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Which Royal? Islander or Sands

Joan-OH

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For those that know the Royals... If you were getting a one bedroom unit, would you pick the Islander or Sands? I have to choose between the two for May.

Joan-OH
 

BoaterMike

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For those that know the Royals... If you were getting a one bedroom unit, would you pick the Islander or Sands? I have to choose between the two for May.

Joan-OH

Key point is that the RI is part of the Tri-Royals where you can use the pools and restaurants of all three resorts. IMO, the pool areas of the Tri-Royals are more "open" or slightly more "park-like" (emphasis on slightly) than the Sands where the buildings seem more close to the pools. The Sands is on it's own, but is close to the Hacienda Sisal Restaurant. The Sands also has a decent sports bar.

Some might say that the RS is closer to the Cancun "action" than the Tris, but the difference is not that significant. And, some feel that the Sands has a more youthful clientele, but I've never seen that much of a difference.

You really can't go wrong either way. Units are very similar and the amenities are practically the same.

Mike
 
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mjm1

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My wife and I stayed at the Sands a two years ago in a 1 BR and loved it. We've never stayed at the others, but we did walk through the properties. We preferred the look of the Sands. I can still picture standing in the lobby and looking out over the pool area to the beautiful ocean. Amazing!
 

pjrose

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MJM1 is right about the awesome view from the lobby in the Sands. It's not something you're going to spend the week doing, but the planning that went into the continuous blue view from pools to sea to sky is indeed amazing.

The units are basically the same, as stated above.

With the Tris, you have more pool areas and more restaurants on-site to choose from, and if you have little ones, the kiddie pool at the Caribbean (right next to the Islander) is probably the best of the kiddie pools counting all the Royals. If you like pool volleyball, the net is always up at the Caribbean, and the beach volleyball net is also always up - not sure about the Sands.

At the Sands, you have a great spa, and also a lap pool. I dislike the HUGE Sands pool; the chairs are in multiple rows and it's not as personal, not as conducive to conversation groups as the set-up around the curvy pools at the Tris or the curvy pool at Phase II of the Sands.

Tris have more and prettier landscaping.

Sands has a nicer activity center.

You can't go wrong either way, but whichever you go to, be sure to hop the free shuttle for a day at the other!
 
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tonyg

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Depends on what you like to do at the resort. I have always found it easier to get beach or pool seating at the Tri's. I've never felt that comfortable at the Sands.
 

amycurl

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We loved the spa at the Sands, but preferred the pool atmosphere at the Tris (we stayed at the Carribbean.) Also preferred the Happy Hour scene at the Royal Mayan (part of the Tris.)

You really can't go wrong, however, because if you don't like the set-up--jump on the shuttle and spend the day at the other! This is *the best* aspect of The Royals, IMHO.....I wish Marriott would adopt this policy with their HHI resorts!
 

BoaterMike

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Depends on what you like to do at the resort. I have always found it easier to get beach or pool seating at the Tri's. I've never felt that comfortable at the Sands.

I wonder why that is? :confused: Even though we really like the RS, we've felt that the other owners/guests were friendlier at the Tri's or even RH.

Mike
 

Phydeaux

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The Sands is too mega-resort for my liking. I really don't care too much for it. To each their own.
 

ilene13

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The Sands is too mega-resort for my liking. I really don't care too much for it. To each their own.

If you think the Sands is like a mega-resort do not go to the Grand Mayan, Mayan Palace, Grand Luxxe property. It was enormous. You had to use a shuttle to go anywhere. I have a great sense of direction and since we actually never had a tour of the property I could not figure out where I was---even the last day.
 

heathpack

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Royal Sands is awesome!

We have only been to the Royal Sands and Royal Haciendas. We totally loved both, especially the Sands.

Here is the view we had from our room:
IMG_2742.jpg


5a713359.jpg


You cannot go wrong with the Royal Sands, IMO.

H
 

jhac007

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My wife and I stayed at the Sands a two years ago in a 1 BR and loved it. We've never stayed at the others, but we did walk through the properties. We preferred the look of the Sands. I can still picture standing in the lobby and looking out over the pool area to the beautiful ocean. Amazing!

We were there in 2010, same as you, 1BR. My opinion is exactly as yours. I would not hesitate to return to the Sands if I were going back to Cancun and take the shuttle to visit the other resorts.

Jim
 

BoaterMike

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How is the beach at RH? We are interested in Playa.
It's nice, but it's not the same as the Cancun resort's beaches. The actual beach is not as wide from door to water, but the benefit is that it is ground level to ocean-front units and you can be just a few steps away from a palapa. Also, the pools are on the same level as the beach. The ocean floor has some more rocks than what you find at Cancun. On the other hand, you can do some limited snorkeling at RH. The wave action typically is much less at the RH and Playa beaches since Cozumel is located to the east.

There are pluses and minuses to both areas. We're happy at either.

Mike
 

Helene4

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How is the beach at RH? We are interested in Playa.

The beach is great, not eroded. The water is MUCH calmer, so if you have small children (or a knee replacement like I do!) you can get in and actually swim. The water in Cancun is much rougher. The Haciendas has Cozumel as a buffer for the waves, so they are not too big. The waves in Cancun at the Sands and the Tri-Royals is direct ocean. The Royal Cancun (the old VCI) is buffered by Isla Mujeres so their waves are comparable to the Haciendas.
 

pjrose

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Depends on what you like to do at the resort. I have always found it easier to get beach or pool seating at the Tri's. I've never felt that comfortable at the Sands.

We loved the spa at the Sands, but preferred the pool atmosphere at the Tris (we stayed at the Carribbean.) Also preferred the Happy Hour scene at the Royal Mayan (part of the Tris.)

You really can't go wrong, however, because if you don't like the set-up--jump on the shuttle and spend the day at the other! This is *the best* aspect of The Royals, IMHO.....I wish Marriott would adopt this policy with their HHI resorts!

I wonder why that is? :confused: Even though we really like the RS, we've felt that the other owners/guests were friendlier at the Tri's or even RH.

Mike

The Sands is too mega-resort for my liking. I really don't care too much for it. To each their own.

+1.

I think it has to do with the pool and chair layout and landscaping; the curvier pools at the RM, RC, and RI invite more personal groupings than the several-rows-deep chairs at the huge straight-sided pool at RS Phase I. The Tris also seem more family-oriented; there are plenty of families at the RS and plenty of not-families at the Tris, but the Tris just seem family-friendlier, the RS more impersonal. The RM pool bar and palapa bar are the friendliest of all, possibly because they're in the middle of everything rather than off in a corner? Or maybe it's because the older resorts have more regulars who know each other, staff as well as members. For whatever reason, I think the Tris have developed more of a personality over the years than the Sands.
 

SDMiller

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Beach at Royal Haciendas

Momeason - to see the beach look at the reviews and pictures on Tripadvisor.com.

SD
 

Joan-OH

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Thank you to everyone for your comments on the two resorts. As it happens, we will not be going this year. :-(

Joan-OH
 
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