We returned to New York, May 10 th, after spending 15 wonderful days, at Royal Hideaway, where we celebrated my birthday. This was our 58 th visit to what we sincerely consider our home in Playa and our 5th visit since BarcelĂł acquired the property last May. We actually did the math, and figured out that we have spent 91 fabulous days at RH since BarcelĂł became the new owners. Soooooo â€¦. For all of you reading this, I want to let you know that Royal Hideaway is still be a wonderful place to vacation and here is why.
I know that you want to know what we continue to find so very special about Royal Hideaway. I can tell you that the staff is simply amazing. It is truly their mission, to insure that each and every guest has a fabulous time, and if there is anything any staff member can do to help you to achieve your very special time, he or she will do his / her utmost to make that happen.
Let me give you an example of several experiences that verify just how special everyone continues to be at RH. I was at breakfast one morning and was getting my selection from the buffet at Spices, when one of my shoes simply fell apart. They are not new (an oldie but a goody), and it seem that the glue that holds the strip across the toes melted. Well, the food and beverage manager saw me walking with one shoe on and holding the other one, when, he offered to take my shoe and have it repaired. And, repaired it was, within the day! How very special. I was truly impressed. Thank you Carlos.
We had Alfonso for our concierge the 1st day and he was so very helpful, gracious and professional in getting us settled and unpacked. In our humble opinion, he is a genuine asset to RH .Adrian, is also a new concierge, and he was our concierge for the duration of our visit. He was super professional, and went out of his way to ask if there was anything he could do for us. We also want to thank Joanna, who although not our concierge this visit, went out of her way to insure that my birthday was very special. Thank you Joanna, for the kindness and thoughtfulness that you extended. You are indeed a very special young woman.
We know another guest who was not feeling well, (she is doing fine now) and Roger, the Chief Concierge, made sure that she was promptly attended to by a doctor. He, and her concierge Alex, kept checking on her to insure that she was consistently feeling better.
These are the just some of the very special details that continue to insure that Royal Hideaway is our home in Playa.
There are many improvement projects under way, and beautification of the grounds has certainly taken place. The gardens are gorgeous and the small pools that are scattered throughout the property are pristine. New tiles have been placed on the stairs as well as the tops of the stairs in the infinity pool and there is a beautiful new marble outdoor shower near the infinity pool.
The rooms are scheduled to be renovated very shortly, and I can tell you that I was amazed at how spectacular that the model renovated room appeared. The lighting, particularly in the bathroom was much brighter and the new sinks that will be in the bathrooms were gorgeous. There was even a multi-tiered shelving system facilitating a space to put toiletries etc. The bedding was beautiful with a white crisp comforter. The maintenance of the rooms is very well attended to by the housekeeping staff who all work diligently to keep your room fresh, clean and well supplied with towels, soap etc. Orlando was our housekeeper who takes pride in his work, and he has become a member of our RH family. While each person, does as he she see appropriate, we think that the housekeeping staff deserves to be recognized and tipped accordingly.
The beach remains gorgeous and immaculate with lovely spacing between guests. If you wish a canopy to shield you from the sun, one of the pool butlers will be happy to set it up for you. Why should you do it? You are on vacation. Just take a stroll on the beach, and I think that you will agree that the beach in front of RH is simply the best in the area.
The cuisine at Royal Hideaway continues to be fantastic with so many varied options, to intrigue and entice each guestâ€™s palate. We are so pleased that the breakfast buffet has been reinstated in Spices, and is new and improved. The buffet is now situated on the elevated portion of the restaurant in-between the bar and the cupola, in the rear. It is just in front of the famous Spices mural. The bar area in Spices has been painted a gorgeous turquoise and really attractive tequila themed paintings are hanging on the walls. The breakfast offerings are placed in Mexican style pottery and many of the fruits, cereal, etc. are in really pretty and uniquely styled decanters.
There is now a clear covering overhead on the terrace at Spices, offering a beautiful view as well as a shield from the sunshine .Breakfast choices are plentiful with omelets, French toast, salmon (lox), bacon, quiche, cereals, nuts, many luscious and delicious tropical fruits, pancakes, freshly baked breads and pastries, yogurt, Mexican dishes, etc. One day, there was even caviar. If you want it, it is probably there. Donâ€™t forget to order you beverage of choice as it will be freshly made at the bar. Do you like smoothies, cappuccino, tea, a mimosa, or our favorite, champagne and cranberry juice? A littleâ€ť jugo de arandanoâ€ť never hurt anyone. Thank you to Adan and Ilse for all of their kindness.
Lunch choices do change from time to time; however, many of the new options are very yummy while many of the old favorites remain. We were so happy to see that paella has returned, and is a delicious as ever. The club sandwich is my guilty pleasure, and of course, the guacamole is exceptionally fantastic! Try the Cesar salad, with a little chicken or shrimp, and speaking of shrimp, the shrimp cocktail is delicious. Ricardo (both of them), Javier, Genaro, Domingo, Misael and Luis are incredible waiters. Each of them seem to know what you want before you do. Our thanks go to Joel for taking good care of us.
Dinner remains exceptional at RH, because here, you are dining rather than just having dinner. We love getting dressed for dinner and truly enjoy the dress code. In our humble opinion, it is still very nice to get dressed and to dine .As I have said before. Now I have an excuse to buy a dress that I really love, and that perhaps, if not for RH, I would not have the great excuse. LOL!!!
We truly enjoy the piano bar at Ventanas and Luis still makes the most fabulous cocktails, while simultaneously exuding a level of professionalism that deserves to be celebrated and recognized. We try to enjoy a before diner drink at Ventanas piano bar, regardless of where we are dining for the evening. The pianist is quite skilled and we really enjoy the piano bar experience.
The tenderloin. Korabuta pork chop and salmon are fabulous, as are many of the other dishes. I enjoy my food, very well done (I know it is a big no no, especially to a chef), so it is amazing to see how moist and delicious the tenderloin is even though I enjoy it cremated. Save room for the delicious desserts as their presentation is as wonderful as their taste. Eric, and Ricardo, just two of the waiters here are consummate professionals, who truly make the evening very special .Christian was the MaĂ®tre Dâ€™ when we were last at RH and his professionalism and care are beyond reproach. Thank you Christian.
The Italian restaurant. Palazzo remains fabulous and there are just so many great options that you will have to taste test for yourself, but (hint) I highly recommend the veal ravioli and my husband loves the spinach and tomato soup. There is musical accompaniment to dinner here and the violinist adds a delightful romantic experience to the evening. My actual birthday took place when we were dining at Palazzo, and we enjoyed a lovely birthday cake with the entire staff singing Happy Birthday. Felipe was wonderful as the MaĂ®tre Dâ€™.
In the mood for Asian dining? You can enjoy the teppanaki (hibachi) table, the private tatami room, or a fabulous meal at a typical table. Each of the experiences is special and the cuisine is delicious. At the teppanaki table, the food is cooked by the chef right in front of you. If you dine in the private tatami room, you are seated on low chairs (yes, they have backs) around a table. Of course, there is also traditional table dining as well. The sushi is great, as are the soups, salads, noodle dishes etc. I love the fried rice and the sushi. If you enjoy any form of Asian cuisine, I think that you will love Azia. Say hi to Chef Chi, who has been at RH for years and is really quite amazing! Thanks Armando for making our evenings at Azia so very pleasant.
While the Grill has wonderful dining options, and probably has one of the most varied and extensive menus at RH, we did not dine here this visit. However, many of the guests, we know, told us that dinner at the Grill was one of their favorite meals. It is al fresco and overlooks the sand and sea; therefore, many people love its ambiance and more casual style.
Club Royale is the dinner the theater where you can enjoy a Mexican fiesta, complete with an authentic variety of Mexican cuisine. The theater is set up like a night club with booths and the experience is something unique and worthwhile.
To celebrate my birthday, we enjoyed the privilege of The Chefâ€™s Table, which takes place in a gorgeous white enclosed glass room with views to the kitchen where we watched our 6 course meal (you can opt for a 12 course if you wish) being skillfully and artfully prepared right in front of us .It is almost as though each course was prepared with surgical precision, and worth noting that the kitchen is as immaculate as any operating room would want to be. This was the first time that we enjoyed the Chefâ€™s Table under the direction of Chef Armando and his team, and I am so very pleased to say that the dining experience, the cuisine and the evening were all spectacular, very much appreciated, and highly recommended. While this dining venue is not part of the all-inclusive experience it is truly very special and one that you might want to try, particularly for a special occasion. Your villa concierge will be happy to arrange that for you, or to take care of any special requests that you have. I recommend that you make all of your dinner reservations with your concierge as soon as possible to allow you to enjoy your venues and times of choice. He or she will do his/her utmost to insure that your requests are met or exceeded.
So whatâ€™s going on in the evening? Dining at RH is truly a highlight of the evening and like any fine dining experience, it is slow and leisurely. Have a drink before or afterâ€¦ perhaps both. In addition, Bar Allegria, which is located just under the main staircase, features some very worthwhile entertainment. The reggae band, in our opinion, and that of other guests, is not to be missed. Each member of the band is talented in his own right, and the lead singer Nimrod, is exceptionally talented with a spectacular voice. The band gets the guests up, dancing and having a great time. We also recommend and enjoy the â€śrock bandâ€ť, the Latin and the 70â€™s 80â€™s band. Karaoke night is also a big hit as Charlie, one of the pool butlers, often leads the guests in having a spectacular fun filled time.
In the mood for a little private seclusion? You can enjoy the evening under the stars in one of the little secluded private pools.
Although you may think of high tea as a British thing, RH does a really super job with it. From 4-5:30 you can enjoy high tea (choice of beverageâ€¦ not necessarily tea) in the exterior lobby, just outside of Ventanas piano bar. High tea takes place with lovely snacks and usually with musical accompaniment. If you have not indulged, try it the next time!
There is a small but very complete gym facility and Jose, the gym butler/ trainer is a true professional who is at the gym to offer you any assistance you may need. He is very knowledgeable! The spa was renovated a few years ago, and while we did not take advantage of any massages this time, we have in the past, and can attest to the professionalism of the staff.
The pool/beach butlers are very special and each one truly is there to devote himself/herself to you, so that you have whatever you need. Do you want your glasses cleaned? Need a refresh with some Evian spray, a cool cloth, a magazine, towels, some sunscreen, set up of your umbrella? The pool/beach butlers are there for you. There were days, during which, the wait staff served little treats around the pool, consisting of, cruditĂ©, ice cream, fruit, etc., while many of the pool/beach butlers were also there to make sure you had whatever you needed.
They pool/beach butlers take turns in leading the aqua gym (which we enjoy doing daily) and other activities, such as yoga and BINGO. Special accolades go out to Charlie and Alan, as they are truly premier assets to RH. Joseph leads his team in a great fashion, and Barbara is a true sweetheart.
All of this would not be taking place without the leadership of the GM, Teresa Alfonso, and her team, consisting of Alice, the Guest Experience Manager, Carlos the Food and Beverage manager, Chef Armando, Julio, Roger, the Chief Concierge, Yaesmin and the rest of the staff. Each of these individuals works tirelessly to insure that each and every guest has a fabulous time at Royal Hideaway, and that each guest has the experience that exceeds his/her expectations.
We remain grateful to everyone at RH. While, we look forward to our next visit (our 59th) when we will be celebrating our 45 th wedding anniversary, we also look forward to RH remaining our home in Playa for the future, and we hope that you too, will think of it as your home.
Pros: Fabulous food, excellent service, gorgeous,wide beach, A very relaxing, pampering experience.
Cons: This is a smaller, rather quiet resort - not a ton to do later in the evening. Perfect for a romantic vacation!
We spent 5 days and were perfectly happy with the spacious accommodations.While relaxing on the beach, waiters would bring us cocktails all day. We tried all of the restaurants - all were great!
There was delicious fresh fruit & made-to order eggs for breakfast, beach-side casual dining for lunch, and a variety of dinner options from casual to formal. There were nights where a reggae band or salsa trio played at the outdoor bar after dinner, but there is not a big party atmosphere here. It is definitely an over-30 to 50-ish crowd, but plenty of friendly vacationers if you want to be social.
We'd highly recommend the Royal Hideaway for honeymoon/anniversary trips for couples. You won't be disappointed!
Terrific resort. Very peaceful and super great food.
Quiet, spread out, no loud music, great beach, many pools,
frequent pool side service, comfy beds, very spacious rooms and baths. walk-in closets. Many restaurants, food was 5 star, really like the hibachi table!
Housekeeping was lack luster. Turn down service was only done 4 of 7 nights
Ordered 2 pillows, never came. One turn down service was tried at 9:30 PM, they woke us up to ask if we wanted turn down service. Mini bar was filled when they wanted to, not consistent. We were in villa 22.