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“Amazing vacation!”

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The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive
Ranked #19 of 181 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Amazing vacation!”
Reviewed 5 March 2012

This trip was excellent, and the Royal Sands was a great place to stay. We lucked out and stayed in a friend's time share at a great price, but even at full price it would have been well worth it. The hotel and grounds were extremely clean and well cared for - I even saw a team of people bagging up stray seaweed along shore, and the staff was very friendly and attentive. All of the units are the same - time shares - 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, living area, large and small balconies, and ALL of them have beautiful ocean views! We spent most of our room time out on the balcony. I'm assuming that if you're a couple, you could just rent out one section of the condo -- the bedroom/bathroom/kitchenette away from the main area which would still be great. The combined room was more than enough room for the four of us.

The pool is huge and crystal clear with swim up bars on each side and plenty of lounge chairs in and out of the shade of the palm trees. There are also a lot of little palapas along the shore with lounge chairs. The service is great, and happy hour is every day from 3-6 with good drink prices. There's also a hut by the pool where you can paint pottery - makes a good gift or souvenir. It's a relaxing way to spend an hour in the shade.

Food: There's a sports bar, a restaurant, and a market all in the hotel. There's also the Char Hut at the neighboring Sands hotel. You're not going to find really authentic food -- think more nachos, sandwiches, salads -- but it was all pretty good and not outrageously expensive. The fish tacos at the Char Hut were really tasty and so were the tuna salad and the chicken lime soup at the restaurant. We also did the breakfast buffet one morning at the restaurant. It has a ton of choices and would be great if you wake up really hungry. The market is super convenient too. That's where we got our water, coffee grounds, drinks and snacks for the room. And, they have these little granola cookies - those with some yogurt was a perfect breakfast. It's also a great place to find pastries or fresh bread.

The Spa: Totally worth it! It's next door and so nice. I'd never gotten a massage before, but it was vacation. Three of us booked an hour massage and that may have been the best decision I've made in a long time. We also tried out the steam room and sauna. Lovely.

Things to do: Thomas Moore is on the main floor and has tons of trips to choose from. We did the Garrafon tour to Isla Mujeres. Very fun and you should rent a golf cart in the downtown area to cruise around the island. It was $15 for an hour in the cart. I should have brought more spending money - there's lots of shopping. I also went snorkeling at Puerto Morelos - AMAZING! The guide was great, the groups were small, and the fish were everywhere. Plus, it's a half day trip, so I was back by 2:30 and had the rest of the day to relax.

Overall, the location was very accessible. There's a bus stop close by to the entrance and we used the buses a few times to get into the main shopping area and to the ferry to the Isla. Very easy. There's also a shopping mall next door, good for finding little silver charms and cheesy gifts -- much less expensive than the flea market up the strip.

I hope if and when I go back, I'll be staying at this resort... Have fun!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Hana S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Chandler, Arizona
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2012

I really loved staying here. The pools were awesome. The activities at the resort were superb. I liked the sports bar, and the swim up poor bar. The spa was great!!! I was able to take advantage of some of the workout classes. The location of the bus stop in comparison to the entrance of the resort was very easy to access.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank j19sweet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2012

This time-share hotel is a great way to spend your vacation. The location is far enough off the main "party area" to make it quiet, but only a 5 min cab ride away. There is great shopping and restaurants with walking distance.
The beach is quiet, very clean and well appointed with lounge chairs and palapas. The pool has more activity with a swim up bar, music and families with small children, but again, clean and well appointed.
We stayed in an ocean view, two bedroom lock off unit. The rooms are spacious and offer privacy when traveling with guest. Both bedrooms had good size bathrooms attached, walk-in closets, safes and balconies. The guest suite balcony was a bit small and did not offer any chairs to sit outside and relax. The master bedroom shared its very large balcony with the main living area and offered table and chairs, it also had two over-sized chairs with an ottoman.

Room Tip: The ocean view rooms surround the pool area. The ocean front rooms a much quieter.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank trixie96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new jersey
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

just got back from staying at the royal sands. we were scheduled to stay at the royal cancun, but a last minute week popped up in II, and because of all the great comments re royal sands, we shifted over to the royal sands. overall, great move on our part. here's the good/bad-

pros- beautiful place! we checked out the royal caribbean/islander/mayan and felt that the sands was by far the nicest of the royal group. fabulous room- an oceanview villa, totally renovated and so spacious! great staff- very polite and friendly. loved the lunch buffet by the pool- great deal for soup/salad and entree. The market was a plus, and basics were pretty reasonable. reasonable conversion rates. Free morning coffee in the lobby. Also, there's a bus stop right down in front of the building. (For 85 pesos, you can do a quick ride into town. buses are sooo easy.. and safe. Forget the taxi!)

cons- the gym and jacuzzi were located in the spa, which was an additional $12/day. it would've been nice to jump into the jacuzzi after swimming.

The biggest issue we had was with the personal concierge... or the lack thereof. The sands is known for assigning a concierge to each family for guidance, questions or whatever. we never had a concierge assigned until 3 days after we were there. We didn't know about the welcome party, where i presume they inform you of everything being offered during the week. when we went to book a Xel-Ha trip, we found out the sands did their own bus there! Had we known that, we would've booked through the hotel and saved ourselves the extra 2 hours for hotel pickups/dropoffs. Ultimately, it became a joke when anything went wrong... "if we had a personal concierge...". I presume it was an isolated screw-up, but it was upsetting.

Chichen itza and xel-ha were great!! Cancun-discounts.com had a cheap chichen-itza tour, which probably was just as good as the $100 tour. So we didn't get the plush bus or food/drinks! We used the extra $$$ for dinner at senor frogs and carlos and charlies (so fun!)

Even with the concierge issue, we'd go back in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: All have oceanviews!!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank arinn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Camilo_Royal_Resorts, Community Manager at The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive, responded to this review, 15 March 2012
Dear Guest:

Thank you for your review. Every comment helps us see how we are doing and what areas be improved.

I'm happy to read that you enjoyed your stay at our resort and also that you got the chance to explore the beautiful area surroundings. Regarding your concierge, I already passed a copy of your comments to concierges management and they informed me that they talked to the staff and made sure this won't happen again. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Having said that, I'm delighted to read that you'd stay with us again "in a heartbeat". We'd be happy to welcome you back anytime.

Warm regards from Cancun!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

We booked the hotel because had stayed in their property in Curacao (that I loved). While the rooms are identical to the ones in Curacao, that is about where the similarities end. The hotel is very, very large (the one in Curacao is tiny). It may not be the largest in Cancun or the surrounding area, but it is huge.
Pros:
- Nice and polite staff. We had to change rooms and they could not be nicer. The service is just amazing.
- Good restaurants. Great service, fresh food, etc. - Food and drink service at pool and beach. Again, great service…
- Small supermarket on the site that is open early in the morning until late at night. Great selection for a small market and not expensive coming from the NYC area.
- Good price for what you get. The suites are huge. Nicely decorated. We had a very small TV in one room, but who comes to Cancun to watch TV?
- View from the room. Amazing. The view from our rooms (we switched) were both amazing.
- Very clean beach. The staff clean it every single day and during the day too.
- Safe and secure. You never feel unsafe at all. They have security even on the beach at night. Again, the staff here are great.
- Hacienda Sisal next door is a really nice restaurant with great service. Maybe not the most authentic but really great. Also, the prices are very fair.
- Pools are very nice, clean and large. You can also swim in the evening, as they light them up.
- Nice crafts for young children – although mostly geared toward little girls. The staff are amazing with kids. Tons of energy. Again, the staff here are great.
- Weather. 90’s in February!
Cons:
- The location in Cancun is too far from the attractions such as Tulum, etc.
- The resort (and Cancun in general – with American restaurants, shopping malls, etc.) is sterile and has no feel of Mexico in general. It seems as if the resort could be anywhere in the U.S.A., like Florida. It seems as if the goal of the resort is to avoid having you speak Spanish, eat Mexican food, associate with anyone other than English speaking Americans (or possibly Canadians).
- Expensive area. Everything in Cancun is expensive. In the hotel, they even charge you to have your children do the crafts. With all that you are paying, you would think they could throw them in for free…
- The ocean is very rough. They put up red flags all over and told us not to go in the ocean. At times, they told us we could go in parts, but the water was so rough that it was impossible to allow my children (6 and 8) to swim without me by their side ever second. This is opposed to what the water is like in St. Martin, Curacao where we have visited. I think that if you want to swim, I would not recommend going to Cancun – period.
- Smoking. The resort attracts smokers. Ashtrays are everywhere, which means it is encouraged. Being from the NYC area, this is hard to take. You cannot even smoke in an Irish bar in the NYC area, which is nice for us non-smokers and families who do not want their children to breathe in smoke all day.
- Food at restaurants has no true, Mexican feel. The one by the pool is basically a burger place with “bar food.” The other one does serve Mexican food, but seems to serve mostly Italian. While the food is all good, I think that when you come to Mexico, you should have the opportunity to experience Mexican culture….
- Too far from a real supermarket. There are huge ones all over Mexico – just not near the hotel.
- Traffic and expensive cabs. It can be hard to get around. Also, aside from a few restaurants and the shopping mall, there is not much to walk to.
- The ban on using cash. I think that the resort should put an ATM in the building and give you the option of using cash.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Seeyalaterbuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Camilo_Royal_Resorts, Community Manager at The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive, responded to this review, 15 March 2012
Dear Guest:

Thank you for your review! Every comment helps us see what we are doing right and what we can improve.

I'm happy to read that you enjoyed your stay at our resort. Thanks for the kind words towards our staff and facilities!

Tours and transportation to all the area attractions such as Tulum can be easily arranged through Thomas More Travel, our in-house tour agency. They will take you from your resort to the attractions and back safely, comfortably and for reasonable prices.

It is understandable that you find Cancun "americanized" since more than 90% of our visitors come from the USA; however, there are always local options that offer you a true taste of Mexico, such as our popular Cancun Mexican Restaurant "Hacienda Sisal" featuring lively and colorful Mexican Shows as well as mouthwatering Mexican Cuisine.

Taxis can be expensive, depending on your destination. Buses run all across the Hotel Zone and are much cheaper. Nowadays the fleets have been upgraded and most of them come with air conditioned.

The "ban" on cash is actually for your safety and convenience: this way you don't have to be carrying cash around and also, the prices are just the same; you don't get an extra fee for charging everything to your bill and at the end of your stay you can conveniently pay everything at Front Desk.

Again, thank you for your feedback and I hope we can welcome you back again in the future.

Warm regards from Cancun!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive

Property: The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan km 13.5, No. 32, Seccion A, Segunda Etapa | Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77504, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#14 Family Hotel in Cancun
#18 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#19 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#21 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
Price range (per night): ₹ 13,830 - ₹ 30,697
Hotel Class:4 star — The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive 4*
Number of rooms: 340
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive, one of the best All-Inclusive resorts in the area, sits at the center of Cancun's spectacular Caribbean shoreline with breathtaking views of white sand and turquoise waters. With a privileged location, five-star luxury, a world-class Spa, tempting dining choices and activities for all ages, The Royal Sands has everything you need for your next Caribbean vacation. Enjoy fine dining, activities and amenities offered by the REFINE All-Inclusive package. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Royal Sands Hotel Cancun
Royal Sands Cancun
Cancun Royal Sands Resort
Royal Sands Resort Cancun

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