Mexico Holidays

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  • Mon - Fri9am - 9pm
  • Saturday9am - 7pm
  • Sunday10am - 6pm
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Royal Hideaway Playacar

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One of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’, the Royal Hideaway Playacar has a touch of elegance. 2- and 3-storey villas are connected via winding paths and fountains, with each having their own personal concierge to cater for all your needs. Indeed, world-class service is the order of the day at the Royal Hideaway Playacar, together with a range of world-class amenities. These include 6 gorgeous swimming pools, one with an infinity edge, 6 à la carte restaurants and 3 bars. There’s a small fitness centre, 2 floodlit tennis courts and water sports in abundance. A place where service and style come together in such grand fusion so prepare to be pampered.

At a glance

  • Member of leading hotels of the world
  • Adults only
  • Luxurious health centre and spa
  • A la carte dining

Where is it?

Overlooking a beautiful stretch of beach and just 5-min from lively Playa del Carmen with its shops, bars and restaurants. Transfer time from Cancun airport: 45 min.

Larger Map

Room information

200 rooms and suites situated within 2- and 3-storey villa-style accommodations scattered throughout the resort. All with balcony/terrace, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, satellite TV, complimentry WiFi, audio system with iPod dock and CD/DVD player, alarm/clock radio, telephone, tea/coffee maker, stocked mini-bar, safe, iron and board and hairdryer. Luxury Rooms with 1 king-size bed or 2 twin beds, sleeping max 3 adults. Wheelchair accessible Luxury Rooms have a roll-in shower and king-size bed (must be requested at time of booking and subject to availability).

Room Upgrade

Luxury Royal Relaxation with spa gift, Royal Spa experience, massage, facial, pedicure and manicure and Royal night turn-down, sleeping max 3 adults.

Luxury Royal Romance with chocolate covered strawberries, bottle of Moet champagne, Bulgari amenities, terry towel bathrobes embroidered with Royal Hideaway Insignia and Royal dinner on the beach, sleeping max 3 adults.

Luxury Royal Luxurious with Bulgari amenities and terry towel bathrobes embroidered with Royal Hideaway Insignia, a bottle of Moet Champagne and a specially prepared lobster dinner, sleeping max 3 adults.

Luxury Royal Memories with Bulgari amenities and terry towel bathrobes embroidered with Royal Hideaway Insignia, a collector’s Edition Royal Hideaway book, a Royal dinner on the beach and a photograph in a classical Mexican frame. Mayan cultural tour (choice between Chichen Itza or Tulum/Xel-Ha), sleeping max 3 adults.

Luxury Ocean View with partial views of the sea, featuring a basket of fresh fruit upon arrival, with 1 king-size bed, sleeping max 3 adults.

Hideaway Duplex Suite with accommodation set over 2 floors, the first with a living room, on the second the principal bedroom with 1 king-size bed. The suite comes with a basket of fresh fruit upon arrival, sleeping max 3 adults.

Eats and drinks

7 restaurants (6 à la carte) and 3 bars, including Las Ventanas (fine cuisine), Palazzo (Italian), Spices (Mexican), Azia (Thai, Sushi bar and Tepanyaki), Beach Club (snacks, sandwiches and local cuisine). The Grill and the Club Royale dinner show (once or twice a week depending on hotel occupancy). All restaurants require reservations for dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the main building.

Fun and games

6 swimming pools including 3 relaxation pools, beach club. Newly refurbished fitness centre, newly refurbished Spa and wellness centre*, Jacuzzi. Non-motorised water sports including kayaking, snorkelling, sailing, windsurfing and boogie boards. Introductory scuba-diving clinic* in the pool. Floodlit tennis courts, bicycles, table tennis and darts.


Daily and nightly programme of entertainment, shows and activities.

Handy stuff

24-hour room service. Complimentary WiFi Internet service throughout the resort. Laundry/dry-cleaning service*. Pool and beach drinks service. Shopping arcade, beauty salon*.

Additional information

*Denotes local charge.

Dress code: In the evening, gentleman are required to wear collared shirts, long trousers and closed shoes for dinner. Jeans only permitted at the Grill & Spices. 

Adults over 18 years only are permitted at this property.

All Inclusive

All meals, all local beers, soft drinks and premium spirits, house wine by the glass and all activities unless otherwise stated. Stocked mini-bar with water, soft drinks and beer. 

Minimum stay

3 nights at all times.


Wheelchair accessible rooms available on request. Please note that these rooms are subject to availability and may be restricted to specific room categories and bedding arrangements. Rooms and facilities vary between hotels so please check at the time of booking. For more information and contact details please check out our Special Assistance page

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Royal Hideaway Playacar

  • What to Expect:
    • 4.5 Location
    • 4.5 Sleep Quality
    • 4.5 Rooms
    • 5.0 Service
    • 4.5 Value
    • 4.5 Cleanliness
  • Traveller Rating:
    • Excellent (2261)
    • Very Good (534)
    • Average (158)
    • Poor (75)
    • Terrible (39)

We have been big Royal Hideaway fans for years. This was about our 10th visit. Royal Hideaway has been a special place that has been very different from other resorts. We had a very enjoyable and...

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4 of 5 stars
Nov 30, 2015 - smjsmj - Tn.

We have been big Royal Hideaway fans for years. This was about our 10th visit. Royal Hideaway has been a special place that has been very different from other resorts. We had a very enjoyable and... Read more relaxing visit but this time was different. Things are changing some good and some bad. The staff is absolutely wonderful! There were many new faces and some of the old faces were missing. This is concerning since some of the staff we have know for years. I wonder what happened. The resort is undergoing some maintenance which is needed. This was only a problem once when the chain saw was going near the pool. Repeat visitors will find some things are no more. Gone are the tasting menus, beach service flags, pool side sax player, "Love is in the Air" and the wonderful breakfast buffet. I also heard the word "no". There was a problem with chair hogs. I saw chairs set empty but saved for 5 hours! Some days there we no two chairs together at the pool. This needs to be stopped. As in the past I e mailed to request a quite room. We have found in the past that rooms near the neighboring resorts can be loud. When we arrived we found we had been assigned a room overlooking the Riu. We ask to be changed but we're told no since there were no other room available. I am not sur that I believe that. Surprisingly the Riu was not loud. It has been redone and looks quite nice! The food is still excellent. I do believe the dinners are even better than before. The breakfast is just not as good. I loved the buffet at Spices. It had everything. The buffet at the deck is just not nearly as nice. We will return but I am not sure that we will be returning multiple times. I feel like we have lost our home in Mexico. Read less

5 of 5 stars
Nov 29, 2015 - charlotte97 - Kansas City, Missouri

This property never disappoints and we keep going back. Outstanding staff includes: Christian-Isis-Elizabeth-Ivan-Eduardo-William-Armando-Misael-Claudia-Luis... Read more x3-Jhonny-Tulia-Fabiola-Domingo-Ricardo-Joanna concierge-Angel-Hector Medina concierge-Humberto at Las Ventanas- Erick-Rudolpho-Humberto (and others; all are GREAT). With the change in ownership from Occidental to Barcelo, Teresa Aflonso is the new manager, and we observed her throughout the property becoming acclimated and dining in restaurants. The extraordinarily high rate of return guests attests to the exquisite level of service. On each trip we have made new friends with whom we remain in contact. As other reviewers have stated, should you want a loud, raucous party atmosphere, this is not the place for you. There is an elegant and serene environment throughout the property that is relaxing and enjoyable accompanied by a fabulous beach and a superlative level of service. Since our September 2015 visit, we read that there is at least one major change: the breakfast buffet service has changed to a la carte. We must admit that since ALL other meal service is a la carte and quite leisurely, we enjoyed the casual atmosphere of the breakfast buffet and will sorely miss that aspect should the change become permanent. At dinner on our last night, we dined at Las Ventanas and enjoyed a spectacular grilled lobster and filet mignon entrée; it was fabulous!!! Humberto was our server that evening and his service was equally spectacular. On this and all previous trips my husband was treated me to a spa treatment and I always enjoy the peaceful the environment there. The estheticians are wonderful and provide great services. We understand that under the new management there are plans to expand the spa and fitness center. While we were there in early September 2015, we observed needed exterior building repairs taking place. The grounds continue to be immaculately maintained and it is always a treat to see the coati animals. Read less

4 of 5 stars
Nov 29, 2015 - traveledwell - Louisiana

We've been coming to the Royal Hideaway since not long after it opened over 15 years ago. We do not review the resort after every visit; as a matter of fact, it has been many years since posting an... Read more RH review and it is time to post another from our most recent stay. Know that we will return next year and we look forward to what the RH will become - we're sure there will be changes. There were many "experiments" going on during our visit - some positive, some not. Our hope is that not only potential patrons read this review, but management reads it also as it may be helpful in guiding them to understand why their repeat customers keep coming back and what they expect. Our understanding is that the RH (and Occidental as a whole) has been acquired by a large Spanish based hotelier, has received an influx of much needed capital to make improvements and also has new management in place. We've seen many transitions and changes at the RH in past years, yet this one seems "bigger" and may have more impact on what the RH will be in the future. We hope the vision of an exclusive and unique RH experience the new management has meets that of the resort's long time patrons. Below is our honest review. Check In - was different this time. Instead of sitting at a reception desk to check-in, we were ushered to the reception area sofas. There was one person servicing 3 couples at the same time. He moved back and forth between bringing scented towels, champagne and interfacing with the desk staff (whose customer chairs sat empty) to get our check in information. This was awkward, inefficient and took more time than what we normally experience. In addition, in our case, there were benefits that came with our reservation package that were not even mentioned during this process - and unfortunately we weren't made aware of them until we checked out. The relaxing and thorough check in that we are accustomed to was a lesser experience this time. Room - We have always like the RH rooms. The villa set up is quaint and the rooms are well laid out. This is our home away from home and we found the room to meet our needs, as usual. The bed is still comfortable, pillows are nice, housekeeping is good, mini bar service is consistent enough and A/C is cold. There is major, much needed construction going on to restore/maintain the villa exteriors, which to a keen eye have fallen into some disrepair. Because of this, some of the villas were not available during our stay. We feel this renovation is a positive improvement which preserves the architecture we've come to love over the years. Landscape - The landscape is also being updated. Gardeners were working from dawn to dark. Ground cover was ripped out and replaced with sod and border shrubbery. New bromeliads were being planted. This didn't bother us in the least. We look forward to seeing the final product. The grounds are so lovely at RH, we marvel at the landscape every time we visit. We hope the lushness of and privacy created by the landscaping remains. Concierge - Our concierge was really outstanding this trip. She had high expectations which she held the other staff members to. If something wasn't right, she fixed it, communicated well with us and made good on her promises to us. We would go so far as to ask to be located in the villa she is responsible for in order to have a similarly pleasant concierge experience next time. We feel RH management should take care to hire well and train these employees properly if they wish the role they play to be something special for their guests - something that sets them apart from other resorts that offer personal concierge or butlers. Pools and Beach - Both were as expected. Pool temps were good and they were clean, including the private pools. Chairs were comfortable and in good working order at both beach and pool. There was quite a bit of seaweed in the sea this trip. It was raked very early most mornings. The beach area seems to widen every time we visit. It's one of the loveliest in the Playa area and a big asset for the RH. Pool/Beach Service - Over the last decade, we've seen service at the pools and beaches as hit or miss. Some wait staff is just better than others and seem to take their jobs more seriously and/or are happier employees. This year was no different. Some were great, others not so much. We're fine walking to the bar to get water or a drink, however we've always thought RH aims to provide an above average service experience which they have difficulty executing consistently. We did see some of RH's long time waiters still working there. It says something to us about the quality of the establishment and its' management when service personnel stays with one resort for a long period of time - especially in Mexico. We do wonder if the new management will bring a new regime of middle managers and service personnel from other resorts at the expense of those workers who have invested many years at the resort and provide excellent service. Hopefully this won't be the case. Activity Staff - is mostly new. They tried hard to meet the guests and get them involved in planned activities. There were some newer concept, late afternoon beach parties that guests seemed to enjoy very much. I think the new activities staff have plans to liven up the RH a bit. Activities/Entertainment - We felt the entertainment was much better and more professional than in recent years. Evening singers/bands/combos were very good (some were even outstanding) and well attended. The theater was closed while we were there. We believe it is getting a very much needed renovation. Some activities are no longer present during the day- bingo, guacamole making, pottery painting, organized beach horseshoes/bocce/ volleyball, sax by the pool in the afternoon, ice cream cart, frozen fruit in the afternoon, "Love is in the air" concierge dance. Others still exist: water aerobics, yoga, bicycle tours. The new white party and Mexican parties were fun and people really seemed to like them. The bike storage area has moved which makes bikes harder to access - helmets and vests are now a requirement. This is ridiculous as patrons drop the helmets off to their room before leaving the property when they opt to ride without them - which is just about everyone. I'd love to see them bring back beach cruiser bikes with big seats and big baskets. Food- the big change this year was the breakfast buffet moving to the deck and Spices offering an a la carte menu for breakfast. The buffet offerings were about the same as previous years, except for one day when RH "experimented" with a very limited selection (no variety of fresh fruit platters, cheese/meat platters, or large assortment of hot foods) and offered a la carte ordering too. Perhaps this was meant to control costs or eliminate wasted food. Either way, staff seemed confused that day; the experiment wasn't well executed; even so we personally didn't mind the change except for the elimination of the fruit platters. Really missed the fresh papaya. Spices seemed very underutilized to us since the buffet was no longer there. We enjoyed going up to Spices for the buffet on previous trips, however we also enjoyed the option of two breakfast establishments that were close together - Spices could take overflow from the deck, which made sense to us. Some of our favorites were off the deck's lunch menu this year and so we found new favorites. The ceviche varieties were very nice. The flatbread and salmon salad were good. Our old stand-by, calamari, changed again (probably the 10th time in so many years) to a thickly battered ring. We much prefer the light panko coating with small, crispy pieces that include the tentacles too. As has always been the case, if you don't see what you want on any menu, ask. Staff will, more than likely, try to get it for you. Other restaurants - We find that dinner food quality has been steadily improving over the last few years. The Grill and Palazzo were the stand outs for us this year. Palazzo had the most consistent food and best service this trip. The quality of the Grill's meats were much improved, along with their ability to properly prepare the meats. Asia's sushi was much fresher than it has been in the past. Ventanas is a favorite of ours, yet the menu is getting old and it needs to be rejuvenated. When first opened as a concept restaurant Ventanas was outstanding. Bring back Foie Gras as an appetizer! Ventanas used to be a very special restaurant. This trip, some of Ventanas food was so over salted, the bread was stale, and service was hit and miss. All was mentioned to wait staff and Maître'd, apologies were given, yet we saw no changes during subsequent visits. Food execution and service quality was not up to par this trip. This happens at restaurants everywhere of course, yet it leaves customers disappointed regardless of where it happens. Miscellaneous Items - Surprisingly, we heard the words "no", "we don't have that", "we can't do/get that" more this year than in past years. House wine selections were very mediocre. One common wine variety was not offered at all due to a problem with a supplier, yet no alternative of the same variety was offered while the problem was being rectified. We found this to be an inappropriate response at a LHW property and another brand of wine should have been substituted. Chair/beach bed saving was always something RH frowned heavily upon, yet it has become more and more prevalent over the years. RH management needs to decide what their policy regarding this is and hold fast to their decision, including enforcing/empowering their employees to enforce it if chair saving is not allowed. This resort, in our opinion, is better than those in the area where the "chair game" is played and allowed. We've seen books, water bottles and shoes placed on chairs as early as 5 AM, and people not occupying those chairs for 5 hours or more. One recent year a selfless couple saved a non-presidential suite beach bed by leaving their belongings on the bed overnight, every night of their stay. This particular trip, occupancy was quite low and chairs/beds were easy to obtain, yet patrons still felt they had some right to reserve their favorite spots well in advance of the time their behinds touched the chairs. RH WiFi has been and still is the worst in all of Playa. Performing simple things such as quickly checking email is a monumental task and it shouldn't be at a high end resort. You cannot stay connected for a reasonable period of time and must log in constantly (and even power cycle your device often). We sure hope this changes with the new management. So, in closing, we had many excellent and very good experiences along with a few poor experiences during this trip. We still adore the Royal Hideaway and know it surpasses similar area resorts even with it's quirks and shortcomings. We will return in 2016 and hope to see both needed changes and preserved traditions at the resort. Read less

4 of 5 stars
Nov 27, 2015 - Jennifer L - Denver, Colorado

We originally looked at vacationing at one of the mega resorts, and after reading reviews that you needed a tram to move around the property, we searched for a small, adult-only place and found Royal... Read more Hideaway Playacar. If you are looking for pool games and blaring music as you soak up the sun, this isn't the resort for you. The number of repeat visitors to this hotel says a lot! While many of the reviews commented on the care of the property, it is under new ownership and it is obvious there is a big commitment to the grounds and upkeep of the hotel. Our only real complaint - better pillows! Read less

5 of 5 stars
Nov 25, 2015 - Mackenzie C

Wow. Just wow. My best friend and I (two females) went here to celebrate her 40th birthday. We arrived to a warm welcome of champagne and cookies. Check in was seamless; we were able to divide the... Read more expenses between our two credit cards, which made it easy. We were escorted to our room--an ocean view that we didn't even request--and it was breathtaking. The rooms are a bit on the small side, but all we did in our rooms was sleep and shower. Walking through the grounds, we were just mesmerized by the beauty of the landscaping and the amazing color of the ocean in the distance. Everything about this place is beautiful. One small downside was the noise from outside the room that made its way in through the door. Because we had separate beds, I was next to the door, and it was loud. If people talked or even closed a door in the atrium, I woke up. I would suggest earplugs, for sure. They would have helped me a lot. I imagine this isn't as much of an issue in a room with only a king bed because you'd be further away from the door. We were introduced to our amazing concierge, Roberto, who was AWESOME throughout our stay. Seeing his smiling face every day was a pleasure! Like any good vacation should be, the days kind of blurred together. We did the Mexican fiesta night, which was a highlight for us. I guess it may have been a little cheesy, but I liked it anyway. The Italian restaurant wasn't the most spectacular, but our waiter was amazing and gave us all sorts of top-shelf tequilas to try. That was awesome. (We may have received a bit of special attention because we were two females at what is clearly a mostly couples resort.) We ate at the grill quite often along with the poolside lunches, which were also a highlight for us. The food is so fresh and authentic-- I really loved it. We couldn't score reservations to the signature restaurant, but everywhere we ate was good. I can't complain at all. The beach is where we spent most of our time--lounging, walking, relaxing. What a beautiful beach. I really loved the little umbrella things because I have super fair skin. I just tucked my little self inside and read, napped, people-watched, and totally relaxed. All of the beach service people are great--takes a little time, but who cares? You're on vacation in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The pool is pretty awesome too. There were some pretentious older people there, but in the end, everyone was really nice, and we made a lot of friends. One thing that I think bears mentioning is that the resort aired a big boxing match in the theatre for its patrons. I'm not a big boxing fan, but we made several friends while we were there, so we went with them. This is one of those "above-and-beyond" entertainment things that the Hideaway didn't HAVE to do, but they did it to make the people happy. It probably cost them thousands of dollars for the alcohol they served, but man, was it a good time! We did massages--they were good. Not spectacular, but relaxing. We tipped everyone because we wanted to, but in the end, we don't think we got better service because of it. This is the way it should be. We ventured off-resort several times to explore Playa, which I highly recommend. We shopped, we danced, we tried to buy tickets to a festival that was sold out. If there is a downside to this resort, the nightlife would be it. There is a bar on resort with live music, which we quickly dubbed "The boring bar". Damn, it's boring. We made our way to a salsa club in Playa a few times, and it did not disappoint! Amazing, fun music, dance lessons, and the true flavor of Mexico. If you want to have fun--like loud, party fun--you have to take a cab downtown. But it's almost better that way, I think. The resort is quiet, romantic, relaxing. Maybe a bit boring. We were OK with that--we found our fun elsewhere. Don't miss out on this place. I felt pampered every minute. There was no stress, no pressure, no worry. It's truly a retreat, a hideaway from the stress and anxiety that most of us experience daily in our "normal" lives. What a special place this is with special people who work there. I do think everyone loves their jobs, and it really shines through. I will definitely be back soon! Read less

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