Fodor's Expert Review The Royal Playa del Carmen

Av. Constituyentes 2, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo 77710, Mexico See on Map

Located in the heart and soul of Playa del Carmen, steps away from the famous Fifth Avenue, The Royal Playa del Carmen competes in quality and amenities with the rest of the luxurious adults-only, all-inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya, with the advantage of being close to where all the action actually happens. Do you want to relax? Stay in the hotel. Do you want to party? Walk to the 5th.


Clear and fresh is the concept of the 507 suites of The Royal, with white marble floors and dark-wood furniture. All rooms have private balconies or terraces and jetted tubs for two. The Swim-up and Beachfront Walkouts suites are the most popular choices, and with good reason.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Not all suites enjoy ocean views, if that’s something you would like to have, make sure to ask for the right kind of suite before booking your room.


The pink-marble touches of the bathrooms, give them a sense of added elegance. A big-mirrored closet can be found in every bathroom across the hotel. All suites include double jetted tub, vanity mirror and rainfall showers, while some of them also come with steam shower. Most suites have their tubs located outside the bathroom and inside the room.


The lobby has a gorgeous setting with an extraordinary and colorful stained glass ceiling and Mayan-related paintings on the walls. It is a spacious area with several options to sit and refresh while waiting upon arrival.


There is an interestingly-designed Olympic-sized pool with several different sections such as water volleyball court, a bridge, a swim-up bar and a couple of Jacuzzis. Then you have the cute little pool designed for those who want to avoid the noise of the large pool. Finally, there are the private pools of the swim-up suites. If none of them completely satisfy you, you can always try the Caribbean Sea.


A well-appointed Spa offers the usual array of services, including the typically Mexican Temazcal and a Mayan massage. Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room are all included on site. Although the Spa has a bit of everything, it lacks in wow factor.


The fitness center is an interesting area with well-defined sections for cardio, strength equipment, free weights, spinning and even stretching. It’s not the typical small gym of many resorts included just because they have to, this is a well-designed space that makes working out during your vacations a bit less annoying.


Seven restaurants and a coffee house form the excellent dining offer at The Royal. Each one has its own style and cuisine, but maybe the most interesting ones are the aptly-named Maria Marie which serves a delicious Mexican-French cuisine and the Chef’s Plate with its international haute cuisine.


From the five bars available maybe the most intriguing is Tequileria, to enjoy fine tequila and top-end imported cigars. Trade Winds is the right spot to relax with a cold drink inside the pool or outside on a swing.

If you’d like some more options, guests are welcome to enjoy a drink at the seven bars of the next-door Gran Porto Real hotel.


Getting Around

The undeniable charm of this all-inclusive hotel lies in its proximity to almost everything in Playa del Carmen, especially the Fifth Avenue. You could probably spend the whole vacation without having to step into a vehicle, unless you want to try some further attractions like Xcaret, Xel-Ha, or other adventure venues. Or if you need to get to the Cancun International Airport; it’s just a 50-minute drive anyway, and you can easily rent a car at the hotel itself.


It’s true that having seven restaurants inside the hotel there is little necessity of going elsewhere, but you might feel tempted by some options available nearby. La Cueva del Chango (12-minute walk) will dazzle you with its natural setting, all vegetation and trees, and true Mexican Cuisine. NAU (also a 12-minute walk) is probably the best place in town with fresh seafood and fish, surprisingly not so common in seafront Playa del Carmen.


Living Garden Bar (4-minute walk) is a bar worth visiting; there are very few pubs around with lounge ambience, delicious cocktail food, views over the flowing crowd of the Fifth Avenue and apart, you won’t miss any important sports event. If you are looking for a traditional pub with great beer, great music and great environment, Mc Carthy´s Irish Pub (4-minute walk) is the place for you.


There are no lavish excesses, but that’s not to say there’s no luxuries or top-end services. It has everything you come to expect from a resort of this category, plus the perfect location near the best street in the whole Riviera Maya.


On the beach
Grande Dame


Phones: 984-877–2900;800-627-5328

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