Royalton Riviera Cancun Trip Report
We arrived at the Royalton Riviera Cancun, which is approximately 20 minutes from the Cancun International Airport on Sunday, May 31st.
The weather was absolute perfection – 82°F, sunny with some scattered cumulus clouds to provide occasional shade from the sun.
The lobby of the Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa is very contemporary with an open concept. There are plenty of loungers located throughout the lobby and a row of loungers providing gorgeous views of the sea and of the main pool for travelers who like to relax with a view. The lobby music had a zen vibe, adding to the relaxing ambiance. The lobby features a lobby bar with approximately 40 bar seats. The bar features a wide variety of liquor from Absolut Vodka to Jim Beam Bourbon to Tanqueray Gin, as well as very refreshing air conditioning. The bartenders and service in the lobby and the lobby bar were excellent. Sit down at any of the loungers in the lobby, and you will be greeted with a friendly smile asking if you would like a cocktail or soft drink from the bar. Overall, we thought the lobby was excellent.
- View from the Lobby: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0R8nRr8IDI
Dorado Seafood Grille
The Dorado Seafood Grille is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is located in the Hideaway Section (adults-only) of the resort. The lunch menu has many seafood options including a ceviche section. The “Calamari al Ajillo” was delicious with properly cooked calamari. The ceviche was also very appetizing. Meals in this restaurant are complemented by plantain & sweet potato chips with a kiwi-mango salsa that was very refreshing. The Dorado Seafood Grille also offered some non-seafood and vegetarian options. The breakfast options include many different smoothies, eggs cooked to order, and other warm and cold cereals. The views from the Dorado Seafood Grille are outstanding!
- View of Dorado Seafood Grille from Above: https://instagram.com/p/3XcFtSivcK
- Lunch Menu at Dorado Seafood Grille: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWUAnPK3XLA
Hunter Steak House
Like most of the restaurants at the resort, the restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating. The menu was much like an American steak house, offering different cuts of beef along with traditional steak house side dishes. The bone-in New York Strip Steak was well above average, and the onion rings were a nice complement. The Canadian Macaroni & Cheese was also very good. We would definitely recommend trying this restaurant while on vacation.
- The menu at Hunter Steak House: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQwSyVQ_VHY
Marche Buffet Restaurant
The buffet at the Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa is one of the better buffets that we have experienced at an All-Inclusive resort. The buffet is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We only ate breakfast at Marche. There are multiple omelet stations and other areas where chefs are available to cook your food made to order– pancake station, crepe station, smoothie bar, etc. If you are a picky eater or have picky eaters in your group, they will be pleased. Lots of fresh fruit was available.
Armadillos Tex-Mex Restaurant
Armadillos is open for lunch and dinner. We ate lunch at Armadillos multiple times. Service, as with all restaurants at the resort, was excellent. The nacho appetizer with cheese, chili, and other sauces was excellent. They also offered 3 dipping sauces at the beginning of the meal– fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, and a spicy habanero sauce. We had the brisket and the margarita shrimp. The margarita shrimp was very good and something that we ordered again throughout the week.
- Chips & Dip at Armadillos: https://instagram.com/p/3ZigCvivXh
- Margarita Shrimp at Armadillos: https://instagram.com/p/3ZlnqLCvd3
Agave Mexican Restaurant
This was the only restaurant where we were a little disappointed. Most of the other guests of the resort who we met said that this was one of their favorite restaurants. The tortilla soup was good, but the tacos al pastor and cochinitas pibil were only decent. We’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico and have higher expectations for “authentic” Mexican food. The service and atmosphere at the restaurant were exceptional.
- Inside Agave Restaurant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buv5T2HCwF4
Opa Mediterranean Restaurant
Like all the restaurants at this resort, this one is very elegant with beautiful decor. This was one of our favorite restaurants at the resort. The hummus appetizer is excellent and full of flavor. The saganaki was also delicious. The restaurant features a gyro of the day which was a delicious chicken gyro. The souvlaki was also very tasty.
Zen Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar
Two options are available at this restaurant. Guests can either make reservations for one of the teppanyaki show tables or have regular seating without reservations. We opted to make a reservation for one of the teppanyaki tables. The sushi appetizer was on the small side and we were not big fans of the miso soup. The chef did a great job interacting with everyone at the table and cooked everything perfectly. The beef and chicken were excellent and the fried rice was delicious. After the beef and chicken were cooked and served, the chef also prepared salmon and shrimp. We don’t like salmon, but the shrimp was good. Zen Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar has two levels. There are teppanyaki tables on the first and second floors. We were seated on the second level, and it got pretty hot and uncomfortable. We left before dessert, but guests seated with us had eaten at the restaurant earlier and said the fried ice cream was amazing.
- Inside Zen Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr_IsrqCh94
Grazie Italian Trattoria
This restaurant is located near the Waterpark. We had outdoor seating and the constant light breeze provided a comfortable setting to enjoy dinner. The bruschetta appetizer was good, but the meatballs were only okay. We had the chicken parmesan as an entrée and were impressed. The chicken was cooked crispy, but our taste buds required some extra sauce. The waiter was more than happy to provide extra sauce and the service was extremely quick. We wish we had ordered one of the brick-oven pizzas. They looked excellent! Our suspicions about the pizzas were confirmed by rave reviews by other guests.
Scores Sports Bar
The sports bar at the Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa is one of the best sports bars we’ve experienced at an All-Inclusive resort. There are tons of TVs available at the bar, as well as TVs scattered throughout the room so that guests seated at one of the tables or booths will be able to watch the game. The menu is comprised of typical sports bar food with chicken wings, burgers, wraps, French fries, onion rings, etc. The chicken wings, although small, were very good, and about 5 different sauces were available. The alcohol selection at the sports bar was also excellent. It was also nice to be able to order food while seated at the bar and not miss any of the Stanley Cup Final or the NBA Finals. If you’re a sports fan and afraid of missing your team’s game, the sports bar has a “Sports Event Guarantee.”
- Inside the Scores Sports Bar: https://instagram.com/p/3b5Er6Cvb-
Overall, we would rate the restaurants at the Royalton Riviera Cancun as “excellent.” The food was great and the service was always prompt. The hostesses at all of the restaurants will ask if you have any food allergies. If you are a vegetarian or on a special diet, dining is unlikely to be an issue. Reservations are not required at any of the restaurants; however, guests staying in the Diamond Club may make a reservation at any of them. If a table is not immediately ready, the hostess at the restaurant will provide you with a beeper so that you can enjoy a cocktail at the martini bar or take a stroll around the resort. The resort was about 85% full, and we never had to wait for a table.
There are twelve bars located throughout the resort including three swim-up pool bars. All of the bars offer name-brand liquors. Modulo Especial and Negra Modelo are on tap at all of the bars. Unfortunately, the resort was out of Negra Modelo the week we were there. All of the bartenders we encountered were knowledgeable of the drinks they were making.
The beach area at the Royalton Riviera Cancun is big, and the sand is super soft. It is an excellent area to relax, and there is plenty of shade and beach loungers. Seaweed does tend to wash ashore moreso at this resort than others, but the resort staff does their best to remove it as quickly as possible. The beach bars also provide a nice area to relax and enjoy a cocktail or two.
The main pool at the Royalton Riviera Cancun is very impressive. The main pool features a swim-up bar and plenty of loungers with shade. The adults-only pool in the Hideaway Section (adults-only) also features a swim-up bar. Also, in the Hideaway section, there is a pool that wraps around the Dorado Seafood Restaurant. In the pool, there is another swim-up bar and also tables and booths built into the pool. If you upgrade to the Diamond Club, you will have access to the Diamond Club Pool. The Diamond Club pool wraps around Armadillos Tex-Mex Restaurant. The Diamond Club pool also features a swim-up bar. The loungers around the Diamond Club pool also have safes to store your valuables and coolers to keep your drinks cold. On the other side of the resort near the waterpark, there is another large pool. This pool also features a swim-up bar. Guests who enjoy lounging poolside will not be disappointed at this resort.
- Main Pool: https://instagram.com/p/3gpOKeivTh
- Pool in Hideaway Section: https://instagram.com/p/3d83MQCvRW
The standard room category is the “Luxury Junior Suite.” This room category features two double beds or one king bed, a full bathroom with a separate toilet, two sinks, and an indoor Jacuzzi. The beds in the room were extremely comfortable and the rooms were very spacious. More information about all of the room categories offered at the resort can be found here.
We would definitely recommend this resort. Families with children will enjoy the on-site waterpark available. For adults seeking a more romantic vacation, we recommend upgrading to the Hideaway Section. The food at the resort was excellent, and the service was superb. We will definitely return to this resort.