Imagine waking up in paradise.
You start with breakfast on your balcony, enjoying the warm breeze and the views of the turquoise Caribbean ocean before venturing down to spend the day under a palapa on the beach or lounging by the pool. Happy hour starts at 3, and the only decision you really need to make all day is what you’d like to have to drink.
This, my friends, is an average day when vacationing in Cancun, Mexico.
Cancun is considered a top tourist destination for many reasons…. its rich Mayan culture and historic ruins, exciting nightlife, stunning blue sea and pearly white sand. Driving along the Zona Hotelera’s main strip, you’ll find one luxury resort after another. With so many choices, it’s easy for the first time visitor to get a bit overwhelmed when trying to figure out where to stay.
Lucky for you, my Packed Suitcase readers, I have been vacationing in Cancun annually since I was 14 years old. (Let’s not do the math…) Over the years I’ve stayed at a number of different Cancun hotels, but if you want the best of the best, look no further than the Royal Resorts.
|The Royal Caribbean|
The Royal Resorts are comprised of 5 hotels in Cancun (The Royal Islander, The Royal Caribbean, The Royal Mayan, The Royal Cancun, and The Royal Sands- the newest property) and one in the popular Riviera Maya (The Royal Haciendas.)
Each resort features stunning views of the Caribbean, pools (and swim-up pool bars!) and plenty of beach-y lounge chairs. On-site daily activities and dining options abound, making this a convenient and exciting vacation that lets you move at your own pace and get as active as you want to be. (Or, if you’d rather be a beach bum, that’s easily accomplished as well!)
These aren’t your ordinary hotel rooms. These are all-villa properties, which make them ideal for families and groups. Each unit is comprised of a main villa (master bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room with 2 pull-out beds, large balcony) and a “lock-off” (bedroom, bathroom, small balcony) which, when combined, can comfortably house around 6 people. However, you also have the flexibility to reserve the units separately if you don’t need as much square footage.
|The Royal Mayan’s living room – provided by RoyalResorts.com|
TIP: While all of the Royal Resorts are part of the Interval International timeshare program, you don’t need to be a member to reserve your stay… you can even book through Expedia.com!
|The Royal Sands|
One of the things that the Royal Resorts does best is provide top-notch service for its guests. From the moment you arrive, you’re greeted with prompt and courteous attention. From helping you with your groceries to recommending a place for dinner (and then making the reservation) the staff simply wants to do everything they can to ensure you have a happy and effortless stay.
Cancun has some amazing dining. However, each resort has a number of dining options for those days where you’re worn out from the sun and would rather stay in. Each resort has a small grocery store, fast casual, carryout and fine dining options, sure to suit any need or budget.
|My FAVORITE Royal Resorts meal… the Shrimp Tacos! (Official recipe: here)|
TIP: When I travel to the Royal Resorts with my family, we always plan one night in where we cook a home-style Italian dinner and enjoy it in our villa together. “Spaghetti night” has become a tradition that we look forward to year after year.
Some of my favorite travel memories have occurred on the Yucatan with Cancun as my home base; climbing up the steep steps of Chichen Itza (and being more than a little afraid to climb back down), zip-lining down into a centuries old cenote and snorkeling off the shores of Cozumel.
If you’re a first-time visitor to Cancun, you should really try to get out and experience some of the amazing day trips offered. (And the staff will be more than happy to help you reserve your activities.)
But you don’t need to venture far from the resorts to have a fantastic vacation. There is a full roster of activities on site each day, from Zumba to water aerobics, to scuba lessons and volleyball tournaments to tennis match-ups. Or, head over to the Spa at the Royal Sands for a massage and to relax in their luxurious hydrotherapy rooms.
The Royal Resorts put a strong emphasis on the family experience, which means lots of activities for the kids as well. A few favorites are the ceramic painting and the weekly piñata party. (DUCK!)
TIP: Don’t miss the popular Welcome Party, held each Sunday. You’ll meet new friends, do the conga line and there’s free Rum and Cokes!
The Bottom Line
As a travel-lover with limited time off, I think it’s incredibly telling that I choose to dedicate my precious vacation days to this resort chain on the Yucatan. In a way, it’s become my home away from home.
The Royal Resorts are much more than just a luxury hotel chain. It’s the kind of place where bartenders learn your name (and your favorite drink!), where families come together in a safe and fun environment, where everywhere you look is a magnificent view, where you easily make friends for the duration of your stay and longer.
It’s for all of these reasons and more that make the Royal Resorts the kind of place where you will want to vacation to year after year.