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Royal Hideaway Resort, Playa del Carmen, Mexico F-7-7-7

Pampered in Playa del Carmen


Thomas R. & Deborah A. Fletcher

Muffled giggles drift across the water--giggles arising from lovers' shared secrets. Plying the turquoise Caribbean waters in their kayak built for two, enraptured in the presence of one another, the couple doesn't even notice the para-sailor soaring through the air a thousand yards beyond them.

Royal Hideaway Resort, Playa del Carmen, Mexico F-7-5-4It is doubtful they are cognizant of the dancing island--Cozumel--dancing on the edge of the horizon like a desert mirage in the earth's ascending heat vapors. They surely don't hear the joyous laughter of the children playing a game in the pool directly behind us. Toes in the sand, sun caressing our skin; the waitress just handed us another icy drink, such is the scene on the Yucatan Peninsula at Royal Hideaway Playacar in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

The Yucatan Peninsula juts out into the Atlantic providing the land barrierRoyal Hideaway Resort, Playa del Carmen, Mexico F-7-7-11 between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea . The low-lying land mass takes in the entire country of Belize , part of Guatemala , and the southeastern segment of Mexico . The area was home to the ancient Mayan people and Mayan ruins are found throughout the region. The climate is hot and humid but moderated by the cooling trade winds.

Cancun, a favorite destination of the jet-set, on the Yucatan has been booming with tourists for years. Cancun is overly developed, from our point of view, and the popularity of the "Mayan Riviera" meant that expansion was bound to come. It was only natural that people would desire an area with fewer people--Playa del Carmen meets that desire. About a 40 minute drive Royal Hideaway Resort, Playa del Carmen, Mexico F-7-5-10 from Cancun, the town was once a small fishing village, noted by tourists mostly for the fact that it was the mainland launching point for the Cozumel ferry boat. However, it wasn't long before folks took notice of Playa del Carmen's long, white beaches. Why make the 12-mile ferry crossing with the excellent beaches here? Cozumel is still Mexico 's most popular diving destination and the island makes for a great day-trip for those staying in "Playa," as the locals refer to the area. There are some excellent shopping opportunities in the town, especially in the area of leather goods and handicrafts. Royal Hideaway Playacar opened in January 1999. The polished marble floors, highRoyal Hideaway Resort, Playa del Carmen, Mexico F-7-5-9 ceilings, and lovely chandeliers greeting guests in the reception area immediately declare "luxury," as do the marble double sinks in the rooms and the plush robes embroidered with the Royal Hideaway logo. We found the five-star resort to be top quality in every way.

The hallmark of Royal Hideaway is the service. Staff members tend to guests' needs before the guests realize they have needs. Staff servers make their rounds by the pools and beach to ensure that guests do Royal Hideaway Resort, Playa del Carmen, Mexico F-7-2-13 not have to move to get another drink or snack. Each villa complex has a concierge who handles dinner reservations, books off-site excursions, and, in general sees that guests are pampered. There are enough activities to keep even the most active person busy: a well-equipped fitness center, bicycling, volleyball, basketball, tennis, kayaking, swimming, windsurfing, and snorkeling just begin the list. The property has two swimming pools and three "relaxing" pools, several restaurants and the Beach Club, which offers a variety of sandwiches and snacks all day long. The all-inclusive price includes pick-up and drop-off at the airport, food, drink, accommodations, and activities. The price depends upon several factors such as the city one flies from and the type of accommodation chosen (one and two bedroom suites are available, as are two "Presidential Suites"). The advantage to choosing an all-inclusive vacation is knowing the exact cost of the entire vacation up front.Royal Hideaway Resort, Playa del Carmen, Mexico F-7-2-8

The theme is relaxation and the toughest decision guests may face is choosing the restaurant for dinner--and one does not find buffet lines here. Ventanas features Continental cuisine and was our choice for breakfast each morning. Palazzo is the resort's Italian restaurant. Azia is the place to check out Thai and Oriental cuisine, and not to be missed is Spices, featuring Mexican and Caribbean dishes. Twice a week a dinner theatre is offered at Club Royale.

Security on the property is excellent. Ladies sunbathe alone. People leave expensive cameras on their lounge chairs while going for a dip in the ocean. Royal Hideaway invites guests to leave their hectic world behind, to be immersed in a world of relaxation and pampering.



Occidental Hotels & Resorts

Phone: 1-800-999-9182 for pricing information.

Web Site:

Land and Air packages are available from several major US cities.


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Cowen, WV 26206

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