (family - wife and kids girl 6 and boy 11) just returned from a week at the new and improved Park Royal, and wow is it new and improved! Having stayed here in the past (1997, 99, 01, 03) we knew the layout and property well, but had not see it post-Wilma. I must say, they have done an AMAZING job renovating and maintaining the property since 2006!

I will break this down into sections to make it easier to read and for me to write:

1) Property/Grounds: Absolutely fantastic. We really like the PR due to it's location, layout and overall size. The hotel feels like a large property, but in reality it is quite compact. You can easily and quickly go from your room to the beach or restaurants without having to hike a mile, or cross a swamp (Occidental grand LOL). The vegatation, lawns and landscaping are gorgeous. Palm trees, tropical plants etc are everywhere and the grounds are kept immaculate on a daily basis. There are 3 pools (main pool and 2 on ocean side), so guests have lots of options. You can go to the ocean side for great ocean views and more direct sun (less shady spots - lots of palapas though), or you can hang out by the large central pool which is surrounded by vegatation and has lots of secluded spots where you can sun or shade your self or family. I see a lot of people complaining about the sand beach area, and I honestly can't figure out what their gripe is. If your goal in staying in Cozumel is long walks on sandy beaches, the PR is NOT for you. It sits on a rocky strip of land, so the beach is man made, and there is a 15' wide opening into the ocean which has decent snorkeling. The beach is well maintained and raked every night, but do know, it is man made..... Since the area is rocky beyond the sand - water shoes are advised.

Pools were cleaned daily and are chlorinated (not salt water pools). None of the pools are deeper than 5 feet and all are generally very kid friendly. Beware the pool on the ocean side closest to La Ceiba (south pool) has a rougher finish than the north pool. And I mean rough....like take the skin off a knee in a hearbeat rough! We think they may have done it on purpose as it is a gradual sloped entry pool, so a rougher finish is needed to keep people from slipping, but it is a bit too rough, and thus is not used as much as the other 2 pools. The large pool is great for kids as there are both shady and sunny spots all over due to the trees etc, so you can plan in the pool and not get BBQ'd by the sun. This comes in handy on day 2-4 when everyone is pretty toasty! :)

2) Activities: Activity staff is down right phenominal. They have 3-5 people that are constantly doing everything from towel oragami, beach volleyball, making friendship bracelets to line dancing. They have a HUGE board by the main pool where they post daily what they will be doing and each event has clock hands to show what time. My 11 year old LOVED this as he could easily figure out what he wanted to do when. On a day it rained all morning, the activity guys opened the sports bar up, brought in totes full of games etc and set up shop! It was great. They were plauing Uno with the kids, making bracelets etc etc. It was great to see them do the little things like this!

3) Restaurants/Food: Again, it was really good. The new ENCLOSED buffet was great. Pre-Wilma it was all open air/palapa style building with birds everywhere, and hot. The new building is great, service is over the top as the waiters/bus boys are constantly cleaning up, bringing you drink refills. You really have to watch your plate as they are extremely quick to take it away! Breakfast is by far the best. Made to order omlettes/eggs every am, sausage, french toast, fruit, yogurt....you name it they have it. And it is GOOD. Lunch is available in the buffet or in the 2 pool side grills. At the grills you can get hot dogs, burgers, chips, nachos etc. Very good burgers and hot dogs. I was quite impressed! Lunch in the buffet is good as well, my wife ate in there every day with friends, while the kids and I did hot dogs/hamburgers. So She said it was good so it must be. :) Dinner is available in the buffet or in the 2 reservation restaurants. We ate the buffet 2 times, and once in the Italian restaurant. Buffet was chinese one night and....cant remember the other. Both were good. I always found something I liked, and a nice thing they do is they set up a kids buffet on the other side of the big buffet which was great as they always had stuff the kids loved. The reservation restaurant was fantastic, I wore shorts (nice) and sandals, the long pants thing was *reccomended* but in no way kept you from eating in there. Reservation restaurant was very very good. All in all I was really impressed with the food as I have relatively LOW expectations when it comes to AI food. PR definately does it well, and between the options you have, you should be able to do a week here and not get burned out on the food.

4) Rooms: ATTENTION GUESTS - The PR has 10 king beds - maybe less - if you go there, expect 2 doubles. The king thing may even be a myth lol.....I cant count how many people booked a king and got 2 doubles. I don't know why it is this way, but it just seems to be the way they do it, so do know, you will most likely get 2 doubles. Beds were hard, but I dont think a soft bed exists in Cozumel. After 8-9 trips we just expect it. Rooms are very clean, very nice. All marble floors (watch it if you come in wet!!!). They have hair dryers, ironing board and irons are NOT standard, but you can call the front desk and ask. If you or your significant other get cold at night, call and they will bring you extra blankets. We were on the 9th floor, south side so we had a view of the construction site, but we could still see the ocean, cruise ship terminals etc, so it wasn't all that bad. North side of the tower has the best views, but I didn't feel like trying to change. HOT WATER - this seems to be an issue with the PR, our friends had several issues with it, and at one point they shut the water off at midnight to 6am to work on it. We had loads of it in the tower, but on our second to last day we had none at 4pm'ish. We called the desk and maint staff were there in under 5 minutes to fix it. One guy ran the water and talked on the radio to another in the bowels of the hotel and we soon had warmish/hot water. Hey it's mexico! :) I don't know if it is a design issue, capacity issue or what, but if they can fix it like they did, my guess is they have a bad boiler or pipe issue that they are attempting to fix. Other than that, the AC is cold, rooms are nice, cleaning staff does a nice job. In Room SAFES - if you don't use it, well, you know what to expect. We locked up money and phones and valuables when we left, and had nothing stolen, as we took precations. Theft is no more rampant here than in the states, so take the same precations and it is just fine. Safes are pretty roomy, will easily hold an Ipad or tabled, but NOT a large laptop. I kept my laptopn in my Targus backpack with a lock on it in the cloest and had 0 issues.

5) Bars: Great. Loved em. Great service, slip the bar tender a 5 and they definately remember you! Ask for a double if you like em strong. Mudslide was my poison! Sports bar is GREAT. It only opens at 6:30pm, have to be 18 to enter, and its AC works great, and is just a great place out of the heat to relax with adults and watch some sports (or soccer lol). They don't have "top shelf" etc but I am not a drink snob so I am totaly happy. They serve coke products, so the diet coke junkies (my wife and I) could get our daily fix.

6) Staff - overall was fantastic. I have never seen so many people working so hard at all hours at an AI in Cozumel.....they are constantly cleaning everything, from the rocks around the planters, squeegeeing the rain away, cleaning up trash, manicuring the grounds, just everywhere, all the time. And all with a smile.....everyone was friendly and helpful and always had a smile for us.

7) Kids Club: Amazing. Claudia is fantastic, the kids pool and slides are great for young kids. She constantly has activities for them, takes them to lunch, she will even baby sit for you in the evening if you need (you have to pay her). I can not say enough great things about Claudia and her kids club! Another great feature is there is SHADE in the kids area around the pool. Really nice for the kids so they don't get grilled all day long!

8) Complaints: My only complaints were: Wireless internet in lobby - didnt work half the time, and when it did, it was skethcy at best. No biggie, I am on vacation. Second issue was: BUGS. Due to the 4 solid days of rain the week before, the skeeters were BAAAAD. They fog the property (you will hear it coming - just dont breath it haha its probably DDT!) nightly, but behind the hotel it was very very wet and swampy and there are areas next to the hotel they cant treat, so bring and use the deep woods off or sun tan lotion with bug spray and you should be ok, unless you are like me and the bugs just love you.

Other than those 2 issues, we had a fantastic time. We loved seeing how imprroved the PR is versus the old PR! It really is amazing and nice to see it 100% open (from 95-2005 the pyramid was closed due to damage from a previous hurricane in 95). It was gorgeous, clean, with good food, lots of things to do, our kids loved it, and we had a great 7 days! We WILL be back next year! We can't wait!

If anyone would like to ask any questions or anything, please feel free to ask!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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5  Thank Brules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2011

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Park Royal in Cozumel feb 2011 and had an amazing first vacation! The rooms and hotel are kept very very clean and the staff were so nice.

One night i bought this beautiful heart shaped glass necklace that had a tie around the neck....first nite i wore it out as i was walking to the elevator (from the 3rd floor) it came undone and went through the cracks in the elevator door!! I thought that was that, i'd never see it again, but we went to the front desk to see if there was anything they could do. Within 20 minutes they had the elevator technician and 2 other helpers stop the elevator and went down into about a 3ft pool of water that is under the elevator and there it was..unscratched! Talk about service!!

An extra bonus to our trip that we did not know about prior to booking was that Carnival was that weekend. AMAZING!! i've never seen a parade like this in my life! For anyone booking in february/march...its worth looking into to find out when it is. It doesn't stop at the parade though...its followed by days of celebration...we did miss out on that part as our trip only allowed for us to be there for the parade ..but it is so worth it :)

Some advise when shopping downtown...stay away from the sea-side of the street when going downtown...they Really try to sucker you in to buy stuff that you can find cheaper downtown....and after a few tequilla shots...well.

Lastly the beach area is kinda small..if you want a hut you will need to get up early and reserve it with a towel...only drawback..but we did enjoy the main pool a lot anyway, the beach area is nosier.

If you know how to swim bring your snorkel gear! You will see some beautiful guys right out infront of the beach area! We went on a day snorkel trip further down the island...did not see anything compared to right at the resort...also went on the submarine tour...again did not see fish like we did at the resort. Take advantage of it. There is free snorkel gear to use for a few hours..but i would bring your own.

Have a great trip! We did!!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank missy_w_1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2011

My husband and I brought around 50 guests to our destination wedding at the Park Royal Cozumel. From the minute we arrived, our expectations were completely exceeded.

The entire resort was always kept clean and tidy, and you would always see workers repainting, scrubbing, and doing everything possible to keep up appearances. It rained almost everyday that we were there, and each time, workers immediately got to work pushing water out of holes, laying down towels at every entrance, and providing umbrellas for their guests. All 50 of our guests had the best time despite the rain, and there was always plenty to do on the resort. The children that came along loved playing in the kids club area, as well as the beach. Before our arrival, my hubby and I were a little concerned about the size of the beach, but it actually ended up being the perfect size. We could ALWAYS find our group, and the snorkeling was amazing. The swim-up bars and the bartenders were just awesome. Our group got really close to Oscar, ( and he even ended up working our wedding!). We were treated like royalty! The rooms were kept nice and cool, however the only slightly bad thing was that because of the high humidity there, our swimsuits never really dried out. It wasn't terrible though, because you just went right back into the ocean ( or the rain!) anyway. The food was awesome! You have to try the hamburgers. Our group even got a hamburger to go on the way to the airport to go home.
Before our group came to cozumel, we were concerned about some of the reviews stating how bad mosquitos were, and stuff getting stolen. Mosquitos were a bit troublesome, but nothing bad enough to ruin a trip. Nothing of ours got stolen, but you just have to be smart about things too- put your valuables in the safe when you're not using them. I will say that the most commendable thing about the Park Royal workers was that the girls would occasionally decide to meet in one room, and we'd leave the door slightly open for the rest of the party to come in. The workers would come by and request that you shut the door all the way. It made us feel as though they were looking out for our safety, which is something that can be lacking at some other resorts.

We will absolutely come back every year for our anniversary, and we've even had our wedding group tell us that they're coming with us. We've stayed at the occidental grand cozumel before this, and the Park Royal was WAY better. We'll be staying here from now on! Can't wait to go back!!! :)

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank AshChad7911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2011

This was a very nice resort. The food was middle of the road, not the best but not the worst AI food. The grounds where very nice, I loved that it has a wonderful beach area to snorkel at. My husband stayed here in Sept 2010, so it was not that busy. We did however run into the staff quite a few times that did try to get us to sign up for things. It was a little sad that we told them it was our honeymoon and we still got a room with 2 beds because they didn't have all the rooms up and going because it was slow. All it all it was a nice stay and if I where going back to Cozumel I would think about staying here again. I know a lot of people do not like the fact that there is a peir where the cruse ships dock at right next door, however we never had a problem with the people, and I thought they looked really pretty at night with all the lights on.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank MRS82584
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2011

Just got back this week and couldn't wait to post my review!

My family has a time share here and have been coming here for the last few years. This was our first trip with them. I see now why they love it so much!

First let me say that the place is immaculately clean. They actually scrub the rocks in the fountains everyday to make sure they don't get dirty. The rooms were spotless and everything on the grounds is immaculately kept.

The food was good- not over the top fantastic, but good. We ate at the Italian, Mexican, and the buffet (mostly at the buffet because we do have a child under 12). I was afraid I'd get bored of the buffet because we stayed there for 2 weeks, but they mix it up a lot and have different themes every night.

The Kids Club was fantastic. Miss Claudia is so good with the kids. My daughter pretty much came and went when she wanted (we told Claudia that it was ok for her to leave on her own because we were just sitting at the pool outside the kids club).

The Entertainment Staff was WONDERFUL! Franciso, Mario, Manuel, Guillermo, and Gaspar really make it fun for everyone. There were activities for everyone all day- water volleyball, water polo, freindship bracelets, spanish lessons, cooking lessons, dance lessons, fun games, you name it. Then in the evening, there were fun shows or karaoke or casino night. A couple of days it rained and they converted the Sports Bar into a game room and played games with everyone. By the time we left, my kids hugged all of them and wanted their pictures taken with everyone.

The pools are very nice- one free form and two infinity pools. Bars at all the pools and all the bartenders were very nice. The beach is kind of crummy- very small. Once you get about 20 feet into the ocean, though, the water is nice and good for snorkeling- lots of pretty fish (just as nice as the snorkelling trip we went on).

Lastly, the staff..... The people could not possibly be any friendlier!!! Every single person there was so nice- from the bell hops, to the waiters, housekeeping, EVERYONE! My sister and brother in law said to me that when they go to PR, the people are like "family". I can see why. They remembered my family from last year! As soon as Francisco saw my 92 year old Grandfather on our first day there, in the middle of the show, he hollered out and said "hi Papi" (we call him Pop). One of the guys in the gym asked me where I was from and I told him NJ. He said "I know your family- you have a little boy". I couldn't believe that they would remember my family from last year.

I know I'm going on and on, but we just had such a wonderful time and I can't say enough great things about the hotel and staff. I HIGHLY recommend staying there! You'll love it!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank DisneyMom00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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