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Reviewed March 11, 2011

We returned from our honeymoon at the Royal on March 10th and were very happy with our experience. We booked the complimentary honeymoon package (which includes rose petals, champagne, red wine and a small cake upon arrival) and stayed in room 529, a junior suite with an oceanfront view. After reading reviews for nearly 8 months prior to our trip, our expectations were unimaginably high for this resort. For the most part, they were all met. Upon arrival (we checked in at about 2:30pm) we realized that the resort's pool was much louder than expected. We were escorted to our room by a Royal representative (they wear blue shirts) named Greg who promised to show us around at 6:30pm. Thankfully someone let us know that this was actually for the Gold Member program (AKA TIMESHARE) so we did not go. Avoid these people unless you are really interested in signing up, but we weren't.

Appearance: The hotel's appearance is extremely clean and looked almost identical to the website's pictures. There was always someone cleaning, sweeping or painting and the management company keeps the resort and its landscape in excellent condition.

Service: Service at the Royal (as in most places in Mexico) was wonderful. For the most part the staff goes above and beyond to please you. There was the occasional bad waiter at the buffet restaurant who would pour your water and never come back, but we concluded that these few people probably didn't speak english well or at all. And it was mostly at breakfast time.

Food: For an AI resort the food was overall very good. Note: if you are in an oceanfront suite or higher (or are a Gold Member) you will have access to the Chef's Plate restaurant, which made our trip. Out of ten nights we went there 5 times, with the Italian night being the best. It was exactly the standard of food and service there that we were looking for on this trip. If you don't like fancy restaurants or a 7 course fixed menu then this restaurant is not for you. But for us it made the trip. The buffet restaurant, Spice, was surprisingly good for what it was. Their breakfast was always great and you can order off the menu as well but we would recommend the buffet. The cooks there brought special requests to our table more than once and everyone was accommodating. For lunch you can get sandwiches all the way up to lamb chops. Every day that went by we loved this restaurant more also because it satisfied a craving for something more basic, as most of this resort is not. Asiana was our second favorite restaurant, even after a rocky start the first night. They have fresh susi and sashimi and their entrees were very good as well. A lot of the restaurants at the Royal tend to overcook their beef. We think it is a safety precaution but nonetheless most of the beef that we encountered outside of the chef's plate was very tough. Our favorites were the curry and the duck asilao, which is a five-spice duck. Pelicanos had very good tuna, shrimp and guacamole. None of these restaurants provided the basic pool-side food that you might want except for spice (but you still have to leave the pool and put on a coverup to go there). Room service is available 24 hours. We had it for dinner one night, it consists of the menus from spice or el mediterraneo but they will make whatever you want within reason. There were a few places we went to regularly and some we only tried once. You'll quickly figure out what your favorites are.
**We always tipped our servers and waitresses but they never made you feel like you had to. They were so appreciative and remember you much easier and sometimes by even by drink.**

Pool: Our first impression of the pool was that it was much louder than we expected. Our room happened to be right next to it, and with the tile in the hallways and in our room the sound carried and was magnified big time. The loud music starts around noon and sometimes goes until 5 or 6. If you want quiet then don't stay near the pool. This hotel plays "the towel game" like you have never seen. The first morning we went to the pool around 8:50am to put our towels down, and there were only 2 chairs left. After this we started setting a wake up call for 6am to put our towels down and then went back to sleep. You have to get there early or you won't get a spot!! The beach had chairs and cabanas which we only used once. I didn't smell anything on the beach like some of the other reviews said. The waitresses at the pool were fast for the most part and never forgot drinks. The crowd at the pool was a little bit more party-happy than we had hoped, but we learned to avoid certain groups if we wanted quiet. There is also another small pool by el mediterraneo but half of its chairs are in the shade very quickly.

Rooms: Our room was an oceanfront junior suite on the second floor right next to the pool. Because of this (and the large palm tree directly outside our window) we didn't really use the balcony. The room was always clean and the housekeeping was very efficient and immaculate. We got a pillow menu to choose from upon arrival and they had aromatherapy and candles lit for us every night. The bathroom was great also, a vanity with a sink and a separate sink/toilet with the shower. Our concierge downstairs Ophelia was wonderful and helped us with every annoying question or reservation.

Things to do: We had an amazing couple's massage with Elsi and Melissa at Spazul which we would recommend to anyone. They came to our room first and gave head/shoulder massages for 30 min in our decorated jacuzzi then we went to a cabana tent by the spa itself for another 80 min of heaven. Also 5th avenue was right there with plenty of restaurants and shops. We went a few times and once to a mayan restaurant for dinner. It was nice to get away from the resort and explore a little bit.

Check-out: This hotel makes checking in and out very simple, except our check-out had a few problems. We received our room bill under the door in the morning, to find that they had charged us again for the couple's massage that we had pre-paid for, and there were also about 5 pages of local calls that we didn't make. When the manager came to talk to us we explained to him that we had already paid for the massage (and showed him the receipt!! very impt) and that we didn't make the phone calls and he took it all right off and couldn't have been nicer. They have online check in where you can even choose your suite if you want on a map before you arrive.

For the most part it seemed like this resort was filled with 50-something couples and groups who wanted to have a good time. We expected everything to be a little bit more relaxing and calm (especially the pool) but a lot of the people there were ready to party. We were excited about adults-only because this was the first time we had ever been to an adults-only resort, but found that the adults sometimes acted like kids as well. One older couple even yelled something really immature at my husband and I when they saw us cuddling while waiting for the elevator. But not everybody there was like that. Everyone we met was very nice and we had great conversations with a lot of people. Overall we thought the resort was great and we loved the area of playa del carmen. We are the kind of people who love to explore new places so if we did come back we probably wouldn't stay there again--not because it wasn't great but just because we love trying new things.

SAFETY NOTE: It was totally safe in and around the resort and we never felt otherwise. On 5th ave you might want to keep an eye on your purse or pocket but only because there are small children in the streets and you just never know. As far as the unrest in Mexico we saw nothing of this and felt extremely safe. The bad parts of Mexico are days from Playa del Carmen.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Reese409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2011

Let me first thank all the members who take the time to write reviews and answer forum questions. It really is helpful to so many people. I must have read over 500 reviews for The Royal before booking. So I dont want to redundant but do want to be helpful to others.
So anyway a group of 26 friends (all Couples) from Omaha, nebraska decided that we wanted to get away from the winter blues and head to Mexico for a week or so. I contacted Enchanted Honeymoons Travel Company here in Omaha and we were lucky enough to get Teresa Kopietz as our agent. She had been to the area many times and was very knowledgable about the resorts and attractions. She highly recommended the RPDC and we are all glad that she did. This is not a plug for Teresa or her company but a caution to other potential novice travelers to use a reputable company that will take care of all your transfers to and from the resort, confirm any previously requsted arraingments and be availabe to you while you are at resort to help fix any problems that may arise while there. We saw several couples during our stay having issues of one kind of another and heard them complaining about there travel agent or company.
So first off we were very concerned about transfer from the Cancun airport to the resort due to the large size of our group. We had been booked through traffic tours and like clockwork they were waiting for our entire group just outside the terminal. They waived us over, checked all 26 of us in and put us in a large airconditioned tour bus. The ride was relaxing with beer availabe and the guide giving some great do's and Dont's during our stay.
When we arrived all twenty six of us were greated with cool towels to wipe off the sweat and beer or glass of champagne. The sheer size of our group overwhelmed the lobby and I was genuinely impressed as to how efficent the check in process was and how quickly we were headed to our rooms.

The Rooms
We had the standard gardenview Jr. suite (#468) and in my opinion, there is nothing standard about it. Our bed had been made with towel art and rose petals, a bottle of champagne and a letter from the resort wishing us a happy anniversiary. The room was extremley clean and smelled wonderful. The jacuzzi was the largest and nicest I have seen at a resort. The airconditioner worked so well in our room that there were times I turned it down. We had a nice balcony that overlooked the courtyard and most the pool.The balcony had two chairs, a small table and a hammock. The room had a nice tv, which we never turned on, two sinks and a huge shower. Fridge was stocked with beer, pop and mixers. There are four bottles of liqour there as well but we drank enough on the resort and spent so little time in the room that we kinda of forgot about them. Although they will give you just about anything you want in your room as one our group requested Jack Daniels in his room and he had two bottles within an hour. The beds were amazing! I have never in my life slept on a more comfortable bed, hands down. Everyone in our group also agreed that the beds were amazing and we had people who weighed less than 120lbs to gentleman over 350lbs. Housekeeping was awesome and would always keep the room very clean and would again tidy up during the evening turn down service. We left a couple bucks on the bed each day but I truly think we would have received the same service if we hadn't. We never expeirenced any musty smell or saw a single insect in our room as some past reviews have said.
The grounds here are amazing as well and always beeing tended to by employees. The beach was great and I loved the drink service right on the beach and at the pool area. We were told that they were at full capacity and from what I observed compared to other reviews I had to agree. There is a ton of the towel game that is played here and at times it can be frustrating but I dont blame the resort for that. We chose to go during one of the busiest periods of the year so we just figured that was expected and didn't let it ruin our vacation.
Ok, let's talk about the pools. Many reviews had complained that they were too cold. Well, I would have to agree. If you are true pool person who likes to hang by or in the swim up bar , this is not the place for you. It was amazing to see on hot sunny 86 degree days people sitting by the pool with just there feet in the water. I think I was actually in the pool for about a total of two hours over the course of a six night stay. I have no proof of this, but it is just a theory I heard people tossing around by the pool. That managment keeps it that way to limit the booze intake around the pool and get people to head to there rooms earlier. Like I said this is something that people were saying around the pool and in the hot tub. In fact it was an odd sight to see the hot tub almost completely full around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. If I had any complaint about the resort it would be tempature of there pools.
The food at this resort was amazing. Pelicanos at lunch had an incredible flank steak, great stuffed filet and seafoot soup. The mediterranean had a truly excellent steak for a bunch of locals from Omaha to agree to go back for it a second time says something.
I don't eat breakfast but my wife and the others said they were all very good. Asian was in my opinion the best. Ate there twice and ordered the duck both times. Best duck I have ever tasted. I will just say that The food on the entire resort was fantastic and If you cant find a meal here that you like than you are just a person who wants to complain about something.
The location of the resort can't be beat. You are essentialy on fifth ave and I love the atmosphere. We shopped during the day and evening and felt completly safe. I do have to give props to a store owner by the name of Site (spelling??) . You literally cross the street on the same side as Asiana and his little store is the third doorway on the right. I coach a 12 year old boys baseball team and found a specific blue pair of sunglasses that I wanted to get for the boys. I looked up and down Fifth ave and couldn't find more than 3 or four matching pairs. Site promised me that he would get all twelve matching glasses for my team before I left in 3 days. I was skeptical but on my last night while walking to dinner he called me over and gave me all twelve glasses that I needed. I bring this up because the people in that area, on and off the resort, work very hard. So if your in the area stop in and say hello to Site and give him a chance to earn your business. Tell him the baseball coach from Omaha sent you.

The service at this resort is amazing. From all the bar staff, housekeeping, groundskeeping and on and on. The pool entertainment staff of Vanilla and Choclate who helped set up the international pool volleyball game of USA vs. Canada were great guys. To our new friends from up north, better luck next time.
A special shout out to our late night friend in the 24 vip room, where we spent waaaay too much time . Bernajdo (Spelling??) is the man and took care of our large group many a late night and way into the early morning. If you run into him there tip the man well and tell him the late night crew from Omaha says hello.

We really did enjoy this resort and I believe you will to. I hoped this helped. Feel free to email me with any specific questions.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank tflynn49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2011

This resort was one of the cleanest places I've ever been to! From th eminute we arrived we were treated like royalty! The restaurants were fabulous & the service was outstanding! Everywhere you turned staff was cleaning the property! You can literally eat off the floors in this place! Rooms were beautiful too!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank StevenM13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2011

Stayed at this hotel for 6 days with my boyfriend and was sad to leave. The service in all areas was impeccable, there was always somebody ready to help with anything you might need (from preparing a different drink, to refreshing you with water spray at the beach).
Unlike other resorts, the food in each restaurant was really different and always very good (except for the Tapa place that we didn't enjoy much). Special remarks to chef Nava and to Marrie Marrie - there is always a wait line, even when you can clearly see the tables available, but the food is worth the wait, don't miss it! Carlos, the sommelier, gives tequila and wine tastings, which are very fun (if you enjoy good wine though, I recommend to choose one from the a la carte menu, the ones in the all inclusive plan could be improved).
Common areas are very well maintained and clean, so are the rooms. As other big hotels, you may have some problem finding a chair at the pool (I guess it's more due to people that reserve chairs both at the pool and at the beach, when they are not using it). At the beach, Alexis would do his best to find you a place, as well as to offer you books, magazines and sunblock to use while you are there.
Location is good, close to 5th avenue, what in the other hand makes the beach very busy. The water is not calm, but very clean. The entertainment team is very friendly, Victor had all the patience in the world when I was afraid of the bike tour. If you want a massage, look for Elsie, impossible not to relax.
The only downside was the noise. We got a room in the main building and could hear the music from the lobby, the spa, and the carts with room service and bags arriving and leaving all night. The wireless internet is very bad too, but I guess it's a reminder that you are there to relax and not to work.
We really enjoyed our stay at The Royal Playa del Carmen and would recommend it for our friends!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Carolina-SP-Brazil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2011

I was at this resort for a close friend's destination wedding. I have been to several all-inclusive resorts, so I was interested to see how this one compared. From the moment I arrived at the resort (a day early...long story), I knew it was going to be an amazing vacation. Carlos Lopez at the front desk was able to find me a room in the "all but 2 rooms fully booked" hotel. It had two full beds instead of one queen, but as my husband could not travel with me, that was fine by me. Incredibly, the room was ready right then, before noon! Not only that, but when I arrived at my room, I realized I had been upgraded for free, as I had booked a Junior Suite, but instead got one with an Ocean View.

Because I was there with so many friends, I was able to see a variety of rooms and they were all amazing, including the Presidential Suite. Honestly, I have lived in apartments (with roomates!) that were smaller than that suite. It was incredibly tastefully done and very impressive.

The beach was amazing, which is where we spent most of our time. I cannot fully attest to the restaurants, as since I was there for a wedding, the rehearsal dinner was in town and then there was the reception. The only slightly negative thing I could say about this place is there is a lack of consistency in their bartending skills. (no two bahama mamas tasted the same, and my malibu and pineapple tasted like chocolate and had to be tossed). But one should really just stick to beer when spending so much time in the sun anyway!

Lastly, with the Ocean View rooms and above, as well as in all the common areas, there is free wifi, which was incredibly nice so that I could keep in touch with my husband over the weekend without breaking the bank!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank dfescher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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