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Hilton Playa del Carmen Review
In this Hilton Playa del Carmen Review, we will discuss all aspects of the Hilton Playa del Carmen. This beautiful 507-room resort is both all-inclusive and adults-only and is located directly on the beach.
Here are some quick pros and cons of the Hilton Playa del Carmen:
- An all-inclusive resort, including room service
- Located in the heart of Playa del Carmen, steps away from 5th Avenue
- Eight restaurants from Mexican-French fusion to Asian cuisine to poolside snacks
- Six Bars, including a swim-up pool bar
- An adults-only atmosphere
- Plenty of activities from yoga to pool parties
- Friendly staff
- Small beach area
- Not very many oceanfront rooms
- Lots of smelly seaweed, beach virtually unusable as of July 2021
- Inconsistent with food allergy considerations
As you can see, the pros outweigh the cons, but is this the resort for you? Please read my full Hilton Playa del Carmen review to find out. Also, make sure to check out my video tour of the Hilton Playa del Carmen on YouTube.
Where is the Hilton Playa del Carmen?
The Hilton Playa del Carmen is located in the Riveria Maya in Mexico. It is about an hour away from Cancun and the popular hotel zone. If you want to get “away” and stay in a more walkable area, it’s a great alternative to Cancun.
Prior to 2018, the Hilton Playa del Carmen was known as “The Royal.” In 2018 Hilton purchased the property and renamed it the Hilton Playa del Carmen.
If you’re planning a Cancun or Playa del Carmen vacation, make sure to check out what to pack for Cancun. First, let’s get into some Hilton Playa del Carmen FAQ.
Is the Hilton Playa del Carmen adults only?
Yes! The Hilton Playa del Carmen is an adults-only resort for those 18+.
Is Hilton Playa del Carmen All-Inclusive?
Yes! The Hilton Playa del Carmen is All-Inclusive. In fact, The Hilton Playa del Carmen also includes room service, which is not the case at every all-inclusive resort.
The rooms at the Hilton Playa del Carmen
Hilton Playa del Carmen is a large resort with plenty of room options. All rooms have private balconies and are equipped with whirlpool tubs and a fridge that is stocked daily.
- Junior Ocean Front
- Junior Swim Up Suite
- Presidential Suite
- Master Ocean Front Suite
- Junior Beach Front Walk-Out
- Junior Garden View
There’s also a “junior suite” category that is generally the cheapest but does not guarantee any kind of view. Unfortunately, we had to choose a “junior suite” during our trip due to booking right before checking in.)
We had a first-floor room with a “view” of the street from our balcony. However, we also had a small ocean view from the balcony, so that was nice!
As with the Hyatt Zilara, the rooms themselves are fairly similar, with the difference mostly being in size. I love having a nice view, but if budget is a concern, you can save a lot by not being picky.
If you opt for a swim-up suite, you might want to ask for one closer to the pool if that is important to you. I talk more about that in my YouTube video tour.
The restaurants and bars at the resort
The Hilton Playa del Carmen offers 8 restaurants in addition to 24-hour room service.
- Chef’s Plate – Upscale cuisine with a menu changing daily. Complimentary for guests in the Presidential Suite or One-bedroom oceanfront suites. Reservations are required.
- Asiana – Upscale cuisine from China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
- Barefoot – Located next to the pool, healthy juices and smoothies in the morning with wraps, pizza, and salads in the afternoon.
- Maria Marie – A blend of Mexico and French cuisine.
- Spice – Buffet with options changing daily.
- Rincon Mexicano – Casual Mexican food, including tacos.
- Kalamata – Mediterranean cuisine, seafood, and a buffet.
- Pelicano’s – Beachfront restaurant and bar with a variety of options.
- 24-Hour All-Inclusive (also offers a buffet during “normal” times)
- Trade Winds Pool & Swim-Up Bars
- La Mejorada
- Pelicanos Beach Bar
Tradewinds swim up bar early in the morning. It opens at 11 AM.
What is the best restaurant at the Hilton Playa del Carmen?
You’ll notice that many of the restaurants are the same as at the Hyatt Zilara. The Hyatt Zilara Cancun was modeled after the Hilton Playa del Carmen. However, the Hyatt Zilara is much smaller.
We tried most of the restaurants, and my favorite (as it is at the Zilara) was Asiana.
My husband really enjoyed the wraps at Barefoot, which was easily accessible from the pool.
My husband enjoyed the wraps during the afternoon, and I really liked the juices and smoothies for breakfast at Barefoot.
We had a terrible experience at Kalamata with over an hour wait and bad service, which was very unusual for the Hilton. I can’t speak to the food quality as we ended up leaving and ordering room service because it was getting late.
We were dining with another couple we met at the resort, and they ended up staying. They told us that the restaurant was apologetic about the delay and said it was due to cooking my food (I have allergies) in a different restaurant.
They gave them our hotel room, but we were never contacted, so I don’t know exactly what the problem was. Regardless, not having any contact with a server or having any water for a very long time was still negative.
Otherwise, our restaurant experiences were positive. Although we did not get to try Rincon Mexicano, we were told by many that the tacos were amazing!
I believe the tacos you order through room service as the same, so we did enjoy tacos that way!
Food allergy concerns
When you have food allergies, intolerances, or special diets, traveling can be difficult. As someone with Celiac disease (I absolutely cannot eat gluten) and who is a vegetarian, I understand!
Fortunately, the Hilton Playa del Carmen is fairly accommodating for special diets. Even if something isn’t on the menu, you can always ask.
Veggie rolls with gluten-free soy sauce at Asiana!
I will say that the room service was hit or miss regarding accommodating food allergies. Some of the staff seemed very knowledgeable, and some absolutely refused to do anything that wasn’t on the menu.
If you’re vegetarian or vegan, the Hilton Playa del Carmen has lots of options. I found Asiana to be a great option as they have plenty of tofu dishes and options.
Mexican food is also a good option for vegetarians, so Rincon Mexicano and Maria Marie are good options.
Most menus also noted whether foods were vegetarian or gluten-free. Always inform your server about food allergies, as cross-contamination could be an issue.
If you feel like your server doesn’t understand, ask to speak to a chef. Some of the servers were really great with food allergies, but as I mentioned earlier, it was very hit or miss. The last thing you want to do is get sick or have a bad reaction on your vacation!
Does the Hilton Playa del Carmen have a spa?
The Hilton Playa del Carmen offers a full-service spa, Spazul. I was set up to have a massage but ended up getting sunburned and had to cancel. So instead, I had a spa pedicure.
My experience in the spa was okay. All of the staff in the spa were very nice. However, I will say that the front desk at the spa tried to overcharge me for my cancelation.
They tried to charge me as a no-show, and I had to show them how I was still within the window to cancel for a smaller fee. I found that to be a bit offputting. They also solicit spa services around the pool a lot.
This is pretty normal, but they can be a tiny bit pushy regarding spa services, Cabana rentals, etc. It isn’t too bad, but worth mentioning since this is a review of the Hilton Playa del Carmen, and this was one of the few negatives that I experienced.
My pedicure was fantastic, and I would recommend Flor Hernandez if you schedule services at the spa.
How is the seaweed?
As of August 2021, the seaweed at the Hilton Playa del Carmen is very bad. As a result, the beach is virtually unusable, and it doesn’t smell good.
The pool is fantastic,, so not accessing the beach isn’t too bad, but it’s worth knowing about before you arrive.
I was told that the seaweed isn’t nearly as bad in either Cancun or Cozumel.
Hilton Playa del Carmen COVID restrictions
Thermal temperature scans are done at the Cancun airport, and temperature checks are done before entering the resort.
Employees are the Hilton Playa del Carmen are required to wear face coverings. Although there are some signs for face coverings indoors, it is not really enforced except walking to your table in restaurants.
Of course, you can wear a face-covering any time if you feel more comfortable doing so. It’s also a very large resort, so social distancing is easy if you choose to do that.
Not everyone does social distance, but it’s very easy if that is your preference.
Extra cleaning and social distancing measures are also being taken, and plenty of hand sanitizing stations are available.
This large resort offers plenty of room for social distancing if that is what you choose to do.
Does the Hilton Playa del Carmen offer onsite covid testing?
While you do not have to have a covid test to enter Mexico, you are currently required to have one to re-enter the United States.
Fortunately, the Hilton Playa del Carmen offers rapid testing on the property to make this inconvenience a little easier.
On my trip, I purchased the DIY covid testing from E-MED, and this is what I would recommend as I prefer doing the testing myself. It only took a few minutes.
Best resorts in Playa del Carmen
Is the Hilton Playa del Carmen the best resort in Playa del Carmen? Maybe! I’ll have to leave that up to you. With lots of upsides and very few downsides, this adults-only, all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen is worth checking out for a honeymoon, anniversary, girls trip, or any other occasion.
Don’t forget to check out my Amazon storefront for some of my favorite all-inclusive must-haves, including this float!
Hilton Playa del Carmen Review
While the rest of the world is reopening, Cancun remains one of the easiest places to visit.
Prices at the Hilton Playa del Carmen start around $350 per night for two people and vary widely depending on the room and time of the year. You can check current prices on Expedia or contact me if you’d like to work with a Travel Agent.
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