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Reviewed March 16, 2010

My wife and I completed a one week stay at the Royal at the end of February. This was our 3rd visit to the resort after staying there in 2008 and 2009.
While The Royal is still a beautiful resort offering good service, the drop in service levels compared to the first 2 years was very noticeable.
A lack of true customer service started some 6 weeks before our vacation even started when we attempted to email them for a special request. We sent several different emails from different addresses and never received a response to any of them. We ended up sending messages to every email address posted on the website and did not receive a single reply.
On arrival, we found several room amenities missing although they were quickly corrected.
Room turn down service was also incorrect for the first few days.
Restaurants ran out of menu items on several occasions.
The resort ran out of coffee packets for in room use.
The resort has a "no reservation" policy with guests being seated on a first come, first served basis. Except we discovered that the staff was giving preferential treatment to some guests and seating them in packed restaurants well ahead of other guests. This was confirmed by the guests themselves and is not just a guess on our part.
Worst of all was the room service. On every occasion, room service would be promised within 30 minutes and without fail it didn't arrive on time. Calling to inquire only generated the response that it was on its way. More than once, the order didn't show up at all and in most cases, it would take over an hour. As you might imagine, the food would be cold by this time. This continued even after we spoke to our concierge on 2 separate occasions, and he assured us this wouldn't happen again but there was no change.
This was a huge deviation from our first 2 visits where service was impeccable. We explained to our concierge that we wouldn't mind the wait if we knew ahead of time. Then at least you have a choice to wait or go to a restaurant.
We upgraded to an Ocean Front room only to find the view obstructed by 2 palm trees outside our balcony. Some pruning would have eliminated the problem but this wasn't done. Besides the palm trees, we found that the resort jet ski rental was directly in front of our room. This isn't too bad except for first thing in the morning and again at the end of the day when all the jet skis were ran on the beach and maintenance was performed on them.
These may seem to be minor complaints, but when a resort prides itself on its customer service and uses the motto "Expect the Exceptional", it really doesn't ring true.
We have even voiced our concerns to the resort after returning home, again sending emails and going as far as to send a letter via air mail to the General Manager of the resort. We thought it only fair to give them the opportunity to respond, yet we have never heard anything back.
The Royal is still a lovely resort with good food but just don't expect the exceptional.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mayan-fan55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2010

This was our first time in Playa Del Carmen. We have done all-inclusives before but this one was by far the best. The rooms are amazing. We had an ocean front suite. When you walk in the room, it really is breath-taking from the size of it to the 2 person jacuzzi tub. There were a few minor problems (like an issue with the bed and noisy neighbours) but both were dealt with immediately and we had no further issues. The staff really go above and beyond to make your stay a memorable one. Rigo, the bellman who greeted us on our first day, made sure he said hola to us every time he saw us - made us feel special. Alessandra, our concierge, was phenomenal! She really went out of her way to make everything perfect for us.

We were sad our stay was only a week long and are busy trying to book another holiday at The Royal as soon as we can. I can't imagine anyone could ever be disappointed with this hotel and the service, it truly is remarkable.

We didn't use the spa as we found it far too pricey and could get a good massage on 5th Ave. for $30 USD which did the trick.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bex1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2010

My husband and I went here for our honeymoon and had a wonderful experience. Everything was perfect and the hospitality was awesome! Everyone was very friendly and helpful. The travel tour people had great recommendations and we trusted them. The restaurants were nice, food was good, and we didn't have any problems with reservations or long wait times (oh and the buffet style restaurant was our favorite...we probably ate there 3 or 4 times, mainly for lunch and does not have a dress code!). We definitely want to return here sometime and would recommend it to anyone!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bee061885
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2010

This resort looks completely luxe on line. I read SOOOO many reviews and most of them were positive - people seemed to love it. I must not have stayed at the same resort. The online checkin was a joke - no time saved and we were herded over for a time-share sales pitch - ANNOYING! That was the last thing we wanted to do after a long flight. The food was mediocre so was the service. I felt like just another guest 0 nothing special. There wasn't a bar tender that could make a decent drink. No Carona either - HELLOOOOO...this is Mexico! Also, no premium beverages (ie Absolut, Grey Goose, etc). Our room was ok, but not great. It was VERY noisy. Could hear carts rattling around at all hours. There were people PARTYING above us until 3 am. After 4 complaints to management, they didn't do anything about it that night. Fortunately, the next morning, they took care of it. There were some positives, though. The location is great - right by 5th Ave and the beach. We loved the Tapas restaurant - try the shrimp tacos and the chips and guac. The Spa is nice too. I won't stay here again - I think next time we'll opt for more luxury.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank HotMama0408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2010

We are enjoying our 2nd stay at the Royal in Playa del Carmen. There are 2 people we want to mention . My husband has many diet restriction. Jose Damian, head waiter at Spice, was very helpful to him on many occasions. We wondered why such a great hotel does not have a large commercial toaster for breakfast use. The small houshold toasters provided are very inadequate and inconvenient at busy times. We would also like to mention Magdelena, who kept our room in immaculate condition. All in all, a great vacation.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank 1,234,035
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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