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Old 08-20-2013   #1 (permalink)
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Turning 30 in Playa - RPDC August 2013

Well, my husband and I have been back from our 2nd trip to the Royal Playa Del Carmen for a little over 2 weeks now so I figured it was about time to start a TR…can you say procrastinator? This is my 1st attempt at a TR but our 8th visit to an All Inclusive resort in Mexico. We booked this trip to celebrate my 30th birthday from 7/26-8/2 with our friends joining us later in the week. I took my husband to Valentin Imperial Maya for his 30th birthday so we knew we were coming back to Mexico for mine. His 30th bday trip consisted of a short 4 night get away but after I unexpectedly lost both of my parents 6 months apart a few years ago we both knew we needed (and deserved) a longer trip this time around….so why not 7 nights at RPDC? While my husband loves the actual vacations he couldn’t care less about the planning and details…he’s thrilled that I’ve found this forum to lighten his vacation load so here goes nothing…enjoy!

7/25-We live approximately 40 miles east of the DFW airport so when we go to Mexico we like to stay in a hotel near the airport, we always do the “park and stay” programs since the cost of the hotel room the night before our flight is usually around the same as airport parking. It’s funny how for years I flew out of DFW every week for work and never needed to stay at the hotel the night before but for some reason when it comes to our vacations it’s a requirement. Since we felt like we had more to celebrate this year we decided to splurge and stay at the Grand Hyatt IN the DFW airport. If anyone ever has a reason to stay at this airport I highly recommend it. It can be pricey during the week since it caters to business travel (unless you use reward points like we did) but for an additional $30 on top of our room price we got 7 nights of on-site parking at the airport which has a value of approximately $140…score! Not only that but the hotel sits over the international terminal at the airport so that means we can snooze at least two more times…double score J Our room was awesome and since they noticed we were close to our wedding anniversary (we stayed here on our wedding night in September 2008) they gave us free sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries.

Grand Hyatt Room-loved the accent lighting and carpet:


Grand Hyatt Bathroom-the artwork was crazy pretty for a hotel bathroom, too bad my picture isn’t great:


The non-all inclusive Grand Hyatt minibar-you see that tiny delicious looking bottle of Grey Goose begging me to open it? Sure..for $14 L


Doug enjoying the view of the runway from our room:


Our anniversary/birthday treat:


Doug was too fascinated with the electronic/remote room lighting controls to take a picture of us drinking our sparkling wine so yes, I shamelessly took a selfie:


After we checked out the room, overpriced mini-bar & had our sparkling wine we decided we needed another drink to celebrate. Keep in mind before we arrived at the Grand Hyatt we had been to dinner where I decided that I deserved not one but two extra large patron margaritas. Well the Grand Hyatt has a pretty little bar that I insisted we have a “night cap” in. Apparently I had 3 “night cap” $15 margaritas that I barely even remember. I was good after the sparkling wine in the room but sometimes my mind has a hard time controlling the “hand to mouth” movement when there is a beautiful cocktail sitting in front of me. Oh well..it’s vacation right?!


I guess Doug thought we were in Mexico already since he was walking around with his beer. I mainly took this picture because their hallways were really pretty for a hotel but you all get my husband’s “hey strike a pose” picture along with it…


The original plan was to take a late night swim in the rooftop pool to watch some planes land however we didn’t make it to that part. We fell asleep quickly and barely made it up in time. I’ve since told myself no more major night before vacation drinking ever….ha.

7/26-It’s finally here! The first day of vacation..too bad we’re both extremely hungover from last night..so hungover we never make it to the room service breakfast we were both hoping to get. We realized we were about to be late and were thankful to find out that another perk with staying at the Grand Hyatt…the bellmen can escort you through the priority check-in and security line if it’s not busy. Normally we get to the airport an hour or so early but due to our slow start we barely made it to the gate in time. Luckily the plane ride went smooth and we arrived in Cancun 3 minutes after scheduled arrival time (despite a 30 minute delayed departure). We breezed through security and baggage quicker than ever before and found our Lomas transfer. Finally, we’re on the bus and we have our beers…salud!


We took a shared transfer there (but private on the way back…long story) and chatted with a professional photographer who was also going to RPDC to shoot her nieces wedding. She had never been to Mexico and was worried at 1st but then we pulled up to the entrance and all she said was “wow”. Finally…we were home!


Quick picture I snapped while waiting on the romance concierge:


The room, just as beautiful as we remembered:




The view from room #901 (not as good as our oceanfront room from our honeymoon but at roughly ˝ the cost…it was PERFECT to us!)


I won’t bore everyone with the detailed room pictures (mini bar, snacks, toiletries, etc.) but if anyone would like to see those feel free to let me know. After we unpacked for about an hour (yes I’m one of THOSE people) we bee lined straight towards Pelicano’s for lunch. I was so hungry from being hungover I didn’t take any pictures to or from lunch but I did take this picture of my amazingly delicious flank steak:



Doug had the Hawaiian pizza that you see in the background which he enjoyed just as much as I enjoyed my steak. I was happy to find out that the peppers under the steak were actually spicy, you can’t see it but I was on my 1st of many Pina Colada’s for the week! Up next, our discovery of the quiet pool.
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Old 08-20-2013   #2 (permalink)
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Love your report so far..we are going the end of October..I can't wait!!
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Old 08-21-2013   #3 (permalink)
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Love your report so far..we are going the end of October..I can't wait!!
Thanks! I tried to take pictures with the TR in mind but drinking kind of got in the way of that sometime. I was going to add the next section today at work but left it at home.

Have a great trip in October! We were going back to PDC for a quick 4 night Halloween trip but DH might have to go back to Shanghai so it got put on the backburner. We can't wait to get back there though!
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Old 08-21-2013   #4 (permalink)
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Nice start.
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Old 08-21-2013   #5 (permalink)
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good report so far. stayed at that hotel in Dallas several times when i used to live in Tyler and would have to drive. now i'm in Addison which is close enough to drive....lol!
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Old 08-21-2013   #6 (permalink)
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After lunch we decided we wanted to make use of what little direct sunlight we had left so we decided to take a quick dip in the pool. After noticing that the main pool was much more crowded than we preferred we went to the quiet pool which was closer to our room. It looks small in pictures but we spent most of our time at the resort in the quiet pool. The service there was outstanding and the environment was just peaceful.

View from our lounge chair:


Gazebo that anyone can relax in near the quiet pool (just to the left of that there is a pool table and foosball table for anyone’s use, I didn’t think to get a good picture of it):


Every trip that we go on I try to take a “paparazzi” picture of Doug…it started on our very 1st vacation to San Antonio when he was on our balcony in his robe. Since it’s become somewhat of a tradition this is the only one I got of him this trip, I was in the quiet pool and he was looking down on it from the front door to our room:



Here I am enjoying one of probably 100 Iceburgs (like a beerita, beer on the bottom and silver frozen marg on the top):





After a few hours in the quiet pool we decide to get cleaned up and go to 5th Avenue. As soon as we got a few blocks down 5th we both realized how hungry we were so we didn’t last long before we returned to the resort & went to Asiana’s for dinner.

Our single picture of 5th Avenue from our 1st night:


Asiana’s had a short wait so we decided to get a drink from the lobby bar and sit in the 24-hour lounge until our pager went off.

Me drinking my lime daiquiri with grenadine in the 24-hour lounge (sorry for the blurry pic my husband’s camera phone wasn’t cooperating):


A view of the 24-hour lounge:



Finally, our buzzer goes off and we quickly get to Asiana’s. When we walk in we ask if Daniel is still there and not only is he there, we get to sit in his section during a packed dinner service. Daniel was our favorite server from our honeymoon and we honestly didn’t expect him to still be there 5 years later but he was. Since I knew how awesome he was I was able to describe a drink that was recommended on here and he brought one to me…they called it the Riviera Mayan (Y2Y-if you’re reading this does this look like the drink you described in the other drink thread? If so THANK YOU for recommending it…I probably had 30 of them throughout the week). Of course I couldn’t have a nice sweet frosty drink without some of the spring rolls to accompany it. And yes, there is one already missing from the plate, I ate it in maybe 5 seconds..don’t judge:



This is what I call my husbands “would you hurry up and take the picture I’m trying to eat” pose:



After my pre-appetizer spring rolls I finally get my appetizer Thai Beef Salad (yes when I label them pre-app and app it makes me feel less guilty about ordering 2). Let me just say that if I could order the Thai Beef Salad at a restaurant here in Dallas then I’d be in trouble. It was absolutely incredible, just melted in your mouth with so much flavor:


I realized I didn’t have many good pictures of my dress for that evening so this is Doug’s solution:



I couldn’t decide what to get for dinner so I asked Daniel to just bring me the best shrimp dish they had. I can’t even recall what Doug had because once I took a picture of my shrimp and ate some, I was in food heaven and zoned out. I wish I knew what this was on the menu but all I can say is if you order it slightly spicy you are in for a treat. The sauce under it looks the same as the spring roll sauce but it was completely different and just as delicious:



We were so full after dinner we had another drink at the lobby bar then called it a day. I don’t think either of us realized how tired we were but it turned out to be a great thing since that meant we both woke up early and ready to go on Saturday.
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Old 08-21-2013   #7 (permalink)
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Nice start.
Thank you! I realize I'm posting a lot of the same exact stuff as other members who have stayed here but it's fun learning how to do it all.
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Old 08-21-2013   #8 (permalink)
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good report so far. stayed at that hotel in Dallas several times when i used to live in Tyler and would have to drive. now i'm in Addison which is close enough to drive....lol!
Thanks! We love the Grand Hyatt, luckily we had enough bank reward points that were about to expire that we were only out of pocket about $60 for the room and parking, not bad but probably the only way we would stay there. We normally stay at the Hilton Homewood Suites right around the corner so it was a treat this time around. My in-laws live in Addison and Carrollton, if we could trust them we'd have them just drop us off at the airport and house sit but last time that we did that my Mother in-law re-arranged my entire house, ugh!

Ps-I'm envious of how many countdowns you have lol
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Old 08-21-2013   #9 (permalink)
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My husband was at the Grand Hyatt week before last and he face-something'd me and showed me the room. I started reading your TR and recognized the decor and asked him where he was! Lol!!

Your TR is making me very sad. We stayed at the RPC as Real Club members for 8 vacations but last year they determined that our membership was no longer valid. Obviously, we are pissed about that so we decided to spend our money at another resort. We are going to the RPRM in a little over a week, cost about the same as staying at The Royal did as members. Glad you had another great trip. We sure enjoyed our vaca's there!!
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Old 08-21-2013   #10 (permalink)
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oooooh, my favorite resort!

Great start!!!
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Old 08-22-2013   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks! We love the Grand Hyatt, luckily we had enough bank reward points that were about to expire that we were only out of pocket about $60 for the room and parking, not bad but probably the only way we would stay there. We normally stay at the Hilton Homewood Suites right around the corner so it was a treat this time around. My in-laws live in Addison and Carrollton, if we could trust them we'd have them just drop us off at the airport and house sit but last time that we did that my Mother in-law re-arranged my entire house, ugh!

Ps-I'm envious of how many countdowns you have lol
i accumulate points with Hyatt and Hilton...so those really help out on the pocket book. love living in Addison...so close to the DFW airport. for this upcoming trip though.....we hired a driver so we can have cocktails on the drive over and not have to worry about parking. first trip for my friend, Mike. this wil be my 33rd trip to Playa in 11 years...although i haven't been to Playa in a year and 1/2. LONG overdue.

yikes....no rearranging of the house. that would have not been good.
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Old 08-22-2013   #12 (permalink)
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My husband was at the Grand Hyatt week before last and he face-something'd me and showed me the room. I started reading your TR and recognized the decor and asked him where he was! Lol!!

Your TR is making me very sad. We stayed at the RPC as Real Club members for 8 vacations but last year they determined that our membership was no longer valid. Obviously, we are pissed about that so we decided to spend our money at another resort. We are going to the RPRM in a little over a week, cost about the same as staying at The Royal did as members. Glad you had another great trip. We sure enjoyed our vaca's there!!
I recall reading about your Real Club problems in the past to be honest it's stories like yours that have us very skeptic about any timeshares. I know some people have great luck but others have miserable nightmares at some point.

A few hours after my husband took that picture of me drinking the Iceburg we were both tipsy enough to really consider it...I know it sounds crazy but after 5 years and 4 other Mexico vacations we just really felt home coming back to RPDC and being so close to town. We got out and explored more later in the week and realized that while we love RPDC there are tons of other great places to stay so that we needed to wait several years before investing in one particular property/plan. Not only that but have you read the article that Hyatt has purchased the Royal Cancun? Not many details out yet but if they turn it into a non-adults only that would be another huge minus for us. We've mever been to Royal Cancun but I would certainly want it to be an option if we invested in the membership.
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Old 08-22-2013   #13 (permalink)
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oooooh, my favorite resort!

Great start!!!
Thank you! I'm having major dental work done tomorrow so hopefully it doesn't delay progress
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Old 08-22-2013   #14 (permalink)
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i accumulate points with Hyatt and Hilton...so those really help out on the pocket book. love living in Addison...so close to the DFW airport. for this upcoming trip though.....we hired a driver so we can have cocktails on the drive over and not have to worry about parking. first trip for my friend, Mike. this wil be my 33rd trip to Playa in 11 years...although i haven't been to Playa in a year and 1/2. LONG overdue.

yikes....no rearranging of the house. that would have not been good.
I used to get tons of Hilton Honors points when I travelled every week for work which is why we started staying at the Hilton Homewood Suites. We signed up for the Hyatt Gold Passport when we stayed there this time so I'm hoping to work on that for next years trips.

Where are you staying at this year? Sounds like you need a trip! We're hoping to start going at least twice a year if not three times, I'm hoping to make my 1st solo trip sometime next year as well.
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Old 08-22-2013   #15 (permalink)
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I used to get tons of Hilton Honors points when I travelled every week for work which is why we started staying at the Hilton Homewood Suites. We signed up for the Hyatt Gold Passport when we stayed there this time so I'm hoping to work on that for next years trips.

Where are you staying at this year? Sounds like you need a trip! We're hoping to start going at least twice a year if not three times, I'm hoping to make my 1st solo trip sometime next year as well.
Super excited! Just dropped by and saw this! I am thrilled. I haven't even read it yet so don't know if it's the full trip report or just a beginning, but regardless, Thank you Kelli!

We LOVE Homewood Suites...

Still trying to pin down our next RPDC trip...gonna be in June again I believe...off to reading your report!

ps hope your dental work went well.
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