Park Royal Cozumel
Reviews of Park Royal Cozumel
The picture posted here must be VERY old. After the hurricane (5yrs ago) this resort was completely rebuilt and is now beautiful! My husband and I just returned from a week stay from Dec 3rd-Dec 10th. We had a GREAT time and definitely recommend this resort!
FOOD: This is an all-inclusive resort, meaning all meals and drinks are free. Tips are also included in this fee, which was nice because you really don't have to walk around with any money for any reason here. There is a large buffet style restaurant which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner for most of the day. There are also a few snack stations near the ocean and pool area which you can order hamburgers, hotdogs, nachos, etc so you don't even have to leave the pool area. There are PLENTY of bars throughout so you have no reason to go without a drink at all. There is also a nice Sports Bar which is usually empty until after 10pm when the wilder groups tend to meet up here! There are also 2 nicer restaurants on site for dinner which require reservations...one is Italian and one Mexican food. These were pretty good and we ate at each twice with no problems getting reservations. There is a dress code, but basically as long as you don't look like you just came from the pool (no flip-flops, tank tops, t-shirts) they are pretty relaxed on it. The food is good at all places, but I was slightly disappointed in the quality. They do a great job with presentation and having a large variety of foods to choose from at each meal, but it is definitely not 5-star quality. I personally was fine with everything though and still ate WAY too much!
BEACH/POOL: The resort has a beach on site. You may read on other sites that this is across the street, but honestly you would never know it. They have it set up that you just go through a little tunnel and you are right there from the property. The beach area is very nice and although a little small, we never had any problems finding beach chairs and space. There is a pool in the middle of the resort, then 2 eternity pools that overlook the ocean. All have swim up bars and are very clean. My biggest complaint: They have 2 smaller circular "pools" that look exactly like large hot tubs right on decks overlooking the ocean. They are filled with COLD water and have jets. The first few days I was here, I assumed the hot tubs were broken. I then was informed that they are never hot. What the hell???? I would have loved a hot tub since it does get cooler at night and overlooking the ocean would have been so romantic and fun!
STAFF/SERVICE: The staff here is excellent! They do an awesome job at trying to get all the guests involved in the daily activities offered and are so much fun. I admit a lot of the nightly shows and games are pretty lame, but if a few people get involved it is a lot of fun. We also had quick responses to minor requests (room safe didn't work at first, lightbulb out, etc...all were fixed within 10 min).
ROOMS: We are use to staying in timeshares which have 2 bedrooms and a full kitchen. Since this is all-inclusive and no food is allowed in the rooms, there are no kitchens. We stayed in a regular hotel room which was fine since there were only 2 of us. The room was immaculately clean and well decorated. The maid service came every day and did a great job.
One evening I did end up taking a VERY cold shower. Afterwards I called to complain and was informed that they were aware of the situation and in the process of fixing it. 15 min later, there was hot water. I would have been ok with this, but recalled several reviews on RCI that I remembered complaining of this problem so it is probably an on-going problem. We did not have any problems the rest of the week though.
I also want to applaud this resorts efforts at attempting to be a "green" resort. They have a neat system which requires you to have your room key in a slot which controls the lights in the room. This way if you leave and forget to turn out the lights, in a minute they all automatically go off saving electricity. (Hmmm...maybe this is also why I had a cold shower...maybe they turn off the hot water occasionally?!) They have a system for changing the bed linens and towels to avoid unnecessary cleaning, but will clean all at your request each day. They also encourage recycling.
ACTIVITIES: The resort has MANY activities all throughout the day. It changes each day, but there is a schedule given to you at check-in and also the events are posted on a large board outside the main buffet restaurant each day. They range from bartending classes, beach volleyball, cooking classes, kids activities, nightly shows, casino nights, etc.
KIDS: This is a kids-friendly resort. They have a children area with slides, crafts, etc and have daily activities for them to do. Although we had no children with us so we do not know more details, we saw plenty of families and the kids seemed to be having a great time.
COZUMEL/Other info: We did a lot of the "touristy" things this week. We went to the Mayan Ruins, Tequila Factory, Shopping, Lighthouse, and did a local cooking class. The resort is not within walking distance to anything, aside from a couple bar/grills that are nearby. There are a few within 2 blocks that are on the ocean and great for happy hour...buy 1, get 1 drink free at some and nice to watch the sunset. Cabs can be expensive...about $8 each way downtown for 2 people. We rented a car 2 days to do our activities outside of the resort. Aside from that we did not really feel the need to leave.
Mayan Ruins- I admit I am not really big on this kind of stuff, but was disappointed. These are not the more popular Mayan ruins that are more well-known, just a few smaller ones in an area which takes about an hour to walk around and see them all for only $7 a person. Honestly it was a bunch of piles of rocks. I know that sounds kind of ignorant, but I thought it was kind of a waste of time. I still enjoyed the time with my husband and it was neat to think about how the people must have lived and functioned as a society, but would not go here again. I have heard there are much more impressive ruins about 1 1/2 hrs away, so maybe a nice day trip?
Tequila Factory- This is only about 2 miles from the Ruins so we did both in the same trip. (recommend car rental....we asked a cab driver who said they would charge $50 roundtrip to take us out here and wait for us to bring us back) We really had a good time here! We also love tequila though and had a really entertaining tour guide. This "tequila factory" is actually not functioning, but for tours and info only. It was $14 per person, which really isn't bad considering as soon as you walk in they hand everyone a large margarita and then give you samples of several kinds of tequila after giving you some history info and facts on tequila. We were here for less than 1 hour.
Cooking Class- We found a cooking class online that had good reviews at: http://www.cozumelmycozumel.com/Pages/CozumelCruisesCookingClass.htm and had a great time! It was $68 per person and if you like cooking and doing something interesting other than sitting at the resort drinking all day, give it a shot! The woman who runs it, Josephina, is SOOOO nice and speaks English very well. She also has several helpers who speak English. We went to her home (we were kind of skeptical when we first arrived...basically a little hut but very clean) and then she took us to the local market to teach us how to pick all the ingredients for the meals. We then returned to her home and she taught us several recipes. We also received copies and I can't wait to attempt to make everything on my own now. We also had beers and margaritas included, and after cooking enjoyed our meals. We left stuffed and happy after 4 hours.
Lighthouse: On the other side of the island (I think it was about 35 miles?) there is an area that you can go up inside a lighthouse which was pretty neat. In this area there is also an area where sea turtles lay eggs, crocodiles, beaches and several other sightseeing things along with a few shops. When we first pulled up to access the road, we were told it was $20 per person to enter. I told the guy we just wanted to go in to see the lighthouse, and after haggling for a bit he only charged us $5 each.
Shopping: There are TONS of shops with just about everything on the main strip in Cozumel. Mostly clothing, jewelry and souvenirs with a few good places to eat thrown in.
Eating out: I recommend ALBERTO's (2 locations on island- one is walking distance from resort, the other is right by Iberostar resort) that have great fresh seafood and nice, casual atmosphere. Also Guideo's (Italian/Swedish restaurant on main shopping strip). Aside from the usual Carlos N Charlies, Senor Frogs and Margaritaville, we ate all the other meals at the resort.
We would recommend this resort for anyone, just as long as you realize it is not a 5 star but very close!