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“We love it, but one loud problem...”

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Royal Hideaway Playacar
Ranked #36 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed February 21, 2013

We just returned from our fourth visit to Royal Hideaway, after an absence of 10 years. It was just as we remembered it plus some improvements, which is why we returned after travelling to many other places in the meantime. There were some very good improvements – Ventanas and the adjoining bar have been renovated, the landscaped grounds have grown in and matured beautifully compared to 10 years ago, when it was already beautiful. The staff is constantly working to maintain everything. The staff is incredible – friendly, helpful and very cheerful. We loved the food in every restaurant, and although some comments complain about the pace of service at dinner, the point is to take your time and enjoy rather than rush through five or six courses. The beach was nearly gone 10 years ago after another hurricane, but now it is huge, probably the best beach I have seen anywhere.
We love the place. Which is why I will point out our only problem with the rooms. This comment is more for management, who we know read these reviews: One of the things we want from a vacation is quiet uninterrupted sleep. The RH has by far the loudest room doors of anywhere we have ever stayed. Up front, we absolutely blame inconsiderate guests for this problem. The doors can be closed easily with nothing more than a metallic click, which should not bother anyone. But guests for some reason constantly slam the doors – late at night coming back from dinner, at 3:00 a.m. when the drunks come back from nightclubs, at 5:30 a.m. when guests leave for the airport or tour pick-ups, and on their way to breakfast. The design of the doors – freely swinging heavy steel doors closing into steel frames, coupled with the design of the villas – inside facing rooms on three floors with a “coliseum” courtyard in the middle - causes a thunderous cannon-shot BOOM which reverberates through the building. Our room shook from these slams. Unless your guests sleep in a comatose state, they cannot help being jolted awake every time someone slams a door. You can certainly accuse us of nitpicking, and you may be correct – the first few nights we shrugged and thought we remember the doors being loud, but by our eighth night of being awakened several times, it became quite annoying. And other guests agreed. This is NOT just once or twice a night, it is constant. Is there anything you can do? A hydraulic stop to prevent the door closing quickly for the last few inches? Redesigning the doors? Even reminding the guests to be considerate of the 60 people trying to sleep in your building who may become homicidal if awakened too many times? We will come back – when you fix the doors. Then the RH would be perfect.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank JayCeeVictoriaBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 21, 2013

Just got back from this resort and is a good one!

If you are a reader of Trip Advisor you will see a number of comments negatives on the resort so lets address them. It is quiet. If the disco and evening shows are high on your list don't go here. It is quiet but they had a small band playing on the bar patio a couple of nights and if you are outgoing enough to speak to and meet some other travelers it worked for us. You do hear the entertainment from the neighbouring RUI but it settles down by 11 so I would ask for a room in the centre of the resort if you think that will be an issue.

The food and service was top notch. Multi-course meals with reasonable sized samplers for the early courses so that you had room to enjoy and sometimes even space for desert. House wine was very acceptable quality. We had a couple of rounds of golf included in our package and it is within a couple of blocks of the hotel and they send a golf cart to get you. A good course for the south and a good way to spend a couple half days.

We were there with another couple and would both go back.

Room Tip: Pick a room in a building in the middle or at least facing the middle of the complex to reduce noise...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Phil G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalHideaway1, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2013

Dear Phil G

Thank you very much for your comments on this review. We are glad to hear that you found our resort to be great and you recommend it to Trip Advisor users. It seems this is your place to enjoy your vacations and we hope to have you back and your friends too. Thank you again for choosing to stay with us and for having a wonderful time. We look forward to welcome you back.
Fondly,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Is was realy great!! Very Nice People Everybody is interestet in us. It is a beautyfull place, quiet and relaxed with a beautyfull beach! Everybody who loves a really good Place, good food and à relaxed environment they have to come here!!!

Room Tip: All rooms are great!!!
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Estherbentum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

I was warry of staying in an all you can eat type of hotel because I had heard horror stories. This was a beautiful, not too large hotel on a magnificent beach. The food was outstanding and there was minimal wait. The dinner reservations go fast at the 4 excellent restaurants so I would definitely book dinners before you arrive. We did it via email and still ended up eating at 9:30 2 nights. Las Ventanas is the fancy restaurant and it was superb. We didn't eat at the Asian restaurant but the Mexican and Grill restaurants were also excellent. Lunch was great and they had either order from the menu or a poolside buffet. I expected the buffet to be dried out food but it was excellent. The alcohol is all top shelf which was another huge surprise. They don't put much in their margaritas etc so ask for a shot on the side if you want to know it;s an alcoholic beverage :).

The beach is superb - gorgeous white sand stretching endlessly. The only down side is that the beach is public and there are peddlers coming by constantly but they were not intrusive. The only negative about the beach was that the guys who should be setting up chairs were not on the beach and very hard to find. That was a pain. Also no umbrellas only those awnings that fold down over the front and back of your chair so it can feel a little closed in.

If you like pools there are 2 right next to eachother that are large and pretty but the chairs around the pools are crammed together and jam packed with guests. With the free all you can eat food and the packed pool chairs it felt a little like being on a very high end cruise!

There is a concierge in each cluster of rooms who helped with reservations and tennis lessons etc. The courts are nice but bring your own balls. The balls there are completely dead! If you are on the ground floor of your building there is little privacy on the patio because people walk by all the time. Get a room on the second or third floors but be prepared to walk steps! There are no elevators in the small buildings and steps everywhere or inclines. I wonder how disabled people or elderly get around.

All in all we really enjoyed ourselves and the plusses far outweighed the minuses. The best part is no children so it is very relaxing.

Room Tip: do not take a ground floor room if you care about privacy on your terrace. If you go to the second...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank segmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Perfect week at RH. We were looking for a week of relaxation and we got it. The hotel is lovely, the restaurants outstanding and the beach is the most beautiful one I have seen. The staff is incredibly friendly and accommodating. Thank you Daniela, our concierge, who insured that our vacation ran smoothly and did a great job making us comfortable. She was delightful. There is no party scene here. This is a place to enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean, relax and be pampered. The most memorable meal we enjoyed was at Palazzo, sitting on the balcony overlooking the resort, being serenaded by a violinist looking out on the lights of Cozumel in the distance. It was a magical week.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank CathyIC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

We returned for our second visit to this property last month. We had a lovely relaxing week and knew what to expect: a quiet property with a great beach and good quality food. This resort definitely skews to an older demographic, forties and older (think Oceania Cruises). There were some younger couples too, but most are middle-aged.

Perhaps because it was our second visit, we looked at things a little more critically. The food was still good, but the breakfast restaurant is very disorganized in the morning and sometimes the wait was long, even with empty tables throughout. The house wines, though drinkable, need improvement. The "champagne" is a Mexican sparkling white. Why not offer a Spanish wine?

The beach and pool service was attentive and nothing is ever too much trouble. There are some great lunch offerings by the pool each day.

Tea in the afternoon is a nice touch, but the area was understaffed. There was one server trying to cover too many tables. The tea sandwiches and pastries were not as good as I remembered them from last year.

Dinner is the main event of the day and did not disappoint. We did not have one bad meal and service was excellent in every restaurant.

Though the outside bar/lounge is a nice place to congregate after dinner, this resort really could benefit from another option. The Ventanas bar is beautiful but closes at 11 pm. It would be nice to have another option apart from Allegria. Something near the beach would be nice.

This is not the place to go if you are looking for activity or entertainment. That suits many of us, but others may find it too quiet. We checked out the Royal one afternoon. It was more lively but did not have the same elegant and relaxed atmosphere.

Will we return? Probably. This is the first resort we have ever returned to the following year and we did not regret it. That being said, there are many resort options in the Mayan Riviera and we may consider another one next year.

Room Tip: Rooms in the middle/north side are quieter.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Pirouette1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalHideaway1, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2013

Dear Pirouette1

We thank you very much for returning to the Royal Hideaway and for your very kind feedback. We appreciate your eye for detail as a repeat guest, it provides us with the necessary tools to keep improving.

I’m sorry to read your comments about our beverages offerings; they have been addressed to our Food and Beverages Manager in order to verify its quality. Also, please know that the sparkling wine of the house is Italian. Regarding your feedback on the service at tea time, I assure you that action will be taken to prevent this from happening again, we strive to provide a wonderful experience with our meals and beverages. Dinner is definitely a spectacular experience at the Royal Hideaway and we are glad you found it so.
We are looking forward to your next visit, please let us know prior to arrival to assist you with yet another wonderful getaway.

Sincerely,

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Reviewed February 17, 2013

I'll try not to rehash all of the other reviews that were very helpful for us before going to the resort. Simply put, we had a great time from beginning to end! Here are some observations that we had that I hadn't read about previously - - - in no particular order.

We were concerned after we booked about the dinner reservations, dress code, no dinner buffets etc. This turned out very well. We booked the first two nights of dinner via the website and got 7:00 or 7:30 reservations. When we arrived, our very nice Concierge Daniela booked the rest of our dinners. We thought that it would cramp our freeform style but it really didn't and ultimately we thought it was great. We brought a few nicer things to wear and we were fine. My partner said that women were wearing anything from capri pants to sun dresses and sandals. These restaurants were three steps above any of the buffets that we ever did at any other resorts and it was worth getting yourself cleaned up a little.

This should be referred to as a "Gourmet Resort." And this isn't a faux-gourmet thing where they dress up some good food to be gourmet. We tasted some of the best flavors of our life at these spots. They would surprise you with some little morsel from the chef and it was always just exceptional. The lamb is crazy and the combination Spinach soup and tomato soup at Palozo is not to be missed.

Our day started with a pot of coffee, orange juice and pastries delivered to our room. We're early risers so we set it up for 6:00 AM every day that we were there. We'd sit on the patio and wake up. (Ask for this, it's just great). The person who delivered it was just great. Very polite and professional and helpful. I wish I could remember his name.

The Breakfast Buffet at Spices down by the water is really wonderful and they mix it up every day so it doesn't get boring. They had a Chorizo and potato dish one day that was incredible. Lots of great breads, exotic fruits, eggs and omelets to order. All with that great service.

When you go down to the pool or beach for the day, if you stand there a minute, an employee wearing a blue and white striped shirt will come and ask you if they can help. They'll haul some chairs to your spot, bring one of these inventive canopies to provide some shade, a little table and get you all set up. Then, all day long, these great waiters (We really like Fray) will come along (on the beach or by the pool) and offer drinks and they keep coming.

For lunch you can go up to the Deck and order off the menu or you can ask a waiter to bring you a menu and they'll bring your food right to your chair. Also, each day they have a grill or a huge Wok set up and they'll be serving something in another area by the pool and it was very tasty each time we tried it.

This resort is in an area called Playacar. Playacar is a gated community with about 10 resorts and some condos and homes in it. We liked it because we could go for a morning power walk all around and look at the different resorts on the sidewalks and we never got hustled and certainly always felt very safe.

Try the "Dirty Monkey" which is a blended drink with a bunch of stuff in it and also an "Iceberg" which is 3/4 of a Corona beer with some frozen Marguerita on top. Very refreshing.

If you take a left on the beach from the resort you can walk to Playa Del Carmen in about 20 minutes. There is a Senior Frogs bar at the end of your walk if you get thirsty. We packed our sandals in a backpack and headed down there once and did some shopping during the day and it was plenty of fun.

It was a great experience overall and in all of the minute details. Everyone at the RH is on the team and we'll certainly be back next year.

Room Tip: We were in building 25 and it was nice as it was in the center of the resort. Going forward we migh...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank TomSMuskegon_MI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Hideaway Playacar

Address: Lote Hotelero No. 6 Fracc., Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Resorts)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#18 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $295 - $663 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Royal Hideaway Playacar 4.5*
Number of rooms: 201
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Award winning luxury all inclusive resort set along the beautiful beaches of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Ideal setting in a serene environment for complete rest and relaxation. Adults only. Member of The Leading Hotels of the World. 2008 winner of the coveted AAA 5 Diamond Award. 11 villas with private concierge are spread throughout the property's immaculate grounds. Six gourmet restaurants serve delicasies in menu-style dining. A full service spa offers the ultimate in papmering and body treatments. Personalzied service and attention to detail set this resort a world apart. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hideaway Playacar And Occidental Resorts
Royal Hideaway Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hideaway Mexico
Occidental Royal Hideaway
Royal Hideaway Playacar Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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