Giveaways and Reviews My Fabulous Life Travel

Cancun Caribe Park Royal Grand Review

Flying back to Saskatchewan, I flipped through the airline’s seat pocket magazine, and interestingly enough came across an article titled “Top 5 Things to do in Cancun/Riviera Maya”.  Listed among them were Explore (the Mayan Ruins), Swim With Dolphins, Indulge (at the many spas), Play Golf (Cancun/Riviera Mayan is one of the most popular golf destinations worldwide) and Tour The Jungle.  Hmm, I thought to myself.  While those are certainly some great ideas of things to do while visiting this beautiful region of Mexico, there is so much more to see and do that it’s hard to summarize my own experience in a succinct way.  I will do my best, however.  Next week I will write more detailed posts on some of my favorite experiences in Cancun, but I wanted to share the highlights of my trip here.

When the bloggers chosen to review the Cancun Caribe Park Royal Grand, one of the Royal Holiday hotels in their network of hotels the company offers its members, arrived on Monday we checked out our hotel rooms before gathering for our first dinner as a group.  The rooms are impressive; housed in 2 towers with 7 floors in the tower I stayed in.  The rooms are modern, very clean (the entire resort was very clean and well maintained), and have remarkable views of the ocean via floor to ceiling patio windows.

The most impressive aspect of the room I stayed in was the bathroom (which I realize is odd to say).

The bathroom area includes a double sink (with a slanted marble sink bowl unlike any I’ve seen before), a separate room with toilet, and the best shower I’ve ever experienced.

No really.  The shower in the my room at the Cancun Caribe Park Royal Grand has not one but three shower heads with one of them being directly above you on the ceiling.  We joked (or did we?) about taking 3 showers a day just to experience this.

I’d be hard pressed to find a woman who would visit this hotel and not comment and wonder about the possibility of a shower like this in her own home. The Cancun Caribe Park Royal Grand is about so much more than the rooms (and who wants to spend too much time in their room anyway, you’re in Cancun!)

On the first night we had dinner as a group at the El Oriental Restaurant, but not before sitting down for a drink in the lobby/bar just beyond the doors.  This is a beautiful meeting area for a group after a day in the sun, or perhaps a couple wanting a quiet corner after a day of adventure.  The service, of course, was fantastic.

This is when I first had the chance to talk to the other members of our group – Amanda from Natural Mommie, Molly from The Snyder 5, Nadine from Nadine Jolie, Jordan from Ramshackle Glam, and our Royal Holiday representatives Julio and Kristen (Jeanine from PlanetEye Traveler arrived later that evening).

Walking into the El Oriental Restaurant, you’re presented with a view suitable for a canvas.  The restaurant itself is on more than one level, allowing for guests to have a different view in each area.

We were offered a glass of wine on our way to our table, and treated so well during the entire meal (this girl is not used to having seats pulled out for her and napkins placed on my lap…but I can get used to it very quickly!)

As someone who does not eat seafood, I was concerned about visiting an Oriental restaurant as some places have very limited menus.  Fortunately, and impressively, the menu selection is wonderful.  We sampled a selection of appetizers (my favorite being the spring rolls, yum!), and delicious miso soup (which I am craving now).  The entrees were served at the perfect time – our appetizer plates and soup bowls were empty and the wine glasses promptly filled before they arrived.

I ordered the Beef Tenderloin and Peppers with fried rice on the side – what a treat it was!  Dessert choices included Tofu Cheesecake (which, surprisingly tastes like cheesecake, but lighter) and Fried Bananas with a sweet cream dip.

After a long day of travel, more than one glass of wine, and one of the best Oriental meals I have had, one would think this would be the close to the evening.  Not so for our spirited bunch!  We headed out to check out the pool!

In Canada the summer evening temperatures can take a dip but in Cancun, the humidity and heat continues.  Who needs the sun to swim anyway?  It was a fun, and fitting, way to end an incredible first day in Cancun.

Day 2 was our day to enjoy all the features and amenities of Cancun Caribe Park Royal Grand at our leisure.  We had breakfast at La Concha, the buffet style restaurant in the hotel open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  This was my favorite breakfast spot.  Here you will find families young and old dining and the dress code is very casual.  The choices are vast – there’s no need to be concerned about not finding something to suit your taste buds at a buffet this size.  Omelettes, scrambled eggs, waffles, pancakes, breakfast sausages, fruit, pastries, cereals, yogurts and more are among the choices.

The waiters and waitresses were very attentive, coming by our table often to check if we needed coffee or anything additional to make our meal more enjoyable.  I liked this restaurant because it was always busy and I’m a people-watcher (plus watching the parents with the children oddly enough made me miss mine a little less; I enjoyed not having to spoon feed someone at my table!)

There are 2 pools at Cancun Caribe Park Royal Grand.  The first, closest to the tower I stayed in, features the beautiful beds I was so eager to check out, infinity pool, and swim-up bar.  The music is soothing and the mood is one of pure relaxation.

The second is closer to the hotel lobby and this is where you will find pool and beach activities, fun music, another bar (not swim up), and a snack bar featuring tortilla chips, hot dogs, hamburgers and toppings galore.

Of the 2, I preferred the tranquil pool area with the pool side beds.  A towel to lay on (provided by the hotel by exchanging a towel card) is all you need to lay on the beds in comfort.  This divine way to enjoy the sun in Cancun is how I ended up with a sunburn – it was just too easy to relax with a drink in hand, chatting with friends and basking in the sun’s warmth.  When the sun becomes too hot, it’s easy to dip into the pool for a refreshing swim up to the pool bar to retrieve another drink.

Or perhaps you could just swim?  I liked the drink idea better (always a girl with a purpose, right?)

That evening’s dinner was at the new Italian restaurant, El Mirador.  Overlooking the Nichupte Lagoon and surrounded 3 sides by floor to ceiling glass walls, the restaurant offers a great view of the hotel grounds and busy waterfront street outside.  Guests are treated to a beverage upon entering this restaurant as well, with a seating area where you can wait for friends to join you.  The food at El Mirador was, like El Oriental Restaurant, outstanding.  An appetizer consisting of asparagus and beet cream puff was delicious (make sure to order this when you are there).

We also sampled the pizza (in an Italian restaurant you have to sample the pizza!) along with an assortment of breads (garlic, onion or focaccia).  I ordered the Broccoli Chowder with Gorgonzola Cheese, and enjoyed the best soup of it’s kind that I’ve ever had (the cheese in the center is what made it so delicious).  By the time our entrees arrived, I knew there was no way I could finish the Traditional Lasagna that I ordered, but could not resist one bite after the other because it was so good.  I’d put my fork down, say I was done, and find myself nibbling on it more. That evening, after a day in the sun and a decadent Italian meal, we retreated to our rooms earlier than the night before – happy and full.

On the morning of the third day, Amanda (Natural Mommie) and I were treated to a 1 hour massage at the Cancun Caribe Park Royal Grand Spa.  Because we had our appointments booked at the same time, we got to have a couples massage (awe!) which was fun.  I’ve never had a couples massage with my husband but now I know why they’re so popular – what a fun way to relax together whether with your spouse, a family member, or friend.  Other amenities at the Spa and Fitness Center include a yoga studio, gym area, and steam room.

Later that morning, we met with Enrique – the Quality Control Officer for Royal Holiday.  The job title may sound intimidating but Enrique was not.  Exuding warmth and personality, Enrique helped us better understand the Royal Holiday program for its members.

Whenever someone hears the term “travel program” the immediate next term that comes to mind is “time shares”.  Royal Holiday is not a time share company.  In fact, members can book their vacations at any point during the year – or not at all.  The program is based on a points system – points are allotted yearly and members can choose where to spend their travel points.  They can carry points over to the next year, or borrow from other years to suit their travel needs at the present time.  As the Royal Holiday representatives stressed, they do not sell vacations, they sell experiences.  Becoming a member is easy – by contacting Royal Holiday directly prospective members can learn more about the program and join the more than 70,000 members of this club.  The membership is a 30 year membership with the fee paid at the beginning and an annual maintenance fee.  The fees, of course, vary depending on your needs – some people may require the flexibility of more annual points and others may be happy with a lesser amount for their travel preferences.

The afternoon of the third day was spent at a must-see destination for anyone traveling to Cancun and especially those who visit as a Royal Holiday member.  When I learned we would be visiting Xcaret on our visit to Cancun, I of course googled it and checked out the website.  Reading about all the things to do at this eco-park approximately 1 hour from Cancun I knew it would be an enjoyable afternoon.  We were treated to the Xcaret Plus package at the park.  There’s so much more a person can do at Xcaret but to experience everything fully, you’d need more than one day!

I had such a fun time at Xcaret and would definitely go back and bring my family there.  Although we saw so many cool things, we didn’t cover the entire park and there are other attractions I would definitely like to see on another trip.  I will be posting more next week about Xcaret in a separate post with more to share!  In the meantime, check out the link here, and take a peek at this video from Xcaret Mexico Espectacular, the evening show at Xcaret that is a must see!

Arriving late at the hotel from a day excursion can leave a person tired and famished.  One of the features of Park Royal Grand Caribe resort is the 24 hour café just off the main lobby.  Featuring sandwiches, fruit, pastries, cookies, cheese and ice cream this is the perfect spot to stop for a snack at any time during your stay.  It was so nice to be able to grab a fruit tray or sandwich when needed, like that night!

Returning to our room after being out for the day is a treat when it’s maintained as well as it is at Park Royal Grand Caribe.  With maid service twice daily, there were always fresh towels waiting (after all, who wants to shower 3 times a day in the luxurious triple head showers and end it with a wet towel?!), our beds were always made, and our fridge was always stocked with beer, water, and soda.  I especially liked knowing that if I grabbed a water bottle to keep in my bag for the day, there would be more waiting at the end.  It truly is the little things like that, that make a trip so enjoyable!

While walking through the resort, you will always come across someone cleaning something.

It seems that at every minute of the day, there’s a staff member making sure that everything at the Cancun Caribe Park Royal Grand is in perfect condition.

Every staff member I encountered while walking through the resort was friendly – even if there is a language barrier, a smile and warm greeting is universal.

Later this week I will post more photos and share more about the trip, especially Xcaret!  I tried to keep my summary short but if it is a long read it’s because I can’t simply post and say “the food was good” because it was more than that.  It was a culinary treat!  I can’t say the hotel treated us simply “well.”  The hotel staff and atmosphere made me feel pampered and valued as a guest.  If I could use more adjectives without making the grammar police wince, I certainly would!

My experience this past week in Cancun was one I am so thankful for.  Thankful that I was asked to join Royal Holiday and other bloggers on this trip, thankful that I was able to spend it with my friend and fellow Canadian blogger Amanda (Natural Mommie) and meet other writers for the first time (and become readers of their sites….more addictions, le sigh).  More than anything, I’m thankful Royal Holiday gave me the opportunity to recharge my spirit.  As a mom, wife, and of course “a  blogger”, life can take a lot out of you and a trip like this was an excellent way to relax, indulge and enjoy.  Laugh.  Be spontaneous.  Learn.  We all need that!  My traveling spirit has been reborn and I’m going to research a trip for my family, or perhaps just my husband and I, this coming winter.  Cancun is a destination I would absolutely suggest – and the Cancun Caribe Park Royal Grand All Inclusive Resort of course with its restaurants, spa, pools, and staff is where I would point you to.