Cultures collide in Cancún

A place of wild contrasts is Cancún, a real love-it-or-loathe-it kind of town. On the one hand you have tourists paying big bucks to stay in all-inclusive resorts where cocktails are served at swim-up bars from dawn; on the other you have hotel staff paid peanuts to sweep the sand using heavy slabs of wood tied to ropes draped around their necks.

There’s a Cancún with 25 kilometres of pristine white beaches, gentle breezes and turquoise Caribbean waters, and another of ferocious hurricanes that tear the place asunder. Mayan ruins sit beside towering concrete hotels, and cool restaurants compete for the tourist dollar with hot bars stuffed with American students off their heads on cheap tequila and watered-down beer.

And nestled quietly in between these two extremes is The Hotel Royal, the jewel of the resort’s hotel district, TheRoyal.

The Royal’s private beach has four-poster beds, so guests can sunbathe in maximum comfort, and there are half a dozen outdoor hot tubs. And ordering a Tequil Sunrise for breakfast is de rigeur.

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