This is a clean, friendly, luxury resort that features several excellent restaurants, a relaxed pool area without loud music, and top-shelf alcoholic beverages such as Grey Goose vodka.
Top 5 pros:
The food ranged from just above average to excellent. The Grill on the beach was ok, but the more creative restaurants - Las Ventanas and Palazzo - featured very high quality fish and steak dishes that really satisfied. From interesting amuse bouches to unusual desserts (olive ice cream, anyone?) the meals were varied, cooked appropriately (I like my steak rare) and almost universally successful.
The service is very hard-working and friendly; it's not five-diamond quality in the restaurants by any means, and the servers make a lot of elementary mistakes. But if you can look beyond that and appreciate the fact that they are committed and attentive, you'll enjoy meeting and chatting with the service staff. Service by the pool is slow - better off going to the bar for your drinks.
The bedrooms are clean, the beds are comfy and the TVs have HDMI inputs for all you computer fans. The turndown service was erratic and often too late.
The resort grounds are well-maintained and designed. Although compact there is a feeling of space, and the beachfront is white sand and blue ocean that's safe for swimming. There are several pools and hot tubs scattered throughout the grounds, making it easy to find a secluded spot.
Finally, the drinks are generous and of the highest quality. Beware the pina coladas, they actually have rum in them!
The biggest, without a doubt, is the awful, awful 1980's saxophone music that they play in some areas of the resort ALL the time. Seriously, who wants to listen to Careless Whisper on the alto-sax ten times in one vacation? Get Spotify already, and put something else on!
Another thing to be aware of - not really a con, just to be aware of - is that the restaurants need a reservation each night. This is difficult for newcomers to the resort. I suggest booking Palazzo, the best of the restaurants, in advance.
One problem that the designers did not consider apparently is that the courtyards which the rooms face. They echo noisily during the day when the maids and concierge are working, and the walls seem very thin so daytime naps should be restricted to the pool!
The only other thing I can think of is that your expectations may be enhanced by the price and the Five Diamond award. I think the resort falls a little short in some ways and that can be frustrating, but overall the experience is very good and made for an enjoyable and fun vacation.
- 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 Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen