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“Wonderful: great service and staff ”

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Royal Hideaway Playacar
Ranked #31 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed December 7, 2013 via mobile

We travelled to Playa del Carmen last week, and stayed four nights at Royal Hideaway. It was a great vacation from top to bottom. Rooms were spacious, with a nice balcony area and very large bathroom (rainforest shower and separate large bathtub). The two main pools are beautiful, along with smaller pools scattered about the resort grounds that are quiet. The beach and facilities are great, the restaurants are great, but the thing that stands out about Royal Hideaway is the service. Outstanding, genuinely friendly warm staff make the difference between a good vacation and a truly great one.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Inspiredexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded December 11, 2013

Dear Inspiredexplorer,

We would like to thank you very much for your comment on Tripadvisor, regarding your stay at Royal Hideaway.

We always try to do our best to make sure our guests have the best experience while staying with us and it is a great reward to read that you appreciated our facilities as well as our service.
We hope to have the pleasure of seeing you again soon.

Sincerely

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Reviewed December 7, 2013

Having stayed at over 20 resorts in the Riviera Maya area, we were hoping for another great experience here. Didn't happen.

Granted, the property is nicely landscaped, with comfortable rooms and good service - BUT - for us, the food was mediocre at best (except for osso bucco at Palazzo and Argentinian grill at The Grill) and the entertainment was the poorest we've ever encountered.

We were, luckily, given a room in building 31, with a view of the pool and ocean. After taking a walk around the perimeter of the resort, I shudder to think what I would have done if allocated a room overlooking a neighbouring resort - think dark (overhanging foliage), noisy (overlooking generators and service areas). As we like to keep the curtains open and sit on our balcony with a cocktail and read in the evening....we dodged a bullet! There definitely needs to be some exterior maintence done - but I understand this will be undertaken in 2014.

Continuously cold food (which was meant to be hot), inedible meat, running out of breakfast items for over 15 mins at a time, long queues for lunch at The Deck (where the food wasn't very good anyway).....where was the "wonderful gourmet" food that I'd read about in many reviews? Perhaps they couldn't cope, because the resort was at 100% occupancy during our week. They did have a hot plate buffet set up poolside every day, featuring e.g. one day meat, another chicken, another paella etc. - but continuously ran out of items, resulting in long waits for stuff there too - who is organizing this and can't foresee the need to keep up?? Even then, the food was lukewarm at best with salad fixings lying in the full sun (as nobody thought to move the shade cover.....).

They do have good liquor available, but, if you don't specify a brand, you're given the local well stuff, as at any lower ranked resort.....even in their "signature" Ventanas" restaurant piano bar, where, BTW, there was a pianist when it was open.

Music played at breakfast was awful; piped music in the Allegria (which means "happiness") bar was gloomy - until I asked for it to be changed to "happy" music. It was not a popular place to sit ....depressing place..... Seemingly, they used to play music round the pool area, according to repeat guests, but no longer.

They do have an "entertainment/activity" schedule which basically was the same thing, at the same time, every day - however, since when was eating fruit and getting ice-cream, "activities"? We, and one other couple, played bocce one day and horse-shoes the next for probably 20 mins, on alternating days - no attempt to get anyone involved; if people turned up, fine..if not...There was also beach volleyball every day and aqua aerobics for 30 mins. We did take part in the bingo each day at 4.30pm. They leave a paper in your room at the turn-down service, listing the next days "events" and restaurant openings (Ventanas was closed, as was their piano bar during the dinner show evenings - Thurs and Sat). Thursday's was Mexican folk music with a buffet (nothing special and lukewarm at best) and Saturdays was "Royal Elegance" show (dance skits) with waiter service surf and turf (our lobster was nice, meat dreadful).

The best evening entertainment was the Reggae band - attracted crowds watching and dancing, on the balcony above and in the gazebo across the pond. Maybe somebody needs to take note of what people like? Met many interesting, friendly people during our stay.

They reiterate the dress code during check-in and so does your concierge when you make dinner reservations - BUT, there were two men in Ventanas in jeans and t-shirts and also some in the theatre as well.

We had a very helpful, efficient, friendly concierge (Monica) but suddenly she left on day 5. The next two didn't seem too experienced as we were given conflicting information regarding late check-out. Ended up with not even a hospitality room available (after thinking we had one booked for an hour, found out at 11 am on morning of departure). Whatever you do, DO NOT have a departure shower in the spa! It's not geared for dressing for travel! - hot, dark, no changing room (unless I was not shown one....)

Can't fault housekeeping service or turndown (except missing towels on several occasions). Shower temperature fluctuates between scalding hot and cold, no matter what you set it to. Many other guests reported same thing. Waiter, bar, beach, pool drink service was good - these people hustle - but seemed understaffed.

Contrary to other reviews, our check-in service was quick and friendly. I had been in touch before our stay to make several dinner reservations and room requests and received all. The beach is magnificent; the Caribbean blue and clear, though was quite rough with a strong undertow for five of our seven days. If you want a lounger overlooking the infinity pool, better be prepared to claim your spot before 8 am - the towel game is for sure in effect here for these spots. Lots of loungers on the beach, with shade provided by the palm trees and the little canvas canopies (which I, personally, found hot and claustrophobic). Not enough shade with full occupancy.

We so wanted to have found another favourite spot on the Riviera Maya - didn't happen.

Room Tip: Make a request beforehand to steer clear of outer perimeter rooms.....
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank bridgenut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2013

Dear Bridgenut,

Thank you for taking the time to share your review. Your experience was beneath the standards that we set for ourselves, and for this we apologize.

We have followed up with our management regarding the type of issues you encountered during your stay and we are reviewing our processes to prevent these annoyances in the future.

Feedback like yours helps us to refine our service and coach our team so that we may prevent errors.

We hope that you will give us another opportunity to provide you with a true an Occidental Royal Hideaway experience to demonstrate the high levels of quality and service which we are known and we assure you that we will be able to change the poor perception you seem to have formed of us.

Sincerely

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Reviewed December 7, 2013

Went with my wife and two daughters for a pre-winter sun break. Unfortunately there was a tropical storm for the first two days, but the remainders of the week was good.This hotel is excellent. One of the best all-inclusive I have used. There are five excellent restaurants and everything is in the price. The Japanese restaurant is particularly good. Delightful stretch of beach. The staff really make it; they try so hard, with lots of little extras: a barbecue by the pool, ice-creams in the afternoon and a karaoke night. Unlike many other all-inclusives, there were no drunken footballers in the poll and everyone was very pleasant and civilised. I would definitely go again. The concierge service is also very good. Each building (approx. 20 rooms) has its own concierge; they are very professional and helpful.

Room Tip: Go for rooms near the pool, not near the main building: quieter in the evening. Rooms on the right h...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Ric P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded December 11, 2013

Dear Ric P,

Thank you for your feedback about your stay to Royal Hideaway. We appreciate your kind words. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your trip and found our resort as an outgoing, gorgeous and relaxing place.

Please come and visit us again in the near future for us will be an honor to host you again.

Sincerely

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Reviewed December 6, 2013

I have been to this resort twice in one year. In August 2013 , it was my 50th birthday so I brought my best friend and family members. My son, who has been brought up to enjoy the finer things in life, and his cousins, had a nice time. They loved the food, respected the fact they had to dress for dinner, after all, they are our future and should know how to mind their manners in their 20's.
Since Playa Del Carmen was a quick cab ride , or they could walk, they planned for eventful evenings, after dinner on their own. We did accompany them a couple of times, Playa has some excitement in the evenings. They also enjoyed the 24 hour room service, plentiful menu and they said their service was great. My other guests 50+ enjoyed relaxing on the beach every day and leisurely floating in the pool or swimming in the deep blue green sea. The 20 somethings enjoyed jet skiing, relaxing on the beach, and did a jungle excurision. May I add the service on the beach from Mario and Gennaro was superb. Great margaritas, Miami Vices, champagne- all included.
OK Now, Nov. 2013. WOW. time to truly appreciate this resort. My fiance and I(HE proposed here) cannot say enough true comments regarding the Royal Hideaway. The manager Lorenzo Chan is a true gentlemen and has the REAL passion to run a five star resort. This is important.
I stayed at the ST. Regis last week for business, and it cannot compare to service here.
Our concierge Hector was wonderful and paid attention to detail. Gennaro was the sweetest man , we actually asked him to come to the states with his family:) he always smiles and constantly wants to please you and your guest.
The food: Palazzo is our favorite. We ate there three times the first time with our group, and once again the latter. I crave the fettuccine with truffles. Their Osso Buco was just as good as any in NYC. Service again, was fab.
Azia- the 20 somethings ate there twice. They loved it. We liked it. Again quality of food, great, service superb.
Las Ventanas- The group liked it, We loved it. The best salmon I have ever had. Service great!
The Grill- the boys loved it because of the huge steaks. Good steaks, but it is Mexico.
Nice acoustic guitar music in the evening.
Romantic dinner on the beach- What can I say here except it was one of our most memorable experiences in our lives. Joe proposed here. It could not have been more special and romantic.
There is music playing, candles leading to your table on the beach, tiki torches surrounding your table, they actually flatten the sand for you and may engrave a nice welcome. Gennaro and another gentlemen were our servers and once again did not miss on service , it was outstanding!
Breakfast buffet very good, views are very nice. Laura will always greet you with a smile. I would recommend ala carte at Las Ventanas, when it is open , for a switch.
Beach- beautiful, relaxing, several chairs, great service, again. Top shelf alcohol. Grey goose, Don Julio...
Pools were nice, service again great. When we went alone we met many people at the pool, We had so much fun, a bunch of us went into the hot tub and enjoyed , relaxed, laughed. Nobody too loud, just many smiles.
I do hope they patch up the second pool though, some cracks around the surface. It does not fit with the rest of the properties beauty.
Entertainment- we had lots of fun with the reggae band, karaoke, and met wonderful people that we will keep in touch with!
So here's the skinny- if you enjoy the Ritz Carlton, St. Regis type of resorts- book here.
If you love the beach- book here.
If you are a foodie and want to try an all inclusive- book here.
If you need to relax- book here.
If you like to shop and be close to town- book here.
Golf-book here.
Like to dress, and are well heeled-book here.
Need I say more? We cannot wait to go back!!

Room Tip: We like building 31, 27, 24 close to the beach , you may even get a view.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank oneLmichele1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded December 11, 2013

Dear OneLmichele1111,

We would like to thank you very much for your comment on Tripadvisor, regarding your stay at Royal Hideaway. Thank you for your preference even more for give us the opportunity to live a true All inclusive luxury experience. We are delighted to read that you had a memorable stay with us and that you enjoyed our facilities and the location of the hotel.

We hope to have the pleasure of seeing you again soon in the near future.

Sincerely

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2013

This was our second vacation at Royal Hideaway and I was impressed that in many respects it was even better. We loved the wide sandy beach which was perfect for long walks in either direction. We truly enjoyed the wonderful service around the pool and the well made drinks. We were impressed by the comfortable room and the cleanliness of the entire facility.
We have been fortunate enough to travel to a number of adult all inclusive hotels in this area and Royal Hideaway would be among our favourite.
We found the food in most of the restaurants to be quite good with a few exceptions. On our first visit we always ate at the Deck but were not impressed with the food there on this trip. It was always extremely busy and seemed short staffed. Our food came out cold every time. Too bad because the view is amazing.
We were able to make reservations for all of our dinners ahead via email. We really appreciated this because we are not interested in 10pm dinners and with no buffet at this resort there are very few options. We attended two dinner shows which were quite well done. The food at these was okay to good except for the steak which was inedible.
We had our best meals at Ventannas. Service at this restaurant was excellent and the food was very good. Unfortunately the wine at the resort is not up to the standard of the food so we ended up purchasing a bottle on two occasions and having other drinks with dinner on the other evenings. The markup on the purchased bottles was very high compared to other restaurants.
Entertainment at Royal Hideaway is sparse. There is something offered every evening but it was not well attended because the music was not upbeat. In fact the music played around the entire resort was a bit spa like at all times which got annoying. On our first visit we enjoyed the bar by Ventannas but on this trip despite very high occupancy it was closed on two occassions and the piano player was no longer there to entertain. Too bad because a predinner bar is a big draw at all of the resorts we have been to.
We really enjoyed the afternoon tea where we had terrific Mayan coffee.
We were impressed by many of the staff who work very hard. The service here is superior to any other resort we have been to.
The only exception to this wonderful service was the front desk which is too bad because they are the first and last impression for the resort. Upon arrival at the resort we were seated in the lobby with a drink which we appreciated but it took far too long to get checked in. The staff seems poorly trained and a bit disorganized and not as friendly as I would have expected. Check out was even worse. Luckily we gave ourselves 30 minutes to check out because it took almost that long for them to figure out how to charge us for the wine we purchased and how to apply a resort credit to that purchase. I would imagine that this is something that happens many times a day and staff should be able to make that transaction quickly.
I would recommend this resort and it will be on our list for return visits.

Room Tip: We enjoyed staying in building 25 which is in the middle of the resort and therefore quiet. Let the...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Ontario_Sun_lovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2013

Dear Ontario_Sun_lovers,

Thank you very much for your valuable comment on and for staying recently with us.We was very pleased to read y you had for our hotel. Regarding to the comments about the lack of service of our front desk: we have taken note and will discuss these issues with the department heads. We all know that we need to work hard to improve our standards in we strive for perfection, and to continue to be able to exceed our guest’s expectations.

We hope that despite these issues you had a pleasant stay, and we do look forward to be given the opportunity to welcome you again at Royal Hideaway.

Sincerely

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed December 3, 2013

I left the hotel earlier today promising them I would leave a review of my honest opinion. Extremely disappointed in this place. Came here for my friends birthday to relax and unwind, unfortunately that's not what happened.

To start, the four of us booked through a travel agent who made sure we would all be in the same building, upon arrival we found that our group of four was split in twos and we were placed in buildings far away from each other. They weren't apologetic and didn't offer to make the situation better.

Twice during our 5 day stay my friend and I were locked out of our hotel room for 45 minutes each time. You're supposed to have a concierge in each building but ours was NEVER behind his desk.

Service at the beach side restaurant is HORRIFIC along with La Ventanas and Palazzo. It took 30-45 minuets too bring out our food. Service was slow and miserable. It almost seemed like we were inconveniencing them by asking for beverages or food.

I could go on and on but I honestly don't want to dwell. Definitely eat at the Japanese restaurant, the service there was great and so was the food. The Mediterranean restaurant by the beach is spectacular! We had great service there but that was about it.

I've been to Mexico 6 times and I've stayed at newer and less expensive hotels with better service. I will NEVER stay there again and honestly you shouldn't either.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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6  Thank Mimi A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded December 9, 2013

Dear Mimi A,

We really appreciate your comments, we are happy to read you enjoyed the service and food variety at Azia and The Grill. We regret to read the lack of service you encountered during you stay at Royal Hideaway. Please receive our sincerest apologies we understand your frustration, please note special requests are very important for us, we try to do our best to accommodate them, but we can’t guarantee. For your next visit we suggest send a previous email upon your arrival (cservices@mx.occidental hotels.com) It will be a pleasure to assist you.

As far as food refers we shared your feedback with our Food and Beverage Manager .We will take measures to improve our guests’ satisfaction. Our Executive Chef and kitchen team works daily to prepare fresh items and high quality produce.

On behalf of the staff here we’d like to apologize for any inconvenience you encountered during your stay. We shared your experience with our management and once again we thank you for your suggestions we are always looking for ways to improve our guest’s experience.

We looking forward to welcoming you back to Royal Hideaway in the future

Sincerely

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2013

We had a wonderful experience at the hotel - simply first class. Adults only is always nice.
Everything from staff to food is excellent.
Should warn you if you want to dive do not use the dive shop attached to the hotel. They provide little or no customer service and diving the local reef is a yawn. Take the time to go to Cozumel or go in town and book with a local company.
We has two amazing cenote dives in Xel-ha. The dive shop there was awesome and the two guides were fantastic.
The exceptional service at the hotel more than overshadowed the dive shop - we would definitely stay again

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank JW B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2013

Dear JW B,

Thank you for the tome you took to send us your comment. On behalf of Royal Hideaway staff, we’d like to apologize for any inconvenience you encountered at the Dive Center. We shared your experience with their management and once again we thank you for your suggestions we are always looking for ways to improve our guest’s experience. We hope welcoming you back to Royal Hideaway in the future.

Sincerely

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
#13 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#17 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $368 - $739 (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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