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“Second Honeymoon”

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The Royal Playa del Carmen
Ranked #11 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed November 2, 2012

Went to The Royal for a second honeymoon after our first honeymoon there 2 1/2 years ago. Although our first honeymoon was paradise, somehow this time The Royal topped themselves. We were there October 20-28th and it was the perfect time to go! Both my husband and I said this time was even better than last time. They now have online check in which allows you to pick your own room. Although the site said it was down after we picked our room, once we showed up at the resort, surprisingly our room was the one I had picked online! We chose a room one the first floor to the left of the main pool. We were nervous it would be loud, being right next to a speaker, but it didn't let it any sound! We took a nap every single day after being out at the pool and never had a problem. Housekeeping is fantastic, they do a better job than anywhere I've ever been. I believe the food is even better than last time! Tapas had changed from what it was like last time we were there and this was a place we loved for lunch. At the pool, if you are lucky enough to have Daisy as your server enjoy it! My parents were there a month before we were and told us to try to find her. Outside our room just happened to be her area and she was one of the best parts about being at the pool. Always smiling, funny, and easy to talk to. We would look forward to going to the pool everyday just to see her. Also at the pool, Jaime still never disappoints. We left the rest of our SPF for him, he always makes us smile. Spice was of course where we would spend our breakfasts, although I was a bit surprised they now have the same thing everyday. When we were last there they would mix it up a little daily, although I'm not complaining since I get the same thing everyday anyway! Marisol is still the master omelette maker, also wonderful to talk to and welcoming. If I were rich, I would only want her to make me omelettes once a day, I don't know what it is but they are the best I've ever had! As a waiter, David is the best at Spice. He's hilarious and his service is exceptional. Fabian is also wonderful to see day and night, which we did in the morning at Spice and at dinner at Maria Marie's. These people work such long hours, yet they are always joyful and happy to see you. It's so refreshing and really makes a positive impact on your vacation. All the restaurants are great as usual, but for us Spice (for breakfast, lunch and dinner!) and Maria Marie's were by far the standouts. We went to Maria Marie's for 4 dinners, and very easily could've went for every one and it might have been even better! At the nicest steak house in any city I've ever been to I've never had close to the quality of service they provide. The first night we went we were lucky enough to have Tobon as our waiter. He was the best waiter we've ever had, anywhere. So incredibly knowledgable, he knows it all!!! He used to be a bartender and is becoming a wine sommelier, so he would ask us what kind of things we liked and would surprise us with the most amazing drinks we've ever had. We wanted to have him every night, however the next night when we went and asked for him they seemed confused like we couldn't request a waiter and said they would see what they could and we were not sat in his section. Luckily we saw him during the day the next day and told him about it where we found out he was working outside so that night we just requested to sit outside. That night we had the opportunity to meet the best restaurant manager ever Joaquin!!!! He is willing to bend over backwards for anything you could ever want, it's truly outstanding. Tobon also brought out the chef, Gabriel, to meet us that night which was an honor. We were able to try so many different food items and drinks that we never would have had we not gone there and asked for Tobon. We are so grateful to him, Joaquin and Gabriel for creating such a great experience for us. For anyone going to The Royal, you must go there and if you can sit in his section. You'll definitely be back!! And as a sidenote, I know tipping is not required anywhere at the resort and we certainly saw way too many people never tip, but these people work so incredibly hard - I just feel that it is wrong to not tip them based off of the service they give. We always tipped for every drink, every meal, and I would greatly urge others to do so. Last person I'll mention is Reyes at Tequileria. He's so fun and really knows his tequila! We would always look forward to seeing him at night. Although I'm not sure of his name, we had wished we also went to the bar at Pelicanos more at night. The bartender there made my husband a 'Mexican Martini' which was out of this world! He was great to talk to and unfortunately we found out about him too late to keep coming back. They now give you a list of activities for the week which was different than last time we went. It was really nice, and we went to the Martini and Tequila tastings. Very fun to go to and a really neat idea on their part. Reyes did the martini tasting which was so fun and the tequila tasting was so educational! I'm not a huge tequila fan, but he even taught us how to drink it without the taste hitting you and now I love tequila! Also different than last time were the big events they do in the main garden. We thought they were setting up for a wedding and were so shocked to find it was for the guests! It was really, really fun to attend, something different to do! The Thursday Mexican party looked beautiful and we were so excited to attend, although it started raining after these poor workers had spent the entire day setting it up! Well, I apologize for this being so long but I really wanted to extend my gratitude to everyone, along with giving anyone that goes some heads up. I know after our first honeymoon we thought, we can't ever vacation anywhere but here! It's the best! And when we arrived this time I thought, this is the best but we should probably try to experience somewhere else before coming back here again. I will tell you, though, when you talk to people there everyone is there for their 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th time. And they all say you can't find another all inclusive like it, so we just may be going back there next time! Thank you for anyone who read this and most importantly thank you to The Royal staff!

ps- forgot to mention, our whole honeymoon we didn't know this, along with most of our stay this time! They have Grey Goose at every bar behind the bars! No additional cost, the bottle just isn't on display like the others. Very good to know :)

Room Tip: The first time we went we were on the 3rd floor, I liked having a floor on the 1st floor this time t...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Ashley D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9,213 - 9,219 of 16,352 reviews

Reviewed November 2, 2012

2nd time at the royal, still a great hotel and fab staff, very relaxing you dont have to join in with the activities if you dont want to. we had room 350, although we asked for 348 , rooms are all the same but some have bigger balconies and 350 has very small uncoverd one and no hammock .
we ate at all the resturants all were fantastic except Spice, we tried it twice and both times the food on the hot plates was luke warm and food should always be hot to kill off any germs, we ate lunch at pelicanos and got wonderful service special mention to Lucas and Manuel
everywhere was clean and the rooms spotless, its a shame they dont have more entertainment after the show finishes, you have to take a small walk up to 5th Ave for more bars with music,we are an couple in our early 60,s but we still like our music and fun , Coco Bongos was fabulous never think your to old had a great time there,
we were by the noisey pool both times and never found it bothered us at all, we are all there on holiday so you have to have some music and laughter ,would certainly reccomend this hotel to people, you would be hard pushed to find a better hotel at the same price

Room Tip: dont choose 350 or 351 as they have small balconies, and are uncoverd so cant sit out there if it ra...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank elizabeth d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

great trip. friendly staff. good drinks. huge variety of dining. very impressive overall. construction didn't bother us because we were up early and busy doing stuff. if ur going to stay in ur room till noon, u will be affected. danny, jorge, omar, asu and theresa were great entertainers. danny got us involved in tons of activities and is a really fun guy. u have to find him. capitan alberto from the maria marie restaurant was the best waiter. very entertaining and informative about tequila. u want good tequila, he's the man to see. breakfast at the spice was pretty good, more enjoyable by the hosts fabian and selma. dont bother spending the extra dollars on the chef's plate. but 30 bucks gets u a lobster tail for dinner is worth it. alejandro was our bell hop and he deserves a shoutout. don't listen to the bad reviews. we'll go again. thanks

Room Tip: we spent 350 dollars to upgrade to a pool room but didn't use the pool room. if you're goin...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Kareem K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

After booking the Royal, I received a phone call from travel agent advising me that they had been advised that the hotel was undergoing a certain amount of refurbishment. They were unable to advise me what was happening but offered me the chance to change hotels.

Having taken a long time in deciding which hotel to book, I was a little worried that anything else would not meet my expectations. I looked through the travel brochures and went back into the travel agents where the advisor kindly phoned the hotel to find out the extent of the work.

I was advised that they were constructing a number of swim up rooms, redecorating the main lobby and also painting the outside of the hotel. I was told that they would try to give me a room as far away from the building works as possible and gave me the block numbers to avoid, should I be allocated one on check in. Having stayed at hotels in the past that have had building work, I was still a little concerned as to what to expect.

The Royal is one of the further hotels out, so the transfer takes a bit longer than I was advised, however I always think it’s quite nice to see what the other hotels in the area are like.

When we arrived at the hotel, I was very impressed with the lobby as we walked in. I was told when I booked that we would be greeted with a hot towel and a glass of Champaign, but alas thus didn't happen. However when we checked in I can say that things went very smoothly and I was quite taken back by the number of questions and different options I was given. What time would you like maid service? What time and what would you like for the turn down service? Oh and there is even a pillow menu! This was something that I had never experienced before.

We were taken to our room (229) and I can say that I wasn't disappointed in fact it was absolutely fantastic. The room was a great size with a massive double bed, spar bath, a dressing area with sink and a separate shower room with a sink.
The minibar was well stocked and even had optics in the room. There is even a free safe in the room. Everything has been built with luxury in mind. There was a bottle of wine in the room and a welcome letter from the hotel, which I thought was a nice touch.

We was told that they didn’t have a sea view room available, however when we went out on to the balcony if you looked to the left there was the sea. Their idea of a sea view is directly looking out over the ocean. Did I also mention that there was a hammock?

The staff at the hotel are amazing. That’s everyone from the cleaners and bar staff, to the reception staff and waiters, they treat you like royalty. I soon discovered that nothing was too much trouble for them. They all treat you with dignity and respect and really want to make your stay as good as possible.

On exploring the resort, we found the building work, which was on the completely the other side of the hotel and it didn’t look like guest where staying on that side.

All the restaurant served good quality food and there is something for everyone. Make sure you visit the restaurants in the sister hotel across the road. The Italian was my favourite. If you want something that isn’t on the menu just ask.

We booked through Thomas Cook and the Rep in the hotel was very informative and non-pushy which was a nice change.

On the transfer out, we were advised by everyone not to drink the tap water which I think is good advice. The water here has a funny aroma which you quickly accustom too but bathing and showering is all that you would want to do with it. The maid even put fresh bottles of water next to your toothbrush.

If you are planning any early morning trips, the room service is a must, be aware though that there will be mountains of food.

The outside area is very pleasant with plenty of seating areas. Around the pool area initially I sometime found it hard to find a lounger. I later discovered that people where just leaving the towels draped over the loungers waiting for a member of staff to collect them. So it’s always worth asking the person next to you if they are free.

The hotel is directly on the beach as well, where again there are plenty of loungers and cabanas.

As with all, all inclusive holidays, I find that the entertainment gets a bit repetitive and maybe not really my sort of thing. Every night there is a dance show and to be fair they are really good at what they do. Depending on weather they also have outside events, be it the white party or the Mayan night.

All the entertainment finishes about 10pm, personally I would prefer something that went on later. There is a 24hour snack bar where you can get food and drink around the clock though.

If you are looking for things to do whilst staying at the hotel I would recommend having a walk along 5th avenue. Be aware that people will try to entice you into their shops, but if you say no they will leave you alone.

I would also recommend a trip to COCO BONGO, one of the best nights that I had out in ages. Chichen Itza was a good day out if you like history and a ferry trip across to Cozmel was fun.

Where there any negatives about the Royal?
The only one that I had (and that’s not the entertainment because it’s my taste not a fault of the hotel) is that there was no shade around the pool area which means that you can easily get sun burnt if you are not careful.

WORD OF WARNING:
If you are travelling from the UK or Europe, be aware that the sun tan location that we have over here is different to the protection that you need in Mexico. I was advised the reason for my sun burn was that sun cream we have blocks your pores and doesn’t allow you to sweat. So buy your sun cream out there. It’s cheaper that you will pay in the UK especially if you have a walk down to Walmart.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank NJA_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2012

OK, it is hard to complain when you are in Mexico, drinking and eating, in the sun, with friends. The Royal is a beautiful place. The staff are amazing. Best I've seen. Food at the Asian was the best, spice nice breakfast and lunch. Pools are clean. Beach is OK. Tons of seaweed while we were there all over the beach, but beautiful water and nice cabana's.

Registering was a pain. Waited over 20 minutes and they were that busy. We also had to avoid and say no a bunch of times to the timeshare people. We were early, so they said to come back. We went and ate and had a few cocktails. Yum. We were supposed to get a king size bed and a no smoking room. We ended up with 2 twins. They moved us right away, but ended up in a smoking room. Ok, but if you don't smoke, you can still smell it.

Room was beaurtul though. Huge bathroom, wine, beer and liquor in room.
Here is my biggest complaint. Our room was on the top floor on the end. They were building right beside us, so our view was blue fencing. They also attached scaffolding to the side and above our room. We were awaken everyday at 7am to pounding and dropping of tools and material. Tried twice to get moved, but said there were no rooms available to us. That was frustrating as heck. When I did sit on patio, I had workers looking down at me. Look at the pics. Kind of disturbing. wish there was a spot for video. I have 2 videos of the sound and of the construction. lol

So besides the checkin and the rooms location. It was great. I'd only go again though if I knew that I was guaranteed a room not near construction. The bartenders are awesome and the staff, I just can't say enough about. Fantastic.

The only thing I would ask the Royal to do is put a bar on the beach. Kind of sucks to wait for drinks or have to walk back to pool to get a drink. Just a suggestion.

Room Tip: Quite pool area to the back right of resort is nice. Ocean view means you can see ocean if you bend...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Doug S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2012

The Activity Staff at this resort were outstanding, friendly, funny, very attractive, helpful, polite and just
some of the nicest young people we have ever met. Katie, Omar, Asusanna, Danny and George.
These are the ones that should get reconition. All the staff at this resort were outstanding, kind,
friendly and couldn't do enough for you. Ava at the Spice Restaurant was very funny, a real
character, an overall nice, considerate human being. definitely would recomend this resort to all
our friends and would go back another time. Bud and Lynda

Room Tip: Ground level, near the pool
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Lynda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

I have just recently got back from staying at The Royal in Playa del Carmen, the hotel was amazing, everything you could ask for they have thought of most things to make your stay special such as jacuzzi in your room, portable iPod docks and amazing room service (chicken consumme soup always went down a treat) The food is really good all al la carte from most of the restaurants but our favourite was the Italian restaurant with our favourite waiter Sergio Mendoza he was so friendly and always wanted to help and make sure you got the best service.
During the day we mainly chilled my the pool where you are served drinks by the waitresses (our lovely waitress Daisy always brought us our lovely mango daiquiris). Also go to the tequila bar they will teach you on what ones to drink and who to really drink them Mexican style. Overall staff are all really friendly and for an all inclusive holiday you could not ask for anything more and I certainly would return and recommend everyone to stay there if going to Mexico.

Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Maria I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Royal Playa del Carmen

Address: Avenida Constituyentes 2 | Centro, Gonzalo Guerrero, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#10 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $307 - $751 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Royal Playa del Carmen 4.5*
Number of rooms: 513
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Along the powdery white sands of the Caribbean, The Royal welcomes guests to a world of all-inclusive luxuries exclusively for adults. Situated on the Riviera Maya just steps from Playa del Carmen's famous Fifth Avenue, the AAA Four-Diamond resort boasts all-suite accommodations with private balconies and spectacular views, plus special options such as swim-up suites and beachfront walkouts. From beach butlers to romance concierges, the attentive staff provides genuine hospitality at every turn as guests enjoy the luxurious spa, exquisite cuisine, natural beauty, and many other delights of The Royal. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Royal Playa Del Carmen Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Royal Porto Real
Royal Playa De Carmen
The Royal Playa Del Carmen Riviera Maya, Mexico

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