If you are a timeshare owner (or guest of a timeshare owner) with Royal Resorts, the all-inclusive plan at The Royal Haciendas is optional; for all others, it is mandatory. With that being said, this timeshare/condo property is located approximately 10 min. north of Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya. This resort, along with The Royal Sands and The Royal Cancun (both located in the Hotel Zone), have exchange privileges with one another and offer an all-inclusive “REFINE” package to both Royal Resorts members and non-members. Since transportation to the Hotel Zone is an extra cost, guests may find it difficult to take advantage of the exchange privileges which are offered. Those booking the all-inclusive plan have the option of customizing their stay with the inclusion of a REFINE Special Package–REFINE packages allow vacationers to receive multiple opportunities to engage in their favorite activities including spa, golf, or excursion packages.
For those unfamiliar with the all-inclusive plan it includes the following:
- 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, fitness center, and tennis courts (lit for night play)
- taxes and gratuities
- access to other Royal Resorts including The Royal Cancun and The Royal Sands
- valet and general parking
The all-inclusive package does not include the following:
- premium alcohol
- premium menu items such as lobster or prime meat cuts
- flambéed desserts and specialty coffees
- bottles of alcohol ordered at bars or from room service
- Lapa Lapa Express Food-To-Go counter
- Royal Market convenience store items
- Bartolo’s Pizza
- spa and beauty salon services
- arts and crafts stations
- guest laundry
- car rental
- onsite stores
- onsite medical services
The Royal Haciendas is an attractive property with its arches, columns, and color palette of terra cotta and yellow with white trim. The overall architectural style is reminiscent of grand Mexican haciendas common to the Yucatan of old, while the details are sure to appeal to travelers looking for a resort property with plenty of modern day appeal. Take a walk around the resort to see surprises everywhere–multiple shaded hammock areas, Byzantine-style mosaics in Los Murales restaurant, and the fresco-like ceiling at the lovely La Rotonda lobby bar. Resort grounds are immaculately groomed with an abundance of palms, flowers, grass, and hedges.
Although its architectural style is unique to the Royal Resorts condo family, the resort layout is similar to The Royal Sands in Cancun with its Phase I (south side) and Phase II (north side) additions. Both phases consist of multiple guest room buildings clustered around multiple pools in a half-circle formation. Guests may choose from one of four room options–the spacious Two Bedroom Master or Penthouse Suites with fully-equipped kitchen and balcony Jacuzzi, the One Bedroom Deluxe Suite also with full kitchen and balcony Jacuzzi, or the “lock off” Jr. Suite with a limited kitchenette and small balcony. Guests who enjoy a bit of DIY with their all-inclusive plan will appreciate the onsite Royal Market convenience store where additional food and drinks may be purchased–items can also be ordered online and delivered to your suite prior to arrival. NOTE: Guests should keep in mind that this is a timeshare resort and that members’ weeks run from Saturday to Saturday which may require a room change if you are not a member.
Pool lovers will thoroughly enjoy The Royal Haciendas since both Phases offer a very large infinity edge main pool with swim-up bar, a lap pool, and separate children’s pool. Two Jacuzzis flank each of the main pool areas. All but the lap pools are heated; the Jacuzzis are heated as well but may not be warm enough for some. Large sundecks around all pools in both Phases have plenty of loungers and shade umbrellas.
While the pools are quite impressive, the beach may leave guests somewhat disappointed. There are some rocky areas near water’s edge which makes water shoes a necessity; however, snorkelers will be ecstatic since they can snorkel right off the beach and see a multitude of fish and other sea life. Many palapas and palms provide shade for beachgoers, while waves remain relatively calm most days for sea kayaking, sailing, and paddle boarding. Given the excellent dive shop onsite, guests can easily book snorkeling and diving excursions.
Since The Royal Haciendas is a quiet, family-friendly resort, there is limited evening entertainment. Those looking for late night partying should take a cab into Playa del Carmen to enjoy its bars and clubs. The lobby bar, La Rotonda, offers different theme nights during the week including karaoke, DJ, and Casino Night as well as offering live music several nights a week. For daytime shopping there is a shuttle which will take guests into Playa del Carmen–three departure times from the resort are complimentary, while other departure and return shuttles will cost around USD $3 p/p. The last shuttle back to the resort leaves Playa at 9 p.m.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly, AI plan is mandatory for all non-members and their guests
Pro: Multiple pools, complimentary WiFi, stay at one play at several, snorkeling off the beach
Con: Few onsite dining options, AI restrictions, Saturday room-switching
Best Suited For: Large suites are perfect for families, or groups traveling together
No. of Rooms: 252
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds (plus two Murphy beds in the living room in the suites), A/C, balcony/terrace, digital safe, full or mini-fridge, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, flat screen TV, DVD player, ceiling fan, telephone, iron/ironing board, robes, hair dryer, shower, 24-hr. room service, daily maid service, and complimentary WiFi. Here is a brief rundown of room categories:
- Deluxe Jr. Suite: Two dbl beds kitchenette with a sink, mini-bar, tub/shower combo.
- One Bedroom Deluxe Suite: King bed and flat screen TV in separate bedroom, Murphy beds and flat screen TV in living room area, dining area with table and four chairs, fully-equipped kitchen, full refrigerator, balcony/terrace with Jacuzzi.
- Two Bedroom Deluxe Master Suite: This suite consists of a One Bedroom Deluxe Suite and a Deluxe Jr. Suite (see above descriptions).
- Two Bedroom Deluxe Penthouse Master Suite: This suite consists of a modified One Bedroom Deluxe Suite and a Deluxe Jr. Suite (see above descriptions). The master bedroom also includes a lounging area in the bedroom and larger master bathroom.
- NOTE: Guests must be age 25+ to check-in at this resort.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Six pools with three in each Phase (main pool with swim-up bar, lap pool, and children’s pool), four Jacuzzis, spa (fish pedicure option), beauty salon, fitness center, tennis courts, non-motorized water sports, bicycle use, Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), pool/beach wait service (there is a flag system used on the beach), lobby bar with pool table and multiple TV’s, shuttle to Playa del Carmen, concierge, gift shop, clothing store, jewelry store, tour desk, car rental, and ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: One open-air buffet restaurant (La Palapa del Sol), one seafood a la carte (Los Murales–reservations required), and two poolside snack bars/grills serving daytime burgers, wraps, salads, and tacos. Guests also have access to The Royal Sands and The Royal Cancun’s a la cartes (transportation not included). The Lapa Lapa Express Food-To-Go counter offers meats, salads and desserts at an extra cost; pizza from Bartolo’s is also not included in the REFINE package. Onsite bars include the two swim-up bars, two poolside bars, and La Rotonda Bar (a sushi station is available near this bar). The following are additional offsite evening dining, drinking, and entertainment opportunities (transportation not included to the Hotel Zone):
- 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)
- NOTE: Reservations are required for all on/offsite a la carte restaurants for dinner.
Entertainment: Live music at Los Murales restaurant and a poolside BBQ on Saturday night, while the lobby bar offers karaoke, DJ music, and Casino Night during the week.