The reviews here are rather accurate in general from previous posts. I won't go into further detail on that aspect. I would simply like to compare our experience here in Playa to our experience last year at The Royal Cancun.
Check in: Both done on-line 48hrs advance. Royal Cancun: Last year we picked a room and it was a done deal. We were asked about an upgrade once we got to Cancun, but were satisfied with our selection and really loved it. We were immediately taken to our concierge and checked in. We got to select pillows, set up cleaning and turn down times, choose a room scent, set-up and I-pod with tunes, and make a bottles selection for our mini-bar. Everything we set-up was taken care by the time we came back up from the pool @ around 3PM that day. PERFECT!!! This year we had heard of the resort (Royal Playa) being booked so we got up at midnight, 2 days in advance and selected our room to get the best of the choices available. We picked room 406. Non-smoking, King room, royal oceanview. We got here and they no record of our pre-selection, and had moved us to the smoking wing in a room with two double beds. After over an hour at the front desk, with Carlos trying his best to accommodate us, we finally got a room as requested (king non-smoking ocean view). #381. No other upgrades or offerings for our lost time. we traveled with 3 other couples.....same happened to them as it did with the majority of guests we spoke to about it. We only met our concierge 2 days later when we happened to think about it while walking by her desk. We requested pillows and a nightly scent with turn down service. Never saw the pillows and had to make sure we blew out the scent immediately and open the sliding door, once we got back to the room every night....way too overpowering!! No I-pod offering and the BOSE radio and TV didn't work worth a hill of beans...whatever, we only spent a few hours in our room.
Rooms: If you are debating on upgrading to oceanview vs garden view....save the money. Oceanview here means leaning over the railing and craning your neck to see some waves in the distance. The only true oceanview are "oceanfront" rooms. Spend the money if you want, or just walk down to the beach. Better yet, book your room at Royal Cancun where every room is truely oceanview. See my review of Royal Cancun for more info. The rooms in general in Playa are older and more worn. Same layout for the most part, just not as impressive as in Cancun.
Resort flavor: The Royal Playa is a much livelier crowd. That has it's pluses and minuses. We loved being able to walk right down to 5th Ave, for some shopping and people watching. We met some great people from all over the US and Canada and had a good time. Each bar open until 11PM always had some people hanging out and enjoying conversation and music. The negatives being watching people in their late 50's and 60's getting plastered by the pool and throwing up during a beer drinking competition. GROSS!! Grow up. (That was the minority occurrence so don't freak out). I am also no longer used to smelling smoke in public places...enough said. The Royal Cancun is much more reserved, the majority of the time. It seemed to be more couples and relaxation oriented. Things quieted down by 10PM and people retreated to their rooms to lay on hammocks or listen to the ocean and chat over a couple of cocktails.
Food and Drink: Enjoy! Very minor differences that I can remember. If you are a morning coffee person, don't make coffee in your room. Do yourself a favor and have it delivered, at your normal waking time, to your magic box every morning.
Service: Always treated like Royalty at both resorts. Everybody works so hard. Please bring tipping monies and show gratitude with some greenbacks. Never hurts to tip the groundskeepers as well. I think it throws them for a loop...in a good way!
Pools: Cold at both, but hot days make up for it. Check out the the pool by The Mediterranean Bar and Restaurant if you want to escape from the crowd. Miguel is a fantastic bartender and Elizabeth is quick with service and a smile! Get up early if you want a spot by the pools. We usually picked chairs at 6AM for the 2 couples.
This is the first time choosing the same resort company for us and I think we will return to the Royal Cancun again in the future, The Royal Playa just didn't impress me as much as The Royal Cancun.
Please contact us with any questions you may have or drop us a note if you have been to another resort that has the quality of the Royal properties that we may be interested in for next year. Will need to try something new I think.
- 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