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joe Jul 8th, 1999 06:12 AM

Just back from Royal Hideaway
My wife and I just returned from a week a the Royal Hideaway in Playa Del Carmen. We can't say enough good things about this resort. The resort just opened earlier this year I believe. Everything was top notch including the food, facilities and the service. The food was excellent with all meals made to order (no buffets). There are 5 restaraunts at the resort (Asian, Italian, International, Mexican and a beach restaraunt). We ate at all except the Asian restaraunt. The food in these restaraunts was as good as or better than many of our favorite restaraunts in America. Two nights a week they have a dinner and show combination. The dinners are served in a beautiful theater. After the meal live entertainment performs for about 1 hour. The service at all of the restaraunts was incredible. Actually, the service at the entire resort was excellent. The employees were extremely polite, hard working and would do anything to make you happy. Our room had a king size bed, satellite tv, vcr, stereo with cd player, refrigerator, and a whirlpool bathtub. The rooms were always extremely clean. The resort has 24 hour room service. Each seperate villa had their own conciege to service the guests. The grounds of the resort were immaculate. The beach is located right next to one of the 6 pools and the beach bar/restaraunt. The beach was very clean with white sand and turqoiuse water. We spent much of our vacation laying on beach chairs having tropical drinks delivered to us. Again, the service from the beach bar was excellent. <BR> <BR>We took 1 day trip to Xel-Ha and Tulum. We enjoyed both locations very much. If you go to Xel-Ha I would suggest taking snorkel gear from your resort if possible (Xel-Ha didn't charge us for life vests). It costs around $15 to rent snorkel gear at Xel-Ha. Our travel agent told us to get our gear from the resort and rent a locker at Xel-Ha to store it in. I know some families weren't aware of this and paid a steep price for gear rental on top of the tour price. The ruins at Tulum sit on a cliff overlooking the ocean. We really enjoyed our tour of the ruins. Right next to the ruins at Tulum you could do some shopping for souvenirs. We found the prices here lower than in Playacar (after bargaining with them). <BR> <BR>Both my wife and I consider this our best vacation ever and plan on returning to the Royal Hideaway (owned by Allegro). All of our expectations were exceeded during our trip.

maureen Jul 12th, 1999 03:33 PM

Joe- did yu snorkle at the hotel? how large was it? Type of clientel- american or european? Thanks for the great post. maureen

joe Jul 13th, 1999 05:25 AM

They had a snorkelling trip every morning at 9:30. I believe they took you on boat about a mile down the beach to a reef. The Allegro resort (same owners) is right next door so they combine both resorts for the trip. Unfortunately by the time we wanted to snorkel the winds had increased enough to where they weren't allowing any water activities (windsurfing, snorkelling etc.). I believe this is true for all of the resorts in that area. The winds felt great when you were lying on the beach but made the water very choppy. We even noticed when we went to Xel-Ha that water was very murky. The tour guide told us this isn't normally the case but the strong winds were the cause. <BR> <BR>The resort was large but because they were so many pools, restaraunts etc. we never really felt crowded. Instead of one large building the resort was broken up into many little villas. We stayed in one of the villas that was close to the beach and main pool. This seemed to be better for us since we spent most of the day on the beach. They had oceanfront rooms that were extra but I don't think they were worth the money. They were not right on the beach so even though you could see the ocean they weren't what I would consider oceanfront. <BR> <BR>The resort seemed to have a mix of people. We met people from Europe, South America and the U.S. We seemed to meet more people from the U.S than anywhere else. <BR> <BR>One other note about the resort. Make sure you make dinner reservations as early as possible. This way you will always get the times you want. Also, on the nights they have a dinner/show combination (Tuesday and Saturday) only 1 other restaraunt is open so you really need to make reservations early if you don't plan on doing the dinner/show. <BR> <BR>Hope this information helps. I would be interested to hear any other comments about this resort in the future. <BR>

debbie Jul 13th, 1999 09:52 AM

Ola! For the same great service, quality of food, cleanliness of rooms and access to mucho things to do in the area BUT a little easier on the pocketbook, try the RIU Yucatan a few doors down the beach. Okay, so at the RIU, you have to get your own drinks but the bar service is faster than a bullet! <BR> <BR>Yes, we stayed two weeks at the RIU Yucatan in PDC in Feb and agree that it is also the best vacation we've had. Any of the resorts of along the beach in the Playacar area are topnotch and filled with more Europeans than Americans/Canadians but with such a mix of clientele, all hotels/money exchange places will take any currency and change to pesos at better exchange rates than you can get at home (take note fellow Canadians - this means you don't have to buy U.S. currency - simply change your Canadian for pesos!!!!) <BR> <BR>At the RIU, the food is buffet but is all prepared fresh in front of you at various food 'stations' and with two different sittings for dinner there are no line ups. Tables are cloth covered and there is still waiter service for coffee, drinks, etc. At the RIU, they offer tours of the kitchen so that tells you how clean this place is if they are willing to let guests see the 'back of the house'! <BR> <BR>The excellent thing about staying in this area is the accessability (via cheap cab rides or rental car) to so many things (plane trips to Chichen Itza are only about $100. if you don't want to spend hours in a bus). For excellent snorkelling and scuba diving right off the beach, grab a cab to Akumal which is about 150 pesos each way ($15. U.S.) by cab ride. <BR>Xcaret is just a $7. U.S. cab ride away (don't take a tour!) so go and spend the day ($40) and stay for the evening show (there are lockers where you can store change of clothes, etc). One day will probably not be enough to enjoy all the things this ecological park offers! <BR> <BR>Last, but not least, try and speak a little Spanish to the hardworking staff on these resorts, or to your cabbie or to the locals and you will be rewarded with a huge smile and even better service! <BR> <BR>This is a wonderful vacation spot! <BR>

Mike Jul 13th, 1999 10:38 AM

Glad to hear such wonderful things about your vacation. My wife and I are planning a trip to the Royal Hideaway in mid-October... would you happen to know if this is a good time to travel to that region weather-wise ?

joe Jul 14th, 1999 06:22 AM

We talked with a number of people during our stay at the Royal Hideaway about the weather. Most people said the rainy season was from June/July till October with the worst being early July. We were there the first week of July and it rained 1 full day out of the week. It rained for about 10 minutes several other times but then it was beautiful again. <BR> <BR>The Royal Hideaway was more expensive than the other resorts in that area. I think your probably paying for the additional service/ammentities you get (24 hour room service, 5 restaraunts with full waiter service etc.) We walked on the beach and looked at many of the other resorts in that area. All of them looked to be very clean and well kept with beautiful white sand beaches. I don't think you could go wrong with any resort in that area. It probably depends on your budget and what your needs are. The people we encountered everywhere were extremely friendly and eager to help. The area around the resorts (Playacar) was also very clean and well kept. <BR> <BR>The Royal Hideaway is the first resort in that area to offer the more upscale dining services etc. Someone who worked there told us that Allegro was trying to boost their image. We priced all inclusives throughout the Carribean and nothing even came close to the prices and service offered by the resorts in this area. <BR> <BR>A word of warning about making phone calls from your room. We called direct to Cincinnati, Ohio and were billed $5 per minute for long distance. I'm assuming this is true for all resorts in that area. We found out after the fact that's it's much cheaper to use a calling card (rookie mistake). <BR> <BR>I would be happy to answer any questions about our experiences.

Mike Jul 15th, 1999 02:20 PM

Thanks for the reply... I think we'll go ahead and book reservations at the RH. We're both looking forward to the "escape" and appreciate your review. It sounds like a wonderful vacation, and thanks again.

Sharon Jul 16th, 1999 11:47 AM

We stayed at a place in Akumal called the Seven ///seas. It was located on a private beach with a gorgeous lagoon!!! Wonderful snorkeling and close to everything. If you wnat to know about it email me. Sharon <BR>[email protected]

rich Jul 16th, 1999 08:30 PM

<BR>thanks joe. can u tell me more about <BR>the food & room location? any special phone card?

rich Jul 17th, 1999 06:52 PM

<BR>p.s. how was the dinner theater?

joe Jul 19th, 1999 05:35 AM

The resort is long but not very wide so the villas start close to the beach and end near the main building at the front of the property. The main building has several restaraunts, front desk, dinner theater, spa etc. but it's further from the beach. We found it was better for us being closer to the beach end of the resort. They have pools and hot tubs throughout the resort so it doesn't really matter where you stay except the beach bar/restaraunt may be a little bit of a walk. You can walk from the beach to the main building in a few minutes so no matter where you're at your not far from anything. <BR> <BR>The dinner theater was nice. Everyone got the same meal at the dinner theater. It included an appetizer, salad, main course and dessert. The meal was very good and the entertainment was pretty good. Each night has a different theme for the entertainment. The shows are probably Las Vegas style shows. It's probably isn't something I would pay for but since it was at the resort it was an enjoyable evening. <BR> <BR>The Italian restaraunt was our favorite. We ate there several times and enjoyed it each time. Each meal was 4 courses with dessert. You can start off with an appetizer or salad, then you get your choice of pasta dishes and after that you get the main course and dessert. We never left this restaraunt (or any) hungry. The Mexican and International restaraunts were also very good with the same quality and volume of food. Wine was included with every meal. I believe domestic wines were included and some other wines were extra. The service at all of them were excellent. If I remember correctly, the waiters at the Italian and International restaraunts wore tuxedos. We never made it to the Asian restaraunt but heard very good things about it. Breakfast was served at the International and Mexican restaraunts (plus room service). Everything was made to order and very good. We generally ate so much at breakfast we weren't hungry until late afternoon. Basically anything you can think of for breakfast was served at one of the restaraunts. Again, the food and service were as good as or better than our favorite restaraunts in Cincinnati. <BR> <BR>I think any calling card that has International calling capabilities will work. On our card you need a special code to make International calls so you may want to check with customer service to obtain this before you leave. The front desk told us that calling cards have a connection fee but after that the rates are comporable to long distance here in the U.S.??? Anything is better than $5 a minute for direct calls. <BR> <BR>I believe the website is or I can't remember which one I used. You can click on the resort at Playacar for the Royal Hideaway. It has some good pictures of the resort.

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