Riviera Maya, Mexico
After falling in love with Cancun, we decided to return to Mexico, but this time to the Riviera Maya area, which is just south of Cancun...to Playa del Carmen. We were fortunate enough to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary at the Royal Hideaway! As we pulled up to this opulent resort, we knew LUXURY was going to be the theme of the vacation...and it was! A grand entrance with open air lobby greeted us along with a welcoming staff that whisked you into the world of the privileged!
Quite a difference from resorts in Cancun, the Royal Hideaway is filled with breathtaking gardens, landscaping, pools, fountains and bridges... all perfectly manicured and maintained!
Individual 2 story villas house several guest rooms. A concierge was assigned and seated in the center of each villa, ready to make dinner reservations, assist with spa treatments, excursions, or any other need you might have.
We stayed in a huge 2nd floor king guestroom with vaulted ceilings, which had a bathroom with a jacuzzi tub. We also had a very large balcony which was a nice place to relax after a long day at the beach. If I had one negative to say, it would be that a large number of the guestrooms do not have an oceanview. The villas at the ocean front, of course, do have a view, but the villas are situated so they are placed in rows going away from the beach.
When considering whether to choose a resort in Cancun or Riviera Maya, the biggest difference is the way the properties are set up. Cancun looks more like Miami Beach, with hotels lined up, one next to the other, with very little landscaping in between, many rooms with some kind of water view. In Riviera Maya, the grounds of most resorts have lots of open areas with lush landscaping and palm trees. Many of the resorts will have their guest room buildings lined up from oceanfront, to back, just like the Royal Hideaway. Often, you will have to pay quite a bit extra to have a view of the ocean in Riviera Maya.
The Royal Hideaway has 6 gourmet restaurant choices including a Pan-Asian restaurant with teppanyaki experience available. They also have an excellent Italian and Caribbean/Mexican, as well as restaurants that have seafood and grill specialties. We never had less than an excellent meal, and always had impeccable service!
There are two pools at the Royal Hideaway...one for activities such as volleyball, and an huge infinity pool for lazying on pool floats or sipping a tropical drink while looking out over the Caribbean!
The beach was beautiful with palm trees scattered in the sand, to help shade you from the scorching sun. Staff at the beach would willingly set-up private 2 person cabanas for more shaded beach time, too. There were also beach beds on stilts that provided a romantic vantage point of the beach and sea, if you were lucky enough to get up early and reserve one, which we did!
After a long day on the beach, we almost always stopped off to spend some time at one of three of the Royal Hideaway's "relaxation pools"...just small pools with a few loungers, to spend some private time together enjoying the peace and tranquility. More than once, we were greeted by a little iguana friend, just checking to see who had come to visit!
We did indulge in a couples massage, our first, at their state-of-the-art spa... it was absolutely wonderful!
We also walked across the street from the resort and did a little souvenir shopping, though the town of Playa del Carmen is just minutes away. We just didn't want to spend more than a little time away from the beach.
Royal Hideaway offers luxury, pampering and unmatched service for those who expect the best!