The Royalton Riviera Cancun Review

The Royalton Riviera Cancun

Like my previous review post of the Nickelodeon resort, I am starting this post off by saying I was NOT paid to review The Royalton Riviera Cancun, nor was I given anything (NO freebies) to review it … I am simply providing families looking to travel a detailed and most importantly an honest review since pictures on websites make everything look perfect and well we all know that perfect doesn’t really exist. Brace yourself it’s a long one, but it’s an honest one!

The Bus: with your travel agent, make sure to have transportation to and from the airport as part of the package. As soon as you hit the baggage area you are hit up by a million people offering you transportation. Just walk out side and find the travel company with which you booked and get on the bus! We probably waiting on the bus for 10 or 15 minutes before it left, but the good thing is you can start your vacation and grab a beer while you wait. The best part of all is that the bus ride to the resort was only about 10 minutes and you are the first stop.

Royalton Riviera Cancun

                                           Notice beer in hand

The Diamond Club: while I was pretty unsure of this upgraded feature when booking (my travel agent highly recommended it), after being there I have to say it was absolutely worth the upgrade!! The main reason is because you can make reservations at the restaurants if you are a diamond club member. Now, this doesn’t seem to be a big deal, however I met quite a few families that did not have this upgrade and they told me that a lot of the restaurants they could not get into OR there was a crazy long lineup and would take over an hour to be seated (those with little one’s that sounds like a legit nightmare). Other Diamond Club features: you have a morning and afternoon butler (seems weird I know, but they were super helpful especially with making those reservations), you have access to the Diamond Club pool area, there is a Diamond Club restaurant, a Diamond Club beach (from what I was to understand, you will never have an issue getting a seat at their pools or on the beach … which we didn’t) and there is a Diamond Club check-in office that is nicely air conditioned
**to note: bring lots of $1 bills and $5 bills for tipping

Royalton Riviera Cancun

                             Diamond Club Pool and Beach Games

The Rooms: We booked the Presidential Swim Out Suite and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the room(s). There was a nice sized living room with a pullout couch, lounger beside the couch (which I pushed together so that one kid could sleep on that and the other in the pullout couch), a table in the middle of the room, a bathroom and a full bar area stocked with booze, pop and water. It doesn’t stop there though .. the Presidential room has a full bedroom attached which was really quite large. It had a king sized bed, a chaise, desk and a crazy large bathroom with double sinks, huge double head rain shower, huge bath centered in the middle of the bathroom and toilet with a door … oh and a hanging closet. Both the bedroom and the family room have sliding doors to access the swim out pool attached to the room (this was a first for us). The pool was definitely not a necessity however when we wanted some down time out of the sun, we would bring the kids back to swim.
**to note: if you have young kids that go to bed relatively early, I would recommend asking for a room not in the sections closest to the main central pool as they have nightly events which tend to be quite loud

The Royalton Riviera Cancun

                             Presidential 1 Bedroom Swim Out Suite

The Staff: They honestly could not have been nicer! My older son slit the heel of his foot on a piece of the tile in the pool and within a matter of minutes we had three lifeguards, two cleaning ladies’ and our room butler taking care of him. After this whole debacle, we went back to our room and our butler had a ton of balloons with a colouring book with crayons on his bed which made him so happy (plus we got him a coke float – coke and vanilla ice cream – which topped it all off). Now I don’t know if it is just in the Diamond Club area, but they had Bingo by the pool daily (with little prizes for the kids) and on the beach they had the staff set up nets with a soccer ball to play with the kids and bean bag toss which occupied them for a chunk of time.

Royalton Riviera Cancun

The Food: I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the food! I don’t know if I was surprised because I expect mediocre food from all-inclusive resorts based on my past trips, but I found that all the meals I had were not half bad.
Here’s where we ate:
Grazie – Italian food: There was a HUGE lineup when walked in at 6:30pm, but again since we were Diamond Club we had a reservation, the food was pretty good
Agave – Mexican food: We thought the food was just ok but were really expecting to see Fajitas and Tacos which they strangely didn’t have
Zen – Japanese food: there are habatchi tables up top and my kids LOVED this. The chef cooks your food on the habatchi in a fun way creating a little show for all sitting around the table (this is the most sought after restaurant in the resort and apparently at 2:00pm  you can lineup there to make a reservation
Armadillo – Tex-Mex food: This is a Diamond Club restaurant only, we had lunch there and really enjoyed the food (their guacamole was really quite good)
Gourmet March Buffet – Everything: this is a huge restaurant that is buffet so serve yourself and they have a lot of options which changes nightly. There is always a pasta station which is great for the kids who only eat pasta with butter (like mine) and there is a kids area where they offer chicken fingers, french fries, hot dogs, burgers and CEREAL (it’s like they knew we were coming). Fruit and ice cream are served nightly (oh and the kids area has fun deserts like Coco Krispy treats, chocolate marshmallow pops etc)
There is a cafe next to the lobby area where you can get latte’s, espresso drinks and coffee as well as ice cream. One thing I noticed is that they offered a pistachio ice cream and was using the same scoop for the nut ice cream as they were in the regular ice cream which is not great for those with nut allergies like my husband. Luckily I noticed and told him he wasn’t allowed to have the ice cream however they did have a soft serve area which he could have but he said it wasn’t very good – EEK.
**to note: if you are a Diamond Club member in the Diamond Club pool area (near the entrance to the beach) they cook fresh food daily so we had quesadillas and guacamole every afternoon – YUM!

The Beach: The sand was perfect, white and not boiling hot! The beach area near was nice with the palm trees and blue water, but the shore of the water was covered in seaweed (I guess that is what it was) including on the sand which was not attractive to look at or step on. Looking back at some of the reviews of the site, I remember seeing a lot of comments about this. My kids loved to play on the beach this stuff didn’t really seem to bother them.
**to note: ask one of the towel butlers if they have sand toys. They didn’t seem to advertise it but I asked as I didn’t want to spend $20 on dollar store type toys and they always brought some for my kids to play with. Just be kind and return them when you are done so other kids can enjoy

Royalton Riviera Cancun

The Kids Club: Although the staff there were extremely nice, the kids club was a huge flop! In quite a large space there are three televisions (hooked up to gaming systems like PS4 and Wii) and a bunch of round little tables. They did host daily activities like making a pinata (which they told my kids they would have candy to put inside but this was not the case – to say the least my kids were NOT impressed) and other arts and crafts activities. My older son wanted to go there to play some video games and was told after we left he could not play them anymore and had to partake in Spanish lessons – I mean come on, this is vacation! Night time Kids Club activities started at 7:00pm and finished at 8:00pm which was mandatory pick up (seems kind of early) as it was fun to drop them off there so my husband and I could have some time away from kids and have dinner but we literally ate and ran so we could get back in time. They offered a night time magic show which my kids said was pretty bad and a movie night watching Toy Story which they liked. The one great thing about Kids Club is that they give you a pager that works around the entire resort and when the kids want to leave the staff just page you to come, I really liked that aspect of it but all-in-all, I have to say Kids Club was a HUGE disappointment.

The Kids Pool: A kids pool is very important to us when looking for family destinations. This pool was quite large with a lot of fun things to go up, go down and go on and most importantly there is very shallow water (helps us parents not panic anytime there little one’s fall down). Separated from the kids pool is another area that has three slides (different widths and speed I guess) which my kids literally went down a hundred times a day. Just when you think that is it, there is another kids pool behind the water slides (you can’t see it at first because it is high up – you need to walk up stairs to get to it) and there are a lot of fun structures to climb on and climb in. Be prepared though, the water is FREEZING!!! It didn’t seem to bother my kids too much, but the other pools are way warmer … weird right?!

Royalton Riviera Cancun

The Grounds: Walking into the Royalton you are hit with the most breathtaking view of the ocean, blue sky and sun from the large, open lobby. We were ushered to the Diamond Club Lounge to check in. The check-in process took a bit of time, but my boys were immediately offered chocolate milk and they were able to run around (from the sounds of it, on the second floor there was a computer for them to play with). Once given our room, they walked us over with our bags and showed us around. I have to say the grounds are kept in impeccable condition. At all times I saw the tower entrances being washed, roofs and flooring being repaired and painted and ash trays/garbages being cleaned at all times. There are shops in the lobby (sunglasses, clothing, pool toys, treats etc) as well as in other parts of the grounds (primarily near the kids pool) but I am going to tell you everything is VERY expensive! Sunscreen was $25 US, kids sun shirts were over $50 US, straw hats were $40 US and pool/sand toys ranged from $10-$30 US. There are 8 or 9 different room towers which makes the resort seem huge, but it is all walkable and nothing is far. For those who are curious, there are about 5 pools to choose from + two kids park pools.

The Royalton Riviera Cancun

Night Life: Every evening there was some sort of band that would sing live music for an hour. One evening they had a Mariachi band and they got the kids and adults up dancing with them, it was really quite cute. At around 9:00pm there was some sort of nightly show. I can’t tell you much about what they were as my mini was always exhausted by 8:00pm so I took him back to the room and therefore didn’t partake in evening festivities. That being said, our last night we kept the kids up to watch the Pirate show and my little one couldn’t take his eyes off of them (I mean adults playing with fire really is quite cool). After the show is over, you can head up to their night club (again I can not comment on it as we were all in bed by 10:00pm) or go to their sports bar to have a snack and drink. That’s where the foosball tables are FYI – my older son loved it there!
**to note: go up there and get a seat on the balcony for the 9:00pm show, it’s the best view

Royalton Riviera Cancun

Travel Agent: I am telling you about the travel agent I use to book my all-inclusive trips not because she is giving me anything to put her name out there, but because she has ALWAYS been a pleasure to work with and I love passing along my great finds … she is one of them (I don’t even remember how we found her). I emailed her a month before going away, I gave her the criteria of what I was looking for: the specific week we could go – there was only 1 week we could go away, a resort that is great for families, had to have a kids pool, had to be close to the airport, some place that has great weather (I told her i was interested in Mexico or Jamaica .. at the time), no or very minimal time difference and yes I am an enormous pain in the ass let’s be hones!!! She came back to me with the Royalton Riviera Cancun which fit ALL my criteria. She even emailed me the day we left to check in and make sure everything was going o.k. Last year we ran into some problems with the resort we were at and she was right on it even on the weekend!!!! Her customer service is by far the best I have experienced and I adore her. Her name is Mandy Delve from Beyond Travel Designers – if you want to contact her, her email is info@beyondtraveldesigners.com 416-626-7455
**to note: she travels to a lot of these resorts to check them out and therefore can recommend them first hand

So there you have it … my views of the Royalton Riviera Cancun! You can see I didn’t really hold back 😉 Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to email me terri@babylishadvice.com or comment below. If you have been here and have comments, I as well as others reading the post would love to hear what you think, just comment below.

Happy Travels
T.
xo