We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Top Notch All-inclusive”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
Royal Hideaway Playacar
Ranked #35 of 215 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 13 June 2006

As far as all-inclusives go. This place was top notch.

The bus ride from the Cancun airport was 45 mins to an hour. Not very much fun and not very pretty.

The welcome was great. We were ushered to a couple of big chairs with a couple of glasses of champagne. My colleague was there previously and we followed his recommendations of booking all of the restaurants right away. We did The Grill, Spices and Azia once each and Palazzo and Las Ventanas twice each. We went to see the show at the Club Royale on Sunday and Tuesday - but did not eat there.

I could see how booking the restaurants would be frustrating for people who did not book early, as we did. So make sure you book immediately after arriving. You can always switch later - but book something.

The food was comparable to the Celebrity Cruise my wife and I went on for our honeymoon. The presentation was incredible. The majority of the dishes tasted great too. If you are not adventurous, do not eat at Ventanas. We loved it.

Book the terrace at Palazzo and a Teppanaki (sp?) table at Azia. Azia was a great restaurant as well. The Filet was incredible. The Caprese salad at Palazzo is as good as any restaurant in Toronto.

I brought about US$75 in $1 bills to give away as tips. The service at dinner is so good that you feel great about giving $5 to your server. On one occasion, I even called the chef out to give him a tip. I am sure the staff appreciate tips, though totally not required.

I really can't say enough about the dinners, they were amazing on their own - but coming from an all-inclusive made it even more impressive.

Having stayed at a Riu 2.5 years ago, I can say this - not even in the same ballpark. A completely different level.

Every morning, we would wake up around 7, grab chairs by the pool (this was very annoying), work out and grab breakfast. Unfortunately you will have to play the immature game of reserving your chairs with a towel, book, etc. Otherwise, you will not have prime pool real estate. I am a moral person, but I also like good pool seats. Plus, we hated the chairs on the beach.

The workout room is good enough - 1 eliptical, 4 treadmills, 4 bikes and weights/Cybex machines. We never had to wait too long for a machine.

Breakfasts were rotated between Spices and Ventanas. Ventanas had awesome breakfasts. Eggs Benadict rocked! The smoothies at Spices were always great. The breakfast menu at Spices never changed, but you can easily mix it up for variety.

During the day, we just plopped ourselves by the pool, read, swam and just relaxed. This is just what we wanted. We're not big water sport people - we just wanted to totally relax.

At around 4, we would grab a DVD, or nap back in our room.

Rooms were great, by the way. Second best room we ever stayed in (best was an upgraded room at Aladdin in Vegas.

The one knock on this resort was location. For such a primo resort, you would prefer if the other places weren't so close.

Money well spent. You'll love it.

  • Stayed: June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22  Thank jeffkToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guest_Experience_RH, Gerente at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 19 January 2017

Dear Valued Guest,

It has been a pleasure to read such a positive review in regards to our resort.
It is our job to make you feel more than royalty here at the Royal Hideaway.

You will always be welcome here, as your home from home.

I will be sure to show my team your kind words, which I am sure they will be encouraged by.

Kind Regards.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (4,609)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

3,508 - 3,512 of 4,609 reviews

Reviewed 11 June 2006

I am always curious to read others' thoughts on tripadvisor, and have relied on the site heavily myself when planning a trip, so I wanted to check out the good and bad about the Royal Hideaway Playacar for myself. I am a very picky traveler and I honestly can't think of anything bad about this place. It exceeded my expectations and I would love to return.

Location: This is a good 45-minute shuttle ride from the airport without traffic, south of Cancun, provided your shuttle or taxi makes absolutely no other stops along the way. The Royal Hideaway is about a 20-minute ferry ride from Cozumel, but we didn't go there.

Beaches: Regarding the lack of pool lounge chair availability (padded chairs with some umbrellas): I read about this in other reviews: Honestly, what's the big deal? The main pool with disappearing edge (closer to the beach) can't be more than 100' x 40' and had maybe 40 chairs at best. There is a second pool behind the main pool (further from the ocean), with other chairs, and there are also more private, smaller, pools and hot tubs with padded chairs around the property. Yes, people seemed to reserve the lounge chairs at the main pool well in advance, but there were plenty of beach lawn chairs and even covered cabana-style umbrellas to put over the beach chairs on the sand by the ocean. It seemed more of a beach experience being down on the beach as opposed to lying around a pool listening to other people talk and laugh in the pool. They provide drink service at all the pools and down on the sand. It's also nice because they let you borrow as many beach towels as you want, even without showing a room key.

Layout: The Royal Hideaway is laid out with a main lobby area closest to the street with three restaurants adjacent to the lobby: Azia (Asian), Las Ventanas (contemporary), and Palazzo (Italian). There is a business center with 4 high-speed Internet computers, spa and bar on the first level. Guest rooms are divided into private villas with about 24 rooms in each. Each villa has it's own private concierge that is there from 8-5 each day. I believe each villa is designated entirely as smoking or non-smoking. I didn't see many people smoking at the resort. Each room has it's own balcony/patio with it's own lawn furniture. There are other pools around the property, with the main 2 pools and snack bar/restaurant/activities center right on the beach.

Rooms: Amazing! The rooms look exactly like the photos on expedia and other web sites! Comfortable beds, jetted tubs in each room, in-room safe, etc. There is maid service twice daily (including turn-down service at night). There is a free beverage mini-bar refrigerator in each room that is replenished each day (included in room rate). I think it is beer, sodas, bottled water, etc. No snacks, but there is the 24-hour limited room service menu available at no extra cost.

Food: Great food! Please make your dinner reservations for the week with your private concierge as soon as you check in and get settled into your room, or the best times will be booked and you'll find yourself eating dinner at 6 p.m. or 10 p.m. There are five restaurants here and also a 24-hour room service limited menu available.

What I don't think can be stressed enough is that the restaurants in the evening are pretty much BUSINESS CASUAL attire. No swimsuits, tanks, shorts, etc. They won't let you in if you look like you just got out of the pool. You will have to eat room service for dinner, or go shopping for clothes.

Of the five restaurants, Azia (Asian, dinner only) seemed to be most popular with our group, but my husband and I didn't eat there. It was referred to as "Benihana-style."

The Grill Restaurant is dinner only but it also doubles as the Snack Bar during the day. We ate there our first night and it was good. Of course, it was just what you think--grilled steaks and seafood!

Las Ventanas (contemporary, breakfast a la carte, I think, and dinner only) is supposed to be their signature restaurant and is Michelin rated. We ate dinner there. It had a very elegant New York feel and the food was great. The dinner began with a bread selection and a display of flavored salts. My husband had the lamb and I had the sea bass.

My favorite was probably Palazzo (Italian, dinner only). The osso bucco was divine. My husband had the clam chowder, and even though I hate clam chowder, I loved Palazzo's version.

The Snack Bar is available by the pool for lunch and early afternoon meals. It is a sit-down lunch, but you can wear your swim suit. Burgers, chips and guacamole, a Mediterranean salad, etc. Their version of the club sandwich was quite different than what I was accustomed to--it had egg salad on it.

Spices--This is the breakfast buffet. They also have lunch and dinner by reservation, but we didn't eat there then. I could eat at Spices every morning for a month! There is a huge selection of items--too many to list here, but many with an authentic Mexican feel and also a made-to-order omelet station. There are gorgeous 20' windows that overlook the ocean throughout the restaurant--it's a great view from any vantage point.

Atmosphere: I put the average age at 42. I didn't see anyone that really appeared to be under the age of 21, unless it was a couple of honeymooners. The Royal Hideaway is very laid back and low-key. There are 200 rooms, so that means a total of what, 400 people? They said they were 90% occupied when we were there, and it didn't feel crowded at all. I didn't have to see people all the time and the room was quiet and I didn't experience any waits or delays in service. This is a very peaceful, romantic, reflective place. All the other guests we met were very nice. Another unofficial guest is "Lawrence," the resident Iguana that sits by a hole in the ground, just south of the lobby. You can't miss him. You will probably meet him as you walk to your room.

Service: Perfect! Everyone is trained to greet you personally--even the landscapers! The staff seemed genuinely happy to be there. I know they say tipping is included, but I did tip when I felt service went "above and beyond," which it often did. Remember, these people are paid in pesos. There is no pressure to tip, but I think it is an appreciated gesture. I wish I had brought more $1 U.S. bills with me. The front desk can make change for American dollars or pesos, but they were almost out of $1 U.S. bills one morning. $1 pesos are coins, by the way.

Language: I read some of the previous reviews about a "language barrier." I didn't really encounter this, except with the bus boys for room service. Everyone at least tries hard to communicate. Most of the staff speaks perfect English. I think perhaps some of the other guests don't like the Spanish accent and consider that a barrier to communication. All I can say is that you are in a foreign country so brush up on some phrases. Learn to say "salad dressing on the side" if that is what you really want.

Security: There are lots of guards here. They seem to be on the beach all night (not that we were!). I don't think they have the guards because of security issues--but it sure felt nice knowing they are there. I don't think they carry guns or anything.

Insider Tip: There is a small shopping center across the street, to the south side of the facility, which is not even a 5-minute walk from the gates of Royal Hideaway. There is a drug store, clothing stores, crafts, etc. They also have an ATM, which the hotel didn't have. So if you feel the need to go shopping or exploring in downtown Playa Del Carmen--I could have done all my shopping across the street at about the same price in about a quarter of the time it took me to get downtown and back. I also thought there were some unsafe looking streets downtown when we got lost.

Overall, this was as close to a perfect hotel experience I could have hoped for.

  • Stayed: June 2006, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
34  Thank Travelthru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guest_Experience_RH, Gerente at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 19 January 2017

Dear Valued Guest,

It has been a pleasure to read such a positive review in regards to our resort.
It is our job to make you feel more than royalty here at the Royal Hideaway.

You will always be welcome here, as your home from home.

I will be sure to show my team your kind words, which I am sure they will be encouraged by.

Kind Regards.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2006

This was my first "todo inclusivo" experience and it was a great one. I was coming from two blissful weeks in Tulum when we decided to try the Royal Hideaway. We had a wonderful, top notch experience for a night and (wrongly) decided the next day to check out to go north up the coast for some more sightseeing and adventuring. Checked in to a nightmare 4 star hotel north of Playa. At 7:30 am the next morning we checked out and rushed back to the Occidental for another few days of enjoyment. Antonio checked us back in with cool towels and bubbly wine and got us a fantastic room right down near the pool with a big Caribbean view from the porch (muchas gracias Antonio!). Our room was as nice as the Four Seasons in Vegas - great linens, great shower, great housekeeping. My experience with 24hr. room service was excellent, those guys were really hustling. The restaurants were great, had nothing but great meals. The bartenders at the pool bar do a great job. The pool/beach scene was nice - very relaxing, no megaphones for group activity time (hate that). You do have to get up early to snag a chair by the pool but you're on vacation, what else do you have to worry about? They have an air conditioned computer room with a half dozen computers ready to go at all times for any email or biz concerns. Enjoyed tea time on the main balcony overlooking the grounds. The Hideaway has done an incredible job at making the property look incredible after getting smacked by Wilma. 5 stars all the way. A great value for the going rate. These guys do all inclusive right - if you're going this direction throw down and stay at the Hideaway, you'll be glad you did. Great job to all at the Royal Hideaway!

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank JayColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guest_Experience_RH, Gerente at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 19 January 2017

Dear Valued Guest,

It has been a pleasure to read such a positive review in regards to our resort.
It is our job to make you feel more than royalty here at the Royal Hideaway.

You will always be welcome here, as your home from home.

I will be sure to show my team your kind words, which I am sure they will be encouraged by.

Kind Regards.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
221
Reviewed 8 June 2006

Royal Hideaway
My Husband and I went to the RH for the last 6 nights of our 10 night honeymoon and we are so glad we did – we loved every minute we spent at this wonderful resort.

Check In – They are strict at the RH and they have very tight security that makes it near impossible for an outside to get onto the resort grounds. We were staying at a resort a few doors away and we decided to go check out the RH and we weren’t allowed as the security guy turned us away. Once we arrived, we were glad; it was so nice to be part of a smaller, mellow resort. Once we got to the hotel, check in was a breeze. They gave us a mini-tour of the grounds, introduced us to our concierge, and told us our room would be ready in 20 minutes (we checked in 3 hours early!).

Room – We were in room 2528. The room was wonderful – the top floor of a 2 floor villa, which meant we had the wonderful vaulted ceilings and only had to climb one set of stairs to get to the room. The villa is centrally located and the room is gorgeous. Giant bed (high quality bedding), large room, even nicer bathroom and everything was spotless. We got new towel sculptures daily.

Pool – We are pool people. We enjoy sitting by a pool and reading the day away. This resort has one of the best pools, albeit it quite small. The infinity pool overlooks the beach and gets the ocean breeze. There is no doubt that the pool is the social center of the resort. And because of this, either my husband or I would get out of bed at 5:15 AM each morning to reserve a chair. By 5:40 every single chair was taken. There is no doubt, it is ridiculous, but have encounter the same thing at almost every nice resort I have been to – it is the nature of the beast. I did notice chairs that were left for long periods of time and I find that irresponsible. Once you are in your chair – life is perfect. We sat there from the minute we got up to the minute we went to go get ready for dinner. It was also where we got to meet our resort friends and our best memories from our honeymoon were just reading a book at the pool. Note – we did actually see a fight ensue over a chair – in order to avoid this, the resort should look into adding more chairs.

Beach – We spent the first day at the beach (we checked in and the chairs were all gone) and it was nice but VERY hot. The breeze passes over the beach and the heat is much more intense.

Food – Breakfast was good, not great; Spices had fresh fruit, pancakes, and an omelet bar but the menu didn’t change. They did have great coffee. We ate lunch at the snack bar and enjoyed it the first 4 days. Then we heard about the fact that you could eat lunch at Spices and we were so upset we missed such great food. Lunch at Spices was our best meal of the trip. They have very authentic Mexican (local spices and seasonings) and every single item we had there was so good. We ate at every restaurant except the Italian and our favorite was Aiza (because of the Hibachi grill – try the rib eye there!) and Ventanas (we like gourmet dining) for the tasting menu. The two disappointments were the Sunday night show – the food was not good and the grouper fish was undercooked (we noticed that a lot of people got up early and left) and we did not like The Grill because it was so hot (the lack of air conditioning was a killer) and our food was not cooked properly. All in all, the food was way beyond any AI food. It was excellent and we were excited for every single meal.

Guests – Hands down, what made our vacation so special were the great people we met. There were a lot of honeymooners and even more couples on return trips to the RH. We even met a couple on their 7th return trip.

Activities – We heard from the resort staff that the RH does not want to do any activity that will lessen the peaceful feeling at the resort. Therefore, the activities are all away from the pool and in order to find them, you need to seek them out. The activities staff (great team – work so hard) will come around and ask you to participate because they do not want to turn into a Club Med-ish resort (where you HAVE to participate in everything). I only joined in three of them (cooking lesson, Spanish lesson and towel sculpting lesson) and they were a fun break in the day.

Entertainment – First, it is important to remember that 70% of the staff to the RH is new. That being said, they worked their rears off to plan events. Some nights they worked (we enjoyed casino night and song trivia) and sometimes they were a bust. We did hear a lot of complains about the Allegria Patio Bar…it wasn’t that great (service was slow) and we suspect that the majority of bug bites were from sitting outside at the bar.

All in all, we think the Royal Hideaway is the gem of Mexican resorts. When we first looked into our honeymoon, we were looking at the Caribbean, Bahamas, Tahiti, etc but we could not have been more pleased with our decision. We are already looking forward to our return trip.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guest_Experience_RH, Gerente at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 19 January 2017

Dear Valued Guest,

It has been a pleasure to read such a positive review in regards to our resort.
It is our job to make you feel more than royalty here at the Royal Hideaway.

You will always be welcome here, as your home from home.

I will be sure to show my team your kind words, which I am sure they will be encouraged by.

Kind Regards.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2006

My husband and I have just returned from five nights at Royal Hideaway. I’m not sure under which rating system this would qualify as a five star resort. While it had some fine features, and was certainly more pleasant than the family oriented all-inclusives, there’s nothing particularly unique or luxurious about Royal Hideaway.

Accommodations
Overall, the hotel property is lovely and any residual damage from the hurricane is minimal. There was maintenance and construction going on while we were there but the work was in no way obtrusive. The rooms were nicely appointed (though a bit overcrowded with furniture) and very clean. Air-conditioning was abundant and noisy. Though we were fortunate to be in a building close to the beach with a room facing the courtyard, those in rooms situated towards the neighboring resorts had to contend with crowd noise and loud music well into the night.

The Pool Chair Drama
As others have reported, the morning tragicomedy surrounding pool chairs is laughable and yet also intensely frustrating. Guests really do get up at 5 am to reserve the coveted “Beach Beds” and prime chair locations. This wouldn’t be a problem if they then actually used these spots. I witnessed one man reserve eight chairs at 6 am though, as the day progressed, only two of these were ever occupied. Reserving a chair (by leaving books and other personal items there) does not stop the umbrella poachers however. Around 8 am, while the early risers are having breakfast (their chairs and pool floats safely secured), the second wave comes in to claim chairs and “steal” others’ umbrellas. This ridiculous back and forth continues throughout the morning. The resort has a policy against reserving chairs but it is not enforced by the staff. Being forced to get up early to ensure a place to sit is not my idea of luxury.

Dining
As has been mentioned, dinner reservations are difficult. Our “concierge” (in name only, as she was of little service) told us we could only get in to any of the five restaurants at 6 or 9 pm. With a little cajoling on our parts we were eventually able to negotiate a better schedule.

We had no complaints about the service in any of the restaurants though did find Ventanas and Azia were exceptional in this regard. Overall, Azia was our favorite meal and we were sorry to dine there only once. Ventanas was also good though not extraordinary. Food presentation there is lovely (I overheard one guest dismiss it as “too frou frou”) but not all the dishes were successful. There were significant highs and lows to the tasting menu which, oddly, does not change from night to night. The Grill was by far our worst meal. The menu here is in the style of a steak and fish house but the overcooked swordfish I had was a disaster. Spices was fine for dinner but became our first choice for lunch as the snack bar offers only subpar bar food. We were not able to try Palazzo. Breakfast, offered buffet style at Spices or a la carte at Ventanas, failed to impress and after the first few days we skipped it altogether.

Activities
Other than resort scuba lessons, the daily activities—Spanish lessons, water aerobics, towel folding lessons, etc.—did not appear to be well-attended. My husband, an experienced certified scuba diver, found the diving excursions difficult to schedule but ultimately worth the effort. In the evenings, the Allegria bar featured live music, silly trivia and couples contests, or Karaoke. When it rained, the resort’s extensive DVD library came in handy.

Overall, I’d give RH a grade of B.

  • Stayed: June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
25  Thank trvlrlvr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guest_Experience_RH, Gerente at Royal Hideaway Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded 19 January 2017

Dear Valued Guest,

It has been a pleasure to read such a positive review in regards to our resort.
It is our job to make you feel more than royalty here at the Royal Hideaway.

You will always be welcome here, as your home from home.

I will be sure to show my team your kind words, which I am sure they will be encouraged by.

Kind Regards.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Playa del Carmen hotels
10.8 km away
Fairmont Mayakoba
Fairmont Mayakoba
#9 of 215 in Playa del Carmen
4,385 reviews
3.8 km away
Mahekal Beach Resort
Mahekal Beach Resort
#29 of 215 in Playa del Carmen
2,936 reviews
3.2 km away
The Royal Playa del Carmen
The Royal Playa del Carmen
#12 of 215 in Playa del Carmen
16,879 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
5.5 km away
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Pe...
#20 of 215 in Playa del Carmen
9,460 reviews
23.1 km away
Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya
Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya
#1 of 1 in Playa del Secreto
12,403 reviews
21 km away
Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso
Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso
#1 of 11 in Playa Paraiso
6,098 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Royal Hideaway Playacar? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Royal Hideaway Playacar

Address: Lote Hotelero No. 6 Fracc., Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Resorts)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#27 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $436 - $700 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Royal Hideaway Playacar 4.5*
Number of rooms: 201
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Award winning luxury all inclusive resort set along the beautiful beaches of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Ideal setting in a serene environment for complete rest and relaxation. Adults only. Member of The Leading Hotels of the World. 2008 winner of the coveted AAA 5 Diamond Award. 11 villas with private concierge are spread throughout the property's immaculate grounds. Six gourmet restaurants serve delicasies in menu-style dining. A full service spa offers the ultimate in papmering and body treatments. Personalzied service and attention to detail set this resort a world apart. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Agoda and TripOnline SA so you can book your Royal Hideaway Playacar reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hideaway Playacar And Occidental Resorts
Royal Hideaway Playa Del Carmen
Royal Hideaway Mexico
Occidental Royal Hideaway
Royal Hideaway Playacar Playa Del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing