Couples Swept Away or Royal Hideaway?

Jun 27th, 2003, 11:49 AM
  #1  
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Couples Swept Away or Royal Hideaway?

After almost 2 months of planning, my husband and I are trying to decide between these two resorts to stay at in either late September or late October of this year.

We would either be staying in a luxury room at the RH or an Atrium room at SA for 4 nights. Pricing both places, the SA will be just a little more.

The service sounds like it's top notch at both places, with the RH winning in the food category. Beaches at either resort sound nice and uncrowded. Quiet evenings at the RH sound heavenly, but a little livelier atmosphere at the SA would be fun, too. And, of course, there's always the option in going to Playa del Carmen.

We've stayed at an all-inclusive in Mexico back in '97, but it wasn't a 5-star adults-only resort so RH would be a new experience for us. He's been to Jamaica, but it was over 22 years ago so, again, it would be exciting to be in Jamaica as well.

I am just torn as to which place to stay (and we don't vacation very often so I'm trying to make the "best" decision).

Any insight into which you'd prefer? Would it be better to travel in late October for Jamaica because of hurricane season? Also, not that it probably matters, but we are in our mid to late '30s.

Thank you -- I have enjoyed reading everyone's opinions here during my "research" of our vacation.

Renay

beachbound is offline  
Jun 27th, 2003, 11:56 AM
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Renay,
I went last year (the 2nd week in October actually) to the Royal Hideaway and absolutely loved it. We had very nice weather. A couple of nights for maybe a couple of minutes it would drizzle but that was it. The resort itself is not too big but the grounds, service, rooms and food are all 5 star. I highly recommend if you dine at their italian restaurant to try their homemade gnocchi and request to sit on their rooftop terrace, its just so romantic to dine outside and view the lights of Cozumel across the way. The beaches in Playa Del Carmen are also very long and wide along the Caribbean sea. The sand is very soft and white and never gets hot because the sand is hollow! They provide beach service if you would like a beverage of any kind. We also stayed in a luxury room but with a garden view. It was beautiful. We were on the 2nd floor and I would recommend the 2nd floor because you get the cathedral ceiling. You are also not too far away from the mayan ruins. In addition I have pictures of the resort as well if you'd like me to email them to you. You definitely cannot go wrong if you decide on the Royal Hideaway. - Susan
SSypniewski is offline  
Jun 27th, 2003, 12:30 PM
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I have actually read that the beaches at Royal Hideaway can be crowded. If a great beach is important, I can't imagine you can beat the beach at Swept Away. I have been there twice. It is so wide and long that it never seems crowded. There are also areas of shade along the beach so you don't have to do the cabana thing. Try to get more opinions on the beach at RH - hopefully from people who have also seen SA's beach so you can compare. Also, take a look at the many reviews of both resorts on www.tripadvisor.com
cartera45 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 07:03 AM
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I have stayed at SA twice and it is a wonderful place. I thought the food was great as I enjoy the abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood Jamaica has to offer. Also the sports program and facility is really good there.

The beach is never crowded and is gorgeous! And the entertainment is understated and fun.
kfusto is offline  
Jun 29th, 2003, 03:46 AM
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Thank you so much for your responses!

We still have not made a decision (adding a Casita suite at El Dorado Royale in Mexico into the mix), but your opinions have been very helpful.

After looking at resort photos at SA, I did realize that they have more shade on the beach - I like that!

The reviews at tripadvisor have been so informative as well.

Thanks again!

Renay
beachbound is offline  
Jun 29th, 2003, 10:33 AM
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Susan,

I meant to say earlier that I would love to see your photos from your stay at the RH. You can e-mail me at the [email protected] address.

Thank you!

Renay
beachbound is offline  
Jun 30th, 2003, 06:51 AM
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I enjoyed RH, particularly the good food, but I am one of those people who thought the beach was crowded. In the Playacar area, it is just one AI after another in a row and so, as you walk down the beach, it is just packed with people! If you are looking for a long beach with not many people, this is not it. The resort was beautiful, the service wonderful but I enjoyed the beach at the Shangri-La Caribe much more (a much less expensive hotel just north of Playa Del Carmen with a much nicer beach, in my opinion).
eileen is offline  
Jun 30th, 2003, 08:42 AM
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We visited the Royal Hideaway a couple of years ago and were considering Swept Away for an upcoming trip. Since both places get good reviews, I suggest that you should make your decision based on what country do you want to visit at this point - Mexico and Jamaica offer different attractions and experiences.

I should also say that the reviews that I have read on the El Dorado Royale are not as glowing as those for RH and SA. I don't think EDR is in the same category as the other two.

Also, regarding RH beach - yes it was a bit crowded, but RH is a very small resort, so overall not a problem. My main two complaints from a couple of years ago was the lack of shade on the beach (which, I hear, has been fixed with some cabanas) and the lack of a real lobby bar/live music in the evening (which is easily solved by taking a short cab ride to Playa). Otherwise, RH was a great place, with great dinners and top shelf liquor. I definitely recommend it.
Mariarosa is offline  
Jul 1st, 2003, 05:14 AM
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I just wanted to add when we were at the RH there was a "martini" bar there open in the evenings where you could sit outside on a patio or indoors listening to music (not live) but I believe it was open until 10pm or 11pm. They also have a piano player in their continental restaurant where you can listen to him play during dinner or have a cocktail at the bar there. So there are some things available in the evening but it is not that lively. My husband and I had no problem with relaxing at their martini bar, I highly recommend the chocolate martinis. -Susan
SSypniewski is offline  
Jul 1st, 2003, 06:58 AM
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I can't comment on SA...but can tell you that Royal Hideaway is fabulous! We loved the beach, didn't find it crowded at all...it got kind of windy at times so we went to the pool. No big deal, since it's an infinity pool, sand bottom, zero entry...it's absolutely wonderful. Or seek out one of the more secluded pools...hidden in the foliage, we always found one by oursevles with lounge chairs and umbrellas. Our room was spacious and beautifully decorated, plantation shutters, nice patio, marble bathroom with soaking tub. Food and service were both top-notch. Nights were quiet..we enjoyed having after dinner drinks and strolling through the gorgeous grounds. There seems to be a fair amount of nightlife at the other Allegro resort a few doors down. You can't go wrong at the RI.

Like a previous poster mentioned...you may want to consider the countries as a deciding factor. The Mayan Riveria has SO much to offer...great snorkeling, PDC, scuba, day trips to Cozumel, ruins, eco-parks etc. Not that you will want to leave the resort...

good luck with your decision and have a wonderful trip!
bogart is offline  
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