Royal Sands Cancun: Not a Dreaded Time Share, So Much More Than I Thought

When my friends asked me if I wanted to use their (quickly expiring) time share in Cancun, I’ll admit…I was a tiny bit hesitant.  Firstly, the words “time share” send a shiver down my spine…aggressive sales men hunting me all week…resort organized mixers?  Not my thing.Second…Cancun?  Sure I planned a trip to the Yucatan for this week anyway…but I was thinking relaxing Tulum or Cozumel or maybe a new locale…Isla Holbox.  Cancun was definitely not my first choice.

But as soon as I looked at the website, it didn’t make sense NOT to go.  Incredibly cheap price.  2 bedrooms?  Two baths?  A full kitchen?  A huge dining balcony?  1300 square feet?  (It’s set up to sleep up to 8.)   Let’s give it a go.  And I’m super glad I did…Royal Sands is much nicer than I ever would have imagined and this time of year in Cancun?  Fantastic.

Like almost all of the hotels on the “strip” this place is HUGE.  Hundreds and hundreds of rooms and villas…

And though this is my view for most of the day….

Laying under one of these little palapa umbrellas (view from bedroom balcony)…

There are 1 million things to do here.  Whether it’s trips organized by the travel desk…

or events organized by the hotel.   Lots of exercise classes like zumba and water aerobics if that’s your thing…

Or more low key like painting some ceramics.

(So I’m not a natural…but I’m sure the employees are going to doctor this up beautifully by the time I pick it up.  My kitchen sponge will be proud to perch in it.)

This little painting shop has oodles of business.  A very fun thing to do on vacation and most pieces cost about $10-15 USD total.  Maybe a great idea for Belize…”Coco-Crafts”?  “Be An Isla Artista”?  I need to work on the name.

For good or bad, all purchases at this place are made with a card.  No cash required.  Good in that it is uber-convenient…bad in that it is easy to rack up charges.  We’ve been very good spending money at the huge in house grocery store…

It’s not crazy expensive either (the Walmart in town is about 20% cheaper but for something quick this is perfect…)

Like cheap wine.

And $50 USD for a one week gym and spa membership…so TOTALLY worth it even if you are like me and do not enjoy working out.

The gym is fully stocked (there are tons of free weights as well).

But we seem to spend most of our time doing the prescribed spa circuit.  Shower, Inhalation Room,  Sauna, Cold shower, Jacuzzi, Cold Shower, Steam Room.

And then sipping herbal teas and cucumber water in big bathrobes & slippers in here…

You’d be surprised how much energy it takes each day to achieve total relaxation.

Aside from the hotel,  the time of year is absolute perfection!  Many don’t think of travelling to the Caribbean in the summer but there are so many awesome things going on.

May through September is whale shark season.  And I hope you are ready to see these pictures 1000x because I can get enough of them.  (If you missed my write-up on the best trip ever: see this.)

And late May to August is also turtle nesting season for green turtles, hawksbill and sometimes leatherbacks (the REALLY big one).  These poor guys apparently don’t know that the 200 skyscraping hotels that now occupy their beach might not foster the ideal condition for their eggs.  BUT…Royal Sands has quite a program to help them along.

Each night (all night), a team patrols the beach for mamas that are coming to lay their eggs.  They militantly guard them during the process.  Last night, one was in labor and no one was allowed anywhere near her…you couldn’t even see her.

Once she returns to the ocean, her eggs are dug up and moved to a safe area.

Each nest is marked with all the information and a few months later, the babies are released.

Last night, 421 hatchlings were released into the water by the hotel.  Everyone who is there gets a chance to send a little guy or two on his way.  SWIM turtle-ito, swim.  (Anyone know what kind these are?)

These are my friend Jamie’s hands.  I was too busy doing nothing up in the hotel room.

Ok…so the style of the lobby is a style I would call Faux Rococo Mediterranean and mixed drinks are a bit expensive at the pool (who cares?  buy a bottle of cheap liquor and use the turbo blender in your room!)…

But this place is awesome!

Oh yeah…eeeek.  I forgot about these… these chairs are everywhere.

And yes, the main pool can be crowded (August seems like the month were lots of Mexicans and Americans with kids go on vacation.)
But there are 4-5 more pools to enjoy (in two totally separate pool areas)…
And they are quite regimented about the rules.  YOU are responsible for cleaning your own kitchen or you will be fined at the end of the week (OH the hardship) or…
But I like it…let’s keep the rude people in check.  (I won’t use this as an opportunity to pick on German tourists.  That’s not my style.)
Bottom line:  Royal Sands Cancun…uber-convenient, HUGE, super clean, quiet, packed with guests and staff but you would hardly know it.

I have no idea how much this place really costs (we totally side-stepped the free lunch meeting with our concierge, Charlie) but what I do know is that I am really digging it.  For one more day.

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  • I love to swim with the turtles in Akumal Bay. Akumal Beach Resort is a clean, friendly, inexpensive all inclusive if you need a turtle fix on the way home.

  • Me

    I think I’m filled up on all-inclusive…though this one doesn’t serve the food. Playa, Tulum and then…sigh…home.

  • Leisa

    Brings back great memories of our stay at the Royals Sands last summer. The only regret I have is that we didn’t swim with the Whale Sharks while we were there. Next time….. Did you get to take advantage of the 2 for 1 drinks during Happy Hour? I think it’s either 3-6:00 or 4-7:00. Plus you get free chips during that time which were yummy!