The Hotel Review: Royal Hideaway Playacar, Mexico
Calle Lote Hotelero No.6, Desarrollo Playacar, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Review: Dex Jones
The entrance is via a gated driveway flanked either side by lush, dense greenery, well kept grass verges, coconut palms and banana trees. The reception lobby, which has a red carpet walk-through, is an open space with subtle Mayan depictions and classic large chandeliers, polished marble floors, sandstone pillars and a high atrium sky light ensures your first impressions are worthy of the hotels name.
There are 200 luxury suites that make up this five-star, adult-only hotel with a number of suites housed in each Caribbean style ‘villa’ building, each ‘villa’ has a resident concierge at your disposal.
A 20-minute walk will take you to the vibrant town of Playa Carmen which has typically Mexican streets lined with shops, bars, eateries and excursion stands where you can purchase tickets to the beautiful island of Cozumel which is a 30-minute boat ride away.
spa | sauna | fitness gym |hair salon | sports bar | 6 restaurants | dry cleaning/laundry service | wedding services | concierge services | outdoor pools | tours/ticket assistance | free Wi-Fi | outdoor tennis courts
For the energetic there are several sports facilities including tennis courts, manicured grass football pitch, water sports centre, small catamaran sailing boats, double and single kayaks are also available hourly at no cost. There are organised pursuits during the day including scuba diving, snorkelling and parasailing, aqua aerobics, beach volleyball, pool side entertainment.
Pre-booked trips are available in abundance and include visits to Mexico’s famous Mayan temples or to swim in the mystique waters of the cenotes and underground caverns. You could opt to traverse the jungle treetops on zip wires or take a ride in an off-road buggy…or just plain relax around the hotel and do nothing.
Our Luxury Garden room was right next to the swimming pools and near the beach. The colonial interior decor and dark wood furniture around the room gave an air of elegance and luxury and contrasted the lemon and white building exterior.
The room was fully air conditioned with an extra-large ceiling fan, the bedroom area was well laid out with a king size double bed and plenty of storage space. There was a TV with satellite programs and also a DVD service available. Additional room facilities include a coffee machine, telephone, complementary mini bar, safe box and laundry service. The spacious bathroom, with double sinks set into a marble vanity unit, had a walk-in rainwater shower room and a Jacuzzi bath. ‘His and Hers’ RH motif bath robes were a nice touch. On the rooms terrace there were two comfortable cushioned wicker chairs with foot stools and a glass top coffee table, an ideal set up for that pre-dinner evening drink.
SWIMMING POOLS AND BEACH
Miles of white sand beaches with an abundance of coconut palms fringed the warm azure waters of the Caribbean. There were sunbeds with double canopy shades available to give rest from what can be intense heat. Waiter service was available on the beach and they also provided beach towels which were handed out to you rather than having to go to a towel station.
The Infinity pool overlooked the largest beach in the resort with a smaller pool in the sundeck area, the six other plunge pools around the complex gardens ensure intimate and relaxing bathing. These strategically placed pools are dotted around the gardens which meant you are always within close proximity to a cool pool wherever you are on the resort. You can relax on the multitude of loungers to the hypnotic call of the enigmatic south American Grackle bird and the appearance every now and then of a Sereque (a type of Mexican squirrel) and the odd iguana.
DRINKING & DINING
The Grill (doubles as a breakfast buffet and lunchtime deck) | Azia | Las Ventanas | Palazzio | Spice | Club Royale (hosts evening entertainment) | Sports Bar
The terrace here is literally edging the beach on a raised deck area sheltered with a timber roof and shaded by coconut palms. The highlights here were definitely the Tenderloin steak with a cajun coating with a view of the white sandy beach and the sound of the gentle lapping of the waves in the background.
The chef couldn’t wait to display his talents, not only as a skilful sushi chef but also in the art of Tepenyakki, cooking on the iron grill juggling his knives and spatula’s to rapturous applause, creating flaming volcanos from a stack of onion rings and a Mayan temple made from egg fried rice, a joy to watch and even better to eat. Using traditional bowls and chopsticks, the food was despatched easily and complimented by a glass of Saki. Our first time at a Tepenyakki table and one we can’t wait to repeat.
A expansive open space with solid wood louvered partitions, marbled floors and a central glass wine display create an ambiance of pure luxury. This fine dining experience features a ‘chefs table’ which allows visual access to the preparatory and culinary skills whilst seated at the table in the kitchen. We recommend to try the Portobello comfit ravioli; prawns in a linguini parcel with wafer thin slices of mushroom. The steak was excellent and for dessert the marbled brownie with banana textures, mango, honey & vanilla ice cream is a must.
Amazing ocean views make this a great dinner destination with evening entertainment. We had breakfast here with the choice of an al a carte menu whilst still being able to sample the beach and ocean views, a relaxed atmosphere and a great breakfast venue.
Tepenyakki experience in the Azia Restaurant
Excellent service throughout.
Royal Hideaway Playacar
Rates at Royal Hideaway Playacar start from US$ 255 per night based on two people sharing on an all-inclusive basis. To book or for more information visit www.barcelo.com.
T1 Escape Lounge – Manchester Airport
Airport Transfer – QTS – Cancun
We chose a brilliant company to transfer us from Cancun Airport – the transfer took around an hour and the car was comfortable with air conditioning and a friendly driver who pointed out landmarks en-route. The whole experience ran smoothly and we couldn’t fault the service. A great recommendation.