What to Expect at Royal Hideaway Playacar:
This elegant all-inclusive resort has a cultivated, Old World air and a 36% repeat-guest rate. It attracts mainly North Americans (including honeymoon couples) seeking grown-up pursuits such as romance and fine dining.
Rooms are posh, service is attentive, grounds are spotless, restaurants are superlative. A free Internet lounge and nice gym are welcome perks. The narrow beach is busy, but pools are large. Decks, hot tubs, and a spa pool offer mini-escapes.
Guest Rooms at Royal Hideaway Playacar:
Main buildings resemble Mediterranean palazzos; residential villas appear Spanish Colonial style. The 192 rooms and 8 suites are spacious and luxurious, with marble floors, white-on-white bedspreads, dark wood accents, ample drawer and closet space, and a large balcony. Bathrooms have a whirlpool tub, shower, two sinks, Bulgari and Etro toiletries, more. Extras include robes, slippers, drink-stocked fridge, fresh flowers, chocolates, turndowns, a big TV with satellite stations, concierge.
Dining at Royal Hideaway Playacar:
Dining is Manhattan-level in quality and ambiance. Restaurants include Palazzo (Italian), Azia (Japanese/Thai), Spices (Mexican), and The Grill (steak, fish). Las Ventanas, a modern, nightclubby boîte, showcases Arola creations like buttery foie gras with pistachios. Other meals include a good breakfast buffet, excellent casual lunches, late-afternoon tea, poolside snacks, and 24-hour room service.
Destination Weddings at Royal Hideaway Playacar:
An on-site wedding planner assists with dignified nuptials. Couples can choose from several wedding packages. The most popular is the Extravaganza. It includes venue, judge, ceremony, certificate, flowers, decorations, champagne, cake, live music, wedding DVD, 36-photo album, massages for bride and groom, and mani-pedi for her. (Dinner with liquor is already covered in this all-inclusive resort.) Other perks include a Mexican trio, couples massage for the bride and groom, and monogrammed Royal Hideaway cotton bath robes for the couple. Wedding parties are offered a group rate on blocks of 10 or more rooms.
Honeymoons and Romantic Getaways at Royal Hideaway Playacar:
Standard stays include so many deluxe touches, you may not need a package. However, packages for three-plus nights include Royal Romance, with champagne and terry robes; Royal Memories, which furnishes a beach dinner, robes, and tour of Chichen Itza or the Xel-Ha park; Royal Relaxation, a spa package; Royally Luxurious, which provides robes, champagne, a lobster dinner. Check the hotel Web site
for prices and availability of these and other packages.
Spa at Royal Hideaway Playacar:
The intimate spa beckons with soothing Balinese décor and music. Reasonably priced services may be performed in candle-lit treatment rooms, beside the tranquil spa pool, or in one’s room. A few multi-treatment and couples’ packages are offered. The Ocean, for two, is a two-day affair that includes facials, neck and shoulder massages, and manicure and pedicures, all carried out on the beach. The steam room, sauna, well-equipped gym, and spa pool are free for guests.
What Could be Improved at Royal Hideaway Playacar:
The Occidental hoteliers have done a marvelous job with their narrow property. It can’t be helped that one neighboring resort runs an outdoor disco on and off; the other operates a humming power station. (Request an inward-facing room here.) What can be improved is a problem that bedevils hotel management everywhere: service and maintenance personnel (chambermaids, gardeners) can be overheard conversing amongst themselves. Staff should be seen but not heard. Quiet is the ultimate luxury!
Is Royal Hideaway Playacar Right for You?:
This is not the place to escape to the tropics and doze on a hammock. While lovely and luxurious, this resort doesn’t feel especially secluded or private. It is best for active twosomes who will take full advantage of the resort’s civilized pleasures: alluring rooms; exceptional dining; tennis, scuba and Spanish lessons; free Internet; terrific fitness facilities. For couples who want to live their busy lives, but in the Mexican sunshine and on a king-sized bed, this is an inspired choice.
Where to Find More Information About Royal Hideaway Playacar:
Royal Hideaway Playacar
Lote Hotelero No. 6, Desarollo Playacar
Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Reservations: (US and Canada): 1-800-999-9182
Official Royal Hideaway Playacar Web site
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not
influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.