We just returned from the Royal Haciendas and absolutely loved it. As everyone else has stated, the resort is lovely and unbelievably clean. We did an exchange through Interval International for the full 2 bedroom unit. We have stayed at two other Royal Resorts and really liked this one.
I will try to give some information that others have not so as to be useful to other exchangers. We did receive the unit number that was indicated with II and it was a great room. We were on the top floor (fourth) with an ocean view to the side, looking down upon the central grounds. Because we were on the top floor, it was very private and also had the extra high ceilings. It was extremely quiet, we never once heard any neighbors around us. I never saw any insects other than an ant or two down at the beach, nor any lizards. This is a huge deal to me since I hate large bugs! Maybe it was the time of year we visted but we never saw a single cockroach (palmetto bug) anywhere we went the whole trip, which is very unusual for the tropics.
We arrived around noon on Saturday and check-in was a breeze. We were directed to a special desk for exchangers but we had no wait and it went very smoothly. Our room was still being cleaned but we were given our keys and told we could go on up if we wanted to. We checked it out, then went down for lunch and drinks. By the time we finished lunch, our maid was done and we were able to settle in (around 1:30). Perfect. We were on the beach by 2:00!
Everyone is assigned a personal concierge for the week. Our guy was very friendly and not too pushy about asking if we wanted to do a timeshare meeting. We politely declined and that was the end of it. He never bothered us again. Whenever we wanted to make shuttle reservations or dinner reservations in town, we just called him and he took care of it immediately.
The unit has magnifying makeup mirrors in both bathrooms, which is really great for us women. The master bath has an amazing walk-in shower that is perfect, great water pressure and plenty of hot water. The jacuzzi tub on the balcony is wonderful, we used it every night. It fills up in about 5 minutes. Very romantic!
We did have 2 power outages during the week but it happened during the day and did not affect us other than limiting the bar food and drink choices while the power was out. The pool bar service is great, we were served every day down on the beach, you just put up your flag and they come. The happy hour drinks were good and huge! My favorites were the mango daquiris and the mojitos. Cost was only about $5.00 for a grande during happy hour. They also gave you free chips and salsa with your drinks during happy hour and the salsa was great. We found the service all week long to be outstanding wherever we went, on resort and off. There was no delay ever for anything.
The kitchen is well stocked and even has a non-stick pan for cooking eggs. There is no garbage disposal in the sink, which we found irritating and they do not provide paper towels or liquid dish soap for any hand washing of dishes. You can easily buy these at the on-site market. However, we had daily maid service which was great, she did a fantastic job, she even washes out your shower every day. We tipped $5 a day to the maid, she does more than just change your towels. Also, they provide free wi-fi in the units which is a huge benefit for me as I have to check in for work periodically since I am self-employed. The internet connection worked fine the whole week.
The on-site market had everything we needed to make breakfasts and lunches for the week, plus make cocktails. It was not terribly expensive and we were very happy not to have to make a trip into Playa to get get groceries. It is very well stocked. For the convenience and time saving alone, I recommend just using their market.
We never had a problem getting a palapa and chairs at the beach all week, in fact we got a front row one everyday and the earliest we ever went down was 10:30. The pool chairs do fill up fast but we are beach people so we only went to the pool at the end of the day, if at all. The sand is beautiful, white and powder soft and it never gets hot. We stayed in Phase 1 and having checked out the whole beach down both sides quite a ways, I have to say that the Phase 1 beach is by far the best spot. The water is calm and crystal clear. Yes, there are alot of rocky areas but there are also 2 large sandy areas where you can walk out a very long way in clear shallow water. The water in front of Phase 2 is murky and much rougher with seaweed. I would not have been happy with the beach if that had been our only choice. As you walk even further north on the beach the water is even murkier and full of seaweed and seagrass. The beach going south toward Playa is very rocky in the water. So the best spot is dead central in front of Phase 1. We did try snorkeling out here but when we out it was so shallow over the rocks and coral that I cut my knee so we did not go out again. We did spent an entire day snorkeling down in Akumal at Yal-Ku Lagoon and Akumal Bay and that was excellent. We saw a giant turtle, must have been 5 ft. long in Akumal Bay. We hired a taxi driver for the day for $100 and he took us to each place and stayed until we wanted to go to the next place.
I won't go into all the places we ate in Playa other than to mention that you must go to Alux Restaurant. It was closed for a few months but is open again and it is amazing. It is inside a dried cenote/caverns and was really fascinating. The food was fine, not great but not terrible, actually the filet mignons were excellent. But go because it is a setting you won't believe. After our dinner, our waiter took us for a private tour through the caverns and it is just beautiful.
We had an amazing trip and loved everything about it. The weather was perfect all week, not a drop of rain and was in the 80's, although by the last day you could feel it getting hotter and more humid than the whole week had been. We will definitely be going back some day!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal Haciendas(R) Just 10 minutes from Playa del Carmen, this enchanting beachfront resort has architecture and gardens inspired by the grand old haciendas of the Yucatan. Enjoy fine dining, activities and many other amenities with the REFINE All-Inclusive package. The Royal Haciendas(R) is proof that dreams come true. Imagine, the best in beachfront living quietly nestled within Riviera Maya's most prestigious oceanfront golf community. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Royal Haciendas Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Royal Haciendas Hotel
- Royal Haciendas Playa Del Carmen
- The Royal Haciendas All Suites Resort & Spa Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico