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.
- 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:
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- 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