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“Average Resort” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Caribe

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Hotel Riu Caribe
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 5.5, Lote 6-C | Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #29 of 177 Hotels in Cancun
Sudbury, ON
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Average Resort”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Came to this resort for holidays October 16 to 23, 2012. Upon arrival, the first thing I noticed was that this resort, although nice, was not as nice as pictured on Riu's website. We arrived around 10am, and while checking in we found out our room would not be ready until 3pm and none of our room requests could be fulfilled. Prior to going on this trip, we requested a room on an upper lever facing the inside of the resort. Although when booking this trip we were assured they would do their best to accommodate us (being return Riu guests), this was not the case upon arrival. We got a room on the main floor (side facing) with no view.
The lobby is not air conditioned, and with 40 degree weather, was uncomfortable to spend any time in. The pool and beach area are nice but felt a little cramped, and the buffet was good but lacking in selection. After speaking with the manager about our issues, he recommended that we upgrade to the Riu Peninsula next door as he was unable to do anything for us. After getting a tour from Victor (the manager) with another couple we met at the Caribe, we all decided to move to the Peninsula and it was worth every penny to upgrade (paid $350 more).
Overall, I would give the Riu Caribe an average rating. It's a fairly nice resort with newly renovated rooms, and all of the amenities one would expect.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Norwalk, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

Our room was comfortable. The staff was very friendly and attentive. The waiter asked if we wanted another drink (at dinner) right before we took our last sip. The food at the buffet and Mexican Restaurant was average and usually salty. That's expected at a three star all inclusive resort. We didn't get to try the Asian and Steakhouse Restaurants. You have to book early...by 8:00am. The live music is good although not our taste. I don't recommend going for the entertainment. The lip sync show was bad. They barely moved their lips and the choreography was off. The fire show by the pool on our first night was awesome but that was about it. We always went downtown for dancing. Check out Mandala!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

This was probably our 4th and last time staying at this resort. The renovations were done with quality work, but the euro art deco style doesn't match a building that was designed with a Mayan theme. The grounds are still kept amazingly well. It just didn't seem to be the fun and happy place that it used to be.

We had a Jr Suite. We were initially given one in the middle. I had asked for one on the end, and had to wait for a couple of hours, but was finally given 608. These are referred to as corner suites. The room is basically the same as the regular room, but the balcony is much larger. Not really sure it is worth the extra expense considering I very rarely saw anyone out on their balconies. The rooms have been remodeled with a very white theme. The safes have been switched to electronic code style instead of key. The Mini bar fridge is bigger and not in a cabinet any longer so the drinks get cool.
There are something really funky about the room. I am not sure who thought it was a great idea to put a window in the bathroom. There is a reason we wall this room off. I have never felt the need to see a silhouette of someone's bathroom activities nor do I need to be blasted with light in the middle of the night if someone needs to go. It is a frosted glass, but glass none the less.

Less than spectacular. The specialty restaurants are average at best. The steak was probably the best of the 3, but the steak was on the tough side and kink of bland. Pretty much what I would expect out of AI. The buffets were suspect at best. We routinely found the food in the trays cold. I watched the lady making omelets in the morning and she would hand them to people with eggs still running out of them. The one I ordered, the cheese wasn't even melted. The next day I asked her to cook it longer so it would get hot and she got kind of offended. Considering I doubt they are using pasteurized eggs, it isn't exactly safe to eat.

It is Cancun and all the buildings are made of concrete and they do echo. Drunks don't always realize how loud they are. Pretty much every night between 1 and 3am there were loud voices and screams as they stumbled back to their rooms. One of the greatest additions to the rooms are a device on the door that prevent them from being slammed.

Still very nice and the added loungers in the pool are a nice touch. There are actually two pools now. One is on the side nearer to the new resort where the diving pool was. It adds a lot more pool space and is described as the quite pool. The activity pool was very low key and almost library quiet around the pool most of the time. It was pretty easy to find a chair, but there was a LOT of towel saving of loungers that you would never see used during the day.

Lots of grass washing up as usual, but they did a very poor job of removing it. In the past there was someone out there all day. Now you see a guy make a quick pass with a rake then that is it. There are a lot more palapas on the beach now. Of course like the pool, people stake them out real early and you never see them used. The beach is getting smaller and smaller with no hope of gaining it back. There is hardly enough room for the volleyball court.

Common Areas:
Lots of chair and tables around the lobby bar and they actually added a second bar. Never really had an issue finding a table in the evening. Drink service was kind of slow. It would be nice if they offered snacks instead of just drinks. The sports bar could be called the ghost bar because it always dead. It is a great place to go if you want to get a drink because you will have the place to yourself.

This resort had a very diverse group of people. There was a young party crowd. There was an older crowd. There was a family crowd. There were Americans, Canadians, Brits, and lots of South Americans with a large contingent of Brazilians.

Room Tip: Odd number rooms face the inside. Even number rooms face outside. The lower even number rooms face...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

We stayed at this place week of Thanks Giving over all it was good view, room facility food etc. . 1st day of our stay our new Tennis shoes were gone from the room we complained but there was no response from management.We even talk to general manager of this resort he said he will look into it but we have not heard from him yet. They didn't seem to care or didn't take any kind of responsibilty. Which was very disappointing. After that we didn't feel safe to leave things with out lock.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

Went here for our honeymoon in October 2010. 2 weeks of sun (a little rain) and all inclusive. Drinks and food selection were great. Pizza bar open during the day. Sports bar open all day. Snacks available at all times. Hotel is outside of the hotel zone but on a direct bus route. Can be quite noisy at night, when all the clubbers are coming home. Choice of beach or pool to sunbathe. We choice the beach most days. Rooms were massive, with a free drinks cabinet and fridge with soft drinks/water. Sellers can be annoying asking you to buy stuff all the time but just ignore them. Used the Riu Cancun also for meals, which was great for a change of scene. The waterpark is not worth going to. We did a speedboat ride and snorkling which was brilliant!! Can't wait to go back to Cancun, sometime in the future.

Room Tip: High up rooms not as noisy
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

We have just returned from a 10 night stay at the Riu Caribe in Cancun. The hotel was fantastic, really easy check in service with a tequila shot, bags bought to your room by the bell boy, and the basics of the hotel talked through. We were even given a map of the hotel and the restaurant times.

The rooms were spacious and well equiped including a fully stocked fridge and optics. We were on the 9th floor and had a fantastic view of both the pool and the beach.

Our welcome meeting with Thomsons was informative and helpful.

All areas of the hotel were so clean and there always seemed to be more cleaning going on, the staff were very friendly and were always happy to get you whatever you needed.

We had a massage at the spa on the final day, the massage was nothing special would advise anyone looking to get one to argue the price as we eventually paid less than half.

The only thing that lets this hotel down is its a la carte restaurants, the steak house cooks every steak really under done and the starter is not what you expect, the asian is ok although not a large choice, the mexican was the worst of all, the fajitas were like rubber, the chicken was salty and too tasted like rubber, the starters were awful and the service was slow. We ended up walking out mid meal it was that bad. The buffet restaurants are good although the food can become boring if you have it every night and no real atmosphere in there.

If you leave the hotel try eating at a Chilli's, Hooters or one of the various steak houses around the area. Going by bus makes it more fun, 42p to go anywhere in Cancun and its like a racing experience.

Room Tip: Go for a high up room to get a good view, we were on the 9th which was the top floor and our view wa...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashua, New Hampshire
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

Arrived via Olympus tours from the Airport approx 1400. Met James at the front desk who said one room was ready and the other was not (I had booked 2 rooms as we had another couple with us). Room that was ready was for other couple so we moved all luggage to that room. Our room was 2 doors down from theirs. Tipped $1.00 per bag.

Room was very clean. Large bathroom with exceptionally roomy standup shower, no tub. King size bed, as we requested. Sliding door with lock to balcony. Balcony was just right for 2 people with outstanding view of resort and North coast. Elevator is in center of resort and at the Northwest end. Center elevator was the closest which was approx 100' away. Max distance in our wing would be 150'. Their signature complimentary 4 bottle dispenser was in the room near the balcony. Underneath was a apt frig stocked with beer and Pepsi products, Soda Water & bottled water. There was no tonic water stocked but we were able to get some from the Sports Bar. If you prefer Coke, which I do, you can purchase it at the store in the Resort Lobby(22 pesos). If you want the frig stocked with more than the usual amount of beverages tip the fellow that does the restocking every morning not the front desk! All rooms come with an iron & board, hair dryer and wall safe.

Meals - They have 3 specialty restaurants. Mexican, Asian, & the Steak House. Both the Mexican and the Asian have their own specialty rooms off the lobby. The Steak House is in the same area as the Pool buffet during the day so if you arrive there at 1700 there are still people in the pool until 1900 or later. Although a nice open air view it still feels like your eating at the pool bar. The food at all three was ok but I certainly wouldn't rate them as Specialty Restaurants. That leaves the Buffet and the Sports Bar. The Buffet was the the highlight of the dinning experiences. The food here was always hot and tasted good. They always have fish, beef, chicken, pork and variations on all. A carving station at lunch and dinner and Roast Beef or Pork Roast. A very expansive salad bar and a dessert bar with hard ice cream ( if you want soft serve it is out by the pool bar). Breakfast at the Buffet was also excellent but no Juevos Rancheros. The Sports Bar is the only location that is open 24x7. They have pool tables, video games, multiple TV's. This is where we learned about the TOP Shelf liquor. You have to ask for it each time otherwise they give you the generic. Not all Top Shelf liquors are available at all bars. There is NO liquor served in the Mexican or Asian locations only Beer and Wine.

Entertainment - staff at the pool provide water polo, volleyball, water aerobics and other games to keep you entertained. If they know you by name at the pool don't expect them to know you anywhere else and they are not friendly. If your looking for adult entertainment the beach has number of topless sights to behold.

Water Sports - non motorized are included. They had kayaks, Hobie Cats, and paddle boats but we couldn't use them as the water was too rough while we were there. Wave runners are available at additional cost.
There are 2 pools and 1 Jacuzzi. The main pool has lip around it about 18 inches deep and drops off to approx four feet deep. It also has a wet bar on the other side of the pool bar. At one end it is shallow enough to be a Kiddie pool and at the other end there is a Basketball Hoop. This is the pool where all the action is. The other pool is at the east side of the property where the Jacuzzi is as well. The Jacuzzi is next to the entrance to the spa. This pool is more like a regulation pool with one end being very deep. I would classify this as the "Adult' pool. This is also the pool where they have Scuba lessons. I never used this pool because at 57 I am still not an Adult. I did use the Jacuzzi twice and both times met some very interesting folks there.

Alcohol - They will give you the generic brand unless you ask for Top Shelf specifically. Top Shelf is not available at all locations. The only beer they have is DosXX. Wine selection is very limited. You need a Cappuccino before you start your night visit the lobby bar :)

Now if all this isn't enough to keep you occupied you can hop on the bus for 8.50 pesos one way and go down to the Riu Cancun which is about 5-10 minutes away. It is the sister resort to the Caribe. You have access to everything the have to offer short of a room to stay there. They had a very nice infinity pool and the architecture is a little more classic. The food is a little different in that there is more variety. Most of the people(guests) at this resort were from Europe and not very social. The beach here is not as nice as the Caribe. This resort is within walking distance to the open air market, the Hardrock, Senor Frogs and other types of clubs.

Exchange rate - neither resort will change you currency into pesos and any bank that you want to use will require your passport. Across from the Riu Cancun is an upscale mall and in the center of the mall there is an exchange booth where they gave a fair exchange rate. Just about any place will take cash (US) but the purchase price is in pesos. Their conversion is not always in you best interest so unless I'm at someplace reputable and I can pay with Amex it is more beneficial to use pesos. Just don't buy any more than you think you will use. I used the balance I had plus some US cash to tip the driver from Olympus for our return trip to the Airport.

Overall, an excellent vacation and excellent value. I was told this repeatedly by my wife and the other couple we were with. That was the end of October and a month later they are still telling other friends what a great time they had.

Room Tip: room 519 is on one of the wings and has a view of the whole beach and up the north coast. The wings...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Caribe

Address: Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 5.5, Lote 6-C | Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#28 Family Hotel in Cancun
#28 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#32 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Caribe 3.5*
Number of rooms: 506
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Cancun's resort area. 9-story building. On the beachfront. Complimentary sun loungers on the beach. 3 km. /1.9 miles from a shopping center. 4,5 km/2.5 miles from downtown Cancun. 21 km/13.1 miles to Cancun Int'l. Airport. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Caribe Real Cancun
Grand Caribe Cancun
Grand Caribe Real Cancun
Riu Caribe Resort Cancun
Riu Caribe Cancun Mexico
Riu Caribe Mexico

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