If you are a timeshare owner (or guest of a timeshare owner) with Royal Resorts or are exchanging timeshare dates through international exchange companies, the all-inclusive package at The Royal Cancun is optional; for all others, it is mandatory upon booking. With that being said, this timeshare/condo property is located on the upper part of the “7” near Playa Linda bridge and a short walk to the Isla Mujeres ferry. The Royal Cancun is a great location for families with small children since the ocean water here is fairly shallow with little wave action–the perfect location to teach young ones to swim or merely let them frolic in the water. The use of non-motorized water sports, including stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, and hobie cats, are also available which makes The Royal Cancun an ideal location for adults as well.
Guests who want the flexibility of having an all-inclusive package with a bit of DIY will appreciate the resort’s amenities since all suites include a fully outfitted kitchen including a large refrigerator and a stove/oven combo. An onsite convenience store allows guests to purchase additional food and drink–items can also be ordered online and delivered to one’s suite prior to arrival, how convenient is that?
Although The Royal Cancun has been in the area since the 1970’s (it used to be called Vacation Club International), it first offered an all-inclusive package in 2014 on the successful heels of its sister resort, The Royal Sands, which offered its own all-inclusive plan in 2012. This “REFINE” all-inclusive package can be customized according to guests’ preferences–additional spa, golf, or excursions can be enjoyed within the basic plan.
For those unfamiliar with the all-inclusive package it includes the following amenities:
- meals and snacks
- non-alcoholic and non-premium alcoholic beverages
- 24-hr. room service and daily maid service
- “mini-bar” with soda, water, fruit juice, and domestic beer
- complimentary WiFi
- access to the onsite Kid’s Club, tennis courts, and fitness center (those not staying with the REFINE package must pay an extra charge to use the gym)
- taxes and gratuities
- access to the facilities at The Royal Sands and The Royal Haciendas
- complimentary shuttle transportation to select Cancun Royal Resorts and Captain’s Cove restaurant during scheduled hours
- valet and general parking
The REFINE package does not include the following:
- premium alcohol
- premium menu items such as lobster or prime cuts of meat
- flambéed desserts and specialty coffees
- items at the following onsite facilities–Royal Express Food-To-Go counter, Royal Market convenience store
- Bartolos Pizza
- spa and beauty salon services
- bottles of alcohol/wine/champagne ordered at bars or from room service
- guest laundry
- onsite stores and amenities (tours, car rental)
- onsite medical services
The Royal Cancun is a smaller, low-rise property with a total of 288 guest suites. It has a more intimate condo community “feel” with clusters of guest room buildings built around two pool areas. Both freeform pools are fairly close to the beach; the main pool has a swim-up bar and is next to La Palapa open-air restaurant, while the other pool has a shallow children’s section and offers natural shade during the hot afternoon sun. Both sundecks offer loungers and shade umbrellas and are very close to ground floor terraces.
Despite the fact there have been numerous resort upgrades as of late, guests may still find a rather plain and overall dated guest room décor (think formica countertops); if this can be overlooked, however, guests will find very spacious suites with ample indoor/outdoor living space. Vacationers have their choice of two bedroom/two bathroom or two bedroom/one bathroom suites (both categories have resort or beachfront views); two bedroom/two bathroom suites occupy upper and lower floors, so be prepared to climb up some stairs to the master bedroom. NOTE: The Royal Cancun started out and continues to be a resort with a very strong timeshare emphasis. As a result, members generally arrive on a Saturday which may result in non-members having to switch rooms in the midst of their vacation. Also, be sure to confirm the check-in age prior to booking since The Royal Cancun appears to want to have at least one adult age 25+ to stay in each suite.
While The Royal Cancun only offers the onsite buffet and Italian a la carte restaurants, guests willing to go offsite can also enjoy dining at The Royal Sands, The Royal Haciendas in Playa del Carmen, or other designated restaurants in Cancun–complimentary shuttle transportation to most of these destinations is included in the REFINE package (there is no shuttle service to local destinations on Saturday, however). Since public transportation is so readily available and inexpensive in the Cancun area, guests should have no difficulty catching a bus or cab back to The Royal Cancun is the shuttle service is no longer available.
Don’t let the check-in process ruin your initial impression of The Royal Cancun–just be prepared. Staff will request a security deposit upon check-in (rates will vary anywhere from USD $350-$900) which is supposed to cover potential damages as well as serve to open a line of credit for expenditures at the resort (convenience store, tours, premium beverages). If you decide to pay the deposit with cash, you will receive the remaining balance in pesos (use a credit card if at all possible). Bring your patience–if you’re searching for a quiet resort with multiple conveniences and amenities, The Royal Cancun is worth the initial wait.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly, condo-style with most units offering fully-equipped kitchens
Pro: Large suites, free WiFi, several pools, stay at one play at several Royal Resorts
Con: Few onsite dining options, AI restrictions, Saturday room switching
Best Suited For: Families with young children, those who like the flexibility of an all-inclusive option and the facilities for making additional snacks/meals
No. of Rooms: 288
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds (there is also a Murphy bed in the living room), A/C, balcony/terrace, dining area with table and four to six chairs, fully-equipped kitchen with large refrigerator and stove/oven combo, microwave, blender, toaster, coffee maker, digital safe, two flat screen TV’s, DVD player, telephone, iron/ironing board, robes, hair dryer, tub/shower combo, toiletries, daily maid service, 24-hr. room service, and complimentary WiFi. Here is a brief listing of guest room categories:
- Two Bedroom/One Bathroom Suite: King bed in one bedroom, two dbl beds in another, small Murphy bed in the living room. Sleeps five; the unit is all on one level. Resort, garden, or beachfront view (resort view may include parking lot or street view).
- Two Bedroom/Two Bathroom Suite: King bed and full bathroom in upstairs master bedroom, two dbl beds in downstairs bedroom, Murphy bed in the living room, full bathroom downstairs. Sleeps six; the unit is on two levels. Resort, garden, or beachfront view (resort view may include parking lot or street view).
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Two pools (one with a swim-up bar), limited spa services (go to The Royal Sands for more extensive spa services), beauty salon, fitness center, non-motorized water sports, tennis courts, shuffleboard, Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), playground, pool and beach wait service, small grocery store onsite, complimentary shuttle to local Royal Resorts, concierge, tour desk, car rental, and ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: One buffet open-air restaurant (La Palapa–guests can also order off the menu here), and the Italian a la carte (La Trattoria) which requires reservations for dinner. The Royal Express Food-To-Go counter offers meats, salads and desserts at an extra cost; pizza from Bartolos is also not included in the REFINE package. There are two bars at The Royal Cancun (a swim-up bar and the pool bar), while offsite bars include those at other Royal Resorts like the sports bar at The Royal Sands. The following are additional offsite evening dining, drinking, and entertainment opportunities:
- Captain’s Cove: Across the street from The Royal Caribbean in Cancun (seafood)
- Pancho and Willy’s Bar: Located next door to Captain’s Cove for after dinner entertainment like karaoke and live music
- El Conquistador: Located at The Royal Islander in Cancun (surf and turf, flambée dishes)
- Los Murales: Gourmet seafood, located at The Royal Haciendas in Playa del Carmen (evening transportation not included)
- NOTE: Reservations are required for all on/offsite a la carte restaurants for dinner.
Entertainment: This is a very quiet resort with no real evening onsite entertainment options. There is live entertainment at the Hacienda Sisal restaurant and the sports bar at The Royal Sands, while Pancho and Willy’s Bar provides opportunities to sing karaoke and listen to live music.