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“Royal Playa vs Cancun”

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The Royal Playa del Carmen
Ranked #12 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed February 22, 2011

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.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank DrDirc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10,953 - 10,959 of 16,232 reviews

Reviewed February 21, 2011

Staff was friendly and the food was excellent. The hotel location was great and shopping was convenient.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JJtravell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2011

I have to say that I"ve stayed at many all inclusive resorts over the years but I have never had a better experience than I did at The Royal in Playa Del Carmen. Its the only place with restaurants that not only are available to you whenever you wants you DON'T need to make a reservation. This takes away so much stress of your time on where to eat and what... the food was immense you can get room service for free... delivered in the magic box no interuptions... the service made you feel like royalty and the hotel was crisp and clean.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dellisia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2011

You cannot beat the 3 minute walk to 5th Ave - all shops, bars and restaurants. I forgot my cell phone charger and Nancy with member services brought her charger from home and allowed me to use it all week. Wille (female) was awesome when we needed assistance with an issue that came up. The food is out of this world - fresh and made to order. The beach is beautiful and plenty of activities. You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: February 2011
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Thank Slawlor8972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2011

We just completed a 10 night stay at the Royal and are already looking forward to a return. We have done 5 star all inclusives each year in different locations and the Royal Playa Del Carmen surpassed them all. When we first arrived we expected a nice and usual stay, but extra attention was found every day.

This was our 10 year anniversary and the resort was informed of this prior to our arrival. The attention we received here surpassed what we received on our actual honeymoon from another 5 star location.

This is portion is not related to the resort; however, was part of our trip experience. When we arrived at the Cancun Airport it gets pretty confusing with so many people offering rides, information and to take your bags. BE WARNED as we were, some of these people will misrepresent in order to trick you into a time share presentation. We reserved a Limo from Lomas Travel a few days earlier, splitting the cost amongst our group and were instructed to walk out of the airport where we would be greeted by the Lomas Representative.........perfect. We thanked everyone as we passed and met our Lomas representative. They quickly confirmed who we were, took our bags, escorted us through the very busy and confussed crowds and into an awaiting Limo. Our driver gave us a tour of the controls, provided several bar options and a large selection of DVD's/CD's. Corona was $2.50 a beer and the ride was straight through to the resort for approximately 45 min - hour. We will use this service again.

The Service when we arrived was over the top. Our bags were tended to and my wife and I were escorted to a private check-in with the Romance Concierge (as it was our anniversary). Seated in an airconditioned lounge with a refreshing face cloth and glass of champaign. Veronique and Anna were responsible for the anniversary details and all of our needs during our stay. 1 word can summerize their job......PERFECT. We completed our check in and went to our oceanview room over looking the pool and clear sight of the ocean. Rose petals arranged on the bed, towel art, bottle of chamagne on ice, fresh fruit and a 2 person slice of cake were waiting for us with a letter thanking us for celebrating there. We were contacted occassionally during our stay by the Romance Concierge to ensure we had no concerns. We did not.

The Resorts slogan of Expect the Exceptional was dead on. Every single staff member greated you and paid respects as they passed by or assisted you. The large pool had several activities, an engaging entertainment staff, and we enjoyed the music through the afternoon. For those looking for a quieter place, there is a quiet pool to accomidate this as well. If you really don't want activity outside throughout the day and guest noise throughout the evening......I would recommend the quieter side for a room. Our group enjoys the busy action so we were in the right spot.

The extra attention was noticed when we were on the beach or beside the pool. The staff come by and offer throughout the day fresh fruit, frozen fruit on a stick, refreshing body misting to cool down, cleaning of eye glasses/sun glasses, reading material, and sun lotions. Waitresses started when they brought a round of the "drink of the day". They were efficient and never left our glasses empty.

Dining was excellent with great options. Breakfast at Spice offers buffet, made to order eggs ( the omlettes were exceptional), made to order crepes, and more. We really enjoyed the Green Juice and suggest at least trying it. Lunch was usually done at Spice for us as well and sometimes at the beach restaurant.....if you are craving it both do burgers, hot dogs and fries.

Our dinner was at different restaurants and we hit everyone at ours and the sister resort next door. We didn't have a bad experience at any of them, although we do know now we aren't Tapas people. Really appreciated was the no need for reservations, walk in the door, give room number and be seated at anytime. The Asiana was probably our favorite for quality and service. The staff on the evening of the13th especially catered to us for our final dinner service.

Things to know:

You need to get up pretty early to reserve a lounger around the big pool with your towel. Really....its pretty much like that everywhere and we did go at peak season. The beach is a little more forgiving on availability.

You can order more beer (like coors light, Sol, etc) or food (including sandwiches and burgers) to your room 24 hours a day.

Nightlife is limited on the resort. I think this is due to the 2 minute walk to 5th ave. If you want to party into the wee hours......you will be looking off the resort. The entertainment staff will escort you to a great location Coco Bongo's with all you can drink and cover for $50.00.

Factor in Tip Money. The staff never make you feel like you need to, but we did when the service warrented and it was obviously appreciated.

Special requests can be written down and left on a note in your bar fridge.

cabana's on the beach of a flag that you raise when you want a server for drinks. It is lowered when you are good.

They have IPODS to loan with a variey of music, or bring your own to plug into the provided Bose system.

To summerize......every detail we could ask for was tended to. Scented oils each night at turn down, picking the time for turn down and house keeping, and some special staff members I need to say thank you too made this a definite repeat location.

Extra special staff (although all were great) that made our vacation even better:

Jamie that works around the pool. He focuses on ensuring your needs are totally covered and has a great sense of humour.

Lily who waited on us day after day around the pool. So engaged with each guest and going the extra mile to complete your requests.

Regina ( may have spelled her name wrong) from the entertainment group......They all make each guest feel special. She stood out to us.

Our Concierges Veronique and Anna.....always catering to us.

Finally our bar fridge stocker..................Cheers my friend.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank PMDMA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2011

Third time and always top quality. Food was fabulous great choices. Staff was always wonderful Jamie the pool butler was always helpful getting out chairs, cleaning glasses, giving us a chuckle daily. Waitress were always great bringing us cocktails (Mango Tango) Yum! Gym offered a variety of classes Spin, Yoga and Pilates was great Regina a great gal! Spa services are wonderful! Offer massages, pedicures, manicures anything you could want. Could use a few extra servers in the main bar as sometimes it took a little wait. The beds are so comfortable great night sleep. The entertainment is ok but it is similar music every night. The location is great as you can walk to 5th avenue where all the action is night clubs, shopping and the ferry to Cosmel. Snorkeling was great left right from the resort for a two hour adventure. HAD A WONDERFUL VACATION AND YOU WILL TOO!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank SandyLethbridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2011

Author's Note: I did get sick on this trip. The hotel gave me no indications it was there fault, but I only ate and drank at the resort. I am chalking it up to brushing my teeth with the water there, but I wanted to at least mention it.

The Royal is a beautiful resort with a picture perfect beach and amazing pools. We checked in and were allowed to upgrade our room (from a garden view to an Ocean View on the Second floor #836). This was around $500 but since we were on vacation, I decided to do it. The garden rooms are closer to the pool however, so its a mixed bag.

We went in September and it was HOT, but it was also a slow time so we never had any issues getting into the great restaurants. The menus are far better than any all-inclusive I have been to and I ate like a king!

The rooms are spacious and all very modern, the pools have a swim up bar and the drinks are easy to get. If you are out at the beach, they send waitstaff out ot you (A first for me at an all-inclusive) and there were plenty of chairs.

The one downside was the timeshare pitch. I have gotten used to these over the years, but they are "out of bounds" aggressive with getting you to participate and I had one heated moment with a gentleman when I explained that I wanted nothing to do with this.

Other than that I had a blast!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ncsoo7
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
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
#10 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: $296 - $764 (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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