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The Royal Sands 3.5

Hotel Zone, Cancun, Yucatan Peninsula

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Review Summary

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  • All-inclusive resort on beautiful white-sand beach
  • Pools, tennis courts, and use of special gear included
  • Array of entertainment activities
  • Fitness center
  • Free Wi-Fi in suites and common areas
  • Palapas on the beach
  • On-site convenience store


  • All-inclusive packages sometimes translate to overtaxed staff
  • Far from center of town
  • Lack of nightlife on-site
  • Timeshare presentations can be tedious
  • Room changes can occur mid-stay

Bottom Line

This large, full-service all-inclusive resort in the Cancun hotel district directly overlooks the white-sand beach that’s a hallmark of this popular Mexican vacation destination. The Royal Sands offers a nice variety of freebies ranging from thatched beach umbrellas to tennis courts to a well-equipped fitness center. The property, which was once a time-share, now receives temporary guests, though the purchase of an all-inclusive package is mandatory for the latter. Longstanding tenants have commented that the all-inclusive policy has overtaxed the staff. The Royal Sands appeals to families attracted to the daytime activities and sports offerings, though more recently it has begun to draw a younger clientele.

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All-inclusive packages attract some singles in addition to families and couples

This beachfront resort operates as both a timeshare and as an all-inclusive resort (all-inclusive packages are a prerequisite for stays by non-time-share owners). The property has attracted families in the past, many of whom enjoy the dependability of a time-share and daytime activities for children. A large, hacienda-style lobby with marble floors contrasts in style with the dozen or so stucco towers that house 340 suites. Those staying with an all-inclusive package are assigned a concierge, part of whose job description is to pitch the property’s time-share option to guests. Guests have commented that while this can be initially off-putting, uninterested parties can make their position clear from the beginning.


Directly on the Caribbean Sea in Cancun’s Hotel Zone

The Royal Sands is directly in the middle of Cancun’s famed Hotel Zone, a 17-mile strip of land bordered on one side by the Caribbean Sea and on the other by a large lagoon called the Nichupté. The venue offers an array of on-site sports and entertainment activities for those who want a typical resort experience, with excursions to Cancun’s city center more than 20 minutes away by car. A taxi ride from the airport takes around the same time. The hotel also coordinates shuttle service from the airport for a fee; the service should be booked in advance.


Vaguely beach-themed, slightly dated rooms, many with beautiful ocean views

Wicker furniture and shell-themed art punctuate large rooms, all of which have a balcony overlooking the sea, as well as central air, a TV, and coffee machines. Design is not a forte here -- the spaces are large but bland, though guests have commented how conspicuously clean the rooms are kept. A variety of options are available, including junior, one, and two-bedroom suites, the latter equipped to accommodate up to six people with the use of Murphy beds. Bathrooms are spacious, and larger suites contain a full kitchen.


Beach palapas, two pools, a gym, and many other offerings; variety of on-site dining options as well

As part of the hotel’s all-inclusive offerings, three bars/restaurants are on The Royal Sands’ main property. Guests also benefit from discounts at restaurants in town and at nearby sister resorts, though surcharges may apply.

The venue overlooks a spectacular section of white-sand beach. Snagging a palapa there takes skill, as mobilizing before sunrise is often necessary for grabbing one of the hotel's thatched beach umbrellas. Zumba, salsa, karaoke, Pilates, and yoga are a few of the class offerings. There’s also an array of other amenities such as a well-equipped fitness center, a spa, and a small playground for children.

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Blvd. Kukulcan km 13.5, No. 32, Seccion A, Segunda Etapa, Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico

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