Our first stay at the Royal Haciendas was in 2009 as guests of time share owners. Even at age 65, we loved it enough to buy two weeks of our own, but settled for every other year, starting in 2010. Now, having just returned from our third trip to the resort, the fact that we have to wait until 2014 for our next one is downright depressing.
The Haciendas is simply beautiful, in every regard. The Villas (what they call the complete two bedroom units with a living room and full kitchen, sleeping six) are lovely and spacious, but even the suite (which doesn't include the second bedroom) or just that bedroom (which includes a sink, microwave and mini-refrigerator) at the Haciendas is certainly enough if you don't need the full kitchen.
The expansive beach front has enough palapas that we could always find one for shade. The two large pools each have their own swim-up bar and restaurant serving good food until 5:00 each evening. (We do wish they were open a little later for a light dinner). Two charming kids pools are under-utilized, as are two cool-water lap pools for more serious swimmers.
The main restaurant, Las Palapas, serves a nightly buffet with varying themes. (Mexican night on Sunday is wonderful, as you would expect, but prime rib night and Asian night are right up there.) The regular menu is great and shareable for those with smaller appetites. (The fancier dining room, Los Murales, is more costly and we didn't eat there this year because we had a youngster in tow when we were joined by our daugter and her family for part of our stay.)
My favorite activity this year was grabbing a few minutes in the smaller of two activity rooms (the game room) to cool off and play some bumper pool wth Jorge, Antonio and Julio...three of the nicest young guys you could ever hope to meet, who seemed to enjoy having some adult company since the Wii and Xbox were more attractice to the younger set. Indeed, there are plenty of facilities and activities for kids of all ages, and there's a delightful mix of guests, from young families to us older retired folks. (The Haciendas does get pretty quiet in the evening, so young couples might find the place a little TOO quiet, but the nearby (an easy $10 cab ride) town of Playa del Carmen hums until the wee small hours.
This year we joined a tour group to visit the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, having done the closer ruins at Tulum and Coba on our earlier trips to the resort. We stopped at the crowded but fabulous Ik Kll cenote on the way. We also rented a car for a day and snorkled at Akumal and the nearby Yal Ku lagoon, stopping for lunch at the wonderful La Buena Vida (between the two) at mid day. But you don't have to leave the property at all to have a great week in the sun. We love looking forward to our next visit...just wish it weren't two years away.
There isn't a bad room on the property. The top (4th) floor has a raised ceiling which we like...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC