FIRST, DON'T BELIEVE THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS, SOME PEOPLE AREN'T HAPPY UNLESS THEY'RE COMPLAINING.
This was our 3rd trip to the Riu Caribe, having stayed in 8 of the other resorts in the Hotel Zone, this has become our favorite. The first thing I noticed this time (previous trips in 2008 and 2009), was the complete renovation of the lobby, first class job too. They moved the bar there from the back room in the lobby, and removed the excessive foliage that made the lobby seem like a jungle. Now it is spacious and open, very inviting to sit and while away the hours with a cool drink. Next, off to the main buffet, the Albatros. Another great example of the complete renovation the resort just underwent. The buffet stations were all the same, but the dining room itself had been brightened up with some great uses of color. It actually looked like a completely different dining room than I had remembered. The food has definitely been upgraded, beef wellington 1 night, beef tenderloin the next, etc. Very nice selections, and prepared perfectly.
I booked 2 Junior Suites(one for me and the wife, the other for the adult children and infant), because I wanted the full ocean view, without the hassle of moving after a few days to get one. They were able to get us rooms on the same floor (6), within a few doors of each other. The Junior Suites only have a larger balcony than other rooms, otherwise, they're exactly the same, but we had to have that beautiful view of the ocean and the pool, or we wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. It's not too bad pricewise, another $125/per person for 7 nights, well worth the price to wake up and drink coffee and watch the sun rise every morning. The rooms have been renovated as well, no tubs anymore, just showers, and large 6' X 3' showers at that, room for 2 if you're so inclined. Nice glass block walls, and my wife told me I had to mention that the shower head can be raised to 7', as it is in our house, to accomodate her 6' height. I also think the air conditioning system has been replaced, as well as ceiling fans upgraded, as our room was always nice and cool. Of Course, flat screen TV's were also installed.
The service we received was impeccable, and I was approached by management at every turn asking if everything was to my satisfaction. At the front Desk, the general Manager told me to let him know if there was anything I needed. At the buffet restaurant, the manager asked me when i entered every time how my stay was, and to let him know if there was anything I needed. He would escort our large party (5 adults and an infant) to a table with a waiter who would then wait on us hand and foot for every possible thing we needed, from a high chair to a sippy cup full of chocolate milk. The service these folks performed was 5 star at a minimum. I will say that I do tip at every meal, because they work so hard, and I generally tipped $5 for breakfast, $5 for Lunch, and $10 for Dinner, for a party of 5. This was not much but they performed such a great service, and were always there to remove empty plates, and get more drinks.
The pool area is unchanged, except they now have tiled lounges in the pool so you can lay on them to tan. They have added, and were adding even more palapas on the beach. It was fantastic to get one of theose every day, and enjoy the beautiful beach. I believe this is the best beach in Cancun, because the waves are only a few inches tall, suitable to put a float in, and never be washed in to shore all day. The kids also enjoyed snorkeling there, and caught several baby octopus, crab, and starfish to show the child.
All in all, probably the best trip to Cancun we've ever had, and we've gone almost every year for the past 12 years. This resort is fantastic for all of the reasons I mentioned above, plust, the price is hard to beat for the value you receive. With the Junior Suite upgrade, Trip Insurance, Air Fare, and Hotel it came to around $1400 each for 7 days. Hard to beat that for what we got.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions regarding anything I didn't mention.
The higher floors offer the best views of the Ocean, so pick floor 4 or higher to get a great view...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.