The Royal Hideaway is a member of exclusive hospitality consortium Leading Hotels of the World, and as such is one of the most luxurious properties in the area. It features upscale rooms with high-end amenities, a full-service spa with great treatments, several pools, and the best food around. The beautiful grounds, overall sophisticated vibe, adults-only policy, and beautiful beachfront location a short drive from shopping on Playa’s Fifth Avenue make it one of the most attractive options for couples in Playacar.
A gorgeous property with European flair and the best food around
The Royal Hideaway wows at first sight. A red carpet placed along a wide, airy hallway dotted with colonial-style benches, candelabra, and plants guides guests to a stunning, two-story reception area where the concierge welcomes them with a flute of champagne and a cool towel.
The old-world-inspired lobby is probably one of the most striking public areas in the hotel, with long, narrow windows showing off a beautiful garden view and a grand staircase that descends to the lower level, where guests can read one of the books borrowed from the hotel’s library. The reception area features a dome with a skylight, as well as elegant decor, including a couple of European paintings, and two wooden desks where guests are checked in.
Several two- to three-story buildings house the hotel’s 200 rooms and suites, all featuring balconies or terraces overlooking the manicured grounds. Winding paths dotted with fountains, man-made ponds, and palm trees run between the buildings, making this all-inclusive feel smaller and more intimate.
Children under 13 are not allowed in the resort, so those looking to spend a quiet vacation will probably find this to be more relaxing than many other hotels in Riviera Maya. However, note that the main pool area can get a little loud during the day. But there are quieter spots in the hotel, including the beach and a handful of other pools.
On a white-sand beach within a short drive from Playa's Fifth Avenue
The Royal Hideaway is located on the southern end of Playacar, a resort community just south of Playa del Carmen. There are several high-end properties surrounding the hotel, but little else can be found within walking distance. However, Playa’s Fifth Avenue -- home to great shopping -- is just a short drive away. The resort is located on one of the best beaches in the area, with fine white sand, and turquoise waters.
It used to be the home of the Mayans and after that a small fishing village, but now Playa del Carmen -- or "Playa" as the locals call it -- is full of exciting nightclubs, popular restaurants, cute boutiques, and resort hotels that sit on lovely white sandy beaches.
The Royal Hideaway’s 200 rooms are housed is several low, yellow buildings surrounded by lush greenery dotted with fountains and small ponds. They all have furnished balconies or terraces with garden or ocean views, jetted tubs, walk-in showers, modern amenities -- including flat-screen TVs, iPod docks and free Wi-Fi -- and upscale colonial decor. There are several two-and three-story suites with whirlpools on the terrace.
A gorgeous stretch of white sand with turquoise waters
The hotel is located right on a white-sand beach, considered to be one of the best stretches in the area. It features lots of loungers and bar service. It is adjacent to other hotels' pools, but it is normally quiet, as most people stay by the infinity pool, which has music and bar service.
The hotel features six pools, two of which feature ocean views. The infinity pool is the most popular one, offering bar service and music during the day. It’s the loudest of the pool areas, and can get crowded from early in the morning.
Those who want to relax might want to head to the garden pools, which don’t offer bar service and are mostly empty. They’re quieter and more private, and feature lots of loungers and tropical plants.
The fitness center is divided into two areas, both with natural light and modern equipment. The machines don’t have individual TV screens, but there are several flat-screen TVs in the largest room. The other room, full of treadmills, has pool views.
The Royal Hideaway’s spa, located adjacent to the fitness center, is small and relaxing, with elegant decor and several treatment rooms. Spa services include massages using high-end Alquimia products and salon services.
Six restaurants serving outstanding food in elegant spaces
The hotel features six restaurants -- ranging from formal to casual -- known for serving some of the best food in the area. They can get pretty busy, and reservations are not only required, but encouraged to be made way in advance, even before the trip.
Las Ventanas serves creative cuisine for dinner only. Foodies might want to consider booking the Chef’s Table (for and extra fee), which is an experience that allows guests to have a prime table in the restaurant’s kitchen and interact with the chef.
Spices is a casual restaurant serving local specialties in an elegant room with ocean views. It is the only restaurant open for all three meals and does not have a dress code.
Palazzo is the hotel’s Italian restaurant. It features outdoor seating and ocean views, and is open for dinner only.
Club Royale offers theater dinner weekly.
Azia is the hotel’s most lauded restaurant, and serves Japanese and Thai cuisine for dinner in a stylish space.
The Grill is an a la carte restaurant open for dinner only.
The Deck serves snacks, sandwiches and Mexican small plates for lunch in a casual atmosphere. It does not require reservations and has no dress code.
Afternoon tea is served daily on the terrace adjacent to Las Ventanas restaurant and is included in the all-inclusive rate.