We were so excited to arrive at the Royalton Riviera Maya. It is a short drive to the resort from the Cancun Airport, roughly 15-20 min. If you have ever exited the Cancun Airport to the mass of people, than you will definitely understand how overwhelming this can be. Our travel advice is to ensure your transportation is booked prior to your trip, if you do not, it is possible to find a taxi, however it is just a hassle and can be difficult. Your transportation will exit the highway and turn onto a small drive where security will look for the name of your party on a welcome list. There is a long road over a beautiful area full of mangroves, of which we were told is flooded often. The entrance to the resort is very grand with many eager visitors being dropped off each day and many sunburnt travelers leaving just the same. We would have loved a welcome drink, upon entering the resort. However, for those thirsty guests, there is beautiful lobby bar directly to the right of the entrance.
We actually arrived at the Royalton from a different resort in Cancun. There was a blizzard that would close the Denver airport and cancel all flights for several days. This is common for spring break travel; as you never know with Colorado weather. We were able to fly out prior to the blizzard and thus had to book a different resort for a couple days. This meant we could have arrived at the Royalton at any time that morning and thought arriving at the Royalton around 1PM in the afternoon would be a great time. We checked in on a Sunday and the lobby was packed. The resort staff did everything they could to get people checked in, however it took a while. There were two large Spring break trips at the resort and it seemed as if college kids were everywhere, we turned. I was a college student for 8 years and understand their excitement of the anticipation a trip to Mexico can bring. I even took a spring break trip to Cancun once, but I had forgotten how rowdy and loud they can be. That statement is also coming from a mom of three children ages 8, 7 and 6 who themselves can turn into major sour patch kids at the drop of a dime.
We eventually reached the front of the check in line and after signing all the papers, you will receive your wristband that will distinguish the three types of guests at the hotel and also double as your room key. There are different color bands for the Hideaway adults only guests, the Diamond club guests, and the general guests. At check in, make sure the band is secured tightly to your wrist, within 30 min of receiving our bands 2 of them fell off our children. We had to return to the main lobby and have them secured again. There is a large fee if any band is lost, including the children’s bands, so do not lose these during your stay.
We were able to check in, the bellhops held our luggage, and our family went to have lunch and drinks by the pool for a couple hours. It is not the best situation to have 5 passports, 5 iPads, 2 iPhones, a laptop and all our important documents, with us by the pool, however it was the situation we were in. We did not know that there were hospitality rooms available and were not offered one. If you arrive early or have a late flight out and this is an option to you, please take it. These rooms have a bathroom with a shower and you will be given a room key to that room, it is a great service. While we waited for our room, we had an amazing lunch at a food truck by the main pool, we were able to release the kids to the pool and slides. Mom and dad were able to grab a couple smoothies and relax under an umbrella. Make sure to check out our blog on all the amazing food we had at The Royalton.
I also wanted to mention the resort credits. When we booked the Royalton, we were told that we would receive $300 in resort credits. We have been to many all-inclusive resorts and sometimes these credits can be used as the same as cash. At a previous resort, we were able to use the $200 credit directly towards a massage and paid a $25 plus tip for an hour-long beach massage. This is really an amazing perk, that we look for when booking a resort. The Royalton does resort credits a bit differently, but similar to some resorts. We were not given the credits at check in and had to come back and request them. Guests are given a booklet of coupons in the form of credits, for example there is a coupon for $25 towards a $250 massage. There is a coupon for $50 towards a room upgrade, as well as a $25 credit towards upgrades at dinner. All of the coupons together make up the $300 in resort credits, therefore you need to spend to save.
We checked back to the main lobby around 3 to see if our room was ready. At this time, we were also able to schedule our COVID tests. In order to return to the States, a negative COVID test is a requirement. Scheduling is simple, just scan the QR code at guest services and register each member of your party separately. After this, you will be emailed a date and time in a separate email for each guest in your party, the COVID test can be any time within 72 hours of your departure flight. Our test was the afternoon before we left. It took about 60 min to test all five members of our party and we got the results within 15 min of testing. As mentioned, our children are 8, 7, and 5. They have been tested several times for COVID, in the States and they all thought this test was a lot easier. The Q-tip was barely placed in their nose and only put in one nostril. The tester seemed to go a little deeper and harder for the adults, but as long as they are gentle with the kids, I can handle it.
As far as the COVID precautions, the resort ensures that every room is deep cleaned and let air out for a time period to ensure it is properly disinfected. The resort staff make sure that each and every table is properly cleaned after each guest. At each restaurant, the hostess will give each guest some hand sanitizer prior to seating them. We have traveled several times during COVID and this was by far the most relaxed resort when it came to mask wearing. Guests are asked to wear their masks while walking to their table and while inside buildings. We saw many guests talking very close to resort employees without masks on. As a family, we wore our masks all the time except outside at the beach and pool or to snap a quick picture.
After we booked the COVID tests, we were also able to book dinner reservations for that night. There is a specific website you will go to that is only for guests of the hotel. You find this site from a QR code at guest services. The QR codes for restaurants and COVID tests are next to each other. If technology is not your thing you are able to go to guest services and they will also book your restaurants. However, here is why you will want to get to know the website. At 7 AM, every morning, the reservations open for the restaurants that night. You will want to set an alarm and make sure to sign on at 7AM. It will bring up the number of guests, the restaurant and the times available. We had no problem booking the times we wanted and the restaurants we wanted. For reference, we ate dinner at Hunter’s Steakhouse, Taj (Indian food), Zen (Japanese food), and Agave (Mexican) and loved them all. As a side note, there is a Teppanyaki dinner show at Zen. We did not know this when we booked the Zen and wished we had. As we sat at Zen and ate our sushi, we heard the shouts and cheers of other guests enjoying the show. This show would have to be booked in the comment section of the website or at guest services. Good Luck.
Our room was ready and we found it on the fourth floor of building 8. We requested a pool or ocean view and were able to switched halfway through our stay. Our first room overlooked the mangroves and the room was beautiful. It was very clean with two queen beds and a pull-out couch. The room had plenty of space for our family of five, with even more room on the spacious balcony. The shower had double rain showers and a little bench to sit on. The shampoos and conditioners were large sizes and great quality. We loved everything about the room, however we did not notice until bed time that there was nothing on the bed, but a thin sheet. We love to sleep with the fan on and the AC, having a single thin sheet seemed weird. Every resort is different and we just thought, that this was how the resort rolled. We did not notice until we switched rooms that housekeeping had forgotten to put our blankets for both beds on all together.
We were told that our luggage would be following us to our room. We had been in our room for about an hour, before we called the front desk and asked the ETA for our bags. The bags came about 15 min later and my husband signed for the bags. He was a bit distracted and did not notice that we had been given an extra suitcase. We called the front desk and told them that we had an extra bag and asked that the bell hops come to retrieve it. The bell hop came and took the bag, he asked if we had all our bags and we said yes, we just had an extra bag. He left and about 5 minutes later there was another knock on the door. The bell hop actually was mad at my husband for not checking the bags and told my husband that he was now in trouble. I understand that my husband made a mistake and said we had all our bags when we had an extra, however getting mad at a guest is not professional.
We were able to shower and clean up after a day at the beach and headed to the Zen, the Japanese restaurant for dinner. The restaurants are a short walk from any room on the property. The majority of restaurants are all centrally located and it takes roughly 5-8 min to walk anywhere. We were able to explore the resort at dusk and take some amazing pictures. Predinner is the best time to walk the beach take in the sunset and be thankful for the time spent with family.
We headed to back to our room with full bellies and sandy toes, with everyone being asleep by 9. We were lucky that our children were so tired they slept through the night, however the adults in our room were not as lucky. Unfortunately, that night we were awoken at roughly midnight and kept up through 3AM. Remember those college Spring breakers from check-in? Well, they were all very drunk at this point of the night. Our room was at the corner of building 8 and the hallways of buildings 7 and 8 are connected. This leads to long chambers that amplify the girls gone wild screams. It seemed like there were 50 people just running up and down the halls and shouting at each other. Throughout our stay, we talked to many families that had the same problem. Many parents left their rooms in their PJs to ask these drunk kids to please be quiet. We wished that the hotel had a quiet hour’s sign, maybe from midnight to 5 AM to please respect the other guests that are trying to sleep. The noise was so bad and it was every night of our stay, if you are staying at this resort please be aware of this and avoid buildings 7 or 8.
We had a great first day at the Royalton Riviera Maya Resort. We thought the staff tried very hard to please all their guests and keep them happy. We thoroughly enjoyed the food, drinks, pools, and activities. Our overall rating was 4/5 and this was mainly because of situations out of the resort’s control, such as the beach being covered in seaweed and the loud noises very late every night. We would recommend this hotel to all, families, couples, weddings, etc. Please be on the lookout for future blogs, Instagram posts, and YouTube videos all relating to the Royalton Riviera Maya. If you would like more information on booking this resort, we would love to help you get a great deal at Perfect Misadventures Travel, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org