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The Royal in Playa del Carmen, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

My friend and I stayed at The Royal in Playa del Carmen in September '14, an adults-only all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It was unbelievable! They had everything from a jacuzzi in the room to a man walking around the huge pool cleaning your sunglasses and giving you frozen grapes!

Food: The food was delicious (which is a huge thing for me). We ate at Maria Marie, Il Mediterraneo, Asiana, and Spice (buffet). It was fun trying different foods, but they also had all typical stuff, too. We even had a $100 Romance Credit, so we got to have steak and lobster on the beach with a jazz band playing. That was amazing. (But the food was the least good that night.) The snack bar was good for in-between meals. There were two other restaurants (Tapas and Pelicanos) that we didn't like the menu of - and a third (Chef's Plate) that was an additional $80 per person, so we didn't go to those three. You can also go to the restaurants of the sister hotel across the street.

Drinks: They had so many bars (although we mainly used the poolside and swim-up bars) and there was never a wait for the drinks like I've seen at other hotels. We usually stuck to mojitos, mango margaritas, and mango-tango daiquiris, all of which were fabulous. There is also a fully stocked mini fridge in the room. I never got sick from the water -- because I never actually swallowed it. (I used bottled water to brush my teeth.) There's also a place called The Coffee House, where they serve Starbucks coffee! I got an iced caramel macchiato with whipped cream every day!

Luxury: Like I said, there was a jacuzzi in our room...and frozen grapes/sunglass cleaning at the main pool. We were wow'ed by that. There are also poolside and beachside beds you can reserve (or take if no one is there)! That was amazing. All the rooms come with a hammock on the balcony, which my boyfriend went nuts for. The maid service was top-notch -- our maid even lit candles and incense for us, laid out our slippers, and left us towel animals with Hershey kisses with a note that read "Sweet dreams"! Also, every time you pass a worker, they put their hand on this chest and kind of bow to you. It was so cool.

Cleanliness: The resort, bathrooms, restaurants, and hotel room were all extremely clean. I am a germaphobe, and constantly look for signs of uncleanness -- which I never found. Additionally, we always had clean (huge) towels and a replenishment of mini fridge and shower items.

I would HIGHLY recommend this resort to others -- especially couples. There are no children allowed, so there's no screaming or crying, and everyone around you is having an awesome time. Plus free wifi with a strong signal EVERYWHERE! You're also right in the town of Playa del Carmen, which is really fun and upbeat, and directly on the beach. The resort will also help you to book excursions. We did ours through Olympus, and snorkeled to see life-sized sea turtles, cave snorkeled, ziplined, rappelled, and swam with dolphins. All in all, my boyfriend and I would definitely go back to The Royal when visiting Mexico! It was very romantic and we had a ton of fun!

*Negative Aspects:

1. The beach has a sulfuric smell, like eggs, that I did not like. I pretty much got used to it, but that was kind of gross. Also, there are rocks in the ocean to the right of the beach, so pay attention to the signs and only enter to the left of the jet skis.

2. The professional photos (with parrots, toucan, iguana, romantic beach pictures, etc) are VERY expensive. They are $9-$15 per photo and claim that you cannot haggle.

3. If they ask to give you a tour of the resort, say No. They are trying to sell you a time share.

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean front room. Ocean view is nice, but it's a tiny view of the ocean.

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