WOW the best hotel that I've ever stayed, it was incredible, the food, the service, the beds. A MOST in Playa del Carmen, ROYAL group are amazing professionals really 2 thumbs up!
The restaurants on the hotel are amazing!
- Breakfast included
WOW the best hotel that I've ever stayed, it was incredible, the food, the service, the beds. A MOST in Playa del Carmen, ROYAL group are amazing professionals really 2 thumbs up!
The restaurants on the hotel are amazing!
We had a destination wedding with about 20 guests at The Royal Playa Del Carmen in Mexico on Saturday, February 5th. We arrived at the resort the evening of Wednesday, February 2nd, and left The Royal on Monday, February 7th. The Royal Playa Del Carmen was the perfect spot for our wedding, and all of our guests LOVED it. What we loved most about the resort was its fun, social vibe; there was always a lot going on, and the staff always went out of their way to make sure that everyone was having a good time. One couple who attended our destination wedding even purchased a timeshare while visiting, and it was their very first time there! Many of our guests are already talking about another trip back next year.
Check in and Arrival
The Royal Playa Del Carmen offers an online check-in where you can check in on their website 48 hours before you are scheduled to arrive at the resort. This system offers more of an advantage to those who have booked a higher room category, as those guests are able to select their room location ahead of time. You are even able to see the view from the balcony or terrace from each individual room online. However, if you have booked a standard Jr. Suite, you can't select your room at this point, but you are able to check into your choice of beds, in a smoking or nonsmoking room. By the time we were able to log in though, most of the rooms in our suite category, Jr. Suite Ocean View, were already reserved (we found out later that ours was the most popular room category). Many of our wedding guests who had booked a higher room category like ours had a similar problem. Ultimately, we were able to snag suite 347 with a partial ocean view, located on the top floor in a building close to the ocean, but also beside a parking/street area. We were happy with the room that we ended up with, but I think that when we go back to The Royal, we'll definitely book a standard Jr. Suite. Our guests who booked a standard room generally had much better locations on the resort.
A majority of our guests we arrived at The Royal Playa Del Carmen at the same time, and upon realizing that there was a larger group of us checking in at once for a wedding, two representatives from the reception desk took us into a large ballroom to check in separately. We were served some drinks, and then it definitely got a little chaotic and disorganized from there. I know that they were working hard and trying to make the check in process smoother for everyone, but it kind of backfired.
My husband and I weren't helped for a while, really, until our Concierge, Veronique, arrived about 10 minutes later to help out. Once Veronique arrived, she really took charge and made sure that we were taken care of. She graciously pulled us aside, checked us in and went over all of the details regarding the restaurants, dress codes and our room location. Veronique was a pleasure to work with, and always went out of her way to help us. We ended up going to see her a few times during our trip; she provided restaurant recommendations for our rehearsal dinner, then later made a reservation at the offsite restaurant we selected and gave us directions on how to get there. Any time we had questions that we needed answered, Veronique was there to help.
All of the rooms at The Royal were very nice, clean and well kept. There was a decent amount of space; we were even able to see and compare the size of the standard Jr. Suite and swim up rooms to our Ocean View suite, and the room size never really changes much amongst the three room categories.
Additionally, I think it's worth mentioning that the "Ocean View" rooms aren't a full ocean view unless you get an "Ocean Front." Some rooms only give you a tiny section of an ocean view at the horizon.
The Jacuzzi bathtub is located out in the middle of the hotel room on an elevated platform, in between the bed and the balcony/terrace. Your bathing privacy is obviously a bit limited, but the tub was large and pretty nice. Most of us found a gross film in our tubs after the water had drained, most likely from the jets, so we always felt like we had to shower off afterward.
Our balcony was an average size, with a couple of chairs and a small table. Some of the rooms on the first floors also had hammocks that you could hang up on the terrace.
The beds were nice and comfortable, with soft sheets and plenty of pillows. We actually had our choice of pillow types when we checked in, and both ended up selecting the tempur-pedic pillows, which we enjoyed.
The mini bar area had a ton of beverages (alcoholic and nonalcoholic), but we thought it was lacking food and snacks.
All of the food at The Royal Playa Del Carmen was absolutely delicious. Even the room service was good! We have actually been to one other all-inclusive resort in Cabo San Lucas, and we did not like the food there. We were concerned that all of the all-inclusive resorts in Mexico would be similar, but we were very pleasantly surprised by all of the delicious offerings at The Royal! The "Asian Fusion" restaurant, Asiana was very popular among our guests, as well as the French-Spanish restaurant, Maria Marie. Pelicano's has a great patio that makes it a good lunch spot, and Spice has a delicious and expansive breakfast buffet.
We also had the opportunity to try the Chef's Plate, which is a smaller dinner restaurant only available to guests staying in the higher room categories. Our room technically didn't qualify; however, we were able to get a reservation because we were getting married there. The restaurant is small, there are a very limited amount of reservations available (since the dinner is 7-8 courses) and they don't allow more than four guests to sit together at one table, which keeps the ambiance mellow. The menu is different each night, as it is created special by the chef there, but it usually has some sort of theme attached to it so you have a general idea of what to expect. Personally, my husband and I were not at all impressed with the food there. It was the only restaurant at The Royal that we didn't enjoy.
Beach and Pools
The main pool area was expansive, located in the center of the resort. We had a little bit of trouble getting lounge chairs, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I have seen it at other resorts. The pools there are on the cooler side (I don't think it's heated), which none of us really minded since it was warm there most of the time. When we did get chilly, we went to the jacuzzi, which was conveniently connected to the main pool. The jacuzzi was unique because it was definitely large enough to fit many people without having to squeeze in, and the water wasn't too hot where you couldn't stay in it for an extended period of time.
I actually selected Playa Del Carmen because it was supposed to have some of the nicest beaches in Mexico. The beach was absolutely beautiful, and it definitely did not disappoint! The water there is a gorgeous turquoise color, the sand is white and powdery and the beach is very clean. The beach area was usually crowded, since it is still a public beach located in the center of Playa Del Carmen. There are also several resorts on the same strip of beach, but it wasn't crowded enough to prevent us from spending time there and enjoying ourselves. The lounge chairs designed for The Royal guests were pretty difficult to come by, and be warned, some women do like to sunbathe topless.
On Thursday, February 3rd, we invited our guests to meet us down at the Lobby Bar at The Royal for drinks so that everyone could meet and get to know one another. I selected this particular bar at the resort without having seen it first based on some reviews I had read online, and it turned out to be the perfect place! The lobby bar is a huge space with a lot of seating, featuring live entertainment in the evenings.
After cocktails, we were able to enjoy a dinner together at the resort's Asian restaurant, Asiana. We were a pretty loud group, so I would say that the staff was pretty patient with us, overall! The food, which was Asian cuisine, was absolutely delicious (it was definitely my favorite restaurant at the resort), and I would definitely recommend it.
Our wedding day was incredible. We were married on Saturday, February 5th at 3 p.m. at the gazebo on The Royal property, which was followed by a cocktail hour on the gazebo lawn at 5 p.m., and the reception right on the beach from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. We were married in a gazebo set right beside the beach, which turned out to be the perfect spot because it was more private and the beach provided a beautiful backdrop!
Since we did not have an official wedding rehearsal the night before, we didn't actually meet the minister who married us until the day of. For that reason, I provided our wedding coordinator, Michelle with a full script to pass along to our minister ahead of time, as well as a detailed timeline of the entire wedding day for her to refer to. The minister did a good job of following our script to the letter; she actually read directly from her papers the entire time, which wasn't ideal, but it's still better than her messing up!
We used an iPod for all of our music played during the ceremony and the cocktail hour. We didn't have any problems with the sound, music playing at the wrong times or anything, really. Michelle did a good job of making sure everything ran smoothly.
Immediately following the ceremony, we were greeted at the end of the aisle with glasses of champagne for a celebratory toast. About an hour later after taking pictures, everyone joined together again to enjoy the cocktail hour, while my husband and I took more pictures together on the beach. The beach was a great place for photos, with the exception of the people walking around and getting in the way occasionally.
The cocktail hour took place on the lawn beside the gazebo area at 5 p.m. The area was set up beautifully, with white lawn style chairs, short cocktail tables covered in white linens, a small banquet area in the center of the tables offering appetizers and a full bar set up on the side. We had selected 5 or 6 hot appetizers, all of which were delicious. Looking back, our guests actually enjoyed the food at the cocktail hour more than the dinner!
Immediately following the cocktail hour at 6 p.m., we all walked over to the beach for dinner and dancing. Fortunately, the sun had just gone down as we arrived on the beach, so there weren't many people left on the beach to stare and ogle at us by that point. Like everything else that day, the reception turned out looking better than I ever could have imagined. Everyone seemed to love having the reception right on the beach; I think many of our guests were even a bit surprised at how nice the entire setup was. Our wedding coordinator from The Royal, Michelle, did an amazing job translating all of my drawings and diagrams into the real thing.
Our three course dinner at the reception was just okay. I thought the food we ate at the restaurants every other night was much better, actually. I noticed that most people didn't finish all of their food, and I know I didn't either. The dessert course was probably the best of the evening. Delicious! A while later, we had a tres leches wedding cake, and we loved that dessert even more!
We had hired the DJ through the resort for our reception, which also came with a light up dance floor and some extra lighting. Everyone loved that dance floor, and it really added to the party atmosphere on the beach. The DJ did a good job, overall. My only regret is that if I could do it all over again, I probably would have given him a full playlist to work off of, or at least to keep in mind when he was choosing songs to play. I personally loved everything that he played, but I noticed that he didn't play as many older songs/classics for the parents/adults at the reception. To give him credit, whenever anyone did request a song, he played it almost right away, and if he didn't have the song saved on his laptop already, he went online and downloaded it right on-the-spot.
The Royal Staff and Service
In my opinion, the staff and service at The Royal is what sets it apart from the rest. Everyone in our party kept commenting on how nice and helpful everyone was; each and every employee we crossed paths with went out of their way to help us, and we never walked by one person who didn't say "hello" with a smile. The housekeeping and room service was awesome, and quick!
I wanted to make sure that I mentioned that the wait staff at the reception was all kinds of awesome. We had a very attentive team of servers taking care of us throughout the evening. I only wish I had written down their names so I could give them props right now! Always extremely professional, The Royal staff went out of their way to make sure that we were all having a great time.
Our onsite wedding coordinator, Michelle, was truly amazing! Both Michelle and Claudy, who was my coordinator in the many months leading up to the wedding, always responded to my questions via email within a day or two, and they followed through with everything that they promised. I can only hope that other destination brides have such amazing wedding specialists by their side!
We met Michelle in person for the first time on the Thursday before the wedding in order to go through all of the wedding details, and she made us feel completely comfortable right away. I walked out of that first meeting knowing that she knew exactly what she was doing, which helped alleviate a lot of my worries surrounding the wedding. Michelle went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that we were happy and did it all with a smile on her face. I never felt like I had to check up on her or micromanage her; she always had it together and remembered every single detail of our wedding as I wanted it.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!