My wife and I travelled to the Royal Hideaway Playacar for our honeymoon in the middle of July 2013. She had some family that had stayed at RH for their honeymoon, and our travel agent had stayed there as well. I don’t know where to start to describe this resort…
Service: Unbelievable. From the time you check in until you leave, people are seeking you out to accommodate your wishes. The wait staff was ALWAYS smiling and tolerated our attempts at broken Spanish while we ordered everything on the menu. There are a lot of positives about the resort, but this is their biggest emphasis. There are people constantly walking around the pool and beach areas to take drink and food orders. We had a couple delicious lunches on lounge chairs just 50 yards from the ocean. The staff at the nighttime restaurants is no different. Each dining experience felt like we were eating at 5-star restaurant because of the respect and level of service that each person provided. Sandra was our concierge, and she took care of our reservations and arranged excursions. She was fantastic and facilitated anything we needed. We had problems with our room and a lost reservation our first couple days at RH. When we politely brought these issues up to the front desk, they went to work for us. We had to switch rooms, and asked that we receive nothing less than what we paid for. Incidentally, they upgraded us to the Presidential Suite overlooking the beach! It was a dream come true for honeymooners, and we did not expect it. I feel like those that complain about poor service at Royal Hideaway do not bring their issues to the front desk. Jair, the Rooms Manager could not have been more professional or polite during the process and I encourage those that have an issue with their stay to speak up, because these people are in the business to make your vacation a memorable one.
Food/Drinks: Exceptional. Those that are afraid of the “All-Inclusive” stigma need not worry about the quality of the food at RH. My wife and I are big eaters, and we were blown away at how good the food was. We ate breakfast at the Spices buffet every morning. The only buffet on the property, but it was a good one. They changed up some of the Mexican dishes every day, had fresh fruit, omelet station, and more. You couldn’t go wrong. Lunch came from the Deck, which was a solid grill with a good variety of a la carte choices. Spices also turned into a lunch spot, and we had a great meal of traditional Mexican dishes there while overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Not bad at all…
The nighttime restaurants offered great quality and variety. You needed reservations in advance, which we made the day before or morning of through Sandra. Be aware that they require slacks and closed-toed shoes for the men. I enjoyed that, and the quality of the restaurants warranted it.
Las Ventanas – This is a fine-dining restaurant that is a chain, perhaps like a regional version of Morton’s or Ruth’s Chris. When our friends found out that it was included in the All-Inclusive plan, they were blown away. We showed up early to hang at the bar and soak up the atmosphere. The bartender Joel could not have been more pleasant, and helped us plan our trip into Playa del Carmen for later in the week. He made some darn good drinks as well. Everything about the place is elegant, from the setting to the piano player. We loved it and the food was excellent. We enjoyed a 5-course meal that would have cost several hundred dollars back home.
Azia – This was a fun place that offered dishes from all over the Orient. Still a nice atmosphere, we ate here twice. The first time, we sat at a table and thoroughly enjoyed course after course of delicious food. The second time, we asked to sit at the Hibachi/Teppenyaki table where we were seated with 6 other people while our chef Victor entertained us and cooked a fine meal.
Palazzo – The Italian restaurant in the rotation may have been our favorite. The food was exceptional, and halfway through the meal, they brought us some champagne from the house to commemorate our honeymoon. Once again, we were blown away by the food and exceptional service.
Club Royale – Is a theater outfitted with dining tables and couches to fit couples and groups. They showed two performance the week we were there, a Mexican Fiesta and an Elvis Show. We had planned to skip the two weekly shows in favor of dinner elsewhere, especially when we heard that the buffet food at the Fiesta was average. But we got adventurous about the Elvis Show, especially when we heard that Las Ventanas was catering a 4-course meal (they share a kitchen). We were so happy we went, and were rewarded with enormous lobster and delicious steak along with several other incredible courses. The show itself was wonderful. The band covered some classics like Steely Dan and the Eagles before an Elvis impersonator came out and put on a show. We loved it, as did the others who gave it a shot. The setting of the theater was romantic as well.
Room Service – The food at all the restaurants was exceptional. And with the all-inclusive package, it was your own fault if you went hungry. But sometimes, you want a midnight snack. We sure did, and we ordered nachos, pizza, and quesadillas a number of times before or after dinner. Allow 20-30 minutes for delivery, but it was nice being able to lounge in the room and have food brought to us.
The Grounds at Royal Hideaway: The entire resort was beautiful. The many pools along the walkway from the lobby to the beach made it feel like paradise amidst the vegetation. There were always workers improving the grounds in some way (picking up trash, sweeping the bridges, manicuring the beach, et al) as we walked around. The lobby was immaculate and clean. The spa was incredible. The entire place felt spotless, and the staff worked hard to maintain that.
The Rooms: The rooms are clean, but not spectacular. We started with a Luxury Ocean View and were satisfied. The minibar in every room was fantastic, and they refilled it with water, beer, and sodas every day. The standard rooms, however, are not a big attraction at RH. The two of us had plenty of space to store our luggage and be comfortable, but they are not the luxurious suites with all the amenities you might find elsewhere. The Presidential Suite, on the other hand, was incredible. One bedroom, two bathrooms, large living room, an enormous Jacuzzi tub, a balcony with lounge chairs, a hammock, and a Jacuzzi tub overlooking the pool/beach. For those looking to travel in style, this room category is for you.
Overall: We loved Royal Hideaway and are recommending it to everyone. We want to go back ASAP and aren't interested in looking elsewhere. The atmosphere is relatively subdued. They had a Karaoke Night, salsa lessons, and more, but those looking for more of a party scene would find it too quiet. There were several neighboring resorts that had some music playing and looked more active as we walked the beach. RH is about relaxing and enjoying great food and great service in a beautiful setting.
- 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 And Occidental Resorts
- Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Royal Hideaway Playa Del Carmen
- Royal Hideaway Mexico
- Occidental Royal Hideaway
- Royal Hideaway Playacar Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico