Pros

  • On a white-sand beach with non-motorized water sports
  • 11 pools, some with ocean views and swim-up bars, plus a kiddy splash park
  • Beautiful, modern rooms, all with jetted whirlpool tubs and balconies
  • All-inlusive food that's a cut above; no reservations required, and 24-hour room service
  • Popular steakhouse, Japanese, and Italian restaurants
  • 12 bars including a disco, beach bars, and a lobby bar
  • Excellent spa with hydrotheraphy pools and spacious, modern fitness center
  • Daily activities and entertainment
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the resort
See More Pros

Cons

  • Beach is underwhelming, with seagrass debris and darker water
  • Not enough shade by the pools; some guests get up at 6 a.m. to snag loungers
  • A 20-minute walk to cross the sprawling resort
  • Rooms facing the mangroves can get bad marsh smells
  • A la carte restaurants can have long waits for dinner
See More Cons

Bottom Line

The biggest draws at this upscale, 840-room mega-resort near Puerto Morelos are the modern decor, the impressive pool complex, and great food. There are a whopping 11 pools, some with ocean views and swim-up bars; a kiddy splash park; nine restaurants (no reservations required); 24-hour room service; tons of activities, including yoga, Zumba, and aqua aerobics; both a kids' and teens' club; terrific spa with hydrotherapy pools; and a spacious, modern fitness center. Gorgeous rooms all have whirlpool tubs, and there are swim-out options available, as well as an adult-only Hideaway section. There are some drawbacks -- the most significant of which is the underwhelming beach. Other potential issues: not enough shade at the pools (prepare to get up super early to snag a shaded lounger), long waits for dinner at the a la carte restaurants, swamp smells from the mangrove marsh, and a sprawling layout (the resort can take 20 minutes to walk across). Those seeking a better beach should consider staying in the Cancun Hotel Zone instead.

See More Bottom Line

Amenities

  • Casino
  • Cribs
  • Fitness Center
  • Internet
  • Jacuzzi
  • Kids Club
  • Pool
  • Spa

Oyster Hotel Review

Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa

Scene

A modern, busy mega-resort with great pools and food but an underwhelming beach, drawing both families and couples

Opened in 2015, the Royalton feels exactly like the mega-resort it is. Guests should bring some comfortable walking shoes, because it takes 15 to 20 minutes to get from one side of the resort to the other. It's also crowded in high season, despite the impressive number of features (11 pools is a lot, but so is 840 rooms). This can result in guests having to get up early (realllly early) to snag the best lounge chairs, and sometimes, long lines at the reservation-free restaurants. Diamond Club guests can have their butler make reservations and skip the wait, making it a worthwhile upgrade for many. 

The resort is very family-friendly, thanks to the kids' club, teens' club, and abundance of daily activities, but draws almost as many couples, thanks to the adult-only Hideaway section (billed as a "resort within a resort"). Both families and couples can appreciate the swim-out suite options, and there are also dedicated suite options geared toward families. 

The lobby is massive, open, and airy, with marble tile floors, sleek wood accents, and a floating deck area over a decorative pool with river rocks at the bottom. It offers great views over the Caribbean, and the presence of escalators and stairs leading down to the grounds and pools makes it slightly reminiscent of a luxury mall. Everything is gleaming and upscale, and the beautiful modern decor found throughout is a major part of the appeal here. The grounds include palm trees and vegetation, a chapel, and plenty of walkways waving their way in between the pools and eventually to the beach itself. 

This is among the better upscale resort options in the area that allow children, though the Azul Sensatori Hotel, by Karisma and Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa are also excellent options worth considering -- and both have significantly fewer rooms. 

See More Scene

Location

Near Puerto Morelos, in between Cancun and Playa del Carmen

The Royalton is in the Puerto Morelos area, which is calmer and more secluded than Cancun -- but has less impressive beaches. It is about a 20-minute drive south of the Cancun airport, and 45 minutes from downtown Cancun or the Hotel Zone. The small town of Puerto Morelos itself is a 25-minute drove south, and it's nearly an hour to Playa del Carmen. Thankfully, the city-like sprawl of this mega-resort means guests don't have to leave (many don't), and there’s literally nothing within walking distance of the resort. When guests do go off-site, they tend to go as part of package excursions; Xel Ha park, with snorkeling, zip-lining, and a lazy river, is popular. 

Puerto Morelos is a former fishing village located halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The area serves as a compromise for anyone looking for Cancun's stunning beaches but don't want them to be overrun by hordes of tourists (though the beaches here tend to be narrower than Cancun's best, and have more seaweed). The impressive reefs just offshore attract a fair share of divers, and many come to take a dip in the inland cenotes (massive sinkholes filled with crystal clear groundwater). The laid-back vibe of the area makes it great for spending a day lounging or exploring, and unwinding with dinner at a beachfront restaurant, all without the fear of having to deal with packs of rowdy spring breakers.

See More Location

Rooms

Spacious, modern suites with balconies and whirlpool tubs

The rooms at the Royalton all have the same upscale, modern decor, with tile floors, sleek wood, and lots of cream and beige. The Luxury Junior Suite is the entry-level category, and it's still plenty spacious, with a king-size bed or two queen beds and a sofa bed -- allowing for a max occupancy of five, which families will likely appreciate. The Luxury Family Suite adds a sliding door between the bedroom and living area with sofa bed. Multiple room types have the option of swim-out access, and some Luxury Suites add a balcony or rooftop hot tub overlooking the ocean. The Diamond Club rooms are mostly differentiated only by their perks and services, but the Chairman's Two/Three Bedroom Suite is only available for those who opt for the Diamond Club upgrade. 

Every room comes with a terrace or balcony looking out over the mangroves, ocean, or interior gardens. Almost all buildings have a "mangrove side" (except for Building 6), and some guests facing the mangroves complain of the swampy smell, which makes sitting out on the balcony unpleasant. Note that some of the rooms designated as ocean view directly face the pools, but still have a nice outlook over the ocean as well. 

Bathrooms have white marble countertops topped by two basin sinks, rainfall showers, and separate whirlpool tubs. The bathrooms may not provide enough privacy for some; a curtain separates the bathtub from the bedroom in many units, and the shower has a frosted glass wall. 

Amenities include high-thread-count sheets, mini-fridges stocked with soda, beer, and water, tea and coffee facilities, and 24-hour room service. On the technology front, there are flat-screen satellite TVs, USB recharge and Bluetooth audio stations, free Wi-Fi in all of the rooms, and in-room safes with their own internal power outlet instead of batteries. Diamond Club guests get extras such as robes and slippers, butler service, and an upgraded room service menu. 

See More Rooms

Features

Impressive pools, but the beach is a bit narrow and often has seaweed debris

The Royalton's eleven pools are the main focus -- and highlight -- of the resort. All of them are located along the beach and run the length of the entire resort from one side to the other. There are three swim-up bars, as well as poolside service. In addition, there's a particularly impressive multi-tier kiddy splash pool with slides and water features. There are regular activities around some of the pools, such as aqua aerobics. Introductory scuba lessons are also on offer. 

At the beach, there are plenty of cushioned whicker loungers, but as at the pool; few umbrellas; however there are a series of wood-slat pergolas providing some (but not much) shade. There are multiple beach bars, and staffers providing lounger service; Diamond Club Guests get a separate section and their own beach bar. However, the beach itself isn't super deep (at least not compared to some of the stretches in Cancun), and seaweed debris can be a problem. There is seagrass growing in the water just offshore, which makes it murky in spots. The water is calmer here than in Cancun, allowing guests to take advantage of non-motorized water sports equipment such as kayaks, snorkels, and paddleboards; these aren't offered at some Cancun resorts because of the strong waves. There are no motorized water sports here, however, because of the protected coral reef offshore. 

The kids' club for ages 4 to 12 includes scheduled appearances by cartoon characters Max & Ruby and Mike the Knight. The kids' club has multiple TVs for watching movies, as well as a couple of air hockey tables. There's a separate teens' club with sleek decor and more game tables. There are theater performances in the evening, and shows get mixed reviews; it's worth noting that the theater is outside with no AC. 

The gym is modern and spacious, and there are aerobics classes and weight-training with pro instructors on offer. The Royal Spa is gorgeous and has an impressive hydrotherapy circuit; a full range of services are available, including manis and pedis, hairstyling, waxing, and massages. 

There is over 20,000 square feet of event space, including eight breakout rooms, and a ballroom with its own stage and space for up to 1,000 guests. There is a chapel and terrace areas for weddings.

There's an ATM on-site, but steep fees apply. Though this is an all-inclusive resort, tipping is appreciated; it's a good idea to bring small bills.

See More Features

All-Inclusive / Food

Nine restaurants, 12 bars, a cafe, and 24-hour room service

The food at Royalton Riviera is above average for an all-inclusive. There is excellent quality and variety at the buffet, Gourmet Marche, and none of the a la carte dinner options require reservations -- though some do require a wait to be seated. Diamond Club guests can get preferred seatings with the help of their butler. The Japanese restaurant, Zen, is particularly popular and has a teppanyaki show; Hunter Steakhouse is another favorite. Other dinner options include Mediterranean, and Mexican. The Tex-Mex restaurant, Armadillio, is for Diamond Club guests only, and is open for lunch and dinner. The buffet, the Italian restaurant, Beach Club Grill, and Score Sports Bar and Lounge are open for lunch as well as dinner for all guests. 

Note that dress codes apply in the evenings at most restaurants.

The 12 bars include three swim-up bars, a lobby bar, multiple beach bars, a disco, and a Diamond Club Lounge. The cafe serves pastries, coffee, and ice cream. 

See More All-Inclusive / Food

Oyster Hotel Review

Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa

Scene

A modern, busy mega-resort with great pools and food but an underwhelming beach, drawing both families and couples

Opened in 2015, the Royalton feels exactly like the mega-resort it is. Guests should bring some comfortable walking shoes, because it takes 15 to 20 minutes to get from one side of the resort to the other. It's also crowded in high season, despite the impressive number of features (11 pools is a lot, but so is 840 rooms). This can result in guests having to get up early (realllly early) to snag the best lounge chairs, and sometimes, long lines at the reservation-free restaurants. Diamond Club guests can have their butler make reservations and skip the wait, making it a worthwhile upgrade for many. 

The resort is very family-friendly, thanks to the kids' club, teens' club, and abundance of daily activities, but draws almost as many couples, thanks to the adult-only Hideaway section (billed as a "resort within a resort"). Both families and couples can appreciate the swim-out suite options, and there are also dedicated suite options geared toward families. 

The lobby is massive, open, and airy, with marble tile floors, sleek wood accents, and a floating deck area over a decorative pool with river rocks at the bottom. It offers great views over the Caribbean, and the presence of escalators and stairs leading down to the grounds and pools makes it slightly reminiscent of a luxury mall. Everything is gleaming and upscale, and the beautiful modern decor found throughout is a major part of the appeal here. The grounds include palm trees and vegetation, a chapel, and plenty of walkways waving their way in between the pools and eventually to the beach itself. 

This is among the better upscale resort options in the area that allow children, though the Azul Sensatori Hotel, by Karisma and Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa are also excellent options worth considering -- and both have significantly fewer rooms. 

See More Scene

Location

Near Puerto Morelos, in between Cancun and Playa del Carmen

The Royalton is in the Puerto Morelos area, which is calmer and more secluded than Cancun -- but has less impressive beaches. It is about a 20-minute drive south of the Cancun airport, and 45 minutes from downtown Cancun or the Hotel Zone. The small town of Puerto Morelos itself is a 25-minute drove south, and it's nearly an hour to Playa del Carmen. Thankfully, the city-like sprawl of this mega-resort means guests don't have to leave (many don't), and there’s literally nothing within walking distance of the resort. When guests do go off-site, they tend to go as part of package excursions; Xel Ha park, with snorkeling, zip-lining, and a lazy river, is popular. 

Puerto Morelos is a former fishing village located halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The area serves as a compromise for anyone looking for Cancun's stunning beaches but don't want them to be overrun by hordes of tourists (though the beaches here tend to be narrower than Cancun's best, and have more seaweed). The impressive reefs just offshore attract a fair share of divers, and many come to take a dip in the inland cenotes (massive sinkholes filled with crystal clear groundwater). The laid-back vibe of the area makes it great for spending a day lounging or exploring, and unwinding with dinner at a beachfront restaurant, all without the fear of having to deal with packs of rowdy spring breakers.

See More Location

Rooms

Spacious, modern suites with balconies and whirlpool tubs

The rooms at the Royalton all have the same upscale, modern decor, with tile floors, sleek wood, and lots of cream and beige. The Luxury Junior Suite is the entry-level category, and it's still plenty spacious, with a king-size bed or two queen beds and a sofa bed -- allowing for a max occupancy of five, which families will likely appreciate. The Luxury Family Suite adds a sliding door between the bedroom and living area with sofa bed. Multiple room types have the option of swim-out access, and some Luxury Suites add a balcony or rooftop hot tub overlooking the ocean. The Diamond Club rooms are mostly differentiated only by their perks and services, but the Chairman's Two/Three Bedroom Suite is only available for those who opt for the Diamond Club upgrade. 

Every room comes with a terrace or balcony looking out over the mangroves, ocean, or interior gardens. Almost all buildings have a "mangrove side" (except for Building 6), and some guests facing the mangroves complain of the swampy smell, which makes sitting out on the balcony unpleasant. Note that some of the rooms designated as ocean view directly face the pools, but still have a nice outlook over the ocean as well. 

Bathrooms have white marble countertops topped by two basin sinks, rainfall showers, and separate whirlpool tubs. The bathrooms may not provide enough privacy for some; a curtain separates the bathtub from the bedroom in many units, and the shower has a frosted glass wall. 

Amenities include high-thread-count sheets, mini-fridges stocked with soda, beer, and water, tea and coffee facilities, and 24-hour room service. On the technology front, there are flat-screen satellite TVs, USB recharge and Bluetooth audio stations, free Wi-Fi in all of the rooms, and in-room safes with their own internal power outlet instead of batteries. Diamond Club guests get extras such as robes and slippers, butler service, and an upgraded room service menu. 

See More Rooms

Features

Impressive pools, but the beach is a bit narrow and often has seaweed debris

The Royalton's eleven pools are the main focus -- and highlight -- of the resort. All of them are located along the beach and run the length of the entire resort from one side to the other. There are three swim-up bars, as well as poolside service. In addition, there's a particularly impressive multi-tier kiddy splash pool with slides and water features. There are regular activities around some of the pools, such as aqua aerobics. Introductory scuba lessons are also on offer. 

At the beach, there are plenty of cushioned whicker loungers, but as at the pool; few umbrellas; however there are a series of wood-slat pergolas providing some (but not much) shade. There are multiple beach bars, and staffers providing lounger service; Diamond Club Guests get a separate section and their own beach bar. However, the beach itself isn't super deep (at least not compared to some of the stretches in Cancun), and seaweed debris can be a problem. There is seagrass growing in the water just offshore, which makes it murky in spots. The water is calmer here than in Cancun, allowing guests to take advantage of non-motorized water sports equipment such as kayaks, snorkels, and paddleboards; these aren't offered at some Cancun resorts because of the strong waves. There are no motorized water sports here, however, because of the protected coral reef offshore. 

The kids' club for ages 4 to 12 includes scheduled appearances by cartoon characters Max & Ruby and Mike the Knight. The kids' club has multiple TVs for watching movies, as well as a couple of air hockey tables. There's a separate teens' club with sleek decor and more game tables. There are theater performances in the evening, and shows get mixed reviews; it's worth noting that the theater is outside with no AC. 

The gym is modern and spacious, and there are aerobics classes and weight-training with pro instructors on offer. The Royal Spa is gorgeous and has an impressive hydrotherapy circuit; a full range of services are available, including manis and pedis, hairstyling, waxing, and massages. 

There is over 20,000 square feet of event space, including eight breakout rooms, and a ballroom with its own stage and space for up to 1,000 guests. There is a chapel and terrace areas for weddings.

There's an ATM on-site, but steep fees apply. Though this is an all-inclusive resort, tipping is appreciated; it's a good idea to bring small bills.

See More Features

All-Inclusive / Food

Nine restaurants, 12 bars, a cafe, and 24-hour room service

The food at Royalton Riviera is above average for an all-inclusive. There is excellent quality and variety at the buffet, Gourmet Marche, and none of the a la carte dinner options require reservations -- though some do require a wait to be seated. Diamond Club guests can get preferred seatings with the help of their butler. The Japanese restaurant, Zen, is particularly popular and has a teppanyaki show; Hunter Steakhouse is another favorite. Other dinner options include Mediterranean, and Mexican. The Tex-Mex restaurant, Armadillio, is for Diamond Club guests only, and is open for lunch and dinner. The buffet, the Italian restaurant, Beach Club Grill, and Score Sports Bar and Lounge are open for lunch as well as dinner for all guests. 

Note that dress codes apply in the evenings at most restaurants.

The 12 bars include three swim-up bars, a lobby bar, multiple beach bars, a disco, and a Diamond Club Lounge. The cafe serves pastries, coffee, and ice cream. 

See More All-Inclusive / Food

Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Babysitting Services

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Basic Television

  • Beach

  • Beauty / Hair Salon

  • Business Center

  • Cabanas

  • Cable

  • Casino

  • Children's Pool

  • Concierge

  • Cribs

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Fitness Center

  • Free Breakfast

  • Gameroom / Arcade

  • Internet

  • Jacuzzi

  • Kids Allowed

  • Kids Club

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Mini Bar (with liquor)

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Spa

  • Supervised Kids Activities

  • Swim-Up Bar

  • Tennis Court

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.