The Royal Playa Del Carmen – my review & how to maintain or lose weight on vacation

Chris and I went on a 5day, 4night trip to Playa Del Carmen.

We stayed at The Royal, which is an all inclusive resort. This is the 4th one we have stayed at and it was definitely our favorite of all. I’m not an expert travel blogger, but I tend to look for vacation spots that are fun and also have healthy options, so I wanted to share this gem 💎 of a resort where you can totally relax and indulge or stay healthy & get fit, or some combo of that! 🙂


Highlights of this resort:

Adults only & Beautiful Scenery


Service was Phenomenal!
We stayed at a Sandals last year which didn’t allow us to tip. The Royal does allow this, and a couple tips at the beginning of the week go a Long way. It also seemed like the resort employees really enjoyed their work, whereas last year, it seemed more like punching a clock type of work.


Fresh food available 24/7
– this is a big one for me. They had a place that Chris and I called “snacks” but it was a continental buffet (hot & cold/fresh items) open all the time.

We literally ate there every meal except for 2 of them 😂😂. Call us simple, but this was a Huge Plus for us.

  1. We could go there after our workout to grab something quick before going to the pool
  2. We could get a plate and take it out to the pool
  3. We could make a plate to take to our room if we felt like hanging out til sunset at the pool and then didn’t feel like getting dressed up for a dinner. There’s also room service but we preferred this!

Cabanas by the pool – you can get to the pool early to get one (7am-ish)

  • or you can buy one on their “foam party” day – Saturday- for $160 which I totally recommend (we also got champagne and a 5min shoulder massage along with it)
    • You can also upgrade to a presidential suite ($180extra for the night) to get a cabana reserved for you – we didn’t do this but met a couple who did – there’s also a rooftop pool with the suite and you get a free lobster/steak dinner (usually $90 extra) at one of their fancy restaurants

    We stayed at the pool for most of the day on the 3full days we were there so having the shade from the cabana really helped us not get scorched. Maybe we are just old? 😂. But they really made the pool very enjoyable for us!


  • We didn’t do any excursions but those are offered – the normal Mexico/Cancun/tulum ones. We did choose to get a massage though, which brings me to the next highlight:
  • Great Massages!!!
  • Chris and I opted for a deep tissue massage. I also requested to get it at night and outside, which they accommodated in their gazebo! I love having the ocean as background noise :).
  • The masseuses were really good- Chris and I both felt they were better than expected and or previous massages we have had. I left them 5star 🌟 reviews on trip advisor. 💗
  • Apparently we missed the eclipse that night, but this was a few minutes after

  • Fitness center and classes
  • The gym had basically everything you could want/need. Not as fancy as a regular gym, but definitely more than expected from a resort than I’m used to. Chris and I lifted a couple times while we were there. I borrowed a jump rope daily and Chris used the treadmill/elliptical a couple times. The staff at the gym were also nice. They did offer group classes- insanity, Pilates, bootcamp, stretching, spinning, etc that looked fun but we just did our own thing.

  • What upgrades we think are worth looking at:
    • As mentioned above, the presidential suite might be something worth looking at
      They also have “swimup suites” or poolview suites that we would look into if we visit again. The swimup suite porch backs into the pool with the swim-up bar, and the poolview suites are ground level facing the pool (easier access to your stuff, less to carry to the pool, etc)
      A longer massage – we got 50min massages but I’d be interested in doing one of their 80min ones possibly – my masseuse (Samuel) literally worked out all the knots in my calf and hamstrings & almost got the knot out in my piriformis and shoulder (this has never happened before)

    Things to avoid:

    Super Shuttle Taxi … ugh. Or at least don’t book a round trip with this taxi service to/from the resort. They were an HOUR late picking us up. Not super …


    How to stay fit/lose weight on vacation (if you want):

    I posted about this last year when we went to the Bahamas and the same principles still apply:

    • Focus on enjoying the place and people you’re with- not placing so much emphasis on the food/drinks
    • Eating gluten-free : I have to do this, but it’s a great way to keep yourself from eating the high carb/fat breads/donuts/pancakes, etc.
    • Focus on the fresh foods available & that there’s no prep for them! There’s fresh veggies, fruit, and fish always available here and It made me so happy. I probably ate the value of what I paid in smoked salmon while there 😂. So good!

    • Pick “fun” foods to splurge on and really enjoy them. Chris and I got ice cream 1-2x a day from the buffet there “Spice” – it was the really good, creamy stuff. I also topped all my food with fresh shaved coconut 🥥
    • Drink Lots of water! I brought my flask with me to keep it filled with water while there and it helped a lot.

    • I drank a little champagne but am not much of a drinker, but here’s a good info graphic I saw about alcohol from @cartergood on IG:


    This was our view the last day by the pool 😢… It was just a week ago, but feels like forever now and I want to go back. Lol.

    We had THE best time ever & I definitely recommend The Royal.


    I also recommend this book that I read on vacation:

    One of my new top faves!


    What about you all?

    Any favorite vacations you would recommend or redo again?

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    2 thoughts on “The Royal Playa Del Carmen – my review & how to maintain or lose weight on vacation

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