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“Great resort but very quiet”

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The Royal Haciendas All Suites Resort & Spa
Ranked #46 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed November 18, 2008

We are writing this review from the resort itself, we have a full villa (two bedroom two bath) during November 15-22 2008, which we obtained through Interval International as an exchange.

I won't repeat all the things already said - but I would like to summarize pros and cons.

Pros:

1) Beautiful apartments, modern kitchens, large balconies with jacuzzi, wireless internet in the rooms, the best timeshare apartments we ever saw.

2) Big pool, heated at night, the beach has fine white sand, with palapas and chairs available all day, palm trees on the beach look very exotic.

3) Staff is amazing, customer service is top as with all Royal Resorts in Cancun.

4) The place is spotless - apartments, grounds, beach, everything is cleaned and cleaned and cleaned every second of the day.

5) Free shuttle to Playa del Carmen, although reservation are required and the last departure from resort is early - 1 pm - and the last return from Playa is early - 6 pm.

Cons

1) The water at the beach is full of rocks but better than other places in Cancun (better than the Sands beach) and better than some other resort beaches on Riviera Maya itself.

2) This really depends on your taste, but for us, we are a couple in our 40's and it is too quiet for us - not many activities (for example at the Sands the atmosphere is much livelier). It is also pretty isolated, you have to get the shuttle to Playa or a cab for 10 dollars one way) to do something, and by the time you go to Playa and you come back, you can easily waste a half day.

3) The Air Conditioner is very noisy and we had tiny ants all over the kitchen.

4) The way they built the resort, with the U-shape units, the oceanfronts, which are very few (perhaps only 10-15% of the units are oceanfront), are very nice, but they block the view from all other units - we had the second best view in unit C317 right in the middle of Phase I, we could see the ocean between the buildings from a far distance, but it doesn't really make it to a true ocean view. Many units won't even get a glimpse of the ocean.

Overall, we may return to this resort when we plan to spend a week doing nothing but sleeping, having peace and quiet, and enjoying the sun and beach (with most swimming being done in the pool). We recommend it for retired travelers but not for teenagers, young people who like the night life (unless you are willing to commute to Playa back and forth).

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank aprata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,148 - 3,154 of 3,739 reviews

Reviewed November 3, 2008

Having been to the Carribean, Cancun to be exact, I was excited to head south for a little Mayan Riviera hospitality. I thought Cancun was beautiful, the beaches wonderful, and the entertainment endless.

The trip from the airport is about 45 minutes, give or take, and we were happy to finally hit our destination. The outside of the resort is gorgeous, with the grounds around the hotel lush and extravagant.

Your first notice of the hotel will be how undeniably clean and spotless it is. The appreciation I have for Royal Resorts and their interest in keeping the resort so clean has really put them a bar above most resorts. I will break this review down into three sections from here: The Rooms, The Resort itself, the Beach.

The Rooms: The rooms are spacious. Each room has a wonderful full balcony out of the first main room, and a half balcony that extends out of the guest room. There is also a hot tub which was used frequently may I add. There was 6 of us, so me and my girlfriend were stuck to the beds that came down from the walls in the main room. I have to be blunt, they are the most uncomfortable beds I have EVER slept on. For a Royal Resort with immaculate grounds, above average service, to sleep on these concrete walls were really a damper in our week. We had no other choice, so we had to make the best of it. We alternated between the beds and the couch, but my back still took a beating. The other rooms have much better beds, so don't panic. All the rooms are equipped with marble, a half kitchen, and beautiful decoration. You definitely receive the bang for the buck here at the Royal Resort - just expect a rough week if your one of the unlucky people who have to sleep on the pull down beds. You've been warned.

The Resort itself: You can't deny how beautiful the resort is. It really is lush, with beautiful scenery, plants, bridges, waterfalls. The resort has two HUGE, BEAUTIFUL pools. This was my favorite part of the Royal experience. The pools are kept mild to warm, they are HUGE. The resort during Oct 4 - 11 was crowded, but not once did you feel it with these pools. Each pool has a swim up bar. Just beautiful. Couldn't have been happier with the pools. Also, there are two lap pools where "Volleyball" was held each day. Great fun! Met a lot of couples through volleyball and beach volleyball that we hung out with for the week. Solid job here Royal. As for activities themselves, there are not many at the hotel. Each day, the resort holds activities. For instance, one day there was Texas Hold Em in the lobby. A fun experience, but very short, which kept us from returning. There are not many other things to do, so keep that in mind. This resort should not be chosen for activities. There is only one "true" restaurant. It can become quite tiresome, but the plus here is that the waiters remember your likes, your needs. Everyday, they would have orange juice waiting for me and my girlfriend because they knew we loved it. Just awesome!

The Beach: Here is where the resort drops in a huge way. I am a beach connoisseur, I travel to the Caribbean for the spectacular beaches. I love to swim, staring at your feet, wading in the blue water. Well, here at the resort, the beach is terrible. It's so below average that it was such a let down. First, the beach has rocks everywhere. For the famed Mayan Riviera, Royal HAS to fix that problem. You cannot have rocks everywhere on the beach. Next, there is coral everywhere in front of the beach. They say you can snorkel, which we did, but most of the coral is dead. Why it is not removed, well, I'm not sure. So there are no areas to swim, and the water never reaches that "clear, Caribbean" level. We tried walking about a half mile in each direction and we could not find swimmable beach. Believe it or not, this is why I will not return to the Royal Haciendas. You cannot have such a pathetic beach at such a beautiful resort. We went to Cozumel three times during our visit so that we could swim at beautiful beaches. You may have to do the same.

Overall: The hotel is solid. It is beautiful, ornate, and spectacular with service. But that does not do enough in the eyes of this traveler. I rarely have anything bad to say about a resort, as you should expect some problems. But having such a terrible beach is not a problem I should breeze by. Many people come from around the world, EXPECTING a top beach, not asking. Many people complained, and Royal said they are doing there best. The resort should not have been built on a coral reef with no life. A real draw back, and for me I will visit another resort during my visit to Playa Del Carmen.

7/10. Enjoy yourself, it's impossible not too. Just don't be too upset when you look at the beach. It is not your typical Caribbean beach, I view this hotel as an exception to otherwise gorgeous beaches. Happy traveling.

  • Stayed: October 2008
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5  Thank Czymnzo0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2008

We stayed at the Royal Haciendas Oct. 18-25 and we were thrilled with the accomodations, the rooms were clean and very well done granite counters and nice tiled floors and bathrooms. Neat to have a jetted tub on the balcany nice for romantic couple or for me great to give the kids a bath while relaxing on the balcony.
We had a rainy week and the pool was slightly cold when we first arrived however the 3rd day they turned on the heat to the pools and life was good.
Dining in the palapa restaurant was good food and the price was reasonable, every night they offered a buffet and regular menu so you were not stuck getting a buffet.

All and all we were very pleased with our stay and would go back.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank JJSharkman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2008

We did a one week rental. Found staff extremely nice/helpful & they work very hard to please. Resort (really a timeshare) well maintained & condo quite roomy/comfortable. Unfortunately, pool and hot tubs unheated & cold. Only 1 restaurant for dinner which became tedious.Appreciated that when we informed our 'conciege' we were NEVER going to purchase she did not mention it again. We will not be returning since we like to be close to town. Free Royal shuttle to PDC ends at 5:30 (reservation necessary!) & roundtrip taxi is $20, plus tip. It is a 15 min ride & unsafe to walk (& too far for most of us).We went to town frequently - lots of restaurants & people watching. Next time we will stay at a beach hotel walking distance to the city.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank DHAofAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2008

We exchanged our timeshare unit through Interval for a week at the Royal Haciendas in Playa del Carmen. We had previous experience with the Royal chain -- Royal Sea Aquarium (Curacao) in 2008, Royal Reef (Grand Caymen) in 2003, and the Royal Sands (Cancun) in 2001. Unfortunately the week we were there, 18-25 Oct, it rained practically the entire time, only clearing up the last two days of our vacation.

Cancun Airport --- We flew directly from Atlanta into Cancun. Upon arrival, we joined the already jammed up immigration area (this is normal). After getting our passports stamped, we went into another area to get our luggage and then through Customs. A lottery-type system determines if your bags are searched. You hit a button -- it it turns green, you can walk straight though. If it turns red -- your bags are searched. We got the green light so sailed right through. Next we had to navigate through an area of timeshare salesman, although they masqurade as quasi-official people that help you get where you want to go. They asked us who we were looking for, they gave us directions, then steered us over to these folks around the edges of the room before we could get away. That's where we got the timshare talk. They said if we'd only visit this one resort they would give us a free boat trip, free swim with dolphins, etc. My advice -- once you leave customs, do not stop for anything, keep walking until you are outside the glass doors to where all the ground transportation awaits. From the airport, Royal Haciendas is approximately a 40 minute drive. We had booked our hotel/airport transfers online through Thomas More in advance. They had vans outside waiting to take people to their hotels.

Royal Haciendas --- From the main road, the resort is about a mile inland heading toward the beach. Royal Haciendas is located inside a bigger resort called the Grand Coral, that will include 4 other resorts, as well as a golf course. There's a sidewalk that runs from this resort to the main entrance. Distance is approx. 1 mile and is very popular with runners and walkers. Phase I, II, and III of Royal Haciendas are completely finished, and Phase IV is scheduled to open in July 09. Check-in was a breeze -- we were greeted with bottled water and given our key cards immediately. We stayed in a 2 bedroom lock-off unit, G248. G is the last finished building next to the construction zone. Our unit was practically brand new, having been finished in July 08. The decor was beautiful, with tile flooring throughout, woven scatter rugs, and all the amenities needed to feel like home. The larger unit had a king-sized bed in the bedroom, and 2 pull down beds in the living room, plus a dining table, living room, extra large bathroom, and a full kitchen, plus a large balcony with a jacuzzi outside. Both the living room and the bedroom had TVs and DVD players. The smaller unit had 2 double beds, a small studio kitchen (small fridge, microwave, coffeepot, toaster), a TV & DVD player, and a large bathroom, plus a small balcony.

The resort currently has one main restaurant (a new steak and seafood upscale restaurant is under construction), plus several beach bars around the various pools. Inside the lobby, is a Thomas More tour desk, Hertz rental car kiosk, and a grocery/gift shop. The restaurant, La Palapa Del Sol, is located on the beach and serves buffet breakfasts (approx $10) lunches, and dinner nightly. Most nights have a theme such as Caribbean, Oriental, Italian, Seafood, and Mexican. Dinner is either ala carte or the themed buffet. There is also the Lapa Lapa, a limited menu take-out facility that delivers food to your room. Just like other Royal resorts, all purchases during your stay are charged using your key card. Accounts are settled upon check-out.

Playa del Carmen --- this is the closet town to the resort. The resort has a shuttle that goes to town a few times a day, but you must sign up at least 24 hours in advance. We found this very inconvenient and didn't use the service. Taxis are approximately $10 one way. It is possible to walk into Playa via the beach, although you need to watch the tide. We walked one day and it took us around an hour to get to the edge of town. We walked around 20 more minutes to get the the pedestrian zone which is on 5th street. The ferry to Cozumel is at the end of 5th Street. There is a road being constructed from the resort into Playa which will provide a more direct route but people that we talked to said it's been under construction for a long time (smile). 5th Street turns from a residential area into a pedestrian zone lined with small hotels, restaurants and tourist shops. The shop keepers and time share hawkers are somwhat aggressive and try to entice you into their shops. We heard over and over, "It's my turn now," meaning that it was their turn for us to walk through their shop.

Resort Activites --- Due to inclimate weather (it rained all week) the Welcome Party on Sunday was held indoors in the Activity room. Soft drinks and Mexican beer was complimentary. Games were played and Royal Resort t-shirts and hats were given out to the winners. A Taco Party is held on several occasions (you receive an invite from your personal conceirge). Again due to rain, the party was held under the porch of the Palapa Del Sol restaurant. Chicken and beef tacos with refried beans were served along with Mexican beer and soft drinks.

Happy Hour at the various bars is from 3-7pm. Most domestic drinks are half price. We had variations of pina coladas most every day -- chips and salsa during happy hour are complimentary. At the Aqua Bar II, our "Star" employee was Tonituah. What a character -- always had a smile and fantastic customer service. He ran circles around some of the other bar staff. Be sure to look him up if you go.

The resort has an Activites/Sport Desk. This is where you get your beach towels, snorkel gear, kayaks and paddles, tennis rackets and balls, board games, and golf clubs, all free-of-charge. We used the tennis gear and the kayak -- all equipment was in excellent condition.

The Thomas More kiosk in the lobby can arrange tour excursions, airport transfers, etc. We signed up for a half day reef adventure in Puerto Moreles. Cost was $65 per person and included transport, boat ride to the protected reef, guided snorkel tour in two locations and lunch. We also had to pay $2 each as an "entrance fee" to the reef park. The different types and amount of coral we saw and the variety of fish were amazing. Our group saw fish such as baracudas, moray eels, stingrays, trumpet fish, and a small turtle.

The resort also has a fully-equiped dive operation onsite - Dive Balam. My husband signed up for a two-tank cenote dive. Cost was $155 which included transport, all equipment, and lunch. The dive was limited to 4 divers and the Dive master, Willie. The cenotes are collapsed caves and have both fresh and saltwater. My husband said the service was exceptional, and Willie took care of setting up the equipment, etc. Dive Balam also offered other dives, discover scuba sessions and snorkeling.

Bottom Line -- This resort is more isolated than we expected. A rental car of taxi is required to leave the resort. Walking the 3 plus miles into town is not practical for most visitors. Maybe once the other neighboring resorts are finished and this side of Playa del Carmen is built-up accessibility will improve. Since we did not have a car and did not want to take taxis every day, we got very tired of staying around the resort and eating at the same restaurant. We also found the level of customer service from the front desk and the Thomas More representative not up to Royal par compared to our previous experiences with this company. A week of almost constant rain and construction noise probably made us more critical of the small things -- it's amazing what a little sunshine will do for your temperment, especially when on vacation.

Stayed: October 2008
6  Thank cathyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2008

We had a great week at The Royal Haciendas, this year we exchanged the two units we have at CIC and enjoyed every day, even the rainy/stromy ones. The staff was very helpful and friendly, they took care of all details. Thanks to the GM - Angel Estrada and his team, Hugo at the beach, Jorge and Jose Luis at the restaurants, Chef Manuel, Salome - the maid, and the Bell Boys. Estela - our Concierge. Greetings from Villas 225 & 327, Week 41.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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Thank CancunUser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2008

Thanks to our brother Jose and his wife Teresa we had the opportunity to return to Mexico for a week of relaxation and fun! Muchas Gracias Jose y Teresa!!! We enjoyed The Royal Haciendas near Playa Del Carmen and have no major complaints to report. It's funny that people complain about the construction side, although we stayed on the completed side, we spent most of our times at the pool and beach on the construction side because believe it or not it was quieter with much less people. The service was above average and the help at the resort was very friendly. I had a fun afternoon playing beach volleyball. We got to experience things we normally wouldn't do staying further South from Cancun. We took a ferry to Cozumel and went shopping and had lunch at the smallest Hard Rock Cafe in the world. We too a road trip to Tulum and got to experience The Ruins on the Caribbean. We visited Cenotes Azules and it was quite an experience (recommend a heavy coating of mosquito repellent!). We spent a lot more time in Playa Del Carmen than we have on previous trips too Cancun. We had a nice lunch at La Parilla and an entertaining dinner at Carlos & Charlies in Playa. My wife Marta and brother-in-law Jose Parasailed right off the beach where we were staying. They caught a ride out to the boat on Jet Skis. The La Rotunda Bar was nice, and had an adjoining room to watch sports on TVs and for Karaoke but seemed under utilized when we were there. I hope they add another restaurant soon, they only have one, La Palapa del Sol, which is a very nice restaurant with gorgeous Caribbean views. We took a road trip to Cancun and spent the day at our favorite resort The Royal Sands and of course Marta and I had a wonderful couples massage in The Spa. I would recommend The Royal Haciendas for couples who are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of Cancun. We definitely recommend renting a car for a few days to visit other sites on the Mayan Riviera, we went to all the aforementioned sites on our own rather than going on tour buses.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank Caribbean_Crazies
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:
#3 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#34 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $195 - $523 (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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