Fit for a Queen

The Royal Service is the crown jewel of the Paradisus brand

By: Dawna L. Robertson

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The pool at the Paradisus Riviera Cancun.
When Sol Melia Hotel & Resorts pioneered the luxury, all-inclusive concept at its Paradisus brand a decade ago, the company’s focus was on pampering guests with “real life” fantasy experiences through signature service levels.

On a recent visit to Paradisus Riviera Cancun Resort, I was quite pleased to discover I would be enjoying the ultimate of these indulgent levels with the adults-only Royal Service meaning I’d have access to almost anything imaginable at any time I wanted it, with a butler dedicated to make it all a reality.

With its Mayan Village ambience, the property stretches out on a lush tropical mangrove preserve on a 5,000-foot-long Mexican Caribbean beach, protected by a coral reef that’s part of the second largest coral formation in the world.

To put it in perspective, Paradisus’ exclusive Royal Service segment is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, a distinction claimed by only a handful of hotels and resorts globally. The honor is a nod to exceptional service and overall guest experience, as well as luxurious accommodations. At this particular property, the membership recognizes 136 suites measuring 452 square feet, plus four Ambassador Beach Front Suites at 815 square feet each.

To no surprise, the royal treatment began instantly. Aside from the overall beauty of the resort’s entry, I was swept away by the hospitality. My host and I bypassed the lobby and headed straight to the Royal Service Lounge for my concierge-style check in. While sipping a colorful welcome beverage, I perused my e-mails on one of the lounge’s two computers. Wi-fi is available for an additional fee.

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The property has a lush Mayan
village ambience throughout.
Then my amiable butler Daniel guided me along beautifully landscaped pathways past a series of three-story bungalows to my spacious suite. Along the way, Daniel pointed out Royal Service exclusive benefits the Spa at Paradisus, plus a private beach and pool area with Bali beds, bar service, concierge and palapas facilities. Truth be told, I was starting to feel a bit regal.

Once I arrived at my Royal Service Suite, the treatment soared. These oversized beauties offer panoramic garden or romantic ocean views and feature elegant mahogany furnishings with spacious living room area, cable TV, high-speed Internet access (nominal fee), Jacuzzi for two, private terrace, daily stocked personalized mini-bar, coffee maker, pillow menu selections, customized turn-down service and 24-hour room service. With a glorious view of the Caribbean, I couldn’t have asked for more.

But more there was. As Daniel explained, all Royal Service guests can dive into a selection of life-enriching activities, including massage therapy classes, tango lessons and guacamole-making classes. More adventurous options include non-motorized watersports, scuba diving, snorkeling, horseback riding and tennis.

After Daniel had acclimated me to my room and its ample amenities, I requested lavender and lemon-scented pillows from the pillow menu. I then asked him to set up a Jacuzzi for me later that evening with scented sea salts. I also requested that he reserve a deep tissue massage treatment for the following morning at the Spa at Paradisus. Royal Service guests receive preferential reservations for the spa, as well as specialty restaurants, activities and excursions.

During my stay, I especially grew to appreciate the Royal Service Lounge. From 7 a.m.-11 p.m., the exclusive retreat features a television, international newspapers, magazines, complimentary Internet access, continental breakfast, coffee, beverages and evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. This makes it a great place to visit for a “tweener” snack and beverage while catching up with what’s going on in the world.

With the all-inclusive option, I gladly sampled each of the resort’s six culinary options. While the AAA Four-Diamond L’Hermitage was a delight with its romantic style and gourmet specialties, I equally enjoyed the a la carte authentic Mexican fare at Tequila. Other eateries include Sumire, an a la carte Asian bistro and sushi bar; Capri, with Mediterranean cuisine; Reef Grill with light fare; and Caribbean Marketplace with its International buffets.

I also melted with my deep tissue massage at the Spa at Paradisus. With nine treatment cabins, the full-service haven is a member of The Leading Spas of the World. Although I appreciated its low-key, modest Mexican style perfectly suited to the resort, I learned it would soon be rebranded as a Yhi Spa. Sol Melia describes this spa flavor as one dedicated to purifying the body, balancing the mind and elevating the soul. If it could get any better than what I experienced, I definitely wanted to return.

“Royal Service is for people who want to be treated like royalty,” said Carina Martinez, Royal Service manager. “Our guests have been saving for that special getaway. So when they find out all the special services of our Royal Service, they’re willing to pay extra to be pampered with a concierge and butler at their disposal for any needs.”

While my stay at Paradisus was all too brief, I was completely blown away by the level of service. Not accustomed to being treated like a queen on a daily basis, I knew it was something I could adapt to with a little more practice. I’ll be back.


Paradisus Riviera Cancun

The resort features a Family Concierge Service, and the Romance by Paradisus program.

Facilities and services include four swimming pools, two tennis courts, a spa and health club, 8,295 square feet of meeting space, laundry service, video game center, mini-club and nursery for kids up to 2 years old, 24-hour pharmacy and medical staff, boutique/gift shop and car rental.

Nightly Rates: Through Dec. 20, $263 for Junior Suites, $389 for Royal Service (per room, per night, based on double occupancy).Dec. 21 through Jan. 2, $645 for Junior Suites, $770 for Royal Service Suites.