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The Royal Cancun All-Inclusive Spa and Resort

Aerial view of the Royal Cancun

Cancun, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
If you thought a holiday to crowded Cancun meant a big Mexican wave goodbye to rest and relaxation, then taco look at this adults-only all-inclusive.

first impressions
Short of rolling out a red carpet, this five-star luxury spa resort really does live up to its name: it's a Royal hotel that's fit for a king.

Set on Cancun's vibrant main strip – nestled between the crystal-clear Caribbean on one side, and the tranquil Nichupte Lagoon on the other – The Royal has been making waves with tourists since it opened in early 2007.

The first thing that strikes you about the resort is its size and attention to detail: from the stained-glass ceiling in the reception area (where you'll receive cold towels and wine on arrival), to the arched entrance ways and marble floors that continue into the vast, Mediterranean-style lobby. Here you'll find marble columns, blue-tinted arched windows, wrought-iron chandeliers, huge oversized lounge chairs, a grand piano with pianist, fresh bouquets of flowers and, oh yes ... several attentive waitresses.

But here's the really appealing bit: children under 16 are banned. That means your once-in-a-lifetime dream holiday won't be affected by the plague of 'Spring Breakers' – American students on a booze-fuelled mid-term holiday – or any of the other youngsters who descend on Cancun each year in their droves.

The rule's also great for parents craving some TLC – that is, Tired of Loving the Children.

bedrooms
All 285 bedrooms at The Royal are, for want of a better description, the proverbial Dog's Danglies. Each comes with its own climate control, and a large terrace balcony with two chairs, hammock, and unobstructed views of the white sandy beach and the Caribbean sea. They are spacious with king-size 'Royal Beds' with designer fine linens, pillow top mattresses, thick duvets, and white partial curtains. Next to the bed is a wide, two-person jacuzzi with complimentary Bulgari bath toiletries, and thick bathrobes and slippers.

bedroom at the Royal Cancun

Each room also has a 32-inch plasma TV with satellite channels, state-of-the-art Bose surround-sound and DVD system, and a fully-loaded iPod.

The mini bar (which is, like most things in the hotel, totally free) is stocked daily with beers, wines, spirits, sparkling wines, soft drinks, bottled water, chocolate and crisps.

Rooms have hand crafted, mahogany furniture, marble floors and columns, and a selection of fresh fruit on arrival.

Other amenities include laptop-sized safety deposit box, clock-radio, ironing board, direct-dial telephones, wireless internet, coffee-maker, turn-down service with aromatherapy, and a 'magic box' for discreet room-service delivery.

Bathrooms are equally as grand, with marble tiling throughout, TV speakers and phone, dual vanities with bowl sinks, and complimentary toiletries. Showers have multiple body massage jets, and come with both a rainfall and hand-held shower heads.

Junior Suites come with all of the above, but if you're really looking to impress, look no further than the Presidential Suite or the Royal Swim-up Master Beach Front – firm favourites of the A-listers.

food and drink
If you dreamed of losing weight on your Mexican adventure, you'd better think again: with six restaurants serving-up every dish imaginable, such thoughts are better left at home ...

Spice serves international à la carte cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It has indoor seating only, with views of the pool and spa. Try the arraviata penne ajillo fish fillet followed by the lemon pie.

Pelicanos serves Caribbean and Mexican food throughout the day, with indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the sea. Signature dishes include Clam Wilson oysters and quail.

Asiana – an Asian restaurant with its own koi pond. Serves Cantonese, Thai, and Japanese for lunch and dinner, buffet-style or à la carte. There's also two teppanyaki tables and a sushi bar overlooking the palm-lined boulevard.

Marie Marie is a must for Mexican and French foodies. Serves à la carte for dinner with views overlooking the Nichupte Lagoon.

Tapas and Pinxos serves Spanish tapas from northern Spain and the Basque region. It's open for lunch and dinner.

The Chef's Plate has international haute cuisine with a new five-course menu created each day. Dinner only.

Lobby of the Royal Cancun

If these weren't enough, there's the Royal Coffee House serving espressos and cappuccinos, light sandwiches and pastries and chocolate fountains; the 24-hour lounge serving snacks, appetizers and a variety of drinks; the Tequileria and Cigar Bar, overlooking the infinity pool, which serves Mexican tequilas and hand-rolled imported cigars; the Wine Corner Bar where the wine-tasting is held; and the Royal Martini Bar. There's even a swim-up bar with in-pool seating called Tradewinds. And let's not forget 24-hour room service ...

Remember: all meals, snacks and drinks are included in your room tariff – so don't hold back!

service with a smile?
Is the Pope a Catholic? Staff are friendly and speak good English (better, at least, than most Westerners' Spanish!).

Take the outdoor infinity pool and spa tubs, where guests can unwind on deck chaise loungers – each with cushion and adjustable sunshade – or in canopied day beds on the beach: butlers stroll through both areas supplying books, newspapers, magazines, sunscreen, food and drinks.

If you fancy something a bit more active, personal trainers are on hand throughout the day in the gym, which features cardio and weight-training equipment. Classes include pilates and spinning.

There's a business centre with five PCs, a scanner, copier, and wireless internet on offer 24 hours a day, not to mention a huge DVD library.

Be sure to visit the hotel's spa, SPAzul, which offers signature Maya-inspired Saas treatments, individual massages, masques, chocolate mint exfoliations, and algae body wraps – all using locally-sourced ingredients.

The Royal also has a widely-stocked shop, its own travel agency for bespoke local tours, wedding organisers, a beauty salon and art gallery.

local attractions
The resort itself offers a wide selection of activities, most of which are on site. There's pool and table-tennis, swimming, volleyball, squash and racquet ball, tennis, and free bikes on request. Other activities include golf, scuba and snorkelling, surfing, water skiing, jet skiing, para sailing, and fishing – many of which are free of charge to hotel guests.

Elsewhere, no trip to the Yucatan would be complete without a visit to the world-famous ruins of Chichen Itza, built by the early Mayan civilisation. These spectacular stone buildings – of which the giant pyramid, El Castillo, is the most famous – were built in around 600AD by the ancient Mayans. Today, they attract millions of visitors each year, and shouldn't be missed.

You can learn about the Mayan people with a trip to Xcaret, a replica Mayan city where locals, dressed in traditional clothing, teach you about their ancestors' customs and traditions.

Both excursions can be arranged through the hotel.

will it break the bank?
Surprisingly not. Prices start from around US$300 (UKú150) per night for the Junior Suite, rising to around US$500 (UKú250) for the presidential suite.

Several packages available on request.

details
The Royal Cancun All-Inclusive Spa and Resort
Boulevard Kukuclan
Cancun
Mexico
Web: www.realresorts.com/The_Royal_Cancun

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