July 5th, 2012, 03:55 PM
Any reviews on Park Royal hotel would be greatly appreciated. I'm going to be staying the first week in November. I will be diving each day and the wife will hang at the hotel while I have all the fun. My wife got a deal on groupon. 6 nights, 7 days, all inclusive, including taxes and gratuities. This amount also covers beer, liquor and soft drinks. Doesnt sound that bad considering airfare is free, using frequent travel points.
Also, does anyone know if Rolando Montaner-Fontaine with Dive Cozumel is still working on the island. I hired him as my private DM a could times a few years ago. Great guy, very experienced technical diver and we used the Anita?? I think that's the name of the boat since Rolandos boat was damaged.
July 5th, 2012, 04:43 PM
Been about 5 years since I stayed at park royal, I thought it was a descent place. Nice rooms, nice grounds and had good service. The all inclusive IMO is def the way to go. Spent several evenings "off gassing" at the pool bar that more than paid for the all inclusive upcharge. Only thing I could of done without was that there were an awful lot of kids there. PR is towards the edge of town but within walking distance to the main part of town.
At the time I believe aquaworld was the resident dive op provider... my GF took here DSD in the pool there along with a dive in the cove and finally on paradise reef. Nice instructor and kicked off the GF's dive career. Her and I both made PADI assitant instructors just last week.
Anyways.... I would stay there again and have no problem recommending park royal.
July 5th, 2012, 09:20 PM
Yes, just got back from diving Coz 3rd week of June with family of 3 divers, and stayed at Park Royal for 3rd summer trip in a row. Summary of PR:
1) The fact that it has a bit of the property directly on the water with a little bit of beach for sunbathing and some really easy safe water entry for casual snorkling. That is not so common for a lot of properties, until you get way south out of town.
2) The garden grounds are very pretty. We love the feel of the place.
3) The staff is very warm and accomodating for the most part. See note below in things to be aware of.
4) The room safes to put up valuables are good, and worth the couple bucks a day.
5) The buffet food is actually quite good, and we have stayed with friends there who compared it very favorably over places like Hotel Cozumel. Of the two restaurants, the Mexican is better than the Italian.
To be aware of:
1) The best rooms are in Building 2 above the 5th floor, and you cannot really arrange that until you are standing at the front desk. The area I describe gets you off the street and away from the car noise (I had to move us out of, I believe, Bldg 4 because of honking noises coming up). Above 5th floor gets you above the tree line to a pretty view of the water.
2) You have to stand your own, politely and firmly with the front desk staff on issues like this. The past 3 years, check in has been the only real complaint I have had, in that I always reserve an "Ocean view" room for a few extra bucks... but I have to stand on them to actually get it. They do not respond well to rants, and that is not my style anyway. But I have had to have firm discussions, having them call in the top manager, in order to get a response. This is not indicative of the rest of the staff... just a weird fluke of the front desk staff. It is all good, and I mean really good, once you run that gauntlet. Once you get to your room, check everything out, and have them move you if it is not good.
3) For your diving, Park Royal does not have a pier for your dive op to pick you up at. So the guests like us use the one right next door (you get to it beside the bar on the beach/pool) -- Aqua World. The AquaWorld guys will walk over to you and require a few bucks a person for each day's pick up on their pier. Or you can tell them you want to have pick up all week, and they will let you do $5 US bucks per person for the week... put their bracelet on your dive bag to prove you paid. So you want to have that extra cash on you that first morning pick up.
4) Internet access is free only in lobby.
5) There is pressure here to listen to a timeshare presentation. We listened two years and got some discounts on rental cars and mainland visits. But now we do not waste the time no matter what they offer. It is hard to get out of it under 2 hours and not convenient times. If you tell them no firmly, they do back off and are still helpful if you want advice on things like car rental, spa/massages, etc.
6) On the morning of your dives as you head out to the beach side to catch your dive op boat at AquaWorld, you may want to take a hotel beach towel out for your wife and some identifying (but not valuable) item like a Tshirt- and lay them on a beach umbrella/chair. They get snatched up early because they are limited in number, and you can beat the crowd for her in this manner. People's stuff is respected there on the beach and the PR property is fenced, so no issues staking a claim and then leaving a few items for an hour or two.
7) Know that the cruise ships come in a few days and tie up at a pier a half block away, and they will be in your view, but not all the time. We never minded, and actually found them interesting sometimes. They were often gone by sunset. No biggie if you know to expect it.
8) If you need to break a large US $ bill, they will only break it into pesos and never never never into $US smaller denominations even though they have a ton there, which is of course reasonable and their right because that is their currency. But I have traveled with US guests for whom this mystifies them and throws them off. I travel with smaller denominations using and/or changing what I need when I need, and it just works better for me.
Have a great trip!!