This adults-only, luxury all-inclusive property with 507 rooms appeals to both 20- and 30-something couples. A particular draw of this resort is its proximity to the nightlife of downtown Playa del Carmen, especially bustling Fifth Avenue, which the party-oriented appreciate. But the gorgeous stretch of beach and the sophisticated rooms with two-person jetted tubs means romantic-minded couples will be pleased here as well. The range of features is, unsurprisingly, extensive, including seven restaurants and five bars, an Olympic-sized pool, a wedding center, and a spa. The adults-only Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun has a much more secluded beach, but it's farther from downtown.
Popular with newlyweds, couples, and party-oriented 20-somethings
The bars here are set up with conviviality in mind: A cigar lounge, as well as the swim-up bar and bar adjacent to the large, airy lobby, promote mingling with fellow guests, though there are a plethora of locations offering romantic privacy as well. The resort has frequent evening entertainment, often with local themes. The Royal welcomes guests 16 and over and is particularly attractive to a younger crowd, including couples and groups of people traveling together.
Beachfront location close to bustling Fifth Avenue
The resort is directly on a strip of beach across from the island of Cozumel and is a few minutes walk away from Fifth Avenue, a popular tourist destination for shopping, bars, and nightlife. The Royal is about 45 minutes from the Cancun airport; the hotel can arrange a transfer for a fee with advance notice. There are also taxis and group taxis at the airport.
Modern rooms with handsomely outfitted dark-wood accents
All of the rooms here are actually large, sophisticated suites -- with sizes ranging from the 655-square-foot Royal Junior Suite (with one king or two double beds) to the 1,900-square-foot Royal Presidential Suite (with two balconies and a private pool). The textiles and furniture in the rooms nod to local color schemes; bed throws have rich red and brown hues and headboards are made of carved dark wood.
All rooms are air-conditioned and have a balcony or terrace with a hammock and a 44-inch flat-screen TVs with satellite channels and DVD player. The minibars stocked with alcohol and soft drinks are kept refilled throughout stays, and beds generally get high marks for comfort. Two-person jetted tubs are usually placed directly next to the bed -- convenient for amorous couples, but perhaps slightly awkwardly placed for other guest. Other cross-category features include ceiling fans, hairdryers, bathrobes, slippers, data ports, coffee and tea facilities, and turndown service.
Swim-up suites are available, though these do not connect to the main pool and feel secluded from the main activity of the resort. Those in search of proximity to the sand should consider the Beachfront Walkout Suites.
The lowest-level rooms lack ocean views, and the quality of ocean view tends to improve the higher up in room category you go. Be warned that the hotel website's preview function available for booking can be misrepresentative of the vistas for each room type.
Olympic-sized pool, fitness center, and wide choice of bars and restaurants
The property has an array of on-site bars and restaurants, including a beachfront tapas restaurant and bar, Pelicanos. Food and alcohol are served 24 hours a day in the VIP Lounge, and the Royal Coffee House is popular for light bites, sweets, and, of course, excellent gourmet coffee. The all-day buffet restaurants have show cooking stations, while the Mexican-French fusion option, Maria Marie, is open for dinner only. The Asian restaurant open for lunch and dinner is also popular, and the resort's food gets high marks overall.
The property also shares resources with The Royal Cancun if guests find themselves on a day trip there. (Swapping nights with that property is possible with advance arrangement.) Though there are plenty of spots to drink on the premises, visitors are also free to use the seven additional bars at the adjacent Gran Porto Real.
In terms of activities, guests have access to a tennis court, scuba center offering a free introductory lesson, and fitness center with a handful of machines. The spa has a full array of services, plus a hydrotherapy zone (plunge pools, hot tubs, saunas) and a Temazcal steam bath. The sprawling pool complex is beautiful and has gorgeous ocean views; finding a chair is usually not a problem. The white-sand beach has abundant shaded daybeds.
A convenience store sells basics like flip-flops and swimsuits, and 24-hour room service is available.
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