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“A Royal Vacation”

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The Royal Haciendas All Suites Resort & Spa
Ranked #45 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed March 10, 2014

Our family and friends traveled to The Royal Haciendas the week of 2/26-3/5. Our trip was booked All-Inclusive through Expedia for 8 adults (4 couples). Travelers were ages 23-58, with varying degrees of prior travel to Mexico (1st timer – 20+ trips).

Rooms: Since we were traveling as couples, each of us separately booked a Deluxe Suite w/kitchenette (Villa B). The rooms were beautiful and spacious all facing the pool, garden, and/or ocean. They were well decorated with a Tuscan-style flare. The beds are comfortable. Ceilings are tall. Bathrooms are large with a separate vanity from the toilet and shower. Thermostat is easy to use (it is in Celsius). The Deluxe Suite is a mini suite with two double beds (as noted by Expedia). In order to get a king sized bed you would need to book a Deluxe One Bedroom Suite (Villa A) -or- by booking the Deluxe Two Bedroom Suite (Villa A + B). Each room has a balcony or patio. First floor rooms have sliding glass doors that does lock behind you if shut, which is nice if you want to walk straight from your room to the pool/beach. Deluxe One Bedroom & Two Bedroom suites have jacuzzi tubs on the balcony/patio.

Due to the fact that this is primarily a timeshare property, you cannot request suites or villas nearby friends or family. Room location is determined by the availability of the timeshares. Also, since we traveled Wednesday – Wednesday, all 8 of us did have to take on the Saturday room swap.

Grounds: This resort is beautifully landscaped. There is more greenery than any resort I have stayed at in the Playa del Carmen/CanCun area. There are two phases that essentially mirror one another. Phase I is the older of the two, but looks as fresh and new as Phase II. Each phase has a large infinity pool with swim-up bar, and gorgeous views of the ocean. They also have kiddie pools and lap pools. The pool near Phase I was the activity pool, the pool near Phase II was the more laid-back pool. Hammocks are in abundance across the resort covered by large pergolas. There are plenty of poolside chairs and beach chairs in either the sun or shade. Despite the fact that the resort was at 97-100% capacity while we were there, we never had to rush out of bed to save 8 spots. The chairs are laid out in a very methodical way so that you never feel overcrowded, and always have a view of the ocean.

Everything on the resort was stroller/handicap accessible. This was great for young families, elderly couples, and individuals with special needs. This accessibility ran from the villas to the beach.

Beach: The beach was very clean at the resort. Free of debris and rocks, as it was raked daily. The sand was soft, water was calm. Everything was pristine! Each palapa along the beach has its own garbage canister that is emptied throughout the day. –That was a nice touch!

When we were leaving, the palapas were being replaced by newer, taller palapas.

Food: Although the restaurant options are limited, the food selection is not. There are 5 restaurants. La Palapa (buffet) is open for breakfast lunch and dinner. The buffet changes daily, but there is a made-to-order menu that remains consistent. The food is good quality at La Palapa, and is exactly what you’d expect out of a Sunday brunch buffet. There were also two pools-side grills for lunch, the Luna Grill and the Sol Grill. These shared the same menu, however, we found the quality to be slightly better at the Sol Grill. Los Murales is the dinner restaurant. This food was outstanding. There are surcharges on some items (which we found to be reasonable), and the food that was included on the AI package was equally excellent compared to the surcharged items. La Rotunda is the Sushi Bar. The sushi is very good. We ate here almost daily for an Hors d’oeuvre prior to visiting the buffet or Los Murales. All-in-all, we were never disappointed with the food.

Staff: The staff is friendly, but some do seem to be overworked (ie. Bell-hops and pool bar/restaurant staff). The bell-hops are running back and forth across the resort on Saturdays trying to keep up with the room changes. –This process needs to be streamlined to alleviate some of this. When our bell-hop took us to our new room, the prior family had checked-out however, they were still there, and the room had not been cleaned. That was a bit disappointing, but was only a minor hiccup. The staff around the pool and beach sprint to cover ground in order to serve food and beverages in a timely manner. The front desk staff are helpful, but lack LOA to provide answers/resolutions in a quick manner. Many requests have to be escalated to corporate.

Overall, we had a great vacation experience at The Royal Haciendas and hope to return next winter!

Room Tip: One Bedroom Suites (Villa A) has a king sized bed. Deluxe Suites (Villa B) are only available with...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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6  Thank BeachBum8502
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 10, 2014

We go to the Royal Haciendas every year for 3 weeks. We were very pleasantly surprised by the improvements this year. The food was excellent with more selections on the menus. The Wi Fi has improved drastically. The beach was wonderful. Our guests had rented bikes and rode down 5th Ave. directly from the Haciendas and took them about 7 minutes to get to the shops. So happy that 5th Ave. has been extended to the gate.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Lee C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2014

I'm not really sure where to start with this one. I guess I will start with the great points.
Check-in was a breeze. Really one of the best check-ins I have had in Mexico. Our room was open but had not yet been cleaned. We were given keys and allowed to put or bags inside and explore the grounds.
The grounds are gorgeous, really lovely.
The beach was clean and spacious. Phase 2 had a much nicer beach for entering the water. I broke my middle toe on day 2 knocking into some rocks on Phase 1. No big deal, the really great convenience store had first aide tape and I was traveling with a former EMT.
Breakfast at the buffet was tasty every day. My favorite breakfast is rice, beans, chicken, and great salsa. I eat this every single day when I am in Mexico. They had delicious beans, salsas, and chicken every day. Dinner at the buffet every night was...okay.
We had lunch every day at the pool bar in Phase 1. Most of the Mexican dishes were incredibly bland, I recognize they are appealing to the masses but it was a disappointment, but the sandwiches were all quite good.
The bed in the room was one of the more comfortable beds I have had in Mexico. We were in the lock off room with two full size beds. I don't care for squeezing into a full with my husband but that is my fault for picking that room.
The bath in in our room was fantastic!
The safe in the room was huge!
The view from our room (D225B) was nice, gardens and a spit of ocean. I rather liked it.
Service at the Phase 1 pool bar was great. Chrisanto was very friendly, attentive, and kind to all of us. He really made up for a lot of the bad points of the hotel.
I had in forums expressed a bit of concern about owners possibly being rude to AI guests. I did not find this to be the case at all. There was a bit of fun-loving ribbing but it was obviously all in jest. We hung out with a great group of owners most of the week and had a blast.
I found there to be very very little that wasn't included in the AI and everything that wasn't was very clearly marked.

Then there are the not great.
At no point during check-in or check-out did anyone offer to assist us with our bags, not into the hotel, not to/from our rooms. I can not say that has happened before.
The AC in the room was very odd. It blew like a full blast fan when it was on making it pretty much impossible to use the bed closest the doors in the room.
I'm glad we brought shampoo, soap, and conditioner from home as none was ever replenished in our room.
There were only 2 towels. We were told we could have additional towels at a charge of $5 per day.
We were only able to have dinner at the buffet restaurant as were could not get a reservation at the a la cart during our stay. We were there with a couple who was honeymooning so we were a bit sad they missed out on this fancier meal.
The service at the buffet restaurant was absolutely deplorable. It took until the middle of the week for us to realize that if I wanted a second cup of coffee with breakfast my husband (who doesn't drink coffee) would need to order one for himself so I could have a second. Most days we had to order some of our party of 4's drinks a second time to get them. I would say that less than half of the time I asked for water any actually made it to the table. Most days our empty plates from the buffet were not cleared between dinner and dessert. This was my 7th trip to the area and the very first time I have ever had a complaint about service. It was very disappointing.
The food at the buffet was what one would expect. Better than some resorts, equal to others. I'm not sure I have stayed anywhere with noticeably better food. This is the first place we have stayed that did not have any ice cream, my husband was a bit sad about that. One thing that really irked me was that all of the rice they served was instant. The paella rice was instant, the saffron rice was instant, the sushi rice was instant. Instant sushi rice? That is disgusting!
We were staying in Phase 1 while the other couple in our group was in Phase 2. There was not a single day we were able to utilize the pool area of Phase 2. Every single lounger was "reserved" before 9am every single day; few people lots of towels. We didn't have this problem in Phase 1 or on the beach.

I am certain there is more I am forgetting but I am sure this review is way long enough!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank amallen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

My friends own a time share at RH, and I stayed there the first week of March. I've been twice before to Mexico. once to Cancun and once to Cozumel. Based on those two experiences, I wasn't keen on going back, but I did, and am so happy! The location is less than 3 miles from the bustle of 5th Avenue (which I love/hate, but the hotel shuttle makes multiple trips each day ($3.00 US dollars each way. Be warned - it drops you off in the lot of a jewelry store through which you must run the gauntlet to reach the street.)
The propery has a couple of restaurants (both good, but see my review of Los Murales, there are better high end restaurants in town) a grocery store (a tad high priced, $10 US dollars for a pint of Haagen Daaz,) and a gym (for a fee.) There is a kiddie pool, a lap pool, and a community pool with a swim up bar. There are several shady places with hammocks. You are steps away from a beautiful beach, with lounge chairs and shady huts, if you so desire.
The rooms themselves aren't swank - they could use some new furniture - but that is a small squabble. They were very comfortable, quite clean, and functional. Microwaves and fridges in all, and in the larger units a full sized kitchen,
There is a grill at the community pool, where you can get lunch and drinks. There are one or two daily 2-for-1 drink specials. There is also a full staff of hard-working folks who will come by your chair and ask if you need anything.
The staff - hard to describe how awesome they are. They seem genuinely glad to have you and to serve you. I felt welcome all week.
There are lots of daily activities for adults and kids (water aerobics, Bingo, volley ball, etc.) There are also 3 or 4 shows at night. All are welcome, no fee.
When I return - and I will - I will do my best to stay here.
My one caveat - you don't spend money here. You are given a card at the beginning of the trip, and you use if for every purchase. It is very easy to run up an impressive bill!

Room Tip: People shy away from rooms by the kiddie pool - don't. The entire week I was there, I saw no mor...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank lclarknj1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

This place is very nice, but a you can see in my title, this place is a Time Share ! and they tried too much to sell (normal, they want to make a living) but most of the crowd are retired couples or older couples. You will see a couple of Young family and kids, but there is nothing very interesting for them except the beach and pool. My wife and I (41 and 40) felt as if we were too Young to be at this resort, but we loved the tranquility.

Room Tip: If you want peace and tranquility, it is the place.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Francois P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2014

My parents purchased a one-week timeshare here about 5 years ago. At first, I couldn't understand why they loved this place so much, but now that I've been to the Royal Haciendas 4 times, I think they made an excellent choice. This place is nothing short of paradise. We just got home from yet another wonderful vacation there.

Based on my experiences, I've noticed that the property is very well-maintained and they are always striving to improve things in and around the resort. All of the workers we've dealt with are incredibly friendly, helpful and fun (especially Paco who taught the water aerobics class). There are so many on-site activities to get involved with for adults and children too. We enjoyed the karaoke nights and pool volleyball, among other activities.

I didn't think I would get myself to workout every day, but my mom and I were able to get up early and workout (which made us feel slightly less guilty lying out in the sun the rest of the day!). The gym has everything you would ever need to workout - treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, free weights, benches, medicine balls, etc.

With regard to on-site food, we've eaten at the poolside grill numerous times and really enjoyed a burger or sandwich right before happy hour. Speaking of happy hour, not only are the drinks half price at 3pm, they are pretty tasty too. They also give you free chips/salsa during happy hour, which is a nice addition. We like to go to "Lapa Lapa" (on-site restaurant) in the morning for breakfast, they have a delicious array of bagels, toast, pastries, fruit, cereal, etc. and they also have an egg station where someone will kindly make your eggs (however you want them). They replenish the food fairly quickly, so I have personally found everything to be fresh. We did not go too frequently for dinner this time around as we wanted to try out other restaurants on 5th Avenue (although I will say that they do have interesting dinner themes) - when we have eaten there for dinner during past trips, the food has been good. The free shuttle to 5th Avenue for members is a very nice perk too.

At first we were a little unsure as to whether or not we liked the idea of the "all-inclusive" option, but realized that it made sense to offer guests that option. It is not something that would work for us as we enjoy going to 5th Avenue for dinners and we would not drink enough to really make it worth it.

Our rooms was always nice and clean when we came back from the pool. One day we left our "Do not disturb" sign on the door and didn't realize it until probably around 3pm, so when we called the front desk - they sent someone up immediately to clean the room! The service is nothing short of amazing, they truly do make our stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Lastly, my experience in the spa has been excellent as well. I've had a swedish massage and facial the past few years and most recently decided to try the foot spa treatment - my feet felt like a baby's bottom once the treatment was complete. I would do that again in a heartbeat. We book our spa treatments the day before we head back home...it's the cherry on top.

My only suggestion to management is perhaps some updating in the rooms (i.e., TVs/phones) and to consider adding more on-site food options (especially for the benefit of those people with all-inclusive), I think a steakhouse-type restaurant would do very well at the resort.

Although our vacation this year has come to an end, we cannot wait for next year!

Room Tip: If you want to be close to everything, try choosing a room that sits in the middle of both phases...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank RQualtieri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2014

This was our second trip to Royal Haciendas and it was just as amazing this time! The villas are decorated in relaxing colors that provide a perfect counterpoint to the bright colorful exterior decor.The beach is exquisite! White sand and water in the most amazing array of blues...truly paradise. The restaurants offer delicious meals at reasonable prices and the staff is warm and accommodating - can't wait for next year!

Room Tip: Rooms on the 3rd and 4th floors have the best ocean views.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Valerie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Royal Haciendas All Suites Resort & Spa

Address: Cancun-Chetumal Highway km 289+10, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#31 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#33 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#34 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#34 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $214 - $586 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Royal Haciendas All Suites Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 252
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

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