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“Wonderful family resort”

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The Royal Haciendas All Suites Resort & Spa
Ranked #49 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Grand Rapids, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful family resort”
Reviewed April 11, 2014

This was our first trip to Playa del Carmen, and my husband and I prefer to stay at AI resorts. We consider ourselves to be picky and enjoy quality places and experiences.

Check In:
This took a bit of time, but nothing out of the ordinary. We were checked in within 20 minutes (we arrived on a Friday), and did not have to move rooms on Saturday, so we were excited!

Room:
We stayed in a 1-bedroom suite, which was PERFECT for our 4-person family! My husband and I loved the large room, comfy bed, and huge closets. The kids enjoyed the murphy beds. We couldn't have asked for a better set up for this trip. We did not use the kitchen, but our fridge was filled with beverages regularly. The jacuzzi on the patio was awesome - the kids loved it!

Food:
The buffets are good. Not spectacular, but there is so much to choose from that even the pickiest of eaters can find something to eat! Plus, there is a menu from which one can order if the buffet is not appealing. La Palapa del Sol, the pool-side restaurant is great for lunch! Los Murales is a MUST visit. The presentation of food is gorgeous and it tastes amazing. We visited once toward the end of our trip and wished that we would have done so sooner. Definitely eat there! Room service was great! The desserts (chocolate cake and brownie) are fantastic!

Pool:
Yes, people reserve lounges here starting around 8am. However, plenty of people came to the pool area throughout the day and had no problem finding seats. Our group chose to go in the morning and stay for the day. My one complaint about the pool area is that the music playing in the area was laced with profanity (it is American pop music, and, unlike the radio versions, did not bleep out the swear words). With all of the kids around, I didn't appreciate this. This also happened in the restaurant.

Key card:
Yes, you have to show your room card to check out towels and when you eat. Honestly, this was not a hassle at all, and I think that the people who complain about this are a bit ridiculous. At the bar, you can show your card to open a tab for the day. When you leave, just sign your tip and go! Definitely not a big deal; surprising that some think so.

Kids club:
We were pleased that there were two options here: drop off (babysitting) or just activities. We preferred to vacation with our kids, and didn't want to drop them off to be babysat. We loved that we could accompany them to many activities and have fun with them!

Entertainment:
There are shows that happen in the evenings in Phase 2. The fire show was great! The acrobatic show, however, seemed more like a PG-13 Britney Spears video. The music was not kid-friendly, nor were some of the dances performed. We left this one early; it was awful!

We will definitely return to The Royal Haciendas - it was awesome!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank bellamama480
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cristóbal G, Online Community Administrator. at The Royal Haciendas All Suites Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 29, 2014
Dear Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us.

We always strive to provide the highest satisfaction levels to our guests and it's rewarding to learn we achieved this goal with you.

We appreciate your feedback and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Warm regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2014

This time share resort was very special when it was developed and sold. However, new sales management insists on changing it to an all inclusive resort with a rabid sales team.
If you are looking for all inclusive, it was not built for this. Limited restaurant service and facilities. If you are returning as an owner, be prepared for trays outside the doors, lines at the restaurant, and overwhelmed waiters on the beach service. Also, you will not get the in room toiletries, robes and water that other guests get. Meanwhile the guests who do get these services have complained on this site about the paltry offerings. Two different tiers of service makes both types of 'guests' unhappy. This is clear from the reviews, including mine.
The employees of this resort have always been an asset, but fewer and fewer of the original employees are there now. The activity classes are not interesting or fun, and have not been updated in years.
Avoid the three hour signature club pitch if you can. There is nothing that they can sell you that you could not do better on your own.
On the plus side, it is an amazingly beautiful seaside resort. Well kept grounds and landscaping, spacious units.
Those of us who bought there were looking for a gorgeous piece of Mexico to return to every year, not a place to party into the day and night and hide out from the local area.
I have heard more than one owner describe our experience as we were 'betrayed'
Only time will tell how this uneasy mix will turn out.

Room Tip: Well, the beachfront is very special if you can get it. However, all the units are nice and have som...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
8 Thank Citymargot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2014

We decided to stay at the Royal Haciendas based on many reviews which we read on Tripadvisor. Wow what an excellent resort this is. We stayed here from March 29, 2014 through April 3, 2014, and we did the All Inclusive. First let me say I am not an All Inclusive kind of guy. My wife wanted All Inclusive, because she did not want to have to cook for my son all vacation, which is usually what happens. Let me say that the food was very good, and available 24 hours with room service. The first nigh we got in late, due to a delayed flight, and we were starved, we ordered room service and it was very good. All of the food was very good, and the service was excellent. If you go to the restaurant with a picky child like mine, you can order from a menu instead of the buffet, and if your kid still does not like anything, they will make you something your kid does like. The pools were great and were super warm. The beach in front is nice enough, and there were always chairs with palapas umbrellas available, even on spring break. You can feel safe leaving your cellphones and belongings and walk away, as this is a private resort with nobody around except for guest ans staff. The servers on the beach wil bring you drinks or any meals which they serve at the poolside cafe. There is a Kids Club with activities every day from morning until 5. The staff at the Kids Club were awesome and great with the kids. They also have an activity each night. There was a Mayan Show, a Brazilian Circus act, a Kiddie disco, Movie night, Casino Night. Every room has an Ocean View and the maid service was excellent.

We spent virtually no money with the exception of tips for the staff, who deserve to be tipped generously, and for the few trinkets which we bought from vendors whom were permitted to sell stuff at the resort.

I have been coming t Playa for 20 plus years, and this is the first time I have stayed at an AI which was away removed from the center of town. Maybe I am getting old, but I really loved it. The one day we did go into town, I forgot about how annoying all of the hawkers can be. Also Playa has grown. I was incredulous to see a Victoria's Secret and Guess store on 5th Avenue.

When I first came to Playa if you did not speak Spanish, which I do, it would be difficult. Now, all of the people speak English, at least at Royal Haciendas, so this place is easy if you do not speak Spanish.

The gym was pretty good and had enough machines to get in my workout.

You should also make a reservation, at least once, for Los Murales restaurant which was fabulous. It's included in the AI with the exception of certain items (ie lobster) which have a small surcharge.

Bring a roll of dollar bills for tips.

The only slightly weird issue is the towels. I think they are paranoid about people stealing towels, and the usually only bring two bath towels. If you call the maid and ask for more, they will bring more, but even the beach towels you have to sign out with your room key, and bring back the exact amount. This was a very minor inconvenience, but it actually makes sense when you think about it.

Overall, my family and I had a lovely and relaxing vacation. My wife never wants to return to the same place twice, and she actually said she wants to come back again next year.

Room Tip: Get a Higher Floor room for better ocean view.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Specterlaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cristóbal G, Online Community Administrator. at The Royal Haciendas All Suites Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 29, 2014
Dear Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us.

We always strive to provide the highest satisfaction levels to our guests and it's rewarding to learn we achieved this goal with you.

We appreciate your feedback and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Warm regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
76 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2014

It pains me on this, our fourth two-week stay, to say that the Royal Haciendas isn't quite the same as when we purchased our "exclusive, members-only" timeshare unit five years ago. The resort is as beautiful as ever. Our villa has just as glorious a view of the pools and the beach. The daily housekeeping service on our villa continues to be above reproach. The grounds are still beautifully and meticulously maintained by a large, hard-working staff. Despite being a bit crowded on some evenings, service in the restaurants is fast and efficient, and the food is good, if not five star, with entertainment almost every night. And everyone employed at the resort is just as friendly as they were when we bought our unit five years ago.

An aside: I laughed (or maybe I was crying?) when I read that the "lock-off" side of a villa might not be suitable for honeymooners like Lisa, (see review below), but with two double beds, a spacious bathroom, a small kitchen and a balcony, and 450 sq. feet of living space it’s hardly the size of a closet. And the much larger suite, for less than $100 more per night, includes a king-size bed, a walk in shower, twin vanities, full kitchen, two televisions, and a full-size Jacuzzi on the extra-large patio. It’s beautiful, and so worth the extra cost it's laughable to complain. Nonetheless, Lisa the honeymooner gives the Haciendas the same rating she recently gave a place in St. Lucia where she complained that “…the patio feels like a prison with large bars and barbed wire…scammed by one of the ladies that works there….bugs are terrible… (and) gunshots behind the building.” You’ll never see anyone say such things about the Royal Haciendas!

But now back to my review. What's different, as M R notes in his review right below Lisa the honeymooner, is that the “exclusive, members-only” feel of the Haciendas has been lost with the addition of an “all-inclusive” requirement for non-members trading into the resort. The resort management says that it’s good for us as members to maintain high occupancy rates, to keep our maintenance costs down, and increase our ability to trade. But for those of us who bought our units for our family vacations, with no intent of trading, indeed in large part because the resort wasn’t “all-inclusive” and because it was in a more quiet location than the beaches of Cancun, after our two weeks there in March it’s hard to think we’re better off.

It’s a sobering experience (pun intended) for those of us who bring our children and grandchildren, when all around us are folks who drink their way through the day, reserve the pool-side lounge chairs for hours at a time while they disappear to parts unknown, leave half-full drink glasses at pool's edge to go back to the poolside bar for another, and groove to a poolside DJ on Sunday whose volume level was set so high that it could deafen a post…because it’s “all-inclusive”. Too many (certainly not all) non-members apparently think that they're paying good money to be there, and damned if they're not going to take advantage of it, without regard for the rest of us.

Fortunately, it's nice to see that most of the reviews of the Royal Haciendas, whether written by members or non-members, more truly reflect the resort we bought, not the one Lisa wrote about, at least as long as management doesn't diminish the value any further. We still can't wait to return for our next visit, but we can only hope they will have gotten an earful by then from the owners rather than allow the place to become just another Cancun area “hotel”, a word that was apparently never used for a Royal Resort in the early days. It was so much more when we bought...and it's sad to see it become less.

Room Tip: Mini Suites are, indeed, two -bedroom hotels rooms with a balcony. They are more than spacious enou...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Stratford64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ROSCOMMON
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2014

We are owners at the Royal Hacienda and love the rooms and resort overall. The prices are going up and we noticed the service isn't the same since the all inclusive started. Food serving are smaller too! We love the Rotunda Bar for a quiet after dinner drink but this year it was over run by very young all inclusive visitors. We ended up having cocktails in our room instead! It looked like the employees were over whelmed at times. The staff is very friendly except for one front desk employee. I hate to see this resort go down hill with the all inclusive- next year will be the deciding year for us as to if we stay owner or not!!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Patti M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2014

This is a nice resort with good facilities. The room set up is excellent for families and the beach is good. And there is a partial sea view from the deck, not I should add from inside. HOWEVER there are several aspects of the resort that lead to my negative review. All small points that sound petty individually but just lead to a negative felling abut the place. First the checkin was slow and unfriendly. After 3 requests for a crib/cot for our son, which never showed up, we reverted to putting a mattress on the floor. Room service requests for extra water never appeared. The AI mini bar was not stocked for the first 24 hours, there are basically two restaurants for all inclusive, other than poolside beach snack bars. The fancy resturant seems impossible to book, well so far after 3 nights. The only way we managed one was agreeing to go the the time share presentation. Then magically a reservation was MOST PROBABLY available through the concierge. And be aware the concierge main role is get you into the time share presentation. We found the high pressure techniques to get you to go pretty annoying when we are paying for the holiday. And you have to bring a credit card to the presentation even though there is no obligation to buy. Go figure that. And amusingly they offered a free breakfast if we attend the presentation but the AI has that covered.

And that is the biggest problem with the place. It does not know what it wants to be. It is really a time share resort but they also do all inclusive and their all inclusive just feels wrong. You have to sign for everything, so you can leave a tip, even at the pool swim up bar. The food on the whole is good, although the buffet at times is hit and miss but at least you can order off a decent menu if you are happy to eat off the same menu each meal. The service is generally friendly but slow when you order from the menu. But then it is holiday so what is the rush. Apparently the 'members' get better service and access to the better resturant which would explain why it is impossible to book when you are on AI.

Anyway we still have 3 nights to go and regardless will enjoy the beach and the pool. Perhaps our crib/cot will show up. Room G247 if management read this.

Room Tip: ask to see the view first
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank DwightCupit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peabody, Massachusetts
1 review
Reviewed April 7, 2014

This is our second time at a Royal Resort. We visited Las Haciendas while staying at the Royal Cancun in 2013 and decided we would stay here in 2014. We bought a spa package that allowed us to have 4 messages and access to their hot tub, wet and dry saunas and the gym facilities. They have so many activities offered that you could stay busy every moment of every day if you wanted. We did Water Aerobics, a Spanish Language Course, a Latin Dancing Course, a Golf Tournament at Iberostar (previous Big Break Course), a Free Taco Party and a Free Shuttle into Playa Del Carmen. Even with all of that we felt so relaxed and rested. I think it was mainly do to the beautiful grounds, rooms ("A" Units have terrific Jacuzzi Tubs on the balconies) and attitudes of the staff. We look forward to going back next year!

Room Tip: Phase 1 has the most activities while Phase 2 has the better grounds: quieter, detailed flower plant...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DonnaRamos2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cristóbal G, Online Community Administrator. at The Royal Haciendas All Suites Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 29, 2014
Dear Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us.

We always strive to provide the highest satisfaction levels to our guests and it's rewarding to learn we achieved this goal with you.

We appreciate your feedback and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Warm regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Royal Haciendas All Suites Resort & Spa

Property: 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:
#3 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#17 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#34 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#38 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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