This year marks the 10th year of us visiting Playa del Carmen. When we were first introduced to PDC, it was still a small beach town with a local vibe. Now, you will get tons more restaurants and shopping choices all in one area.
Our favorite place to stay is at the luxury Royal Playa del Carmen. It is conveniently located right next to 5th avenue within walking distance to all the action yet secluded enough where you can enjoy drinks on the beach. The hotel offers an all inclusive package that has quality food and drinks that comes with an emphasis on service. We loved it so much after our first visit, that we got married there on our second visit. We’ve been coming back ever since!
To begin our vacation in style, we booked the hotel car service. It is much more convenient to get off the plane and head directly to a friendly driver waiting to take us to the hotel. The Cancun airport has been a hub for timeshare sales pitches.
Tip- If it’s your first time in Cancun, make sure to walk past anyone trying to stop you, and meet your driver outside the airport doors. There will be tons of people out there, so be on the lookout for the sign below, I almost got tricked!
The car ride can take anywhere between 45-60 minutes depending on traffic. The drivers are very friendly and even offer drinks and wifi in the SUV to make the ride more enjoyable.
Tip- make sure to ask for the wifi code. We weren’t immediately told about it.
Once we got to the hotel, we were welcomed by the concierge who offered us a chilled towel and glass of champagne.
Tip- ask for the activities list at check-in, book all dinner reservations, and book your spa treatment. This will allow you to relax the rest of the trip. It can put a damper on your plans if your desired time is fully booked.
The location of our room was perfect. We had a view of the pool and ocean. The room was very clean with the highlights being a hot tub in the middle, a stocked mini fridge and bar and patio with a hammock.
Our first day there was spent eating outdoors at the Mexican restaurant, lounging by the pool and laying out on the beach. We had fun playing the poolside trivia game from our patio.
We also had a delicious meal at Chef’s plate. This restaurant is an extra charge of $89 per person if your room level does not include it. They recently remodeled it, and it has more of a upscale ‘comfort of home’ feeling. It felt very warm and didn’t feel stuffy. The service was excellent, and the chef made it a point to visit and chat with each table. This gave it a more personal feeling which people seem to enjoy. That was a nice touch.
The menu is pre-fixed with six courses each night.
On our second day, we got up and had breakfast at Spice buffet. There are so many options, and my personal favorite is the omlette station. I also chose several different items such as salmon, cured meats, potatoes and salad which were all tasty.
No trip is perfect without a trip to the spa. The spa is very relaxing with a large hydrotherapy area in the locker room with a relaxation section. For our treatment, we opted for the Temazcal experience which included a 50 minute massage. You know it’s good when both of us passed out!
If you want to explore the town, the popular tourist area 5th avenue is one block away. There are many shops, restaurants and bars to choose from. We had a great time walking around, eating local tacos and people watching.
Overall, the trip was a success. The location of the Royal along with the service, quality and amenities makes this the best place to stay in Playa del Carmen. There’s a reason we got married there and continue to come back every year.