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“A 'must stay' hotel. You will not be dissapointed!”

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The Royal Playa del Carmen
Ranked #12 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Silver Lake, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A 'must stay' hotel. You will not be dissapointed!”
Reviewed March 15, 2014

The Royal Playa del Carmen is an outstanding experience from the time you arrive until the time you leave. In fact, you won't want to leave! From the moment we arrived, we were greeted by truly friendly staff that went out of their way to make us feel welcome and wanted. From the front desk to the housekeepers, these people were genuinely nice, much nicer they had to be. In fact, during our stay, we got to know several staff members as more than just staff. We were able to learn a bit about their culture and way of life.
The grounds are extremely clean and well cared-for.
The food is 5-star all the way across the board. (Hint: at Maria Marie, ask for the NEW menu).
The beach is beautiful and clean. The beach butlers are wonderful! Make sure to take a para-sail ride, you won't regret it!
Also, seek out the Coffee House, located by the 'Quiet Pool'. Go by and see Mario (the Best!) and ask him for a 'Mango Mario'...you'll love it! The Coffee House was my wife's favorite place!
The rooms are wonderful and extremely clean! My thanks to Teresita De Jesus, our housekeeper for the great job she did in our room!
Like Margaritas? You MUST go and see Perez at the Lobby Bar! Perez makes the best margarita in the world! (make sure to order it on-the-rocks) Ahhh...Perez, how we miss you!
My wife and I had a couples massage at the spa. As a first-timer, I must confess to being a bit apprehensive. However, the staff here were true professionals and made us feel very comfortable. Lucely and Lucy were awesome massage therapists, and I would highly recommend you ask for them.
Don't hesitate to leave the resort grounds in the evening and walk 5th Avenue in town. It's a wonderful experience and you will be very safe. We never once felt threatened.
Overall, our stay here was awesome! I cannot recommend this resort enough! 6-star quality and service from start to finish!

Room Tip: There is construction on the north side of the resort. I would avoid those rooms, as they will be n...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Kurt_and_Rebecca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynn D, Gerente at The Royal Playa del Carmen, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to review our Resort. Thank you for your kind words about the resort facilities, we are very happy that you enjoyed all these.
It will an honor to have the opportunity to host you again in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2014 via mobile

A bit about us we are a mid age couple, stayed for two weeks at the beginning of March. All our holidays are all inclusive and we love trip advisor it's how we do our research on which hotel to go to, so we think its important to write our own comprehensive review, hope it's not too long. We loved the hotel but we never go back to the same resort or country, the world is to large to want to go to the same place twice.

Where do I start, it's a big beach hotel and it's everything you would expect, and more. The staff go out of their way to be helpful. Everyone of the staff and guests speak English and the staff are more than helpful if you want to practice your Spanish on them. The hotel is great for wheelchair users with ramps or lifts to all levels.

I rate this hotel a four star not a five star. Only two things knock it down, the fight for loungers in the morning and the dress code in the restaurants, more about this later in the review.

I am a European on holiday where most are American with a sprinkling of Canadians, This was good as they were great to chat to, it's fascinating to watch them. The Americans have a total different beach culture than Europeans, from fashion to the large barrel shaped drinks containers to smoking in the pool. The table manners of the Americans is something to behold! Look out for the one handed fork users, cutting and stabbing their food with just a fork.

The guests are mostly made up of older people and a scattering of young fit people with the wedding parties. Look out for the young guys carpet carrying (they walk like they have an invisible roll of carpet under each arm).

Got to get a note in about what is better than Europian hotels as most charge for the small things like safe, Internet and towels, at the Royal playa del carmen this is all complimentary and far superior to the same types of hotel in Europe.

ROOM.The rooms are fantastic, they have everything you need, I will add some photos. The toiltries are a good selection and get restocked daily as well as the room bar. Some nice touches are the fruit, scales to see how much weight you have put on!!! And the oil burner which is lit at night when you get the turn down service. We messed up the code on the safe and the staff were great and came out within minutes to sort it out. The safe is large enough to fit a laptop. The only thing I did not like about the room is no kettle, to make tea you have to get room service to bring boiling water.

POOLS. Something for everyone, loud music if you want it or a nice quiet pool at the other end of the resort. The pools are all about 4 ft deep but if you have limited mobility you will have to pick your spot as the pool is not as access friendly than European pools. We used three of the pools and alternated every few days. For me I preferred the quiet pool near the building site. When we were guests the noise from the building site was not bad and it did not bother us. The quiet pool is better for shade as you will not find much at other pools. All the pools are safe you will see a couple of lifeguard/first aid guys walking around.

LOUNGERS. The loungers are good quality with a padded mattress as with all the previous reviews you do have to be up early to get the good spots and by 10.00am there will be no beds at all free. We are early risers and put our towels out at 7.00am which was more than early enough to get good beds. We were sunbathing by 8.00am. We always left our loungers to go to lunch about 1.00pm, we don't sunbathe in the afternoon so removed our towels and watch the mad rush for them. It is a shame the hotel is so full because there was not enough beds, I believe it is because some guests reserve beds on the beach and the pool. Often we had empty loungers reserved and unused next to us, some people not using them till the afternoon. It's also good to put a t-shirt or something personal to show you have reserved them, all the towels are the same. I watched someone put old towels on the lounger, the staff came along to change them to nice new rolled up ones which was great, then another couple took the beds. The race for the loungers in the morning is not nice and I do not know how the hotel can change this, for me it changes it from a great hotel to a holiday camp.

BAR. The bars are well stocked and a good selection of drinks, champagne and cocktails.

RESTAURANTS. All are great as we had two weeks we tried then all at least twice for lunch and dinner. We had our favourites but it's best for you to try all of them yourself, it's part of the experience. They all open at 7.00am for breakfast.

CHEFS PLATE. This cost us $80 each (about £45) and for the extra money we were expecting the best service and food. The food was great, just as you would expect from a good restaurant. The decor was just standard, we expected it to be furnished to a higher level than the rest of the resort, it was just the same. The background music was upbeat with a poor sound system, it should of been high quality classical or light jazz to give the right ambience, or even a local guitarist strumming lightly. We did not get offered a steak knife for the meat course and we got a desert spoon for the soup course. To be fair none of the restaurants used soup spoons. The dress code was a joke, they did expect men to wear shirts,trousers and shoes. Most guests looked great but one guy walked in wearing jeans a T-shirt with a baseball hat and he wore the hat throughout the entire meal. The guy could of just walked in off the beach, whilst a good dressed guy had to return in shoes when he was asked to change before coming in. No point in complaining as the food was good. We thought this restaurant is a wast of money, food great, experience poor.

COFFEE HOUSE. Opens at 6.00am, great for me as I need little sleep. Used it every day.


DRESS CODE. In the restaurants this is a joke, when you reserve a table in the restaurants on the ticket it tells you the dress code, no shorts or flip flops. The hotel web site also states the dress code. The hotel does not enforce this and you will see guests in beach clothes at dinner. I was told this was a five star hotel, the dress code lets it down, why have a dress code and not enforce the standards? The hotel needs to make its mind up about standards.

As most of the guests are American the pool dress is not European all the guys are in long shorts I don't understand why they don't want to get their legs brown. But if you are like the Americans you want to wear the same type of shorts during the day and at dinner you can get away with it. We were the only guests in budgie smugglers so we got some looks, when they realise we are Europian they understand. No topless sunbathing for women although it's is ok on some parts of the beach.

SMOKING. Smoking is everywhere you will even see it in the lobby area, you will see young fit guys with the biggest cigar in their mouths. I was shocked to see people who look after their bodies so much abusing theire lungs. Of the 1000's of guests we only saw two electronic cigarette again another fashion difference from Europe.

INTERNET. Free Internet, I can't go away without my addiction to news, e mail and Facebook. I have been on holiday previousely and have had to pay £35 a week in Europe. We got a great signal in all parts of the resort.


ENTERTAINMENT. The animation team are great running day activities etc. Give the cycle tour a go as well as the water aerobics. The acoustics in the main lobby area is not good it makes every group sound the same and you will not hear the words clearly, but the shows are ok.

TIMESHARE SELLING. A few people have commented on reviews about this, we got pestered once, as soon as we spoke they realised we were English and had no chance getting money out of us. You can tell the ones who have endured the long talk as they will have the classy free beach bag. Remember the chat up talk is three hours out of your life you will never get back! I don't want to knock them too much, it's a hotel revenue stream popular all around the western world. For us going to the same hotel or chain of hotels with the same decor or facilities is too much like going to work, it has to be different every time.

LOCAL SHOPS. Everything is just a short walk away. When you go into the town you will be offered drugs, in thirty minutes we were offered three times. Don't be put off the local shops are great, but offer them halve the ticket price and don't pay more than 70% the ticket price. This only applies for tourist shops, supermarkets and chemists will not budge on the price.

MONEY. We had to pay 900 Passos (£45) exit tax each to get out of Mexico because we went with Thomas Cook. We did not know this before we came so don't let it catch you out. They will not take cards, only cash ( only Passos or Sterling, no paying in US$). For spending money you can take US$ or Mexican Passos all shops take both. The hotel has a cash machine in the lobby.


TIPS.

TIPPING. Again it's an American cultural thing to tip every time they get served, it is not necessary and we got served the same. We did tip at the end of our stay, again it's an English thing not to throw money on the bar.

TEABAGS, bring your own from home, I am typically English and need a big pot of tea to start the day. One little niggle is every breakfast I had to ask for milk every time I had a cup, they did not leave me with a jug.

TRY NEXT DOOR. The Royal Playa del Carman wrist bands allow you to use the facility's at the hotel next door, but they can't come to this hotel. It's worth a trip next door to try the beach bar or entertainment just for a change

BUBBLEBATH, bring some with you, the two person jacuzzi is great fun with some mr matey in it.

SUNRISE, it's well worth getting up for. I will attach a photo taken from the beach.

CHEFS PLATE, don't bother.

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2014

This place is, by far, the most incredible resort we have ever been to. From the beautiful room views, to the fabulous service, to the fantastic food and drinks, the Royal can't be beat.

Having never been to Playa del Carmen, we wanted to be within walking distance of Playa's shops, restaurants, and bars. We researched for hours online, looking at countless reviews and forum posts and finally settled on the Royal. My partner was a little hesitant, having never been to Playa or a Real resort. The Royal definitely delivered everything we wanted and more and from the moment we arrived, we knew we had made the right choice.

We stayed in a Junior Suite Ocean View, in the Coba building. The room was always clean and the mini-bar stocked thanks to our wonderful housekeeper Mirna. And wow...what a perfect view and room! Waking up to that gorgeous ocean view every morning was unforgettable. The main pool was so much fun...always pristinely clean and the entertainment staff always kept us active and entertained. Drink service was perfect, too (special thanks to Prude for never letting our cups go empty!) Loved the lobby bar, too. Perfect place to grab delicious drinks and catch a game on the tv before heading out to 5th in the evening.

The food was delicious...we especially loved Pelicanos, Maria Marie and Il Pescatore (next door at the Gran Porto Real). Loved the delicious sangria and tacos and perfect ocean views for breakfast. Even the buffets were great...Honestly, I don't think we had one bad meal.. and there was so much variety, that we never felt bored with eating there. Drinks were top shelf and plentiful.

Can't say enough good things about the service, food, and amenities at the Royal. Everyone went out of their way to make our stay the best trip ever. And that's why we have booked a return trip back. With Royal treatment that this resort gave us, how could we not return?

Room Tip: Royal Junior Suite Ocean View category and higher allow you to check in and select a room 48 hours p...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Vaporgirrl123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynn D, Gerente at The Royal Playa del Carmen, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for your kind comments posted at Trip Advisor!. We would like to mention that our main goal is make sure that you have a wonderful stay and we did it with you and put a big smile in our faces!
Once again thank you for staying with us and remember… “The Royal Playa del Carmen” is your second home.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2014

We stayed at the Royal in February. We decided this year to stay in the heart of PDC and it was the best decision ever. The resort was amazing. Our Romance Concierge arranged everything for us & her recommendations were fabulous. We plan on returning next year. The outdoor restaurants were perfect for breakfast and lunch. Our suite was amazing. The beach cabanas were also a major highlight. The beach was beautiful as well. We will definitely return.

Room Tip: Splurge for an ocean view suite.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank citygirl66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynn D, Gerente at The Royal Playa del Carmen, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you for sharing your experience! We are excited you enjoyed your stay and that you especially like our concierge service, we are very happy to read that Romance Concierge is doing a great job as well our entire staff. We hope to welcome you back very soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2014 via mobile

The Royal has been by far the most memorable hotel I've stayed at. Exceptional service, gorgeous rooms, great food, amazing location, beautiful big pool and lovely beach. Only problem was we never wanted to leave and explore the rest of Playa del Carmen. I had the best massage of my life here and we spent a great day making friends playing volley ball. I would probably not bother with the rooms with a private pool, they were a bit exposed and the main pool is so beautiful with plenty of quiet areas. Do yourself a favour and book here!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Siobhan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynn D, Gerente at The Royal Playa del Carmen, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Dear Guest,

THE ROYAL Playa del Carmen thanks you for your time for writing such a positive review as well as we thank you for being able to host such distinguished guests as you are!
Nothing is more satisfying than to know that you received exceptional service!

We look forward to hosting you again very soon
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2014 via mobile

It's hard to believe a hotel could be that inconsistent from the front of the house to the back.the rooms are clean, comfortable and well appointed.The food selection,presentation and service is superb.then we get to the front of the house, yikes a disaster! Three hours to get the room we booked after arriving on time. We were asked to come back THREE times until finally we were able to check in.
Currency exchange was another nightmare. The hotel employee was downright rude! After asking for smaller denominations his answer was if I wasn't happy there was a bank two blocks away...REALLY?
Up charge and cross sell....well we expect it in Mexico but they just wouldn't accept NO...I would expect that behavior OUTSIDE the hotel,not inside.
And tell guests that apply that they will be staying close to the noisy construction site to the North...the banging starts before 7 AM. Discount those rooms.
Suggestion to management; instead of your canned response I have seen on this site ,secret shop your reception function...you might validate my concerns.
Too bad, my wife and I travel a lot and were very surprised to experience these breakdowns in staff execution and service.

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank B S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynn D, Gerente at The Royal Playa del Carmen, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your recent visit to THE ROYAL Playa del Carmen and we truly appreciate your willingness to share your impressions, we do take all comments seriously.

We would like to mention that we are sincerely sorry to read of your opinion and we would like to apologize for the inconveniences and for the attitude situation you mentioned from some of our staff.

Rest assure that all proper corrective measures will be taken in order to prevent this type of inconveniences with other guests.

Once again, please accept our most sincere apologies. We will be delighted to host you once more and exceed your expectations.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
Reviewed March 14, 2014

Im a coffee lover and the coffee house was one of my favorite places in the resort. Everything tasted great, i enjoyed the flaming coffee's, and Luisa was definately very enjoyable to be around along with the others. Oustanding staff

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank ShanMM01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynn D, Gerente at The Royal Playa del Carmen, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Dear Guest,

Nothing is more satisfying than to know that you received exceptional service! We will make sure to tell Luisa and the staff the great job they´re doing and that you mentioned in your review with kind and encouraging words.
Looking forward to pampering you!
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 The Royal Playa del Carmen

Property: The Royal Playa del Carmen
Address: Avenida Constituyentes 2 | Centro, Gonzalo Guerrero, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
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
#9 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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