To me, being on vacation means not having to make any decisions,
but surfing the plethora of selections at the breakfast buffet was
enough to make my hungry head spin. This was the second big
decision of my morning in Spice restaurant at the Royal Porto Real
Playa del Carmen Resort & Spa. I had to get tough, with choices
like smoked salmon, waffles, a dozen different cheeses, authentic
chliaquiles and quesadillas tempting me while chefs sent omelets
up, over and back into the frying pan, still fluffy and intact.
The artfully presented food selections take center stage at this
all-suite property, which has adopted the user-friendly
“all-inclusive” designation catching on rapidly in the Riviera
Maya. At Real Resorts’ newest addition, clients can choose from
four specialty restaurants, the 24-hour Club or room service, which
is always open. The hotel has six bars and lounges, including a
Tequileria and a Cigar Bar.
One restaurant, Maria-Marie, serves up Mexican-French fusion
cuisine. Asiana presents sushi, sashimi and teriyaki, while
Pelicanos, located on the beach, cooks up Caribbean-fusion. Liquor
including a wide variety of tequilas house wines and beer are all
part of the deal. The sommelier is amiable and very knowledgeable,
should serious oeno-philes desire a different, additional-cost
The hotel staff aims to please, although as expected, not everyone
understands on the first try. Clients will, however, hear “It is my
pleasure to serve you” frequently.
Clients will also notice the special touches that went into two
years of planning this 315-suite hotel.
Mexican architect Jokin Luisa Donnay designed the resort, an
eye-pleasing and distinctive environment of modern and classical
Mexico. Everything was especially made for the hotel most by local
artisans including art, furniture and sculptures like the
intriguing folkloric characters outside. Floors of stone and
marble, walls, ceilings and decorative lighting all make a
consistent statement, whether in a public area or a suite with a
hammock outside. Murals, columns and hand-painted mirrors meld with
a multitude of textures throughout the facility.
The resort is located adjacent to a pier where the ferry docks,
and Hurricane Wilma actually widened the already powdery white
beach there. Besides relaxing at the two pools, sports enthusiasts
can windsurf, sail or snorkel lessons are complimentary.
Shoppers will delight over Playa del Carmen’s Fifth Avenue, right
outside the door.
Clients should treat themselves to at least one treatment in
SPAzul. The spa is complete with Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and
plunge pool. Clients can also let go with a traditional temazcal.
The health-conscious hotel also has one of the
only hyperbaric oxygenation chambers in Mexico, and no, Michael
Jackson hasn’t used it yet, but you can.
Hits: Large in-room Jacuzzi tubs; a physician on site.
Misses: The hotel has its own power supply, which occasionally
Be Aware: The 307 ocean-view Royal Junior suites with private
terraces require guests to be on the terrace to view the ocean.
Suites face the courtyard (pools) or the avenue.
Plugging In: Many rooms have wireless Internet at no charge.
Computers in the business center are coin-operated.
Clientele: Couples, honeymooners, business travelers and
Rates: $180-$604 per person
Commission: 12 percent on rack rates; 15 percent on special
Royal Porto Playa del Carmen Resort & Spa