Yes! You are reading this correctly! We just returned from our 40th stay at Royal Hideaway, which we consider to be our second home. Our previous visit, our 39th was just a few weeks ago in January. We spent two weeks at RH in January and 12 days there in February, and each visit was incredible. Unfortunately, we had to return to fulfill professional employment obligations, back here in New York. What a pity! Our 41st and 42nd visits are already planned and dates have been confirmed.
We are so excited about some of the very new and recent developments at RH, and would like to share them with you.
First of all, RH has all new beach and pool lounge chairs and tables that are oh so comfortable, as well as sleek and modern. They are much lighter in weight than those previously there, affording guests the opportunity to reposition them towards or away from the sun as they so desire, as well as providing ease with the ability to adjust the angle of the chair to suit your comfort level…Are you chatting with someone, reading, having a drink or lunch, or taking a nap? It is all very easy to be in the perfect spot, and positioned at your comfort level, with the new lounge chairs.
The tables and chairs at the Deck (restaurant open for lunch and snacks) are all new sleek and modern designs, and they too are very comfy! The Allegria bar has had the outside seating area totally revamped with modern, really comfortable chairs, love seats and couches. Seating is plentiful.
Entertainment was available practically every night. Of the 26 nights that we were there during January and February, entertainment was planned for 25 of those nights, and on the one evening during which formal entertainment was not planned CD music was available in the Allegria bar. Entertainment included:, a Mexican show, (typical cultural dances and songs) An African show(A la Lion King), an International show(Think Cirque de Soleil meets Las Vegas Revue), singers, dancers, karaoke, Latin trio, saxophone player accompanied by jazz, singers/musical duos, salsa, piano players , guitarists, cello players, etc. All in all, the evening’s entertainment was consistently plentiful and provided for a great culmination to sun filled days of relaxation, fun, fabulous service and incredible dining!
The rooms, which are all in a villa format, have flat screen televisions, and I pod docking stations, as well as new wireless phones, desks and accessories. Each villa has a concierge, who is your go to person, for everything and anything that you wish or require while at Royal Hideaway. He or she will take care of all of your dinner reservations, arrange for any excursions that you wish to take, confirm your flights, etc. Be sure to let him/her know if you are celebrating a special occasion, and you just might be nicely surprised.
The menu at the Deck is new and innovative and offers many organic items, as well as fresh fish, gluten free and vegetarian options. Some of the new items include: tuna tartar, served with fresh seaweed salad, cashew nuts, and rice balls; delicious sesame seared salmon served with spinach salad (wow!); Portobello mushroom burger served with gluten free bun (you can always have a regular bun if you wish) and the most delectable sweet potato fries; fresh shrimp or seafood cocktails, bagels and lox, shrimp soup, Mediterranean salad with fresh feta cheese (great with grilled chicken), Reuben sandwiches, etc. Of course you can always have the traditional delicious dishes, such as juicy burgers, barbecue ribs, calamari, tasty name your own pizzas, chicken wings, chicken fingers, etc. Most days there was also a grill available that featured items such as: paella, with sangria (GREAT SANGRIA); fresh grilled fish, shrimp, burgers, oh much too delicious ribs, chicken, steak, salads etc.
If you want a change of pace, you can always choose to enjoy a traditional Mexican lunch (you are in Mexico after all) upstairs at Spices. You can dine alfresco on the terrace or indoors enjoying the fresh and cool air-conditioning as you are served intoxicating and delicious margaritas (or beverage of your choice) in clear lovely stemware and traditional Mexican fare on colorful Mexican pottery. Service here, as it is in all of the restaurants, is wonderful. You may decide to take a break from the sun and cool off indoors. Request a window seat in the cupola and you will have the spectacular view of beach and majesty of the ocean right before your eyes. Don’t forget to look up at the really unique animal chandelier. Save room for the flan for dessert.
We enjoyed spectacular dinners at all of the restaurants at RH. Let me tell you about each of them.
Ventanas: This is the International restaurant that features a sleek and modern piano bar, offering all top shelf options. The pianist is quite talented and, yes, they serve Grey Goose, as well as many other high end options. Be sure to try the peach Bellini’s or the crisp cucumber martinis… Yummy! It is a great spot in which to enjoy a before or after dinner drink, and chat with new friends, regardless of where you are enjoying dinner that evening. Starters at Ventanas include shrimp ad Portobello with pasta and pesto sauce (great!) duck Magret, gnocchi, delicious cheesy rice, essence of tomato with lamb ravioli, salad etc. Entrees include: steaks, chops, seafood, fresh fish, (sea bass, salmon) chicken, etc. You have the option of trying the tasting menu that provides you with a little bit of most everything. It is your vacation, and your choice. Feel free to make your own tasting menu and design the options in which you wish to indulge. You may wish to save room for the chocolate roll with peaches and ice-cream, the banana cylinder, the pistachio soufflé, an assortment of cheeses, fabulous coconut ice cream, or a combination of several of these yummy delights. You are on vacation after all, and calories don’t count here!!!
Palazzo: This is the Italian restaurant that is quite romantic and many evenings it features a cello player, or a violinist to play as you dine. If you sit outdoors on the terrace, you have the most magnificent view of Cozumel, as you are under the stars. Appetizers include: Cesar salad, pancetta with grilled vegetables, Vognole(clam) soup, pumpkins soup, squash blossom soup, a variety of pasta including, ravioli, gnocchi, seafood pasta, black truffle pasta, pasta pure and simple, etc. Entrees include: Filet Mignon, Osso bucco, pork, chicken, tuna, and grouper etc. This is just a sample of the availabilities. A fabulous and very varied tasting menu is available here as well. This provides you with the opportunity to sample a bit of all of the menu favorites. Do you have special dietary needs, allergies, or restrictions? Be sure to let the waiter know, and every effort will be made to meet and exceed your requests. This of course holds true for all of the restaurants at RH.The tiramisu is really delicious and is my husband’s favorite. I am a coconut ice cream with a bit of real chocolate on top, kind of girl!
Azia: This option offers Japanese, Asian, Thai, Chinese, sushi, cuisine. You have the option of dining at the teppanaki table where the chef prepares the meal right in front of you on the grill. This provides a nice opportunity for you to meet and mingle with other guests, if you wish. Watch and see if the chef catches the shrimp tails in his hat. You can sit at a private table and order whatever you wish as well. That is, if you dine at the teppanaki table (hibachi) you can order hibachi, sushi, fish, chicken, steak, shrimp etc. If you dine at your private table, you can order from the teppanaki menu. Your menu is not dictated by your seating. The fried rice with shrimp is oh so good! Do you want a more romantic and secluded experience? Ask to be seated in the tatami room, where you will be privately seated in traditional Asian surroundings. You will place your shoes in box prior to entering, and will be seated on low slung chairs (with backs) around a table. This is a unique and romantic opportunity for a private dinner. Of course; menu options are all yours here as well.
The Grill: This is an alfresco steak/ fresh fish and seafood restaurant overlooking the playa, and with a marvelous view of Cozumel.It is miraculously transformed from the Deck (the day restaurant) to this majesty of blue and white Mediterranean splendor. Starter offerings include: Caribbean seafood chowder, three chili ravioli, scallops and mushrooms, hearts of palm salad, tuna Carpaccio, etc. Main entrees feature a variety of fresh fish, steaks, surf and turf (shrimp and steak) brochettes, seafood, chicken; Argentinean grill (chops, sausage, steak etc). You can have any combination of items that you wish. Each entrée features a choice of fresh grilled tomatoes, vegetables, potatoes, rice etc. Save room for those scrumptious desserts, or perhaps an after dinner drink.
You may wish to grab an after dinner drink from the bar at The Grill and enjoy the romantic atmosphere of the beach and the Deck, with your partner.
Club Royale: This is the dinner theater experience where you will enjoy a show accompanied by dinner. While we were at RH during January and February, a Mexican show,(Mexican songs and dances) an African show (think Lion King) and an International show(think Cirque du Soleil meets a Las Vegas review) were offered at the Club Royale.Dinner options included a selection of appetizers , entrees(steak, fish, chicken seafood) and desserts. The venue here is most interesting and is reminiscent of a nightclub with secluded booths. Kind of cute! Full bar waiter service is provided both before and during the shows.
Spices: Spices is your traditional Caribbean/Mexican restaurant, where you can order, menu options unique to the Yucatan, where Royal Hideaway is located. The view from here in the evening is spectacular, as you have the opportunity to see the waves merge onto the sand, and view Cozumel ablaze in all its glory. Perhaps you will spot a cruise ship right before you. Remember to check out the Mexican coffee or perhaps a new tequila, or Margarita!
Breakfast restaurant options include Spices, with a full buffet that provides numerous options to please most every palate! Some of the options include: a full fresh tropical fruit selection. Try the mango as it is incredible. Yogurts, cereals, a full omelet station, an assortment of international cheeses and cold meats, fresh veggies, salads, capers, egg whites and yolks, olives, tomato and mozzarella, bacon, sausage, ham, an assortment of potatoes, scrambled eggs traditional Mexican fare,(tortillas, tamales, chiliquiles, black beans, etc.) are all on display. Try the delicious waffles, French toast and pancakes. Don’t forget the maple or perhaps the chocolate syrup as a topping. Of course a full bread table with fresh baguettes, breads, muffins, bagels, and a full pastry table, complete with cakes, cookies, croissants, scones, etc. are available. Still hungry? Enjoy as much as you like. There is a full bar available and we always toast the day with champagne and cranberry juice. You certainly have your options. Orange juice is fresh squeezed daily and on many days other unique option of fresh squeezed juices are offered. Great smoothies of all varieties are offered as well. Care for an espresso, cappuccino, a frappe or latte? It’s yours for the asking! Your server will want to know if there is anything else that he/she can do for you. Be sure to let him/her know if indeed there is.
In times of high occupancy, Ventanas is open for breakfast as well, and offers a full a la carte breakfast menu. A full bar is available, allowing you to enjoy the breakfast beverages of your choice. This is a more formal breakfast option.
Room service is available 24 hours a day and is completely included in your all inclusive experience.
Another fabulous dining experience is THE CHEF’S TABLE. Here you will be treated to a 12 course culinary extravaganza. This is like no other dining experience. You will be seated in an all white glass enclosed dining room facing the kitchen with cameras focused on each unique dish /course that is being prepared specifically for you on the granite counter directly in front of you in the kitchen. The CHEF”S TABLE MENU is dynamic and ever changing. Please let the Executive Chef, Eugenio, Villafana, know what you like, or of any dietary restrictions, or allergies that you may have. The Executive Chef, as well as any chef that is involved in the preparation of a dish, will enter the room, explain, the origins of the dish as well as its ingredients and will provide suggestions on the best way for you to savor the unique and distinct flavors and ingredients of each dish. This is a true gustatory delight that you will always remember. Wines can be paired with your dining experience. While this is not inclusive of the all inclusive features of RH, it is an option that is well worth its cost, and is perfect to celebrate any special occasion.
Romantic beach dinners can also be arranged for you, where the sand is swept so that only your footsteps (the two of you of course) are seen on the beautifully lighted path. Your dinner is served, surrounded by torchlight, by a private waiter on the beach. This is not inclusive of the all inclusive features; however, is truly a very romantic option.
Perhaps, you have had a wonderful day at the beach/pool, but still want to try something different. Enjoy high tea in the outdoor lobby, dining on fresh finger sandwiches, pastures, champagne, Mexican/Irish coffees, selection of teas, espresso, cappuccino, latte, or frappe etc.A course ,any cocktail of your choice is certainly available. While you are enjoying high tea you very well may have the wonderful pleasure of listening to a very talented saxophone player, Ariel. Ariel also often plays the saxophone mid afternoon, perhaps as you are lingering over a late lunch or just enjoying a drink at your lounge or floating around in one of the pools. He is quite accomplished and everyone really enjoys his music.
Do you want still another romantic secluded option? Stray away from the two main pools and visit one of the several small secluded private pools. You and your special someone can enjoy private time together. These pools are hardly used. Shhh!!! Don’t tell anyone else and they will remain all yours!
If you want to take part in yoga class, or water aerobics, they are both offered daily. Personally, I find that water aerobics is an activity that I genuinely enjoy, which actually offers some real exercise opportunity.
As you may have concluded by now, we are totally enamored with Royal Hideaway, and have been since we first visited RH, in the spring of 1999, subsequent to its opening in the fall of 1998. There is however, a renewed and palpapable pulse and heightened level of energy and enthusiasm that can now be felt by all the guests and the staff at Royal Hideaway. It is displayed in all that each staff member does to insure that each guest’s vacation is everything that each guest wishes it to be. We can’t wait to return to Royal Hideaway, and believe that once you have the opportunity to experience all that RH has to offer, you will feel that way as well! Hope to see you at Royal Hideaway very soon!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Award winning luxury all inclusive resort set along the beautiful beaches of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Ideal setting in a serene environment for complete rest and relaxation. Adults only. Member of The Leading Hotels of the World. 2008 winner of the coveted AAA 5 Diamond Award. 11 villas with private concierge are spread throughout the property's immaculate grounds. Six gourmet restaurants serve delicasies in menu-style dining. A full service spa offers the ultimate in papmering and body treatments. Personalzied service and attention to detail set this resort a world apart. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Royal Hideaway Playacar And Occidental Resorts
- Royal Hideaway Playa Del Carmen
- Royal Hideaway Mexico
- Occidental Royal Hideaway
- Royal Hideaway Playacar Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico